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How to Fix DEWALT Miter Saw Problems

A collage of dewalt miter saw.

DEWALT is the go-to brand for professionals and DIY enthusiasts. It offers a versatile and accurate capacity in crosscuts and miters, angled cuts for molding, rafters, trim work, and bevels. After hundreds of work hours and thousands of cuts, even a popular power tool like the DEWALT miter saw may have some problems. We will look at some of these problems and offer solutions.

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DEWALT Miter Saw is a go-to tool for professionals and DIY enthusiasts, with a few operational problems:

  1. Saw won’t start
  2. Motor spins but not the blade
  3. Electric brake won’t engage
  4. Blade trips the breaker
  5. Blade not cutting square
  6. Blade has a wobble

1. Saw Won’t Start

A man holding a Dewalt miter saw.

You may be ready to work, but your DEWALT Miter Saw does not work when you click the switch.

Solution 1: Check All Sources of Power

  • Corded Saw
  • First, check if the saw is connected and plugged into the outlet. Next, look for a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse. Check the power cable. Disconnect the saw from the electrical outlet. Is the power cord intact? Manually inspect the cord and the prongs. Is there any damage? Next, use a multimeter to check the cord itself.
  • Cordless Saw
  • Check the battery and the charger. DEWALT chargers show a flashing light when charging, and the battery has a meter that will show 1, 2, or 3 lights as the battery gets charged. When the battery or the charger shows no lights, it means the charger and battery may need some cleaning. Make sure all contacts are free from dirt and grime.

Solution 2: Replace or Clean the Brushes

If you find no damaged wires, plug the saw back into the outlet and turn the switch on. If the saw does not turn on, unplug the power cable, remove the battery and the charger, and look at the brushes. Remove the cover at the end of the motor. You will find the brushes on either side of the motor.

Remove each brush by unplugging the lead, lifting the spring, holding the brush, and pulling the brush out. Check if the brush is damaged or worn out. Worn-out brushes will be much shorter than new ones. Replace the brushes with new ones. If the brushes are intact, clean and reassemble them. Check to see if the saw works now.

If the saw remains unresponsive, the problem may be in the motor. If your DEWALT-Miter-Saw is under warranty, contact DEWALT’s support team for advice. If it is out of warranty and you cannot do it yourself, contact a professional for advice.

2. Motor Spins but Not the Blade

A man cutting a wood using a miter saw.

When you switch the DEWALT-Miter-Saw on, the motor works, but the blade remains motionless. When you switch it off and on again, the blade turns for a few seconds and stops.

Solution

If the motor spins but the blade remains motionless, the problem may be with the transmission mechanism, which includes the spindle, the gear, the bearings, the housing cover, and the retaining ring. If you are out of warranty, this is a simple procedure you can do yourself.

After removing the guard assembly, remove the blade. Remember that the blade bolt is reversed thread – you turn the wrench clockwise to loosen the bolt. Remove the blade and inner flange to directly access the spindle and gear assembly and inspect the transmission mechanism. You are looking for a damaged bearing, a cracked housing cover, or stripped gears.

Another part to inspect is the armature gear. This part, however, requires more advanced skills. If your DEWALT-Miter-Saw is under warranty, contact DEWALT’s support team for advice. If the saw is out of warranty and you cannot do it yourself, contact a professional for advice.

3. Electric Brake Won’t Engage

A miter saw with a red blade.

You switch off the machine after cutting, but the blade keeps spinning for longer before it takes a few seconds to half a minute to slow down to a complete stop. Previously, the machine stopped as soon as you switched it off.

Solution 1: Check the Brushes

Your DEWALT-Miter-Saw has an electric brake that is supposed to stop the machine a second or two after you cut. The electric brake reverses the flow of electric current and causes the motor to slow down until it stops. If the brake does not kick in, the problem is most likely with the brushes.

Remove the cover. The brushes are situated on either side of the motor. Unplug the brush’s lead, lift the spring, release the brush, and pull it out. Repeat this with the other brush. Check each brush closely, looking for signs of damage. Worn-out brushes will be shorter than new ones. It is advisable to replace both brushes, even if one isn’t worn out, so you always know that both are of the same ‘age.’

Solution 2: The Switch May Be Faulty

If both brushes are in good order, another non-performing culprit may be the switch. The switch in DEWALT’s miter saw switch is a straightforward ‘on-off,’ or toggle, switch. It handles both the motor and the electric brakes. A faulty switch will not allow you to turn the machine on. Sometimes it may cause the electric brake to fail and cause the blade to turn after switching the saw off.

Remove the saw’s handle and the switch cover, unscrew the switch, remove the wires and take the switch out. Make sure to note where each of the wires (yellow, black and red wires, and black cord) fit. Install the new switch in reverse order. Plug each wire in its correct location, and screw the switch back in. Ensure the wires are tucked in nicely before replacing the cover and the top handles.

 

Solution 3: Test the Commutator And the Armature

If the problem persists, your following inspection items are the commutator and the armature. Both control the direction of the current, and since the electric brake reverses that direction, a faulty commutator or armature could cause the brake to fail.

Inspecting and replacing either part requires both electrical and technical skills. If your DEWALT-Miter-Saw is under warranty, contact DEWALT’s support team for advice. If it is out of warranty and you cannot do it yourself, contact a professional for advice.

 

4. Blade Trips the Breaker

Different types DeWALT equipment.

Your DEWALT miter saw keeps tripping the breaker as soon as you switch it on. While it does not happen every time you click the switch, it happens often enough for you to suspect that this is not a once-off event.

Solution 1: Check the Power Cords

Inspect the power cord and the plug prongs (or the battery and charger if you have a cordless machine.) Use a multimeter to check if the outlet or the power cord’s wires cause an electrical short-circuit. Remove additional machines and devices using the same outlet and remove extension cords.

Solution 2: Check the Breaker

When the circuits are overloaded, the breakers trip to avoid overheating and causing damage to the saw. If your miter saw trips the breaker, and the outlet and power cord are working normally, you need to check the breaker.

When you switch on a DEWALT miter saw with a 15 amps motor, the machine draws 30-40 amps for a split second. The current the saw needs only to operate the motor, the no-load status, is 6-7 amps. Standard household circuits are 15 or 20 amps, but circuit breakers can handle only up to 80% of their listed amperage.

The amperage limit indicates that 15 amps and even 20 amps motors might trip the breaker on startup. This, however, means that you should only replace the existing breaker with a higher amperage one after figuring out what caused it to trip. The breaker protects the circuits from overheating and burning.

Often the breaker trips due to overload. When you click the switch, the saw draws power in a sudden burst of 30-40 amps. This is more amperage than the circuits can handle, and it causes the breaker to trip. Consider purchasing a soft starter, a device that automatically reduces the amount of power the motor draws to turn the blade on startup.

In addition to stopping power surges, a soft starter reduces stresses caused to all parts of the units that handle load and torque, that is, the power invested in the high-power rotation of the blade.

Solution 3: Is the Miter Saw in Need of a Service?

Consider the general state of the machine. When was the last time you serviced it yourself, or had it serviced by a professional?

Open the machine and inspect and service its various parts: Check the brushes for signs of wear and tear. Check the motor’s vents and remove all dirt and dust balls. Inspect the belt and, if necessary, increase or reduce its tension or replace it altogether.

5. Blade Not Cutting Square

A worn out miter saw and wood chips.

As you cut through the material, you notice an uneven cut. The bevel is far from perfect, affecting the pieces’ seamlessness, especially around corners.

Solution 1: Reset the Fence

The fence is the device with which you align the material you wish to cut. If the fence is not set 90 degrees to the blade, pull the saw down and lock it in position. Set the miter table scale indicator to zero. You can also reset the fence by moving the sliding fence aside and unscrewing it with an Allan key to move it so it is square with the blade.

Solution 2: Check the Bevel Setting

Use the bevel setting. It, too, should be set to zero. If it isn’t, release the bevel hold and set it to zero. Place a straightedge ruler on the bevel table, push it against the blade, and check if the blade is at 90 degrees to the table.

Solution 3: Check the Blade with A Straightedge Ruler

With time and use, the blade spins at high velocity and cuts into various materials with different strengths. The blade may become warped. If you cannot see defects with the naked eye, push a straightedge ruler against the blade. Spin the blade slowly and check if there are gaps between the blade and the ruler.

Solution 4: Ensure Your Workpiece Is Clamped Securely

Is your workpiece fastened, clamped, and secured for bevel cuts? If your workpiece is not secured, it may move. This may be the case even when the blade does not wobble. Use clamps where required and ensure the material you cut is pushed tight against the fence.

6. The Blade Has a Wobble

A man trying to replace a blade of a miter saw.

The blade developed a wobble, which affects the quality of your work, forces the motor to work harder, and increases the risk of the saw overheating.

Solution 1: Replace the Blade

Replacing the blade should stop the wobbling if the problem lies with the blade.

Solution 2: Check Other Parts of the Blade System

Take a close look at the blade and, using a process of elimination, go through the blade, the outer washer, and the bushing further inside. Use this link for a detailed demonstration of the elimination process.

Solution 3: Check the Bearings

A man checking the bearing of a miter saw.

Having gone through all other solutions, take a closer look at the bearings.

Open the drill’s cover, take out the blade and open the casing behind it. Take out the transmission unit, and look closely at the gears for blemishes or damage. Remove the grease and clean the unit thoroughly, exposing the transmission parts.

Turning the gears around, you may feel some resistance or block, but this will probably not explain the wobble. You need to break open the seals so you can inspect the bearings.

Resources:

 

This YouTube link appears in another article online and is therefore marked as Plagiarism. I’d like to keep it, it’s an excellent tutorial:

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