Many miter saws have a small laser that can show the woodworker the path the blade will take on the workpiece. It may be a premium feature for some manufacturers, so it is possible that your current miter saw does not have this laser (we discuss adding an aftermarket one below!)
There are many benefits to having a laser including the safety benefit of knowing exactly where the blade will be making its cuts. This will allow you to ensure your fingers or a cord are not in the way of the blade.
A laser can also increase accuracy. You can easily set the beam of the laser along your marked cut line! But what happens when the laser is not working on your miter saw?
Troubleshooting a Laser that is Not Working On a Miter Saw
So, the laser on your miter saw is suddenly not shining, what now? Some models are powered by the rotation of the miter saw’s blades, and they must be spinning for the laser guide to work.
If your blade is spinning, but you still aren’t seeing your laser guide, you can check to make sure it is still installed correctly. It is possible that the laser is no longer attached as it should be, or has become damaged in your shop.
Some miter saws have lasers that are battery-powered. If that is the case, then it may be as simple as getting replacement batteries. But if all of these methods fail, you can consult your owner’s manual for troubleshooting tips.
Pro Tip: Check your miter saw’s warranty information. Your laser may be covered!
Alignment Issues with Your Hitachi Miter Saw Laser
Just like any tool, your laser on your miter saw is only as good as the set-up! If you check woodworking forums or message boards, you will see that the accuracy of the laser guide is not always perfect.
A perfectly functioning laser can greatly increase the accuracy of your cuts, but it isn’t foolproof! There are times when the laser guide may become misaligned and need to be adjusted.
You can do this by clamping down a piece of scrap wood and making a cut partially through the board with your miter saw. Now, without moving the miter saw or shifting the piece of wood, line up the laser beam so that it is just to the left of the cut mark. This should get you back on track
How to Fix a Laser on a Miter Saw
Some of the parts you can check if your laser won’t come on are the switch and the power supply assembly. The laser guide itself could be the issue, or you may need to change the batter.
To change the batteries, you may need to remove the mounting bolt on the blade to get to the disc that holds the laser (it often looks similar in size and shape to a washer.) When opening the back cover of the laser, you should see the batteries inside. They are often similar to watch batteries and can probably be purchased at a local store.
If fresh batteries don’t seem to be doing the trick, you should check the contacts for corrosion.
Attaching a Laser to Your Miter Saw
If you can’t get your original laser back online (or your miter saw didn’t come with one in the first place), you can attach an aftermarket laser to your saw to give you the safety and accuracy that we spoke of above.
There are plenty of miter saw lasers available for purchase, but you need to make sure the one you choose is compatible with your saw.
Many of the common brands are easy to install. They typically take the place of your arbor washer on your miter saw. These types of lasers are activated by centrifugal force and turn on when the blade is spinning. Pro Tip: Save your arbor washer in case you want to get rid of your laser guide later.