So Your Miter Saw Blade Guard Is Sticking:
Miter saws are a critical and helpful power tool in any woodwork station for precise and accurate angle cuts. However, due to continuous usage over time, the tools may malfunction or break down due to wear and tear. One of the parts of a miter saw prone to damage is the blade guards as they are exposed.
When this happens, the blade guards may tend not to perform optimally and fail to retract as they should and thus end up sticking while undertaking your various woodworking duties. This may be frustrating and stressful to the user, at best, and lead to a safety issue at worst. Luckily this issue may be easily solved by a quick cleaning or replacing the blade guards, as they are reasonably cheap.
A miter saw blade guard is a safety feature put in place to protect the carpenters and woodwork experts from injuries as they undertake the various rigid woodworking projects. The miter saw blade spins at a high rate of speed; thus, caution should be put to avoid accidents in your workshop. The blade guard is usually made of a plastic piece that covers the spinning blade. As you start to make a cut, the guards move up a little, giving you adequate space for the safe cutting.
Apart from protecting you from hazards, the miter saw the blade guard helps direct sawdust to the back dust chute and into the vacuum or the collection bag. It is wise always to ensure that the blade guard is in place while working on any woodwork tasks, due to safety concerns. It is not wise to compromise on your well-being because of a blade guard, which is relatively cheap in the market.
This piece will enlighten you on why your miter saw blade guard is sticking and how you could fix it.
Let’s get to details.
How do I know if my miter saw blade guard needs to be replaced?
Before you go through the trouble of buying replacement parts, let’s check to see if a good cleaning won’t solve the problem first.
Start by removing the guard. The guard on most miter saws is usually attached with a couple of bolts/ screws. Guards normally have a bracket that attached the guard to the back of the miter saw so it retracts as the blade moves down. Some miter saws use a spring mechanism to retract the blade guard. these aren’t too different and shouldn’t be any harder to work on.
Here’s a video of a sticky blade guard with a spring mechanism, getting replaced:
And here’s the bracket mechanism version:
Whether you have a spring or bracket mechanism isn’t going to make your life any more difficult. Both styles are simple to work on, and should be a quick fix either way!
If your miter saw is no longer under warranty, or you can’t find the part you need from the original manufacturer, try ereplacementparts.com If you can’t find what you need there, you should still be able to find a generic after market part that will work for your miter saw’s model.
Once you’ve removed all the parts of the blade guard from your miter saw, give it all a good cleaning (this would also be a good time to clean out the rest of the miter saw as well). The main enemy of the moving parts on your miter saw is saw dust. little by little it will build up overtime. Add in a little moisture, and you’ve got problems on the horizon!
Start the cleaning by giving everything a good blast of compressed air. A vacuum set to blow will work in a pinch. after the loose bits are removed giving everything a good cleaning. The plastic parts can be cleaned with soap and water. Note any areas that were intentionally greased on other parts and ensure you replace the grease when reassembling.
Once everything is cleaned up, give all the parts a good inspection. Check for anything broken or cracked, these will need to be replaced. If everything looks like it’s in good working order, you’re good to start putting things back together.
One thing you’ll want to make note of while you’re reassembling, is that some of the bolts might be intentionally loose. For example, the bracket that retracts the blade usually has a little play in it, as it needs to glide freely. This shouldn’t be too much of a concern, just know that the bolt might have a certain depth they are supposed to be tightened too, all the way down might not be it.
If you’ve installed everything back together and you’re still having issues, or you made them worse… (been there done that), you’ll need to go ahead and order the new replacement parts.
How to Replace the Blade’s Guard on a Miter Saw
When your blade guard on your miter saw sticks even after you’ve cleaned everything up and reapplied grease or lube as necessary, the next step is to replace the parts.
- Order a New Miter Saw Blade Guard
A miter saw blade guard is not an accessory that is commonly replaced; thus may not easily access it on your local hardware store as it is not replaced more often. However, it would be best if you opted to order one from the manufacturer of your miter saw, if possible. If you can’t find the exact model from the manufacturer, you’re not totally out of luck. A large market for generic third party replacement parts exists and you can often find what you need there.
- Unplug the miter saw’s power cable
The first thing to do is to ensure that you have unplugged the power to your miter saw. It is essential to ensure that you have unplugged the power cables before you could start the repair. Your safety comes first. Thus it would be best if you did not compromise on that.
- Loosen your Miter Saw Nuts and Bolts
After unplugging the saw, you should loosen the bolts and nuts that hold the guard in place. A couple different screw bits may be required for this process. For instance, you may need to use a flathead screwdriver or an Allen wrench. Twist the nuts anti-clockwise to remove them out. Gently lift the miter saw blade guard out of place. Watch out when working around the blade, as they can still be quite sharp, even stationary. (unless your blade is dull, then it might be a good time to replace that as well.
The bolts connecting the bracket are usually intentionally loose. There should be a gap, and the bracket should have some play. This is normal, and necessary for the bracket to move freely within its intended range of motion.
Don’t Over Tighten!
- Attach the New Miter Saw Blade Guard
Firmly put the brand new miter saw blade guard in its exact position on your power miter saw. Affix the bolts and the nuts, and ensure that you firmly and securely tighten them into place. While doing this, you may take the chance to scrutinize other components of your miter saw to ensure that they are firmly tightened up. You should also ensure that your miter saw blade is not wobbly and loose.
Note why your guard might have been damaged. Was it normal wear and tear? Did the miter saw get dropped or have something fall on it breaking it? The main concern here is that the blade or the spindle on which the blade sits is compromised, and that caused damage to the blade’s guard.
Regular maintenance and repair of your miter saw will go a long way in ensuring that your miter saw is in great shape and increasing its lifespan. A miter saw which is in good condition will increase efficiency and productivity and produce clean and neat work. Thus when your miter saw blade guard is in lousy shape, you should opt to get a new one.