So you’re out in the shop working away and you notice your miter saw blade wobbles. You think “Man, did I really finish off that six pack already?” but then you realize you’re only on your second barley pop (I kid, multiple beers and spinning blades aren’t the safest combination, but hey, I’m not a cop). The blade really is wobbling and you’re right to have some concern about it.
So what can we do about a miter saw blade that wobbles?
Miter saw blade wobbles
If your miter saw has a wobble it is certainly cause for concern. Not only is this a safety issue, but it can lead to other serious problems, as well. A wobbling blade will not cut properly, resulting in low precision, poor quality cuts with larger than normal kerf.
Further, that wobble will affect the internal components of the miter saw as it isn’t designed to be used with the shaking or vibration that a wobble will produce. This means that your axle will take more stress than normally necessary.
Why does my miter saw blade wobble?
A wobble in your miter saw blade is usually the result of one of three problems. Either you have a warped blade, the blade has become loose, or the parts attaching the blade have worn out. Most of these are easy to fix.
Miter saw blades can become warped and wobble over time. Sometimes you just get a bad blade, and there’s nothing you can do but replace it. It’s unfortunate but true. Other times it can be the result of sudden, repeated environmental changes in temperature (going from hot to cold and back again, over and over again.). The latter is less common, but possible.
A really bad case of miter saw binding could also cause the blade to warp, if it happened multiple times it could easily cause your miter saw blade to wobble.
The most likely cause is that your blade has become loose. This is the most common culprit, and luckily the easiest to fix. Where your blade attaches to the arbor, which attaches to the drive may have come loose over time.
Lastly, and similarly to the blade coming loose is that the parts which attach the blade to the saw might have worn out, over time. There are a number of parts that could be responsible for the blade coming loose. Luckily, replacement parts are easily available for this type of problem
How to fix miter saw blade wobble
First, check to see if the blade is loose or has play by wiggling it left to right. If it is loose check the arbor, that attaches the blade for the loose connection. Everything should look correctly tightened.
Second, check all visible parts for wear. Starting with the arbor and working your way part by part until you can’t see any further into the miter saw. If there is no visible sign of wear, move onto the last step.
Lastly, remove the blade from your miter saw and lay it on a flat surface. The flat surface of a table saw is a common precisely flat surface in most shops, however a good workbench should do, as well. When the blade is on the surface of the table, does it lay flat? Are any teeth bent up or down? Flip the blade over and check both sides.
This should solve 95 out of 100 cases of a wobbling miter saw blade. If you’ve worked through these troubleshooting ideas and still can’t resolve the issue, it is likely a much more serious internal issue. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to help diagnose it from the interweb, so consider taking it in to be serviced, or start looking for a new miter saw.
Best of luck in your endeavors.