3 Easy Solutions For A Miter Saw Motor that Smokes Or Sparks

If your miter saw is creating smoke or shooting sparks you have a serious issue on your hands. Smoking or sparking from your miter saw is often a fatal sign your miter saw is at the end of its life. 

There are a few things you can do to solve this problem, but don’t expect a miracle. Again, these symptoms are often a death sentence for your miter saw. Checking your warranty, or bringing it into be serviced may solve the issue. 

Unfortunately, as sparks and smoking is such a serious issue. You may get better peace of mind by replacing the miter saw all together.

There’s no need to keep a tool that is showing blatant signs of being a fire hazard. Mixing a potential fire hazard with sawdust and wood debris is a very good recipe for disaster. 

Play it safe when your miter saw begins to spark or smoke. Bring it in to get professionally serviced, or replace the unit altogether.

What Causes Miter Saws to Smoke And Spark

There are many reasons your miter saw might be smoking or sparking. Neither is good. Typically this is only a problem with older miter saws.

As parts begin to wear out or age, parts that aren’t supposed to move or touch begin to shift creating smoke or sparks.

Using your saw to cut material other than wood can also wear out the motor, if the wrong blade is installed.

Miter saws are meant to cut wood and wood composite. While you can certainly cut other materials with your miter saw, you need to use the right blade.

Without the correct blade installed you will be putting extreme stress on the motor and fast tracking your miter saw to the end of its lifespan. 

The most common sources of smoke or sparks is worn wire coatings and bad brushes. Wiring will be difficult to fix. It is often the hardest to reach places that cause the problems.

Fixing a wiring issue on a miter saw is time consuming and as such, expensive for a professional.

Brushes can be replaced. In fact many guides exist to show you how you can replace them! It is a little bit tricky but most handy people would be able to complete this job. 

Stop A Miter Saw From Sparking Or Smoking

Replacing the brushes, isn’t a huge deal. Replacement parts can run you $25-$50 and can often be installed yourself. 

This is honestly the only fix I would consider doing on my own. Even then it isn’t my first choice. 

Check The Miter Saw’s Warranty 

First, I would check and hope that my miter saw is still under warranty. As mentioned earlier the problem with that is this issue often shows up on older models that have been used over some time.

The result is most miter saws that spark or smoke are a number of years old and past the warranty expiration. 

If you have a sparking or smoking miter saw that is still under warranty, please have it replaced.

You might think replacing brushes is no big deal. You might be right. But if the saw is new and causing such a serious issue as smoking and sparking, you got a lemon!

It’s a faulty saw and nothing more than a fire hazard!

You’ll be able to replace it for free and shouldn’t try to fix it. No need to spend your own money fixing something that wasn’t right from the start.

Dewalt miter saws come with a 3 year warranty. Very good coverage for those who use their miter saws heavily.

Get It Serviced

If the warranty has expired, you can still have it serviced. Either by the manufacturer or by a third party.

If not replacing the miter saw, this would be my next step to fixing the smoking problem.

I want to ensure that the saw is completely fixed so it is no longer a fire hazard. A professional will do a much better job than I would. 

While I’m sure there’s a chance the sparks are the result of an easy fix, to me it isn’t worth the risk of fire.

Remember, a new miter saw can cost $200-$500, it’s a decent investment of money. Of course, I want to get the most out of my miter saw. 

To me risking a fire is not worth a few hundred dollars. If there is serious concern of smoking and sparking causing a fire, personally I would opt to replace the miter saw.

Replace A Miter Saw That Sparks and Smokes

This is the safe bet. Might not be the cheapest, but even if you have a minor fire in your work space, it would have already paid for itself.

No one likes it when a tool doesn’t have a long life span. You expect more out of your tools.

However, to me the risk just doesn’t add up. There are enough safety concerns when using a tool that spins a sharp blade at high speeds. The last thing I want to worry about when making a cut is a fire starting. 

Preventing Your Miter Saw From Smoking Or Sparking

There are best practices and certain ways you should be using your saw to make it last longer. Even still smoking and sparking can occur simply due to old age. 

With this in mind we’ve included a few tips so your miter saw can live a full life.

1. Don’t rush the blade

You’re using a power saw for a reason. Let it do the work. Make cuts by gently but firmly meeting the blade to the material. Do not force the blade or push hard on it. Not only will this make your saw last longer, it is safer, and you’ll get better cuts.

2. Use the correct blade

Miter saws can cut a variety of material. But, it can only make good cuts with the correct blade. Using the correct blade will prevent binding which can easily lead to smoking or sparking issues in the future. Using the correct blade makes for better cuts, quicker cuts and a long lasting miter saw.

3. Clean up your miter saw.

No matter what material you’re cutting on your miter saw, there’s going to be sawdust. Many issues with miter saws can be prevented by maintaining them and keeping them clean. Cleaning sawdust from a miter saw that smokes or sparks will greatly decrease the fire hazard.

Hopefully this advice can help you figure out the best solution for your needs. A miter saw that smokes or sparks is a very serious issue. Ensuring that the problem is solved will let your have peace of mind, and a tool that is in good working order.