Miter Saw Tripping Breaker: Simple Solutions That Work

If you’re using your miter saw and you suddenly lose power, it could be that your miter saw is tripping the breaker. This can happen for a variety of reasons, and needs to be looked into as it can cause serious problems.

If your miter saw is tripping the breaker ensure that the miter saw is clean and in good working order. Dirty brushes can cause arcing that can trip the breaker.

miter saw tripping breaker
Many factors can cause a breaker to trip, not just your miter saw.

Further, try plugging the saw into a circuit without any other items drawing power. Miter saw on the same circuit as a hair dryer has been known to trip the breaker. 

If none of these work, and you are at a loss, contact a professional electrician. Your electrical system is not something to be played with or modified by amateurs.

We’ll help you troubleshoot some common minor problems below. However, we strongly recommend you contact a professional licensed electrician if the problem persists. Protecting your home or work space is more important than running a miter saw. 

Miter Saw Tripping Breaker? Good!  

Yes, tripping the breaker is a problem, it’s delaying your project and isn’t something you want to happen right? Not really, tripping the breaker is a good thing. That’s what is supposed to happen when there is an issue with the circuit. Tripping the breaker is much better than the alternative of having a fire. 

That’s why the breaker is tripping. It is sensing that somewhere along the circuit, there is an issue that could lead to a fire or cause an electrocution hazard. 

So yes, having your breaker trip while trying to use your miter saw is annoying. But, this is a good problem, because if it didn’t trip you’d have a much larger issue on your hands.

Sometimes problems that come up are good things, this is one of those times.

So let’s get into some solutions for solving this problem. 

Why Miter Saws Trip Breakers

Miter saws use a fair amount of power in short bursts. Most circuit can easily handle this, however, there are different types of breakers, wiring, outlets and miter saws that need to be taken into account.

A standard miter saw plugged into a normal home’s outlet shouldn’t have an issue. However, if there are multiple items plugged into outlets on the same circuit you can start running into issues.

It isn’t uncommon to hear stories of people tripping a breaker by plugging two hairdryers in at the same time. There’s even an account of a miter saw tripping a breaker while a hair dryer is being used. 

Try plugging your miter saw into an outlet that has nothing else drawing power from that particular circuit. 

Tripping a breaker isn’t particularly dangerous in and of itself. But, you’ll want to consider having a licensed electrician come look into your electrical system anyways. Just like with anything else miter saw related, safety first.

Easy Fix For Tripping Breakers

We always hope that a tripped breaker isn’t a serious problem. Plan for the worst, hope for the best! Hopefully the problem is simple, such as unplugging other items from the circuit while using your miter saw.  

Simple steps can be effective in solving this issue. One more simple fix is cleaning your miter saw. Some miter saws, mostly older models, have brushed motors. 

These motors have components that can create sparks if saw dust builds up over time. Your breaker can sense this and will trip to prevent a fire.

A very easy fix is to blow compressed air and clean out the saw. This should be regular maintenance. You might have to remove the cover from the miter saw head to get any stubborn debris out. 

This will remove any chance of sparks creating a fire hazard.

Again this is typically only a concern for older models of miter saws, as most newer power tools use brushless motors.

As always, if you have any concerns about your miter saw or the electrical circuit, contact a professional!

Not All Circuits Are Designed For Miter Saws 

Not all electrical circuits are designed to have power tools using short bursts of power. Newer homes typically have a style of outlet that protects the circuit at the outlet. 

miter saw tripping breaker
Newer outlets come with heightened fire prevention.

This means that the outlet will trip instead of the breaker tripping. This means the circuit is protected at the end of the circuit as well as the start.

So if you’re wanting to cut trim to finish your kitchen renovation, you might have to cut the trim outside of the kitchen. The outlets there are designed for kitchen appliances and typically have much different needs than power tools. Try cutting in your garage!

Even if you home has these newer style of outlets, you should still have some that will work with a miter saw. Check outside outlets, or in your garage. 

Lastly, your miter saw can trip a breaker for many reasons. The problem might directly be with your miter saw, or  somewhere along the circuit. If the problem continues after trying the simple unintrusive fixes, please contact a professional to ensure your electrical system is safe.