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How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

Learn How To Change A Circular Saw Blade On Any Brand With A Few Simple Steps

Your circular saw isn’t much good without a blade on it, so knowing how to change a circular saw blade is a necessary skill. The good thing is that once you learn the first time, you’ll be able to remove a circular saw blade and install a new one in just a couple of minutes.

Looking for a recommendation? Check out our Best Circular Saws of the year!

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade: Removing a Blade

Quick Steps

  • Press in the blade lock
  • Loosen and remove the arbor bolt
  • Open the blade guard
  • Remove the blade

Pro Tip: Safety first! Always remove the battery or unplug the saw before you work around the blade.

Before you start, there are two things you need to locate: the blade wrench and the blade lock. Most circular saws store the wrench on board, so take a look around the handle, base, and motor housing. If you don’t see it, consult your manual for more help.

The blade lock is usually on the motor housing just behind the blade guard. Press it in and at the same time, rotate the blade until you feel the lock button slip down into place and prevent the blade from further rotation.

Arbor Lock

Pro Tip: Many people find it easier to remove a circular saw blade with the depth locked at the lowest setting so the shoe (base) is out of the way.

Press in the Blade Lock and Loosen the Arbor Bolt

Keep pressing the blade lock button in and place the wrench around the bolt on the arbor (center of the blade). Turn the wrench to loosen the bolt a 1/2-turn or so and then you can let go of the blade lock and hand-thread the bolt out.

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade: Loosen the Bolt

But which direction is loose?

That all depends on which side of the saw the blade is on. If it’s on the left, the bolt is reverse-threaded and you need to turn it to the right for loosening. If the blade is on the right, it’s standard and lefty-loosey works.

However, you can simply remember that loosening always turns in the same direction as the blade.

Rotate the Blade Guard and Remove the Blade

The hard part is over. All you need to do now is rotate the blade guard so that it’s open, lift the blade up and pull it out.

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

There will be another piece that comes off with the blade. This is the outer flange and the arbor bolt clamps it down on the blade to hold it better than the bolt alone.

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade: Installing a Blade

Quick Steps

  • Rotate the blade guard open
  • Slip the blade on
  • Put the outer flange on
  • Press in the blade lock
  • Tighten the arbor bolt

To install a circular saw blade, we pretty much just reverse the process of removing one. The big deal here is to remember which direction the blade goes on—it’s not always with the printed side out!

Circular saw teeth rotate up through the material, not down. If you look at the teeth closest to the front of the saw, they should be pointing up no matter which side it installs on.

How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

Even if you don’t remember, most circular saws have an arrow on the blade cover or guard to remind you.

Rotate the guard open, slip the blade onto the arbor, set the outer flange over it, and hand-thread the arbor bolt on. Press the blade lock button it, rotate the blade until the lock stops it, use the wrench to tighten the bolt, and you’re back in business!

Pro Tip: Never use a power tool to tighten the arbor bolt! You can damage the arbor or bolt threads and make the saw unsafe to use.

Like the saw we used in the photos? Learn more about it in our Milwaukee M18 Fuel circular saw review! Also, be sure to check out the CMT Orange Tool 007 License to Cut blade we’re using on the toughest cuts.