How to Troubleshoot a Compound Miter Saw

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Adjust the depth stop if the blade hits the table.
Adjust the depth stop if the blade hits the table. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Compound miter saws can be used for multiple types of cut, including bevel cuts, crosscuts, freehand cuts and more. Every cut needs to be set up properly with a square blade in relation to the fence, if you’re using a fence. Other important prerequisites include a calibrated miter scale. Problems with a compound miter saw can include issues related to the motor, blade and mechanism. These kinds of problems can usually be pinpointed by troubleshooting.

Inspect, clean and replace the electrical brushes if the brake doesn’t stop the blade within a few seconds of turning the saw off, or if the motor doesn’t start. Let the motor cool down and unplug the saw. Pull out the brush from under the cap and replace it if has less than ¼ inch of carbon on it.

Adjust the depth stop if the blade hits the table. Turn the saw off and remove the work piece. Drop the cutting head down so that the blade teeth extends ¼ inch below the throat plate. Loosen the wing nuts, or hex screws and readjust the blade depth to the desired depth. Try the motion again with the still saw off, and make sure the blade doesn’t touch anything.

Adjust the cutting head assembly pivot if the cutting head won’t rise after you make a cut. Loosen the lock nut on the head and then tighten the hex bolt to put more pressure on the spring. Retighten the lock nut when the right travel is obtained.

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