How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

CMT Orange Tools 007 License to Cut Xtreme Demolition 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!

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

Step 1: Know Your Saw

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.

Blade Wrench

Step 2: Press the Blade Lock

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.

Step 3: 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

Pro Tip! Which Direction is Loose?

Did you know that “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey” doesn’t always work when changing the blade on every circular saw? The bolt removal direction actually 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. Why? The reason is that the bolts are oriented so that the movement of the blade actually serves to tighten, not loosen, the bolt as the saw cuts.

Step 4: Rotate the Blade Guard and Remove the Blade and Flange

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 New Blade

Quick Steps on How to Change a Circular Saw Blade and Adding a New Blade

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

Step 5: Use the Correct Side of the Blade!

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 is installed 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 which direction the blade spins.

Step 6: Open the Blade Guard and Install the Blade and Flange

Open the Guard and 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, rotate the blade until the lock stops it, use the wrench to tighten the bolt, and you’re back in business!

Final Thoughts on How to Change a Circular Saw Blade

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. Hand-tightening provides plenty of force to hold the blade in place while you work.

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.

Related articles