Why Does My Circular SAW Keep Stopping

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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A circular saw is an essential power tool for many DIYers and professionals. However, it can be extremely frustrating when your circular saw suddenly stops cutting during a project. There are several potential reasons why your circular saw may be bogging down or quitting entirely.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the most common causes of a circular saw stopping unexpectedly. We’ll also provide actionable tips to get your saw running smoothly again.

Whether your circular saw is brand new or you’ve had it for years, this guide will help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

Some of the key topics covered include:

  • Common reasons a circular saw stops cutting
  • Fixing blade and motor-related issues
  • Adjusting settings and depth of cut
  • Checking for obstructions and binding
  • Maintaining and cleaning your saw
  • When to have your circular saw serviced professionally

By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to quickly diagnose and fix the problem when your circular saw stops cutting. Let’s get started!

Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping?

A circular saw suddenly stopping mid-cut can be frustrating and disruptive to your project. There are several potential causes of a circular saw bogging down or quitting entirely.

Loose Blade

a character hands adjusting a blade.

One of the most common reasons a circular saw stops cutting is a loose blade. If the blade is not securely tightened, it can move out of alignment while cutting.

To check if your blade is loose:

  • Try to wiggle the blade by hand to see if there is any up/down or side-to-side movement.
  • Inspect where the blade mounts to the saw for loose screws or bolts.
  • Check that the arbour nut holding the blade is tightened properly.

If the blade is loose, securely tighten all mounting hardware before use. Refer to your saw’s manual for proper torque specs on the arbour nut and mounting bolts.

Binding Blade

Binding Blade

Another issue that can make a circular saw bind up or stop is a bound or pinched blade. This usually happens when the depth of cut is deeper than the thickness of the material being cut.

Potential causes of a binding blade include:

  • Setting the depth of cut too low for the material thickness.
  • Forcing the saw through the workpiece.
  • Cutting warped, wet, or resinous lumber.
  • Allowing the workpiece to pinch the blade as the cut is finished.

To prevent binding, set the cutting depth to just below the thickness of the material. Make smooth, steady cuts without forcing the saw. Support workpieces properly to minimize pinching at the end of cuts.

Lack of Power

Lack of Power

Circular saws require consistent power to operate properly. If the voltage drops or the saw lacks sufficient amperage, the motor may bog down or stop entirely.

Check these items related to power:

  • Use a dedicated circuit rather than an extension cord when possible.
  • Avoid overloading the circuit with other tools/appliances.
  • Check that extension cords are properly rated for your saw’s amperage needs.
  • Inspect cords and connections for damage which can cause voltage drop.

Providing steady, adequate power will help the motor run smoothly without stopping unexpectedly.

Dry or Damaged Blade

Dry or Damaged Blade

A dry, gummed-up, or damaged blade can also cause poor cutting performance. Circular saw blades need to run clean and sharp to cut efficiently.

Inspect your blade and watch for:

  • Gum or pitch buildup on blade teeth.
  • Bent, broken, or missing teeth.
  • Cracked or warped blade segments.
  • Corrosion or other damage.

Clean or replace blades as needed. Damaged blades should be replaced immediately.

Motor Problems

Motor Problems

Issues with the motor itself can lead to a circular saw stopping. Common motor problems include:

  • Worn out brushes or commutator.
  • Overheating due to blocked air vents.
  • Faulty switch or trigger.
  • Internal damage or wear.

Check brushes and clean vents per manufacturer instructions. Use caution if troubleshooting electrical components yourself. For other motor issues, you may need professional repair or replacement.

Other Problems

Less common issues like faulty cords, broken gears, and loose or damaged guards can also affect saw performance. Troubleshoot by inspecting components and performing basic maintenance.

For problems you can’t resolve yourself, seek assistance from a qualified repair technician.

By methodically checking each potential cause, you should be able to determine why your circular saw is stopping and get it functioning properly again. Proper use, care, and maintenance will help maximize the lifetime and performance of your saw.


A circular saw suddenly stopping during a cut can be a nuisance, but identifying the root cause is half the battle. The most common issues involve blade problems, lack of power, and motor malfunctions.

By methodically inspecting your saw and troubleshooting potential issues, you can often find and fix the problem yourself. Adjust the blade, ensure adequate power supply, and perform basic maintenance for the best results.

For persistent issues or major repairs, don’t hesitate to consult a professional. With proper care and maintenance, your circular saw should provide years of smooth, uninterrupted service.

The next time your circular saw stops cutting, refer to this guide to help get it running at full power again. Knowing how to quickly troubleshoot and fix problems will save you time and frustration on your next project.

We hope you found this guide useful. Let us know if you have any other questions! And please share this article if it helped resolve your circular saw issues.

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More