Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping (A Quick Fix Guide)

When you are into woodworking, you’ve probably encountered it: you’re sawing with your circular saw when the blade abruptly stops revolving and your circular saw gets stuck.

This one of the common circular saw problems and can happen to either newbies or experts. It could be for a simple reason, but it’s also conceivable that you need to dig deeper into the problem. So, with this article, you will undoubtedly find the answer to your question, “Why does my circular saw keep stopping?”

  • Proper Preparation: Ensure your workpiece is well-supported to prevent shifting, which can cause the saw blade to stop.
  • Blade Maintenance: Regularly check and maintain your saw blade to prevent it from becoming dull, dirty, or deformed.
  • Motor Care: Inspect the power cord for damage, keep the motor clean, and ensure your saw has enough power for the job.
  • Correct Handling: Always make straight cuts, avoid pinching the saw blade, and prevent the wood from shifting during cutting.

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Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping – the Quick Answer

Your circular saw blade will stop spinning if your workpiece pinches the blade owing to incorrect handling, if you use an inappropriate saw blade, or have a lack of power, or motor damage.

You can use this handy guide to quickly figure out what the problem is and what the best solution is. By better understanding why your circular saw gets stuck, you can lessen the likelihood of a saw blade stopping in the future, lowering the danger of kickback and injury. So to solve this problem, keep reading!

Person using a circular saw to cut through lumber on a workbench, illustrating the guide 'Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping

Things to Consider Before You Start Using a Circular Saw

Most problems where the circular saw blade stops turning can be solved with good preparation. Before you put the plug into the socket, first check the following things.

  • Support your workpiece well so that it cannot shift, pinch the saw blade, or break off and be damaged. All of this can stop the saw blade or cause injury from kickback. What I always use are pieces of insulation. It won’t hurt to cut with the saw blade, and they are light and easy to handle.
  • Always check your saw blade for damage, look out for missing or dull teeth, and check if the saw blade is not warped. Also check whether you notice any blue discoloration on the metal, which indicates overheating in the past.
  • Start with a clean, well-maintained tool. This can prevent many problems.
  • Always start with a fully charged battery.
  • Check that the circular saw blade rotates smoothly and in a straight line.
  • Set the depth just a little more than the wood. A few millimeters is enough.
  • Before plugging in, check the cable for defects or burnt pieces.

When doing this check-up, it is recommended to do this before plugging in the plug. An accident happens quickly when you accidentally press the switch. When the check-up is complete, you can connect the plug by pushing it all the way into the socket.

When accidents happen, you better be prepared. That is why I recommend you to have a first aid kit in your workshop. Check out my article, “How To Make A Workshop First Aid Kit – N°1 Guide | FREE CHECKLIST”, to see what should be included in your first aid kit.

Find Out the Reasons Why a Circular Saw Blade Stops

Before we dive into this theory of how to solve this circular saw problem, it’s good to look at the global reason why the circular saw gets stuck. Only then can you dive deeper into finding the right reason.
From my experience, I know that there are three main parts that can cause the problem of your circular saw stopping while working. These three reasons are;

A new saw blade will always cut well, at least that is the intention if you choose a good and high-quality saw blade. The older the saw blade gets, the more deviations can occur that can cause problems.
The engine can also fail for various reasons. It is therefore advisable to always provide the circular saw with good maintenance, but problems can still occur.
The correct action can in many cases solve the problem of the circular saw blade stopping. Learn to use this power tool properly. More on this below.

Ebook part 1 woodworking basics

Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping?

There are three basic causes for the circular saw stopping mid cut, as you may have previously discovered. In this section, I’ll go over each scenario in detail, including the reasons for it. This allows you to swiftly narrow down the causes of the circular saw blade stopping at your tool and your circular saw gets stuck. You can find the answer to these problems later in this post.

The circular saw stopped working because of the blade

A circular saw blade with sharp teeth covered in fine sawdust

The saw blade you’re using isn’t the right one for the job

When you use the improper blade for the material you’re dealing with, the saw will cease operating. It’s possible that the saw will get caught if you use a workpiece that’s thicker than the saw’s real depth capacity. It’s a good idea to look for knots or tougher components in the workpiece. The blades of a saw blade can be changed to prevent them from stopping and becoming caught.

Dull saw blades

This circular saw problem is the most common problem why a circular saw blade stop spinning. Blunt blades make it difficult for the saw to cut effectively. The motor cannot develop enough power to allow the saw blade to cut through the wood, causing the saw blade to stop.

A dirty saw blade

When a saw blade cuts through the wood, resins are released. These resins will adhere to the saw blade over time. This will not only make the saw blade duller but also slightly wider, making them less likely to slide through the wood and have a tendency to stop while cutting.

A curved saw blade

Cutting wood creates heat. That is one of the main reasons why a saw blade can cause burn marks. Find out all about it in my blog, Why Is My Table Saw Burning Wood? (9 Reasons + Easy Fix).

But heat development does more than just create burn marks. When too much heat is generated, the metal of the saw blade can expand and thereby deform. Sawing with a deformed saw blade is life-threatening and will also cause the circular saw stopping mid cut due to the friction it causes. Worse, it can cause kickback.

The circular saw stops because of the motor

Exposed intricate components of an electric motor, highlighting copper coils and mechanical parts, visually complementing the article 'Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping

Improperly connected power cord

When your circular saw stops mid cut, the first thing you should do is check the power cord. If the power cord is not properly connected, it will make poor contact and any movement caused by the power cord will cause a short power failure. At any power failure, the circular saw blade will stop. You need to make sure that you have a good connection between the circular saw and the electrical outlet.

Damaged power cord

If your power cord is damaged or burnt, it can also cause power cuts and your circular saw to keep stopping.
Damage often occurs just behind the plug or just where the power cord enters the power tool.
Burning the power cord often occurs with extension cables, where the cable remains coiled and heats up due to the consumption of electricity.

Sawdust

A build-up of dust in the engine could be the cause of your circular saw suddenly stopping. Insufficient air or cooling can reach the motor region if it becomes clogged with sawdust and debris. Your engine will overheat and cause the circular saw blade not spinning. Dirt deposited on moving parts might also cause them to become stuck.

The engine isn’t powerful enough

If the saw you’re using isn’t powerful enough to cut through the wood, it won’t cut and will keep stopping. As a result, make sure your saw has adequate power to cut through the material you’re working with, and invest in a bespoke blade. The blade will continue to halt until it has gained sufficient strength.

A stalled motor or worn axle

The other reason behind a circular saw stopped working may be due to an engine that has partially stalled due to under-use. Worn parts can also cause some problems here. The blade will not spin smoothly or will simply be loose and not held properly to cut a straight line.

Bad connection in the switch

A bad connection between the handle and the motor can also cause your circular saw blade to stall. This problem will usually be associated with the engine not wanting to start when the switch is pressed.

Lack of power

Lack of power is a common issue with battery-powered circular saws. The saw blade will be unable to cut through the wood when the battery is nearly drained, however, it could also mean that the battery is faulty. In that case, you will need to replace the battery with a new one.

The circular saw stops because of incorrect handling

Sawing lumber whith a circular saw demostration how important correct handling is

Pinching of the circular saw blade

When you want to cut (too) large pieces of wood, your circular saw blade can most likely stop rotating because the two parts of your workpiece come together and grip the saw blade. Be careful because this can cause the blade to kickback. Kickback is a reaction of the fast-spinning motor in combination with a saw blade that is prevented from turning, lifting the jammed blade out of the workpiece and moving toward the operator with tremendous force and speed. This can lead to serious injuries.

Not making straight cuts

When sawing with a circular saw, it is best to always make as straight cuts as possible. When you start turning a straight saw blade into a straight cut, problems will arise. The saw blade will stop, you will damage your workpiece and the chance of kickback will be very high.

CategoryIssueDescription
Blade-Related IssuesImproper BladeUsing the wrong blade for the material or a blade too small for the workpiece’s thickness can cause the saw to stop.
Dull BladeBlunt blades struggle to cut effectively, leading to the saw stopping.
Dirty BladeResins from wood cutting accumulate on the blade, making it duller and wider, causing it to stop while cutting.
Curved BladeOverheating from cutting can warp the blade, increasing friction and risk of kickback, leading to the saw stopping.
Motor-Related IssuesImproperly Connected Power CordA loose connection can cause short power failures, stopping the saw.
Damaged Power CordDamage or burns on the power cord can cause power cuts, stopping the saw.
Sawdust in EngineSawdust build-up can overheat the engine or jam moving parts, stopping the blade.
Insufficient PowerA motor not powerful enough for the task can lead to the saw stopping.
Stalled Motor or Worn AxleA motor that’s partially stalled or has worn parts can prevent the blade from spinning smoothly.
Bad Connection in SwitchA poor connection between the handle and motor can stall the blade.
Lack of Power (Battery Issues)For battery-powered saws, a drained or faulty battery can stop the blade.
Handling-Related IssuesPinching of BladeCutting large pieces of wood can pinch the blade, leading to kickback and stopping the saw.
Not Making Straight CutsDeviating from straight cuts can stop the blade and increase the risk of kickback.
Table: Overview of the reasons for a circular saw stopping mid cut

How Do You Fix a Circular Saw That Keeps Stopping?

Fixing this problem caused by the blade

The best way to prevent your circular saw from stopping is to use an appropriate, clean, and sharp blade. A low-quality saw blade can ruin the performance of your saw and overload your circular saw, resulting in wear and replacement. In my article, “Understanding Table Saw Blades | Always Find The Perfect One”, you will find all the information to know what saw blade you need for the job.

One thing you can do when your circular saw keeps stopping is to clean your saw blade regularly. This is easily done by removing the resins with a saw blade cleaner (like this one on Amazon) and a stiff brush.
Also, take a good look at the teeth of the saw blade and make sure they stay sharp. You can sharpen saw blades yourself, but I recommend that you have this done by a professional. A properly sharpened saw blade will keep performance high.

If you have done all necessary maintenance on your saw, but the saw continues to jam because of the saw blade, it is time you replace the blade with a new one. If you notice that the saw blade is deformed, please do not delay a replacement. A deformed saw blade will only cause problems.

Fixing this problem caused by the motor

Changing the power cord

It is preferable to replace the power cable with a new one as soon as possible if you notice damage to it.
This will not only keep the circular saw from stopping while you’re working, but it will also allow you to work safely with it.

If the connection at the plug or where the cable enters the machine is loose, fix it by clamping the cable back in place. Many devices have a plug that cannot be opened because the manufacturer has fused the components. If a problem occurs there, it is recommended to have it repaired by professionals. You can fit a new plug yourself, but remember that this is at your own risk and will void any warranty.

Check for any significant damages to discover if your power cord is damaged (such as cuts or burns). If there are no visible symptoms of damage, the next step is to inspect your power cord’s functioning. There should be no issues if it functions properly, and the circular saw should perform flawlessly.

Cleaning and lubricating the motor

If dust, dirt, or fine particles have accumulated in the motor, this can lead to several problems, causing a circular saw to stop while cutting wood.

To fix this problem, you can clean the motor to remove all the sawdust that has accumulated in it. You can do this by blowing away all the dirt with an air compressor and blowgun.

This is quick and will remove most of the dirt. You can always remove stubborn dirt with suitable products. I like to use a Brake parts cleaner (check on Amazon) for this.

Then you can spray the engine with a lubricant. Don’t use a spray that lets new dirt stick again and cause problems again in no time. The WD40 Dry Lube (see price on Amazon) is a perfect lubricant for this.

Replace the motor brass

If you’ve tried everything and your circular saw still won’t cut wood, the issue is most likely due to a damaged engine brass screw.

Your circular saw’s motor is held together by a brass screw, and if it’s missing or broken, your circular saw may stop working in the middle of a job. To fix the problem, replace the brass motor screw with a new one.

You can do this on your own if you are a handy person. Search for professional assistance if you’re unsure how to replace the brass motor screw.

Examine the engine for any damage or broken components

If the engine continues to go out after inspecting the power cable and ruling out all other possibilities, your engine may have a problem. Remove the lid from your power tool and inspect it for any loose parts.

If wear or fracture is discovered, you will be unable to repair the engine yourself. You’ll have to contact professionals for this, and keep in mind that the cost of repairing such a machine could be pretty high. In some cases, buying a new circular saw is the better option.

Consider replacing your circular saw with a similar or better model if you’re in the market for a new one. This will only make the job more pleasurable and straightforward.

Fix this problem caused by incorrect handling

Learning to operate the circular saw correctly can help you avoid jamming the saw blade.
You will have to train on this or look for tools to cut straight lines. To avoid pinching the saw blade at all times, be it by poorly supported material snapping shut and grabbing the blade, or by rotating the saw blade in the cut.

A handy tool that I use when sawing with the circular saw is my circular saw guide. In my blog, Make THIS Low Costs DIY Circular Saw Guide! FREE PLANS, I show you step by step how to make this jig. You can also download the handy plans for free as help. You can also watch me build it in my YouTube video here.

Also, make sure that the wood you are cutting cannot shift. The pressure you place on the circular saw while cutting can cause the wood to shift, causing the saw cut to close and forcing the saw blade to stop.

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Why Does My Circular Saw Keep Stopping – Conclusion

In the world of woodworking, encountering challenges with your circular saw is a common experience, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned expert like myself. However, with the insights I’ve shared in this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped to tackle the issue of your circular saw stopping head-on.

By understanding the fundamental causes behind these interruptions, you can swiftly identify and resolve them, ensuring that your circular saw operates smoothly and safely during your woodworking projects. Remember, proper preparation, blade maintenance, motor care, and correct handling techniques are your allies in preventing blade stoppage and ensuring efficient woodworking.

As you continue to master the art of woodworking, your tools and techniques will evolve, and so will your ability to troubleshoot and resolve issues that arise. The key is to stay informed, stay prepared, and keep your passion for woodworking alive.

If you’re looking to further enhance your woodworking skills, don’t forget to explore the valuable resources and guides available on my website. I’m here to support your journey and help you achieve the best results in your craft.

Thank you for joining me on this woodworking adventure. If you have any more questions or need assistance in the future, feel free to return to my blog for guidance. Happy woodworking!

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my circular saw keep stopping unexpectedly?

Your circular saw may stop due to factors like a dull blade, motor issues, or improper handling.

Can a damaged power cord cause my circular saw to stop?

es, a damaged power cord can lead to power cuts and cause your circular saw to stop while in use.

How can I prevent my circular saw blade from stopping?

To prevent stopping, ensure your blade is clean, sharp, and appropriate for the job, and check for a secure power cord connection.

What is kickback, and how can I avoid it?

Kickback is a dangerous reaction when the saw blade gets stuck. Avoid it by making straight cuts and securing your workpiece.

When should I replace my circular saw blade?

Replace it if it’s dull, damaged, or warped. A high-quality, well-maintained blade ensures smooth cutting without stopping.