Changing the blade on a Dewalt miter saw (Quick and Easy!)

Is it time to change the blade on your Dewalt miter saw? If so, this is the place for you!

Dewalt has a variety of different miter saws that include: double bevel, single bevel, sliding, compound and basic. Each model of Dewalt miter saw may be a little different, but the dynamics of changing the blade are the same. All models use a 12 inch circular saw blade. So we will show you how to change the blade on a Dewalt miter saw!

Changing the blade on a Dewalt miter saw

When changing the blade on a Dewalt miter saw, disconnect saw from power source. Loosen bracket screws so tab holding blade guard in place can slide up. Hold the spindle lock down to lock blade in place. Unscrew the blade screw. Carefully remove blade and replace with new blade.

Step 1: Make sure saw has no power

Depending on the model miter saw you have, the power source will be battery or plug. It is essential to unplug or remove the battery from the saw! Try pressing the trigger once this is done to ensure there is no power to the saw.

Removing Dewalt battery from the miter saw.

Step 2: Raise the miter saw to highest position

Pull the locking pin and make sure to raise the saw head to the highest position. It is important to note, you must push the head down while you pull the pin. This will give you the most room to remove and replace the blade without interference. On most models, this pin will be found on the left side of the miter saw (looking at the front of the saw). However, on older models, I have seen this pin on the right side.

Locking pin found on back of Dewalt miter saw to unlock the head.
Locking pin

Step 3: Remove bracket screws to expose bolt holding blade

Next, you will have to remove or loosen the blade guard bracket screws. There will be 2 screws to loosen. For the first screw you do not have to raise the blade guard. The screw is easily accessible.

Bracket screw that is holding the blade guard in place.
First bracket screw

The second bracket screw will be under the blade guard. You must lift the blade guard all the way up to expose this screw. After doing this, you will see a screw holding down the bracket of the blade guard.

Blade guard lifted up to expose the second blade guard screw.
Second bracket screw, with blade guard held up

On some models you are provided with a blade wrench you can use to loosen the screws. One side of the blade wrench will fit the bracket screws, while the other side will fit the blade screw. Determine which side fits the bracket screws and loosen (two turns counterclockwise should do the trick). If you have misplaced the blade wrench and you want to get another one.

Picture of tool that Dewalt provides with miter saws.

If your model does not have this tool, or you have misplaced it, you can just use a multi-tool or torx bit to loosen the screw. On most models a T30 torx bit will do the trick.

You do not need to take the screws completely out (and I recommend against it to avoid losing the screws). For the first screw, just give it two rotations to loosen. For the second screw, loosen it enough so you can lift the tab on the blade guard up and off the screw.

Blade guard screw loosened but not removed.
Tab on blade guard slid off bracket screw

Very important to note, these are softer screws that will strip easily. Make sure the tool you are using to loosen is snug.

If done correctly you will have full access to the blade screw. Once this is done you can slowly lower the guard and rest it on the loosened guard bracket screw. 

Blade screw fully exposed.
Blade screw exposed

Helpful hint: if you are having difficulty holding up the blade guard and unscrewing the second screw, you can use a bungy cord to hold the blade guard and attach it to something in the area. This will allow you to have two free hands to loosen the screw.

Step 4: Lock the blade in place

IT IS IMPORTANT TO BE CAREFUL WHEN HANDLING THE BLADE. I recommend using a work glove when handling the blade to limit the risk of cutting yourself.

Now it is time to lock the blade in place. To do this, you must locate the spindle lock button on the right side of the saw head. While pressing the spindle lock slowly and carefully, rotate the blade downward. When the spindle lock button goes in as far as it can (you will hear and audible click), the blade will be locked in place. This means the blade will no longer be able to rotate. You will have to continue holding the spindle lock button down during the next step!

Pin that will lock the blade in place when pressed.
Spindle lock button

Step 5: Remove the blade

Before doing anything else, it is important to take note of which way the teeth on the blade are facing. You will want to put the new blade on with the teeth facing the same way. In most cases, the teeth will be facing down.

While still holding the spindle lock button, you can unscrew the blade screw. It is important to note: with the blade screw to loosen and tighten is opposite from all other screws. With saw blades it is “righty lucy, lefty tighty.” This is because they are reverse threaded to allow the blade to spin. You can use the tool provided to you or again use a multi tool/torx bit that has the correct fitting. This screw you will want to remove completely along with the outer clamp washer.

Blade screw and washer fully removed.
Screw and washer removed

I have seen a variety of screws used to hold the blade in place. Most commonly Dewalt will use a T40 torx style screw. However, I have also seen a hex style bolt used that is usually 6mm. If yours is different then the picture, do not worry and just use the appropriate tool to remove. Below are the two most common screws I have seen for the miter saw blade.

Two types of blade screws that Dewalt uses, A: hex socket cap; B: 6mm hex bolt.
A. Hex socket cap screw; B. 6mm Hex bolt

Once you have removed the screw and washer, the blade should slide right off. Again, be very careful handling the blade.

Step 6: Put on the new blade

Now it is time to put the new blade on. Place the blade on the inner clamp washer (make sure that the teeth are facing down). Then place the outer clamp washer on the blade followed by the blade screw. Before tightening the screw make sure you hold the spindle lock button and lock the blade in place. Then you can tighten the blade screw using the same tool you did to remove the blade. Remember when tightening you will spin to the left due to the reverse threading.

Loosen the blade screw by turning the tool to the right.

Once the blade is screwed in you can release the spindle lock and make sure that the blade spins freely. If the blade does not spin freely there is an issue and you must fix this before moving on.

Step 7: Tighten blade guard

Once the new blade is on and spinning freely it is time to tighten the blade guard. Hold the blade guard up. Then lift the blade guard bracket up off the loosened screw it is resting on. Then bring the bracket down and slide it on the loosened screw. Now tighten the bracket screw back in. You can now release the bracket guard and tighten the second bracket screw It should now look exactly the same as it did before starting (except now with a new and sharper blade).

Step 8: Make a test cut

Finally, it is time to make sure that everything is working properly. Either plug the saw into an outlet, or plug the battery in. Then make a test cut to ensure the blade is cutting to your liking.

Using Dewalt miter saw to make a test cut.

Here is a video of the process from start to finish!


  • Make sure miter saw has no power
  • Raise the miter saw to highest position
  • Remove bracket screws to expose bolt holding blade
  • Lock the blade in place
  • Remove the blade
  • Put on the new blade
  • Tighten blade guard
  • Make a test cut

Did this help you in changing your Dewalt miter saw blade? If so please let us know in the comments.

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