Why Is My Circular Saw Blade Not Spinning (Issues and Fixes!)

All of a circular saw’s efforts go into ensuring that the blade spins properly. Unfortunately for us, that’s not always the case. Many can go wrong, from the power source to the transmitting mechanism to the blade.

In addition to making the saw unusable, it can also pose threats of physical harm. Hence, troubleshooting this issue requires a safe, methodical approach to cross out the possibilities individually.

In today’s discussion, we’ll first examine the possible reasons behind this problem and potential fixes to get the saw up and running.

Why is My Circular Saw Blade not Spinning

Figuring out the Source of the Issue

Instead of randomly looking around for a solution, let’s try hitting the source.

A saw blade, not spinning, can result from the motor itself, the belts transferring power to the blade, or the mounting mechanism of the blade.

Try to see if the motor is making any sound at first. If not, then start from there. If it does work along with the belt, chances are your arbor may require some attention, and so on. But if the problem starts from the belts and pulleys, it’s no use trying to fix the blade’s arbor.

Another bit to notice is whether the blade tries to spin or not. If it does, then something is stopping it from doing so. However, if there’s no movement or sound from the motor, it would suggest there’s no power.

Taking a logical approach like this allows you to be efficient with troubleshooting. Instead of trying every solution below, see which one makes sense first.

Why Your Circular Saw Blade Isn’t Spinning

We’ll divide things into rough categories to help check out one component at a time.

Malfunctioning Drive Belt

Drive belts are crucial, as these loops connect your motor to the saw blade. As the motor spins, so does the belt. A pulley attaches to this belt, which consequently turns the belt.

A worn-out drive belt would show symptoms like reduced speed or random slips. A bad belt would entirely slip out of its place and fail to turn the blade. If you’re comfortable opening the saw, see if the drive belt is intact.

Putting it back in its position wouldn’t work unless you replace it, as it has lost its ability to maintain tension.

Bad Switchand Batteries (If Any)

If your saw doesn’t receive any power, it may be due to a faulty switch. The switch allows you to dictate whether the motor should receive power, and it’s the only way to do so.

A stuck switch would be evident to the eye, but issues within its wiring are trickier to fix.

If you own a cordless saw, another reason it may not receive power is due to a faulty battery. See if the battery is charging when you connect it to an outlet.

If the circular saw only spins for a little while after charging, then the battery has lost its ability to hold power.

Contrary to popular belief, a dead battery can also prevent the saw blade from turning. It may show it’s charging but won’t hold any power.

This is not unfeasible if you’ve used the battery for a while, as rechargeable batteries slowly lose their capacity. It might also be the result of physical damage. Replacing the battery should fix the issue right away.

Faulty Cables

If the motor isn’t spinning, it may be due to a faulty power cord or the cables inside. While the former is often visible from the outside, the latter is tougher to figure out.

Cables can stop working for many reasons, but not being careful with them is a common one. For instance, if you’ve been rough with the saw and put the power cord under stress, it can physically harm it.

Check the power cord for visible defects or even burnt-out places. Remember that putting that cable under heavy stress can hurt the wires within. Some users find that twisting the cable in a particular manner occasionally makes the saw start up.

It’s tricky to check those cables from the outside, as they’re covered with protective parts. Hence, disassembling the saw may be necessary. It’s easy to make mistakes while replacing or fixing cables, short-circuiting the saw. Don’t try your luck unless you know how to.

If that’s the case, you can be sure the issue stemmed from the cables. Do not try to operate the saw until you’ve replaced it.

A Damaged Blade

A blade is designed with all its teeth moving in a certain direction. Doing so ensures that the saw’s energy is utilized efficiently in one direction. However, if the blade has physical damage or bent portions that make it work against itself, it may fail to rotate.

Sometimes, bent teeth get stuck or pinched in the material you’re cutting, which is dangerous. If you’ve used it too long, the saw blade may also have worn out over time.

Take the blade off the saw and check for any signs of physical damage or deformations. Replacing the blade should fix your issue if there are any such indications.

The Arbor

If the issue stems from the blade, it likely has something to do with the arbor. The arbor is where the blade connects to the saw, the only point that holds the blade in place.

First, check if the blade is mounted properly and isn’t moving around. If it moves, try to tighten the arbor nut to prevent movement. If the nut doesn’t tighten or seems misaligned, it’s better to replace it altogether.

The connection to the other parts of the saw from the arbor relies on the clutch bolt. That’s another component you should look at and replace if necessary.

Using the Wrong Blade-Material Combination

The blade you’re using has to work efficiently on the material you’re cutting and vice versa. Otherwise, the blade may stop turning entirely.

For example, a blade that can cut softwood for you will not be able to cut metal. Doing so would introduce too much resistance to the blade, and its weaker physical properties would prevent it from being able to cut through that material at all.

Be wary of such situations sincethey can result in vicious kickbacks, which ishazardous.

Hence, it’s necessary to understand the blade you own and the material you’re cutting. And if this is the case, replace that blade with something more capable or avoid that material altogether.

The Blade Isn’t Protruding Enough

You’re certain that your blade can cut the material, yet it fails to turn continuously. If that’s the case, the saw blade may not be deep enough for the job. The lack of contact would reduce its force on the material, making it stop turning.

If your blade is large enough and your saw can make it protrude further, try doing that. You must opt for thinner material or a different saw if not enough.

Overheating Motor

An overheating motor can also result in a circular saw blade not spinning or stopping after a while.

Firstly, it can overheat if the voltage exceeds the motor’s optimal voltage. This also affects the current draw, and the motor might face damage depending on the severity of the issue.

If the workload is too much for your saw’s workload, it can also cause it to overheat. The problem only gets worse combined with a dull or suboptimal blade configuration.

Another possible reason is a saw clogged up with sawdust and other debris. This prevents sufficient air intake and the possibility of overheating increases with longer and heavier workloads.

However, it’s more likely that the heating results from excessive voltage than the latter. The damage is also more likely to last if it’s an electrical issue.

An Old or Unused Motor

If the saw’s motor is old, the brass components may have gone through too much wear and tear to keep running. You may have to replace them to restore the motor’s performance.

Grease dry-out is another common phenomenon if the motor has been lying unused for a while. The grease slowly dries out over time, and the motor fails to work properly. You will have to re-grease it if this is the problem.

These are the likely reasons behind your saw blade stopping. Determine if the blade ever starts spinning or fails to move, then find your way through the steps.

My Last Words!

Having a saw blade stop is quite annoying. And if it’s due to a serious issue, there are also risks of accidents. Try to troubleshoot by following the steps above if your circular saw blade is not spinning, and you may have it running with some luck!


My name is Michael M. Militello, and I want to help you find the right tools and the best products for your next project! As a professional tool expert here in Houston, TX, With my vast tool experience, I can help you choose the right brand, model, and size for the job. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You can reach me here on my blog and also on Facebook, Twitter , and Pinterest. I look forward to hearing from you!

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