Circular saw is not working!

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Forum topic by Beginningwoodworker posted 08-18-2011 03:45 AM 11625 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3906 days

08-18-2011 03:45 AM

I try to make some angle cuts with my homeowner grade skil circular saw, and it runs but when I start cutting wood with it slows down and wont cut the wood. I am wondering whats the trouble?

32 replies so far

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1904 posts in 3905 days

#1 posted 08-18-2011 03:47 AM

Dull blade???

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View D_Allen's profile


495 posts in 3018 days

#2 posted 08-18-2011 03:54 AM

Cheap saw

-- Website is finally up and

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3795 days

#3 posted 08-18-2011 03:56 AM

Blade nut not tight enough?

-- Joe

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 2830 days

#4 posted 08-18-2011 03:57 AM

Doubt it’s the saw. (wow what is it with all the snide comment from some people today?)

I’m leaning toward what Matt said. Either that or there’s a lot of resin buildup on the blade that just needs to be cleaned off. Try that and see if it works better.

Good luck.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 3413 days

#5 posted 08-18-2011 03:58 AM

Blade on backwards? Pinching the blade (twisting the saw)? Is it a corded saw?

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3906 days

#6 posted 08-18-2011 04:05 AM

The blade is sharp, I have not been using it much. Yes it is a corded saw.

View SSMDad's profile


395 posts in 2830 days

#7 posted 08-18-2011 04:09 AM

Hmm..strange. Of course I know next to nothing about the mechanics of equipment except to check the blade. Hope you find the answer.

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Manitario's profile


2702 posts in 3116 days

#8 posted 08-18-2011 04:25 AM


-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Karson's profile


35152 posts in 4634 days

#9 posted 08-18-2011 04:32 AM

Is there any blade binding or burn marks on the wood. If it cuts at a 90 deg ok and not on an bevel cut then I’d question if the plate is folding back and having a bind built-in on the swivel.

Also if it doesn’t have the problem at 90 deg and what degree does the problem start to show.

5 deg’s ok, 10 deg still ok, 15 deg starting to show. 20 deg more so. Just a trial and error check.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3292 days

#10 posted 08-18-2011 05:16 AM

When you say you are making “angled cuts” do you mean at an angle across the board or is it cutting with the saw set at a bevel setting. If using the bevel setting, it effectively makes the cut like cutting through a thicker piece of wood. This could cause the saw to bog down some. It depends on the material too. Another question is, what is the amp rating of your saw. If it is the typical 12 amp homeowner grade saw, the combination of cutting on a bevel through some tough material and the fact that 12 amp is not a powerful motor, it could simply be boging down. Is the motor getting physically hot to the touch? Also, does it shut down quickly, or after getting some ways into the cut. If it shuts down as soon as the blade touches the wood, I would have to suspect that the saw motor is about burned up. If it gets into the cut and then bogs down, I would have to say it could be part of the items I’ve desribed above or possibly, the blade getting in a bind during the cut. If you are cutting construction grade pine, I could easily see the wood warping and closing in on the back of the blade causing the saw to bind. If that is the case, then be very careful. That could lead to a bad kickback. I had a guy working on some siding at my house have a circular saw kick back and cut his wrist very badly. He actually passed out en route to the emergency room. If they had not gotten him there as quick as they did, it could have been really bad.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View lew's profile


12495 posts in 3989 days

#11 posted 08-18-2011 05:24 AM


Making compound angle cuts with a skill saw can be challenging. I think it is a combination of the blade guard not retracting and this is forcing the saw to to twist and pinch the blade.

Although it is not recommended in the manual, try retracting the blade guard fully, by hand, then make the cut and see if the same thing happens.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3906 days

#12 posted 08-18-2011 05:32 AM

Yes its a 12 amp motor, I was trying to make some angle cuts in 1/2’’ plywood for my sawhorses. I had to finish the cut with my crosscut handsaw.

View Tedstor's profile


1678 posts in 2866 days

#13 posted 08-18-2011 05:56 AM

I also have a 12a Skil. Probably the same model. I had the same issue while trying to cut some 3/4” subflooring. I blamed the saw, thinking it was too weak or poorly built to handle the job. As it turned out, the culprit was the (original) blade. I had only cut a couple dozen 2×4s and halved a sheet of MDF with it, but even after such little use it was dull. And to be honest, the saw seemed pretty whimpy from day one.
Once I replaced it with a new/better blade, it was a completely different tool. Its definitely not a high-end performer, and lacks the power and accuracy of pro-quality saws. But with a good blade installed, its proved to be adequete for my needs. I think mine currently has a $7 hitachi blade installed.
I’d replace the blade on your saw. If nothing else, you’ll eliminate it as a possible cause of the problem. And it never hurts to have a spare lying around. You’ll eventually need it anyway.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3906 days

#14 posted 08-18-2011 05:58 AM

I guess so, but I think its time to upgrade to a better saw.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4211 posts in 3809 days

#15 posted 08-18-2011 06:48 AM

Time to go saw shopping Charles !!!

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