How to change a table saw blade – The ultimate guide

As a beginner it can be a daunting task when it comes to changing the blade on your table saw for the first time.

Don’t worry I’ll show you how to change a table saw blade, firstly I do advise you to check your user manual as your table saw may differ slightly.

When should you change your table saw blade?

As soon as you notice your blade getting dull you should sharpen it, or change it out for a new one.

Also you’ll want to change your blade depending on the job it’s going to do. If you are ripping plywood you’ll want to use a blade designed to make these cuts with minimal burning and tear out.

Things you will need

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Open-ended wrench (or an adjustable wrench * see tip below)
  • Box wrench
  • Clean rag
  • Dry grease

How to change a table saw blade

Unplug your table saw

The first step will be to unplug your table saw and keep the cord well away from your outlet so that some helpful  person doesn’t plug it back in while you are in the process of changing the blade.

Lower the blade and Remove the blade plate

Adjust your blade back to the 0 degree mark and lower the blade down to its minimum height.

Remove the blade guard and locate your blade plate. Most models of table saw’s the blade place is a piece of metal that sits on top of the surface of your table saw.  

It’s common for your blade plate to be secured in place by at least two screws. Typically one in the front and the other in the back.

Loosen those off and pry the plate off with a flat head screwdriver.

Remove the table saw blade

Raise the blade back to its maximum height and place a block of wood against the blade to prevent it accidently turning.

Locate the nut and washer which hold your table saw blade in place. Some table saw’s come with their own open-ended wrench, if yours did then make sure to use this to hold the arbor steady, if your table saw didn’t come with a wrench, then use one that’s appropriately sized to hold arbor steady.

Use a box wrench, either your own or one that came with the table saw to turn the arbor nut on the other side of the blade.

Turn the nut counterclockwise (towards you) with the box wrench while holding the open-ended wrench steady.

Unscrew the nut completely, remove the blade flange and the blade.

With the blade free you can now sharpen it.

Clean the flange and arbor

With the blade removed, now is a good time to give your table saw internals a bit of a clean, saw dust and chips will build up inside regardless of how good your dust extraction is.

So take a moment to follow your manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean and regrease your flange and arbor.

Install the new blade

Make sure to orient the blade in the correct direction, this is typically with the teeth of the blade positioned towards the front of the table saw.

However check the instructions of your table saw blade and owners manual.

Typically most table saw blades are designed so that the manufacturer’s name and blade instructions face outwards when the blade is installed correctly.

Replace the flange and arbor

Remember to place a block of wood against the blade to help prevent it turning accidentally.

Slide the blade flange onto the arbour, then replace the nut and tighten it by hand, holding the arbor steady with the open-ended wrench mentioned above.

With the blade held hand tight by the nut, use your box wrench to tighten the nut up, make sure to turn clockwise towards the back of the table saw, thought checks your table saws instructions for specifics.

It’s worth using a torque wrench to make sure you’re tightening the arbor nut to the correct tightness as per your manufacturer’s instructions.

Replace the blade plate

Lower the blade back to its minimum height and replace the blade plate. This may snap into place, if you had to remove screws, make sure to replace those now.

Reconnect the power

Plug the table saw back into the wall socket to reconnect the power.

Turn the saw on and run the blade to determine if the blade is installed correctly and running true.

Tip

If your table saw didn’t come with the wrenches mentioned or your simply lost them you can substitute the open-ended wrench for an adjustable wrench.

You can also wedge a piece of wood next to your blade so that the teeth dig into it while untightening, and then place the piece of wood on the opposite side while tightening to allow you to get the correct level of force required to remove and replace the nut.

It’s not ideal, but sometimes you just have to be pragmatic!

Conclusion

Once you’ve replaced your blade a few times it will become second nature and you’ll wonder why you ever worried in the first place.

Wait until you install a dado stack… that takes some skill to find the correct combination to get the width of dado you are looking for!

To help out further, here’s a video of a table saw blade being changed.

How to change a table saw blade – The ultimate guide
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