How Do I Repair The Electric Brake On My Miter Saw?

The electric brake on your miter saw is one of the most important features. Its job is to stop the blade from spinning almost immediately. If for some reason the brake stops working, it’s a good question to ask how do I repair the electric brake on my miter saw.

The most common reason why an electric brake stops working is worn-out carbon brushes. By replacing them, you can fix the issue with a small expenditure. However, there can be other ways to fix an electric brake if the brushes aren’t the source.

To understand the fixing procedure, you have to identify the problem. I’ll get to that. But first, let’s get our basics clear.

How Do I Repair The Electric Brake On My Miter Saw

How Does The Electric Miter Saw Brake Work?

As complicated as it sounds, the procedure of how an electric brake works are pretty simple. In one simple line, when you use the trigger, the electricity flow reverses, causing the blade to stop spinning.

Without the electrical brake in force, it will take about ten to fifteen seconds for the blade to stop. With power tools like the miter saw, it’s more than enough time to injure yourself. Still, I should mention that you should never rely on the electric brake alone for your safety.

If you are interested in knowing more about how the brake works, you can check my article on how does a miter saw brake work.

Reasons Why The Electric Miter Saw Brake Might Not Be Working

Reasons Why The Electric Miter Saw Brake Might Not Be Working

There can be several reasons behind your miter saw brake failure. Identifying the problem is one large step ahead of solving it. So, before going for any solution that you are not sure about, pinpoint the problem. Let’s take a look at some possible problems that could cause an electric brake to fail.

  • The primary reason for an electric brake to fail is worn-out carbon brushes.
  • The commutator can also cause the brake to fail.
  • If the switch has become inoperable over time, it can cause the brake to stop working.
  • Checking the field is also essential since a damaged field will cause the brake to fail.
  • Another reason behind a failed brake is a loose arbor screw.
  • Sometimes the brake can stop working only because it’s overheated. For instance, when you are operating the miter saw rapidly and it’s going through frequent on-and-off cycles, the brake can overheat.

How Do I Repair The Electric Brake On My Miter Saw?

Now that you know the sources of this problem, it’s time to get to the solution. The repair techniques below include everything from the most basic fix-up to the most advanced ones. So, let’s get started.

How To Do I Repair The Electric Brake On My Miter Saw

Allow Some Time

Before opening your miter saw for surgery, allow it some time to see if the issue fixes itself. You will be surprised to know how many times power tools fix their issues all by themselves. How does it happen?

Well if the issue is caused by overheating, the machine gets fixed once it cools down. When you are using the miter saw for long hours, the machine goes through a lot of on-and-off cycles, causing the brake to overheat.

So, it’s a good idea to let the machine rest for a while before jumping to conclusions. If you still face the issue when using the miter saw even after allowing it to cool down, it’s time to move to other solutions.

Longer Run Time

As I have mentioned before, running the blade for shorter periods and using the electric blade rapidly can put a strain on its efficiency. So, spin the blade for a longer period and check if the issue still exists.

Another problem that gets solved with this method is carbon residue. After using the miter saw for quite some time, residue can build up, making it harder for the brake to run efficiently. So, let the miter saw run for ten to fifteen minutes to help it get rid of the build-up. Alternatively, you can use a cleaner to clean carbon residue too.

Replace Carbon brushes

The carbon brushes are small parts of the miter saw that are attached to the commutator. They deliver electricity to the armature to make the brake work. Over time, the brushes can wear off and have difficulty doing their job.

How you can remove the carbon brushes entirely depends on the model you are using. So, refer to the user manual and check how you can detach them from your miter saw. If the brushes measure one-eighth of an inch or less, you should replace them immediately.

The good news is that these parts come pretty cheaply. So, if you are confident that you can replace the brushes, there’s no reason why you should get the miter saw to a servicing center.

Clean The Commutator

Another reason that can cause an electric brake to fail is a dirty commutator. Remove the carbon brushes and clean the commutator if there’s any residue on it. After thoroughly cleaning the commutator, attach the carbon brushes and check if the brake works.

Replace The Switch

The switch you use to spin the blade is the same switch responsible for flowing the electricity backward to stop the miter saw blade from spinning. If you are certain that the switch is responsible for your miter saw brake’s failure, it’s time to change it.

Removing the switch can be tricky. The process varies from one miter saw to another. Refer to the user manual for clarity. In addition, make sure to keep a picture of the wiring before removing them. It helps when you are assembling the wiring back together.

Replace the Field

Another source to cause the brake to stop working is the field. Exposing the field can require a few steps, depending on the model you are using. Some may have screws that will need to be removed before the field is exposed. Some, on the other hand, may be easier to open.

For instance, when you remove the belt cover and detach the belt from the pulleys, you can get to the field after removing the brushes and the armature. If you see any abnormalities on the field, like burn spots, it may need replacing. Make sure to keep a picture of the wiring if you do decide to remove the field.

It can get complicated when you are attaching the new field to the miter saw. In case you want to know details about fixing the field, eReplacement Parts has an excellent article on it that you can check out.

Get It Serviced

In case you can’t figure out what’s wrong with the electric brake, it’s best to take the miter saw to a servicing center. If you don’t know what you are doing, you could end up damaging the miter saw even more.

Some Tips To Remember

Tips and Tricks Saw School
  • Brushless motors can stop the miter saw blade even if the brake isn’t in force. So, if you are investing in a miter saw, it can be a good idea to consider one with a brushless motor.
  • Always read the user manual thoroughly before altering any settings of a miter saw. Every miter saw model is unique and comes with different types of specifications. You can’t repair them with the same procedure.
  • Do not rely solely on the electric brake of your miter saw. Make sure you are following all safety protocols.
  • Always use your safety equipment whenever operating a power tool.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Saw School

Why is the brake on my miter saw not working?

Over time, different parts of the miter saw can wear out, causing the electric brake to fail. For instance, it can be because of worn-out carbon brushes or residue on the commutator, or it might be a simple case of overheating.

Can I use my miter saw if the electric brake is not working?

If the brake has failed, you can still keep using the miter saw. However, it will be an extremely dangerous thing to do. Even with all the safety features all miter saws come with. It’s not entirely safe to operate a power tool.

When the brake is not in action, it will take more than ten seconds to stop the spinning blade, which is more than enough to cause an accident. So., make sure that you get the miter saw serviced or fix the electric brake before using it again.

Miter Saw Brake

Final Words

Hopefully, this article answered all your questions regarding how do I repair the electric brake on my miter saw. If you can locate what’s wrong with the brake, it’s not that difficult to fix the issue. However, if you are not entirely certain about what to do, it’s better not to do it at all.

Going to an expert may cost you comparatively more. Nonetheless, if you damage the miter saw in any way, the cost will be higher in the future. So, before doing any correction, be one hundred percent sure of the procedure.


Hey there — I’m Elton Dunn, founder and Head Writer of sawschool. Though I personally think myself as a self-made entrepreneur, I am DIY woodworker. This blog is a humble attempt to help people choose the right saw from too many options. That’s why I stress on comparing various saw with one another than attempting to review each. Hope my reviews and comparisons benefit you. Have any feedback, questions, or recommendations? We would like to hear from you! Feel free you can anytime Contact with me.

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