How To Determine If Switch Is Bad On Miter Saw? (DIY Guide!)

One of the vital parts of your miter saw is the switch. If this gets damaged, you won’t be able to run your miter saw effectively. But how to determine if switch is bad on miter saw?

If you notice any sparking, scorch marks, or noise coming from the switch, it’s an indication that your switch needs replacing. A bad switch can make your miter saw stop running or make it run without any pauses. So, identifying the problem and fixing it is crucial.

In this article, I’ve explained the ways you can understand whether a switch is bad or not. So, let’s get started.

How To Determine If Switch Is Bad On Miter Saw

How To Determine If Switch Is Bad On Miter Saw?

When your miter saw is not running the way it’s supposed to, you should start looking for damages. But how do you know if the damage is generated from the switch? Luckily, there are several indications of a bad switch. Let’s go through them.


The first indication of a damaged switch is sparking. When using the miter saw, if you notice any sparking, this can mean that the switch is damaged. This usually happens when there’s an issue with the connection.

You can open the switch to check if the wiring is okay. Sometimes, fixing the wiring can solve this issue and you won’t have to replace the entire switch. However, if the spark is loud and excessive, there’s a high chance that your switch is completely damaged and needs replacing.

Scorch Marks

Smoke or scorch marks are usually followed by loud sparking. If you’ve somehow missed the sparking, look for marks on and inside the switch. This also means that the switch is entirely damaged. You will have to install a new one to fix any issues you’ve been having.


Usually, the switch operates silently. In case you hear any type of noise emitting from the switch while you are using the miter saw, it can be a symptom of a damaged switch. The noise can be a clicking noise, buzzing noise, or popping noise. Regardless of what the noise is, it’s time to make it stop by changing the switch.

Unusual Functions

If you notice your miter saw behaving weirdly, it can also be an indication of a damaged switch. For instance, it may not start or stop properly. Switch malfunction is another reason for an electric brake malfunction. So, you might want to figure out the issue in time and fix it to avoid any injuries. You can also check my article on how do I repair the electric brake on my miter saw.

What Causes Damage To The Miter Saw Switch?

Learning what causes damage to a miter saw switch has two perks. First of all, you can get an idea about why your miter saw switch failed or got damaged. Secondly, you can prevent the next switch from damaging by carefully avoiding these reasons.

Damp Work Environment

If you operate your miter saw in a wet or damp environment, there’s a possibility of damaging the switch. That’s why it’s recommended that you only cut dry wood using your miter saw.

When the switch is exposed to moisture, it can stop functioning altogether. That’s why ensuring a proper work environment is crucial.

Power Failure

All electrical units should be connected to a specific power outlet recommended by the manufacturer. If you are working somewhere that has an irregular power supply, the miter saw can be a victim of power failure.

One solution to this particular issue is using a voltage regulator. This way your miter saw will be safe from any power irregularities and the switch won’t get damaged either.

Cable Failure

Another source that can damage the miter saw switch is cable failure. This can happen when you are using a cable that’s not compatible with your miter saw. If the cable is faulty, it can damage the switch.

So, make sure you are using only the cable you got with the miter saw. If that gets damaged, get one specifically made for your miter saw or recommended by the manufacturer.

How To Replace A Bad Switch On Miter Saw?

Regardless of how your switch got damaged, it’s crucial that you know how to replace a switch. This can save you a large amount of money. You can get a new switch at an affordable price range, and you won’t have to pay for the professional service.

Note that the process may vary depending on what model you are dealing with. Let’s get started on the procedure.

  • First, make sure that your miter saw is not connected to a power source.
  • Removeall screws on the handle to expose the switch.
  • Note the wiring. Take a picture if it makes the procedure easy.
  • Now, remove all the wires from the switch and detach the switch from the miter saw.
  • Unbox the new switch and attach it to the miter saw using the same wires.
  • Make sure that the wiring remains exactly in place.
  • Put the screws back to close the handle after securing the switch in place.
  • Run the miter saw to check whether the switch is working or not.

Some Tips To Remember

  1. Prevention is better than cure. Make sure to follow the rules suggested by the manufacturer to make the miter saw components last long.
  2. If your miter saw is still under the warranty period, do not attempt to open the unit, or you will void the warranty.
  3. In case you are not confident about changing the switch, or any other component of your miter saw, take it to a professional.
  4. Always read the user manual after getting a new miter saw. This will allow you to understand the unit. The same goes for when you are attempting to fix it.
  5. Never avoid the safety precautions mentioned by the manufacturer whenever working with a power tool.
  6. Wear safety glasses and proper work clothing, and install an effective dust collection system while working with a miter saw.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Saw School

Why is my miter saw not turning on?

There can be several reasons why your miter saw is not turning on. Some of the most common reasons include worn-out carbon brushes, an overheated blade, a damaged switch, an inoperative armature, etc.

It’s crucial to identify what’s causing the issue before attempting to fix it. If you are not certain about what to do, it’s better to get the miter saw to a servicing center.

Can a bad miter saw switch be replaced?

If you are using a miter saw with proper care and maintaining it regularly, all components of the miter saw, including the switch will go a long way. However, electric tools and their parts can fail at any time due to several reasons. The switch on your miter saw is no different, either.

In case the switch fails, it’s possible to replace the existing one. In fact, the process is pretty straightforward and doesn’t need a professional. If you go through the process and the user manual of your miter saw, you can easily replace the switch all by yourself.

How to prevent miter saw switch damage?

With proper care, you can make your miter saw switch longer lasting than before. The first thing to take care of is ensuring a dry work environment. Make sure that moisture and dampness do not get to the switch. They can hamper not only the switch but also other components of your miter saw. This also includes cutting only dry materials using your miter saw.

The next thing to do is to ensure a consistent power supply. Irregularities in the power supply can easily damage the switch. Last but not least, only use the compatible cable that came with the miter saw. Avoid any external cables that are not recommended by the manufacturer.

Can I still use the miter saw if the switch is damaged?

A damaged switch can be a dangerous thing. The switch is what starts the blade and stops it from spinning too. Without that control, the miter saw will become more dangerous than it already is. So, if you are certain that the blade is damaged, do not use the miter saw until you have replaced it.

You can also check my article on miter saw blade won’t stop spinning if that’s something you are experiencing with your miter saw.

Final Words

Hopefully, you’ve learned how to determine if the switch is bad on miter saw. If you catch the issue early enough, you may not have to replace the switch at all. Even if the switch is entirely damaged, there’s no reason why you can’t change it yourself.

Nonetheless, when there’s doubt, it’s always better not to risk the integrity of the miter saw. If you are not confident about the procedure, you can end up causing more damage to the unit. Stay on the safer side and take your miter saw to a professional for servicing. And if the miter saw is under warranty, contact the manufacturer for a replacement.


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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