Discover The 9 Most Common Reasons Why Won’t My Miter Saw Turn On, and How To Fix It.

The number of things that can go wrong with your miter saw is hard to count. Fortunately, the symptoms of a problem can narrow things down. So, today I’ll answer one specific question: why won’t my miter saw turn on?

If the cable is damaged or not properly plugged into the power source, the miter saw won’t turn on. Other reasons include a damaged motor, worn-out carbon brushes, damaged armature, and sawdust accumulation.

Let’s take a detailed look at these reasons and discuss how to fix the issue.

Why Won't My Miter Saw Turn On

Why Won’t My Miter Saw Turn On? (Top 9 Reasons)

One of the most complicated issues with a miter saw is when it doesn’t turn on. That is because the source can be anything. Nonetheless, the most common reasons for this issue are listed below with possible solutions. Let’s get to it.

Damaged Cable

The first guess of why the miter saw might not be turning on is a damaged cable. It’s what carries the power from the outlet to the machine. So, examine the cable. If it’s visibly damaged somewhere or not plugged into the outlet properly, the miter saw won’t turn on.

If you think that the cable is at fault, you can replace it with a new one to see if the problem gets fixed.

Faulty Outlet

Another source to exhaust before moving onto internal components is a faulty outlet. You have to ensure that the outlet has a sufficient electricity supply for running the miter saw. That’s why it’s important to check the specification of the miter saw and match them with the power outlet before running your miter saw.

To make sure that the outlet is not at fault, you need to connect the miter saw to another electric outlet to see if it turns on. If it doesn’t, the miter saw itself mightbe at fault.

Damaged Switch

The switch of your miter saw is responsible for allowing the electricity to pass to the motor. So, if the switch gets damaged, the motor will not get power, and the miter saw won’t turn on. It can be difficult to determine whether the switch is at fault here. You can check my article on how to determine if switch is bad on miter saw if you want.

The most common reason that damages a switch is a damp environment. Luckily, you can easily get a replacement for the damaged switch. Moreover, changing the switch is an easy procedure too.

Worn-Out Carbon Brushes

The carbon brushes inside the miter saw are responsible for carrying electricity from the source to the motor. They ride on the commutator and work as a medium to run electricity inside the unit.

Over time, they experience wear and tear. In fact, carbon brushes are the most frequently replaced parts in a miter saw. So, you need to examine whether they’re too worn out to function efficiently. These parts are easily replaceable. In addition, they don’t cost much either.

Inoperative Armature

The armature of your miter saw is one of those components that ensure that the unit is running. So, if your miter saw isn’t turning on, there’s a high chance that the armature is to blame.

Replacing the armature can be difficult. So, if you are not certain that you can replace the armature yourself, it’s better to take the miter saw to a garage.

Damaged Motor

There’s always a chance that the motor is blown. In case the motor is damaged, your miter saw will not turn on. The fix for this issue is just like any other. You will have to replace the damaged component, which is the motor in this case.

How you can open your miter saw and replace the motor with a new one depends on the miter saw model you’re using. Note that you must be entirely certain that you can do it. Removing the motor will require several complicated steps. Moreover, attaching the new motor exactly like the previous one can be very complex, especially the wiring.

Keep your user manual at hand to make sure that everything goes right. You can always take the miter saw to a professional to replace the motor. Or, you can simply invest in a new miter saw.

Overheated Blade

Turning your miter saw on means spinning the blade. And sometimes, when the blade gets overheated, it can stop spinning without any prior notice. If you have been using the miter saw for a long time, and now it won’t turn on, it can be caused by an overheated blade.

The fix to this problem is to allow the miter saw blade to cool down. And to prevent this problem from occurring in the future, make sure to allow breaks between long working sessions.

Safety Button

This reason may not apply to all miter saws. Some models will require installing a safety button before you can use the miter saw. So, if you’ve gotten a new miter saw and it won’t turn on, make sure that you’ve installed it the right way. Using the manual as a guideline is always a great idea.

Nonetheless, the safety button can also create problems if it’s damaged. So, if the miter saw isn’t new and has suddenly stopped working, check if the safety button is damaged or not.


After using a miter saw for a long time, it’s bound to pick up sawdust. The dust accumulated inside the miter saw can cause the unit to stop working, among other issues. So, giving your miter saw a thorough cleaning might just be the solution you need to make your miter saw run again.

If you don’t know how to open your miter saw and clean the sawdust from the inside, it’s better not to attempt it. Alternatively, you can take your miter saw to a garage to identify what’s causing your miter saw to stop and fix the issue.

How To Fix Miter Saw Won’t Turn On?

The first step to solving any issues with your miter saw is to identify the source of the problem. If the cable is at fault, you have to replace it. The same goes for when the brushes, armature, switch, or motor is damaged. If you want more details about how to replace these components, you can check out this article from Quick Tool Tips.

On the other hand, some problems won’t require you to replace any component. For instance, if the issue is caused by sawdust accumulation, all your miter saw will need is a thorough cleaning. The goal is to diagnose the reason so that you can fix it instead of doing further damage to your miter saw.

Some Tips To Remember

Tips and Tricks Saw School
  • Dust accumulation is one of the common reasons causing several issues to your miter saw. So, make sure that you are keeping your miter saw clean. In addition, have a good dust collection system and a clean workstation to reduce further complications.
  • Every miter saw is unique. So, even if you have used a miter saw for a long time, using a new one will be a new experience. Take your time to get comfortable with the unit.
  • Whenever you’re doing anything else with the miter saw other than cutting materials, keep the unit unplugged from the power source. Whether you are changing the blade or checking the components for damage, always keep the unit unplugged.
  • In case your miter saw is still covered by the warranty from the manufacturer, do not open the miter saw to fix any issues. Contact the manufacturer for help and further instruction.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Saw School

Can a beginner use a miter saw?

If you are thinking about getting started with woodworking, a miter saw can be an excellent tool to invest in. As long as you’re following the instructions and safety protocols, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy a miter saw to get started with woodworking.

Why is my miter saw not cutting all the way through?

There can be several reasons why your miter saw may not cut all the way through. The most common reasons include a blunt, damaged, or bent blade. Accumulation of sawdust inside the miter saw can also cause this issue.

So, the most effective fixes for this issue are to clean the miter saw and replace the blade. For more details, you can check my article on why is my miter saw not cutting all the way through.

Concluding Remarks

It can be difficult to find out why won’t my miter saw turn on, but not impossible. The good news is most of these problems are easily fixable. If you can’t fix it, you can take it to someone who can.

Going through all that trouble is not worth it if your miter saw is too old to get fixed. If you have used your miter saw for a long time and feel like you’ve salvaged all its value, maybe it’s time to invest in a new model.


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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