Why Does My Circular Saw Spin Backwards?

August 24, 2022

Inspecting the causes of backward spinning of the circular saw blade.

There are several reasons why the circular saw blade spins or rotates backward. The typical saw blade of the circular saw should rotate so that its teeth enter the wood underneath. So, when installing the saw blade, its teeth should be pointing upward. If installed correctly, the saw blade can create the most accurate and stable cuts for your projects.

Possible Reasons Behind the Spinning Backwards of the Circular Saw Blade

As mentioned above, there are several reasons why the circular saw blade would rotate backward. Thus, if ever you experience this backward spinning of the circular saw blade, it will help if you know the following potential reasons:

Faulty Electrical or Wiring Connections

The backward spinning of the circular saw blade might indicate faulty wirings. It could be a serious issue that needs immediate fixing. Remember that the saw blade’s teeth feature a design for cutting in a specific direction. So, if the saw spins backward, turn off your circular saw. It might be that your saw is not getting enough current

You need to have it checked if the power is fluctuating. If you know how to use a voltmeter, get your voltmeter and take readings of the current flow. In this way, you can determine the exact voltage from the outlet. 

If you don’t own a voltmeter, you can plug in an unused lamp to check the voltage. If the current coming from the plug isn’t sufficient, the bulb will only flicker because of the voltage fluctuations. Moreover, if you’re not familiar with how electrical circuitry works, you should avail yourself of the service of an electrician.

Check Your Saw Blade’s Direction

Another reason is that you might have installed the table saw blade wrongly. If you’re an experienced woodworker, you will not make this rookie mistake. But if it is your first time installing a circular saw blade, you might wrongly install the saw blade. To remedy this issue, you can turn off the circular saw, uninstall the saw blade and reinstall it correctly.

Defective Motor

Another possible reason is that the motor of the circular saw is faulty. If you’ve been using the circular saw for a long time, and suddenly it acts weirdly by rotating backward, it might be because the motor has already become defective. 

There are several reasons why the motor might become faulty. For example, if you’ve recently experienced some power outage or surge, this power outage or surge can damage tools like the circular saw if you were using the circular saw when the power surge occurred. For this reason, it will be best to use sockets and extensions equipped with fuses. Such fuses can save your tool from damage due to a power surge. 

If you feel confident that you can unmount the motor and check it, you may do so. Nevertheless, if your device still gets covered by warranty, you should contact the product’s support team instead. 

It will be good to note that the warranty immediately becomes void if you open the device. So, if your tool is still under warranty, it will be best to contact the customer service of your tool’s manufacturer and inquire about the warranty.

Teeth Direction and Saw Blade Rotation of the Circular Saw

As mentioned above, the motor makes the saw blade rotate in a particular direction. The saw blade rotates so that the blade’s teeth enter the wood underneath. In this way, the saw blade can cut with utmost stability and accuracy. 

Once the teeth hit the wood piece, they start ripping from the bottom to the top of the material. This direction allows the chips and sawdust to accumulate in the blade guard and get ejected via the dust port. 

If you compare the teeth of the table saw blade with that of the circular saw blade’s teeth, you will notice that the table saw blade’s teeth enter the material from the top. So, it will be best to remember that with the circular saw, the teeth of the saw blade enter the material underneath. If you remember this, you will never go wrong with installing the saw blade. 

If you inspect the saw blade’s cover, you will see an arrow that tells you the turning direction of the motor. Besides, the saw blade also comes with a directional arrow to guide you on how to install it properly. Thus, you only need to ensure that the two arrows match each other. 

Circular saws, however, come in both left and right models. So, if your saw is the blade-right model, you will see that the circular saw blade goes with the label side out. If your saw has a left saw blade, you can install it with the ugly side as your point of reference. 

Nevertheless, you can check your manufacturer’s manual on installing the saw blade properly. Many people get confused with the blade left saw’s installation. But you can do it right as long as you know how the saw blade’s teeth should cut into the material.


After learning the different reasons behind the back spinning of the circular saw, you are now in a better position to troubleshoot this problem. You can try if any of the abovementioned reasons to troubleshoot such an unusual spin of the circular saw blade. However, you should quickly remedy such an abnormal spinning of your circular saw blade because it might put you at risk of injury if you don’t resolve such an issue. 

After trying all the abovementioned tips on how to troubleshoot such an issue, you should instead call a certified professional to have the circular saw checked. You should also check with the manufacturer’s customer support if the circular saw is still under warranty. In this way, you won’t need to spend for the service of a professional.

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