How to Unlock a Miter Saw

Using a new miter saw can be pretty intimidating, especially if you are a newbie. It can be equally frustrating for an expert who is not used to the model at hand.

One of the most contentious questions when it comes to the miter saw is, how do you unlock it? The other day my friend bought this bad boy, but it gave him a headache setting it up for work. 

We went online and researched how to set it up and decided to share it with you.

Read on to find out about how to unlock a miter saw, but first… watch how to unlock a miter saw



What is a miter saw? A miter saw is a tool you can use for cutting different materials to desired angled shapes. When cutting, its sharp blade bevels on each side to meet the requirements of the user. As a result, you can rely on a miter saw to cut your photo frame and other related wood items accurately.

You will make precise angle cuts with power miter compared to other ordinary saws. Also, its accuracy in making crosscuts makes it even more attractive.

How does a miter saw work? To cut, hold the material against the fence of the miter saw. Then, push it downwards to give it a precise cutting angle between the two planes. (That is the plane of the longest edge of the workpiece and that of the blade).

The best angle for a standard cutting is 90°. Besides 90°, you can still rotate the blade at different

Angles. Therefore, you can make various angled cuts for a large number of workpieces.

Different Types of Miter Saws

The three types of miter saws are:

Standard Miter Saw- usually cuts the board vertically from top to bottom.

Compound Miter Saws- allow you to make cuts from different angles, both vertically and horizontally.

Single Action Compound Miter Saws– they bevel to one side.

How do you lift a miter saw blade? Upon acquisition, the user/ manufacturer locks the arm of the miter saw for safety while transporting. You need to release it first and install a new blade to use the machine. After unlocking the arm, it should automatically rise.

Step 1- cut the tie-wrap by pressing down the D handle. (Note: while cutting, apply some downward pressure on the D handle to prevent it from springing upwards). 

Step 2- unlock the lock pin by rotating it at an angle of 90 degrees. This step also frees the saw blade.

Step 3-release some pressure on the arm and the D arm will raise the installed miter saw blade.

How to Unlock a Miter Saw

For safety purposes, you need to keep the miter saws locked and only unlock it when it’s necessary using its pin or knob. 

How to unlock different systems of power miter saws

Push or Pull

You can unlock systems consisting of a knob and a pin by pulling the knob at the pin’s end. Alternatively, you can push the pin to lock it. However, some of these locks may need twisting.

Upon the release of the pin, the blade should automatically lift, allowing the guard to move freely with the blade as it lifts to cover it.

Angle Locks

Angle locks involve a combination of two large locks knurled horizontally, locking the side by side swivel action of the blade. Use the lever below the knob to lock the angles and release preset angles.

Unlocking the side by side swivel action of the blade is easy. All you need is to twist the knurled knob.

You open the preset angle locks by applying some moderate force on the lever to depress the lever.

Swivel Locks

Use the small lever to the blade to lock various angles and adjust it for easy transportation. To unlock the swivel locks, you need to depress the lever and rotate it to a preset stop. Alternatively, you can remove the lever and customize the cutting angle.

Bevel locks

The bevel angle locks are not the same for all miter saw models since most are incapable of beveling. However, those incapable of beveling use a lever loaded with a spring to lock the angle.

You unlock the miter saw for use by holding the lever down and then rotating it up to the desired angle before releasing it. Alternatively, use the pin to unlock it. To avoid getting the preset lock stops, release the lock system over the beveling angle.

How to Unlock Ryobi Miter Saw

Ryobi miter saw gives you excellent results when it comes to woodworks, construction, and other wood related tasks. For quality results, ensure the angle of the workpiece and that of the blade G properly aligned for accurate cuts.

You can unlock the Ryobi miter saw by first pressing down the locking pin at the right of the miter saw button. Then pull out the pin to the right position; while releasing the arm of the saw at the same time. The action raises the arm to its maximum, releasing the attached pin and, in the process unlocking the miter saw.

Please Note: Pressing the pin down allows for the floating of the pivot joints between the lower and the upper side limits of the locked area. By pulling out the pin, you may notice a slight dislodging of the lock.

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How to Unlock Dewalt Miter Saw

You can unlock the Dewalt miter saw in two main steps; unlocking the head of the saw and unlocking the guide rails.

1. Unlocking the Head of the Saw

To unlock the saw head, you need to locate the metal lock pin stinging out on the side of the rail. Use this pin to unlock the head of the saw. (This will allow you to adjust the blade up and down). If you are using an older saw, a knob may represent the pin. Rotate it anticlockwise to remove the pin.  However, this process does not open the guide rail.

2. Unlocking the Guard Rails

To unlock the guide rails, you need to press and hold the handle in a position to keep the blade down. While holding the handle, use your free hand to pull out the pin away from the rail to its maximum and then release it. 

The Dewalt miter saw will always be open as long as the pin is stinging out.

How do you unlock Makita 10″ Cordless Miter Saw?

Makita 10″ Cordless Miter Saw has a simple knob that locks the slide mechanism. You can unlock the knob by pulling and turning it 90 degrees at whichever direction.  
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Also, the machine has a bevel locking system that comes in the form of a knob. You can unlock the bevel locking system by twisting the knob. Although a half twist can is enough to move the bevel angle, a full twist will make the bevel movement even smoother.

Safety Measures When Using a Miter Saw

The following safety measures will help you avoid injury or damage to the machine while using it.

  1. Use safety gear such as gloves, ear protection masks and goggles to protect yourself from the potential dangers such as injury to the hands and eyes.
  2. Always ensure that you switch the machine off and then unplug it from the power socket after use to protect it from power surges.
  3. Clean the machine regularly to remove the dust and other corrosive substances

Buying Guide for Miter Saws

A good miter saw is a ‘must-have’ item for your workshop whether you are a professional or a DIY enthusiast. Its saves you a lot of physical effort and time while offering accuracy and precision.

Since buying a miter saw can be challenging at times, you need a comprehensive guide to help you make your decision.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Miter Saw

  1. Blade Size

The 10-inch blade is the common miter saw although you will still get the 12-inch ones in the market too. The 0-inch blade miter saw is relatively small and is best suited for DIY projects due to its small size. However, the 12-ich one is best suited for professionals who handle large projects.

  1. Laser Guide

A miter saw with a laser guide makes it easy for you to work on your project buy guiding the blade making the saw accurate and precise.

  1. Do you need a sliding or a compound miter saw?

Deciding on the type of miter saw to depends on how you intend to use it. For simple angled cuts, you will need a compound miter saw since it can bevel on either left or right cut in one pass. On the other hand, sliding miter saws move in all directions, including forward and backward. Unlike compound miter saws, they can take longer and thicker cuts of up to 16-inches making them ideal for professionals with larger projects.

  1. Area of Operation

To avoid inconveniences from power cut-outs or lack electricity. You need a cordless miter saw, since it has backup batteries as an alternative power compared to corded one that rely solely on electricity.

Where Can You Buy Miter Saws?

Miter saws are easily available online and platforms like amazon will deliver them to your door steps. Spare parts are also easily available especially the newer models.

Benefits of Using Miter Saws

  1. Ease of Use

With the help of the instruction manual, you can effectively use miter saws in your DIY projects without prior experience. However, to get the best outcome, follow the instruction manual to the letter.

  1. Saves Time

It will take you a short time to cut a piece of lumber compared to your ordinary saw making it a darling to many professional wood workers and DIY enthusiasts.

  1. Capable Of Making Various Angles

You will comfortably use this saw to make angle cuts especially when making picture frames. The positive stops present in miter saws allow you to adjust the saw at the angle of interest easily. The standard angles for cutting are 22.5, 30, 45, and 90 degrees.

  1. Quality Cuts

Miter saws use high-quality blades and rail system. Also, some even have laser guides for accuracy and precision.

  1. They Are Safe To Use

Most miter saws have dust extractors that funnel dust and other debris to the vacuum cleaner or the dust bag reducing dust spread which ensures that your workshop remains clean and dust free.


As you have realized, a miter saw is a must have tool for any wood worker or hobbyist. Although it can be frustrating to open the miter saw, once you get used to it it’s very easy to use. The saw allows you to make accurate and precise cuts within a short time.

If you want to know more about Miter saws, read our Comprehensive Guide to Miter Saws.





I am a woodwork enthusiast who is in the Financial Industry. I come from a woodworking family and started handling woodwork tools from a young age. For me, it's not a hobby. its a way of life.

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