How To Unlock a Miter Saw – Quick and Easy Guide

Miter saws are great power tools that enhance your working quality but simultaneously save a lot of time. Whether you are making a picture frame or cutting crown mold, or remodeling your house with new door frames, a miter saw is a must-have tool.

At the same time, you might also be aware they are potentially dangerous tools. Consequently, you cannot keep them in the unlocked position when they are no longer in use. Therefore, you might have seen people keeping them locked. But if you are a beginner-level miter saw worker, you might need to know How to unlock a miter saw. 

Keeping a miter saw for making smooth miter cuts or precise angled cuts also requires some care on the part of the user. Therefore, when you finish using a miter saw, you must lock its blade, miter gauge, sliding rail, and tilting head.

All these make your miter saw compact for storage. When you use it the next time, you might need to unlock it first. Hence the question of how to unlock a chop saw comes to the forefront.


Towards the end of the article, we have also written separate guides for the unlocking process of different miter saw models. That includes the unlocking process for Dewalt, Ryobi, a Rigid compound, and sliding compound miter saws.

How To Unlock a Miter Saw? – Step By Step Guide

The process is pretty simple and becomes an unintentional effort after the first few times. There might be slight variations depending on the type of the miter saw brand. However, the overall mechanism remains the same for all the miter saws.

Locking the miter saw primarily implies folding it into a more compact position. Thus, going backward unlocking is about unfolding it and reversing it into a workable position.

There are mainly two locking mechanisms that make it safe for transport and storage. You can control the blade movement with the knob present at the back. To control the table, there is a knob at the front that locks the front angles.

Blade lock or down position lock

This lock serves the purpose of safe transport of the miter saw. This will lock the blade in the down position and cover the front of the blade with the blade guard. Thus, it prevents any accidental contact with the user while moving the machine between worksites.

The teeth of the blade go into the table and safely stays there. The knob at the back of the miter saw locks the saw in this position.

To unlock the blade head of the miter saw, you need to put some pressure on the blade head and, at the same time, position your hand around the knob at the back.

You can find the knob right behind the blade in the middle position. Rotating the knob locks and unlocks the miter saw. In some models, you might also find a pull and push motion of a pin to unlock the blade head of the miter saw.

Whether you are looking for how to unlock the Dewalt miter saw or any other brand, the mechanism is quite similar in all modern miter saws. As you open the lock, the blade will gradually lift and go into the open position.

Unlocking the slide on the miter saw

With a sliding miter saw, you might also have to unlock the sliding mechanism as well. To do so, you will unlock a knob placed at one side of the miter saw. Loosening that knob will restart the sliding mechanism.

Unlocking the table

Next, you will unlock the miter gauge or the table of a miter saw. It is present right in front of you. There you commonly find a knob that rotates in its position. After choosing your desired angle, you can tighten that knob to keep it in that position.

For storage, you might want to lock the knob in the 90 degrees angle position. You will find the table already calibrated with the most commonly used angles, such as 45 degrees and others in most modern miter saws.

Thus, finding the right angle for locking and unlocking has become a lot less complicated. Turn the knob in the anti-clockwise direction to lock the mitering capacity of your miter saw.

Locking and unlocking the bevel angle

How to unlock delta miter saw when you intend to make bevel angles? The mechanism is as effortless as the ones mentioned above.

Not all the miter saws come with a bevel angle feature. But if you are interested in making high-quality crown molds or making precision angle, a bevel angle miter saw is a must.

To adjust the tilt of the miter, you need to find the integrated sliding pin that might be present at the back near the base. Sliding that pin will release its swing hand.

Some saws come with a single level, while others can tilt in both directions. Often saws come with a stop under the blade that stops the blade from tipping into the other side. As you push the pin backward, the swing can now tilt in both directions. Now you can set the angle in your desired position.

Some modern miter saws come with pre-calibrated angles on the base to help you correctly set your angle.

Some quick tips to follow

There are specific tips that can help prevent taking any steps that can adversely impact the user of the power tool.

Safety precautions

If you are working with a power tool, careless mishandling or some steps taken in a less than careful manner can hurt the user and the machine. Either of these scenarios is not favorable. Therefore, taking some safety precautions becomes a must.

Switch off the machine

Before you intend to lock or unlock the machine, make sure to unplug the miter saw. With a plugged device, there is always a chance of accidentally pressing the trigger, which can prove disastrous; remember, the blade does not differentiate between a piece of lumber or your hand.

How to Unlock a Dewalt Miter Saw?


The blade’s handle connects to the rail, and along the rail towards the down, there is a small metal pin sticking out. In the older versions, the pin might look like a knob that allows you to turn it anti-clockwise to unlock and clockwise to lock.

To unlock the bevel arm of the miter saw, push the blade handle 2 to 3 inches down while looking for the pin locking this mechanism. You can find under the blade arm along the hinge connecting the upper and lower body. Pulling the pin will move the blade freely.

How to Unlock a Sliding Compound Miter Saw?

A sliding compound miter saw is one of the most versatile tools in the marker. Their sliding arm can make longer cuts while the beveling system makes angle cuts across the grain.

One of the safety features of a Sliding Compound Miter Saw is locking the blade and the sliding feature of the saw arm. The lock keeps the blade in its position and prevents the blade arm from swaying.

To unlock, there are simple instructions to follow.


Put a little pressure on the blade head with the handle and find the locking bolt on the base of the miter saw.

Pull the spindle until you hear a “pop” sound. Pulling the spindle from the locking position will raise the miter saw head, and you will see the blade taking an upright position.

There is a rotating knob at the back to unlock the beveling function. You can turn the knob counterclockwise, and it will release the beveling function.

How to Unlock a Ridgid Compound Miter Saw

All these miter saws may look similar, but they sometimes have tiny differences in how they are operated or locked. The locking mechanism provides safety to the user when the machine is not in use.

To unlock a Ridgid Compound Miter Saw, you need to follow the below-mentioned instructions only.


Start by unplugging the same from the main supply. We assume that you have placed the miter saw on a level and flat surface.

To unlock the saw, locate the pin at the rear of the miter saw a little towards the left. This is where the upper and lower assembly parts of the miter saw meet.

To unlock, press the blade a little with the handle and take out the pin from its position. This will release the locked blade arm of the miter saw. You cannot do this without pressing the blade

How to unlock a Ryobi 10 miter saw?

The Ryobi miter saw uses a 10-inch miter saw cuts the stock with a circular blade that connects to a post. When you are locking away the miter saw, you need to lock the saw blade. This makes the blade adjust into the throat and go under the plate.

Unlocking the miter requires releasing the blade. Position the miter saw, keeping the blade to your right side and the motor with its housing on the left.  Make sure to see the back of the blade.


To unlock the primary function and blade of a Ryobi compound miter saw,  find the pushpin under the crankcase. You can find it going to the left side of the sliding blade arm.

Press the blade a little and release the push the pin to the maximum capacity it allows. This will release the blade. The blade automatically goes up while the blade guard covers the sharp teeth.

In the Ryobi compound miter saw, you can unlock the Bevel angle arm of the saw by locating a rotating knob behind the blade. This must be located nearer to the base at the back of the saw.

The miter saw’s sliding function is locked with a pin above two sliding rods under the dust collection bag of the saw. Rotating the pin will lock and unlock the function.

Furthermore, you can read here the complete operating manual of miter saw written by Hoffman Machine Company, Inc.


Finally, now you know all about how to unlock a miter saw. You might also find similar guides on the web, such as How to unlock Ridgid miter saw or any other brand; don’t get confused. The mechanism is pretty much the same in all the modern miter saws.

Make sure to follow all the tips and precautions when working with the miter saw or unlocking it. Many of them also apply to other scenarios and tools as well. Remember, safety should be your paramount concern.

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Amna Shaikh

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