How to Clean the Electric Motor of Your Radial Arm Saw

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Compressed Air

A radial arm saw is a great tool that can be used to make more concise cuts than a typical radial saw. It is a circular saw on an arm that will allow you to steady the cut as well as use a built-in table to hold your material for you. Your radial arm saw may sit for a while between uses. You will need to know different ways you can clean it without causing any damage to the motor. Luckily, electronics are simple to clean. It's getting to the actual motor that may cause you some issues.

Step 1 - Clean the Exterior of the Saw

Before you even think of opening up the motor you should clean up the area on the outside of the motor. Use a shop vacuum to suck up any remaining sawdust from the surface of the table and from around the motor casing. After you have sucked up the lingering dust, you can use the compressed air to blow smaller particles from the vents on the casing. If you have an air compressor, this will work great. You can also purchase canned air that is typically used to clean electronics.

Step 2 - Remove the Protective Casing

Use your screwdriver or your wrench to remove the casing on the motor. The casing acts to protect the motor from all of the dust that flies around during a woodworking project.

Step 3 - Blow the Motor out

Use the compressed air to blow out the motor. There should not be too much sawdust, but whatever you can get out will be a big help in cleaning up the motor. Once the motor is clean, you can replace the casing. Make sure you take the time to ensure it is secure. This is the main protection the motor has against dust and debris.

Step 4 - Wipe the Saw Clean

Take a rag and wipe down the radial saw. Since it is an arm saw, you will also want to follow the same steps to clean the rest of the saw at the same time. It is very easy to blow dust back into the motor if you're not careful when cleaning. With decent care and maintenance you can keep your radial arm saw looking and acting new for many years to come.

Your saw will benefit from continuous upkeep. This doesn't mean you need to open up the motor every time you use your radial arm saw. You should, however, take the time to at least run the shop vac or compressed air over your power tools before you put them away. When you take the extra time to do this, you're prolonging the life of your tools.