Troubleshooting Your Concrete Saw

A concrete saw is a great tool to have around, with many different uses. It can also be an expensive tool to replace, so if you are having trouble with your saw—if it’s not starting, or not working correctly—here is a list of probable causes to check before you throw in the towel.

Dirty Work

Cutting concrete can be a dirty job, and your saw absorbs a lot of that dust and debris. Before you bother doing anything else, check out your saw for any build up or slurry. You may find a very obvious blockage that is the cause of the entire problem.

Filtered Out

The air filter is commonly over looked when there’s a job to be done, but a decrease in power can be caused by build up or clogs. Even if you have recently checked the filter, check it again. A dirty filter can flood the engine, contribute to low compression and spark flood build up. If you find that your air filter is dirty or clogged, remove and clean it as indicated in your manual.

Ignition Off

Make sure the ignition switch is on and remove the spark plug. Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug and hold the wire to a metal surface. If you see sparks, then the plug is good. If not, then you can replace it with another plug.

False Start

If your starter rope is pulling without any resistance, it’s time to remove the starter assembly. Cutting certain ways can increase slurry build up, which makes the starter pawls stick and not engage. Clean all slurry out of the starter assembly or replace the starter. Lube it with lightweight oil, and put it back into place.

Fuel Flood

Pulling the starter rope too much or leaving the choke on after the spark plug has ignited can cause a flooded engine. You may be able to identify this by a fuel smell or a wet spark plug. Remove the spark plug. Pull the starter rope several times to clear out any excess fuel. Let the spark plug dry or replace it with a new one.

Gauging Compression

Low Compression can be harder to figure out, but it is commonly indicated by the lack of strong resistance from the pistons when pulling the starter rope. The piston rings could be worn or stuck or the piston could be scoring. Use a compression gauge to determine the psi. A saw in perfect order has a psi reading of 160. Anything below 125 indicated piston damage. You may want a professional to look at your saw if you are experiencing compression problems.

These are the six most common problems found in concrete saws, and none of them are impossible to fix. If you do not feel confident undergoing any of these tasks yourself, take your saw to a professional for repair. Always be cautious when working with machinery, even if you know what you are doing.