circular saw base plate not parallel

Circular Saw Base Plate Not Parallel? 6 Reasons With Solution

In the world of woodworking, a circular saw is among the most popular tools. There are a lot of issues that come up when using a circular saw in regular life.

Whether you’re a carpentry rookie or just got a brand-new circular saw, you may face this problem.

So, why is your circular saw base plate not parallel?

The circular saw base plate not parallel can be caused by a dull blade or fast feeding. Because of that issue, the blade will travel to a side. Fixing an issue with non parallel base plate is as simple as using the right saw blade. If the blade is not aligned then the saw will steer at one particular side.

These are some of the causes, but there are many others that contribute to the misaligned blade of a circular saw. 

Let’s take a look at the causes and fixes for a circular saw’s non-parallel base plate.


  • Inspect if the base plate has any physical damages to cause the misalignment.
  • Check if the kerf made by the saw blade lines up with the marker.
  • Try to use a parallel guide to fix the base plate’s position.
Dewalt Circular Saw
Source: protoolreviews

6 Reasons for Circular Saw Base Plate Misalignment 

Finding the root causes of the Circular Saw Base Plate Misalignment is a prerequisite for its solution. Just like finding the root causes before fixing a hard-to-start chainsaw when it’s hot.

Based on my observations, I have several theories to offer. So, if you’re experiencing this kind of issue, be sure it’s not due to any of the aforementioned causes. 

Therefore, the issue can be easily resolved.

Reason 1: Low-Quality Saw Blade

The quality of the saw blade is crucial for a successful cutting operation. There is no obvious way to tell the quality of a saw blade. 

Used circular saw blade
Source: protoolreviews

In order to verify, you must utilize it. Consider the saw blade that comes with a low-priced circular saw: it is likely to be of lesser quality and lower cost as well. This low-quality blade will go out of alignment as soon as it starts to wear. Even it might bend a bit due to poor build quality.


A few of the circular saw blades sold separately tend to be of low quality. They’re good for maybe one or two uses at most. These circular saws may not be aligned properly.

An acquaintance of mine dropped fifty dollars on a circular saw. After a few cuts, I could see that the saw teeth were becoming dull. And it was not cutting the workpiece straight.


Try to sharpen the saw blade when you notice any efficiency loss.

Reason 2: Poor Shoe Plate

Another reason for the circular saw being not parallel is the shoe plate. Some inexpensive saws have cheap shoe plates installed. These can be very fragile and bend easily. 

Hence, the blade will not be parallel to the shoe. The blade being parallel with the shoe is very important. Without this alignment, it will be hard to run along the guide. Therefore, it will result in a bad cut.


If you are facing problems with your poor shoe plate, ⅛ inch thick solid aluminum plates will be a good option. Alongside this, you can also try a 1/16 inch plates as well. It will work as fine as the ⅛ inch ones. Make sure you fix them according to the manufacturers specifications. 

Reason 3: Sliding Workpiece

We can’t make progress on our cutting if the workpiece is wriggling around. When working with a saw or drill, this is a normal occurrence. 

A dwindling workpiece will definitely mess with the parallel alignment. This could happen due to the fact that the workpiece is not set properly on the base. 

Misaligned circular saw base
Source: abutterflyhouse

You can’t make a clean cut if the workpiece is slipping. The workpiece may exhibit kickback and binding at times. There may be signs of burning on the workpiece where it was bound.


If one side of the workpiece is unstable, you can secure it using a clamp. The market has clamps of varying sizes. 50” and 100” are the most popular ones.

If you don’t have access to a clamp, have someone secure it until you can make your cut. 

What’s more, since it doesn’t wiggle around, you can screw it into precisely the spots you want. However, that is not the best approach.


when clamping the workpiece, be careful to do it in a way that prevents the saw blade from binding.

Reason 4: Loose Saw Blade Nuts

The nut that secures the saw blade might come loose after prolonged use of a circular saw. 

Hence, the alignment will be ruined and the saw base plate will not be parallel. The saw blade will not travel in the right direction because the arbor is crooked. This is more like a steel city saw problem.

The saw’s blade will become out of whack as a result of this.

Moreover, you will see that the saw blade will sputter as it cuts. You will be unable to direct the saw blade in the appropriate direction. The kerf path will also be visible to be wider than the blade’s thickness.


In order to loosen the blade from the arbor, the saw is typically tightened counterclockwise. As a result, adjusting the saw’s blade tension is simple.

Reason 5: Circular Saw Blade is Not Parallel to the Edge of the Base

A straighter line with a broader kerf can be achieved by pointing the blade toward the edge. This will cause the saw to press harder against the guide. Provided the guide is stable and does not bend.


If it is angled away from the cutting edge, it will try to dislodge the saw from the guide. That means you’ll need to utilize your arm power to maintain it flush against the guide. 

However, if you don’t have a guide, I urge you to get one as soon as possible. There are many affordable options available.

Now, you have to know how to use parallel guide on circular saw if you bought one, right?

Here’s a quick video guide to help you with your parallel guide:

Another thing that can add flexibility to the saw is a base plate handle. While all circular saws might not have it, Metabo offers that without any extra charge-

So, you can try getting one like that for optimal cutting.


There are many different-sized parallel guides out there. So, try to get one that fits your saw base plate and the whole setup.

Reason 6: Fast Feeding

You shouldn’t speed through cuts with a circular saw. The cutting path will shift from side to side if you are in a hurry. 

Angular cutting technique with a circular saw
Source: mellowpine

It will produce a skewed line of demarcation when cut. So relax, put on your clothes and safety gear like goggles and earplugs. Then get to work without worrying about getting things done quickly.


Having a high feed rate can cause chips to become trapped inside the kerf. This causes the workpiece to start smoking. So, make sure you’re always using an adequate feeding pace.

A steady state of mind is the key to producing consistent, high-quality results.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I Adjust The Cutting Height On A Circular Saw?

The bottom plate, often known as the “shoe,” of a circular saw can be adjusted with the use of a depth adjustment lever or knob. Before you can raise or lower the bottom plate to change the saw’s cutting depth, you must first unplug it and then release this lever.

Why Is My Circular Saw Burning the Wood?

Cutting swiftly with a dull blade is difficult. Scorch marks are more likely when the saw is fed slowly into the wood. The stock is being pushed through the saw too slowly. Which is causing the blade to overheat and burn.

Which Way Should A Circular Saw Blade Spin?

In order to make a cut, circular saws revolve clockwise from the bottom up. This allows the blade to cut on the upward stroke. Thus, the “good” side of the wood should be facing down when using a circular saw.


That will be all from our side on the circular saw base not parallel. Please maintain a flat surface beneath the saw blade.

The saw blade is perfectly flat if its entire flat surface is in contact with the flat surface.

Have a great day ahead.

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  1. Pingback: 5 Dewalt Circular Saw Electric Brake Problems & Quick Fix!

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