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The handle of my mitre saw has cracked and is about to break. How can I repair this to be able to keep using the saw?

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    Might be able to glue it, but probably be best to replace the handle. Google make and model of saw for replacement parts.
    – crip659
    Jul 24 at 23:07
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    Normally, I'd try an appropriate cement for that type of plastic, perhaps epoxy -- however the break appears to be near a shut-off switch, which is safety related. As @crip659 states, look for a replacement. Jul 24 at 23:36
  • Huh .. I have that same saw - think I'm going to go take a closer look at the handle and see if there are any signs of cracking in that spot ...
    – brhans
    Jul 25 at 10:46
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    @DrMoishePippik That switch turns the laser guide on/off. It is not a safety switch. Source: I have the same saw.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Jul 25 at 13:35
  • Do a web search for <your model number> replacement parts. Depending on the age of your machine, the handle might be available for $20 to $50. Then it's up to you whether you want to replace it or use the boat-repair style approach in the top answer.
    – jay613
    Jul 25 at 14:09

2 Answers 2

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With the possibility of the handle breaking and my hand slipping down into the path of a spinning blade, if it were mine, I'd search online for a factory replacement handle. (Yes, I know many tools have electric brakes, but even so, I'm rather fond of my fingers and would like to minimize the possibility of their separation from my person.)

I've found numerous on-line suppliers that sell factory original repair parts for a wide variety of tools, usually for significantly less than the manufacturer sells the parts. Use your favorite search engine to search for <brand> <model number> replacement parts and you're very likely to find several resellers of parts. In my experience, they'll have exploded drawings of the tool, well labeled for part identification, and often written or video instructions on how to do the repair.

I upgraded the handle of my miter saw (the upgrade included a shadow-line light for the blade). The installation involved removing the blade guide and several other cover bits and routing wiring for the new light, as well as the upgraded handle (including an on/off switch for the light), and wiring updates to tap the new light into the existing wiring. All told, it took about 30 minutes to remove the old handle, remove all the other parts, install the new light and updated covers, and install the new handle.

Of course, repair vs replace is a dollar cost vs time cost vs potential for injury judgement call that each person must make for himself. IMHO, even at full manufacturer price, I would replace instead of repair.

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    I always prefer replace-part to a monkey-it-together solution. It looks like this is a $25 part (definitely double-check that is the right part for your model, but it's "Ryobi Green" so I made an assumption) so I would just buy the replacement. Besides it won't look super janky when you are done. Jul 26 at 21:12
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    I did order the part, thanks. Jul 28 at 3:48
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  1. Find a way to clamp the handle back together, perhaps with a large woodworker’s clamp, so that the crack line is nearly invisible and the the switch is retained solidly where it belongs; this is key to this type of repair working. (If this is not possible, do not continue.) Clean the handle of any soil or skin oils with something that will evaporate quickly such as Windex or isopropyl alcohol.

  2. Cut a sheer nylon stocking into narrow strips perhaps 1/2" wide and several inches long.

  3. Mix up some 2-part epoxy. Saturate the nylon stocking strips with epoxy, squeegee off any excess epoxy from the strips with a pop stick or dowel and start wrapping the broken area of the handle with the strips of epoxy-soaked nylon. Overlap the strips, criss-cross them and build up an epoxy/nylon “bandage” around the crack and beyond to the intact area. Use your judgment to determine how thick to make the bandage. Think of it like a cast for a broken arm. Thicker is stronger. Depending on how fast your epoxy hardens, you might have to mix several small batches. You may find it most convenient to manipulate the nylon strips with tweezers, chop sticks and gloved hands.

  4. Allow the epoxy to fully harden – at least 24 hours – before stressing the handle.

I’ve made repairs like this on cracked and broken plastic parts inside machinery, and some repairs have lasted for years under daily stress. It makes an incredibly strong repair. And remember, at this point you have nothing to lose but a couple of bucks in materials, so it’s worth giving it a try!

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  • The drawback to this method is that if it doesn't work, or it doesn't last very long, you now have a thick epoxied mess to try to remove before putting on a replacement handle. It might involve cutting through the patch job which could involve accidentally cutting through wiring inside. Not saying don't attempt this, but to just think through the potential long-term consequences.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 25 at 12:20
  • It is too bad where the cracks are, right at the switch and dead man control. It will make life harder to do the repair right. @FreeMan The addition of the nylon in the the epoxy should make a very strong repair. Much stronger and more dependable than epoxy alone, but it is at an awkward place.
    – crip659
    Jul 25 at 12:28
  • Additionally, applying epoxy could lead to some leaking through the handle and epoxying the two switches (dead-man's switch and power switch) into place, requiring replacement anyway.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 25 at 12:51
  • According to another comment from an owner of the same saw, the black switch is not safety related, but turns the laser guide on/off. Jul 26 at 15:53
  • Whether the switch is for the guide light or a safety, if epoxy drips into it, it may no longer function.
    – FreeMan
    Jul 26 at 16:19

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