First Advisor

Dr. David Turcic

Date of Award

Spring 6-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Mechanical Engineering and University Honors


Mechanical Engineering




Miter Saw, Blade Retraction, Power Tools, Brake, Kinematics, Force Analysis


Miter saws pose significant safety risks with thousands of injuries reported annually. Despite this risk, they are still used every day as they are a necessity for thousands of workers in the United States and globally. This leaves a demand to make these machines safer to mitigate any potential harm. This research addresses the critical need for an automatic safety system for miter saws, aiming to enhance user safety by retracting and stopping the blade upon skin contact. This analysis identified the primary challenge: The large force generated when braking at high speed on a miter saw blade, translates the centrifugal force downward. Integrating a retraction mechanism with a braking system proved impractical, requiring a minimum inward force of 8,645 lbs without the braking force engaged, and over 9,579.508 lbs with the braking force, highlighting the design's shortcomings. These values are before incorporating a factor of safety, which would be required of any power tool that would be available for the market. The research concludes that while improving miter saw safety is essential, the current design requires substantial refinement. Future efforts should focus on exploring alternative mechanisms and materials to develop a cost-effective, reliable, and safe automatic safety feature for miter saws, ensuring enhanced user protection without compromising functionality or affordability.