How to properly use a circular saw?

by Raymond Archambault

The circular saw first gained popularity in Europe, where it was principally deployed in the timber industry. Today, we’re focusing on the portable form of this cutting machine, which is most commonly used for woodworking tasks. 

Circular saws were introduced by Skilsaw power tools in 1924, making them the first circular saws on the market. As a result of their widespread use, these saws are manufactured by a number of different companies today. 

Circular saw

Circular Saw Basics

Circular saws may be found with blades as little as 3 inches in diameter and as large as 6 1/2 or 7 1/4 inches in diameter for utility blades. There are corded and cordless options for these machines.

In addition to their high power, circular saws can incorporate worm drive gears for additional durability. As a result, a machine like this can save you a lot of time on a specific task.

You should be careful while using a circular saw since it is quite powerful and can be very harmful. There are a few things you should know if you’re just starting off.

Start a circular saw, and it transforms into a lethal weapon capable of slicing through everything but concrete and strong metal. So, you’d want to have a device like this under your control. But what if it somehow manages to escape your grasp? It’s for this reason that every circular saw has a retractable blade guard.

Learning how to change circular saw blades is a vital first step. If you’re using a cordless saw, turn it off and unhook it from the outlet or remove the battery. Its arbor contains three nuts that turn clockwise to loosen and counter-clockwise to tighten. To ensure that the blade’s teeth point in the correct direction, always set the blade with its label towards the outside and clearly visible.

There are two knobs on every circular saw; one controls the depth of the blade and the other controls the cutting angle. Most of the time, you’ll want to set the depth and angle to 90 degrees.

To reduce the amount of wood chips, you should pick a half-inch greater depth than the thickness of the material you are cutting, such as plywood. As a precaution, you should examine the blade alignment of your new saw and make sure it is at a 90-degree angle.

It’s possible to produce amazing results with a tiny circular saw, but only if you get the best one. Here are a few pointers for slicing.

Make Rip Cuts

Wooden materials can be ripped apart by cutting along the grain of the material. Cutting rips with a circular saw is possible because of the saw’s adjustable edge guide. To ensure a straight cut, use this edge guide in conjunction with the saw and the workpiece hooks.

In addition, you will discover a clamp-on guide that allows the circular saw to cut a straight line so that it does not miss any of the material. Long rip cuts are no problem thanks to the saw foot moving along the guide.

Circular saws may also be used with free hands, although the blade may stray from the cutting line if you do so. To avoid causing harm to the workpiece, you should not try to reposition the blade back to its original position.

To avoid this, move the saw slowly and steadily with both hands in the same direction. Don’t use a circular saw to make curves, because it’s not meant for that.


Make Cross and Angle Cuts

Crosscuts are often made with a circular saw. In other words, you’ll be slicing the wood across its breadth, or perpendicular to the grain. Using a pencil, draw the cutting lines, and then use a circular saw to make the necessary cuts.

Once you’ve practiced cross cuts with a circular saw, you’ll be able to hold the saw with one hand while supporting the cutting material with the other.

Always anchor the cutting material to a workbench so that you can use both hands to operate the circular saw comfortably. To ensure safe and accurate cuts, especially in the early stages of practice or woodworking, make sure you implement this step. Allow the cut piece to hang over the edge of your workbench while you are cutting it.

To begin, raise the blade guard with one hand while pressing the trigger with the other. Once the waste section separates, keep cutting in a straight line with the saw. To avoid splintering and losing your straight edge, don’t put down the saw until the entire cut is complete.

In order to miter, which is to cut an angle at the end of wood, you can use a circular saw. Mark the cut, lift the blade guard, align the blade with the marked line, and then cut. When cutting, keep a firm grip on the circular saw to prevent it from moving. Circular saws have a tendency to wander during mitering, therefore this isn’t surprising.


Make Bevel Cuts

Using a circular saw to create precise tiny cuts is possible, but it requires practice and effort.

Remove the battery or unplug the power cord before making any adjustments to the blade angle for a bevel cut.

If you’re a novice, you can lift the blade guard with one hand by clamping the workpiece.

After the blade has fully engaged in its cutting operation, you should always remove the guard. In this circumstance, a n edge guide seems to be a second helpful component. Using a guide will save you time and effort by ensuring you get precise cuts. Always retain the saw foot on the cutting material during cutting. The cut will be ruined even if you just elevate the saw a tiny bit.

Circular saw

Making Plunge Cuts

When you can’t start from an edge, plunging is a good option for cutting wood. To begin a plunge cut, place the circular saw so that the front foot of the blade is angled toward the wood. You must remove the blade guard before cutting, or it might get in the way.

After that, you’ll need to twist the blade’s backside into the wood. Cutting a window aperture in plywood is an excellent illustration of this. Plunge cuts are useful for a wide range of jobs, but they are also risky. Circular saws can rush towards you and injure you if they are used carelessly.

Plunge cuts can’t show you what you’re cutting, so be sure the route is free of obstructions under the cutting material. When the saw is cutting, don’t provide any more support or back the saw up. Standing on either side of the saw is preferable to being behind it. Also, the blade should be positioned to cut 14 inch deeper than the thickness of the cutting material.



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