What is a Circular Saw Used For?

Last Updated on May 9, 2024 by Sharaj

Europe was the first country to see its rise and initially, it was primarily used for milling lumber. They are still the best for that, but today we are talking about the handheld version this cutting machine that generally is useful for woodworking projects.

Skilsaw power tools was the first company to market the circular saws in 1924. Today, multiple brands are manufacturing these saws because they are widely used in a variety of wooden and construction projects.

Circular Saw Basics

Circular saws are available with small blades worth 3-inch blades and utility blades that has a size of 6 1/2- or 7 1/4-inch. You can choose such machines between mains powered or cordless versions.

Circular saws are powerful and, some of them also use worm drive gears for extra strength. So, such a machine can help you complete a particular project without wasting much time.

However, a circular saw can be dangerous if you don’t use it carefully. If you are beginner, then we recommend you to go through the following guidelines.

Hold a circular saw, start it and it immediately becomes a dangerous weapon that can cut through anything except concrete and thick steel. So, you would like such a machine under control. But, what if it slips from your hands somehow. Well, it’s the reason why all the circular saw comes with a retractable blade guard.

Circular Saw Basics

The first important step is to learn about changing circular saw blades. Turn off the saw and unplug it from a power outlet outlet or remove the battery if you are using a cordless version. Its arbour has three nuts that move clockwise to lose and counterclockwise if you need to tighten them. Always place the blade with its label facing outside and visible, so that its teeth point in the right direction.

All the circular saws are built with two knobs; one to change its blade depth and another to adjust the cutting angle. Most of the times you will use it at 90 degree and full depth.

However, when you are cutting thin materials like plywood, you should choose the depth half-inch extra than the thickness of the cutting material to lower down the wood chips. If you got a new saw, then it’s a great idea to check its blade alignment and make sure its 90 degrees.

A mini circular saw can also be a great tool, if you get the best product. Let’s look some of the cutting tips below.

Make Rip Cuts

Ripping apart a wooden material means you are cutting it longitudinally with the grain. A circular saw can perform rip cuts very well, but only with the help of its adjustable edge guide. This edge guide attaches with the saw and hooks to the workpiece, so that you can get a straight cut.

You will also find a clamp-on guide that makes a straight path for the circular saw so that it can make precise cuts without any miss. As the saw foot moves along the guide, you never face any problem while making long rip cuts.

You can also use a circular saw with free hands, but that might wander off the blade from the cutting line. When you will try to bring it back to its original path, the blade might kick back and create damage to the workpiece.

To avoid such situations, use both your hands to move the saw slow and steady in the same direction. Circular saws are not suitable for making curves, so do not try that.

Make Cross and Angle Cuts

Most of the times you will use a circular saw for crosscuts. Means, you will use it to cut the woods along their width, means perpendicular to the wood grain. Make the cutting lines using a pencil and then use a circular saw to get the cuts.

Once you practice a circular saw for cross cuttings, you can use one hand to hold the saw and another one to support the cutting material, so that you cut along the line.

You should always clamp the cutting material to a workbench, so that you can control the circular saw with both the hands. Follow this step for safe and precise cuts, especially in the initial days of practising or woodworking. Allow the part being cut hang off the edge of your workbench.

The first step is to lift the blade guard with one hand and use another one to press the trigger. Move the saw into a straight path until the waste part separates. Don’t stop the saw until and unless the cut is complete, otherwise; the wood will break off in splinter and the straight edge will remain a dream.

You can use a circular saw for mitring, which is cutting an angle at the end of wooden lumber. Mark the cut, lift the blade guard of your circular saw, line up the blade with the line and make the cut. Make sure you hold the circular saw firmly during the cutting process because there are chances it might wander. No surprise because a circular saw tends to wander off while mitring.

Make Bevel Cuts

Circular saws can give you smooth and precise mite cuts, but it needs some practice and experience.

Take out the power cable or remove the battery, when you are adjusting the blade angle for a bevel cut.

If you are beginner, then clamp the workpiece, so that you can use one of your hands to lift the blade guard.

Yes, you should always release the guard once the blade fully engages in its cutting process. In this situation.

The second helpful component is an edge guide. A guide will provide you with accurate cuts without much hassle. It’s necessary to keep the saw foot on the cutting material all the times. Even if you lift the saw a little, it will ruin the cut.

Making Plunge Cuts

Plunging is a suitable cutting method when you cannot start from an edge of any wooden material. You need to start a plunge cut by holding the circular saw in such a position that its front foot should touch the wood at an angle. You must lift the blade guard otherwise it might interfere while cutting.

Now, you need to pivot the backside of the blade inside the wooden material. One of the best examples is cutting window opening in plywood. Useful for a wide range of projects, but plunge cuts are dangerous at the same time. If used in a poor form, a circular saw will run towards you and can lead to injuries.

Make sure that the path is clear beneath the cutting material because you cannot see what you are cutting in case of plunge cuts. Never provide added support or back the saw while it’s cutting. Never stand just behind the saw, prefer standing on the sides. Also, set the blade to cuts ¼ inch deeper than the cutting material’s thickness.

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