How to Use a Circular Saw

The circular saw is an extremely versatile power tool that you can own at your home shop. It is a very lightweight handheld electrical power tool that is used for many different things, from cutting wood to trimming tree branches, and much more. If you are handy with this type of saw, you will find that it is actually quite convenient for cutting different materials, such as lumber.

Before you start learning how to use a circular saw, it is necessary to first understand how this power tool works. The saw blade spins at an extremely high speed, making it extremely easy to cut through a wide variety of materials. There is a thin line between “tough” when it comes to using the saw. The difference between soft and tough is determined by the saw’s setting, which is usually kneaded back and forth while at an angle. You want a stiff setting for cutting harder woods, while a softer setting will work best for softwoods or lighter material.

How to Use a Circular Saw Circular Saw

The circular saw comes with two different trigger speeds; a top speed that is typically faster than what is available on a handheld version, as well as a middle speed that is usually slower. The two speeds can be set to different values; a middle speed of about one hundred and eighty-five rpm is ideal for light material, while a top speed of one hundred and fifty rpm is good for medium to hardwoods. The trigger itself works in a similar fashion, using a rubber or metal trigger that releases when the teeth hit a material. The two types of triggers are different in the way they operate, but both are very useful for getting the job done.

One of the more important aspects of how to use a circular saw deals with aligning your blade with your saw’s circular plane. The path of the blade throughout the project should be perfectly lined up, or at least as right as possible. The easiest way to do this is to stand directly behind the circular saw and accurately read its guide. The saw’s tooth pattern will show the proper direction to rotate the blade, while the distance between each tooth will indicate the required distance for the next one. A small discrepancy between the distances could cause cuts to be off-target or even to fall down the side of the fence.

Another important aspect of how to use a circular saw cutting board and plywood involves ripping. Ripping occurs when the blade makes a clean cut and then retreats into the face of the material it is cutting. For plywood and other materials, the easiest way to achieve this is to rip long, even strips of wood along a 45-degree angle.

When ripping, the distance from the saw’s teeth to the surface of the material being cut determines how much material can be removed without safety issues. If the distance is too short, pieces of wood may be caught in the teeth, resulting in an unsafe falling structure. On the other hand, a long and wide saw won’t be able to cut through the plywood, possibly causing an accident. To keep the teeth from making contact with the plywood base plate, a good recommendation is to put on a pair of safety glasses.

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