The circular saw is one of the handiest power tools of all. You can use a circular saw for almost every kind of indoor wood cutting and also other materials with proper blades and other kinds of stuff. There are different types of circular saws available different types of projects and different types of workpieces. If you can choose the right saw and right blade for the work you need to do, you might not need a second saw. Now come to the point, apart from all its usefulness, the circular saw is a power saw which kickbacks!
If you are a regular power saw user like table saws, chainsaws, miters saws, etc. then you are of course aware of the term called “kickback”. And if you are a new saw user then you might not be aware of it. To get the practical knowledge of circular saw kickback you can just go to YouTube and search for it.
Here is a simple definition of kickback: A circular saw kickback is the sudden backward strike of the circular saw when the blade of the saw gets stuck and pinched between a wood board or such type of workpieces and the moving instead of moving forward, the blade bites in the workpiece at first and then strikes backward with a great force. This can happen in another way also. Instead of the saw striking itself, it can throw wood piece with a violent speed just like in case of the table saws. Both of these cases can be said as kickback.
- The first and the foremost protection from kickback or any other type of accidents is to envelope yourself in protective gear. Wearing safety equipment is mandatory for every saw user for using any type of saw there is. And it is especially applicable if it is a power saw. Power saws like a circular saw could be a versatile one for woodworking or any other type of cutting. However, they are the ones which cause the most deadly accidents. And most of those deadly accidents occur due to this kickback.
2. There is some fixed safety equipment that you need to wear before you go using a circular saw.
3. First of all, you need to wear eye protection on your eyes to prevent the specks of dust produced during cutting to enter into your eyes.
4. Then you must wear a dust mask to prevent those specks of dust from entering your lungs. They could be very harmful to the human body.
5. After that, to use with a circular saw, you could wear a pair of work gloves just in case something goes wrong.
6. Wearing a face shield would not be a bad idea also.
7. When cutting long woods with a circular saw, there might come such situations when you may have to drop the wood on the floor right after cutting. So to protect your feet from any accidents, you should wear a steel toe boot.
How circular saw kicks back?
Above I have given a simple definition on circular saw kickback. Now we will discuss them thoroughly.
The circular saw kicks back when the blade of the circular saw gets stuck or pinched by the wood board. This happens mostly when you are cutting a long wood board. If the board is kept on two pillars or supports, such as above two sawhorses, and if the cut is made on the workpiece is on the middle then kickback can occur.
When a cut is made on a workpiece whose two ends are supported from below and the middle portion is not supported by anything, then when the blade of the circular saw runs through the board, the two separate ends of the board tends to push the blade from both directions and pinch it between them. When the blade faces such obstruction then it cannot go forward and make the remaining cut. Instead, the moving teeth of the blade bite into the wood and then a large amount of force stores with the blade. When the wood cannot hold on to the blade anymore then it cuts through the wood and strikes on the opposite direction to the cut.
Again, if the workpiece is a small and a light one, then the saw does not strike. It throws off the workpiece with a tremendous speed along with the direction of spin of the blade. If the projectile can touch you, you are doomed. Trust me; you will not be able to see the projectile because of its speed.
How to remain safe from circular saw kickback?
Enough of discussing the horrifying kickbacks. Now we will discuss how to prevent a circular saw from kicking back.
Check your circular saw thoroughly and look if there are any problems with it. If there are some problems with you circular saw then fix them at first and then use it for cutting. Check the blade especially. Look in the teeth for any bent or dull or broken tooth. If you find any, do not use the saw before you fix them.
Make sure the blade you are using with the circular saw is a sharp one. A dull saw blade could be much more dangerous than a sharp blade. If a dull blade is used for cutting then you will get a bad cutting result in one hand and on the other hand, you will increase the risk of facing kickback. The dull would not be able to cut smoothly as a sharp blade, as a result, it will bind in the wood and you know what comes next; kickbacks!
When you are using a circular saw, you should not stand right behind the line where the saw is cutting. If any kickback incident occurs, the saw will come right in the backward direction to the user. And if you stand in its direction, it will not bother to run through your body. So in place of standing right behind the saw’s cutting line, stand a bit at the side.
Hold the saw with both of your hands tightly when you are cutting. This will give you more chance to control the saw in case it kicks back. And also remember to keep one of your fingers on the trigger of the circular saw so that you can release immediately if it starts to kickback.
Clamp the workpiece of yours properly. If the wood is too loose then you might lose the track of the cut and make the cut on the unwanted areas. This both not good for your project and also increases the risk of kickbacks. Put the workpiece in a flat surface. If the wood piece is too long then it is a must to put in on a flat surface. Laying it just on top of two sawhorses is a bad idea. Use more in such cases. You can also use a couple of 2X4’s as a base table for the workpiece on the sawhorses. The advantage of 2X4s is that you can move them around when you need to make cuts in different places of the workpiece. So they will not get in your way or in the way of the circular saw blade while cutting.
If you are using an electric circular saw then you will also have a power cord with it to handle. This cord supplies the electric power to the saw. Sometimes this cord can get into your way of cutting and you might accidentally cut the power cord with the blade. So keep an eye on the power cord of your electric circular saw and make sure it does not get the chance of getting in between the blade.
Adjust the height of the depth of the circular saw blade a bit (about half of an inch) more than the thickness of the workpiece. If you expose too much of the blade out in the below then the blade might be pinched and also if you keep the depth of the blade less than that of the thickness of the workpiece than it will also get pinched.
If you anyhow drift apart from the cut line of the workpiece, do not try force and steer the blade back to the line. Stop the saw, retrieve it from the wrong place and the put it on the actual line and cut from there. If you force the blade back to the line then it will bind and kick you back instead of going to the cutting line.
So if you do not want to face such type of circular saw kickback then obey these instructions and cut safely. Do not take any of the safety measures lightly.