A skil saw or a circular saw is a useful tool that sometimes even works as an alternative to the monster table saw. It is a versatile tool that always delivers. Without it, your arsenal of power tools will always remain incomplete.
Like other saws, it has its own implications and applications. That is what you will learn more about in this post. How it works, how useful it is, how can you get max result with it, etc. are questions that are going to be answered here.
- 1 Getting familiar
- 2 Just how useful Your Skil Saw Is!
- 3 The Materials it can cut
- 4 Choosing the Right Blade
- 5 Using the skil Saw to Cut
- 6 Mark for Accuracy
- 7 Support for Material
- 8 Be Smart and Get Cleaner Cuts
- 9 Adjusting Depth of the Cut
- 10 Angle Cuts
- 11 Metal Cutting for using saw
- 12 The Little One
- 13 The Trouble Maker!
- 14 Safety Tips
This is a pretty important point. You need to know the saw you are using and you need to know it pretty well. Which part has what function; it is vital that you know this.
So, let’s get you familiar with the circular saw parts and their functions.
Handle: There are two handles namely the front and the rear handle. They are there for you to get a good grip on the tool when cutting.
On/off switch:It is also commonly called as the trigger. Your machine will saw only after you have switched on the trigger. When you are done working, the off switch will turn off the saw.
Guard:Every saw needs some sort of carefulness when using. This is no different in case of the skil saw. And the guard proves exactly that.
Miter lock handle:Sometimes you will need you saw to stay still at a particular angle. This is the job of the miter lock handle. It locks the saw at your desired miter angles.
Miter gauge:The miter gauge is the one that helps to hold down the material piece you are cutting. It is like a device itself that holds the material at your desired angle while you cut.
Fence:The fence is used as nothing but a guide. It helps you to achieve your desired length, width and even the type of cut you make on your material.
Slide rails:This is a crucial part of your saw. The slide rail aka a guide allows you to do the impossible. The cuts or precision you are never likely to make freehand are possible with the help of the slide rail. It makes sure that your cut is straight and precise.
Bevel cutting angle adjustment knob:Well, you can tell its function from just seeing the name. Yes! It is used to adjust the right bevel angle for bevel cuts. Now the question is what are beveled cuts? Let’s leave it for later.
Blade:The blade is, of course, responsible for cutting the materials. The circular saw uses a variety of blades. You need to use the right blade for the right cut and also the right material (more about this later in the article).
Shoe:The shoe forms the bottom of the circular saw. It gives better support and stability. It is generally made of metal.
Cutting depth adjustment knob: This is another knob present in many circular saws that allows the user to dictate the exact depth of cut they are making.
Each and every part of any saw has their uses. If any part did not have any use at all then what is the point to have it in the saw in the first place. Knowing the parts and their functions will make you more comfortable while working.
Just how useful Your Skil Saw Is!
The skil saw is truly a saw that is useful for so many different reasons. Just to give you an idea, it can make a variety of different cuts. And all of us DIY worker know very well how crucial it is to have a tool that can make different cuts.
Here we are going to mention some of the cuts that your saw is capable of.
Crosscut:The cut that is made across the main axis or grain of the material.
Rip cut:The cut is made perpendicular to the grain in crosscut. But it is made parallel to the grain of the material in a rip cut.
Dado-cut:It is a cut that is like a slot or slit made into the surface of plain material. This cut is good for making cabinets and shelves in particular.
Groove:A groove is similar to a dado in terms of looking like a little slot. But unlike dado, the groove cut runs all the way through the surface.
Miter cut:It is cut along the length of the width of the materials. It is like an angle cut that is used to cut in angles but other than 90 degrees. It is used to join two pieces of materials.
Bevel cut:This is almost similar to the miter cut. It also cuts at angles but other than 90 degrees. And to differ from miter cut, it cuts along the thickness of the material rather than the width.
Plunge cut:This is a unique cut that you can make with your skil saw. I say unique because the cut does not begin from the edge like other cuts. Rather it is used to make cuts in the middle of the material. The cuts are like a small hole where a saber saw can enter
Understood? That is how versatile the saw is. And you can understand how important and useful it is to have a single saw that can make that many cuts.
The Materials it can cut
In the field of power saws, there are special saw for cutting particular material. There are some materials that one saw cannot cut, while another is made for cutting that very material.
The circular saws versatile ability just cannot be ignored at all. It is so useful that it has the capability to cut more than just one material.
The most common type of material that your precious saw can cut is wood. Like most power tools, it is also handy for cutting 2*4 pieces of wood. Plywood can also be cut with ease.
But the interesting thing begins with the fact that it can cut plastic. The circular saw is really handy in cutting plastic pieces. Sizing them, cutting them into pieces is done with your saw.
The next material in line that this saw has conquered is none other than the dreaded metal. A material that is capable of destroying many other power tools and so many tools kneel before this material. But the skil saw is one of the very few exceptions. With the right blade in, it can cut through even thin metal.
Your saw is also capable of cutting concrete. This is rather a material which is not generally cut using the skil saw, but still, the saw has conquered this material too.
Like other tools, the skil saw also has a favorite material that it likes to cut. And in general, its users also like to use it cut that specific material. And that material is wood. That is what this saw is generally used for. But if you want to cut other materials with it then your saw is just as helpful as any other saw.
Choosing the Right Blade
It is one of the most important topics discussed by so many people. Fine, there are different materials your saw can cut. But wait a minute! You are using the very same blade, aren’t you? You are not changing anything. Then how does the saw adjust to cut smoothly different materials?
If you are using the very same blade to cut all those different materials then you are making a huge mistake my friend. This is because different materials have different blades that are used to cut them.
If you use the same blade to cut wood and metal then your blade will likely wear out real quick. In addition, it will damage the motor of your machine.
There are material specific blades that are used to cut the different materials. So, there is one blade for cutting wood type material. And there is whole different blade to cut metal type material.
You need to use the right blade. It is important that you check before every cut that you have the right blade on. You will find written on the blade the kind of material it can cut.
Using the skil Saw to Cut
The Skil saw is only handy if you know how to use it. Here are simple steps that you need to follow to make a cut with the skil saw.
The first step includes all the precautions more than anything else. Wearing the safety gears, cutting in a suitable place, checking if the right blade is on (as we have mentioned), etc.
Make the necessary adjustments. If you are making bevel cuts then check and make sure you have got the right bevel cutting angle. Make adjustments to have the correct cutting depth. It all depends on the material you are cutting and the cut you desire.
Pull the trigger! Ohh sorry. I mean press the trigger! Now your saw is in effect. Wait for the saw to reach max speed and then start cutting.
These simple steps will get you going. But we are far from done here. You may be able to cut with these steps. But how the cuts should be, useful ways to cut and the precision factors are yet to be discussed.
Mark for Accuracy
No matter which saw you use, marking the cut line is crucial to get more accuracy. Use a ruler to straighten your mark. To mark you can use a color pen. But they might not be always visible enough in the darker woods. So, you can use chalk as an alternative.
It is important that you mark the line very straight as it will act as a guide for you during the cut. The straighter the line, the precise the cut you will get.
Once you are done marking, you can use a bright light for better viewing. As there will be splinters from the cutting, you might lose the line that you drew earlier. That is why using light will give a better view.
When you see that the splinters are blocking your sight from seeing the line, you should slow down. But not stop the saw completely as it will disrupt your accuracy. Rather slow down a bit, and blow where the splinters are hiding the line. A gentle blow should remove the obstruction.
Some people think that the line is where their eyes should be during when they are making the cut. This is wrong. The line is not to keep your eyes at. It is there so that you can guide the blade with more ease and precision. That is why your eyes should be on the blade so that you can guide it along the marked line.
Support for Material
You should provide sufficient support for your material to stay top on. You just cannot let it fly on thin air, can you?
Using sawhorses is the most common for supporting the material or workpiece. One sawhorse is fine. But it will be better if you can get two sawhorses and keep the material between the two horses. That will provide the necessary support as well as make the cut easier to make.
If you are thinking about using just anything you have near you then here is one idea for you to not do that. It is important that you do not put the material directly on top of any object like a table, bench or even floor. When you are cutting, the blade is likely to go pass the material with the cut. That will not only damage the table but will also put your blade under jeopardy.
Be Smart and Get Cleaner Cuts
Your circular saw has the ability to cut cleaner on the side that is down. This is because it usually splinters the material side that is facing up.
So, you need to choose which side you want to use in your work. And then keep that side downwards and the other side upwards. This will give a much cleaner cut on the side you need for work.
If there still remains some fuzziness after that then you can use sandpaper to swipe them away.
Another way to get fewer splinters is to move your saw at a slower pace. You should not force the saw into the material. Rather be gentle and allow the saw to do its job itself.
One more thing that you should know which controls the clean cuts of any saw. And it is called TPI (Teeth per Inch). You might already know about this actually. But if you have not heard about it then let me put it very simply for you.
The fewer the teeth your blade consists of, the rougher cuts that blade will make. If your blade has more teeth per inch then it will give cleaner cuts. This is the basic idea that you need to know about TPI.
So, if you want a really clean cut then you should use a blade that has more TPI rather than one which has less. But if you are not concerned with getting clean cuts and just want to finish real fast then using a blade with less TPI is going to give you better results.
Adjusting Depth of the Cut
Remember when we introduced you to the parts of circular saw? There was one particular part which, as we mentioned, allows you to control the depth at which the blade will cut. It is the cutting depth adjustment knob.
Before beginning the cut, you will need to adjust the depth using the knob. You will get much cleaner cuts if you adjust the blade to the correct depth. Moreover, it will reduce more wearing down of the blade because it will reduce friction. And the imperfections you are likely to get will no longer be seen when you use the correct depth.
In general, circular saws are not used for angled cuts. For making compound angle cuts, you will need to keep the guard under control. As you begin to make your cut, you have to take the guard off of the blade. You can do that by pulling the guard back away from the blade. And keep it back until you are done.
It is almost impossible to make compound cuts without following this step because the guard will bind as you start your cut.
Remember to adjust the knob when you are cutting bevels. You should keep the above mentioned step in mind during bevel cuts too.
Metal Cutting for using saw
Although the skil saw is used normally for wood cutting, it still remains a saw that can cut metal too.
Now you can use your saw to cut thin rooftop metals. There is no special trick to cutting metals. So, you do not have to worry. Just follow the usual steps. Trigger on and gentle start the cut after your saw has reached maximum speed.
You can also cut useless metals that reside in your home. Cutting them into small pieces is now easy for you as you have your circular saw.
In addition to metal, your useful saw is even capable of cutting PVC pipes. And we all know how useful it is to have a saw for cutting pipes all over our home.
The Little One
If you want then you can get a mini circular saw that is available nowadays. It will be better to have a mini size saw along with the standard one.
It is much smaller in size, easy to handle, much lighter and comes in handy in doing tiny house works here and there. There is no reason for you to not love it.
You can use it to make cuts into places where the standard saw will not fit. This is going to be super useful to you.
The Trouble Maker!
Well, it is something that troubles most of us. It is the evil cord! I don’t know if it has ever happened to you, but I have faced frustration due to this line of the cord.
When you are focused and want to finish the work, the cord comes up and disturbs you, right? (You are lucky if this has not happened to you).
There is one way that experts use to solve the cord problem. This is to keep the cord on one of your shoulders. This will keep it from troubling you during the cut.
As with all power tools, there have to be some safety tips that you should know.
The very first safety tip that comes with any saw really is the gear you wear. You know it, have some goggles on, put on something in your ears, using gloves is no less important too.
As we just mentioned, the cord could get caught up on the blade. Or it could get caught up with your legs or hands. That is why you should keep the cord in a way that it does not get caught up anywhere while you are making the cut.
When you are done, make sure that you switch off the trigger. After switching off, wait for some time to ensure that the blade has completely stopped running before putting it down anywhere.
When you are done, make sure to unplug the saw. Ensure that the blade guard is on. Then put the saw somewhere out of anyone’s reach (especially children).
Keep your every part of the body out of the line of fire. Never use any part of your body as a support for the material you are cutting. This is dangerous and avoiding it is your duty.
The Skil saw is useful when you know how to use it. Use the tips and tricks mentioned in the article and benefit from them. I am sure that you have a much better idea now about how to use skil saw.