So, what is a circular saw? What is circular saw used for? Its got something to do with circles, huh?
A circular saw is a power tool that has a circular blade. What is circular saw used for? It is used in various jobs. It is known for its precision and accuracy in making cuts. A portable machine that can cut through different materials with the right kind of blade installed. Additionally, they are also pretty fast.
This saw uses a round blade that has teeth lined up to help cut materials. There is generally a nut present. The nut helps to hold the blade in its proper place.
Here are some parts of the circular saw that you should know.
On/off switch: For starting the circular saw, all you have to do is press and hold the on/off trigger. Then when you want are done working, remove the pressure from the trigger and the saw blade will stop.
Handle: There is the handle on which the on/off trigger lies. Moreover, the handle allows you to get a better grip which is necessary for accurate cuts.
Blade cover: This part covers the sharp teeth of the saw. Hence, it is a part that protects you from getting in contact with the rotating dangerous blade.
Bolt: The bolt or nut is the one that holds the blade in place. It ensures that the blade does not come off. If the nut is not tightly screwed, it is very possible for the blade to come off because of the speed at which it rotates. Therefore, always make sure that the bolt is tight before you switch on the saw.
Bevel adjustment: What is circular saw used for? This is one of the good reasons. Bevel adjustment allows you to make different angle cuts. With the right adjustment, you can get a good cut with your saw.
Base: The base or the plate acts as a support for the saw. Furthermore, it actually helps in accuracy and precision too.
Some versions of the circular saw have a blade lock button that allows you to lock the blade. Also, there are some that have an “opening to view” feature. It is basically a feature which enables you to peak down and look where you are cutting. In addition to these, the blade depth lever is another important part of the saw that cannot be ignored.
Types of Cuts with a Circular Saw
There are a number of cuts that you can make with a circular saw. In fact, the cuts a table saw is capable of making, the circular saw also can make most of those cuts as good as the table saw. [Here is an article to help you know more about the table saw HOW TO USE A TABLE SAW]
Even though it might not be as better as the table saw, still it is better in some consideration. For example, the portability of the circular saw is certainly useful.
Anyways, let’s introduce you to some of the cuts the circular saw is used for.
The table is one of the best at making crosscuts and rip cuts. But, the circular saw is not far away from making these two cuts with perfection. With the right kind of blade in and with proper adjustment and practice, anyone can make crosscuts and rip cuts that are just as good as the table saw.
Angle cuts such as miter cut and bevel cut are possible to make with the circular saw. Adjusting the proper angle before you start the cut is crucial in these types of cuts. Furthermore, it can also make compound miter cuts.
Your circular saw is capable of making accurate plunge cuts. Don’t know what that is? It is a cut that is made in the middle of the workpiece, rather than starting at one edge of the material.
These cuts are easy to make with your circular saw if you know the right techniques.
Cut Different Materials with Your Circular Saw
Circular saw is used for cutting different types of materials also. That is why it is one of the best and most used versatile power saw out there. So, what kinds of materials is it able to cut?
All kinds, pretty much really. The circular saw can make accurate and precise cuts with wood. Straight cuts, angled cuts, plunge cuts are common for this saw. With the proper adjustment and technique, you can make the perfect woodcuts using a circular saw.
Your saw is also able to go through harder materials like metal or concrete. Of course, remember to use the right blade when you are cutting metal. All you need to do is use a metal cutting blade.
Furthermore, your saw can also cut plastics, pipes such as PVC or copper.
Circular Saw Blade
There are, of course, a variety of circular saw blades. Different blades have their own purposes. Therefore, it is important that you know the blades properly. For example, you should know which blade is needed to cut metal type material. If you don’t know then using the wrong blade will trouble your saw.
In addition to that, it is important to change the blades. As sawing will wear any blade out, at one point it will be necessary to change the blade. That is why you should keep an eye when your saw needs a change in blade.
For more about changing the blade, I have an article on HOW TO CHANGE CIRCULAR SAW BLADE. It gives you simple steps to change the blade.
In addition to changing the blade, you will also have to sharpen your saw blade once in a while. Since saw blades become dull after some days of use, it is needed to sharpen the blade. For more about this, check out the easy to follow steps in HOW TO SHARPEN CIRCULAR SAW BLADE.
At times, circular saw is used for cutting rooftops. This is done for roof vents, skylights and even for chimneys. There is no need to remove any shingles before the cut because of the saw. It is simply like a plunge cut really. Plunge cut through the shingle and decking and for this job, use a carbide blade.
The circular saw is designed in such a way that the blade spins upward. That is why when you are cutting, put the smooth side of the workpiece downward. In this saw, the side in which the blade enters tends to be smoother than the side in which the blade comes out or exits.
Moreover, this saw produces splinters on the side that is faced up. If you push your saw at a slower pace then you will get even fewer splinters.
Though it is hard to get both sides splinter free, it is still very possible. Use a sharp knife to mark your cut by having the veneer. After that, cut just a little to the waste side of the line. This makes sure that if there is splinter then it happens on the waste piece. For further smoothness, swipe with a sandpaper and clean up anything that stays.
How to use circular saw
It is easy to use the circular saw. Unlike many other complex power saws, the circular saw is easy to maneuver and handle. That is why you do not need to worry if you have not used the circular saw before. Even if you are an absolute newbie, you can still execute a good cut with this saw. After that, of course, practicing will make it better.
So, here are 10 simple steps that you should follow about how to use a circular saw.
- Testing your saw is always a good start to getting clean cuts. Therefore, before you start with any project, try cutting a random piece of wood and see if your saw cuts well or not. Moreover, this is especially needed if you are a newbie.
- After that, adjust the depth of the cut. What is the right depth that the circular saw is used for? Well, it totally depends on the project you have in hand. But, generally, the depth should be just a bit larger than the thickness of the material.
- Check the material closely. And remove any hard objects that may be present, for example, nails. If you cannot remove then you must avoid these when cutting the material.
- Before turning the saw on and starting the work, you need to secure your workpiece. There could never be accuracy when the material moves. Therefore, you need to make sure that it does not move nor vibrate. For this job, you can use clamp or vise to hold still your workpiece. Moreover, you can even use a homemade tool to keep still.
- Ready the material. As circular saw blade spins upward, it cuts the side it enters smoothly than the side it exits. For this reason, you need to keep the good side downward when cutting with this saw.
- Now, hold the saw with a tight grip. Use both of your hands to grip it. And then turn on the saw. But, you should not start to cut right away. Rather wait for the blade to obtain a good speed so that it faces no struggle to cut through.
- After obtaining a good speed, slowly put your saw on the cutting line which you drew before. Progress slowly, take your time. And do not push too aggressively. Rather let the saw do the cutting job. You should focus more on guiding your saw.
- For a cleaner, smoother and better cut, guide the saw accurately according to the cut line at a slow pace. Furthermore, you can use laser guide with your circular saw for more accuracy and precision.
- After completion, you should have a smooth cut done.
- Now, turn the saw off and wait till it stops completely. Then put the blade guard back on to cover the sharp teeth of the blade.
In this way, you can get a good cut with your circular saw. Additionally, remember to practice so that you continue to improve to getting the perfect cuts.
Jigsaw or Circular saw?
What is circular saw used for? What is jigsaw used for? Which one is better for you then?
Which tool you should prefer depends on none other than you. The type of cut you wish to make, the material you are cutting, etc. are the things that will determine whether it jigsaw or circular saw that is better for you.
Now, I am only going to tell you about the differences of these two saws and their specialty. Then I will leave it up to you to decide which one you should choose for your particular work.
Difference in Blade:
The jigsaw has smaller blade teeth compared to the circular saw. This allows it to make finer cuts that give a better result than a circular saw blade.
The circular saw because of its larger blade teeth can cut through materials faster and with more ease. But, this is not the case for the jigsaw. It cuts through material like even wood at a slower pace.
Difference in cuts:
The circular saw is better known for its ability to make perfect straight cuts. Even though other types of cuts are very possible with it, it will need proper adjustment and still it might not give the perfect cut.
On the other hand, jigsaws are unable to make dado and groove cuts even though it can make straight cuts in general. Crosscutting, ripping, is rather not so handy with the jigsaw.
But, decorative cuts or making loops are done very well with the jigsaw. On the contrary, circular saws cannot make shape cuts like loops and so on.
Difference in Power:
There is no argument here really. The circular saw is far more capable of making lots of cuts because of its power. Contrarily, using a jigsaw to make too many cuts is not worth it. This is because of the less power of the jigsaw.
Which one makes more dust and debris?
It is always a bother to have to clean after finishing work with a saw. That is why DIY workers take a liking to the saw that produces little or even no debris.
And in this case, it is the jigsaw that produces little sawdust compared to the circular saw. This is perhaps due to the larger teeth size of the circular saw blade.
I have really tried to balance the pros and cons of the two saws. I hope that it helps you to decide the right saw for you. Again, remember to pick up the saw according to your usage. It depends on how and what type of work you are willing to do. I recommended keeping both at your arsenal since both have their own importance.
Safety Tips for Using Circular Saw
It doesn’t matter what is circular saw used for if you cannot stay safe with the saw. Therefore, the safety procedures are always important when using any saw. So, keep these simple tips in mind and enjoy working with the saw while actually being safe lol.
- Circular saws can be really loud. As a result, to have a better concentration you should consider hearing protection. In addition, eye protection is also recommended since this saw creates significant sawdust.
- If you are using a corded saw then keep the cord in such a way that it does not bother you when you start making the cut. This is super important as you can imagine.
- Avoid any sort of hard objects (for example, nails) that may be embedded in the material. You should do a simple material check before starting the saw. Going through nails could potentially destroy the blade.
- Check the bolt every once in a while and make sure that it is tightly screwed. Since the circular saw blade moves at a fast pace, the blade could come off it the bolt is not screwed down properly.
- After you are done working, put the blade cover back on so that the sharp teeth are hidden well.
As you continue using the saw, these safety issues become child work really. But, as a newbie, taking all the precautions is super important.
I sincerely hope that you have learned something new and can apply it in your work. The next time someone asks, what is circular saw used for or how to use a circular saw or such type of questions, I am sure you can knock them down with good answers. Moreover, you can show them how it is done with your own circular saw.