Are you new to woodworking? Never used a circular saw before? Here are a few tips and steps to get you started on the right foot.
A circular saw is one of the most basic woodworking tools which every carpenter or builder should own if they want to make angled cuts easily and quickly.
The best circular saw often comes with different blade sizes which determines what materials they are suitable to cut through easily. So in case you’ve just got one recently, here’s everything you need to do to ensure the perfect cuts each time.
Things you will need:
- Saw benches
- Extension cords
- Measuring tools
- Marking tools like a pencil
- Safety equipment like safety eyeglass, earplugs, etc.
Here’s what you need to do:
Step 1: Understand the Circular Saw and its different types
The first thing that you need to do before you start to use a circular saw is to understand it and see how you can use it. Take a good look at your saw and its blades and see what you can accomplish with it.
If you have a 7 ½ inches blade, then you can do most of the woodworking task which includes ripping lumber, cutting to length, cutting concrete, composite materials, and so on.
Step 2: Check the features of your circular saw
Once you have learned more about your circular saw and the type of blade that is installed in it, you need to check the features of your saw to determine what you can use it to do.
See if the base plate can be tilted a little to make the angled cuts or beveled cuts if you can make a cut from 90 degrees to something slightly less than 45 degrees.
Another important feature to check would be if it comes with a dust collection feature or a depth adjustment feature allowing you to set the depth of the cuts.
Want to know what other features set apart the best circular saws from the rest? Read our Circular Saw Buying Guide for more details.
Step 3: Use the right blade type
As discussed before, it is important that you learn about the various blade types for your saw and then use the right one for cutting through a material. You will need to select the right blade type before you start making any cuts.
Step 4: Provide your material with adequate support
Now, before you start making any cuts, make sure that you provide your material with enough back support. Do not put your board on the floor or a concrete slab as it might react with it when you are cutting it. Instead, use a saw table for this purpose.
Step 5: Mark the length of your lumber
Make sure that you use a pencil and a measuring tape to mark the line along which you will cut your lumber to a required length.
Step 6: Adjust the saw to a proper depth
Once you have marked the path of your blade travel, you need to adjust the blade to a proper depth before you start cutting. Make sure that you don’t have too much of the blade showing so if you want to make a cut of 40 mm, keep the blade depth to be 45 or 50 mm.
Step 7: Take care of the Saw Guard
Make sure that the saw guard is in a smooth running position. It should spring and slide smoothly when you pull the saw off the material and push it back into the material. Always make sure your saw is in the DOWN position before you place it down on the bench.
Step 8: Line up your Saw Blade
Look at the right-hand side of the blade and place it on the line mark when you start making your cut. Make sure the blade is sharpened enough to cut the material.
Step 9: Line the notch
Look at the two guide notches which are placed in the front of the saw. The right-hand side one is for normal cutting position and the other one is for when the base is angled at 45 degrees. Line your notch to the pencil line too.
Step 10: Check the Saw Base while cutting
Now you can start cutting but keep a check on the front of the blade and the guide. Keep an eye on the saw base when you are cutting to make sure that base of the circular saw is flat on the wood being cut.
Step 11: Push the saw into the material
Apply a little pressure onto the saw so that it is pushed into the material with enough strength to keep the blade cutting but avoid putting too much pressure so that binding might occur on the blade. If your blade is sharp, then it would pass through most materials with minimal effort.
Step 12: Return the lower blade guard to its position
Always ensure that the lower blade guard goes back to its position once the cut is finished as sometimes a good blade guard can also bind if a piece of dirt from the cut clogs its working.