How to Use a Circular Saw

[Cover] How to Use a Circular Saw

Circular saws are necessary tools for your DIY projects. They are the best way to get neat and precise cuts. Although they may seem fear-generating, they are simple and easy to use. All you need is learning some basic, essential steps.

Learning how to use a circular saw would help you carry out your projects instead of resorting to a professional. We made this guide for beginners to show them the right way of using circular saws safely and properly.

Basic Use

  • Measuring And Marking: Measure the cut line, using a ruler and a pen, then mark the places you’re going to cut. These marks would later help you direct and manage the tool while using it.
  • Clamping: Your circular saw should be firmly fixed into place, to prevent digging. To clamp your tool, you can use a saw table or put it in-between two sawhorses.  
  • Setting: It’s important to set your saw at the right cutting depth to achieve precise, clean and perfect cuts. The ideal cutting depth is ¼ inch bellow the object you’re going to cut.
  • Adjusting: This step is important to set the correct bevel angle. It helps you when it comes to cutting objects having square as well as irregular shapes. You need to turn the locking knob- the element found on the front end of the saw- in an anti-clockwise direction.  
  • Positioning: The left side of the baseplate should be set at 0 whenever you make regular cuts and whenever the blade is at 90 degrees.  
  • Activating: Plug the saw into an electrical outlet, or attach the battery. Then, pull the trigger on the rear handle. Some saws may be designed with an extra safety switch that needs to be activated so that the saw works. When the blade starts off, don’t rush into using it directly. You have to wait until it reaches its ultimate speed.
  • Cutting: Cut slowly, following the cutting line you’ve made. You’ll need to use both hands, and maintain all along the cutting process your right hand in line with the cutting line. Don’t press the machine, let it move naturally at its own normal speed. If you try to rush it, you’ll ruin the cuts.
  • Releasing: After having finished your cut, release the trigger. The machine should be stopped in between each cut.
  • Unplugging: Once you finish, wait for the blade to take its down position, then, unplug your machine directly.
How To Use a Circular Saw

How to Use a Circular Saw for Cross cutting/ Rip Cuts

A crosscut is when the cut is made across the axis/grain of the wood, and a rip cut is just a bit longer. When crosscutting or rip cutting, you need to ensure precision and accuracy. To do so, keep checking both the markings on the guide and the movement of the blade.

It’s advisable that you use a saw guide to lead through the process, especially with long cuts such as pieces of plywood. Use a speed square, placing it on the object you’ll cut, and leaving the lip to hang over the edge. Then, place your blade in line with the cutting line and make the straight edge of the speed square against the baseplate. Make sure to maintain the square in place.

How to Cross Cut with Circular Saw

Safety Essentials When Learning How to Use a Circular Saw

In parallel with learning how to use a circular saw, you have to learn how to secure yourself and forestall any impending accidents.

  • Wear complete eye and ear protection as well as a dust mask to protect yourself against debris and unbearable noise pitch.
  • When the saw is on mission, make sure to keep your hands far enough from the blade to ensure your safety. Remove your finger from the trigger if you need to adjust the saw or your object.
  • Between cuts, unplug the saw or detach its battery.
  • Whenever the blade is set against the object you’re going to cut, the saw shouldn’t be activated.
  • The saw should run at its own natural, normal speed. Attempting to rush would only result in ruining your cuts or abrupt injuries.

wrapping Up with Some Extra Helpful Tips:

  • Place down the top side of the material you’re cutting.
  • Clamp only one side of a cut.
  • When marking, mark with a “V”, with its tip upon the exact measurement.


Jeffrey Alfaro

Jeffrey is a craftsman and writer who specializes in testing tools and covering the tool industry for construction and woodworking professionals.

View all posts by Jeffrey Alfaro →

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