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How To Use A Circular Saw

    In the field of forestry, the term circular saw is more often used to denote an electrically powered, handheld circular saw designed to cut timber, but can also be used for cutting other materials using a different blade. Circular saws are mostly used to cut wood, but may be used for cutting other materials with specialized blades. With the correct blade, you can use your circular saw to cut lumber, siding, roofing, metal, brick, and much more.

    Even better, there are many different saw blades for the Saber Saw, allowing it to cut just about any material that you are working with. Depending on the material, the thickness, and what kind of cuts you are looking to make, you will want a different blade for your saw. Most saws come equipped with a combo blade to perform both crosscuts and rip cuts.

    Guide your saw using straightedge clamps or screws to hold it in place, or using aftermarket accessories such as Kreg Rip-Cut. Use a guide slot in the saws shoes, or look straight down at the blade, to direct the saw across your cutting lines. Line the blade up with the cutting line, start the saw, and allow gravity to pull the saw along the line.

    For all cuts, start the saw away from your cutting edge, and drive the blade down into the board in one solid, forward motion. Start the saw and bring it slowly, but steadily, down into the cut. When starting your saw, let the blade speed up before the piece of work is in contact. Before starting a cut, let the blade travel to full speed before you bring the blade into contact with the wood.

    To make the cut, hold the front of the saws shoes against the piece, but hold the blade at a distance of about one-inch from the material. Switch the tool off once you are done cutting, and hold the saw off of your body until the blade stops. When making a partial cut, or when the power is interrupted, release the trigger immediately, and do not take the saw away until the blade has stopped completely. Do not begin cutting with the saw blade against the material; keep the trigger held down on the backhand while the blade is several inches away from the material, and once the blade has completely accelerated, push slowly forward.

    When you are ready to cut, connect your circular saw to the power socket, hold down the handle tightly, line up the blade close to (not touching) the marking you want to cut, push the safety switch, then push the trigger. Unplug the saw, or remove the battery, and look at where the blade lines up once it is in its angled position, looking at the blade down from the front. To perform the plunge cut, remove the safety guard from the saw, position the front edge of the saw blade base against the work piece, tilting the saw so that the blade is over the cutting line, but does not touch the material. For shorter cuts, you typically keep the saws safety guard retracting and the saw running through every bit of each cutting, but on longer cuts, you may retract the guard as soon as the base is placed on the workpiece, and can stop moving the saw at the end of a cut and release the trigger to allow the blade to be stopped, then retract it from the work, if desired.

    This requires you to hold the straightedge off of the cutting line, exactly the distance between the point the blade cuts and the edge of the saws base, which may require you to make a couple test cuts to get this exactly right. The most important part of cutting with a circular saw is making sure that material is supported along your cutting line — particularly toward the end of your cuts. When cutting through a plywood sheet or dimension lumber, it is critical that you keep your material supported and steady while cutting through – both sides of the cut line. For instance – you do not want to be setting up the wooden boards on metal supports, as you are going to use the blades for cutting the wood.

    Once you set your material to be cut, make sure you are using straightedge guides that help to keep your saw blade straight as it cuts, preventing the blade from binding up and kickback. A custom straight edge guide for your saw will not only prevent tears, it will make aligning cuts easier. Typically, the material you want to cut is either clamped tightly, or held down in a vise, and then you advance your saw slowly over it. In variations like table saws, the saw is fixed, and the material to be cut is moved slowly over the blade.

    Unlike other saws, the tracked saw is designed either to begin on the edges of material, or to be plunged straight down to the point you want to cut. The track saw is generally the tool of choice for making short, straight, clean cuts through various commonly encountered materials on your job site, and you will find yourself using it quite often. A circular saw is a power saw that uses either toothed or abrasive disks or blades to cut various materials using a circular motion spinning on an arbor. Both a circular saw and jigsaw are two of my favorite power tools, and I use them interchangeably for cutting wood, but the biggest differences between a circular saw and jigsaw (besides the obvious differences of which circular saw will be more powerful) are the blade, type of cuts, thickness of materials you can cut, and the types of materials you can cut.

    I think that if you are somebody that does a lot of woodworking, the circular saw has a place in your workshop because you can do cuts really fast, repeating the same cuts again and again, with no adjustments.

    To safely operate a circular saw, choose a blade that is suitable for the work, secure it to the saw using an arbor nut, then adjust the blades sleeve to be at an appropriate height and bevel for the work.

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