Tips For Using A Circular Saw

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Get the tips and advice you need on using a circular saw including how it works, ways to change the blade, setting cut depth and more. For long straight cuts on wood, this circular saw is perfect. Watch Lou show you the safest way to hand this handheld tool.

Fast Facts

  • For long straight cuts a circular saw is hard to beat.
  • They are primarily for cutting wood.
  • Blade size differs for each saw. Common sizes are
    • 5 1/2 in
    • 7 1/4 in
    • 9 1/4 in

How to Use Them

  1. When changing a blade, make sure the tool is off and your finger is off the switch
  2. Look for a lock that keeps the blade from spinning
  3. Use a wrench to loosen the bolt holding the blade in place
  4. Use a blade made for the density of the material you want to cut
    • The denser the material, the more teeth per inch you will want on your blade
  5. You can adjust the angle of the blade
  6. Line up the cut using the guide on the shoe
  7. You can adjust for the depth of the material you are cutting as well
  8. Bring the blade to the surface and press firmly down
  9. Push the blade forward at a pace that lets the blade cut without it slowing
  10. Keep the motor facing the larger section of the board or the section that is not falling away as you cut

What NOT To Do

  • Use a reciprocating saw or other saw for overhead cuts
  • Kickback can happen if you do not use the tool correctly, so be careful
  • Setting cut depth is important for control so at the right depth you should only see on blade under the surface you are cutting
  • Do not let the board sag while cutting
  • Do not cut between saw horses
  • Do not use dull blades, always ensure they are sharp

What They're Used For

  • Cutting ply wood
  • Cutting paneling
  • Cutting decking
  • Cross cuts against the grain
  • Rip cuts along with the grain

Helpful Tips

  • Always use eye, ear and dust protection while using this tool
  • The blade protrudes so do not wear loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught
  • Put the good side of the surface you are cutting down to prevent splintering


For more helpful tips, visit Ace Hardware's Tips and Advice Published: 3/2/2020