Portable circular saws (and cordless electric drills) are one of the must-have tools for DIYers’ home workshops. With the right blade, the circular saw can cut wood, steel, masonry and ceramic tiles.
If you use wood, a reliable, powerful circular saw may be the most valuable tool in the arsenal.
Among all the common power tools in home stores, the circular saw is a very heavy one. In order to crosscut and tear wood into manageable components in any project, a circular saw is usually the first tool we pursue. There are many factors that need to be considered when investing in this typical home decoration workhorse. In fact, professionals and people who are serious about doing it themselves usually have more than one circular saw.
Before considering the purchase, let’s first understand what is a circular saw and the basic knowledge of a circular saw
What is a circular saw?
The circular saw is an electric saw that can rotate the circular flat saw blade according to the selected saw blade to cut wood, metal or plastic. The circular saw has a handle with an on/off trigger switch, a spindle nut to hold the blade in place, and some protection devices to prevent the operator from touching the rotating blade. In addition, the circular saw can adjust the height/depth and bevel angle
Basic knowledge of circular saw:
The circular saw makes quick, straight cuts on the plank (cross cut) or along the length of the plank (cut edge). You can also set the bevel angle of the circular saw. The standard components on the circular saw include:
*Blade guard that can cover the blade when not sawing, and can be retracted to expose the blade when in use
*The foot board or shoe that fixes the saw on the workpiece
*Depth adjustment to allow workpieces of different thicknesses
*Bevel adjustment to make the foot pedal tilt relative to the blade for bevel cutting
*The size of a circular saw is usually classified according to the diameter of its saw blade. Sizes from 5 1/2 to 7 1/4 inches are the most common. There are also many options on the circular saw. Choose a saw according to your specific needs
Consider some factors before buying.
Mechanical styleof circular saws
For a long time, there have been two styles of circular saws: sidewinders and worm drive. The sidewinders is the most recognizable style among most of us. Although left-hand saws are increasingly used, the position of the handle is higher than the saw blade, and the saw blade is traditionally located on the right side of the D-shaped handle. They are lighter and cheaper than worm drives, and the rotation speed of the saw blade directly driven by the motor spindle is faster than the rotation on the worm drive saw. A good winding machine is the best choice for home workshops because it is light and easy to handle.
The worm gear saw is long and short, with the handle behind the saw blade. The blade is on the left, so right-handed users can see it. They tend to be heavier because they require a gear system to convert the action of the electric motor into blade rotation, and have more torque than a side winder. Worm drives are the heavy duty preferred by some construction professionals.
The key part of the saw is the saw blade. Different blades can be used for different applications. When buying a blade, make sure it is compatible with your saw. Some common blade types are as follows:
*High-speed steel blades are harder than steel blades and stay sharp for longer.
*The teeth of the cemented carbide blade are equipped with cemented carbide tips. They are more expensive than other blades, but their sharpening time is longer than steel or high-speed steel.
*The tile cutting blade is specially designed for cutting tiles. Better tile cutting blades have diamond tip blades.
*The s tool blade is made of abrasive and used to cut concrete, bricks, cinder blocks and other ma materials.
The traditional blade size on circular saws is usually 7¼ inches. But the emergence of cordless technology has produced a series of confusing blade options. The standard 7¼-inch blade is still the most widely used blade for DIY. However, saw blades have rated teeth ranging from 4¼ to 6½ inches and can be used for delicate tasks such as trimming, cabinets and countertops. On the other hand, saws up to 16 inches wide make it much easier to cut large wood. For example, try to grind a pressure-treated 6×6 with multiple smaller blades.
For corded circular saws, the rated power is usually expressed in amperes. Today, the standard is a 15 amp chainsaw. A 10 or 12 amp chainsaw is only suitable for infrequent use. For purchases that you can expect to use for many years, the price difference is not important. The higher the amperage, the stronger the cutting ability of the saw.
Powered by cordless saw batteries are usually evaluated by their battery voltage. Many cordless saws now use lithium-ion battery systems. There are many 18-volt saws available, but there are also more powerful 20-volt cordless saws. In addition to the voltage, the ampere-hour rating will also be listed, which indicates how long the chainsaw can be used before the battery is dead. The ampere hour rating ranges from approximately 5 hours to 9 hours.
From a distance, except for the color, every sidewinders electric circular saw looks the same. However, when viewed at close range, they will feel very different in hand and in use. The only way to experience this difference is to go to your local tool supplier and test it yourself. Does the handle fit your hand? Does the saw feel well-balanced and weigh the right amount? Are you satisfied with the visibility of the blade and adjustment parts?
Good handle shape and good balance can make the saw more comfortable and effective to use, so please don’t ignore these functions when choosing a circular saw.
Most circular saws with sufficient power and high-quality saw blades can make enough cuts, but for long-term satisfaction, you may need to look for the following features:
Saw feet are made of cast magnesium instead of pressed steel
Electric brake can quickly stop the blade
Preset bevel stop on the saw foot (22 1/2 and 45 degrees are most useful)
Spindle lock simplifies blade replacement
Built-in work light illuminates the workpiece
Laser guide helps keep the saw blade aligned
Corded and cordless
Like most power tools, circular saws are now available in corded plug-in models as well as cordless models that are powered by batteries. Until recently, corded models were much better for continuous, heavy-duty cutting, but the latest innovations in battery technology have narrowed the performance gap between corded and cordless models. Still, a DIYer who only owns a circular saw may want a plug-in corded model that will provide more lasting power. But for DIYers who can afford two saws, adding a cordless saw allows you to work where there is no plug-in socket.
Many tool manufacturers now provide power tools that use the same battery. If you already have multiple tools from one manufacturer, adding a cordless electric circular saw that uses the same battery is an economical option.
Always follow the equipment manufacturer’s operating, maintenance and safety instructions, including the instructions on the safety gear.
The precautions of using circular saw
How to use a circular saw safely
It is especially important to wear goggles when operating an electric circular saw. In order to use the circular saw safely, please select the saw blade suitable for the job, then use the spindle nut to fix it firmly on the saw, and then adjust the height and inclination of the base plate according to the needs of the job. When preparing to cut, insert the electric saw into the power socket, hold the handle firmly, align the saw blade with (not touching) the mark to be cut, press the safety switch, and then press the trigger switch. Slowly follow the cutting mark. When you are almost done, make sure that the end of the felled wood is held and will not chip due to unsupported weight. For safety, please remember that teeth are sharp and do not place them on surfaces that may damage the teeth.
How to maintain a circular saw
Circular saws need to be cleaned regularly with an unused paint brush or air source to remove wood chips. You can professionally polish higher-quality circular saw blades as needed. Cheap blades are more economical to replace.