How to Use a Circular Saw

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The circular saw is one of the handiest portable power tools, but it is potentially very dangerous. Be sure you understand how to use this tool safely.

Things You'll Need

  • Work Gloves
  • Measuring Tapes
  • Circular Saws
  • Dust Masks
  • Safety Goggles
  • Saw Blades - Circular
  • Make sure you are using the correct blade and that it's properly seated and tightened. Always use a sharp blade. Dull blades bind and overheat.

  • Check the blade guard. Is it in good shape and functioning properly?

  • Set the depth of the blade to no more than 1/4 inch more than the thickness of the wood to be cut. The workpiece is more likely to kick back if you have too much blade exposed.

  • Support the work on both sides. Clamp it on one side if you have to.

  • Look for knots and nails before you begin. Avoid them if possible; if they cannot be avoided, be cautious when approaching them.

  • Start the blade before it meets the work.

  • Stand to the side when you saw in case the wood is kicked back, and don't over-reach. You should always have both feet planted firmly on the floor.

  • Don't push the saw, just guide it with a little pressure.

  • Let go of the trigger if the blade binds, and stick a wooden shim in the cut to release it.

  • Wait for the blade to stop before removing it from the wood.

Tips & Warnings

  • Familiarize yourself with your saw. Read the owner's manual carefully and heed all safety suggestions.
  • Wear goggles and a dust mask when operating your circular saw.
  • Never saw wet wood.

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