How to use a circular saw

How to use a circular saw

Just like other power tools, a circular saw can make your “do it yourself” lifestyle a lot easier. Why? Because its blade can swish through a board – even the thickest piece of wood- in seconds. It’s handy for cutting wide two by six boards; thick, square four by four’s; and other pieces of wood that would bog down other power saws. A circular saw can also cut through large sheets of plywood, paneling, and pressed wood with ease.

Anytime before you start to use this type of power tool, you should always put on a pair of safety goggles. It’s also a good idea to wear a mask over your nose and mouth in order to keep the wood dust from getting into your lungs. For your safety, you should also make sure that all guards on the saw are in place and are working properly.

Then, before you turn the circular saw on, check the blade. Different thicknesses of wood require different toothed blades. Thick pieces of wood can be cut with a blade that has large teeth. Thin materials such as plywood, paneling, and pressed wood need a blade that has very thin teeth. Also, check the blade on the circular saw to see if it’s sharp and in good shape.

After you have determined that the blade is right for the job, you need to examine the thickness of the wood that you’re going to cut. Adjust the blade so that its depth is approximately a quarter of an inch more than the thickness of the material. This way, not only will the saw cut smoother, but it will also reduce the possibility of a “kickback”. A kickback can happen when the blade gets stuck or otherwise hung up in the wood.

Besides the blade being set incorrectly, kickbacks can be caused by hitting a knot or a foreign object such as a nail, screw, et cetera, in the wood. The circular saw then “kicks back” or “jumps” towards you. The danger here is that you can lose control of the saw and the exposed blade can injure you.

When you finally grab this power tool to use it, keep in mind that you must keep its electrical cord out of the way at all times while you are using it! Hold the circular saw firmly with both hands on the handles. Plant both of your feet flat on the floor, and position the saw at the edge of the wood piece to be cut. Check to make sure that children and pets are away from the area you’re working in. Remember to keep your fingers and hands away from the blade while it’s turning.

Then, turn the power tool on. Circular saws are designed to make straight cuts, not curved or rounded cuts. Therefore, in order for the saw to work correctly, you’ll need to guide it on a straight path across the material. Don’t force it as you can bend or bind the blade! Instead, gently guide it along as it cuts through the wood.

If the saw gets hung up in the wood, immediately shut the saw off. Then, use a scrap stick of wood to free the blade from the wood. For your safety, never use your bare hands to either unstick the circular saw or to clear a piece of wood from its blade!

After you’ve finished cutting the wood, continue to hold the saw firmly until the blade has quit turning. Then, set it aside and out of the way.

Finally, before you perform any type of maintenance on a circular saw, unplug it from the electrical outlet so it can’t be accidentally turned on while you’re working on it.


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