A circular saw is a power tool capable of cutting materials and delivering excellent results, but if you don’t use it properly, accidents could happen in the blink of an eye.
To help you through the cutting process, we’ve put together everything you need to know about how to use the circular saw safely.
Got your circular saw ready? Then let’s begin!
How to Use A Circular Saw Safely
Step by Step Instructions for Beginners
Preparation is essential for many things, and it is no different for using a power tool. Follow the next steps to set everything in its place before doing the cutting.
Step 1: Make Yourself Comfortable With The Saw
If you’re reading these lines, it means that you’ve probably bought a new circular saw recently, or at least you’re interested in this power tool and its functionality. Either way, you should know that there are plenty of models available, but most of them share a similar design.
To operate this type of saw, you’ll grab it by each of its handles, front and rear. Then, pushing the trigger will get it running.
It is basic information, and while it might sound silly to say it, getting to know our tools is the very first step before learning how to use it properly. Furthermore, it allows us to know the best positions and movements to perform comfortably.
Step 2: Safety Gear for Power Tools
Watching experienced workers use the circular saw teaches us two things. First, they shed highly appreciated information about the tool, which is a proper learning method. Secondly, it shows that no matter how much experience you have, using the safety gear is a must for everyone.
Wear, at least, a pair of thick work gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes. If by any chance you consider the tasks will take longer, some ear muffs come in handy, too.
A dusk mask helps to keep sawdust away from your nose, and proper clothing for the task will allow you to move freely.
Finally, if your hair is long, it is a good idea to tie it back.
Step 3: Getting the Right Measurements
Use a ruler and a pencil to create a straight line. Try to make it as precise as possible, and cover the entire area where the saw will be cutting.
Drawing the line is a method to guide the saw during its operation, which is why you want to be sure to have a clear sight of it while handling the saw.
Step 4: Preparing the Material
There are two options here: you either place the material over a saw table or in between two sawhorses. Having complete support prevents slips, and it helps you do the cutting without uncomfortable movements.
Remember: although it might seem like it is the same, using a regular table instead of a saw table is not recommended. Without the proper tools, the saw could cut through the material and the table, as well.
If you don’t have any table then go through this article for learning to use the saw without a table.
Step 5: Adjusting the Lever
Adjust and use the saw’s central lever to have the blade set in place at the proper cutting depth.
Pulling the shoe lever between the pair of handles to the bottom allows the baseplate to disengage, letting it move freely. After that, put the baseplate against the material, and move the blade up or down to get it right below the material you intend to cut.
The correct blade setting below the bottom of the material is 1/8-inch -1/4-inch. Setting it deeper forces it to work harder and it leaves teeth exposed, too.
Also, using the correct depth allows you to make clean cuts reducing friction.
Step 6: Adjustments for Beveled Cuts
Adjusting the pivoting scale angles the blade and it will allow you to create beveled cuts.
Twisting the knob at the front counterclockwise should unlock the scale found around the blade. Then, you can do two things: either slide the scale to one of the angle presets on the frame, or place it at any point of the way to produce custom cuts.
After finding the perfect angle, turn the knob again to lock the scale in its new place. Make sure to lock the scale before activating the saw. If it isn’t, it might move during the operation.
A Successful Cutting Process
Now that you’ve got everything ready to go, then it’s time to start cutting. Let’s go through the process to make a successful cut.
Step 1: Using the Saw
The line on the baseplate which is labeled “0” must be over the cutting line you drew early on.
Right on the front of the baseplate’s edge, you’ll find a notch that has bold lines on each side. At the left side, you’ll have the line labeled “0”. It works as a guiding point for the blade when you set it to 90 degrees.
On the other hand, the “45” labeled line at the right is to produce beveled cuts at an angle of 45 degrees.
Step 2: Getting the Blade Going
Now, pull the trigger at the rear handle. It will activate the saw blade to start working.
However, there are some circular saws with another safety trigger at the top. If you have one of these saws, you must flip this trigger first before pulling the handle trigger.
After pulling the trigger, the blade will start spinning slowly. Wait a couple of seconds until it reaches its regular speed.
Considerations to keep in mind during this step;
- Make sure the material and the saw are at the proper place before pulling the trigger,
- For right-handed, grab the rear handle using the right hand, and your left for the front handle. Reverse the orientation if you’re left-handed instead.
However, the perfect blade ensure the better cut. So check your blade before starting if it is well sharped. If not then make sharpen the blade immediately for getting the perfect cut.
Step 3: Cutting Through the Material
Push the saw across the surface of the material in a slow and gentle movement. Using both hands is essential to handle the saw in a straight line. Keep track of the cutting line, and don’t put too much pressure over the saw. Maintain a natural movement as the blade cuts through.
Cutting is one of the dangerous moments you’ll face while using the circular saw. Keep your hands as far as possible from the blade while it works.
Step 4: Stopping the Blade
After each cut, release the trigger to slow down the blade and stop it. Keep your finger away from the saw’s trigger while you take the time to inspect the results, or to place the remaining material.
Step 5: Turning the Circular Saw Off
After finishing your work, inspect the blade guard to confirm it is locked in the proper position, which is down. If that’s correct, unplug the circular saw from the wall outlet.
Considerations to keep in mind during this step;
- Place the circular saw over a flat and stable surface, lying on one of its sides. The blade must be away from nearby objects.
- If there are children in the house, lock the circular saw up in a secured place where they can’t access it easily.
Using the circular saw and power tools, in general, should not be taken lightly. However, you should not fear them either. If you know how to use circular saw guide with the right preparation, it becomes easy to operate the saw successfully, and most importantly, safely.