A circular saw is a hand-held electric saw that uses a flat circular blade to cut wood, metal, or plastic. Different circular blades are used depending on which material needs to be cut. It is designed for ripping and crosscutting materials that might be too large for a table saw. A circular saw is used for straight-line cutting only. The handle of the saw has an on/off switch and an arbor nut to hold the blade in place. This saw also has guards to protect the user from touching the blade while in use. These types of saws also have height/depth and bevel adjustments.
Why they are worth having
This is an extremely important tool to have if you’re working with large amounts of wood, metal of plastic that a simple table saw could not be used for. The circular saw is normally used for heavy work where stronger and thicker materials are being used. It is important, when using a Circular saw, to first inspect the wood (or other material being used) and remove all nails and screws before cutting. Serious accidents may occur if the rotating blade of a circular saw hits a steel screw or nail.
What you can use them for
The circular saw, as mentioned above, can be used for projects that require ripping and cross cutting, bevel cutting and plunge cuts. When ripping (or cutting), the material should be supported on a large table or on the floor, and several pieces of scrap wood should be placed underneath the wood for additional support. This scrap material should be at least 1″ thick in order to ensure that the saw’s blade does not cut through the surface below. For more narrow cuts/rips, first consult the rip guide that usually comes with your circular saw. If this guide is not included, it can be purchased separately. For wider cuts (such as plywood) clamp down a long metal rule or a straight piece of wood as a guide. It’s important that before you begin cutting, you adjust the saw’s depth of cut so the blade doesn’t cut through to the scrap wood or floor that you are using as support. Also ensure that the power cord is free and clear of the cut area so that doesn’t cause issues.
Bevel cuts (cuts that are not at right angles) are performed in the same way as crosscuts and rips. Again, make sure that the blade does not come into contact with the underlying supports or the scrap wood. Plunge cuts are when you begin the cut in the middle of the work, rather than at the edge. One example of a plunge cut is when you need to put a skylight into the middle a roof, rather than starting at the edge. First, mark the areas that you want to cut out, and then begin near the corner of one side and place the front edge of the saw base firmly on the wood. Lift up the saw guard using the correct procedure, and make sure that you have adjusted the depth of cut to a suitable depth. Make sure you consult the user’s manual so you are well aware of how to best use the circular saw.