How to Use a Circular Saw?

How to Use a Circular Saw?

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A circular saw is probably one of the handiest handheld power tools that you can have at your disposal. It is a portable tool, so you can practically use it anywhere, and it will help you with almost any project that requires cutting.

Throughout this article, we will demonstrate the best ways to use a circular saw.

The first step that you need to do is to purchase a circular saw that fits your dominant hand. There are saws made for left-handed people and saws for right-handed people. This will make a huge difference, as you will feel much more comfortable if you are holding the saw in your dominant hand.

Marking Your Cut

This is a critical step to get that smooth and accurate cut that we all want. Before you start cutting your piece of wood, you will need to mark your required cut. You should use a dark-colored marker to make the mark as visible as possible.


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Having an intense light is extremely important. You can direct a strong flashlight straight at the piece you are cutting. It will highlight your mark a lot more and make it even more visible.

Clamping Your Piece of Wood

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Clamping down and securing the pieces that you are cutting is a crucial step to achieve that perfect cut. It is also vital for your safety.

There are two different methods to cut a piece of wood. The first is to secure the piece of wood so that the side that you are cutting hangs freely, so when you finish cutting, it will fall down. The other step it to cut your piece of wood on the floor. However, you should always place a Styrofoam building insulation beneath you and beneath the piece that you are cutting to avoid any damage to the floor.

There are some things that you need to avoid, and they are: 

  • Clamping down both ends of your piece as this will lead to both of your halves binding. This will cause your saw to kickback, which may cause severe injuries.
  • Not supporting the off-cut piece. This will cause the piece’s end to either be broken or cracked, due to its weight not being supported.

The Cord

Cutting the cord is an issue that happens more often than one might think. As the cords of most saws are created to hang on the edge of the plywood, the best solution to this issue is to hang the cord over your shoulder. This method will stretch-out the cord and prevent it from being cut. It will reduce your cord-cutting percentage by 90%.

Follow Your Mark

Following your mark may not be as easy as it seems, however, the notches at the base of the saw will solve this issue. You will need to put your marker between the two notches, as that space between them is where the blade will cut.

Adjust the Depth of Your Cut

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This is one of the last steps that you have to perform before you start the actual cutting. You will have to place your whole saw above the piece you are cutting with the actual saw barely deeper than the thickness of the piece you are cutting. There is usually a scale that indicates the best setting for your required cutting thickness. The final step will be to lock down your saw.


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Safety is crucial when dealing with saws. You will have to wear all the appropriate safety attire. The first thing is safety goggles or face shields, as they will protect your face from any splinters. You should always wear gloves to protect your fingers and your hands. You must avoid wearing hand jewelry or ties or anything that might get stuck in the saw. If the piece you are cutting is dusty, then you should wear a dust mask.


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This is the most fun part of the process. You should firmly grip the saw with both hands, and then you will need to activate the saw by pulling the trigger on the rear handle. If your dominant hand is your right hand, then you have to control the saw’s rear with your right hand and place your left hand on the saw’s front. If your left hand is your dominant hand, then you will need to reverse this procedure.

You will need to push the saw downwards into the piece that you are cutting to make clean, accurate cuts. Moreover, you will need to follow the marks that you already made.

Final Thoughts

Finally, it is safe to say that operating a circular saw can be quite a daunting and dangerous job, but with the right steps and safety precautions. It will change from a tough task to a pleasant and fun experience.

Learn more about circular saw features and capabilities by reading our Circular Saw Buying Guide.

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