Everything You Need to Know About Circular Saws!
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There are some tools that, once you start using them, you wonder how you ever got by without them. If you are a woodworker, or you like to get into DIY around the home, you will already have a selection of saws. But, have you got a circular saw? It’s certainly not the first type of saw that comes to mind when you are thinking of investing in new power tools, but there are many reasons why you might need one.
What is a Circular Saw?
It is exactly what it says: a saw that has a circular blade with teeth for cutting, powered by an electric motor, and usually hand-held. You can get circular saws that are mounted on the bench – and some of the hand-held saws offer this option – but the usual way to use one is with two hands, and you’ll find that they cut through all thicknesses of wood very easily.
Their effectiveness comes via the method of cutting – the circular disc blade spins forwards and down – so they make cutting simple and require a lot less effort than other types of saw. If, for example, you are cutting straight lines with a regular hand saw, you need to start thinking again! What else do you need to know about circular saws? Before we go on to tell you more about them, you will some good reviews of circular power saws covered by Woodwork Nation which is an authority site on the subject.
More About Circular Saws – What to Look For
There are many brands and models to choose from when investigating circular saws, so we thought it best to highlight some of the things you should look for when making a shortlist.
Corded or Cordless?
The first thing to consider is whether you want to have a cordless circular saw or one that plugs into a mains power point. The worming drive saw has very significant similarities with a simpler circular saw. Bob Robinson, a tool expert, said that “the main difference is the position of the blade, as well as the way that you grip them relative to the cutting surface.” There are advantaged and disadvantages to each, so let’s have a look at them.
01. Corded Circular Saw
First, with a corded circular saw machine, you have the restriction of a power cable attached at all times. This can be extended with extension cables, but it is still restrictive. The cable means that you can only use your saw in a certain distance of the power source. The plus side is that you can use it for any amount of time and – as there is no battery incorporated – it will be lighter to handle than a cordless model.
02. Cordless Circular Saw
Many people do prefer the cordless circular saw for the following reasons: it can be used anywhere at any time and is completely portable. It can be used indoors or outdoors, and is just as powerful as a corded model, but you will find they come with a smaller blade than the mains-powered versions, something that is worth considering. Also, they need recharging every now and then – and quite often in fact if you are using it constantly – so you either need to take time out or invest in a spare battery or two.
The size of the blade is a very important factor when buying a circular saw machine. The sizes of circular saws can vary and – as mentioned above – cordless saws tend to have smaller diameter blades. For the record, a full-sized circular saw will most likely have a blade that measures 7.25”. This will enable you to cut a depth of up to 3”, which should be sufficient for most jobs, even commercial ones. However, a cordless saw – and some of the corded models – will have a blade of only 6.25”. If you are using your saw for home DIY, cutting 2’x4’ plywood sheets for example, this will be more than enough for the job.
The smaller circular saw blade models will naturally be lighter than the full-size circular saw, so this may be the choice for you if you only intend to use it for domestic work. However, if there is a larger blade model within your budget, it might be worth considering it just in case you need to cut deeper at any time. Also, check the material that the blade is made from; you really want one that is carbide-tipped for home use jobs, as these are the most efficient and will last longer.
As with all power tools, the safety features on a circular saw are among the most important considerations of all. Before we mention them, always make sure you wear protective goggles and gloves when using power saws, be careful with them, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
The most important feature you should look for – and in fact insist upon – is an electric brake. We cannot stress how important this is. It works as follows: to operate the saw, you need to hold down the ‘trigger’; when you release the trigger, the current to the saw blade is instantly reversed, stopping the blade from turning. We believe that most of the models on the market will have this feature, and we recommend you walk away from any that do not.
Without an electric brake, the saw blade will continue rotating for some time after the trigger is dropped. This is a dangerous situation and needs to be avoided. Also, do not let children near a circular saw, as they are inherently dangerous devices if used incorrectly or switched on by accident.
A circular saw is a great tool to have among your woodworking kit, and one that you will find is invaluable when indulging in DIY around the home. It’s easy to use, versatile and not at all expensive when you consider the time saved on your jobs, and it will encourage you to get involved in jobs that you may previously have avoided. Check out circular saws now, and see what you can find within your budget, and we hope we have helped you understand what these versatile tools are capable of and how they can help you with your woodworking.