How to operate a circular saw

What is a circular saw for wood, what jobs it can do, as well as the device and varieties

Circular (circular) saw is an indispensable tool in the carpentry workshop and a good helper for home and construction work. This article discusses everything you need to know about this type of tool, from the device and principle of operation to the characteristics that you should pay attention to when buying, first of all.

A circular saw is a specialized tool, mainly designed for sawing wood and wood products. Structurally, it can be divided into the following types:

A metal disk with circularly arranged teeth is used as a cutting element in all cases.

Circular saw can do wood resawing to a depth of 60-70 mm, some craftsmen even manage to saw evenly with a circular saw bar 100×100 or 150×150 logs with special devices.

The product can also be used to cut plywood, laminated chipboard, hardboard, fibreboard and even soft metals. The main thing is to choose the right circular saw blade for every cutting task and to use the right sawing technique and accessories.

Main malfunctions and their symptoms

Typical malfunctions of handheld circular saws include the following situations.

  • Saw does not turn on. Malfunctioning mains cord, power plug, start button or electric brushes.
  • The tool motor gets very hot. These symptoms may be caused by an inter-turn short circuit (open circuit) in the armature or stator coils or by the unit running too hard.
  • Unit gearbox overheats. The unit may overheat due to bearing failure or lack of lubrication of the gears.
  • Brushes are sparking. This is usually due to excessive wear and tear.
  • A burning ring is visible around the engine manifold. If a circular spark is seen around the engine collector when the machine is running, the spark may be caused by a faulty armature winding or graphite dust clogging the space between the collector lamellae.
  • The machine does not develop the required power. Loss of power may be caused by mains voltage drop, defective motor windings, worn brushes, defective start button.
  • A grinding or other noise is heard when the machine is running. These symptoms can be caused by broken gear teeth or faulty bearings.
  • Engine hums, but unit does not run. Maybe there is a blockage in the gearbox.

Step by step algorithm for beginners: from preparation to starting and stopping the saw

The following tips and tricks are helpful for beginners and advanced circular saw users alike.

Let’s say you need to saw sheet plywood. What is needed for this?

operate, circular
  • A plywood sheet is fixed on the workbench with a clamp, so that part of the plywood is above the table.
  • Checks stability of table and workpiece.
  • There must be no foreign objects or debris under the plywood.
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Next, work with a circular saw, which is divided into two steps:

Setting of the circular saw is the adjustment of the necessary gap between the guide pin (aka riving knife) of the circular saw and the saw blade. The distance between the edge of the hairpin and the teeth of the circular saw must not exceed 0.25 mm. Otherwise the circular saw blade will start to vibrate.

Most circular saws are sold with a locked pin, but after several years of use the pin will wear out and play will appear. If the circular saw is new, it is simply necessary to carry out a control test.

A complete check of the circular saw is as follows:

  • The machine is gripped with the blade pointing away from you. Of course, there must be no one in front of the master.
  • Disc rotation button is pressed. It should be pressed “giving way” to the acceleration of the disc, release it and then press it again. The sound from the rotation is uniform, with no extraneous noise, and the circular saw is easy to hold.

Types of work to be done

The following jobs can be done with circular saws:

  • If two workpieces are stacked in the same plane, they can be faced back to back. The same can be done on a wide board by placing the special stop on the board.
  • Wooden boards can be trimmed if they need to be laid butt to butt, such as when laying floors.
  • The end of the board can be chamfered or beveled.
  • You can make longitudinal and cross cuts at an angle.
  • Quartering or grooving can be done from timber or boards.
  • Sheet material can be cut in any direction with a special guide.
  • The circular can cut plastic or any hard polymer.
  • Manual circular saw can be mounted on a carriage or table for stationary use.

Types of work

The scope of a circular saw depends on its size and type.

Hand-held circular saw

These power saws are designed for making precise, straight cuts in thin lumber. Handheld circular device is small and most often used for work at home.

Small equipment for sawing wood is necessary for interior construction. Handheld circular saws are often used during repairs to cut laminate or wall finishing material.

Circular saw

Stationary circular saws are equipment for daily use. These professional machines are capable of processing a large amount of wood in a day. They have a fairly large weight. more than 10 kilograms and high power up to 2500 watts.

Circular machine

Circular machines are mainly used in manufacturing plants for industrial purposes. The cost of such a device is quite high. Some small models of circular equipment also have the function of stationary use. They are successfully used in home workshops.

The nuances of additional functions

Modern models of circular saws are safe equipment with high technical parameters. Many devices are equipped with additional features that make the work process much easier:

  • Sliding clutch. Such a device allows you to avoid injury if the disc jams. With a clutch, the jolt when the rotating mechanism stops can be greatly reduced.
  • Soft start. This feature allows the disc to pick up speed without jerking. Softstart prevents machine from jolting, which has a positive effect on the engine’s service life.
  • Overload protection. Automatic shutdown if motor reaches critical values.
  • Maintains correct disc speed. When the load is applied while cutting dense materials, power is automatically added. Keeps disc speed from dropping.
  • Rapid braking. Disc stops sharply on pressing release button.
  • Locking start buttons. This feature prevents the tool from starting up if the switch is accidentally pressed. It is usually set by pressing two buttons at the same time.
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Cutting depth adjustment feature on all circular saw models. When buying equipment, it is recommended to pay attention to the convenience and accuracy of fixing.

Cutting metal with a band saw

Band saws for wood are not used for cutting metal because of their flimsy construction. Also their cutting speed is too high for this application. Therefore, there are special band saws for metal, both stationary and handheld.

Metal band saw machine is powerful equipment, capable of cutting both ferrous and nonferrous metals. Also workpieces made of plastics can be cut on these machines.

When cutting metal on a stationary machine, the workpiece is firmly clamped to the work table of the unit to increase the accuracy of the cut. Also the machine is equipped with a water cooling system, because the blade during the sawing process tends to heat up. With this system, the coolant is pumped directly to the place of cutting. Hand band saws also have high cutting power (approx. 710 W). It can be used both in manual mode and in stationary mode. The machine is equipped with a quick-action clamping mechanism that securely clamps the workpiece.

The following photo shows the clamping mechanism of the tubes. In this case, the unit is used as a pendulum saw, but already a band.

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The following photos show how metal is cut with a band saw in a manual mode.

How to use a circular saw

How to choose a quarter in a board with a circular saw?

To do this, the correct depth of cut is set. For cutting a quarter of size 20×20 the disk should leave the platform at 20-22 mm (the addition to the uneven surface of the board). For felling square-side quarter, for example 15×20, the depth adjustment is set twice for each size, to 15-16 mm and 20-22 mm.

Subsequently, the operation is performed in the same way as sawing edged board: at the required distance the guide bar is set on two rods, sawing is done on a wide plane. Then the board is placed on an edge and a second kerf is made.

Since the edge is narrow, difficulties may arise. on some models, the guide bar may not be pulled close to the platform. In this case, screw clamps or self-drilling screws are used to fix the board (or plank) with a bar, which increases the width to the desired size.

If it is not possible to make a cut along the edge with a guide, it can be made by pencil marking. It is difficult to hold a circular saw on the edge of a narrow board (20-30 mm). In such cases, it is sometimes more convenient to either screw a support bar, or place the workpiece between two bars (boards) on which the saw platform will move.

operate, circular

Electric bench circular saw for woodworking

The assortment of electric devices for sawing is quite large. Among the current models an inviolable place is taken by the circular saw, which is used in furniture production, construction works. The final function is performed by the planer.

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Its work is familiar to carpenters who work in a modest scale woodworking enterprises, or owners of home workshops. The units perform an impressive amount of work, in comparison with their manual counterparts.

To make a cut at the required angle, a table circular saw is used, which easily copes with the work of the longitudinal and transverse direction.

It is necessary to clarify what is the functional purpose of the model, which allows you to divide them into:

Stationary set of wood machine has different design characteristics, it can be of two types:

In both cases the principle of operation is standard.

The equipment is purchased for the processing of boards, as well:

The capabilities of the described tool are significantly expanded by special cutting discs. They are installed with the purpose of sawing even high-density raw materials. The above properties explain the high popularity of the wood circular saw.

Average weight of the circular saw reaches about 20 kg, cutting depth varies between 40-80 mm.

The circular machine described here is characterized by low power. The cost is low, convenient for home use. Among the advantages of the proposed option is not only compact dimensions:

  • it is inexpensive;
  • It can be assembled in a small area, often placed in private workshops, up to miniature backrooms;
  • allows you to handle small workpieces, whose width does not exceed 30-62 cm.

Features of operation

Now it is time to touch upon some questions about the operation of sawing machines.


How to take care of the machine?In the periodic filling of bearings with solidol, run-out control of the electric motor and saw shafts, inspection of the sawing disk. When the teeth are blunted, the quality of wood cutting and sawing speed deteriorate sharply, which should also be a wake-up call for the owner.

Saw blades with cracks are to be replaced immediately and unconditionally; blades with discoloration are also better to be avoided.

If the machine operates noisily, it is sufficient to fill the bearings with solidol.

Which wood circular saw blade to choose for the cleanest cut??

The saw to the right-hand side produces a cleaner cut.

  • From a reputable manufacturer (Bosh, Makita, etc.).д.). Of course, their price is higher than the products of no-name Chinese factories, but the costs are offset by a much longer life.

Can a circular saw be used for milling solid wood, plywood, etc.?д.?

You can, but with extreme caution because this job involves removing the guard.

  • The workpiece is fed at minimum speed and without pressure in a direction parallel to the axis of rotation.
  • Wear safety glasses.
  • Gloves are strictly prohibited. they can be pulled under the disk.
  • Hands kept as far away from the saw as possible.

Spikes on furniture parts can be selected without a milling machine.

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