How to Use a Circular Saw for Beginners

How to Use a Circular Saw for Beginners

If you are working in the timber industry, then you might not be new to the circular saw. In other regions, it is commonly referred to as the power saw. It derives its name from the fact that it is circular and that it runs on either gasoline or electric power.

Using this tool, especially for a beginner might not be a walk in the park. One may require to undertake some instructive lessons before deploying it. The machine can cause some harm if you do not know how to handle it. For this case, we are going to demonstrate the practical ways of using it in this article.

How to Use a Circular Saw for Beginners

There are a few simple steps to follow when using this tool. They include:

Set the saw

The first step is to ensure that it is in working condition. Fill it with gasoline, if it is powered by gas. Alternatively, connect it to a source of power in readiness for use.

Choose the right blade

The blades are not created in the same way. There are those with longer teeth and the other one is shorter. The longer the tooth, the better the cut you will receive. If you want to achieve the best results, then begin by choosing the right blade!

Adjust the depth of the blade

Lower the blade to about ¼” below the base of the timber. That is enough to cut the wood without any problem, and at the same time, it preserves the blade and the saw. Do not turn on the machine while adjusting the blade as it can be harmful.

Start the saw

Switch it on and move it to the material you are cutting, which could either be timber or metal. Let it run to its full capacity before starting to cut. That will help it generate clean and straight cuts. It also reduces the danger of making wrong cuts or harming yourself.


Circular blades make upstroke cuts. You should, therefore, place the wood on the floor to receive the best reduction. The diameter of the blade is about 1/8” in thickness. Avoid cutting onto the lineup or into the dimension. You should minimize to both sides on the line.

While the blade is still running at full speed, move the saw forwards and leave the edge to do the work.

Make sure that there is nothing beneath the piece of timber you are cutting that can damage the blade! Where possible, suspend the timber on another piece of wood as you work on it, maintaining a close eye as you near the end.

Things to Put Into Consideration Before Using the Circular Saw

You will require some prior preparation before using the saw. It can be wasteful or even harmful to start it if you are not ready to begin the task.

Make everything ready

It involves understanding how to operate it and maintenance as well. There are thousands of blades in the market today. They do have a standard operating procedure, but the operating buttons could be located differently. To understand everything, you have to go through the user manual that came with your tool. You can also refer to other sources such as the company website and YouTube links for more guidance.

Understand the safety issues

The blades are sharp and they can cause some serious damage within a flash of an eye. You should, therefore, understand all the security guidelines before operating it.

Remember to wear some strong protective gear for the job. Hand-gloves and eyeglasses will work well for you as it protects the essential parts in your body! If you will engage in the activity for quite some time, then it might also be necessary to wear some ear muffs.

Identify the cutting area

Using a ruler and a pencil, map out the exact point where the blade will pass through. Make some straight lines and sharp bends. In most cases, the circular saw is for cutting straight lines only. If you may be required to make curved cuts, then you may need to try other types of saws such as the jigsaw.

Use the saw table

Avoid undertaking the task from the floor or the ground as the chances of harming the blade are high. On the other hand, a perfect output needs a steady position. You can easily achieve that by using the table rather than the floor! It is also easier to support the piece of timber on the table than when it is on the ground. You can either make one at a furniture shop or even buy one from sites such as Amazon. Such tables cost less than $50.

Make the correct measurements of the depth to cut

Set your circular saw at a higher point than the size of the wood to cut. If you intend to saw a 2cm thick timber, then the saw blade should be around 2.36cm.

If you set it to equal sizes, then the blade might get stuck inside the wood leading to breakages or damages.

What are the uses of a circular blade?

It has several uses. You can cut out any of the following using this blade:

  • Metal
  • Plywood
  • Timber
  • Plastic
  • All kinds of wood designs (straight cuts)
  • Concrete, and so on

What is the best circular saw for a beginner?

There are several brands in the market today. User preference and past interactions with it also matter a lot. However, the following brands are considered to be the best for beginners:

  • DeWALT DCS7485B Flexvolt.
  • Skil 3410-02 Table Saw.
  • DeWALT DW745 Table Saw.
  • Shop Fox W1837 Open Stand.

The term “best”, however, can be relative as they are almost similar in operation and functionality. The difference will come in if the features of one brand will be too complicated for the beginner to comprehend and even implement!

Do I require a saw table?

Yes, you do need one. As we have seen from the article, you should avoid cutting the timber from the floor to protect the blade from damages. The table will also aid you in making straight and clean cuts.

What are the merits of a circular saw?

  • It can make up to nine types of cuts in different materials.
  • It can use any type of blade, especially heavy-duty ones.
  • It produces straight cuts, especially when the saw is running at full capacity.
  • It can cut several types of material such as wood, concrete, plastic, and metal.
  • It has a lot of power to make several cuts within a short time.

What can I use if I do not have a table saw?

You can use a track or any other guide if you do not have a table. If you do not mind having rougher cuts, then you can as well use a jigsaw to do the work.

The jigsaw, however, will not produce straight and clean cuts. That means you will have to look for the table by all means!


Using a circular saw as a beginner can sound to be hard initially. However, with a little exposure, you will find that it is the easiest thing to do. Do not forget to get all the necessary material and the correct protective gear before beginning the job. Also, make out the markings before cutting.

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