Circular saws are used a great deal in the
construction industry simply because
they give the operator flexibility.
Capable of being held in one hand even while making cuts,
a circular saw can easily adapt to a wide variety of materials
like wood, plastic, composite board and aluminum soffit
with a quick change of a blade.
A circular saw is also at the top of the list for dangerous
saws because it has a nasty kickback that
is directed backwards and towards the operator. There are some specific things to keep in mind when operating
a circular saw.
- Make sure the piece of wood you are cutting is held
securely in place. If the wood is moving while
making a cut is dramatically increases the chance of kickback.
- ALWAYS make sure the waste piece of wood
is free to fall after the cut is made. If you support a board
across two saw horses this means making the cut "outside" of
the two horses, not in the middle of them. This is GUARENTEED to
cause a kickback as the board binds the blade.
- Always push forward while making the cut.
If you stop or back up it is likely that you may have a binding
- Make sure the blade guard it in proper working
order. If it sticks in the up position an injury
can result from setting the saw down before the blade comes
to a stop.
This is by no means a complete safety list for a circular
saw but it does cover some of the bigger DON'Ts. Read the manual
that comes with your tools for full operating instructions.
For all the precautions that should be considered while operating
a circular saw it is a wonder that people still use them. The
truth is that if, like every other tool, it is operated in
the intended manner it is quite safe and the benefits it gives
makes it a great tool.
Circular saws also have a functional purpose in the shop.
When used with a guide
fence that is clamped onto the piece of wood it can make
an otherwise unmanageable job simple and quick. Trim
saw, which are smaller versions of circular saws are designed
specifically for these purposes.
variation to the circular saw is the panel saw. A panel
saw is a basic saw mounted onto a carriage that enables it
to cut perfectly square panels. Wood is place into the panel
saw in the standing or vertical position and the saw makes
the cuts using a downward direction of travel and takes advantage
of gravity to move the saw through the cut. Panel
saw kits are becoming quite popular since they are a
less expensive option then buying one from the factory.