A portable circular saw is a powerful, noisy, dust-spewing machine that can inflict serious injuries if not used properly. If you are a DIY person and wants to learn how to properly use a portable circular saw, here are some tips you should know before using one.

  1. Saw Inspection

Before you cut or try to run your saw, it is important to do a safety check on the saw. Be sure that your lower blade guard retracts smoothly and snaps back when released. Check for broken teeth and replace the blade if there’s any damage. If you are using a corded saw, make sure to check the power cord for cracks. If you are using cordless saw, make sure the battery is fully charged. Remember to unplug the cord or remove the battery before loosening, tightening or changing the blade.


  1. Blade Checking

The condition of the blade is very important, it will determine the quality and the speed of the cutting process. We recommend that you don’t cut with a dull, rusty or damaged blade. We recommend that you use a thin-kerf carbide tipped combination blade which can be used for crosscuts and ripped cuts in solid wood and plywood. With the saw unplugged or the battery removed, adjust the saw depth of the cut so the blade extends no more than ¼ inches past the board edge.


  1. Saw Positioning

There are no hard-and-fast rule regarding which direction to make the cut, but whenever possible position the saw with its motor facing towards the larger section of the board isn’t falling away when cutting. That way, the saw’s base plate will be supported throughout the cut.


  1. Accurate and Easy Cross Cuts

Making perfectly square cross cuts with a circular saw is easy, if you guide the saw with a layout square. Hold the saw in place with its blade right on the cut line. Then slide the square against the saw’s base plate and press it tightly against the edge of the board. Check that the blade isn’t contacting the board then squeeze and trigger and allow the saw to reach full speed. Now simply guide the saw to produce a clean cut.


  1. Prevent Binding

When cutting plywood or paneling, it is important to use proper support to eliminate dangerous kickbacks which occurs when the blade gets pinched in the cut. Place four 2x4s under the sheets you are cutting spacing one 2x4 close to each side of the cut line. Then when you make the cut, both of the halves of the plywood will be supported by the 2x4 throughout the cutting process.

Check out the next 5 on this blog series, 10 tips novices should know before using circular saws.