Circular saws are one of the most popular tools used in woodworking. They are versatile, being able to make a lot of different cuts and they also pack a lot of power.
They are also not very bulky and can be rather easy to use once you get used to them, which doesn’t take very long with proper practice.
So, if you’re new to woodworking and decided to get a circular saw, where do you start? Here are some tips to find the best circular saw for woodworking that will point you in the right direction and help you pick a circular saw that fits your particular needs.
Best Circular Saw For Woodworking Tips
1. Choose the right blade type
Because circular saws are used to cut many different materials apart from wood, they come equipped with different type of blades each of which are suited for a certain type of material. When it comes to wood, you will have a few choices depending on the type of wood you’re working with.
If you’re okay with rough cuts then a regular construction blade with less than 40 teeth will suffice. But if you need to make fine cuts then you will need a plywood blade which has upward of 160 teeth.
2. Choose a proper sized blade
The size of the blade is also just as important as its type. The most common size for cutting all materials is a 7-¼ inch blade.
This is capable of cutting through thick wood and will give you some options when you need to work on other materials. But if you’re only working on thinner sheets of wood, then you can go with a cheaper smaller blade.
But it’s always safe to buy a bigger blade and adjust the depth rather than having a smaller blade that might not be suitable for certain materials.
3. Pay attention to the controls
All circular saws have certain controls which let you set your depth and bevel angle. You want to make sure that these controls are stable and hold even under heavy load.
Failing to do so would result in uneven cuts and sometimes ruining the whole material. Also, see to it that they are easy to adjust and accurate.
4. Decide the amount of power you would need
Having a sufficiently powerful motor is essential to get a well finished product out of the saw. If the motor is underpowered, you might still be able to finish the cut but the machine will struggle and might cause frequent bogging down or a faster deterioration of the blade.
The parameters you should pay attention to are, amps which determine the amount of current the machine can operate with and horse power or HP in short which is the amount of power that is passed on to the blade under no-load conditions.
In general, it is better to have a slightly more powerful saw than what your work would need as this would ensure a smoother experience and greater longevity.
5. Cordless vs corded
In the recent years, there has been a resurgence of cordless technology when it comes to saws and circular saws have also adopted this.
The greatest benefit of having a cordless saw is the convenience. They operate on batteries and are not limited by a cord in their operational space.
They are also much easier to carry around and operate. But this does come with a significant loss in raw power output.
This means that if you want to get some serious work done or you’re working on harder/thicker wood, then a cordless saw might not be adequate for your needs or you will have to spend a lot more to get the amount of power you’d need.
Corded saws are less convenient but they are relatively cheaper and more powerful. But the choice entirely depends on the type of environment and work you’re dealing with.
It is very easy to tell how much effort has been put into a saw by looking at the implementation of its safety features.
There is no getting around the fact that, operating a circular saw or any saw for that matter carries a certain amount of risk with it.
Look at the quality of the blade guard and always get something with a retractable blade guard as this would make depth adjustment so much easier.
Many modern circular saws also come with a trigger delay that ensures that accidental touches of the trigger switch do not turn on the saw.
This is a very important feature you must make sure your circular saw has as it is something that could prevent many accidents down the line.
Ultimately, a circular saw is just a tool which you’re using to make your work easier. So, it is important that while using it might not be enjoyable, it should at least not be a chore.
Modern circular saws come with some convenience features that make them much more comfortable to use like blade lock which completely locks the driver making it both safer and easier to change the blade.
Anything from a better designed handle to better positioned controls could make your time a lot easier in the long run and must be considered during purchase.
These tips to find the best circular saw for woodworking are a combination of general information about different parameters that are essential to choosing a circular saw that is right for your particular work flow and hopefully it has helped you do the same.