First appearing in the 18th century in the sawmills, circular saws have come a long way to become a necessity of every industry dealing in wood or steel cutting. However, such saws are suitable for a lot of other works, and this circular saw buying guide will help you choose one.
A circular saw is currently the most used hand-operated power tool. As its name suggests, it features a circular blade that rotates in a circular motion to rip through plastic, wood, metal, bricks, cement blocks, and so on.
If you are a professional worker and looking to simplify your work, you should buy a circular saw. With so many brands launching saws and labeling each as the best circular saws, it has become difficult to conclude anything.
To help you choose the best circular saw here’s a detailed circular saw buying guide that focuses on every aspect of the same. Check out this guide before spending your hard-earned money.
Basics of Circular Saw
There are tons of saws that you will find in the market. However, a circular saw is the most widely used. It’s an ideal saw for both professional construction work and DIY home improvements as it is easy to use and safer.
The basic construction of the circular saw is a sharp circular or round blade with sharp teeth guarded under the blade guard. Such sharp teeth can easily rip apart materials such as metals, plastic, slate, wood, bricks, and much more.
What is the best thing about such saws is that you can either mount them over a table or operate them by hand. Talking about their power source, most of the saws run on sources like a lithium-ion battery, gasoline, or hydraulics.
Of all these, the electricity or battery-powered ones are the first preference of many due to their ease of use and storage. Let’s now understand the important parts of a circular saw and its uses.
While cutting any material using a saw, the bevel angle is very important. To adjust it, there is a bevel adjustment on every circular saw. In most of the saws, it is present in the front of the saw and a little to the side. It is an important component of the circular saw as it helps the worker make angles with the material while cutting it.
The plate surrounds the saw from all sides. You can find it in the middle of the saw. The basic function of the plate is that it allows the worker to fix the saw on a surface. Furthermore, the plate also acts as a guide for the saw while moving over the cutting material.
Blade covers protect the user from the sharp blades of this commonly used power tool. They cover the blade from top and bottom. In the front, there is a small opening for cutting purposes. This blade guard offers protection to both the user and other objects around it. Besides, it prevents the debris from flying around.
You can use the bolt clamp to fix the blade to the circular saw’s body.
The circular blade is perhaps the most important component of the setup. There are different types of blades for different materials. Further, you must ensure that the blade size must match the size of the blade guard. You can change the blade using the bolt clamp only.
Though the earlier versions of circular saws come with cords, today, you can also find heavy-duty cordless circular saws. Such saws are easier to store and carry from one place to another.
As its name suggests, the handle is what you hold while using the saw. In today’s models, you get ergonomic handles that are more comfortable to hold and use.
Power switch & trigger
The power switch turns the saw on or off. On the other hand, the trigger can also be used for a similar purpose. It is located under the handle. However, in modern saws, you get electric brakes for convenience. So, these are the important components of a circular saw.
Choosing the Power Source
As said above, there are multiple power sources available to use your circular saw. From simple gasoline to electricity to lithium-ion batteries, you have several options to choose from. However, when and for what purpose you will use your saw will determine the power supply you would need. For example, below are two more types.
Cordless Circular Saw
When you have to use the saw in a small space, you must go for a cordless one. They are much smaller than the corded ones and, thus, lighter. However, they are only suitable for wood-related work due to their limited battery capacity.
If you try to use them for a metal job, it will drain their battery quickly. Hence, cordless & battery-operated saws are best for small and less tough materials.
Corded circular saw
A corded circular saw, on the other hand, is much bigger, heavy-duty, and an ideal choice for tough materials such as metal. They are usually 7-¼” in length. Hence, if you are cutting less tough materials in a small space, go for a cordless saw. For tough materials and more space, use a corded circular saw.
Considering the Features
When you are buying a circular saw, make sure to check out the following features.
The blade capacity of your circular saw will determine the maximum depth of cut. As a thumb rule, the higher the blade capacity, the deeper the cut. The most common blade size is 7-1/4 inches.
In cordless circular saws, the power is in volts and amps for the corded ones. The higher either of these, the more the cutting power.
Electric brakes are one of the most important features of a saw. These stop the blades in less than a second or two.
The ergonomics of a circular saw determine how comfortable the user is with the saw.
Shaft locks or spindle is the component that lets you change the blade as and when required.
The bevel capacity determines the maximum bevel cuts your circular saw can make.
As the name suggests, laser guides help the user or worker cut the material with more accuracy.
Circular Saw Blades
As mentioned initially, the blade is the most important component of your circular saw. It comes in different sizes and types for different materials. Some of its common types are:
- High-speed steel blades that are harder and stay hard for a long time.
- Carbide-tipped blades, though expensive, provide you with better cuts and remain sharper for a longer time.
- Tile cutting blades w/ diamond tips are suitable for cutting ceramic tiles.
- Masonry blades are used for cutting materials like concrete, brick, cinder block, etc. They have a coating of abrasive material over them.
A must-have for professional workers, a circular saw is an excellent tool to simplify your work. If you’re buying a circular saw for the first time, give a read to this detailed circular saw buying guide. I hope this helps you choose the best circular saws for your work.
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