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Among the portable power tools that do-it-yourselfers must have, the circular saw is a must. Find out what you need to know to choose a model that suits your needs.

How to choose a circular saw

Conventional or diving circular saw

Behind the name "circular saw" are two types of power tools:

  • conventional circular saws and
  • the diving circular saws

Between these two machines, the difference is made at the cutting. In its classic version, the latter must be initiated from the edge of the piece to be cut.
A plunge saw is used to cut a panel in full wood. Convenient to cut a worktop to embed a sink.

Wired or wireless model

How to choose your cutting tool

Power tool par excellence, the circular saw has long been proposed with a wire feed. Today, many manufacturers present models running on 18V battery. A power closer and closer to wired models, and enough for many jobs.
If a single battery can satisfy most cutting jobs, it is advisable, for important work, to own a second one.

Power adapted to the needs

Classic or diving, when choosing, you have to take into account the power of the machine and its depth of cut according to its frequency of use.
On the power side, for occasional use, a 1200 W wire saw is perfect. It is used to cut soft woods and wood-based panels. For regular use or to cut hardwood species, a minimum power of 1600 W is recommended. Finally, if the choice is for a model of wireless circular saw, it should be noted that the manufacturers indicate the power of the battery in volt.

The right depth of cut

Second point to take into account: depth of cut to cut a wooden panel in one pass. Depending on the model of circular saw, and the diameter of the blade that it can receive, the cutting depth varies from 45 mm to 66 mm for straight cuts. Values ​​that are lower for bias cuts. Thus, for a 45° cut, these values ​​are reduced to 32 mm and 50 mm.

Accessories that make cutting easier

For an accurate cut, it is best to avoid freehand cuts.

  • This is why a circular saw is usually delivered with a lateral cutting guide (or lateral guide). If this accessory proves practical, it is however limited. Depending on the model, it can guide the circular saw between 150 and 200 mm from the edge of the cutting board.
  • Plunge saws can also be equipped with a non-slip cutting rail.
  • Other accessories that can guide the choice of the machine, LEDs that illuminate the area to be cut or a laser that guides the cut on a mark previously drawn.
  • Finally, all are equipped with an output of connection to a construction vacuum cleaner. Indispensable for interior work.

The importance of the blade

Essential complement to all circular saws, the blade should not be neglected. The difference between these is at the level of form and Number of teeth.

  • The most common is the steel blade with serrated teeth. More economical, it is suitable for small jobs.
  • For a cleaner and easier cut, a serrated blade is more appropriate. It is also more resistant, ideal for frequent use.
In all cases, the number of teeth at its importance. The more they are (from 20 to 60), the more precise the cut is.
According to the model of circular saw, the diameter of the blade, that of the bore must be taken into account (central hole) of the latter.

Think about your safety.

A circular saw is a noisy machine. Plan for earplugs or a hard hat. Also protect your eyes from wood dust with goggles adapted.


Video Instruction: How to Use a Circular Saw. Everything you need to know in about 10 min