When working with lumber, a portable circular saw is a very handy tool with a variety of uses.

What Is a Circular Saw

A circular saw is an electric saw that turns a round flat blade to cut wood, metal, or plastic depending on the blade selected. Circular saws have a handle with on/off trigger switch, an arbor nut to hold the blade in place, and guards to protect the operator from touching the spinning blade. In addition, circular saws have height/depth and bevel adjustments. Refer to the circular saw's operations manual for specifics.

How to Safely Use a Circular Saw

It is especially important to wear eye protection when operating an electric circular saw. To safely use a circular saw, select the blade appropriate to the job, firmly attach it to the saw using the arbor nut, then adjust the sole plate for proper height and bevel for the job. When ready to cut, plug the saw into an electrical outlet, firmly hold the handle, align the blade near (not touching) the mark to be cut, press the safety switch, then press the trigger switch. Slowly follow the cut mark. When nearly done, make sure the end of the wood being cut is held and will not splinter due to the unsupported weight. For safety, remember that the teeth are sharp and should not be placed on surfaces that they could damage.

How to Maintain a Circular Saw

Circular saws need periodic cleaning with an unused paint brush or an air supply to remove sawdust. Better-quality circular saw blades can be professionally sharpened as needed. Less-expensive blades are more economical to replace.

Tools Related to the Circular Saw

Other useful saws include various handsaws and reciprocal saws. The circular saw can be modified to cut several materials by selecting other circular blades.

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