A saw is one of the best power tools to have in your garage. There are quite a lot of saws in the market which have unique advantages. The circular saw is a saw which is very versatile and efficient. Even though they have a circle in their name, their main work is cutting straight lines. But even with our best efforts, it is never easy to cut straight with circular saws. So here, we have some excellent tips and steps to follow to how to cut straight with a circular saw. Also we advice you to see the comparison with miter saw as both can be used in similar way.
How To Cut Straight With A Circular Saw – Step By Step Guide
The name may have a circle in it, but the circular saw gets used for making straight cuts. The circular saw isn’t a tool that can make the straight cuts all by itself. It needs some reasonable effort from the user. The blade may wander away from the line to cut. Get the right circular saw for best results.
Then if we try to fix it back, the blade may wind. This causes a lot of problems. The user may lose time and waste the whole board too. So let’s see the steps which help us cut straight with a circular saw.
Total Time: 1 Hour
Step 1: Clamping The Material
The biggest worry for a user might be if the material moves while working on the cut. This may be a costly mistake, as it may result in a wrong cut. So make sure the material gets clamped. This can make the user forget worrying about the material and focus on the cut. Many experienced users do the cuts without any clamps. But securing it would give more stability and can help in the straight cuts.
Step 2: Positioning
After setting up the wood, the next work is the saw. The way we position it is essential for the cut we make. The saw also comes in two different types. They are the right hand and the left-hand circular saws. The right hand is best for right-handed people, and the left hand is for the left-handed. Getting the right type will give the user more grip while using the tool. A good sawhorse might also help with the grip.
Make sure there is an adequate gap between your line of sight and the saw. This will give better visibility of the cut, which may keep the user focused on the cut. Let the weight of your body rest on one leg. Keep the other leg straight and make sure to stand firm on the ground. All these are important to get the proper straight cut with your circular saw.
Step 3: Blade Depth
If the depth is not set right, it may not give the desired result. There are even chances of the cut getting skewed. Set the saw in a way where only 1/4″ of the blade goes below the bottom of the material. If the blade goes beyond this, then the user has to lose a lot of energy to work with the saw. Make sure a lot of teeth are not exposed too. This will help us get a good straight cut without any irregularities.
Step 4: Method
There are a lot of different methods to get a good straight cut with your circular saw. If you’re an experienced worker, it is good to go with methods like speed square. For beginners, it is better to use a circular saw guide to get a good straight cut.
With these guides, the user does not have the problem of drawing the straight lines. The measurements are also taken care of by the guide. It makes the work easier and gives more accuracy too. There are many guides available in the market. Some famous ones are the Kreg rip-cut guide, and the Kreg reg circular saw guide.
The best part is one can make his saw guide within a few minutes. The user can use plywood or even MDF. All we need is a few scrap pieces to do a useful guide. The user should decide the best method according to his work before making the straight cut.
Step 5: Board Side And Blade Speed
Now we are all set to cut. After compressing the saw trigger, allow the blade to rotate at its full speed. Then bring the blade in contact with the material. If the user brings the saw in contact while it accelerates, then the cut will become irregular. It will be a mess and may even waste the whole material.
So a circular saw works in a way where the blade rotates towards the top under the saw into the material. So at times, when cutting across the wood, it may lead to splinters. So this may ruin the wood which is getting cut. So to keep the right side of the wood better, turn it down. So even if there are splinters, it won’t be on the right side. After all the work, the good side will be the one which might be visible. So it will look clear and will not have any splinters.
Following these steps will help you get a neat, straight cut with the help of your circular saw.
As discussed in step 4, there are different methods to do a straight cut. So let’s discuss a few methods in detail
1. Kreg Rip-Cut
This is a famous method, and there is even a circular saw guide for this cut. It is an easy way compared to the other methods. The rip-cut fence with the circular saw follows the straight edge to give an excellent accurate cut. The rip-cut fence is adjustable too. It is also very apt for repetitive cuts.
- Do the measurements and mark the locations for the needed cut.
- Position the saw and yourself to work without any trouble.
- Adjust the rip-cut fence in such a way that the blade cuts along the desired path.
- Push the fence against the material. Use the handle of the rip-cut for a better grip.
- After the blade gets to full speed, start the cut.
This will give a good straight cut. They can cut up to 24″ wide.
2. The Speed Square Method
The speed square is a versatile method and can be useful for many works. There are many right speed square layout tools in the market. Straight cuts are also one of the many cuts the speed square method can make. They are perfect for even miter cuts.
- Do the measurements and mark the points for the needed cut.
- Place the speed square on the side where the cut is getting started. This presses the speed square on the material. This will give more accurate results.
- Position the saw and get yourself ready
- Let the blade reach its full speed and get it ready
- Push the saw’s base plate against the speed square.
- Start the cut along with the path.
Own Circular Saw Guide
A circular saw guide is not very tough to make. It takes a few minutes to make a decent circular saw guide. It can even act as a fence and give more accuracy to the cuts. One can use either plywood or something strong like the MDF. A few scraps of these would be more than enough—a big piece as a base with an edge where we want to make our cut. Then a bit narrow piece glued to act as a fence to the base. This gives a decent circular saw guide. The standard steps will provide us with a right straight cut.
These are only a few of the many methods. These might get a beginner started with his circular saw.
1. The Circular Saw
A circular saw is a power tool with a rotating circular blade. It can cut wood, plastic, and even many other metals. They come in many different models. They are available in corded and cordless versions. They are quite affordable when compared to many other saws in the market. This is a reason why they are there in many workshops. Their versatility is another significant advantage for them. They can cut through various materials like plastics, metals, wood, etc.
The circular saws can make different types of cuts. Some outstanding ones are rip cuts, miter cuts, and crosscuts. Consider a big board, and a circular saw is in your hand. If the cut is across the width of the board, it is a crosscut. If the same cut is a bit diagonal, then it is a miter cut. If the cut is along the length of the board, it is a rip cut. There are many other cuts too, but these are the most common ones. There are many types of circular saws. Some of them are:
2. Trim Saw
They are circular saws that are apt for more accurate cuts and thin materials. They are apt for woodworkers who work on sculptures and craft materials.
3. Worm-Drive Saw
They are a circular saw, which needs a lot of experience to handle. They have the motor parallel to the blade. This helps them work through very tough materials with ease. They will be apt for heavy-duty professional works. See its comparison with circular saw.
4. Corded And Cordless Saw
This is a difference found in many saws. The corded saws are powerful and get continuous power from an external source. They do not have the problem of charging. They can also produce higher torque than the cordless tools.
Cordless tools get power from an external source, which is a lithium-ion battery. But they are easier to use and portable. They are apt for workers who move from one place to another.
Choosing The Right Circular Saw
There are many factors to consider while choosing a circular saw.
Each blade is suitable for different activities. Some blades give accuracy, and some blades are ideal for more challenging materials. So while choosing the saw, make sure it has the right blade for your use.
2. Dust Collection
The sawdust is something which might cause disturbances while working. So having a right dust collection port is vital for a circular saw. When getting a saw, make sure there is a correct dust port or dust blower. This can help the user have a clean environment at work.
The brake system is essential to stop the blade at the right time. The circular saw has a brake that stops when they release the trigger. So while choosing the circular saw, make sure it has a perfect braking system.
4. Laser Guide
The laser guide is there in the saw to show the path getting cut. This might be very useful for beginners. It gives the user accuracy while cutting. Having an in-built laser guide will be an asset to the user.
The circular saw should be convenient to use. The change of blades is an example. The blades may get worn out after extended use. So the user should be able to change it within a few minutes. This is one example, and there are quite a few others where the saw should be easy to work with. So the buyer must find a saw which doesn’t need much effort to work with.
Many reports and studies have said that the circular saw is one dangerous tool to work with. But with proper safety measures, one can use the tool without any problems. So here are few safety tips before getting your circular saws into action.
- Eye and ear protection: It will be of great help while working near a saw. The sawdust may fall into the eyes, which may cause trouble for some time. The sound also may disturb us and is very loud enough to cause minor problems. So wearing some protection will make us do better work.
- The clothing is also essential: Very loose clothes can be a problem while working with the circular saw. Wear tight clothes so that the cloth doesn’t disturb the saw while it is working.
- Check the blades at regular intervals: No matter how right your blade is, it may get damaged. Check if it’s dull and re-sharpen it for getting a better cut. Sometimes even rust may trouble your blades. Having a regular check could help in identifying the problems in the blade.
- Read the user manual well: It may tell us how each part works and some other important instructions. We can also get to know the dos and don’ts while working with the saw. Check if all the parts of the saw work well before starting the work.
- Position yourself at the side to avoid kickbacks: Kickbacks are the most common injury while working with the circular saw.
We hope we have given a clear picture of how to straight with a circular saw. It may look hard at the beginning, but following the steps well will do the job for the user. Safety is quite essential while working with any power tool. Make sure to follow the safety measures. We hope you’re now ready to make some significant cuts with your circular saw.