How to Use a Circular Saw for Beginners

A circular saw is a handheld saw that consists of a blade mounted on an arbor. The blade can be moved towards left or right. The arbor delivers the power to the blade and the blade starts cutting by using rotary motion.

One common type of circular saw is a worm-drive circular saw. It is frequently adopted because of large torque delivered by the drive system implanted in it.

On the contrary, not knowing how to operate a circular saw can be troublesome. To introduce this new power tool to you, we have garnered all the necessary information in this article.

What does a Circular Saw Comprises of?


The circular saw can be corded or battery operated. If you have the corded one, you will find a cord in the back of the saw. The cord is to plug in the saw for power supply.

In most of the circular saws, the cord can be removed after operating for storage purpose.

Blade Guard

The blade of the circular saw is somewhat sandwiched in between the upper guard and lower guard. The lower guard can be retracted with a lever while operating.

The blade guard is a preventive measure to ensure that the blade does not come in contact with the operating personnel. Moreover, the lower guard is drawn back by the pressure of the material being cut. It returns in position as soon as the pressure is removed.

Saw Shoe

This is the base of the saw which surrounds it from all sides. The saw base helps the operator to place the saw down on the material on which cutting is being done.

Along with keeping the saw stable, the saw shoe acts as a guide to direct the blade while cutting.


The handle starts from the back of the saw and ends at right toward the front. This is to hold the saw firmly while sawing.

Furthermore, the latest models come with ergonomic designs that lend more comfort and efficiency while operating.

Bevel Adjustment

In the front, you will find a lever connected with the saw base. By loosening this lever, you can adjust the angle of the saw.

Hence, this bevel adjustment mechanism allows the user to make bevel cuts easily. You can adjust the angle from 90° to 45°. Some of the saws also have an angle range till 55° or 60°.

Depth Adjustment

The work piece comprises a wide range of sizes. For varying depth, you need to alter the height of the saw. This is important because the height of the blade should be deep enough that it completely passes through the blade. On the contrary, an inaccurate depth may lead to kickback.

You will find the height adjustment lever or knob in the back of the circular saw. Loosen that knob and adjust it relative to the wood’s depth.

Spindle Lock

Pushing the spindle lock button locks the blade in one position. Hence you can easily remove the blade by pressing this button.

For this, you have to use the specific tools that came with the saw to remove the blade bolt. This bolt joins the blade to the saw body.

Press the blade lock button and start unfastening the bolt in the opposite direction by the help of a wrench. Consequently, by doing so, you can remove or change the blade of the circular saw.

Power Trigger

The power trigger is located underneath the handle of the circular saw. After you have plugged in the saw, you can operate the saw by turning this trigger on.

This feature allows you to keep the saw under control. Therefore, in case of an emergency, you can turn the saw off within seconds.

This is all what a circular saw mainly consists of. By knowing these features, you will be able to operate the saw smartly.

When to Use a Circular Saw?

The circular saw is as important as cutting can be for a craftsman. It’s apparent that every material in its raw form is rough and out of ideal shape or size.

To trim all the unfinished material into the finished form, a saw is required. And the requirement becomes an opportunity when a single tool can make various types of cuts.

A circular saw can provide you with efficiency, portability, versatility and speed all at once. Moreover, the operating or storage space required by a circular saw is minimum.

However, mostly the circular saw is used for two principal purposes:

  1. To cut dimensional lumber. The saw can be used to make cross cuts (across the wood) as well as bevel cuts (angled cuts through the wood).
  2. For sheet woods like plywood to rip them and size them according to the requirement.

Apart from these two primary applications, the circular saw can be used for several other purposes. Since the blade of the saw can be changed easily, you can make a variety of cuts by altering the blade type.

How to Use a Circular Saw?

Choose the Right Blade

Most of the circular saws come with a normal blade. This type of blade has 24 teeth and the blade is 7 ¼”. Although these blades, when new cut magnificently but they start wearing out soon. This will lead to unfinished tearouts.

However, as the circular saw can be run with different blades, you can go with a different one. For example, you can use a 60 teeth saw blade for operating hardwood. This type of blade cuts clean at a fast pace.

Once you have decided the blade, unplug the saw. Push the blade button and unfasten the bolt. Fix in the blade and fasten the bolt again. Make sure the blade is tightly held with the saw.

Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw


Dimensions: 20.9 x 17.9 x 13.9 Inches
Weight: 10.6 Pounds
Power Source: Corded Electric
Motor: 15.0 Amp With 5800 RPM
Includes: Tool Case, 7-1/4″ 24T Ultra-Coated Saw Blade, Hex Wrench, Rip Fence
Perks: Large Cutting and Bevel Capacity, LED Lights, Warranty, Lightweight, Well Balanced

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For Crosscuts

Step 1: Adjust the Blade Depth

Set the dimensional lumber being cut on a table or sawhorses. Make sure that the portion being cut apart is held out of the table support while the remaining portion is on the table.

Place the saw on the board and adjust its depth by loosening the adjustment lever at the backside of the saw. The depth of the saw blade should be 1/8″ or 0.3 cm more than the work piece’s depth.

Once the depth is finalised, lock the saw height by tightening the adjustment lever.

Step 2: Check the Ends

The end from where you will hook the measuring tape should be perfect squares. Check that end by a speed square. If it is not at 90°, trim it down.

Step 3: Draw a Line

By the help of a measuring tape, you can mark the desired length of wood. To remove the excess, take a speed square and adjust its base with the margin of the wood.

Drag the speed square to the point where you want the crosscut to be. At this point, draw a line with an engineering pencil.

Also, you can hold the speed square firmly by one hand and start cutting by the other.

Step 4: Align the Zero Line

At the front bottom of your saw, you will find a zero line. This is the point where your blade will cut through. Make sure to align the zero line with the pencil line drawn before.

Also, if you are using a speed square, align the zero line with the edge of the speed square.

Step 5: Start Cutting

Plugin your corded saw or fix the battery if its battery operated. Push the trigger such that the blade is a bit away from the board. When the blade starts rotating, pass it through the lumber at a moderate pace.

By following this method, you can have flawless crosscuts on all types of wood.

For Rip Cuts

Step 1 and 2 should be followed for rip cuts as well. After that, you need to follow the below-mentioned guide:

Step 3: Draw a Straight Line

For sheet wood, drawing a straight line with a speed saw is not possible. Mark the point from where you want your rip cut. Draw a line there by a pencil following the straight edge.

However, you might not get a clean cut by following a pencil line. For a clean-cut, clamp the straight edge at both ends. Start cutting by following the margin of the straight edge.

Step 4: Align the Zero Line

For rip cuts, looking at the zero line directly is difficult. A better alternative is to have a look through the blade once you have adjusted the zero line on the pencil-drawn line.

Step 5: Start Ripping

Push the trigger and start cutting through the wood. Make sure to have a sharp eye on the blade. This will guide you from where your blade is going to pass through.

Safety Measures

  1. If not face shield, wear at least the safety goggles while operating.
  2. Never forget to wear a respirator or dust mask.
  3. Wear hearing protection if your tool is making a loud noise.
  4. Make sure the blade of your circular saw is sharp.
  5. Operate away from the kickback direction of the circular saw.
  6. While setting the saw, make sure it is out of power supply

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Dimensions: 14.13 x 8.25 x 8.88 Inches
Blade Length: 5.5 Inches
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Power Source: Battery Powered
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From unleashing the basic components of a circular saw to discussing the right operating techniques, this article covers all necessary aspects. Make sure to follow every bit of instruction to get the desired results.

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