How to Use a Circular Saw For Beginners

Are you looking into buying a circular saw? If you are thinking of taking on some home improvement projects, you may want to learn how a circular saw works. It is one of the commonly used tools for experts as well as DIY enthusiasts.  Here is a guide on how to use a circular saw for beginners.

Understanding a Circular Saw

Circular saws come in two main types, a corded saw or a battery-powered saw. The most common one is the corded one that requires plugging it into a power outlet. Circular saws are also available in both left-hand and right-hand models to suit every user.

a corded saw or a battery-powered saw

What are the parts of a circular saw?

the parts of a circular saw

Here are the parts of a circular saw that you need to understand.

  • Blade: The blade is usually on the right of the motor. If you are left-handed, then you can choose a circular saw with the blade on the left side of the motor.
  • Blade guard: This guard is retractable and covers the blade when it is not cutting. As soon as you finish cutting, the guard retracts back automatically.
  • Shoe/ Base Plate: This is a metal rectangle that rests in the top of the wood you intend to cut.
  • Handle: This is the part to hold when pushing the saw forward to cut.
  • Front Grip: It is a secondary handle for your other hand. It helps to guide the saw along the cutting line.
  • Bevel Adjustment Knob: This adjusts the angle at which you cut to create angled surfaces.
  • Depth Adjustment Knob: It comes in handy to choose the depth at which the saw cuts.
  • Trigger Lock Switch: It is a safety feature that prevents the saw from turning on when the trigger is squeezed accidentally.

Steps to Follow when Using a Circular Saw

Here is a simple guide that you can follow to use a circular saw and achieve a clean cut. This video explains the process in detail.

  • Measure the wood you intend to cut and mark the cut line.
  • Clamp the wood firmly on your workstation.
  • Attach the suitable blade to the saw.
  • Set the depth at ¼ inches below the piece you are cutting.
  • Confirm the bevel angle to cut.
  • Plug the saw into a power outlet if it is the corded model.
  • Ensure the base plate is on the edge of the wood near the cut line.
  • Lift the blade guard to expose the blade.
  • Press the lock switch and pull the trigger to heighten the speed of the saw.
  • Run the saw, ensuring it follows the cut line while keeping the base plate flat.
  • Leave the saw to cut slowly. Do not push the saw too hard to prevent straining the motor.
  • Once the saw gets to the end of the cut line, release the trigger and lift the saw.

Circular Saw Safety

Circular Saw Safety

It is crucial to ensure safety before running any power tool, including a circular saw.

  • Remove any loose clothing.
  • Tie back your hair if longer than shoulder length.
  • Wear safety glasses to prevent debris from getting into the eyes.
  • Secure the saw’s cord to prevent cutting it when using the saw.
  • Check the blade security and ensure all the teeth are in good condition.

When using the saw:

  • Do not force it too hard; leave it to run on its speed.
  • Keep the base plate flat all through.
  • Keep your hands away from the moving blade.
  • You should wait for the blade to cut to the end before lifting it.
  • Always use blades intended for the specific material you are cutting.

After using the saw unplug it from the power source if it is a corded saw and store it appropriately.

Essential Tips for Using a Circular saw

Using a Circular saw


With the knowledge on how to make a basic cut, you can advance your cutting skills with time. Here are some of the things you to keep in mind when using a circular saw.

Angle Cutting

For DIY enthusiasts, cutting angles is one of the common uses of a circular saw. The saw comes with a bevel release next to the blade. This feature allows you to control the angle of cutting by releasing the handle.

Saw Brake

If you want to cut different parts in a row, this feature can come in handy. It allows you to stop the saw briefly to place the next piece you intend to cut.

The Cutting Guide

It will take you time to perfect the skill. But, a cutting guide can help you make clean cuts even with the cut line in place. Clamping the cutting guide on the board ensures you achieve a smooth, straight cut every time you use the saw.

Using Support Panels

Support panels come in handy when cutting thin or medium-sized boards. Support panels, such as other blocks of wood, prevent damaging the saw. These also control how the saw runs with thin wood.

Changing the Blade

Blades come in different sizes for various cuts. The most common one is the 7 ¼-inch saw. The size varies with the number of teeth on it. For cleaner, smoother cuts, you will need to use a saw with more teeth.

In such a case, or if the blade is damaged, you will need to change it. Before changing, you should make sure the saw is not plugged in. Also, ensure the brake is on and remove the saw. Once you have it in place, unblock the brake to secure it in place.


a circular saw

Using a circular saw as a beginner can be a daunting task. But, with this guide, you can learn your way to being an expert with this power tool. The steps are easy to follow and actionable to ensure a clean, straight cut.

In summary:

  • Take precaution measures and wear protective equipment before running the saw.
  • Ensure your workstation is safe and stable before using the saw.
  • Be sure to clamp the material and ensure it is firmly in place.
  • Leave the saw to run at its speed and wait till the end to lift it.
  • When changing the saw, unplug the saw and turn the brake on.

I hope this guide will help you learn how to use a circular saw. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and let’s interact.

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