A Guide to Circular Saws
If you’ve ever looked at a piece of wood, metal, tiles or even masonry and been daunted at how long it would take you to saw through them by hand, then you will know just how good a power tool that circular saws are.
Gone are the days when it would take a great deal of time, effort and sweat to cut something to the required size and shape with a hand saw. Now, the invention of motorised power tool varieties such as jigsaws and circular saws, or hand-held saws as they are also referred to, has made our lives much more pain and hassle-free.
The circular saw, more than any, has had a big impact. It is based upon the major machinery used in sawmills to chops huge logs, the same basic principal being used to create the much smaller circular saws that we can used in general DIY or work-related scenarios.
All circular saws, be it the top-end range such as Evolution and DeWalt’s leading versions or the cheaper options on the market such as those offered by Direct Power and Performance Power, are designed in much the same way, although are available for purchase for both left-handed and right-handed use. The handle, which is located on the left or the right depending on the variety you require, enables the saw to be pushed easily through the item you are cutting.
The only significant differences come in the blade, the quality of the blade and the power of the saw. Depending on the purpose you require the circular saw for, it advisable to buy one with a blade that is suitable for the surfaces you will be cutting, both in terms of the metal of the blade and the size of it, which is usually between 190mm and 235mm. There are many different styles of teeth, but the blade will either be tungsten carbide tipped (TCT), the most common material for cutting through timber, or high speed steel (HSS). The blades on all circular saws are adjustable in terms the depth they can cut to, as is the angle with most able to cut up to a 55 degree angle. A note of caution, however, is that blades should be changed regularly as a blunt blade can be dangerous, replacement blades being available relatively cheaply.
When it comes to the power of the motor in the saw, the amount of voltage (anywhere from 110v to 240v) simply details the amount electricity the motor actually uses and is not the amount of power that is sent to the blade itself. The horsepower of the saw is what produces the torque, the speed at which the blade rotates, and is usually the best guide to the quality of cutting.