How to choose the right circular saw

How to choose circular saw for your circular sawing needs

If in the old days we faced such tools only at sawmills, nowadays we can buy a circular saw. you can buy in any construction store. In this article we will dwell on the characteristics and find out how to pick up a circular saw for your needs.

Almost all saws operate on electric power, but there are battery-powered analogues. There is no consensus about the choice of manufacturer of this tool. As always, such brands as Makita, DWT, Bosch, Hitachi are good. close to them are such manufacturers as Sparky, Sturm, Zenith.

How to Select Table Saw Blades: Woodworking for Beginners #2. Woodworkweb

Circular saw is designed for fast and comfortable cutting of almost any soft material. It is wood and wood-based materials, as well as plastic and soft metal. Concerning wood, as the most popular material in construction, I can say that it can be sawn with this tool both crosswise and lengthwise. Also, all models of circular saws have the ability to make cuts at an angle of up to 45 degrees. Structurally, the tool consists of an electric motor with a shaft, a saw blade with teeth, a protective cover and some additional elements, which we will talk about below.

Design, principle of operation and application of the circular saw

At first glance, the structure of the circular saw is as simple as possible. a powerful motor, on the shaft of which is dressed a cutting metal disc. In the case of stationary tools, the motor may be separate and transmit the force to the working shaft by a belt through a pulley system, but hand tools, of which there is an absolute majority among domestic tools, are made in a single body.

Adding to the complexity of the device is the need to use quality materials, meticulous compliance with the alignment of the parts, plus compliance with serious safety measures. The saw blade rotates at high speed, so neglecting any of these points will lead to a breakdown of the tool at best.

choose, right, circular

As a result, the motor and the cutting wheel are augmented with an impressive amount of mechanical and electronic safety and blocking devices whose purpose is to instantly stop and de-energize the tool if something goes wrong.

The principle of operation of the circular saw is clear from its design. the rotating disk with teeth saws the board over which the tool itself is pulled. In the case of a stationary saw everything happens the other way around. the board is pulled through the circle fixed on the frame and is divided into two parts.

There is one important note to the use of the circular saw. it is not suitable for shape cutting and is designed to cut boards and other materials only in a straight line. There are models with additional graduation of the driving soleplate, which allows you to expose the disk not strictly perpendicular to the sawing surface, but at a certain angle, but the saw is also conducted strictly in a straight line.

Upper main guard.2. Push button.3. Lock-on button.4. Button to activate the laser switch.

Support handle.6. Casing with motor.7. Laser pointer.8. Cutting angle adjustment.

Circular saw blade.10. Lower loaded hood.11. Support sole.

Hand-held circular saw: design, principle of operation

The best option for home and cottage when you need to prepare boards for roofing, perform other types of repair and construction work. manual and cordless circular saw, the choice of which also depends on the size and manufacturer of the tool. Its main purpose. Even cuts in boards, beams, chipboard, fibreboard, aluminium and laminate (a must. purchase of another blade). Long, straight cuts are a major advantage of these tools. Another advantage of the manual circular saw is that it is easy to use, lightweight and small, so the saw is easy to hold and does not put too much strain on the hands. When choosing a manual circular saw it is also worth considering the fact that the only disadvantage of such a tool is the impossibility of cutting material on an uneven, curved line.

The design of a manual circular saw includes the following elements:

  • Motor powered by electricity, located at the bottom of the body;
  • gearbox;
  • cutting element in the form of a disk, protected by a special protective cover;
  • housing;
  • Splitting blade behind the blade.

Design of the saw has safety features:

  • A blade guard and a spring-loaded sector for hiding the blade before starting to work with the saw;
  • clutch that protects the tool against slipping while working with the material;
  • presence of protection against accidental activation (mostly found on manufacturers of professional tools).

In addition, the unit has a brake that is responsible for completely stopping the shaft after it is switched off (only on pro-class tools).

During operation it is very important to check the nut, clamping the disk. safety and efficiency depend on it. Therefore, the circular saw requires increased attention, especially if complex, professional work is performed. But if before buying you can’t decide on the tool yourself, trust our store specialists to choose a circular saw.

Recommended models

According to user reviews, among the presented set of models of manual circular saws the most optimal in terms of value for money and quality:

  • Zubr ZPD-1600. Average saw power of 1300. 1600 watts, allows you to quickly cut a large amount of wood. Intensity is provided by deep penetration into the material (up to 64 mm) at a fairly low speed of the circular element. 4500 rpm;
  • Hitachi C7SS. Models of borderline power up to 1050 watts. When working is characterized by low noise level, precision and small amount of sawdust. Thanks to the base plate and the rubberized handle, the unit can perform sawing work both horizontally and at an angle;
  • Bosch GKS 18V-57 G 5.0Ah is a professional model with maximum penetration depth of 57 mm and 165 mm circular saw blade. Ergonomic, stylish design and ease of use on the base plate, combined with the ability to work on 2 removable batteries, included in the kit. The pluses include the high quality of the German device, and the minuses. a higher price in comparison with counterparts.

So, to choose a handheld circular saw, the buyer should first of all decide for what kind of work and how often it will be used. Model and price range of the tool on sale is very wide, and therefore, making the choice, you should base on both the main and additional characteristics of the device, as well as on your own financial capabilities.

Chapter 2. Circular saws for dry metal cutting. Purpose

Circular saws are a convenient and relatively inexpensive way to cut steel workpieces in workshops and directly on site. Several companies in the world specialize in their production and design of some models are very similar. It’s mostly about manual circular saws and pendulum cut-off saws.

Manual circular saws are designed for cutting of steel sheet up to 12 mm thick, as well as profiled sheet and sandwich panels up to 80-100 mm thick. As the name implies, circular saws of this type are held in the hands while working. Their design, sometimes allows you to tilt the disk at an angle of up to 45 degrees to the plane of the support pad, and this gives great versatility. It is even possible to chamfer the weld in one movement when cutting the sheet metal.

Unfortunately, the lightness and speed with which circular saws cut thick steel when compared to a conventional angle grinder, for example, is offset by the relatively high cost of the saw blades. However, the only alternatives are sheet metal shears or laser cutting, which can in no way compare to hand saws in terms of price or mobility.

So, handheld circular saws will allow you to cut quite efficiently and accurately:

  • Low-carbon or low-alloy sheet steel up to 12 mm
  • lentil sheet
  • lattice decking
  • profiled sheets with a wave height up to 84 mm
  • metal tiles
  • sandwich panels.

Slightly less efficient, but it’s still possible to cut with these saws:

  • steel pipes and profiles. It is not easy to see where you will cut, so if precision and repeatability are important, pendulum saws are better
  • scrap metal, such as old railroad cars, car bodies or farm machinery. structures can shift during cutting and the blade can get jammed. This could cause breakage. In those situations where precision is not important, use a gas cutter. But beware of explosion hazards.
  • stainless steel. this is because stainless steel does not conduct heat well. Because of this, all excess heat rushes through the disk, causing it to warp and deteriorate. It is better to use something with liquid cooling.

Pendulum cutting machines are very good for cutting long products: pipes, profiles or wheels. The name pendulum saws comes from the form of motion in an arc around the swing axis. These saws are more suited to the classification. Small or portable machine for metal cutting. The maximum diameter of circular saws available for this type of machine, at the time of writing, is 400 mm. However, 355 mm or 14″ blade is still the most common. Machines with a disc of this diameter can cut blanks with a cross section of up to 130 mm. In some cases, it is acceptable to cut a rectangle of 95×180 mm.

choose, right, circular

Which is best left to a pendulum saw with a carbide blade:

  • steel or cast iron pipes
  • Rolled steel, particularly angles, channels, or I-beams
  • cable tray with wall thickness from 1,5 mm and higher
  • Profile pipes or closed profile of a more complex cross-section

Slightly less effective but still possible to saw with these machines

  • Open thin-walled profiles with a wall thickness of less than 1 mm. High vibration, you need to use tabs to prevent crushing in the vise. Helps, but reduces productivity
  • Cable without armor and steel core. in general, aluminum cable will cut without problems, and any steel element in the cable is known to be hardened or made of spring steel. That’s why we advise you to cut the cable. That is why we recommend that you cut the cable with care.
  • steel disc. the saw blade will fail very quickly in any metal with thickness over 6 mm, but we have experience in cutting of discs with cross-section 50 mm and more. Rage multi-purpose saw blades are not too badly suited to this task.
  • stainless steel. pipes in AISI 302, 303 or 304 can be cut, but only if you allow sufficient time for the saw blade to cool between cuts. So the cutting becomes unproductive or wasteful.
  • carbon steel. blades do not cut well on carbon steel. Grade 30 and above require care and slowness. The life of the blade will also decrease.

And at the end of the review, we can not ignore the multi-purpose crosscut saw Evolution Rage. Many people are interested in their ability to cut steel profiles, pipes, and other workpieces. Based on our experience, we can say that it is possible. But not more. And here’s the thing.

Trimmer saws can cut pretty wide workpieces. They’re very good at cutting boards precisely at different angles. The workpiece is clamped at a certain distance from the cutting line, so as not to block the rotary table. The clamp is a lightweight clamping device. It is all right for cutting wooden boards and even aluminum boards used in the manufacture of car trailers, but it does not correspond to the strain of cutting steel profiles. Vibration in the long arm of the broach affects the carbide teeth. Another factor. it was not until 2020 that saw blades fitted to mitre saws started to match the speed of the saw, before that the speed of the blade was too high. That’s why we never had to talk about continuous cutting of steel profiles or pipes on a crosscut saw. If you only need to cut steel occasionally, this equipment is more than adequate. If, on the other hand, the task is to continuously work with rolled steel. our recommendation is either a cut-off saw or a handheld circular saw for metal.

Rating of electric wood circular saws 2018: the best models according to reviews

For sawing wood and various wood-based materials, it is convenient to use mobile electric circular saws. They are a compact tool, powered by an electric drive.

Their main working element is a removable metal disk attached to the motor shaft. Such a unit is often used in construction, during carpentry and carpentry work.

The rating of circular saws in 2018 is designed to help the novice craftsman in choosing the right model.

Bosch PKS 40

Opens the rating of circular saws a lightweight model of the household class, which is excellent for occasional use in the household or a small carpentry workshop. It has a comfortable shape, handles with soft pads, a nozzle for connecting a vacuum cleaner. The machine weighs only 2.6 kg, so it can be operated effortlessly.

The tool is equipped with a reliable motor with 850 Watt and a speed of 5300 rpm. 130×16 mm saw blade is used. Maximum cutting depth 40 mm.

Cutting angles other than 90° are possible. CutControl system makes it easy to guide the saw along the marking line.

Worker safety ensured by plastic guard and unintentional start-up lock.

  • low weight;
  • there is a mechanism of spindle fixation, which facilitates replacement of disks;
  • Easy adjustment of cutting depths;
  • It is possible to make a cut inside the sheet to be cut;
  • High quality disk Speedline Wood;
  • Cutting of thin workpieces of aluminum and other non-ferrous metals with discs is possible.
  • no soft start, adjustable speed and speed stabilization when working under load;
  • limited productivity;
  • need to work intermittently.

Another mini saw, which is better to buy for occasional work in the household. It does not have a power cord but runs on a rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This option is good to use in the country house, in the house under construction or when leaving on the unequipped sites.

Straight-line cuts in wood or plastic can be made with the saw. There is a special spigot for dust extraction, through which the hose of a vacuum cleaner is connected.

Brushed-type electric motor works at 18 volts, achieving a speed of 4200 rpm. The weight of the unit is only 2.34 kg, which is optimal for the necessary mobility. 150×10 mm blade that can be mounted allows achieving a cutting depth of 48 mm. Immersion degree and tilt angle are adjustable without additional keys.

  • Low weight and comfortable design;
  • autonomy;
  • reliable protection cover;
  • the presence of light;
  • affordable price.
  • requires regular charging of the battery;
  • absence of electronic speed control;
  • low productivity;
  • The need to buy an additional battery and battery charger.

Continues the rating of circular saws quality Chinese model of German design, which will serve well as a home handyman and professional repairman.

It has a powerful 1200 W motor with a speed of 6100 rpm. The blade and casing are made of durable and lightweight magnesium alloy that allowed you to limit the weight of the unit to 3.3 kg.

TCT 165×20 24-tooth drive features long service life and cutting depths up to 54mm.

choose, right, circular

Comfortable handles are covered with soft-touch, textured surfaces for a comfortable grip. It is possible to connect a vacuum cleaner to the product. 4m long power cord lets you do without an extension cord in your small workshop. Includes bag, guide for parallel cutting and wrench.

  • Lightweight and durable soleplate;
  • low weight for a saw of this power;
  • good ergonomics;
  • long cable;
  • Comfortable locking of settings with long keys.
  • No soft start or adjustable angular speed;
  • No accidental start lock;
  • Adapter for most vacuum cleaner brands is required.

An electric handheld circular saw of this brand is suitable for intensive work in a joinery workshop or on a building site.

Its high output is ensured by a rather powerful 1350 W motor that reaches a speed of 5500 rpm.

tool is sold with 184×16 mm carbide blade, parallel stop and blade retaining key. It can cut wood up to 65 mm thick.

The tool fits snugly on the workpiece, allowing the operator to cut with high precision. Its weight of 3.7 kg is more than adequate for a unit of this power.

  • comfortable design of the knot of setting the required angle of inclination;
  • Good visibility of the cutting line, thanks to the clever shape of the soleplate and the blowing system;
  • high performance;
  • quality native disk;
  • Sufficiently long cable 3,5 m.
choose, right, circular
  • The size of the disc used is not among the widely used ones;
  • No soft starter and disk speed control;
  • not the most successful way to measure the depth of cut.

This model of the famous Japanese brand is not accidentally included in the rating of electric saws, because, according to professionals, it is the best in its class. It is equipped with a sturdy 1800 W motor that drives a 185 mm diameter blade at 4500 rpm: with these characteristics there is no danger of it getting caught in any type of wood.

The spindle lock makes it easy to change discs. Their base fitting size is 15.8 mm, but the manufacturer has provided a 30 mm washer-adapter, which facilitates the selection of consumables.

Main features of the tool

The design is incredibly simple. Its main operating element is the powerful electric motor that provides the drive torque to the cutting disc via the shaft. Stationary saws are equipped with a belt system and pulleys. Often the hand-held tool is made in a single body and has small dimensions.

Because of the high safety requirements, only materials of the highest quality and reliability are used in the construction of the saw. Particular attention is paid to the balancing and alignment of the rotating parts. Additionally, the disk pair and the motor are equipped with many mechanical, electronic means of protection and interlocks, due to which it is possible, in case of emergency, to instantly de-energize and stop the operation of the saw.

The principle of operation is straightforward. The rotary circular saw, equipped with multiple teeth, cuts through wood materials while moving forward in a reciprocating motion. It should be noted that this type of tool is not suitable for making shaped cuts. Some models have an adjustable angle of inclination of the cutting part.

Rating of inexpensive circular hand saws

If a circular saw is needed infrequently at home, there is usually no point in spending money on expensive devices. There are quite a few budget, but functional hand tools in construction stores.

Ryobi RWSL 1801M

Cordless hand saw is equipped with a 150 m disc and makes neat cuts in wood. 45 mm for straight and 32 mm for a sharp angle. Equipped with an accidental start protection, the model has a spindle lock. Handle is rubber coated for a comfortable grip.

AEG KS 55-2

The 1.2 kW unit is mains-powered and has a speed of 6100 rpm. Diameter of the tool is 165 mm. The circular saw is light enough, has a cable of 4 m, you can work with it within the house or garage freely, without resorting to the use of extension cords. A vacuum cleaner can be connected to the device to collect sawdust directly at work.

Among the disadvantages of the model, users note the lack of a soft start, the saw starts working immediately at maximum speed.

Buying The Right Circular Saw That’s Best For You

Stanley STSC1618

Circular saw is suitable for cutting wood lengthwise and crosswise as well as for chipboard and plywood. Engine power is 1.6 kW, the tool’s angle of inclination can be adjusted up to 45 degrees. Features an effective proprietary sawdust extraction system and supports vacuuming. Circular saw body is light and sturdy, making it easy to hold. An accidental start lock is provided, although users note that its location is not the most convenient.

Circular saw or circular saw, how to choose?

To summarize and systematize the above information, as well as to make the comparison clearer, I suggest studying the table:

Parameters for comparison mitre saws Circular saws Circular saws on the table
Mobility medium high medium
Power high medium high
Ability to work on wood and aluminum is available available at
Securing the billet yes no no
Cutting precision high medium high
Easy maintenance care demanding minimal maintenance Requires care
Longitudinal cut no there is is
crosscutting saw is there is is
Safety high medium medium
Multifunctionality high low medium
Cutter adjustment at 45% available at is available
Setting the kerf there is yes available at
Looseness minimal permissible minimal
Variety of accessories minimum high minimal
Range of mounted circular saw blades high medium high

In fact, the number of parameters to compare the performance of saws is quite large, especially frequent question from buyers, whether you can do this or that work with one tool. Of course not. First thing to remember. a safety rule, because neglecting it can result in serious injury. Also, if you modify the tool yourself, you are making design changes that will void your warranty.

Saws. The tool is popular enough for home repair, woodwork, or professional construction. As it was mentioned above, most of the working operations are identical, but in a good way you will not be able to perform the whole range of work with a single saw.

Manual circular saws will always be in the lead in sales, as they are cheaper, lighter, and often craftsmen remake them into a table circular saw. They are easy to carry, store and maintain.

Circular table saws. a great tool, both for the professional and for the amateur, but to work with this tool you need free space, here you can both torque, and dissolve, and trim. The only thing you may encounter. the inconvenience of working with large workpieces, for them you need to buy either a more expensive saw, or make additional stops yourself, you pull the workpiece by hand.