If in the old years we came across such a tool only at sawmills, now we can buy a circular (circular) saw. you can in any hardware store. In this article, we will dwell on the characteristics and find out how to choose a circular saw for your needs.
Almost all saws run on mains electricity, but there are also battery-powered counterparts.
There is no consensus on the choice of the manufacturer of this instrument. As always, brands such as Makita, DWT, Bosch, Hitachi are good . Such manufacturers as Sparky, Sturm, Zenit are close to them .
The circular saw is designed for quick and easy cutting of almost any soft material. These are wood and materials based on it, as well as plastic and soft metal.
With regard to wood, as the most popular material in construction, I can say that it can be cut with such a tool both across and along the fibers. Also, on all models of circulars, it is possible to perform 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.
Household or professional?
When choosing a circular saw, first of all, you need to understand for yourself why you need this tool. If you have big construction work ahead of you – sawing wood, parquet boards, laminate, chipboard or OSB, then turn your gaze to professional models. If the tool is needed around the house only in rare cases, and most of the time it lies in your pantry idle, then it makes sense to purchase a household circular.
What is the difference between a household tool and a professional tool?
The main difference lies in the performance of the engine, its resource, as well as the quality of the parts and materials used.
The power of the motors of household circular saws is less than the power of a professional tool. Accordingly, at a lower power, a smaller diameter disc is used, which cuts the material to a shallower depth.
In addition, the engine of household tools should be turned off periodically to allow time for it to cool down. Let me explain with my own example.
Using a professional model, in an hour and a half of continuous work, I was able to saw as many chipboard blanks, which was enough for me to create four huge cabinets. If I used a household model, the work would take 2 times longer. The quality would remain the same. But the cost of a professional tool will be twice as high.
Manual or tabletop?
The choice of a particular option depends, of course, on you. Where will you work?
Let’s say you have equipped a separate place in a workshop in the country or in a garage, and all the work will be done there. In this case, choose a table saw.
Tabletop models are usually more powerful. It is also very convenient to work on such a stationary machine.
By the way, there are special devices on sale that allow you to fix the hand-held circular saw on the table upside down. The result is a mini-machine that can be operated with great convenience. However, such mounts are not suitable for all models.
There are also models of circular saws, which are already included in the kit for installation on a bed. Consider these features when choosing.
Video on how to choose a circular saw
Let’s take a look at some of the most compelling features of circulars.
More powerful motors can cut material faster and material density can be higher. The sawing process will be much easier. Have you ever sawed wood that has knots? So, a low-power saw can easily jam on one of the knots.
As they say, there is a direct relationship between power and work efficiency.
On the other hand, low-power circular saws have one “weighty” advantage – it is lightweight, thanks to which this tool can be carried with you without much strain. So, a 2000 W model weighs about 7 kg, and a 1200 W saw only 3-4 kg.
For household work, a tool with a power of 1000-1200 watts is quite suitable. If you do not work with the tool professionally, then the power reserve will remain unclaimed.
The price of the entire product also depends on the power. This is quite logical. The difference in price can reach one hundred percent or more.
Saw blade speed
This indicator characterizes the efficiency of the saw blade. A disc rotating at a higher speed is able to cut hard wood more efficiently. Higher RPM means less chance of disc jamming in wood. In addition, the cut is more accurate and even.
Incidentally, the rpm can be high even on low-powered circular saws, so choose a model with the highest possible rpm.
What does the cutting depth depend on? Of course, on the diameter of the disc used. Consequently, the dimensions of the unit itself must increase depending on the size of the working disc and this, of course, leads to an increase in weight.
Depending on what material you will cut, the depth to which the saw blade can sink is chosen. Lightweight models used for household work have an immersion depth of 40-45 mm. This depth is quite sufficient for cutting chipboard, plywood, fiberboard, inch boards.
If you intend to cut thicker material, then choose a circular saw with a cutting depth of 50-55 mm. This is the most common size that most people choose for summer cottage work.
A depth of 60-70 mm is already needed for professional work, for example with a bar. Of course, such a wide disc can effectively spin up a sufficiently powerful engine.
There are also larger and heavier circular saws that can cut material to a depth of 140 mm. Such devices are used on an industrial scale, so we will not dwell on them.
Cordless saw – the tool allows you to work autonomously, although it has a lower performance. The speed in cordless circular saws is less important than in electric circular saws.
These models successfully cope with wood that has a small thickness and low density. The battery is charged for 30-50 minutes of operation, after which the battery must be charged again.
This causes some inconvenience, because the battery charging can take up to 4 hours.
Ability to work at an angle
Most models are designed to cut at 45 degrees. However, there are already models that can cut even at an angle of 60 degrees. As a rule, the cutting angle can only be adjusted on one side, since the motor is located on the other side. Although there are varieties of saws that have an angle of cut on both sides. For example, this convenience is available on the Makita MLS100 .
Some useful design additions:
- Sawdust collection function.
Basically, all models have connections for connecting a vacuum cleaner or connecting dust collectors. This ensures the absence of sawdust and dust during work, especially indoors.
- Laser pointer.
A very useful addition to make the cut more accurate. Interestingly, the operation of the pointer is not affected by flying sawdust, since the laser beam falls on top of the sawdust layer.
- Body material.
The body of most units is made of high-strength plastic. It is a completely reliable material used for the manufacture of power tools. In some cases, you can find a metal case. Devices with a metal case are heavier. Therefore, if mobility is important to you, then choose a plastic case.
- Blocking of accidental start.
In order to ensure the safety of work, there is a button on the body of the tool, thanks to which the accidental start of the saw is excluded. Ask your dealer if this protection is available on the model you like. Sometimes, the lack of such a button can lead to serious injury, so do not neglect this advice.
- Immersion function.
Some circular saws have this addition, which allows you to start cutting the workpiece not from the very beginning, but from a certain place. This can be useful, for example, when you need to cut a hole in a solid board.
- Smooth start.
This function allows you to extend the life of the electric motor and make the work safer.
- Convenient disk replacement.
As a rule, with constant work with a circular saw, it is sometimes necessary to change the saw blades. Some blades are designed for working with wood, while others are for cutting metal. The convenience of replacing them is sometimes very important. It is very inconvenient to change a disk using two keys simultaneously. Therefore, pay attention to this little thing.