What is a circular saw, what is it for, and what points, parameters and functions should be taken into account when choosing it are important questions that I will answer in today’s article.
The circular saw is a powerful equipment designed for cutting wood, laminate, chipboard materials, plastic, non-ferrous metals (including aluminum). It is good because it can work with large volumes of materials, many cubic meters of boards or timber. And these moments are important for large-scale construction, at sawmills and wood processing enterprises.
The circular saws quickly, accurately and precisely, both along the edges and in the middle (submerged view). The circular saw device provides for the presence of an electric motor, a gearbox, a saw blade and a protective cover, a base, a wedging knife. The main parameters when choosing a circular saw are the power of the unit, the speed with which the saw blade rotates, the diameters of the cutting element, the type of work for which the file is purchased.
Read more about choosing a circular saw in the article ” How to choose a circular saw “
Circular saws are divided into several types of equipment:
- Household : intended for household work, for cutting small, not thick workpieces (not intended for continuous operation).
- Professional – designed for constant loads, have high power, have a wide additional functionality.
They are divided into:
- Tabletop . Often these are machines with a power of up to 1.2 kW, a lightweight design, with the ability to cut small workpieces and with discs with a range of up to 254 mm. They are used both for household purposes and for professional work.
- Outdoor . In this class, you can find both light, mobile circular saws of low power, and heavy three-phase saws designed for industrial use.
What is the power of a circular saw?
Motor power for a circular saw is the main criterion when choosing a machine for sawing wood. There are several points to consider here. Firstly, with a saw with a high power, you can cut even the most coarse, difficult to saw, tree species, it is enough to choose the correct size of the blade, which will correspond to the given load. The powerful motor also increases the speed of the saw blade, which greatly enhances productivity and improves working efficiency.
One of the most frequently asked questions about circular saws is “What is its power?” It can be different depending on the design, purpose and type of circular saw:
- Saws with an engine power of up to 1 kW are considered small machines . Basically, these are inexpensive household models that are most popular.
Why does a circular saw smoke?
A good circular cut makes straight and precise cuts along a given path. The tool works from the mains, therefore it does not emit harmful emissions. However, smoke sometimes occurs when sawing. Why is this happening, and how to fix this defect during operation?
Very often we see not so much smoke as traces of burn marks on the tree. A similar unpleasant situation occurs when sawing along the grain on wood material. Most often this happens with hard woods – oak, beech, birch. Smoke and burns are caused by an improperly tuned instrument, although there are a number of other reasons:
- resinous disc;
- failure of soldering;
- incorrectly set parallelism of the disc and stop;
- incorrect feeding of the workpiece;
- the material was initially defective.
The gum content on the disc is removed simply – with the help of a special solution or solvent. If the solders are dull or completely out of order, they can be sharpened in the workshop or completely replaced.
You can set the parallelism of the disc and the stop with the help of improvised means. First you need to set the stop correctly, it must be 100 mm from the disc. Then, using a bar (its length should be approximately 70 mm) and a round-head screw, which must be screwed into the end, advance the workpiece. This should be done when the screw head clings to the disc tooth when pressing the bar against the stop, while the tooth must be marked with a marker. You need to move the workpiece along with the screw to the other side of the disk, then rotate this disk until the tooth is in line with the screw head. When carrying out this kind of operation, it is necessary to ensure that the force when engaging with a tooth at the beginning and at the end is the same.
You can also set the parallelism of the stop and the disc using the hour indicator ICH-10. To work with this device, you first need a rail or a bar in the groove, and an ICh-10 with zero values must be installed between the rail and the limiter. Then everything is simple – you need to adjust the readings, the difference should be equal to zero.
So that there are no burns, and the workpiece is not spoiled, you need to make sure that the feed is correct. The workpiece can be fed at any angle, the main thing is to set it at a distance of 30 to 100 mm and press it firmly against the table, this is with a vertical clamp. When pressing horizontally, tight contact with the stopper must be ensured. It is advisable to feed the workpiece with two hands – with one hand press the material against the table, with the other against the stopper. You can also use a special pusher, but it is used in the manufacture of small parts. You can also purchase a clamping comb.
Before starting work, you must first carefully check the quality of the material, wood defects can cause burn marks or lead to injuries. Defects can look different:
- curvature along the thickness of the workpiece – the problem is solved simply: the processed material is pressed more firmly during sawing (the method is acceptable if the deflection height does not exceed 10 mm per 1 m);
- the presence of curvature along the width of the workpiece – if the deflection height does not exceed 20 mm, you can also press the workpiece more tightly;
- not parallelism of the fibers to the workpiece – before starting work, the workpiece must be leveled with a thickness gauge.
In order to prevent burns, damage to the workpiece, you need to carefully check the tool before starting work.
The circular saw does not pull
A circular saw is used to cut wood quickly. Its performance is 2-3 times higher than that of other saws (jigsaw, band saw). Therefore, the circular is suitable for both domestic and professional use. It can handle large volumes of sawn wood with ease.
However, a situation often arises when the circular saw stalls at idle, the engine runs, but does not pick up speed. Craftsmen call this problem “the saw does not pull” and, often, explain it with a low-power motor. This is partly true, but not always. Since the main technical characteristics of such a saw are the engine power and the size of the working equipment, its problems can be both in the motor and in the saw blade.
There are several reasons why the circular does not “pull”:
- incorrect selection of the saw blade;
- the saw blade or blade teeth are completely worn out;
- low engine power;
- incorrect installation of the cutting element (disk);
- the tree was originally damp.
Before proceeding with the choice of a disc, you need to decide what type of cut will be used – transverse or longitudinal. In the first case, you need to choose a disc with fine teeth, otherwise the cut will turn out to be sloppy. Coarse-toothed blades are suitable for ripping, as using a coarse-toothed blade for ripping can cause the tool to malfunction. Also, depending on the type of wood (hard or soft), there are carbide discs, which are more durable and durable, and monolithic discs, the teeth of which wear out quickly. It often happens that the installed disc is not suitable for the material that is being processed, the shape of the teeth is different. In this case, you need to choose a cutting element with variable teeth,
If the disc is completely worn out, it must be replaced, selected depending on the purpose of use and the type of material being processed. You will need to sharpen the disc if the teeth are worn out and do not cut as before. First you need to fix the rig well. Then sharpen the teeth one by one. In order not to forget which tooth the sharpening was started with, you can use a marker for marking. You can use a file for sharpening. It is worth starting the process from the back surface of the tooth.
The more power in the circular motor, the larger the workpiece the tool will be able to cut. Due to the high power, the speed of the saw blade increases, although on the other hand, the higher the power, the heavier the tool. For domestic use, a small amount of work and processing of soft woods, a circular with a power of 800 to 1200 W is suitable. For the duration of work, increased loads, processing of various materials, it is worth choosing more powerful models, over 1200 watts.
Also interesting: Which is better: a miter saw or a circular saw?
Very often, the reason that the circular does not pull is the incorrect installation of the saw blade, for example, it has worn out and was replaced, but installed incorrectly. Before installation, you must first clean the pulley from debris, dust. Then carefully check to see if the tines are set in the correct direction. If there are no problems, the canvas is carefully put on the pulley, the lower protective shield is lowered. Then it remains to fix the pressure washer and press it with a bolt, tightening it carefully. The last step is to tighten the bolt with the locking spindle.
Before starting work with a circular, you need to check the quality of the material. If the wood is damp, you need to dry it first.
Is it possible to work at a 45 degree angle?
Cut at an angle of 45 degrees is very popular both in furniture production and in any joinery. In table circular saws, the ability to work at this angle is realized in two options:
- There is a tilt adjustment of the engine on which the disc is mounted. This is how the adjustment is carried out under 45 degrees. relative to the plane of the table.
- In the set, table circular saws have special angle stops. Thanks to them, you can also set an angle of 45 degrees. or any slope necessary for the job.
Be careful! With the first option of inclination, the parameter of the cutting depth will decrease.
How many teeth are there on the disc?
The opinion that the more teeth the saw blade has, the more accurate and cleaner the cut will turn out, is a little erroneous. Also, the clean cut is influenced not only by the number of teeth, but also by the thickness of the saw blade itself and its victorious teeth. An excellent clean cut can be obtained from a disc with more than 36 teeth and a tooth thickness of less than 2.2 mm. But do not forget that the number of teeth will also depend on the diameter of the disc.
I will give an example of the number of teeth and the diameter of the discs:
- 190mm can have 56 teeth;
- 250 mm – 80 teeth;
- 315 – 100 teeth.
This principle applies only when processing soft materials (laminated chipboard, chipboard, wooden blocks, plastic). If you need to cut rough wood, either a complete disc or special discs for heavy wood is sufficient.
Can the guide be placed on the entire table?
I also hear this question very often from buyers. Most budget models have this guide, but they have fasteners only on one side of the table, where the ruler is located; to reduce the cost of construction, the manufacturer does not add additional fastening to the guide in the counterpart of the table. But this design and the price of this circular is acceptable and great for household work. And professional and semi-professional saws have a double-sided type of mounting the guide on the table. This achieves a high cutting precision.
What is the cutting depth and can it be adjusted?
The cutting depth is adjustable in almost any circular saw model. Often it is realized by lowering the motor with the disc below the table level. This option is most convenient for maintaining cleanliness of work, safety of work and convenience. Thanks to this solution, in addition to the saw blade, you can install special groove cutters, which are an integral assistant in furniture production for creating fastening elements for body parts.
What kind of table material?
The table is the base of the circular saw. The material of the table must correspond to the capacity of the unit itself. For powerful, large devices, massive tables made of steel or metal profiles are most often used. These sturdy tabletops increase and expand the scope of the circular saw. For a home workshop, short-term work, where low-power saws will be used, tables are made of light alloys of aluminum and similar materials.
Is it possible to expand tables?
Expansion of the table is possible provided that the structure of the main tabletop and the saw body has additional elements for attaching the extension tables . For the most part, this applies to saws for the household and semi-professional segment. But, as practice shows, table extensions can be made independently, without changing the design of the circular saw itself.
Can this model work professionally?
This question is difficult to answer, but I will try to do it anyway. Unfortunately, users consider the saw to be professional, resting on its price or power (or some other operating parameter), absolutely not paying attention to the manufacturer and the very purpose of the tool. On the one hand, yes, any circular saw can work professionally, but do not forget in this case that the manufacturer does not put in the tool itself a sufficient resource for its operation in a professional mode. The most popular manufacturers in the household segment are Titan, Einhell, Toolson, Hecht. Professional models include Japanese Makita saws, German Bosch and Metabo, American DeWALT.
The circular saw stopped working
Despite the fact that the device of the circular saw is not complicated, all kinds of breakdowns can occur in the tool. Very common – the saw simply refuses to work (does not start, does not turn on, does not rotate the disk).
There may be several reasons why the circular saw stopped working. The most simple and straightforward:
- Engine breakdown.
- The pulley is broken.
- An important detail is out of order.
It is undesirable to detect a breakdown, and even more so to eliminate it yourself, especially for a beginner. Do-it-yourself poor-quality repairs can lead to rapid wear of parts and the fragility of the tool. It is best to trust the professionals and take the saw to the workshop.
In professional workshops, experienced craftsmen with the help of various testers, sensors, and other modern devices will quickly find the cause of the breakdown and, within a few days (depending on the type of breakdown), eliminate the problem.
Is it possible to connect the saw to a vacuum cleaner?
A vacuum cleaner is a kind of protection on a circular saw, which does not allow shavings, sawdust to penetrate into the device body, which can quickly cause the unit to fail. The saw is connected to the vacuum cleaner using a special hose. This feature allows you to quickly collect chips from the worktable. In addition to the vacuum cleaner, the saw has other additional functions: soft start, laser mark, a system designed to remove chips and waste.
Carriage and corner stop
Each saw model comes with additional accessories: a carriage and an angle stop. An angle stop is used if you need to make oblique, cross cuts. Also, the angular stop allows you to adjust the disc in different directions, makes it possible to work at an angle of 45 and even 90 degrees.
The carriage is a device for precise cuts. It can be used even if the workpieces are small. The carriage is often referred to as a “slide” because it slides and moves on bearings. Another purpose of the carriage is the safety of the working person, because it minimizes the likelihood of kickback of the cut blade.
Circular saws crookedly
The advantage of the circular is an accurate and fast straight cut. Why the circular saws crookedly:
- the saw body is incorrectly installed;
- the plane of the disc does not correspond to the edge of the sole;
- the emphasis is incorrectly selected and installed;
- improper sharpening of the saw blade.
The saw body must be installed so that the plane of the blade is perpendicular to the sole. Then there will be no problems with the evenness of cutting and the accuracy of the cut.
For the saw to cut smoothly, the plane of the disc must be parallel to the edge of the sole.
The rip saw should be parallel to the cutting line. If this is not the case, the saw will cut crookedly, and the accuracy of the cut will not be observed. The parallel guide is always included with the saw. If it is not there, you can make such a device yourself. Also, for circulars, they often buy or make with their own hands two more stops: saddle and edge. The edge stop is used for cross cuts and the saddle stop for corner cuts. These devices help to make the cut smoothly and accurately.
For the saw to work accurately, you need to carefully monitor the sharpening of the saw blades. A dull disc not only leads to the fact that the circular begins to cut crookedly, it can also completely ruin the workpiece. Before sharpening, you also need to make sure that there is a set of teeth. For each type of saw blade, you need to choose a certain angle of inclination, a sawing tool, then there will be no problems in the operation of the circular.
In this article, I have provided a basic list of questions that I most often hear from clients. In the course of your work or when choosing a tool, many more unclear points may arise. Contact us – I will be happy to advise you!