How To Choose A Circular Saw For Home And Garden

A circular saw is a hand-held tool for sawing workpieces from a wide range of materials: wood, plastic and even metal. The tool is indispensable on a personal plot where a country house is being built. In the apartment, a saw will be needed during the renovation: it can be used to cut plywood, laminate, door fittings, plastic panels.

The best circular saw manufacturers – which company to choose

European and Asian companies have been competing for a long time, fighting for a place as a leader in the construction tool market, while improving product quality and expanding its functionality.

Top circular saw manufacturers:

  1. Bosch
  2. Hitachi
  3. Husqvarna
  4. Makita
  5. Metago

Circular saw design and how it works

Most circular saws have a similar design, the difference is in additional elements that expand the functions of the tool or increase the safety of working with it.

The main elements of the saw design:

  • Body with one or two handles;
  • Saw blade guard;
  • Platform for holding the disc in the desired position;
  • Riving knife to free a disc stuck in wood;
  • An electric motor on the shaft of which the disc is attached with bolts.

The peculiarity of the saw – with its help, you can cut the material only in a straight line (transversely or longitudinally), without the possibility of arc cutting.

The principle of operation is to transfer the torque from the motor shaft to the saw blade, which, rotating at high speed around the axis, cuts off wood or other material.

Depending on the cutting depth, the tool is divided into saws:

  • Small – 40-46 mm;
  • Medium – 50-55 mm;
  • Large – 65-70 mm;
  • Professional – 65-140 mm.

Hand circular saw

This type is in greatest demand among home craftsmen due to the combination of compactness and sufficient power, which, depending on the model, ranges from 1.2 to 2.2 kW. Professional models have a power of about 5 kW.

The cutting depth of the proposed tool is from 40 to 70 mm. Some models provide the ability to adjust the cutting angle.

Benefits:

  • Simplicity of design combined with efficiency and high productivity;
  • Convenience in work due to light weight and compactness, ease of transportation;
  • Easy to care for.

Disadvantages:

  • High noise level;
  • Insignificant utilization factor of the disc diameter during operation;
  • Difficulty in controlling the placement of the cutting disc relative to the workpiece, which reduces the accuracy of the cut.
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Table circular saw

When using a stationary saw, the tool stands in place during operation; to perform a cut, the workpiece is moved in the area of ​​the rotating disc. Whereas when using a hand-held circular saw, the workpiece is stationary.

The cutting depth of the table saw varies between 40-70 mm. The tool does an excellent job of cutting material at various angles, both longitudinally and transversely.

Benefits:

  • Mobility, light weight;
  • Ability to work with workpieces with a width of more than 60 cm.

Disadvantages:

  • Significant vibration reduces the quality of the cut;
  • The length and width of the workpieces are limited.

Stationary circular saw on the bed

A tool of this type will be useful for those who have a small home workshop. The cutting depth, depending on the model, can be from 50 to 140 mm.

A feature of the tool is the presence of a bed, which can be of two types:

  1. Cast – used in the construction of powerful saws, it is characterized by high weight and stability. Installation requires a solid base, preferably concrete.
  2. Prefabricated (welded) – used in small machines. Differs in mobility.

The working table of the tool is made of a metal sheet (aluminum, steel or cast iron). The table has a special slot for the working disk. The table surface is equipped with guide rulers for easy cutting of the material.

Benefits:

  • The use of the bed reduces the vibration of the tool, which increases the quality and accuracy of material processing;
  • Decrease in noise level;
  • The ability to process wider workpieces;
  • The ability to set precise settings for processing workpieces;
  • Dust collector (on most models).

Disadvantages:

  • Limiting the size of the processed workpieces.

 

Plunge-cut circular saw

The plunge-cut saw was developed to solve a problem that arises when cutting a workpiece with a circular saw: insufficient sawing accuracy. Positioning the saw blade with absolute precision is not possible, since it is not possible to control the position of the blade relative to the workpiece.

The plunge-cut saw is devoid of these drawbacks, it has a slightly different principle of operation. In non-working position, the disc is completely hidden under the protective cover and located above the base plate. The cutting blade is lowered only when the tool is switched on.

The plunge saw can be used to make local repairs to floorboards or to cut the desired opening in the worktop. The cutting precision is adjustable to the millimeter. The cutting depth at an angle of 90 °, depending on the model, ranges from 10 to 75 mm.

When working with laminated material, the top layer is cut to an incomplete depth of the workpiece, excluding the appearance of chips.

Benefits:

  • High precision of workpieces processing;
  • Multifunctionality;
  • The ability to perform cross and longitudinal cuts.

Disadvantages:

  • High price compared to conventional models;
  • Difficulties in cutting parts of small width – their minimum size is limited by the dimensions of the support part of the tool.

Cordless circular saw

The tool is powered from its own power source – a rechargeable battery. The saw is used for work in hard-to-reach places. Depending on the type of battery used and its charge capacity, the tool may be sufficient for a short working period of 15 to 50 minutes. After which the battery needs to be charged, which lasts about 4 hours.

Benefits:

  • Compactness, mobility;
  • Ability to work in the absence of an external power source.

Disadvantages:

  • Short working time;
  • High price for models that can run for about an hour.

Circular saw selection parameters

Before purchasing a circular saw, you need to clearly determine what tasks will be performed with the tool. Depending on these tasks, the choice is made on the type of saw. The selection of the tool is carried out taking into account the most important characteristics.

Power

The thickness and density of the processed parts depends on the power of the tool. When working with a tree, it must be borne in mind that the density of the wood depends on its species. A more powerful tool will deal with tighter wood faster.

It should be noted that the power of the saw is directly proportional to its weight. It is uncomfortable to work with a heavy tool for a long time.

After analyzing the expected amount of work, select the saw power, which can be:

  • Small – up to 0.8 kW;
  • Medium – from 0.8 to 1.2 kW;
  • Large – over 1.2 kW.

Weight

An important parameter especially for a circular saw, which is suspended during operation. It is preferable to choose a lightweight version.

Cutting depth

This indicator depends to a large extent on the disc used, on the diameter of which the dimensions of the processed material depend. A tool designed for use with small diameter discs will not allow you to accurately cut a large workpiece.

The most popular saws for one-time work are saws with a cutting depth of 40-50 mm. For professional work, where efficiency and quality are important, they purchase tools with a cutting depth of 60-70 mm and more.

Rpm

This parameter determines productivity, cutting quality and the ability to work with different materials. The higher the indicator, the denser materials the saw can handle. It should be borne in mind that the higher the indicator, the less likely the disc will jam.

Working at an angle

Most of the models offered are capable of cutting not only in a straight line, but also at an angle of 45 °. Manufacturers have mastered the production of models with the ability to cut at an angle and 60 °.

It is important to pay attention to the characteristic “maximum cutting depth at an angle of 90 °”, this is the depth of the disc insertion into the workpiece when the saw moves perpendicular to its surface. To work with workpieces up to 40 mm thick, choose a saw with the same cutting depth at a right angle, that is, 40 mm.

Ability to work with metal

Saws capable of cutting metal are multifunctional tools. It is also successfully used for woodwork and plastics.

In comparison with the usual grinder, which is used for cutting metal, most of the cutting characteristics performed with a circular saw have better parameters.

Benefits:

  • Higher productivity;
  • Reducing noise and vibration;
  • The ability to cut metal at an angle;
  • No sparks;
  • The metal hardly heats up;
  • Safety (the disk is not prone to tearing);
  • Higher resource of a carbide disc (100 times higher than a disc for angle grinders);
  • Low cutting price (only the guillotine is cheaper);
  • High cut quality (no burrs).

Disadvantages:

  • Relatively high price per disc.

Body material

Most of the models are made of high-strength plastic. The body of a professional tool can be made of metal, which increases the working life of the tool.

Diameter of discs used

The outer diameter of the blade does not affect the working speed; it determines the depth of cut. This diameter depends on the dimensions of the protective cover. For most models, it ranges from 130 to 250 mm.

Inner bore diameter: 16 to 32 mm. It must match the diameter of the power shaft.

Additional functions

Most of the models have additional functions that make work easier and more comfortable:

  1. Smooth start – when cutting the workpiece, sharp cuts into the material are minimized, the quality of the cut is increased. The service life of the engine is increased.
  2. Collecting sawdust – the presence in the structure of a branch pipe for connecting a vacuum cleaner.
  3. Laser mark – the laser beam forms the trajectory along which the cut must be made. The beam avoids the use of a guide bar when working with a circular saw. However, to master the function, a certain skill of using the tool as a whole is required.
  4. Stationary chip removal system – practical for small volumes of work, when there is no need to connect a vacuum cleaner.
  5. Start blocking – protects the master from accidental starting of the tool (to turn on the saw, press two buttons).

Which circular saw to choose

Recommendations for choosing a circular saw for home and garden:

  1. To perform a small amount of work from time to time, you can purchase a tool with a power of 1-1.2 kW.
  2. For construction work at a summer cottage, where it is required to cut timber, boards, plywood and other sawn timber, you can purchase a circular saw with a power of more than 1.2 kW and with a cutting depth of at least 60 mm.
  3. For professional use, you can purchase models with a capacity of more than 1.2-1.5 kW, with a large number of revolutions (more than 5 thousand) and a maximum cutting depth at right angles (more than 60 mm).
  4. If it is necessary to manufacture grooves and cutouts in blanks, you can purchase a plunge-cut saw.
  5. When performing work related to the construction of metal structures, where metal cutting is required, you can consider the option of using a circular saw for metal. The advantages of using it are described above.

How much do circular saws cost

The price of the tool depends on the brand, the country of manufacture and the technical characteristics of the circular saw.

Approximate prices for circular saws of medium power (from 0.8 to 1.2 kW):

  1. Manual disk – from 2 to 45 thousand rubles.
  2. Desktop – from 5 to 9 thousand rubles.
  3. Stationary on the bed – from 11.2 to 99 thousand rubles (with a power of up to 2 kW).
  4. Submersible disc – from 10.8 to 48 thousand rubles.
  5. Rechargeable battery – from 4.8 to 47 thousand rubles.

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