Kevin’s tips on what to look for when you’re buying a new circular saw:
• Bigger isn’t always better. Use a saw that you can comfortably handle. This
190mm saw will cut material up to 55mm thick, and it’s light enough to work with
- Go for plenty of power. This one is 1350 watts, and that’s more than
enough for the work we do.
- Get a solid base. This is important, because if the base can flex your
cuts will be inaccurate, and will vary from cut to cut.
- Check the saws “arbour” size. This is the shaft diameter, and your saw
blades must match this exactly. The two most common sizes are 16mm and 20mm.
Beware of obscure arbour sizes, because you may have difficulty obtaining
- Circular saws are designed to be used right-handed, so they eject the
waste to the right – away from you.
- Go for a saw with a “riving knife”. This is a safety device that helps
prevent “kick-back”. It does this by preventing material from jamming the
back of the blade.
- Select the right blade for the job. Most saws are sold with a 24 tooth
tungsten-carbide tipped (TCT) blade, which is an ideal general-purpose
blade. Remember Kev’s golden rule: the more teeth, the finer the cut. For
furniture making, try a 40 tooth TCT blade, and for cutting thin material
like plywood, try a 140 tooth blade.
- For safety, unplug your saw before touching the blade, wear your
personal protective equipment (eyes, ears and lungs), secure your work so it
can’t move and so off cuts can’t fall, keep power leads out of the saw’s
path, and use both hands to control the saw.
Kev reckons that if you get the right saw and blades, and follow the safety
tips, you’ll get your cutting done accurately, quickly and safely.