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What is a Circular Saw Used For?

If you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, you’ve probably heard about or used a circular saw. It’s a versatile power tool that can make your work easier and more efficient. But what exactly is a circular saw used for? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re in the right place. This article will slice right into the various circular saw uses, their types, and safety precautions to consider while using most circular saws.

What is a Circular Saw?

A circular saw is one of many powered saws that specifically has a round, flat blade, or diamond blade, with sharp teeth that spins at high speed to cut through various materials allowing for precise control of cutting depth and direction. It’s a must-have for anyone who regularly works with wood or metal. It can make precise cuts in straight lines, making it an essential tool in woodworking and construction.

Different Types of Circular Saws

Before we cut into what a circular saw is used for, it’s crucial to understand the different types of circular saws available. They differ in design, power, and the nature of cuts they make.

Sidewinder/In-line Circular Saws

This type of circular saw has a motor mounted on the side, resting on the material being cut. It’s lightweight and spins at a high speed, making it suitable for overhead cuts.

Worm Drive Circular Saws

A worm drive saw has its motor mounted towards the back, making it longer and narrower than a sidewinder. It provides more torque but with less blade speed. Its length makes it easier to cut wide boards and to make plunge cuts.

Hypoid Circular Saws

They look similar to worm drive saws but have a different gearbox and transmission. A hypoid saw improves blade contact, power, and efficiency while reducing motor size and noise. It’s excellent for cutting long pieces of wood, even if the wood is damp or wet.

A man uses a circular saw to cut through a piece of wood

Types of Circular Saw Blades

The type of circular saw blade you choose for your saw will depend on the material you plan to cut and the finish you want to achieve. Below are the three most popular blade types!

Ripping Saw Blades

These blades are designed to cut in the same direction as the wood grain, providing clean, smooth, and straight cuts. The large, straight teeth on the blade make it easier to remove dust from the cut.

Combination Saw Blades

These blades are designed to perform both crosscuts and rips, making them suitable for less powerful circular saws. They are often referred to as “all-purpose saw blades.”

Crosscut Saw Blades

These blades are designed to cut perpendicular to the wood grain, providing a smooth, clean cut. They are usually carbide-tipped and feature kerfed teeth, which alternate from left to right leaning.

A circular saw blade with a red back ground

What Are Circular Saws Used For?

Now that we know what a circular saw is and its different types, let’s look into the various circular saw uses!

Large-Scale Wood Cutting

In a sawmill, a circular saw is often used to cut large pieces of timber. Because of the wood’s large surface, a larger circular saw is usually used.

Creating Firewood

A small circular saw is perfect for chopping firewood into compact logs.

Cutting Down Metals

Cold-saws, a type of circular saw, are often used to cut metals like bronze, brass, and steel. The sharp, serrated blade allows for precise cuts.

Obtaining Straight Edges

Circular saws are often designed for cutting at various angles. However, when you need to create straight edges or 90-degree cuts, a circular saw is your best friend.


Cross-cutting involves reducing the length of long wood and boards by cutting along the direction of the grain. A circular saw is the most convenient tool for cross cuts.

Bevel Cutting

A bevel angle is a vertical or horizontal slope often used to connect different blocks. A circular saw is good for cutting bevels at a 45-degree angle.

Cutting Long Plywood

Whether you’re crafting a shelf, a desk, or a spice rack, most woodworking projects involve the use of boards and plywood. Even though a table saw can be used for this, a circular saw is often recommended.

Man sawing plywood along cutting line

Safety Tips When Using a Circular Saw

As with any power tool, safety should always be a priority when using a circular saw. Below are some safety tips to keep in mind when using a circular saw!

Always unplug the saw or remove the battery when changing the blade or not in use.

Unplugging the saw or removing the battery when not in use or changing the blade is smart to prevent accidental activation unless using cordless circular saws. This precautionary measure eliminates the risk of the saw unexpectedly starting, which could lead to serious injuries or damage to the tool itself. It ensures safety for the user and those around the work area.

Let the saw cut at its own speed. Avoid forcing the cut.

Letting the saw cut at its own speed along the cutting line is important to avoid overloading the motor and blade, which can lead to kickback and inaccurate cuts. Forcing the saw through the material increases the risk of the blade binding or the saw malfunctioning, potentially causing injury to the operator and damaging the saw or the workpiece.

Wear safety goggles at all times when operating the saw.

Wearing safety goggles at all times during saw operation is essential to protect the eyes from flying debris, sawdust, and potential splinters. These materials can cause serious eye injuries or impair vision during use, leading to accidents. Safety goggles provide a barrier that helps prevent such hazards.

A pair of safety glasses and a yellow pair of earmuffs

Never place your hand near the blade.

Never placing your hand near the blade is critical to prevent severe injuries. The blade of a circular saw is extremely sharp and spins at high speeds, capable of causing significant or even catastrophic harm in a fraction of a second. Utilizing the blade guard is extremely important in these cases as well. Keeping hands away from the spinning blade minimizes the risk of accidental cuts or amputations.

Rent a Circular Saw from AOS Rental

At AOS Rental, we offer a wide range of high-quality tools and accessories for both professionals and hobbyists. Whether you need a circular saw for a small DIY project or a large construction job, we have you covered. Our friendly and knowledgeable team is always ready to help you choose the right tool for your needs. So why wait? Reach out to us today for a free quote!

In conclusion, a circular saw is a versatile power tool with a variety of uses. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, understanding what a circular saw is used for can help you make the most of this tool. Remember always to prioritize safety when using a circular saw. Happy sawing!

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