A corded circular saw containing a 24-tooth, 7 1/4-inch blade rotates at a speed of 5800 rpm. Crunching the math, that means the metal teeth spin at a speed of 125 miles per hour. With this much power, you can slice right through soft or hard wood with ease. It is for this simple reason that the small circular saw is among the most popular portable woodcutting tools on the market.
As is the case with any type of tool, the power saw comes in a variety of models. The best circular saws allow for easy adjustment and blade visibility since seeing where you’re cutting is paramount to making accurate cuts. The better saws will have a higher base alignment and kerf indicators to ensure smooth operation for any cutting job. Below are aspects that make one circular saw stand out from the next.
The true capabilities of any circular saw ultimately come down to the versatility of cutting styles they allow. The types of cuts you can make depend on the saw’s ability to adjust to those needs. For example, beveling calls for a saw with a tilting base for angled cuts. Other important features range from an adjustable handle to an electric brake that stops the blade when the trigger is released. Each feature offers increased levels of safety and versatility and will differ between products.
One of the most important elements in any power saw is the ability to adjust blade depth and angle. As such, circular saws have either knobs or levers to allow for making these adjustments. Levers are the better alternative as they are easier to use on the fly. Having adequate adjustments for the blade ensures the base edge remains parallel with the blade and doesn’t bind or veer when guided against a straightedge.
Circular saws come in several designs, the most popular being worm drives and sidewinders. Worm drives tend to be heavy and unbalanced, though they are incredibly powerful. Sidewinders earn their name for the motor protruding from the side of the blade, and they are typically cheaper and lighter. Other types include highly portable cordless saws as well as trim saws that are simply a smaller circular saw.
Circular saws earn their popularity by being versatile and inexpensive. You can use these portable saws to do anything from crosscutting to ripping to beveling and plunge cuts with relative ease. All you need to know is what you want to accomplish with a saw and then determine which device will help you accomplish it.
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