Circ Saw - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Tools: Looking to purchase your first circular saw? If so, here are a few things to consider.

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Circ Saw



For occasional home repair work, an inexpensive model without any bells and whistles is probably all you'll ever need. You'll be looking for a unit with a 7 1/4" blade and a retractable guard. Expect to pay under $100.

For trim carpentry or making furniture and cabinetry, consider a saw that is comfortable to use, has easy adjustment features (for setting cutting depth and bevel angle), a rigid and flat base, electric blade brake, soft start, pliable power cord, and good dust collection capability. Saws in this category cost about $250. A cordless model is worth considering, but expect to pay a hefty premium. Most blades that come with circular saws are mediocre at best, so ante up for a high quality, triple chip blade. Coupled with a shop-made or store bought edge guide you'll be making highly accurate chip free cuts in plywood in no time. For framing or rough carpentry look for a lightweight saw with a durable rugged body, high torque, and trade specific features, such as an integrated saw hook for hanging the saw on rafters or trusses, and a low blade guard. Consider an 8 1/4" or larger unit, and if you're left handed, get one with a right side blade. And remember; always use your hearing protectors and eye guards.