Purchasing a corded circular saw can greatly expand your construction capabilities. A circular saw can rip lumber and cut bevels. If you're in need of quality shelving for a unique space, learning to use a circular saw can make it possible to customize many areas of your home and build beautiful storage at the same time.
Circular saws are great ripping tools. If your goal is cut down plywood to build shelving, trunks or bench seating, purchasing a great circular saw and learning all of the important features will make your construction projects fun and safe.
From top to bottom, you'll find:
Inside the molded handle at the top of the saw is a trigger to fire up the saw and spin the blade.
There will also be a locking switch on the other side of the handle to make sure you don't accidentally engage the trigger. These features are not adjustable, though different saws offer different clearances.
To properly handle a circular saw, you need to work the trigger and use the front grip to guide the saw. This will stabilize the saw and avoid twisting. Twisting the saw can cause the blade to bind and result in kickback. Kickback occurs when the saw stops moving forward in a cutting motion and instead bounces back away from the blade edge. If you're operating your saw and hear a change in the pitch of the motor, as though the saw is under extreme load, release the trigger immediately.
As depicted in this video, kickback can be quite dangerous. It can be extremely hard on your hands and wrists to have a saw kickback at you, and dropping the saw puts your lower body at risk. You can also damage your saw and your lumber.
There are two cranks or toggles on your saw, one for plate angle and one for plate height. You adjust the angle and depth of your cut by altering the plate placement and thus altering how the saw moves through the lumber. When lining up the plate for the proper blade depth and angle, be certain to keep your finger off the trigger. While the safety stop switch should protect you from accidental starts, these can fail.
The blade guard will rotate smoothly up and away from the blade. As you cut, this will move away automatically. The only time you should need to manually move the blade guard is when you line up a cut or are starting a plunge cut.
The cord of your saw will be wrapped in a protective shield in the area where it leaves the body of the saw. This shield stiffens the cord and keeps it from easily falling into the blade path. Take care to store your saw in such a way that this cord protrusion is not compressed or damaged; this will keep the cord from falling into danger as you cut.
When checking or changing the blade, make sure your saw is unplugged as you're instructed in this video. Some saws require an Allen wrench or a special tool to change the blade. There are velcro cord attachments you can get that will make it possible to store these blade changing tools at the far end of your power cord. If your saw has a case, you can store the blade changing tools in there.
The previous video suggests blocking the blade from rotating with a piece of lumber. While your saw will have a locking feature that will stop the blade from rotating while you loosen the blade, this lumber trick is a good habit to get into; it will stop you from reaching with your fingers to stop the blade from turning. Remember: Saws will cut whatever you put in front of them!
This little saw is a dream come true for many deck builders and home carpenters. Have a staircase that needs trimming? The Rockwell RK3441K offers 5 amps and 3500 rpm of cutting power in a small space. If you're working indoors, there's a dust bag to cut down on the mess!
For a small corded circular saw, the RK3441K has excellent cutting depth. At 90 degrees, you'll clear your way through 1-11/16" lumber. At the full 45-degree bevel capacity, your maximum cutting depth is 1-1/8". Whether you're cleaning up a deck edge, trimming a staircase or cutting baseboards, this little saw will make your work go faster. Two by four lumber is not a problem; the 5 1/2 circular saw cut depth will handle it easily.
This saw is built to work with a 55" guide rail that's included with the saw. You can purchase additional rails and connection kits if you need to make longer cuts. This circular saw makes it easy to lay out long, splinter-free cuts.
The Makita SP6000J1 is a flexible and extremely user-friendly saw that could be of great assistance to DIYers and professional building crews. If you've struggled to find a table saw that will stay true as it travels from job site to job site, consider investing instead in the lightweight Makita SP6000J1. This 6 1/2 inch corded circular saw, when mounted to the rail, offers plenty of lumber ripping power and weighs less than 10 pounds.
Total ripping depth can be adjusted to more than 2 inches. This saw is designed to produce a splinter-free cut, so cabinet makers will really appreciate the smooth finish. Despite the custom nature of the rail and base plate, this saw uses standard 6 1/2 circular saw blades.
The 5005BA offers the flexibility of a small, lightweight saw but still has the power you need to get your projects done. This 5 1/2 inch corded circular saw has a large trigger opening and the red locking button is conveniently located for small hands.
This saw is under 7 pounds but still features an 8 amp motor for plenty of cutting power. The blade depth and angle knobs are large and easy to adjust and lock down. The Blade-Left design feature makes it easy to line up your cuts and the locking nut you need to access to change blades is simple to address. Makita is a reliable brand and offers terrific service; this is one of the best 5-1/2 inch circular saw options on the market.
This saw offers 14 amps of power for 5,000 rpm of cutting speed. Even with the 7 1/4 inch blade, it only weighs just over 9 pounds. Safe operating instructions for circular saws recommend maintaining a firm grip at the trigger and the front of the tool, and the Ryobi 7-1/4 offers both plenty of trigger space and a large stabilizing handle at the front of the saw.
The blade changing mechanism is keyless and straightforward. The Ryobi 7-1/4 also offers a laser guiding feature to line up your cuts. The deck of this saw is broad and durable, so even fully tilted for a long bevel cut, this saw will feel balanced and stable.
This corded circular saw offers plenty of power in a lightweight package. For just over 9 pounds, you a get 2 HP motor. The SKIL 5385-01 comes with a ripping blade; for cabinet work, you may want to purchase a finer blade. You'll have plenty of RPMs to cut through whatever lumber you're using.
The front grip of the SKIL 5385-01 is well designed and offers easy control. The safety switch for the trigger is easy to get to and the trigger opening is quite comfortable for smaller hands.
When studying corded circular saw reviews, it's important to note that many beginning users can struggle to address tool basics, including blade changes. Unfortunately, the instructions included with this saw are not clear. Consider studying YouTube videos to make assembly a little easier.
Each user is different; the best corded circular saw for one may not work well for another. However, for the purposes of this review, the Rockwell wins the day. This little saw will work for nearly any application, is nimble and easy to manage. You can rip 3/4 lumber stock, trim 2 x 4s, and walk away with most of your dust captured.
While this is not a cabinet grade saw, few are. A quality circular saw will allow you to slowly rip lumber, and the Rockwell has this capability. However, this little saw will also allow you to work over your head in safety and with great visibility.