According to statistics, table saws cause more severe injuries compared to other power tools or woodworking machines. In fact, we can easily pronounce the circular saw as the most dangerous where handheld woodworking power tools are concerned.
Therefore, even for a seasoned pro, this instrument holds many dangers. However, if used correctly and carefully, one will be able to reduce harm to the barest minimum.
So, how can you use a circular saw safely as you work?
Here we say some of the circular saw safety rules.
Before using any power tool, you must first Carry out this vital step: wear safety equipment. It is the first step to having a harm-free experience while using your circular saw. Always make sure you’re wearing the following:
- hearing protection
- safety glasses
- avoid loose attires and wear something that covers your whole body
This safety equipment will reduce harm in no small way as you work with your circular saw.
Set Your Saw Appropriately
As you make preparations to slash your wood with the saw, ensure that the blade is set at nothing higher than 1/4-inch below the edge of the board you’re cutting.
This is because there is no point in leaving two inches of the saw blade bare under the cut of a sheet of plywood that is 1/2-inch thick. When you cut this way, the blade will be angled in such a way that the cut is cleaner and more delicate.
This is much better than having the cutting edge move towards the board as the result will not appear very enticing. Besides, you’ll be preventing accidents because there will be no extra blade under the cut to slash anything else beneath the cut board.
How to Remedy Blade Guard Issues
Blade guards pose serious challengers to many users of circular saws. Especially when it is used to cut thin materials, blade guards tend to get caught and not withdraw as it ought to.
In situations like this, you may need to remedy the situation manually by using your hands. If this is the issue, then ensure that you grab the blade guard using your offhand.
Then, raise the handle so that there’ll be enough space to move the saw forward. Avoid using anything to support the blade guard so it remains open because this will expose the blade.
How You Should Handle Saw Blades
When it comes to using your circular saw, you will want to ensure that your blades are both pitch-free and very sharp. The dangers with dull blades are that they will bind and kick back, thus making your job harder and riskier.
On the other hand, sharp edges do not need that much effort before they slash through the wood. In fact, they do it quickly and leave a more polished finish.
How to Cut Safely
A Circular saw is primarily used for cutting. Therefore, since we’re discussing safely using the equipment, we must not forget to talk about cutting safely.
Typically, a direct-drive circular saw has its blade seated on the right side of the motor of the saw. What this means for a right-handed user is that he or she must bend over the instrument to get a clear view of the cut line.
On the other hand, worm drive saws have their blades on the left angle of the body of the saw. This feature is precisely what makes the blade and cut line easier for a right-handed operator to see. Of course, the opposite is the case when it comes to a left-handed user
Start your cutting process by first placing your board on a hard and sturdy surface. The surface should secure the board while enabling the section to be cut away to not restrain the machine.
We recommend that you prop large boards using cut-offs. You can use two 2×4 cut-offs to support the cut piece. This prevents the piece from being cut off from restraining the blade or falling off before you finish cutting.
Make a Cut Using a Guide
Depending on the kind of cut you want to make, there are specific guides you can use to achieve good cuts with your circular saws. If it is an extended cut, you can use a straight edge. For short cuts use a combination square.
When using a square all you need do is make sure the saw blade and cut line are aligned. After this, place your combination square such that the lip is steadily against the far corner of the cut piece. The vertical edge of the square should also tally with the side of the saw’s base.
When beginning to cut, you must let the edge of the saw’s base rest firmly against the square’s side. A metal straightedge and clamps are best for longer cuts on plywood. The brace will keep the straight edge in a good position while you use it as a guide for your saw.
Let go of the trigger when you’ve finished the cut. However, unless the saw blade has stopped turning, the saw’s base should still remain in contact with the cut piece. It is after the blade has stopped that you’re free to put the saw down. This is necessary to prevent the power cord or user from being harmed by the still rolling blade.
Free Handing a Cut
Because circular saws are light and can slash through wood and other materials very fast, construction workers may try to use the machine to cut through a board while holding the board in their free hand.
This style is very wrong and dangerous. The correct thing is to use a sawhorse or stack of lumber as support for the board. This way, you will be preventing the blade from being exposed or the board from getting flung in the wrong direction.
Even when resting the wood sheet across two sawhorses, you must do it the right way. Ensure that you position your board horizontally across the two sawhorses while aligning the bottom of your worm drive saw evenly with the top of the 2×4 to achieve the cut.
Though a circular saw can cut through various materials, avoid using the equipment for a task it is not made for. You can damage your instrument or harm yourself in the process. Stick to this correct method of using the circular saw that we’ve explained to you here and it’ll not only be much easier to make a cut, but you’ll also prevent many injuries.