If you have wood cutting jobs to do, the circular saw is the ideal tool. However, to choose a circular saw suited to your needs, there are several elements to take into account, such as its power, the type of blade (number of teeth, diameter, etc.), the technology (guide rail, Laser ..). To help you choose a good circular saw, here are our tips on how to choose circular saws.
Choose between the “classic” or plunge Circular Saw
The classic circular saw: as stated above, any circular saw can be useful for making wood cuts. The most common is held with two hands. To switch it on or off, activate a handle located on the back of the device. The front handle, of the circular saw, is there to orient it in space. The cut is straight and can be done on different thicknesses of wood. For cutting, the depth must be predetermined in advance. Most of the time, the conventional circular saw is used to cut boards. It can cut thicker pieces of wood, but these should not exceed its cutting depth. The circular saw has a motor that can rotate the blade from 3000 to 6000 rpm.
The plunge circular saw: the plunge circular saw has a rather practical feature. Unlike the conventional circular saw, the plunger blade is not fixed and can descend into the wood. Once the cutting depth has been set, you start your plunge saw and then gradually lower the blade to the set depth. It is therefore possible to start cutting a piece of wood directly in the middle. The blade is protected by a cover, which adjusts according to the movements of the blade, protecting the latter but also protecting you, at a minimum, from dust and fragments of flying wood. Just like the classic circular saw, the plunge circular saw has a motor that can rotate the blade from 3000 to 6000 rpm.
The battery-powered circular saw: this professional circular saws can be wireless. The problem is that they only get energy from their battery and are therefore less powerful, both in terms of duration of use and in depth of cut.
Which power to choose for your circular saw?
The power: the power of a circular saw is very important to take into account because it is what defines the capacity of the saw to cut through the material. To choose the power, it all depends on the use you will make of your professional circular saw. If you only need to cut melamine, MDF or chipboard planks of small thickness (between 3 and 22 mm), a 1200 watt saw will be sufficient. On the other hand, if you have to cut planks, beams or even thick planks of hard wood, it will be necessary to turn to saws from 1800 to 2200 watts.
Cutting depth: The cutting depth must also be taken into account since it complements the power of the circular saw. For example, if you are a carpenter and you have to cut thick planks of wood, the ideal circular saw should have a cutting depth of 85 mm minimum requiring a motor of 2000 watts and more, as for weight, it should be around 10 kilos.
As you can imagine, the weight is linked to the power of the device. The heavier it is, the larger the engine and the more powerful.
Which cutting guide should I use for a circular saw?
The circular saw generally has two different types of cuts. Here they are in detail:
Circular saw with laser liner and adjustable guide: The adjustable guide of the circular saw is very important since it is it which directly impacts the precision of the cut. Normally, most circular saws are equipped with this famous adjustable guide, fixed to the base and also parallel to it.
However, it should be noted that the guide is not always best suited, especially if the cut is far from the edge or the latter deviates. It is for this reason that some circular saws are equipped, in addition, with a laser line to allow the user to better handle his circular saw. Of course, the user must still have great self-control to achieve a precise cut.
Circular saw with a guide rail: These models are the most precise. The aluminum rail (to which are attached non-slip joints placed on the piece of wood to be cut). Thus, the sole of the saw slides on the rail, held by seals, and ensures perfect precision.
What options and accessories to choose for your circular saw?
You should know that a good circular saw could turn up to 6000 rpm per minute. It is therefore very important to strengthen user safety. Other options focusing on the comfort and maneuverability of the circular saw are also available. Here are the accessories that you can add to your circular saw:
– A dividing knife: this small knife prevents the pieces of cut wood from being stuck in the circular saw blade.
– A blade brake: as its name suggests, the brake allows the blade to stop more quickly. With a blade brake, the stopping time of your circular saw does not exceed 3 seconds.
– A speed changer: allows you to adapt the speed (and therefore the power) of the circular saw according to the material being cut or its thickness, which avoids burning the wood with a disc rotating too fast.
– Rear evacuation: evacuation allows the chips to be collected and ejected at the rear.
– Connection to a vacuum cleaner: this allows you to easily vacuum the dust and very small chips, and keep a cleaner workspace.
– A line dedicated to your professional circular saw: improves precision and better visualizes the cutting line.
How to choose the blade for your circular saw?
There are different types of circular saw blades, to be chosen according to different criteria. Here’s what you’ll need to study:
The depth of cut of your circular saw blade: the diameter of your circular saw blade will be what will define your possibility of depth. For example, you will need a diameter of 185 mm for a depth of 60 mm or 230 mm for a depth of 85 mm.
The number of teeth of your circular saw: generally, these devices have between 10 and 64 teeth. The more teeth on your saw blade, the sharper, but slower, the cut will be. It is therefore advisable to use a 10/24/36 tooth blade when making coarse cuts and to favor 48/64 tooth blades when you want a clean cuts.
The multi-material circular saw blade: if, in your activity, you have to cut several materials, you are advised to choose this blade for your circular saw. These blades can cut wood, copper, aluminum or plastic.
Practical advice for choosing your circular saw
Here is a small selection of circular saws adapted to your profile:
For an occasional user: a circular saw (wired or not) of 1200 watts is largely sufficient. You can opt for a blade with 10 to 24 teeth maximum, made of tungsten carbide (better than steel).
If cutting is a frequent hobby: (if you are making furniture for example), turn to a more powerful circular saw model of 1800 watts maximum.
Finally, if you are a professional: and the professional circular saw is part of your work tools, take a much more power, up to 2300 watts but also smaller circular saws, especially if you have to make small works. This will prevent you from moving around all the time with a device that is too heavy and / or too powerful.