Last updated on June 25th, 2020 at 04:10 pm
Even though they’re called circular saws, circular saws are not used for cutting circles or any irregular shape for that matter. They’re for cutting straight lines.
However, making a straight cut with a circular saw can be quite tricky especially if you’re a newbie and you don’t have enough experience with the tool yet.
In this article, I’ll show you simple tips and techniques on how you can cut straight lines every time with a circular saw.
5 Steps to make straight cuts with a circular saw successfully
1. Secure the wood by clamping it
Securing or clamping the wood will allow you to stop worrying about the wood and focus on the cut.
Many a time, you can cut any wood with a circular saw without clamping it especially when you’re very experienced using the circular saw, or maybe the weight of the wood or board you’re cutting makes it almost impossible for it to shift during the cuts.
However, it’s always advisable to clamp and secure the board before making the cut. This will prevent it from shifting out of line when making the cut, and allow you maximum country of both the saw and the wood, ultimately resulting in straighter cuts.
2. Hold the blade properly
There’s a right and wrong way to hold a circular saw, just like there are different types of circular saws.
The way you hold the saw will definitely affect how the cut turns out to be. There’re two types of circular saws. Right hand hand saws and left hand circular saws.
Right hand circular saws is for righties and left hand circular saws is for lefties. Although not using your hand type affords you greater visibility of the cutting blade, you’re able to hold the saw better without hands crossing over when you use your hand type of circular saw.
3. Set the appropriate depth of cut
The first thing you need to do if you want to cut with your circular saw is to set the correct depth of cut. Without the right depth of cut, your cut might end up skewed.
Apart from that, not setting the right depth of cut is not actually safe when using a circular saw.
You need to adjust the circular saw blade so that it just protrudes from the bottom of the wood you’re cutting, maybe by a quarter of an inch.
4. Use a circular saw guide
If you’re not an experienced circular saw user, your best bet to make straight cuts every time is to use a circular saw guide like the Kreg rip-cut guide.
With a circular saw guide, you don’t have to measure and you don’t even have to draw a straight line to mark the cut line.
You just have to lock the Kreg reg circular saw guide on the width you want to cut and make your cut.
It’s great for making straight rip cuts, repeat cuts, and most important of all, you get to make straight cuts every time as you push the circular saw along the slide.
5. Avoid Splinters by cutting with the good side of the board facing down
The way a circular saw works is that the pointed side of the blade teeth rotates upwards from under the saw into the wood.
That means, if you’re cutting across the wood grain, there’re going to be splinters at the top. To avoid messing up the good side of your wood, always cut with the good side of the board facing down, so that when there are splinters at the top, they can stay hidden after assembling your work.
6. Allow the circular saw blade to come to full speed before making your cut
This is a very important step you need to take before making any cut with your circular saw. Once you compress the saw trigger, allow the blade to come to full speed before bringing the blade in contact with the wood you’re cutting.
If not, the blade will make a mess on the edge of the wood on its way through the wood. So, always let the blade come to full speed before making your cut.
7. Don’t forget safety
Even though making straight cuts is very important to make beautiful works in your workshop or jobsite, safety is even more important.
So, observe all the circular saw safety rules, and wear the required protective equipment like safety goggles to protect your eyes from saw dust and debris while using your circular saw.
Follow the above steps, and you’ll make straight cuts with your circular saw every time.