Circular saws are a must-have tool whether you are a professional or an amateur who has just gotten into the woodwork. They are versatile and handy. However, you must list the reasons for which you want to buy one in order to know exactly what to buy.
Accompany me through this article to know the things that you should consider before buying one.
9 Things To Consider Before Buying a Circular Saw:
1. Sidewinder Vs. Worm-drive
Circular saws are available in two styles: sidewinder and worm-drive.
The sidewinder style is the style that is more familiar with most of us. A sidewinder circular saw has its motor on the side of the blade, making the trigger beside the actual blade. Its blade is on the right side of the D-shaped handle that is set higher over the blade (left-handed saws are available as well). The motor spindle directly drives the blade; therefore, it runs faster than that of a worm-drive circular saw. Such circular saws are suitable for DIYs and amateur thanks to their lightweight, maneuverability and relatively cheap price.
The motor of a worm-drive circular saw is directly behind the blade that is located at the left. The position of the blade makes it more visible to right-hand users. Moreover, the trigger is directly behind it.
Also, worm-drivers are heavier than sidewinders because they require a gear system to change the motor action into blade spin. However, such circular saws have more torque and give the users more control when cutting. It is suitable to use in construction sites.
2. Portability: Corded Vs. Cordless
You do not want to buy a circular saw only to find that it is going to limit your working schedule because it cannot be moved! If you know for sure that your work requires moving around from one place to another, then you should get a portable circular saw; that is a cordless circular saw.
Let me explain the difference between corded and cordless circular saws, then. Corded circular saws are ones that get their power from electrical power sources; whereas, cordless ones get their powers from lithium batteries.
Corded circular saws tend to be more powerful, and therefore they are more suitable for heavy-duty jobs.
However, the technology of batteries has advanced considerably, so it is not as risky as before to buy a cordless circular saw. If you get a cordless one, make sure to charge its battery regularly. Still, you must be aware that it may stop working mid-project because the battery may run out. I do not see this risky at all because it is all the same with corded saws as well. I mean, you can buy a corded circular saw and then encounter a blackout and get stopped mid-project as well. So, it does not really make a huge difference between both styles.
You must know the purpose of buying a circular saw. For example, if you know that you are going to make a lot of bevel cuts, get a circular saw that offers high functionality in this area. Indeed, all circular saws can have bevel function, but there are ones that can provide you with greater freedom of movement and control over the bevel cuts.
On the other hand, if you know that you are never going to use a circular saw for making any angle cuts, save yourself some money and buy one that has no bevel control.
In case you are still a beginner and still wondering what a bevel cut is, it is any cut you make where the blade is not at a 90-degree angle in relation to the shoe of the saw.
The higher the power, the faster the blade spins. It is highly recommended to get a blade that spins fast because it will help you finish more work in less time. It is needless to say that the higher the RPM is,the powerful the circular saw. The power of a corded circular saw is expressed in amperage, and that of a cordless saw is expressed in voltage.
Do not ever get a circular saw with lower than a 4.600 RPM because it will kick back and get caught on the material you are cutting.
5. Blades: Material and Size
Getting a good blade material will save you a lot of money because you will not need to replace it every now and then. The best blade to get is carbide-tipped all-purpose wood-cutting blade. Do not let the low price of the stainless steel blade attract you because you will keep paying money to replace it as I said before. Steel bends over time, so if you want your blade to last, avoid steel material.
However, if you know that your saw will get knocked around, it will be better to get a steel blade, because if it hits the floor, it will just bend; whereas magnesium or aluminium might break and get damaged.
Circular saws are categorized by the diameter of their blade. The common blade size of DIYs is 7 and 1 /4 inches, which lets you cut through material that is more than three inches thick. Moreover, they offer a variety of blades choices for cutting material other than wood.
In the general use category, there are 6 1/2-inch and 8 1/4-inch saws, that can be used for lighter-duty and heavier-duty.
If you need smaller blades, you can get the 4 1/4 or 4 1/2 inches blades. You should get these when you want to cut panels, other thin material, or dimensional lumber.
6. Built-in Wrench
Different materials require different blades. If you are going to cut different material, you are going to change the blades a lot. In this case, it is better to get a circular saw that has a built-in wrench so as not to waste your time searching for one.
7. Built-in LED Bulbs
If you are going to work late at night or in a dark place for any reason, buying a circular saw with built-in LED bulbs will prove to be extremely handy. They light up when you pull the trigger, and they help you see clearly, which is a vital feature for your safety.
8. Laser Cutting Guide Line
If you are still inexperienced, it is highly advisable to get a circular saw that has a laser cutting guide line. It will make it easier for you to see where you are cutting and will light up whenever you pull the trigger on the saw. Moreover, it will help you produce precise cuts.
The laser cutting guide line can be attached, so it is not necessary to buy a circular saw with a built-in one.
Circular saws look alike, right? Well, yeah they do, but they feel different!
To know whether a certain circular saw is a good fit for you or not, you better head to your local supplier and hold it. See if its weight suits you, and see if you are comfortable with the visibility of the blade. It is also essential to hold it to see if you are comfortable while holding it.
All these factors will help you produce precise cuts with ease and professionalism.
As stated above, there are various factors to consider in order to buy a suitable circular saw. Do not panic! Go over the article again, consider the reasons you want to a circular saw for, and then you will be good to go.