Circular Saw Safety and Use

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Tool Check: All parts in good working order

Safety Inspection

  • Blade guard operation?
  • Cord and plug condition?
  • Blade condition?
  • Missing, broken, or bent parts?
  • Is the bevel set to the right angle?
  • Blade depth set?

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

  • Unplug the saw

  • Set blade depth 1/4” deeper than the material being cut

Setting the blade depth

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

Blade depth adjustment (UP)

  • Loosen lever

  • Raise or lower base to change blade depth

  • Set blade depth to ¼” more than material being cut

  • Tighten lever

Lever loosens when pushed upward

Base plate is then free to move up and down

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Blade depth adjustment (Down)

  • Loosen lever

  • Raise or lower base to change blade depth

  • Set blade depth to ¼” more than material being cut

  • Tighten lever

Lever loosens when pushed upward

Base plate is then free to move up and down

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Video clip: Blade depth adjustment

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  • Base plate is larger on one side

  • Primary section of the base plate is directly under the heavy side of the saw

  • Heavy side should always be supported

Primary section of base plate

Small side of base plate

Base plate sides

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

Unsupported

Saw position: Unsupported saw

Heavy side of saw

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

  • Identify the heavy side of the saw

  • Plan the cut with the heavy saw side supported

  • Saw stays solid

  • Scrap can fall away freely

Supported

Saw position: Support the saw

Heavy side of saw

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

Zero degree or no bevel setting

To stay on track and cut a straight line, watch both:

1. the blade

AND

2. the guide notch

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

45 degree bevel setting

To stay on track and cut a straight line, watch both:

1. the blade

AND

2. the 45 degree guide notch

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

Cutting: Consider the shape of the blade

Cut looks finished from above

Still has this far to go to finish

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

  • Cut past the end of the board

  • Commit to the cut and push through past the board

  • Allow scrap to fall

  • Stay aware of moving blade

The follow through

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

1. Rest the front of base plate flat on the surface and line up your guide notch

2. Open moveable blade guard with pinky

3. Start saw with blade above the material and slowly lower the back of the saw down

Plunge cuts

2

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

Safety hazard: Avoid binding

  • Binding occurs when material pinches blade

  • If saw or material is not supported properly binding can occur

  • Changing blade direction while cutting can cause binding

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Great for production work and fine and fast cuts.

Review:

  • Safety check the tool for problems before use

  • Follow completely through past the material with the blade for a complete cut

  • Sight the guide notch and blade edge when cutting for straight cuts

  • Use both hands on the tool when cutting for safety and control

  • Follow the 3 steps when plunging and USE TWO HANDS

  • Avoid binding by making sure both the saw and material is supported

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Vocabulary:

Base plate: Flat saw plate that slides along the material being cut


Bevel adjust lever: Locking lever adjustment that allows the base plate to tilt side to side for making angled bevel cuts

Binding: Hazardous condition when cutting between two supports causing the cut material to sag downward, pinching the blade.


Blade depth adjust lever: Locking lever that allows the base plate to be raised and lowered for cutting materials of different thickness


Blade lock: Button that stops the motor rotation so the axle nut can be removed when changing a blade


Cross cut: Cutting perpendicular to the wood grain and across the short width of a board


Direct drive/Sidewinder: Saw configuration where the blade is directly connected to the shaft of the saw motor


Fixed blade guard: Blade guard section that does not retract.


Line guide notches (0 and 45): Notch or notches at front of base plate for lining up a cut when the bevel angle is set to either 0 degrees and 45 degrees.


Moveable blade guard: Blade guard that retracts as the saw is pushed forward through the material.


Rafter hook: Foldable hook on side of saw for hanging the tool when not in use


Reverse thread: Bolt threading that tightens using a counterclockwise direction


Rip cut: Cutting parallel to the wood grain or the long direction of the board


Worm drive:  Saw configuration where the motor is connected to the blade through a right angle gear box which adds weight and torque to the tool.


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Sources:

Unless otherwise noted, all images in this presentation were sourced from the TEACH Construction Image Library.

If you are a teacher or instructor and would like access to these and similar resources please visit TEACHConstruction.org for more information

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FND.prs.Circular Saw Safety and Use - Google Slides