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Common Mistakes When Using Circular Saws

A machine is only as good as its operator and a bad workman blames his tools. Make sure you aren’t making mistakes when using your equipment so that you can achieve the best quality cut!

When it comes to cutting your best bet is usually with a circular saw. They are phenomenal machines which allow you to reduce the time it takes to cut whilst offering incredible accuracy. However a machine is only as good as the person using it so if it used incorrectly it isn’t going to give great performance, you wouldn’t take a Lambourghini around Silverstone with the hand brake on and expect a good lap time now would you?

We thought we would outline the three most common mistakes people make when using a circular saw, avoid these three things and you will be well on your way to achieving a good quality cut.

1) Are you using the right saw blade?

The most important thing to consider is the blade within the machine. Our previous blog posts have talked in depth about selecting the best blade to achieve the best results, but as a brief recap the blade you need will vary depending on the type of machine you have, the material that you’re cutting and the type of finish that you want.

For more information on which saw blade to choose please see our previous posts.



2) Is the blade on backwards?

It sounds so daft that it shouldn’t need to be mentioned, but unfortunately it happens often enough that it has to be on the list! I have spoken with lots of retailers who have had customers bring saw blades back due to one of the tips “falling off” and it is clear from the marks on the blade that the tip was the last part of the tooth to go into the wood.

Almost all circular saws will have arrows on to show which way the blade will be rotating. Similarly most blades that you buy will have a directional arrow to show the correct way for it to rotate. Always check that the arrow on the blade is pointing in the same direction as the one on the circular saw.

3) Are you cutting to the right depth?

This one is a little less obvious than the direction of the blade and is probably the most common mistake that we see. It is extremely important to consider your depth of cut. Setting the correct depth of cut will not only give you a better finish when you come through the other side of your material, but it will also help extend the life of your blade by minimising the risk of the tips coming off.

Most circular saws will allow you to change the depth to which it will cut. To achieve the best results you want to set this so that the tips of the teeth will only come out the underneath side of your material by around 5mm.

If you don’t set your depth then two things could happen. If the depth is too shallow then the blade won’t cut all the way through your material and you may need to snap the final part of the cut which will never be done neatly. If the depth is too deep and the teeth clear the other side of the material by a large distance then the blade will still cut fine, however the impact of the teeth coming back up through can cause the sides of the cut to splinter and the force of this on the carbide tips could over time cause one to come loose and fall off.


So there you have it, our previous posts have talked about using the correct blade to bring the best results but it’s also important to use the correct blade in the correct way! If you’re looking for a new saw blade but are unsure which type of blade you need to go for then feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to give our advice.

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AW Tools (Europe) Ltd, T/A Walker Tools
115 – 119 Holme Lane
Sheffield, S6 4JR

(0114) 272 4748



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