The Easy Way To Use A Circular Saw (even if you’ve never held one before)

Let’s learn how to use a circular saw for beginners (even if you’ve never held a power tool). Okay, so if you are just getting started into the world of home projects, DIY and learning power tools (hey-ooo) that is awesome and I hope I can be the one to teach you how to use all the power tools.

But for now let’s just start with the one. Circular Saw.

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What Is A Circular Saw?

So quickly let’s break down the basics of a circular saw, this is all must know info that is going to help you create better cuts, faster projects and just give you the understanding of the power tool you’ll be using.

A circular saw is a power tool that is either powered by cord or with a battery and uses force and blades to make a cut or rip on wood, metal or concrete.

It is an awesome tool that all DIYers need in their toolbelt. (tool-shelf really)

Best Circular Saw For Beginners

Circular Saw Basics / Getting To Know Your Saw

how to use a circular saw - beginners guide to circular saws for DIY or home use. Circular saw basiscs

Bevel Adjustment

The bevel adjustment is usually in the front of the circular saw. It is used to make angled cuts. Just move it around to see a different degree of cuts.

Shoe / Plate

The shoe sometimes called a plate is the flat (either metal or plastic) piece of the saw. It lays flat on the surface you are cutting.

Blade Cover

The blade cover on a circular saw is there for safety reasons. To make sure that the part of the blade that is spinning is covered and only the part that is cutting is being exposed as it makes revolutions.

Bolt Clamp

Is the bolt that will hold the blade to the power tool. This is also the bolt you will loosen when removing your old blade.

Power Switch / Trigger

Most circular saws have a power switch / trigger when pressed (inside handle) tells the saw to start and when you stop pressing it the saw stops. Some have a lock in place to avoid it from being turned on when pressed.

Blade Depth

It is the depth that the blade will pass your wood. You will determine blade depth by holding your unplugged circular saw alongside the item you will be cutting. Make sure that the blade is retracted. Then slowly adjust the blade knob or lever until about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of blade is passed your material. Then tighten the lever knob and you are ready to start

How To Use A Circular Saw

Before even turning on your saw make sure that you have the proper safety equipment and that your wood (or whatever material you’ll be cutting) is properly secure.

Safety Equipment For Working With Circular Saws

For YouFor Material
N95 Face MaskVacuum Cleaner (for sawdust)
Ear MuffsArea with clear space for job

Then you’ll go ahead and make sure that the saw is disconnected while you add your blade, and adjust the blade depth.

1. Mark Your Wood

Before making the cut make sure you know what you’re going to cutting. It is also a great idea to add an x to the part of wood that you won’t be using just to help you out.

2. Align Your Saw

The area that is marked “0” zero on your saw is where you’ll want to line up your mark and your blade.

3. Press & Hold Start Trigger

Press the start trigger and look at your blade to start the cutting.

4. Let Bade Move While You Guide

Look at your blade and your line that you drew or did with chalk line. Follow it. You don’t want to put pressure or jerk the saw while the blade is in the wood, it could cause kickback and put some strain on the motor.

5. Let Go Of The Start Trigger To Stop The Blade

If your saw comes with an electric brake you can use that to stop the saw faster if not it will take about 15 seconds or so for the saw to come to a stop.

How To Cut Straight With A Circular Saw

The best way to assure a straight cut is to use a few different tools to make sure you get the job done correctly. You’ll first want to clamp down the material you plan to cut to avoid it from moving, then you’ll want to make a straight cut by either using a chalk line or a Swanson Triangle for smaller cuts.

Circular Saw Cutting Tips

Angle Cuts

When you are going to cut at an angle and need a certain degree make sure you clamp down your material to avoid it from wobbling, moving and for safety. Then while the machine is off, adjust your bevel and secure it in place then proceed to make the cut.

A Cutting Guide

You can use different methods as a cutting guide but our top two are

  1. Chalk line
  2. Swanson tool

A chalk line helps especially if you have a larger cut to do. A Swanson Tool is useful if you have smaller cuts like if you are cutting a piece off of a 2×4.

Put Cord Over Your Shoulder

This will help you as you start to do a long cut to avoid the cord from being in the way.

Clamp What You’ll Use

What this means is that you don’t have to clamp down the side that you will not be using. This way when you make the cut it can fall off.

Changing The Blade

Always make sure that when you’re changing the blade of your circular saw that the power tool is off. Then go ahead and remove the bolt clamp, the blade and make sure you don’t lose the washer that is placed after the blade. Then go ahead and put the washer, blade and bolt back on with your new blade.

Position Blade Before Cutting

When you are about to make a cut, after marking your material. Make sure that you position the blade to the cut line and not what seems like the center of the machine.

FAQ For Circular Saws?

What is the best saw for a beginner?

The best saw for a beginner depends on what you need for the job. You can check out our top 5 favorite circular saws here (my favorite is the first one mentioned)

What kind of projects can a beginner do with a circular saw?

The projects you can do with a circular are endless honestly. You can cut wood and make bed frames, you can cut metal and make a shed, make a fence, etc.. Honestly once you get it down and use it a few times creating projects will become easier and there is no shortage of what you can make and create.


Now that you know more about circular saws and how to use one, I can’t wait for the projects you start to create. If you have any further questions about circular saws please let me know in the comments. If you don’t let me know what project you’re working on.

Please remember to always be safe and have the proper safety items while working with any power tools.

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How To Use A Circular Saw For Beginners

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