Everything you need to know about the Circular Saw.

A circular saw is an electric powered saw which uses a round flat blade to cut through ideally three types of materials namely metal plastic and wood.

It is understood that the circular saw was designed by Tabitha. Babbitt, having realized a round blade would be more efficient, is credited with inventing the first circular saw used in a sawmill in 1813. The circular saw was hooked up to a water-powered machine to reduce the effort to cut lumber. She was watching men use the difficult two-man whipsaw when she noticed that half of their motion was wasted.


What makes the circular saw a must-have tool? Check out this video below…


This is how a Circular Saw works in slow motion.



One of the most notable innovations brought to the circular saw is the Sawstop technology. See below…




There are quite a few different types of circular saws on the market, this writes up thoroughly discusses the 7  different types of circular saws and how to choose the one that best suits your needs.






Worm Drive Circular Saw

The centerline of the motor on a worm drive saw is parallel to the plane of the saw blade, giving the saw a narrow profile that allows users to get into more confined spaces. The longer distance between the handle and the blade extends your reach while making a cut, which is helpful for crosscutting sheet goods. A worm drive also has larger gear teeth with more load-carrying capacity than a direct drive, which provides more power but also adds weight.

Product: The FLEXVOLT 60V MAX* 7-1/4 in. Cordless Worm Drive Style Saw with FLEXVOLT® 20V/60V MAX*

Specs  :

9.0 Ah battery offers big runtime.

The blade is oriented to the left of the motor and the handle is at the rear to optimize line of sight when cutting.

An electronic brake helps stop the blade after the trigger is released. Bevel capacity is 53° with stops at 45° and 22.5°.

The saw makes smooth, accurate cuts and delivers long runtime with a durable, high-grade magnesium shoe and an efficient brushless motor.͍

This Cordless Worm Drive Style Saw cuts to a depth of 2-7/16 in. at 90°.

The included rafter hook makes it convenient to hang the tool on the jobsite.


It’s ideal for wood cutting applications such as oriented strand board (OSB), plywood, hardwoods, dimensional lumber, and flooring. Professional framers, concrete formers, carpenters, and general contractors can boost their productivity with this too.

Expert Summary

The worm drive circular saw is one of the most common ones. It rivals the sidewinder saw. While neither saw is better than the other, they do have different benefits depending on what type of projects you tackle and the method you use.

The main difference between the two is the location of the motor and the gear arrangement. A worm drive circular saw is often longer and much heavier. The main difference between the two is the location of the motor and the gear arrangement. 

The motor is located near the rear of the circular saw. The pair of gears is often positioned at a 90-degree angle where the power is transferred to the blade.

The positioning of the blade is often different as well. The worm drive circular saw will often have the blade on the left side of the unit while the weight of the saw is positioned to the right side. Worm drive circular saws arguably have more power and are more durable than a sidewinder because of the larger gear teeth and ability to carry heavier loads.

Check out the FLEXVOLT 60V MAX* 7-1/4 in action below…





Abrassive saw

Abrasive saw / Chop Saw

The cutting action is performed by an abrasive disc, similar to a thin grinding wheel.

These saws are available in a number of configurations, including tabletop, free hand, and walk behind models. In the tabletop models, which are commonly used to cut tile and metal, the cutting wheel and motor are mounted on a pivoting arm attached to a fixed base plate. Tabletop saws are often electrically powered and generally have a built-in vise or other clamping arrangements. The freehand designs are typically used to cut concrete, asphalt, and pipe on construction sites. They are designed with the handles and motor near the operator, with the blade at the far end of the saw. Freehand saws do not feature a vise, because the materials being cut are larger and heavier. Walk-behind models, sometimes called flat saws[1] are larger saws that use a stand or cart to cut into concrete floors as well as asphalt and concrete paving materials.


DeWALT D28710 14″


The Chop Saw is powered by a 15 Amp motor for high performance without overheating. Ergonomically designed “D” handle is comfortable to reduce fatigue and increase productivity. Features Quick-Lock Vise for fast clamping


It’s ideal for wood cutting applications such as oriented strand board (OSB), plywood, hardwoods, dimensional lumber, and flooring. Professional framers, concrete formers, carpenters, and general contractors can boost their productivity with this too.

Expert Summary

An abrasive saw (sometimes called a chop saw) is a circular saw that was designed to cut harder materials such as concrete, metal, and tiles made from stone, porcelain, and ceramic.

There are a lot of arguments surrounding this power tool over whether or not it should be called a saw. This is because the disc that cuts these materials doesn’t have teeth for cutting.

The saw uses a composite friction disc that cuts through materials but wears out quickly. However, you can also buy super abrasive blades that are made of diamond or cubic boron nitride. This will last a lot longer and won’t create as much dangerous debris in the process.

Abrasive saws come in many different forms. This includes tabletop saws that are built with clamps and are commonly used to cut tiles and metals. It also includes freehand saws, which are used to cut concrete, asphalt, and pipe.

The positioning of the main components on these saws is quite unique. The handle and motor are near the operator, while the blade is positioned at the far end of the saw. Abrasive saws create a ton of heat in both the material being cut and the blade. This causes both the blade and material being cut to expand, which can make certain cuts more difficult to achieve. It can also wear out the blades a lot faster and use more energy.

Check out the chop saw in action below…







Did you know that a brush cutter is a machine that falls under the circular saw category? Well, now you know. The brush cutter (also called a brush saw or clearing saw) is a powered garden or agricultural tool used to trim weeds, small trees, and other foliage not accessible by a lawnmower or rotary mower. Various blades or trimmer heads can be attached to the machine for specific applications.
It consists of:
A power unit held close to the body.
A pole through which the power is transmitted.
A rotary cutting head at the opposite end of the pole to the power unit.
Makita DUR365UZ Cordless Li-ion Grass Trimmer
High power and more work amount powered by two 18V Li-ion batteries in series.
Direct drive system featuring Outer rotor brushless motor.
Multifunctional control panel for operating main/variable speed control/reversing switches.
o Ergonomic handlebar of Off-set design.
o Compatible with Metal blades, Chip saw blades, Plastic blades and Nylon cutting heads (Depends on destinations.)
o Smaller protector for better view of the cutting area.
o Electric Brake, Reversing, Constant Speed, Soft Start and Electronic 3 – Speed.
o Spindle Size: M10 x 1,25LH
o Sound Power Level: 86dB(A)
o No Load Speed: 3,500/5,500
o Vibration Level: 1,1m/s² (Left Handle)
o Vibration Level: 0.9m/s² (Right Handle)
o Spindle size: M 10 x 1,25LH
o Nett weight: 7kg
o 3-year warranty

Expert Summary
A is a garden tool that is often called a brush saw or clearing saw. When you have weeds or hard-to-access foliage, you would use this tool. There are various attachments, blades, and trimmer heads that can be added to a brushcutter to achieve different results.
These units are either run by gas engines, electric motors, or cordless electric motors that come with rechargeable batteries.
The unit consists of a power unit that holds the motor, which is attached to a long pole where the power from the motor is transferred.
At the very end of the brushcutter, opposite the motor, is the rotary cutting head. They come in various shafts ranging from curved shatters to straight shafts or straight split shafts.
The circular saw blade is similar to that of a circular saw. Deflectors are attached on the cutting side to prevent the operator from getting injured by the saw or any debris that the saw might throw at the operator.

Check out the Makita Grass Trimmer in action below…






Carbide saws
Carbide is a compound substance typically consisting of carbon and either tungsten or titanium that’s applied to the tips of cutting blades for improved strength and performance. Carbide is used on everything from drill bits and hand tools to band saw and circular saw blades.
Applications A carbide saw is the machine you would buy when looking to cut hard and rigid materials.
Expert Summary
The saw’s teeth are made out of cemented carbide.
There are a few different types of carbide saws. You can get a saw with a horizontal slide, which is the most common. This type of carbide saw has the saw blade mounted on the gearbox spindle and is often used as a billet saw.

Carbide saws with vertical slides are often used as layer saws so that the operator can cut multiple tubes or bars simultaneously. Carbide saws also come as pivot saws, which are mainly used to cut small tubes. Pivot saws can be used as a layer or billet saws.

See the DeWALT® FLEXVOLT® Carbide Hole Saw in action below…





Concrete Saw
A concrete saw (also known as a consaw, road saw, cut-off saw, slab saw or quick cut) is a power tool used for cutting concrete, masonry, brick, asphalt, tile, and other solid materials. They require a special blade to cut as well. There are many types ranging from small hand-held saws, chop-saw models, and big walk-behind saws or other styles, and it may be powered by gasoline, hydraulic or pneumatic pressure, or an electric motor.
Makita Concrete Power Cutter 4114S
High torque delivered at low motor speed of 3,500r/min.
4114S: Soft start function minimizes the startup shock.
Dust cover protects the operator’s hands from flying dust and chips.
Nozzle connectable with vacuum cleaner for clean operation.
SJS – Super Joint System.
Double Insulation, Soft Start and Dust Collecting. (Tool does not come with blade)
The saw blades used on concrete saws are often diamond saw blades to cut concrete, asphalt, stone, etc. Abrasive cut-off wheels can also be used on cut-off saws to cut stone and steel. The significant friction generated in cutting hard substances like concrete usually requires the blades to be cooled to prolong their life and reduce dust.

Expert Summary
A concrete saw, also known as a road or slab saw, is a circular saw that is used to cut all types of solid materials. This includes concrete, asphalt, tile, and brick, among others. You can get this saw in a handheld version or a chop-saw model.
The motors used to operate these units can be gasoline, pressurized, hydraulic, or electric. Diamond saw blades are the most common type of blade because they cut concrete and other solid materials with a lot more ease.
There is a lot of heat generated when cutting solid materials due to the friction, so it is often recommended and required to cool the blades to make them last longer and reduce debris, dust, and sparks.
The type of blade you choose should depend on the features of certain blades and the type of material you are cutting.
It will also depend on whether you are cutting dry or with water. Dry cutting has the potential to cause breaks, which could result in injury for the user or someone nearby. The blade choice will also depend on whether you need the item cut faster or if you want the blade to last a long time, as well as the power output of the saw. The power output will determine what kind of impact the blade will receive and thus determine whether you need to make the concentration higher or lower.

See the Makita Concrete Saw 4-stroke power cutter in action below..






Cold Cut Saw
A cold saw is a circular saw designed to cut metal which uses a toothed blade to transfer the heat generated by cutting to the chips created by the saw blade, allowing both the blade and material being cut to remain cool. This is in contrast to an abrasive saw, which abrades the metal and generates a great deal of heat absorbed by the material being cut and saw blade.
As metals expand when heated, abrasive cutting causes both the material being cut and blade to expand, resulting in increased effort to produce a cut and potential binding. This produces more heat through friction, resulting in increased blade wear and greater energy consumption.
Cold saws use either a solid high-speed steel (HSS) or tungsten carbide-tipped, easy to re-sharpen circular saw blade. They are equipped with an electric motor and a gear reduction unit to reduce the saw blade’s rotational speed while maintaining constant torque. This allows the HSS saw blade to feed at a constant rate with a very high chip load per tooth.
Makita Cold Metal Cutting LC1230 – 305mm
The LC1230 is powered by a Makita-built 15-amp motor that delivers 1,700 rpm for improved performance. The quick release “tool-less” guide plate adjusts from 0 degrees to 45 degrees for quick and easy Mitre cutting. Cutting capacities range from 4-1/2 inches at 90 degrees to 3-1/2 inches at 45 degrees.
Ease of Use Features for Improved Performance
Ease of use features include a quick release vise for secure material retention and fast repeated cut-offs, a socket wrench that stores on the base for convenient blade changes, and a shavings collection tray for easy waste disposal and a cleaner work environment. The LC1230 has a D-shaped handle with a 2-finger trigger and a lock-off button engineered to prevent accidental start-ups. The saw includes a carbide-tipped blade that lasts 50X longer than abrasive wheels and is engineered to cut clean, accurate and virtually burr-free.
Metal, light pipe, angle iron, tubing, conduit and channels
Expert Summary
Cold saws are another form of a circular metal cutting saw. This type of saw uses toothy blades to transfer heat generated by the cutting to any debris created by the blade.
This allows the blade and materials being cut to stay cold and not burn the operator, unlike an abrasive saw, which often generates a lot of heat. Both the saw and materials being cut will absorb the heat.
Some of these saws use a coolant system to keep the blade cooled and lubricated, which can provide additional benefits such as reducing friction and sparks. Cold saws use two types of circular saw blades, either a high-speed steel blade or a carbide-tipped blade.
These saws use lower speeds to increase force. The electric motor and gear reduction unit help to maintain appropriate speeds and torque. Cold saws are quite sought after because they produce minimal debris, burrs, sparks, and dust.
Cold saws are a little different from some other saws in that you need to be sure that you are using the right blade type, the appropriate number of teeth on the blade, speed, and torque for specific materials.
See the Makita Cold Metal Cutting LC1230 – 305mm in action below.





dewalt mitre


Mitre Saw
A power Mitre Saw, also known as a drop saw, is a power tool used to make a quick, accurate crosscut in a workpiece at a selected angle. Commonly used for cutting of molding and trim. Most Mitre saws are relatively small and portable, with common blade sizes ranging from eight to twelve inches.
The power Mitre saw was invented by Ed Niehaus, a tool designer for Rockwell, in 1964. The Mitre saw showcased several innovations still found today: radial arc spring action, blade braking and dust collection. Rockwell did not patent the design, leading to a large number of manufacturers and innovation improvements
The power Mitre saw makes cuts by pulling a spinning circular saw blade down onto a workpiece in a short, controlled motion. The workpiece is typically held against a fence, which provides a precise cutting angle between the plane of the blade and the plane of the longest workpiece edge. In standard position, this angle is fixed at 90°.
A primary distinguishing feature of the Mitre saw is the Mitre index that allows the angle of the blade to be changed relative to the fence. While most Mitre saws enable precise one-degree incremental changes to the Mitre index, many also provide “stops” that allow the Mitre index to be quickly set to common angles (such as 15°, 22.5°, 30°, and 45°)
DEWALT 779 (DWS780)
From the first radial arm saw in 1922 to the first 12” Mitre saw 70 years later, DEWALT has relentlessly led the charge in Mitre saw innovation. Revolutionary features like best-in-class accuracy, high cut capacity, integral lighting, dual bevel, and now dual power, have made DEWALT the go-to brand for jobsite professionals around the world.
The machine is stable and powerful. It is very unlikely that you would encounter a board that it could not cut through. And because it is stationary and relatively heavy, you can put it on a workbench and not worry about it moving when you set wood on it or go to make a cut.
Expert Summary
The Mitre saw function is great for making accurate crosscuts at certain angles and would use the same mounted circular saw that you find on a dedicated Mitre unit. The table saw function takes over all of the necessary tasks you would expect from a woodworking tool.
The circular saw blade is mounted to protrude through the top of the table and is driven by an electric motor. The table is designed to hold and transport the material that you are cutting.
These saws are sought after by craftsmen all over the world because they save time and space, especially for those who travel from workplace to workplace.
As long as you have a level and a free-from-debris workspace, there isn’t much more required other than to make sure the saw is firmly in place and plugged in safely, and that you are wearing the appropriate protective equipment.
There isn’t much that a flip over saw can’t do. Whether you are looking to cut large sheets of plywood or framing lumber, you are sure to get a ton of use out of one of these units.
These saws are quite robust and can last a lifetime of cutting solid materials and the impact of various environmental factors at different worksites.
If you do woodwork as a hobby or for small projects at home, you will likely have this saw for the rest of your life, as they just don’t seem to quit. Switching from Mitre to table mode is quite easy, and it fastens down for safety.
See the DEWALT 779 (DWS780) in action below.



Now that you know the different types ,here is more information you should know if you want to buy  one of these power tools.

Choosing a circular saw is usually determined by the task at hand. Don’t know how ? Let`s help you.

Corded or Cordless Saw ?
It is important to decide this. If you are close to power and aren’t making any hard-to-access cuts, corded should be fine, and you’ll never have to worry about batteries. However, cordless saws provide a lot of benefits as they can be taken into small spaces that are hard to access and make difficult cuts that wouldn’t otherwise be reachable with a cord. Some of these issues can be solved by having a mobile generator, but sometimes cordless is more efficient.

Left-handed Circular Saw
When it comes to left-handed saws, people have different opinions. While left-handed saws will provide you with much more visibility to your cutting line, your hand will cross the blade which is quite dangerous and could result in an accident.
I wouldn’t recommend using a left-handed corded saw if you are right-handed to avoid cutting the cord.

Circular Saw Size (16 & 12- inch Circular Saws)
There are also various blades to choose from that come in different sizes and are made of countless different materials. Whether you are cutting wood or steel, these factors will determine what type and size of saw blade you will need.
This is another one of those aspects that will depend on your preference and the projects you will be using your circular saw for.

Tips to Using and Troubleshooting Of Circular Saws
Using a circular saw is pretty basic, but it can be quite dangerous depending on the project you are tackling and the saw you are using.


Here are some tips that can help you when using a circular saw.

1. Right Blade
Make sure you are using the right blade depth and be sure to set the blade depth before cutting. Always unplug your saw and hold it along the material you are cutting to get the proper depth.
Follow the instructions in the manual of the saw you are using to ensure you are adjusting it correctly. Improper blade depth is quite dangerous because of how exposed the blade is. If the blade is too deep, it can cause kickbacks among other issues.
2. Use a sawhorse
Always let your board fall when you are cutting it. If you want to avoid splintering, ensure you are supporting the board appropriately. However, never clamp or restrict the cut piece from falling.
You should never cut a piece of lumber that is supported on both sides of the board. It will bow towards the middle, pinch the blade and the board or saw will kick back. Plywood, on the other hand, should be continuously supported so that it doesn’t fall.
Use a sawhorse and a combination of supporting lumber to ensure it is evenly spread out and supported.
3. Bade Guard
When cutting on an angle, be sure to hold the blade guard to start yourself on the right path and avoid any retraction. Once you have started to make your cut and you are on your way, you can let go of the blade guard and continue cutting.
If you make a mistake and wander off your desired path, simply start over. Cutting requires practice and cutting on an angle is no exception. Circular saws are quite hard to guide, so if you mess up simply stop and start again.
Buying a circular saw is no exception as there are so many to choose from and there really isn’t much information available regarding the differences. I hope this article sheds some light on the different types of saws, their functions, and how to choose the right saw for you and your projects.
Woodworking is fun, and buying a new tool shouldn’t be hard. Just ensure that you have made an educated and informed decision, take all the proper safety precautions, and enjoy your woodworking project!


How to sharpen Circular Saw Blades.
When your circular saw blade becomes dull, not only will it give you a rougher finish, but your saw’s motor will have to work harder and may burn out sooner. Sharpening your saw blades will save you money in the long run because you’ll get better cuts, and you’ll have to replace your saw and blades less often.

You can sharpen steel-toothed circular saw blades yourself using a file. Howstuffworks also points out that Carbide-tipped blades need to be taken to a professional sharpening service for two reasons: Carbide is so hard that you need a diamond wheel sharpener for it, and sharpening carbide blades is so complicated that you can easily ruin the blade. Carbide blades cut not only with the tips of the teeth but also with the sides, and if you’re not careful, you can end up rounding off these edges. A sharpening service will return your saw blades to like-new condition. You should ask a professional about other types of blades because some cannot be re-sharpened, and some blades are so cheap it might not even be worth the expense to get them sharpened. But don’t throw them out — save them for demolition work or cutting up lumber that might have nails hidden in it.
When you continuously use the circular saw, somehow blades are bruised over time. You know, they are not immortal, they will blunt when it uses more. The solution is that blade must be sharpened with hand or specifically by diamond file.
You must consider safety issue because it is very risky work. But you have a great passion with tools. You should try us and down the strokes. It may be around 20-30 minutes to finish the sharpening. Be safe and enjoy.
In the video below you will learn how to sharpen your circular saw blade by hand…




Circular saws are not universal because they come in different sizes and made for cutting specific materials moreover many circular saws need special blades.

Types of Circular Saw Blades
Abrasive wheel
Fine-Tooth finish



Common Blade Categories
Wood cutting
Metal cutting
Tile cutting
Light-gauge material cutting

What are the best brands?
Here is a list of the most popular brands in South Africa

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