With the right blade, a circular saw can be used to cut framing lumber, sheet goods, roofing, metal, masonry, and more. A powerful saw can be a major time-saver during demolition as well. Once you get used to using your circular saw, you can even use it to cut curves, like I did on .
Any DIYer should have a circular saw (and here are our favorite ones). Once you own one of these great tools, here's what you need to know to get the most out of it.
5 Essentials For Making a Smooth Cut
1. If a test cut reveals that you're not getting a smooth edge with a plywood blade, check out some of the new specialized blades. Freud's 60-tooth Hi-ATB blade ($55) delivers pro-quality results with a narrow cutting channel. You can also get its full-width standard ATB blade for $20.
2. Don't push the saw too aggressively into the work.
3. Put the so-called good side facedown—this is the side that you want to remain visible when the project is built. Since a circular- saw blade spins upward, the side that the blade enters will have a smoother cut edge than the side it exits. For table saws, the opposite is true. The good side faces up.
4. Guide the saw using a straightedge clamped or screwed in place, or use an aftermarket accessory like the Kreg Rip-Cut.
5. Press a layer of masking tape on the cut line to reduce splintering as the blade exits the wood.
Types of Cuts
Crosscuts: Nearly perfect crosscuts can be achieved by using a square to guide the foot of the saw. You must hold the square firmly or the saw can slip.
Rip Cuts: Accurate rip cuts can be made with the help of a rip fence. This device slides into the foot of the saw and is held tight by screws.
Plunge Cuts: These cuts are required when the blade can't start at the edge of the board. To make this cut, place the front of the shoe against the workpiece. Then, turn on the saw and slowly lower the blade into the material.