Corded Circular Saws

Along with the hand drill, the electric circular saw is one of the most popular go-to power tools in the home and on the work site. While cordless power saws are available, the corded circular saw is the most common type for home use and difficult jobs. Consider these points before buying a saw.

What saw options are there?

  • The two most common styles of these power tools are the worm drive saw and the sidewinder saw.
    • The worm drive circular saw
      • It has a short height and a long length because the handle sits behind the left-mounted blade.
      • It usually has more power and weight than its counterpart.
      • Because the blade sits on the left side and the bulk of the weight is on the right, this is a popular cutting choice for right-handed users.
      • Oil must be added to the saw for lubrication.
    • The sidewinder circular saw
      • It has a higher set handle and a right-mounted blade.
      • Commonly used for projects in the home, this power saw is lighter and spins faster.
      • Because the action happens on the right side and the bulk of the saw's weight is on the left, this is a popular choice for left-handed users.

What can be cut with a circular saw?

  • Most circular saws come with an all-purpose carbide-tipped blade for wood projects.
  • Special options for tile, metal, and masonry cutting are also available, and are easily switched out.
  • Circular saws can make rips with the wood grain, crosscuts against the wood grain, angles, plunges in the middle of the sheet of material, and bevels up to 45 degrees.

What do the abbreviations and measurements on the saw mean?

  • The inches listed in the description refer to the diameter of the disk.
    • The most common size of electric circular saw blade is 7-1/4 inches, allowing it to cut through more than 3 inches of material.
  • Amps (amperes) measure the amount of electricity it requires to run this tool. Standard circular saws run on 15 amps.
  • Horsepower measures rotational force (torque) for cutting.
  • RPM stands for rotations per minute, and it is related to the location of the motor in relation to the blade.
    • Sidewinder circular saws rotate faster, at about 6000 times per minute. This is because the motor is in line with the gear that turns the blade.
    • Worm drive saws spin slower, at around 4500 rotations per minute. This is because its motor sits behind the blade and must activate two gears at right angles to each other in order to cut.

When you consider the saw's power, size, mount, and your typical job, you will be able to select the circular saw most appropriate for you.