Circular Saw - A Tradesmen Guide
These days most professionals own more than one circular saw, and with good reason. When choosing a quality saw, there are number of factors to take into consideration. Most circular saws use a seven inch blade, which is fine for nearly all applications. Larger models are available, but are usually not needed unless you'll be cutting posts and beams on a regular basis. The amount of bevel that a saw can cut is an important factor. Practically all models can be set to cut a forty-five degree bevel, but certain saws can cut up to fifty-five degrees with ease. While it may not sound like much, the capability to cut a steeper bevel is a handy feature to have. Take into account the ease of using the saw. Each saw manufacturer uses a different guide on the cutting deck to allow you to monitor the location of your cuts. While it is strictly a matter of personal preference, being comfortable with your cutting guide is important. Likewise, ensure that you are comfortable with the methods of adjusting your saw's cutting depth and bevel amount. Some use locking levers while others use knobs. Again, it's a matter of preference, but an important one. Laser guides are a fairly new feature available on some models, and are especially useful when ripping boards or making long cuts on plywood. Also, many saws now have LED lights just above the blade to help out in dark places. Two things that are often overlooked when buying a saw are power and weight. Take into account the wattage and just what you'll be cutting. Harder woods like oak require more power, as does making cuts against the grain of the wood. The higher the wattage, the easier these cuts will be. If you'll be using the saw for extended periods of time, the weight is worth considering. While there are few differences from model to model, a few weigh a considerable bit more than the rest. Most circular saws come with a few accessories. Rip fences are extremely useful when making difficult long cuts, and nearly every saw comes with one. Hard plastic cases help protect your saw and are frequently included with the purchase of a saw, although some saws come with only a cloth bag or with nothing at all. Dust collection bags are available for a few models, and are useful in a closed space where dust is an issue. With so many options available, it's easy to find the perfect saw to fit your needs. No matter which circular saw you settle on, it will likely be the most frequently used power tool you own.