The Ultimate Guide To Circular Saw Safety

While a table saw is statistically the most dangerous saw to use and will cause the most injuries, a circular saw can be just as dangerous. In fact, when it comes to handheld woodworking tools, the circular saw will be the most dangerous. If you are going to be using a circular saw, you need to know how you can do this in a safe manner.

 Use Safety Equipment

The first step in safety using any tool will be to have and use the right safety equipment. There are 3 pillars of safety equipment that you need to know about when it comes to woodworking. They are the safety glasses, protective clothing and hearing protection.

When you use these items of safety equipment, you will greatly reduce the impact of many of the common circular saw injuries. Safety glasses will protect your eyes from any sawdust which is kicked up while the protective clothing will keep your skin safe. The hearing protection is also important and many people do not realise that these saws can cause a lot of damage to your ears.

Using a dust mask is also advisable when using a circular saw. Dust can cause problems with your lungs in later life and it’s something you must take seriously when using this tool

 The Depth Of Cut

circular saw blade depth

When you are preparing to make a cut with this power tool, you will need to set the depth of the cut correctly. To stay safe, you need to ensure that the depth is set so that no more than a quarter inch of the blade is below the bottom edge of the board you are cutting. After all, there is no reason why you should have 2 inches of the blade below the board when you only have to cut through a half inch of plywood. So when using sharp blades always be careful and take note and set the blade depth properly at all times.

The extra blade which is below the board will be a safety hazard. This could catch on something that is below the board which could cause major issues. It is not only safety that comes from the depth of the cut being set correctly. When you have less blade going through the board, the cutting edge will approach the board more squarely which results in a better-finished cut.

 Make Use Of Blade Guards

There are a lot of people who find the blade guards on their circular saw to be a nuisance. There are times when they get caught and will not retract correctly from any thin material. While they can be an annoyance, they are there for a reason and that reason is safety. You should never try to remove these guards as this will leave an exposed blade which increases the risks of using the saw greatly.

If you are in a position where you need to manually retract the blade guard in order to move the saw forward, you need to do this in a safe manner. You should use the off hand to reach over and grab the guard. You should then lift the handle to allow you to move your saw forward. You should never use anything to keep the guard in an open position as this will leave the blade of the saw exposed and increase the dangers of using it.

 Maintain The Saw Blades

circular saw blades

The blades that you are using in your circular saw will also impact how safe you are. The blades should always be as sharp as possible. A dull blade will not cut correctly and this could cause friction which might result in the blade breaking while the saw is on. This is a major safety risk and one that can easily be avoided.

You should also ensure that the blade is free of pitch. A clean blade will not cause any kick back and will cut through the wood at a faster rate.

 Using A Guide When Cutting

When you make a cut using the circular saw, you should use a guide. A straight edge is ideal for long cuts while a combination square can be used for short cuts. In order to use the square, you will need to align the blade of the saw with the cut line and position the square with the lip firmly against the far edge of the cut piece. The perpendicular edge of the combination square should be aligned with the side of the base of the saw.

Using a guide will not only help you make the right cut, but it can also increase your safety. If you try to free-hand a cut with a circular saw, you run the risk of the cut binding. When this happens, the saw will be propelled one way, with the spinning blade exposed, and the board will be flung in a different direction. This could result in the board hitting you or someone else who happens to be in the area.

While using a guide will not always stop this from happening, if you properly secure the board and the guide, you can reduce the chances of this. You need to clearly think about how you are using the circular saw and all of the things that could go wrong. Holding the board you are cutting with your off hand is also not recommended as it will not be very secure.

 The Task

There are a lot of people who try to use a circular saw for a task that it was not intended to complete. This is a major safety issue because you are going to have problems. If you are going to be making a cut in an installed wall stud, you should use a reciprocating saw instead of the circular saw. The problem is that the circular saw will be faster which makes people think that they should use it.

Using any tool for a task that it was not intended to complete is dangerous and when you are dealing with high-speed cutting tools, the risks are too great. Using the right tool for the job is one of the best ways to stay safe while you are working on a project.

While circular saws are not the most dangerous of all saws, you need to take the right precautions to stay safe. Having the right safety equipment is important as is knowing when you should be using this type of saw. We hope this circular saw safety post helps you stay safe in your workshop!

Leave a Comment