Circular saws are scary. At least that has been my perception since I was a kid. My mom’s best friend’s husband lost a finger when using a circular saw when he was building a crib for their baby. Every time I saw him and his hand with missing finger, it left quite an impressionable mark on my mind as a child, even today as an adult.
Even just this week, that impressionable mark was on my mind. We had a family reunion and my brother, my son and Alex (along with grandpa and another brother-in-law) were building a work bench from scratch. It was such a great bonding experience for the boys – young and old. But those saws still scared me. So I couldn’t watch a whole lot – especially when the blades came out.
Thankfully, they completed the project without injury, but that is because they took basic and cautious safety measures.
Since we share so many DIY woodworking projects, we thought we would enlist the help of a woodworking expert to lay out safety measures for circular saw usage. Read on to find out how to safely use a circular saw.
Meet Danny L. Montgomery for today’s expert tips on using a circular saw safely: “I’m the founder and owner of the blog zukzik.com. I love all things DIY & Home Decor. I hope I will be able to share my experiences with the interested readers like this topic today on How To Safely Use a Circular Saw.”
Any woodworking equipment potentially can cause harm if not handled properly, and with a circular saw, you can encounter disastrous accidents if adequate safety routines are not followed. Sometimes, safety is just a matter of having personal responsibility. For instance, if your eyes are not keen on a wood surface blades may be cutting, then there is a possibility you might cut off your fingers instead of wood.
Basic Safety Measures for Woodworking
You must insist on putting on proper hand gloves, eye goggles, ear muffs and an apron that can suitably offer protection from flying wood pieces when a circular saw is in action. Ever ensure that a circular saw is in its best operating condition by making it a routine to inspect it and apply an appropriate fix to any components that may be broken or not functioning properly. Here are some other vital tips on how to use a circular safely.
Watch The Depth Of Cut
If you forcibly push a circular saw beyond its recommended depth of cut, it will most likely generate unreasonable and excessive vibrations. The vibrations are what may lead to slow but steady loosening of vital moving components in a circular saw. If the vibrations have built up to limits which can no longer be sustained, there will be a possibility of some circular saw components flying off.
That can present a potentially hazardous situation to a person who may be using a circular saw likely to have such mishap. When making a cut, set the wood depth that a saw blade must pass not to be more than 5-10 mm. Applying the recommended 5-10 mm cutting depth ensures that a saw blade doesn’t cut anything else beneath a wood material that is getting worked on. That will also ensure that a woodworking surface is always left clean and ensure that cutting finishes are arrived at seamlessly.
Learn How To Hold And Use A Circular Saw Properly
Try to imagine a scenario where a person hardly knows how to properly hold and use a circular saw, the outcome of such a situation can only be inevitable injuries. Getting it right on how to hold as well use an equipment guarantees reasonable safety. Before you begin any woodworking operation, insist on positioning a wood board accordingly and assume body position that will give you reasonable comfort when working.
You should hold a circular saw with a firm grip without creating any possibility of it accidentally slipping out of your hands. Your next learning point should be on how to appropriately gauge the amount of force you should exert on a wood surface depending on its hardness or softness properties. Exerting just the right force will ensure that you come up with perfectly clean and accurate wood cutting.
Inspecting And Caring For A Circular Saw Blades And Blade Guards
Insist on having your circular saw fitted with the best dado blade you can find. Only go for dado blades that show adequate strength and are thereby less likely to show signs of unreasonable wearing off even when continuously used to work on relatively hard and rough wood surfaces. Blunt blades often generate excessive vibrations when in contact with wood surfaces and that can rapidly reduce the cutting efficiency of a circular saw. Insist on ensuring that a blade is in right condition before you can proceed with any woodworking task that demands the use of a circular saw.
Make sure saw blades are sharpened accordingly and materials such as excessive wood dust and chips are removed to guarantee a smooth running of a circular saw moving components. The blade guards must also be able to move back and forth freely and that aspect must be confirmed before and after using a circular saw.
If you encounter any technical problem with your circular saw and not certain on how to handle it, you must first read the user manual so that you can get valuable direction on how to apply troubleshooting. If you attempt to fix a problem you may not know much about, there will a possibility of you just adding more technical problems and that can only make your circular saw to be unsafe when used in future. Only repair technical problems you can extensively handle.