Are ready to cut some lumber? If so, what is the best saw for you to use? The circular saw is the most versatile and widely used of all saws. These light-weight, portable, and easy to use hand-held saws allow crosscuts, ripping, beveling and even plunge cuts. Circular saws are used to cut many materials ranging from paneling to framing timbers to sheet metal and even plastic or cement.
If you are looking for an inexpensive, portable, and easy to use means of cutting lumber and more, get yourself a circular saw…
While there may only be a few types of circular saws to choose from each is able to cut a wide variety of materials. When considering the purchase of a new circular saw use these 3 questions to consider what you will need:
- What materials will you be cutting with your circular saw?
- Are you more concerned about power and performance, or convenience and ease of use?
- Will you use the circular saw throughout a work day or once in a while around the home?
Type, Applications and Design Features
When considering the purchase of a new circular saw you need to determine your needs and specifications. The two main designs of a circular saw are worm drive and sidewinder. Keep the intended applications of your new saw in mind as you evaluate the benefits of each type.
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A worm-drive circular saw is designed to cut studs and plywood all day with little effort. This robust saw design makes the worm-drive a traditional favorite among many professional carpenters and homebuilders. The motor on a worm-drive saw is located parallel to the blade, delivering enough torque to cut through wet lumber and concrete over and over without fail. In the case of a worm-drive model, heavy duty also means heavy weight. If you are not concerned about having all that power, you may appreciate a saw that is lighter to hold and carry.
- Worm-drive saws offer increased torque and power
- With the blade on the left of the motor, right-handed users have a clear view of the cut line
- Worm-drive saws have a rear mounted handle, enhancing control and maneuverability
Sidewinder circular saws are also known as traditional or in-line saws. These types of circular saws are popular on many construction sites and are the overwhelming choice of homeowners and DIY’ers. The motor on a sidewinder is perpendicular to the blade, allowing the saw to be lighter and easier to handle. If you do plan to use your circular saw for heavy-duty cutting but don’t want the extra weight of a worm-drive saw, sidewinders with helical gearing deliver increased torque.
- The traditional sidewinder blade-motor configuration delivers a clear view of the cut line for left-handed users
- Some sidewinder models offer a blade-left design to provide right-handed users with an unobstructed view
- Due to their versatility, sidewinders are available with a wide variety of feature combinations