How Do You Use A Circular Saw Without A Table? Cost-Effective Methods

Last Updated On February 10, 2023

Having a table for woodwork can take up space and require additional investment. If you are just starting, you may want to start small and spend as little as possible.

You can buy sawhorses to support your workpiece or work on the ground, in which case you need an insulation sheet, styrofoam piece, or blocks of pressure-treated lumber for support. 

A circular saw is one of the first tools most people get as it is so versatile and handy. But how do you use a circular saw without a table? That’s simple. 

Keep on reading for our detailed guide on how to implement these three methods.

How Do You Use A Circular Saw Without A Table – Best 3 Methods

All three methods we mention below are inexpensive and save up space. You don’t have to get a table for proper support for your workpiece. Here’s what you can try instead. 

1. Support Smaller Cuts With Sawhorses

You must firmly hold the workpiece you are cutting in place. When cutting boards or small pieces of plywood, a sawhorse can come in helpful. You can support bigger pieces with two sawhorses instead.  

Simply secure the workpiece with a clamp.  It’s better to avoid clamping the off-cut piece. This is because, when you reach the end of the board, the two separate portions are too heavy and snap off unevenly at the end. The saw might bind or even kick back as a result.

Release the trigger right away if your saw binds or kicks back, and then adjust the wood, so it isn’t pinching.

2. Use Styrofoam or An Insulation Sheet For Support 

It’s better to cut pieces on the ground, especially if you want to get bigger chunks of wood. Sawhorses are good for cutting wood into small pieces. However, you’ll run into issues when wanting bigger cuts. 

As cutting with saw horses doesn’t allow you to support bigger off-cut pieces, they tend to break before you get the chance to see the end off. You can work around it by supporting the piece with a hand, but that’s not safe. Always control the saw with both hands. 

So, the best alternative is cutting on the ground. You want to get a big piece of styrofoam to support the wood and provide insulation. Just lay your workpiece on top of the foam and get started. 

If you don’t have a piece of styrofoam that’s big enough, you can get insulation sheets from Amazon. They’re cheap and easy to store. 

Instead, try to cut most pieces on the ground on top of a piece of styrofoam building insulation. This method provides off-cut support giving you a cleaner cut and eliminating kickback. 

3. Use Blocks Of Wood For Support

If you don’t have a styrofoam or insulation sheet but need to get started immediately, there’s an easy DIY hack to support your workpiece.

You need pressure-treated lumber of 4×4 or 2×4 dimension for this. The pieces can be of varying lengths, with one big piece to support close to the cutline. Arrange the pieces in a way that offers your workpiece maximum support. 

Support the material close to the cut line very well to ensure the workpiece doesn’t collapse near the end of the cut. Place the workpiece on top. Make sure that the workpiece is sturdy and well-supported by applying pressure.

The plywood you’re working on should be level and even. Remember to clamp it down in place before cutting.

Here’s a quick video to make you a good understanding!

What Is The Circular Saw Best Used For?

A circular saw is best to make straight cuts on plywood or cut lumber into smaller pieces. You can either free hand it in which case your cuts won’t be as accurate or use a guide to help you make cleaner cuts.

You can also make bevel cuts, crosscuts, rip cuts on wood instead of straight 90° cuts always. Circular saws fitted with ferrous blade are also good for cutting metals. If you have a project that requires slicing through 3-8 inch thick metal, a circular saw can be the right tool for you.

We cover the uses of circular saw in-depth in our article. 

Is A Circular Saw Too Loud?

A circular saw has a brush-type universal motor in it, which runs on both AC or DC electric current. The noise produces is from the brush rubbing against the armature of the motor. This is the same motor you’ll find in vacuum cleaners, electric drills, etc. So, yes, they are loud.

In contrast, a table saw is fitted with an induction motor, which has no brush inside. Hence, they are quiet and slower. 

You need to wear hearing protection when using this saw, trust us. Our favorite pair is the 3M Standard Worktunes Connect. They’re very comfortable and have Bluetooth integrated high-fidelity speakers.

How Many Teeth Are Best On A Circular Saw?

Circular saws usually work well with a 24-tooth blade. They are cheaper and more effective. You can do your crosscuts, rip cuts, and straight cuts with this blade fast and easily.

However, when you want a smoother finish, a blade with 40-tooth or more is better. More teeth will slow you down but provide cleaner cuts. They aren’t necessarily what you will use when at your worksite chopping up 2×4 lumber.

The right blade depends on what you want to achieve. But a 24-tooth blade is a pretty solid one to be your standard, go to blade.

Do Circular Saws Cut Up Or Down?

Circular saws have their blades running in a clockwise direction and move in an upward stroke. So, your wood will be cut from the bottom up. So, its best to place the side of the wood you want to have the cleanest edge to be facing down. This will be your good side.

To get cleaner edges on the right-side-up, there is a neat trick you can apply. Stick painter’s tape on the cut line on that side to make its cut edge cleaner. You’ll get a smoother finish.

Final Words

Let’s do a quick recap on how do you use a circular saw without a table. First, there are three options you can go with. 

You can use sawhorses to support the workpiece. To work on the floor instead, you can get a piece of styrofoam for insulation or get insulation sheets. Lastly, pieces of 2×4 or 4×4 lumber can be strategically placed to support the workpiece. 

Not getting a table saves up a lot of space. If you’re working at home, these are great ways to get the maximum use out of your circular saw with little investment.

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