Unlock the Secrets: How to Use a Compact Circular Saw Like a Pro!

Last Updated On April 7, 2023

Want to cut materials in tight spaces? Or, Looking for a portable traditional circular saw to make clean cuts?

Using a compact circular saw would be an absolute solution as it can cut materials in tight spaces and is portable enough to carry from one place to another.

Though a compact saw is a miniature version of a circular saw, it comes with a few changes due to the design. If you set up the compact saw wrong, then it may stop in the middle of the cut. Also, the saw may cause binding or kickback which is quite risky.

To avoid such issues, you need to follow some steps, including removing the safety cover, setting the cutting depth & angle, and opening the safety switch before pulling the trigger.

Still, confused about how to use a compact circular saw? Go through our detailed guide for quick clarification and follow the step-to-step instructions for making some quick cuts with depth adjustment.

How To Use A Compact Circular Saw?-Step By Step Guide

Worx WX429L - The Best Compact Circular Saws

To use a compact circular saw, you have to follow some simple steps. As a compact saw is a miniature version of a circular saw, some steps are quite the same as the circular saw. But, a few steps are different due to the design of the compact saw. Let’s have a look at these steps in detail.

  • Connect To Power Source

    Compact circular saws come with different power sources, including corded electric or battery-powered. To start woodworking with an accurate cut in-depth, you have to connect the power tool to the power source first.

    Now, if the compact saw is corded electric in power type, connect it to the nearest electric power source. On the other hand, if the saw is cordless electric, then take the battery and insert it in the battery slot. But, keep sure the battery is fully charged so that you won’t run out of charge while cutting wood to ensure all safety features.

  • Remove the Protective Cover

    As the blade of compact circular saws is extremely sharp, it can cause injuries if you even accidentally touch the sharp blades. So, most saws include a protective cover that protects your fingers from the blade depth.

    To cut through different materials, you need to remove the protective fence. But, some power tools include an adjustable protective cover that adjusts automatically while you touch the material to make the desired cut. If you pick a saw with an adjustable cover, then don’t worry about the protective cover.

  • Adjust The Desired Angle

    Once you naked the sharp blade, it is time to adjust the desired angle for rip cuts. In the compact circular saws, there is a fully adjustable fence situated in the base that helps to make angle cuts. In fact, these fences can cover up to a range of 22° to 45°.

    Most saws include a lever on the right front side that keeps the fence in position. That is why push the lever to unlock the fence and set it on the desired angle. As soon as you set the angle, pull the lever to set the fence tightly. 

  • Set The Depth Of The Cut

    After finishing the angle, let’s set the depth of the cut. To set the depth, go to the lever on the right middle side. It is actually the rear area of the adjustable fence which you can push to unlock the fence.

    When you unlock the fence, push it down or pull it upward to set the depth. Just like setting the angle, pull the lever to set the fence tightly as soon as you set the cutting depth.

  • Open The Safety Switch

    The next step is to open the safety switch of the compact circular saw. Most saws include a safety switch so that you can’t accidentally start the circular saw while handling or storing it.

    Some of the circular saw includes a button for the safety switch. As a result, you need to press the button with the left thumb to start the saw. On the other hand, if the saw includes a lever as a safety switch, then push it down to get access to the trigger.

  • Press The Trigger

    Before making cuts, mark the materials to maintain straight cuts. To maintain accuracy, measure the materials twice and cut once. After getting access to the trigger, you can press it with the index finger. Finally, go through the materials smoothly and make some cuts quickly.

Tricks & Tips To Use a Compact Circular Saw

Cutting materials with a compact circular saw can cause multiple issues like kickbacks, splintering, or binding. If you want to avoid such issues and make some quick cuts, let’s scroll through some tips of tricks.

  1. Setting the blade too deep in a material may cause binding and kickback. Besides, the blade remains exposed while cutting is quite dangerous. To avoid such issues, always set the perfect depth before pulling the trigger.
  2. If you’re cutting a large piece of lumber, always use a support to make a perfect cut. Even if the compact circular saw offers less vibration, it can still destroy the working materials. 
  3. When you’re working with a battery-powered compact saw, always keep sure the battery is fully charged. Otherwise, you will run out of charge in the middle of cutting.
  4. While making an angled cut, set the lever on the desired angle. Besides, hold the blade guard a little up to avoid binding or kickbacks.
  5. If the cutting material is supported at both ends, try to avoid making a cut while pressuring the materials. It won’t just destroy the materials but may cause serious physical injuries. 

Benefits Of Using Compact Circular Saws

Due to the size, design, and weight of a compact circular saw, it becomes easy to carry & transport. Let’s have a look at the benefits of a compact saw.

Wide range

Though a compact saw is a small version of a circular saw, it can cut through different working materials, including metal, tile, and plastic. So, a compact saw can meet all the cutting requirements for your home project.

Compact Design

Due to the compact design of these saws, a mini saw can cut materials in tight spaces that a circular saw can’t even reach.

Small & Lightweight

As compact saws are small & lightweight, you can transport these saws from one place to another easily. No need to worry when you’re working on a large project.


Which materials can I cut with a compact circular saw?

If you use high-grade blades in the compact circular saw, you can cut different materials, including wood, metal, plastic, or tile.

Are compact circular saws good?

Yes, a compact circular saw is best as they can cut through different materials & are very lightweight to carry. Also, these saws are ideal for cutting materials even in tight spaces.

Why is my compact circular saw not cutting?

Setting the blade too deep in a material may cause sticking in the middle of a cut. So, always set the perfect depth to avoid such issues. 

Can a compact circular saw cut a 2×4?

Yes, you can cut 2×4 with a compact circular saw. Some latest models are capable of cutting a 2×4 even in a single pass.

Why am I getting a kickback on my compact circular saw?

Using a dull saw blade can cause kickback and splintering. To avoid such issues, change the dull blade and pick a sharp one to get some smooth & quick cuts.

Finishing Up

Al long last, you’re going through the step-by-step guide. Take out the safety cover, set the cutting depth & angle, open the safety switch and pull the trigger to use the compact circular saw for your home project.

On top of that, we have added a few tips & tricks that will help you to avoid binding, kickbacks, and splintering while cutting through materials. So, follow these steps right now and use a compact saw to make some clean cuts in seconds!

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