Get Sawvy in Seconds: Using a Circular Saw for Beginners Made Simple!

Last Updated On March 17, 2023

Most people who are now pros at using circular saws were once beginners. They had to learn every do’s and don’ts there is to using a circular saw.

In fact, every pro power tool user was a beginner at one time in their lives. Where does that take you?

Probably today you have brought in your first circular saw and today is the day that you will learn how to use a circular saw for beginners. Just like any other user that learned how to use one, you will learn too.

There are different types of saws. Worm drive saws, miter saw, jigsaws, circular saws, etc. Right now, the most commonly used one is the circular saw. A circular saw is a versatile and useful tool. And you are on the way to using a circular saw.

In this complete guide, we will show you how you can use a circular saw for different types of cutting. After this, you will also know every do’s and don’ts regarding how to use a circular saw.

Parts of Circular Saws

To fully utilize the best circular saw for beginners, you have to know what each part does. We can just tell you to push this, flick that, turn that off, etc. But without knowing the names of each part, it will be very confusing for you to make the best use of circular saws.

So, first, we will introduce you to each part of a circular saw exterior. That way, it will be easier for you to follow our step-by-step instructions later.

Handle and Hook Handhold

The Handle and the hook handhold are basically the two things that you grab a circular saw with and run it. Mostly, people use their dominant hand to hold the handle and with the hook handhold, you grip the circular saw so that it doesn’t steer away from the straight edge.

The main control of the circular depends on how well the handles are placed and structured. The better you hold them, the better outcome you will get from the cutting.

Trigger Switch

Just like a gun, there is a trigger switch in every circular saw which you have to press for the circular saw to turn on and off. To keep the motor running, you have to press and hold the trigger switch.

Once you let the trigger go, the saw motor will stop and power down.

Bevel Adjustment

Every circular saw has a bevel capacity adjustment panel or switches depending on the model. With the bevel adjustment, you can adjust the angle of the cutting line. Most circular saws offer a bevel angle between 0-degree to 45-degree angles.

Saw Blade

The main part of a circular saw is the saw blade. Because of the blade, the circular saw can cut through various materials. There are blades with different teeth counts.

The actual blade teeth count lies between 24 or more teeth. For different functions and different cutting materials, teeth numbers vary.

Saw Blade Guard (Permanent/Detachable)

The blade of a circular saw is not kept open. The size that is adjacent to the motor is covered by a blade guard. It is a safety measure that every circular saw comes with.

An open blade can cause you to face accidents. You can detach the blade cover that is on the lower side of the blade with the blade guard lever.

Depth Adjustment

According to the number of material sheets and the thickness of materials, you can set the cutting depth of your saw. There are different blade sizes available. The depth adjustment depends on what sized blade you have.

Blade Changing Switch

On every circular saw, you can use different types of blades. For that, you need to switch between the blades. To do that, there is a blade change switch.

All, you have to do is flick the switch and the blade comes off. Then you can attach a new blade and flick the switch back to the locking position.

Base Plate

There is a base plate on half part of the blade. This plate basically keeps the circular saw perfectly straight and aligned with a platform so that the cut line is accurate.

This ensures equally deep cuts at all parts of the cutting material. Without this, the cut line won’t be straight and the cuts will not be even.


battery vs corded

Every circular saw either has a cord or a battery. Both things are usually at the back end of a saw. The cord never comes in front of the cutting line.

Here’s A short table of the parts of a circular saw-

PartsShort Description
BladeRotating disc with teeth for cutting.
GuardProtective cover surrounds the blade.
Shoe/Base PlateFlat metal plate that rests on the material being cut.
Depth AdjustmentMechanism to control the depth of the cut.
Bevel AdjustmentMechanism to tilt the blade for beveled cuts.
TriggerSwitch to activate the motor and blade.
HandleThe part of the saw that you hold onto.
Power CordCord that connects the saw to a power source.
Dust PortOpening for connecting a vacuum to remove sawdust.

Setting Up a Circular Saw for Use

Now that you know what each part of this power tool is, you are ready to set up the circular saw before starting to rip materials with the circular saw blade.

Before you know how to use a circular saw, it’s evident to know how to set it up. because without setting it up you cannot move forward with using it. So, carefully assess everything in this setup guide.

Step 1

First, mark a line on the material for the cut. Without marking the line, you will not have anything to follow for cutting straight. So, mark a line using a dark pencil or a marker.

Step 2

Select the perfect blade according to the material you are about to cut. Not all blades are suitable for all types of material. So, according to the material that you are about to cut, choose the right blade.

Step 3

Now you have to put on the selected blade on the saw. It’s okay for you not to know how to put a blade on a circular saw for the first time. Follow this simple process for blade binding.

First, press the arbor lock button and remove the arbor lock nut using a wrench. Now take the blade out and put in a new blade that you selected for your circular saw. It will be a very sharp blade. So, tread carefully.

After putting the blade in, tighten the arbor nut using the same wrench. You are done.

Step 4

Now it’s time to set the blade depth. For rip cuts in a straight line, measure the depth of the material you are using. If you are going to cut wood or thin metal, keep the depth of the saw blades 1/8 inch more than the thickness of the material.

If you’re going to cut thick metal, keep the depth 1/2 inch more than the thickness of the material.

Step 5

Angle adjustment time. For bevel cuts, see if the blade is at the right angle. For rip cuts on plywood or other materials in straight lines, adjusting the down position angle of the circular saw is evident. Without that, you can’t expect precise cuts.

Step 6

Prepare the material properly so that there are no kickbacks. for cutting only one sheet, the best way is to place the entire sheet and form a platform on which you can place the circular saw using a bolt clamp.

You can use a straight-edge guide for a straight cut.

Step 7

All that’s left is to plug in the saw and begin sawing through the chalk line.

Safety Measures

Before you can start to use a circular saw, there are some ground rules that you can call safety measures. For power tools, these safety measures are a must to follow.

You can choose not to follow them. But the result can be very fatal and severe. So, maintain these safety regulations while using power tools at all times.

Wear Safety Glasses

Our eyes are extremely sensitive. While working with a circular saw, it is obvious that there will be material residue and dust flying everywhere around you.

Even if a small particle of that residue enters your eyes, you can go as far as becoming blind. So, to use a circular saw, you must wear safety glasses at all times.

Hair Cover

If you have long hair, bind them using a headband and wear either a safety helmet or a plastic hair cover.

Wear Ear Protectors

Our ears are sensitive too. Just like the residue can cause harm to our eyes, it can cause harm to our ears too. So, wear ear protectors while using a circular saw.

Stable Surface for Straight Edge

Having a stable surface while using a circular saw is a must. By any chance, if the circular saw slips while you are performing a rip cut, the damage it will do will take a huge toll.

Also, the cut angles will go astray causing havoc to your straight cuts. So, make sure that you have a stable surface before beginning to use a circular saw.

How to Use a Circular Saw for Beginners

Now it’s time for the final touch of this guide. Following this step-by-step process, you will be able to use a circular saw for any type of woodworking, and every time the blade passes, it will rip cut through your selected material if it is set at the correct depth. So, let’s start.

Remember, whether you are using corded circular saws or cordless saws, the process will remain the same. Let’s just see if you have a corded saw and proceed.

Step 1

At first, you have to place the base plate at the material’s edge. Make sure the 0 notches of the saw is aligned with the cut line.

Step 2

Now, you have to press the trigger and wait for a few seconds until the saw comes to speed. If you push it forward without the blade gaining speed, the cut will not be precise.

Step 3

After the blade reaches optimum RPM push it forward gently. Don’t rush. The retractable blade guard will automatically come up. If it doesn’t, use the guard lever to slightly lift it, and after it’s lifted, let go of the lever.

Step 4

If you are done with the cutting, let the trigger go and wait till the blade stops spinning. It usually takes a few seconds. If the circular saw blade has an electric brake. it will stop almost instantly.

Follow these 4 steps for every cut. All the rip cuts will be precise.


How do you properly and safely use a circular saw?

For every power tool, there are a few common safety regulations. Just maintain them, keep your eyes, ears, and hands safe. For using a circular saw properly, follow the four steps above.

What do I need to know about using a circular saw?

Before using a circular saw, you need to know the names of the parts of a circular saw, the safety regulations, and the prepping steps. After that, you can learn how to use a circular saw.

How do you cut wood straight with a circular saw?

It’s really simple actually. Draw a straight line, align the 0 notches with the line, and move forward when the saw reaches optimum RPM. That’s how you can cut wood straight.

Final Words

Using a circular saw is not a hard process. The prerequisites are fairly tough. Most gear guides will tell you to focus on the process. But without the prerequisites, if you are forced to learn the process, honestly, you will not learn anything.

Instead, you will know what you have to do, but you won’t know which parts to use. So, we have tried our best to cover everything there is to know regarding how to use a circular saw for beginners.

We have also answered a few questions that you will come across in forums. These queries can be confusing and the answers will be extremely dynamic because people use different kinds and different models of saws. Each saw is different from the others. We have tried to cover the process in a very general manner and the process is kept easier for the discretion of those who don’t even know what a circular saw actually is let alone its usage. So, follow the guide and prerequisites precisely and you will be able to master the process one day.

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