A circular saw is one of the most common tools you will find in a builder’s, carpenter’s or home renovator’s toolbox. However, this tool can be a dangerous beast if not handled carefully. Injuries are particularly frequent in the hands and the arms. Fortunately, taking proper safety precautions can help minimize the risks. In this article, we take a look at some tips to use the best circular saw safely.
Before you can use your circular saw, you need to inspect it to make sure it’s not damaged. Check the lower blade guard and ensure it does not have any sawdust so it does not get caught when cutting thin materials. The blade guard should also retract and bounce back easily with minimal effort. Check also for any chipped or broken teeth and replace them. You also need to check for any cracks on the power cord to avoid any short circuit.
When preparing to make a cut, place the sheet to be cut onto a stable surface so that sheet being cut does not bind the blade. Then support the sheet to be cut firmly to ensure the blade does not react with anything that is underneath while cutting. So if you are going to be cutting a sheet of plywood, place four 2 x 4s beneath the sheet to ensure the two halves of the board are well supported during the duration of the cut.
Eyes are quite sensitive. It is therefore advisable before you begin the cut using your circular saw, make sure you wear safety glasses to protect the eyes from wood flying around or other materials. You should also wear tight-fitting clothes to avoid them getting caught easily in the saw blade. Loose jewelry and hair may also get caught in the moving parts of the saw. Additionally, you should wear hearing protection because circular saws are quite noisy. They can emit a volume of up-to 105 decibels (A).
Your body position plays a very important role when it comes to the safety of every cut. Make sure to set yourself in such a way that the motor of the saw faces towards the larger section of the wood (that is not supposed to fall away after the cut). In addition, ensure you put both hands on the saw while cutting to prevent any kickback and keep your fingers far away from the trigger until you ready to make a cut. You should also stay on either side of the saw rather than in line with blade while making a cut.
You need to set the depth of the cut to prevent the blade from catching something else beneath the cut sheet. Therefore, if you are going to cut a few inch thick sheet, the blade should not be more than ¼-inch below the bottom edge of the sheet to be cut.
Knowing how to use a circular saw safely can go a long way in ensuring you enjoy using this handy tool. So start practicing the above tips to use a circular saw safely and you will make those cuts like a pro.