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Adjusting for the Cut

Adjusting Circular Saws

Adjusting the depth of the saw

Adjusting the depth of cut

Unplug the saw and loosen the depth adjustment lever. Hold the baseplate flat on the surface you're cutting, and raise or lower the saw by its handle. Adjust it so that the blade is exposed by the length of a saw tooth, and then adjust the lever to lock the baseplate in position.

Adjusting the depth of the saw

Adjusting the angle of cut

Unplug the saw and loosen the angle adjustment lever. Pull the baseplate until the indicator arrow aligns with the angle on the protractor scale.

Using a line guide

Line guide

Align the saw with the layout line. Two notches in the saw baseplate help you align the saw. Use the notch to the right when making 90-degree cuts; use the notch to the left when cutting bevels. The notches are only guides depending on the blade you use, you may have to line up with one side of the notch or the other. Make a couple of test cuts to see exactly where in the notch the line needs to be.

Starting a cut in the middle of the board

Starting a cut in the middle of a board

Sometimes you need to start a cut in the middle of the board. Lay out the cut, and adjust the depth of cut to match the material. Lift the handle on the blade guard to expose the blade. Put the front edge of the saw plate on the layout line and lift the back edge so that the blade is just above the material you're cutting.

Hold the saw by both handles and begin cutting. Gradually lower the back of the saw into the stock using the front of the baseplate as a pivot point. Lower the guard as soon as the blade begins cutting into the material. Wait until the saw is flat on the stock before moving it forward. Let the blade come to a complete stop before removing it from the wood.

Cutting plywood

Cutting plywood

When cutting plywood, support the cutoff and the main piece so that the stock won't pinch the blade at the end of the cut and jam the saw or cause kickback. Put two 2 x 4s under the main piece, and two 2 x 4s under the cutoff so that both pieces remain flat throughout the cut.


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Pulling the saw backwards will cause the blade to climb out of the cut and cause it to come back at you with considerable force.