How to Use a Circular Saw

When you’re comfortable using a circular saw you can handle most DIY projects

While using Circular Saws may seem intimidating at first, it’s quite simple once you know the basics. This video and guide will teach you how to use a drill so you can be confident, comfortable and ready to take on any project.

Safety: Always wear protective glasses or goggles when using power tools.


Anatomy of a Circular Saw

Anatomy of a Circular Saw
  • On & off trigger – toggle this switch to start and stop the saw
  • Lock off switch – keeps the saw turned off, preventing the saw from being turned on if the trigger is accidentally squeezed
  • Guard lift handle – manipulates the retractable guard that covers the circular blade (Safety note: ONLY USE THIS when the saw is in position you are ready to cut)
  • Bevel lock knob – adjust and tighten the bevel lock knob to different angles in order to make different types of cuts
  • Depth lock knob – loosen this knob to lower the blade and set the blade depth
  • Battery – removable and rechargeable power source

How to Use A Circular Saw

Safety: Always secure what you’re cutting with clamps before you do anything else. When you start the saw, make sure it is pointed away from your body.

  1. Make a cut line – measure and mark where you need to cut. Visit our measuring tape guide for tips.
  2. Set the blade depth. You need this to be deep enough that you can cleanly cut through the material.
  3. Raise or lower the blade to ¼-inch below what you’re cutting and tighten the knob.
  4. Align the blade to your cut line and use the guard lift handle to slightly retract the guard.
  5. Pull the trigger so the blade is spinning at full speed before beginning the cut.

Circular Saw Tips

  • The more teeth the blade has, the smoother the cut. 
  • Smooth right-angle bevel cuts are best for baseboards and fascia. 
  • Smooth angle cuts are best for deck rails and boards.

Next Steps:

Now that you know how to use a circular saw, let’s tackle some projects: