Circular saws are not the safest power tool out there. Well, you know that already.
So, I won’t waste your time talking about why you need to act with caution while working with circular saws. Instead, I’ll teach how you to use this tool as safely as possible.
Therefore, in this article, you will get 18 circular saw safety tips you need to know before using it. Afterward, you should not be in any harm’s way; instead, you will feel completely in your zone and comfortable without having to worry about any hazards or injuries.
So, let’s dive in.
Circular Saw Safety Tips
Let’s get to know the circular saw safety rules that you need to follow while using the machine.
1. Wear Protection for Eyes
The most important thing for you to do while at work with a circular saw is to wear the right kind of protection for your eyes. Goggles are the best fit for a situation like this, as they are most comfortable to wear and ensure that nothing will get into your eyes when you are working.
Wearing goggles or protective gear for your eyes is necessary for most work when they are related to wood. That is because when sawing, sanding, or finishing wood, a lot of dust particles fly in the air, they are too small for us to locate easily. However, they can be very harmful if they get inside the eyes.
If you have goggles on while doing the work, then you will not have to be worried about getting the debris in your eyes. Once inside, they will poke your eyes and might even cause some severe damage to the inside. And stacking up the doctor’s bills is not something to look forward to.
2. Do Not Wear Loose Clothes
As you know the saw you are using has a circular motion, mean that the blade of the saw moves in a circle. Most of the time the saw is attached to a station of some sort. Now, if you wear something loose that means there is a lot of excess fabric left, therefore there is a chance it might get caught in the blade.
You would not want to get stuck in a situation where your clothes get caught up in the circular saw. Not only will it ruin the item of cloth, but it might also lead to some injury. Like the blade might cut into your skin if you do not have the opportunity to turn the tool off in time.
3. Avoid Wearing Jewelry
Just as you should try not to wear loose clothes when you are using a circular saw, you should also avoid wearing any jewelry. Well, to be specific, you should not wear anything that hangs loose. If you have tiny earrings or maybe a ring, then that’s fine.
But keep in mind that a dangling earring, a bracelet or a chain and locket are the things you have to take off before you start the task as there is a chance they will get caught in the blade of the saw and you might either be stuck or will have to face a severe injury.
You don’t want to get your earring ripped off of your ears; it is excruciating. Thus, before you start, be careful about keeping them off.
4. Wear a Respirator
As we know, while sawing, there is an excellent chance that a lot of dust particles will be flying in the air. When the saw touches the wood, tiny bits of wood fiber are released in the air; you should try your best to keep yourself safe for those.
They will cause some serious damage to the lungs if you breathe in the dust along with the air. Thus, the best thing for you to do would be to invest your money in a proper respirator. This way there will be no change of you inhaling the particles inside and damaging your lungs.
5. Keep a Safe Distance from the Saw
While you are working with your circular saw, it is always smart to keep some distance between you and the machine. So, the safest place for you to be would be to the side of the tool. You should keep the space between yourself and the saw so that you do not get hurt in case there is some kickback.
However, do not stand too far away from the saw, as you will have to overextend. By doing so, you will not have the best foot and control. Having both of these is crucial as you do not want to trip over while working. That might result in a horrid accident.
6. Check the Saw for Any Fault
Before you start a task, it is imperative to do a thorough test to make sure everything is in order, so later on, there is no confusing or mishap. So, before you start working with a circular saw, you should do a quick check to make sure there is nothing wrong with it.
See if the blade is moving right or not; otherwise, you will not be able to do the task properly.
7. Make Sure the Safety Guards are in Place
All circular saws have safety guards. They are set in place so that the blade does not come loose for where it has been set. If it did come off, then you would be in danger of getting cut or maybe even losing a limb. This is because the blade will not lose its motion and might hit you.
So, you have to see if the lower guard is in place or not. If it is defective, then there is no need to use the saw. Either get it fixed or invest your money in a good quality circular saw to ensure full safety. There is no point in being careless about such things.
8. Make Sure It is Switched Off During the Test
When you are doing all the safety checks, the first thing you should do is make sure that the tool is turned off and it is unplugged. This is a significant step to keep in mind. Because, while checking the saw’s movement or the guard, there is a chance that you might get hurt.
You might forget the saw is not off and might get into an accident if the blade starts moving. There is not much you can do if you do get caught up in such a situation. So, before you begin the check, pull the plug out of the socket.
This step is not only needed when you are checking the safety; instead, it should be switched off whenever you are not using it. Someone else could get hurt if they don’t know it is on.
9. Check the Material for Nails or Staples
Something you have to keep in mind when working with a saw of any kind would be to look for any metal on the surface that you will be cutting. This is something to keep in mind because while cutting wood if the blade suddenly meets a metal, then there is a chance of kickback.
Even if you do stand to the side while using the saw, you will not be prepared for the sudden kickback and that might for a moment take you off your guard. And a moment’s disorientation is all it takes for an accident to take place.
10. Assess the Blade’s Sharpness
The main job of a saw to cut through wood or metal surfaces. Now, your saw should be able to do that without any problem, otherwise what is the point of using it for the job? So, before you start, you have to check whether the blade is sharp or not.
If it is not sharp enough and you start working with it, there is a chance the cut will not be even. They are also much easier and safer to work with if the blade is sharp. In case they are dull, you could try and sharpen then or could change them out with newer and better ones.
11. Pick the Right Device
Circular saws come in two different types; one is the sidewinders saw, and the other is a worm drive saw. Now, there are also two versions of these two saws, one is left-handed, and the other is right-handed. There is a reason why there are variations in the saws.
If you are a left-handed person, then you have to purchase the one made specifically for you. Even though we mostly see items and goods for right-handed people as a greater proportion of the population has that orientation. But in this case, using the wrong one might not lead to the desired output.
12. Hold the Saw Properly
When you use a circular saw, you have to make sure your hands are positioned right. Not just that, you also have to see that your hands do not cross one another, as that could be a bit of a hassle.
If you are a righty and are using a right-handed circular saw then your left hand is going to be at the knob of the saw or the auxiliary handle, while the right one is going to be holding on to the main handle. This way, the two will not cross.
The situation will not be the same if a righty uses a left-handed circular saw, as the hand positioning will be different. And if they don’t want the hands to cross one another, then the left hand will have to be on the main handle, and the right one will be used to hold the auxiliary handle.
Which might be a bit uncomfortable for the first few times. But while doing this work, you should avoid being in an awkward position.
13. Use Both Hands During Work
While you are working with a circular saw, you must use both of your hands. With one, you will be controlling the whole work, while the other hand will be there to provide support. Like clapping down the object so that it does not move around.
This will give you more control over the work you are doing and will provide you with a safer workspace, as there is less chance of anything going wrong when cutting the object.
14. Decide on the Depth of the Cut
How deep you want to cut is an essential factor. At first, you have to know the thickness or the height of the board; you will be cutting, and based on that you have to determine how deep the cut should be. Something you must keep in mind for this is that too much of the blade should not be out beneath the object you are cutting.
Approximately, no more than half a centimeter of the blade should be exposed. If you keep this in mind, then you will have a much more precise and even cut along with more safety for yourself.
15. Do Not Use a Defective Circular Saw
If you want to get the best result and cut the material as accurately as possible, then you have to ensure that the device or tool you are employing is a good one. If it is defective, then you will not be able to make proper utilization of it, and on top of that, you will see yourself wasting a lot of material.
The best you can figure out whether the tool is problematic or not is when you turn it on, if it has some weird vibration then the chances are that it is not right, and you should stop using it as soon as possible. You might even out yourself at risk if you continue working with a defective one.
16. Move All Power Cords Away from the Saw
With a saw, there is always a risk of cutting things that should not be split into. So, you have to keep in mind to put away all sorts of cord before you start working. This is because, if the blade cuts a wire that is connected to an outlet, then there is a chance of you getting electrocuted.
If moving the cords is a hard task, then you can also disconnect them from the power source so that there is no live electricity in them. That’s should also do the job just fine.
17. Clamp the Board Down
Something you should be aware of when you take on the task of using a circular saw to cut a board or stock is to make sure it has been secured into place. This is an essential part of the job because you want a clean and even cut across the object. But if it is not clamped in place, then there will be a lot of unnecessary movement.
Along with these movements, there is a risk that you might lose control and hurt yourself in the process. So, if you have something you can use to secure it, then that would be good. Otherwise, your hands should do the job just fine.
18. Read the Manual
All tools and devices come with instruction manuals that guide you along with the job. They usually have all the required information regarding the instrument. Now, before you use a circular saw, you should always read the instructions. This will help and make the set up more manageable for you.
That is not all, most saws have the same functions, but there are a few who are different, so in case you buy a new one, skim through the instructions so that there is no confusion or problem during work.
Also, the work is not the only thing that the manual has a guideline for. They have steps that tell you what to do when you want to change the blade as well. This is relatively important as you will have to know the exact process to adapt when changing the blade.
Safety should be the first concern when it comes to doing a job that involves the use of sharp objects such as blades. If you do keep these 18 circular saw safety rules in mind, then you should not be worried about getting hurt. You will also see that your work is more efficient and accurate.
This is me Sonnet. I manage a full-time workshop for my clients’ woodworking projects. From a very young age, I’ve been always passionate about DIY projects. And that’s the reason I’m amicable with the woodworking tools. I’m regularly handling a couple of projects like cabinets, furniture, boats, and many more using wood, veneers, and laminates.