Which Hand Circular Saws Are Better
Hand-held circular saws were invented about 100 years ago and since then, constantly improving, hold the title of one of the most popular and useful tools. However, certain alternatives for cutting various materials already exist. Therefore, it is worthwhile to figure out what kind of unit it is and how to operate it correctly.
Advantages and disadvantages
A circular or circular hand saw is not the only way to cut various sheet materials, however, it is considered one of the best solutions when competing with jigsaws and even more so with classic hand saws driven by manual force.
This in itself indicates certain advantages of its use, however, let’s take a closer look at why such a tool is better than alternative options.
- The tool is powered by an electric motor, it is relatively little dependent on manual power, which is needed only for holding. Thanks to this, productivity improves, and the operator gets tired much less.
- Unlike most other saws, the cutting part of the circular saw is made in the form of a disk, sharp throughout the circle. Thanks to this, the unit has no return movement. absolutely all efforts are spent on useful work.
- Being originally developed specifically for cutting wood, today a circular saw can be created for other materials. Although their list is not unlimited, there are still options for tiles and some soft types of metal.
- A hand saw can be equipped with a battery and work from it, which greatly expands the scope of potential use. Cordless models can go without a power outlet for several hours, therefore they can be used in any working conditions, be it construction without utilities or the roof of the building.
- Compared to the same jigsaw, a circular saw is characterized by significantly increased productivity. over the same period of time, it is able to cut much more lumber.
- Unlike a chain saw, a circular saw is good in that it allows you to make the cut even, rather than tearing it, which is why it is better for cutting decorative materials.
- Most hand saws offer built-in safety measures that are definitely not the case with classic hand-driven saws. over, the presence of special nozzles allows even a vacuum cleaner to be connected to many models, which ensures cleanliness in the workshop and safety for the operator’s health.
Of course, with all its positive qualities, the circular saw is still not alternative. that means, at least in some situations, it cannot show itself perfectly. Perhaps in your conditions nothing else is required, but you should know about this and possible pitfalls in advance, therefore, we will separately consider the possible disadvantages.
- The operation of the device is impossible without electricity, which means that you either have to be near the outlet if the device is plugged in, or remember to charge it on time if it is battery. At the same time, some batteries require certain specific requirements. for example, popular lithium-ion batteries tend to discharge much faster at sub-zero temperatures.
- The circular saw is absolutely not intended for a figured cut, the cut will always be strictly direct and in any conditions, except with slight deviations. There is no way to perform curly cutting using such an aggregate. in this it can only be replaced with a jigsaw.
- Battery models are good for their mobility, but increasing their functionality, performance or autonomy will certainly lead to an increase in the weight of the unit. Because of this, a really powerful tool on batteries simply does not exist, and the thickness of the cut of the same wood in such a device is usually limited to 7-8 centimeters.
- A circular saw is not so expensive, but still significantly more than a classical one. In practice, this means that if there is doubt about the regularity of using the tool, its purchase may not be practical.
Providing an even, and most importantly, fast longitudinal cutting of the board, a hand-held circular saw is usually considered a professional tool that most often finds application on a sawmill. where lumber is produced on an industrial scale. In such conditions, large stationary units are mainly used, but in small enterprises the use of battery options is also possible. Accordingly, other enterprises engaged in cutting other materials available for cutting, the same light alloys, may be potential users of such an aggregate.
Even more intensively battery models are used by repair masters, who are forced to regularly carry out cutting of building materials on the road, in the most unpredictable conditions. Such professionals value the tool very highly, because with its light weight it allows you to easily and quickly equip a kind of exit workshop.
The ability to change the disk and its rotation speed depending on current needs allows you to work with different materials, and an electric drive helps to significantly speed up the sawing process.
For the home, such tools are still relatively rarely used, and meaning in their purchase is only if you have your own personal plot and a certain tendency to carpentry. Living in a city apartment and not having its own workshop, it is possible to use such a device unless for the same repair needs that were described in the paragraph above, however, in the conditions of a summer residence, the possibilities of application are expanding. So, with the help of a battery device, you can even trim small branches, and then cut them to use as fuel. In combination with other types of saws, circular saws can also be used for cutting felled trees.
Understanding the main technical characteristics and their adequate assessment is the main key to the correct choice of model. To better navigate in the variety of model series, we consider the main features of the units. Perhaps the main characteristic is engine power, it depends on how much a large drive such a unit can rotate at a decent speed, and the maximum allowable cut depth depends on the diameter of the drive. In the tools of the initial level, the power is very modest. not higher than 1.2 kW, therefore such a tool is not enough, however, and the productivity will be low: the circle with a diameter of 13-16 cm saws no deeper than 4.5 cm.
Saws of the middle class have a power in the range of 1.2-1.8 kW, thanks to the disks up to 20 cm in diameter, it is possible to cut to a depth of 6 cm, such units are already stationary, and are used for country needs and field repair work. Equipment more powerful than 2 kW is already considered professional, it allows cutting up to 100 mm. Such saws are almost always network and stationary, since it is difficult and dangerous to keep them in the process of working on weight, so this is usually an integral attribute of a sawmill.
The speed of rotation of the disk is no less important. it depends on the engine power and the weight (diameter) of the circle itself. If you work exclusively with wood, it is best to choose models with the maximum number of revolutions per minute. thanks to this, the cut is smooth, without burrs, which would inevitably appear at low speeds. At the same time, when cutting material, the disk is guaranteed to warm up, therefore, when working with plastic, too high revolutions are unacceptable, otherwise the edges of the workpiece will melt.
Video: Which Hand Circular Saws Are Better
Accordingly, focus on high revolutions (up to 5-6 thousand revolutions per minute for expensive professional models), but with an eye on universal use. Pay attention to those saws, the design of which allows the possibility of independent speed control.
Although the depth of cut, as well as the maximum diameter of the disk, is inevitably tied to engine power, it can additionally be limited by the actual case of the device. Before making a purchase, be sure to ask what the maximum diameter of the disc is, but keep in mind that the depth of cut will be less than half.
When choosing, build on the thickness of the materials for the sake of which you purchase the device. Of course, an important criterion for the functionality of a circular saw is the right choice of disc, whose characteristics are not limited only by diameter.
In this case, you need to pay attention to the alloy of which the circle is made, and to diamond brazing (or its absence), and the number of teeth and their angle of grinding. Note that actually bad disks, as a rule, do not happen, just different types of them are better suited for a particular material. The disk can be periodically changed, diversifying the scope of the tool, and the specifics of its choice is already a topic for a separate article.
To choose a good circular saw, you must first fully decide on the tasks for the solution of which a tool is purchased, and then select a specific model that has the appropriate technical characteristics. At the same time, a modern circular saw is a “smart” tool, in addition to the above set of digits, various additional functions are also important, whose presence can simplify the use of the device or extend its service life. To understand what additional functions a hand-held circular saw may have and why they are needed, we will study the topic in more detail.
One of the most significant advantages of a good circular saw is the presence of a smooth start. With a sharp start from zero to several thousand revolutions per minute, the engine and other components of the mechanism experience a huge overload, which often leads to premature wear of the unit. Another thing is if the speed is gradually gained. you will have to wait no more than a few seconds, but the purchase will last much longer.
Some modern models can do even more. for example, they automatically increase power with the active resistance of the material. Such a fine self-tuning allows the engine to always work exactly at the power that is required in a particular case. Due to this, the load is reduced, and therefore wear occurs more slowly.
For operator safety, the anti-jam function will be very useful. If at a certain moment it suddenly turns out that the disk is not able to cut the material further, it will surely be thrown back, because of which the master can even drop the equipment from his hands, the deformation of the disk is also possible, which contributes to an increase in injury risk. It is impossible to completely prevent such a phenomenon, but modern models, at least, are able to weaken such a back strike.
In some cases, the engine, working for a long time with a fairly dense material, can become uncontrollably heated. An inexperienced operator is not always able to recognize the moment when the device is best turned off immediately to prevent damage to the unit. For this reason, the developers in the new models provided for the protection of the electric motor, which responds to excessive performance and can timely turn off the power supply.
Another important element of operator safety is the instant stop of the blade. It works instantly, as soon as the power button is released. the disk “wedges” instantly, that is, it does not continue to rotate at a reduced speed. This is done so that the operator does not suffer, for one reason or another, losing control of the tool. With such a function, it is no longer so scary to drop the unit from your hands, fall with it or lose consciousness in the process.
Adjusting the speed and depth of cut. these are two very close characteristics of the tool that allow you to fine-tune it to fit a specific task. In the first case, it becomes possible to more accurately adjust the speed of the disk, for example, to quickly cut wood, but not to melt the plastic with excessive haste. The second of the described functions is aimed at producing not a complete sawing of the workpiece, but delving into it only slightly.
A function such as connecting a vacuum cleaner is also rapidly gaining popularity. In the process of sawing wood, with which the circular saw most often works, a huge amount of sawdust is formed, which not only clog the workshop, but can also get into the respiratory tract or eyes, posing a serious health hazard. The presence of the described function allows the vacuum cleaner to draw all the small particles into itself already at the moment of their formation, therefore the workplace usually does not even require special cleaning.
A rather rare, but also useful feature is the illumination of the work surface. Most of all, it is in demand in battery models, which are transferred from place to place and therefore can be used outside a well-lit workshop. Thanks to this option, you can not stop working at any time of the day and even work in a darkened room without electricity.
Rating of the best models
It would be more correct to call our rating a review, since we will not give away prizes to models, understanding that they belong to different categories of tools. over, the range of leading manufacturers can be updated constantly, because the models presented below are not unequivocally the best, but rather just worthy of getting into such a rating.
Among professional models, you should pay attention to the Makita 5103R saw. A similar unit costs twice as much as a household unit, but it copes with the tasks twice as fast. The engine power in this case is 2.1 kW, and the cut depth is one of the largest, up to 10 cm in depth. The rotation speed of 3800 revolutions every minute seems small only until you know the size of the disc. its diameter is 27 cm. The unit weighs 9.5 kilograms, therefore it is used only stationary, but the large mass is due to many additional functions, including a line with laser pointer.
Household saws are designed to solve completely different problems, and therefore the requirements for them are different. consider this class of power tools on the example of the model Einhell RT-CS 190/1. Since it’s not professionals who work with such devices, but amateurs, it is not surprising that their main advantages are simplicity and convenience. in particular, this unit is good with very convenient handles and extreme ease of replacing the disk, even the key was put here so as not to puzzle the potential owner once again. Considering that the tool is likely to be used at home, this moment was also thought out. it is possible to connect with a vacuum cleaner, the unit itself is notable for quite quiet operation.
If you really need a tool to solve small and episodic problems, and the main requirement for it is the minimum cost, then you can not help but pay attention to the Skil 5740 LA saw. For such money, the characteristics are, of course, very modest. here the engine power is only 700 watts and the maximum depth has been cut within 4 cm, but there are also advantages. for example, a very modest weight within 2.5 kilograms. However, even the budgeting of such a tool did not prevent manufacturers from taking care of basic conveniences, which in this case include a lock from accidental launch, a key storage compartment and an increased support for increased stability.
If you choose a cordless saw, focusing on a combination of autonomy and high performance, then professionals will probably advise the Aeg BKS 18-0 model. The unit copes with the solution of complex problems, in all respects it corresponds to the full daily use at the construction site, where electricity has not yet been supplied. With decent production qualities (5000 rpm and a disk diameter of 16.5 cm), the tool weighs just a little more than 3 kilograms, which is very small.
Given the stable load, the maintenance of the unit in the form of a circle replacement is extremely simple, at the same time the device is equipped with all possible modern tricks, from the built-in backlight to the battery charge indicator, from the nozzle for the vacuum cleaner to adjust the angle and depth of cut.
Operation and maintenance
You can use the tool for a long time and safely only if its instructions are constantly followed. First of all, you need to work only with the tool that is designed to solve precisely these problems, it must be properly equipped and not have damage. Failure to comply with the recommendations specified in the instructions, in the best case, leads to premature wear of the tool assemblies, in the worst fraught with injuries.
Anchor fastening (in the case of network models) and do-it-yourself tuning should also be carried out strictly in accordance with the instructions, otherwise you should not rely on the correct operation of the tool.
The selection of settings consists of the smallest details, but they should be followed with high accuracy. for example, for maximum convenience it is often advised to choose a saw with a minimum convenient diameter.
In addition, even when choosing a saw blade for wood, it is advised to select it according to the number of teeth so that there are from 2 to 4 teeth in the thickness at the same time, because a smaller number negatively affects the stabilization of the tool position, and a larger one provokes strong heating of the blade, clogging of the cut and blunting sharp edge. Based on this, we can conclude that neglect of even minor details is fraught.
Maintenance, as well as tool tuning, in the case of most models is done independently, but it all depends on the specific situation. Most manufacturers are categorically negative that the consumer independently disassemble the housing and make any changes to the design of the device. Accordingly, the scope of self-service usually includes only the replacement of the disk, while any breakdowns, according to the instructions, must be eliminated by the efforts of certified craftsmen.
Remember that improper intervention in a complex mechanism can interfere with its proper operation in the future and even provoke a deterioration in security conditions.
For how to choose the right circular saw, see the next video.