9 Circular Saw Uses You Should Know

Circular Saw Uses You Should Know

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If you are wondering what kinds of power tools you need to buy, one of the most common and popular ones is the circular saw. You might know that this saw has a circular blade and that carpenters often use them. However, circular saws have many more uses than you might think. Let’s take a look at the nine different circular saw uses that you should know all about

What Is a Circular Saw?

Circular Saw Before we talk about what exactly a circular saw can be used for, let’s first figure out what it actually is. A circular saw is a special type of power saw that uses a toothed blade or an abrasive disc to cut a variety of materials. This saw has an arbor that the blade is fitted onto, around which the blade spins in a circular motion at very high speeds.

The blades can range in size from just a few inches to several feet or meters in radius, and therefore serve a wide variety of applications.

Although a circular saw is most commonly used for cutting wood, it can also be used for other materials, granted that you have the right type of blade.

9 Common Circular Saw Uses

Let’s take a quick look at all of the different tasks that a circular saw can be used for. As you are about to find out, there are quite a few of them.

1. Cutting Timber

If we are talking about industrial-scale applications, one of the most common things that a circular saw is used for is for cutting very large trees down to size, or in other words, for milling lumber. There are some sawmills out there that have circular saws that are as large as three meters in radius, to help cut large pieces of timber and logs down to manageable sizes.

This is one of the most commonly used tools in large industrial sawmills.

2. Cutting Down Logs into Useable Firewood

Another application of the circular saw is for taking smaller logs and cutting them down into smaller pieces of firewood. Now, the saws originally used for this task, especially when it comes to large-scale operations, are known as cordwood circular saws. Whether we are talking about making rip cuts or cross cuts to make firewood, this is a common application.

It’s not something that you might be familiar with in terms of your carpentry shop, but when it comes to sawmills, this is another popular application.

3. Making Rip Cuts

As mentioned above, a circular saw can also be used for is for making rip cuts. A rip cut is a special type of cut made on boards where you cut along the length of it, or in other words, with the grain.

If you have a long board that needs to be split in half lengthwise, then a circular saw is a great tool to use, as they excel at making long and straight cuts. If you need to rip apart many pieces of lumber, this is a tool of choice.

4. Making Cross Cuts

Just like a circular saw is ideal for making rip cuts, it is also ideal for making cross cuts. As opposed to a rip cut which sees you cutting along the length with the grain, a crosscut sees you cutting along the width of the board and across the grain of it. If you have a long board that needs to be cut into two smaller halves, then this is a great tool to use.

A circular saw is in fact one of the fastest and most popular tools for this task.

5. Making Bevel Cuts

Yet another application that a circular saw is good for is for making bevel cuts. In other words, this is a cut that is made with the blade being set at a specific angle, usually up to 45 degrees. This makes a circular saw ideal for doing things like cutting crown molding, as well as for other cuts that need to be angled.

Keep in mind that both crosscuts and rip cuts can be beveled. Now, also keep in mind that not all circular saws have a blade that can tilt or bevel.

6. Making Straight Cuts

Yes, we did in part already covered this, but the bottom line is that if you need to make a straight and long cut through a variety of materials, mainly wood, but others too, then a circular saw is ideal. Just keep in mind that due to the nature of a circular saw, it is not ideal for cutting curves or shapes, but certainly excels at making straight lines.

7. Cutting Down Plywood

If you need a quick and easy tool to cut plywood down to size, then a circular saw is always one of your best choices. The blades that circular saws have are rather ideal for this task, make quick work out of plywood, and also cause minimal tearing and splintering.

8. Cutting Metals, Tiles, Plastics, and More

Although wood is the most common material that you would cut with a circular saw, these saws are also capable of cutting many other materials. What it all comes down to is the specific type of blade that you have fitted onto the circular saw.

There are all kinds of blades out there that are designed for cutting a variety of metals, plastics, tiles, and more. Although there may be specialized metal cutting and tile cutting saws out there, you can just as easily use a circular saw fitted with the proper blade.

9. Cutting Masonry

Another thing that a circular saw can do is cut masonry. Now. just like with the above point, there are special masonry circular saws, as well as stone-cutting saws. However, if you just have a few cuts that you need to make, a masonry cutting blade fitted onto a circular saw will do just fine.


As you can see, the circular saw is one of the most versatile power tools out there designed for cutting. They have the ability to cut through many different materials of varying thicknesses, as long as you have the right blade. Whether you are a carpenter or anything else, if you work with your hands, you will likely always have use for a circular saw.