Circular saws are one of the most powerful and versatile cutting tools available today.
Allowing the operator to make clean and precise cuts fast, they can be used on numerous different materials. One circular saw might be suited to wood, while another might be suited to steel or another heavy-duty metal, using specific blades for each.
With this many options, it’s no surprise circular saws are as popular as they are. But like every power tool, safety must be taken seriously to avoid any accidents.
If you’re new to circular saws, or you’re just looking for some quick guidance, here are 5 essential circular saw safety tips you can’t ignore.
Always check the circular saw is in working order before you start
We put our power tools under a lot of pressure, which is why it’s understandable if they start to struggle.
Before beginning work with circular saws - or any tool, for that matter - it’s wise to make sure everything is in working order first.
The last thing you need is to start sawing, only to find something is loose or not working as it should. Something like this could lead to a serious safety issue if left unchecked.
So, before you start your project, make sure the saw is working as it should and that the circular saw blade is clean.
If you find a fault, do what you can to fix it, or consult the user manual if you’re unsure.
Most power tools require some sort of eye protection - circular saws included.
When sawing timber or other materials, there’s always the chance of dust, wood chips, metal shavings, or other substances flying off the surface towards you.
If this happens and something gets in your eyes, it could cause serious damage.
According to UK government statistics, there were 739 reports of eye injuries in the workplace in 2021-2022. It’s safe to assume most of these could have been prevented with proper eye protection.
Your eyes aren’t replaceable, so make sure you’re wearing protective eye goggles, a dust mask, or other necessary protective gear before you start using your circular saw.
Use both hands
Circular saws might be more portable and lightweight when compared to other tools, but that doesn’t mean they require any less attention or control.
Sure, you could use a circular saw with one hand - but the risks of doing this far outweigh the benefits.
The clearest example is that your control over the machine is greatly reduced.
In the event of an accident, you simply wouldn’t be able to handle or prevent the situation as best as you could if you had both hands on the machine.
Think of it as if you were driving a car - there’s a reason your instructor told you to have both hands on the wheel at all times.
Be smart. Use both hands.
Never take your eyes off your work
You might work in an environment where a lot is going on, with numerous jobs and other workers all moving around at once.
Even if you’re a home-DIY expert, there could be a lot of distractions around you while you work.
The important thing is to never let any of these distractions force you to take your eyes off of your saw while it’s active.
You might think you’ve got everything in hand, but most circular saw accidents happen when our attention is elsewhere.
If you’re working, focus directly on your work. Everything else can wait until you’re finished, or until you take a break.
Stand to the side to avoid kickback
Kickback is one of the most common ways injuries occur when using circular saws and similar tools.
This happens when the tool or the material unexpectedly jolts back at force towards the user. Usually the result of a pinched blade or general saw misuse.
Hopefully, it shouldn’t happen - but if it does, there are steps you can take to give yourself the best level of safety.
Unlike other tools, a portable circular saw allows the user to position themselves to the side, rather than directly behind the machine in the “firing zone”.
Kickback tends to force tools and materials to shoot straight back. Standing at the side removes you from the likely line of trajectory should you experience kickback.
Evolution circular saws
There are plenty of rules and advice to be followed when using circular saws, but the above should give you a good idea of how to keep yourself safe while you work.
If your current circular saw has been on the decline for a while, maybe it’s time to put safety first and upgrade?
At Evolution Power Tools, we have a great range of modern, powerful, high-quality circular saws to handle any job. You can check them out here.