Circular saws are great for cutting plywood and 2x's, but you can also cut everything from logs to concrete to steel beams with the right blade or the right type of saw.
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine:May 2011
This saw on steroids is the Makita 16-5/16-in. circular
saw (model No. 5402NA). It’s huge! In fact, it's so
big that you can cut 6-1/4 in. deep at 90 degrees and
4-3/16 in. deep while the saw is set at 45 degrees.
You'll get the best results and save wear on the saw
if you precut a kerf with a standard saw first. That
way the saw will have 2 in. less depth to hog its way
through. One of these will set you back close to $800.
The Prazi USA PR2000 12-in. beam cutter is like a mini
chain saw that attaches to a standard "sidewinder"
circular saw or a worm drive saw. It cuts very fast and
is pretty affordable at $150. Installation is as simple as
replacing the blade with the Prazi bar.
The Milwaukee 10-1/4-in. circular saw (model No.
6470-21) is for those who need to cut lots of 3-1/2-in.
material. It cuts amazingly square every time, so you'll
have perfect joints when you're putting your project
together. One will set you back $350.
If you have big wood to cut that calls for closer
tolerances than you can get with a chain saw, it’s
time to enter the big leagues of circular saws. Every log or
timber frame builder uses saws like the ones shown here.
These beasts are expensive and rarely available for rental,
so we’re talking about a big investment if you need one
to build your dream cabin in the woods. They may look
intimidating, but you’ll feel comfortable with any of them
after a few cuts. You can find and order these bad boys at
www.7corners.com. or other online tool suppliers.
Called “ferrous” because
they can cut iron-containing
metals such as steel, these
can cut any metal up to 1/4
in. thick. But not cast iron.
24-tooth carbide framing
blade for 90 percent of your
cutting. Not just framing—any wood where an ultra-clean
cut isn’t needed.
Don't toss your
old blades. Stick
one in your saw for
demo work, cutting
shingles and nail-embedded
cutting up exterior doors
so they'll fit in the trash can.
40-tooth finish blade to
make finish cuts such as
cutting off door bottoms,
veneered plywood or
these for cutting concrete,
stone, pavers or any other
masonry. Segmented blades
will give you the fastest cut.
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
You'll also need a circular saw blade or chain saw attachment.
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.
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