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Post: Which circular saw and saw blades should I buy?

When you’re buying a circular saw, you might get overwhelmed by how many different saws there are. There’s no correct answer for which circular saw is suitable for you, but there are a few things to know that will help you decide.

Corded or cordless?

Most shopfitters and cabinetmakers rely on cordless tools, so you may be surprised to hear that corded circular saws remain pretty popular among DIYers and professional woodworkers.

“Corded and cordless top brands offer the same features, power and torque and do the job,” says Greg de Villiers, power tools expert at Vermont Sales. The company represents and distributes several international brands in South Africa, including Kreg, Festool, Worx and CAT.

“My choice is cordless. Cordless power tools are versatile, don’t stop during load shedding and work anywhere. All the top brands like our Festool, Worx and CAT come with two long-lasting batteries and do the same job as a corded saw. However, the choice is yours,” says De Villiers.

“If you have a limited budget or factory-based work, it makes sense to buy the corded tool. It is cheaper and provides consistent power. The biggest downside when working on-site is the cord and power supply. The cord gets in the way and usually requires an extension lead to reach the plug point.”

De Villiers says cordless circular saws are more expensive and need more accessories. “Don’t forget the battery charger and an extension lead to plug in the charger on-site. The battery power decreases with continuous use, making a spare a necessity.”

He says many top models have long-lasting batteries and the latest quick-chargers. “Today, batteries are often interchangeable with other tools if you buy power tools across a brand.”

Features and controls

Whatever type of circular saw you buy, the basic features and controls are essentially the same. They might look slightly different on your saw but perform the same functions. Circular saws are easy to set up when you know the parts and controls. Wear personal protective equipment, handle the saw safely and confidently and get good cutting results.

Which blade should I use?

One of the biggest frustrations people have with a circular saw is splinters and rough edges. There are three things to consider:

  • The desired quality of the cut
  • The type and dimensions of the material
  • The number of saw teeth (between 14 and 120 teeth)

As a rough guide:

  • 14-teeth blade: Cuts quickly but roughly and is best for thick pieces of solid wood. It is not suitable for board products.
  • 24-teeth blade: The blade that usually comes with the machine has 24 teeth. It gives a clean rip-cut but a rougher cross-cut. It is ideal for cutting solid wood components where precision and cleanness are secondary to speed.
  • 40-teeth blade: Plywood blade
  • 60 – 80-teeth: Veneered plywood and melamine faced chipboard. Identify the face of the board because the cut will tear out underneath.
  • 90 -120 teeth: Medium-density and high-density fibreboard (MDF and HDF) and mitre cutting across the solid wood grain.

“There is a wide selection of circular saws and saw blades available today. My first choice would be Festool, followed by Worx or CAT. All have accessories; however I would consider the innovative cutting accessories from Kreg,” De Villers concluded.

Written by: Joy Crane
Source: WoodBiz Africa Magazine

WoodBiz Africa Magazine - April issue
read the April issue here

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  • Arxada
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  • FSC
  • Hin-Tech Manufacturing
  • Husqvarna
  • John Deere
  • Khulani Timbers
  • Kwamahlati Training Services
  • LESH
  • Loadtech Load Cells
  • Logmech
  • Merensky
  • Mondi
  • Those who grow alone, die alone: why transformation is strategic for the MTO Group
  • NCT
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  • Rance Timbers
  • Sabie Poles
  • SAFCOL
  • Sappi
  • Saw Specialists
  • SAWPA
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