It’s a sight I’ve witnessed numerous times before. You’re working on a woodworking project, and you realise you need to make an angle cut. You reach for a circular saw because you believe it will do the job better than anything else you own. Is it possible to use a circular saw to make an angle cut?
Making angled cuts with a circular saw is simple; just adjust the saw’s base to any angle between 0 and 45 degrees. In the industry, these are known as bevelled cuts. These cuts can be produced with far greater precision if a straight edge is fastened to the workpiece to keep the saw from shifting.
This tutorial will go into greater detail on how to use a circular saw to cut angles in your woodworking project, as well as what you may anticipate from doing so. After finishing this article, you should feel more confident in your ability to cut angles in woodwork tasks.
Is a circular saw accurate when used at an angle?
The circular saw is the workhorse of the woodshop, but is it also the most accurate cutting tool? When the blade is angled like that, it is simple for the saw to wander while you cut, as I stated earlier.
A straight edge clamped to the workpiece is a great idea. With this straight edge in place, I can run the saw’s base plate along it for a cleaner, smoother cut.
Is it safe to use my circular saw to make angled cuts on thin planks of wood?
In this case, a circular saw might not be the most effective tool. It’s safe and effective for long angled cuts, especially on sheet material, but cutting an angle into a narrow piece of wood (say, roughly 2 inches wide) is risky and can lead to sloppy results.
This is because you can’t always see your pencil line, making it harder to balance the saw, and narrow stock is more difficult to cut. This is a risky form of cut, so I’ve included some alternatives to hacksaws below.
For slicing angles, what kind of saw should you use?
In the following sections, I’ll explain how to use a circular saw to make a variety of angled cuts. Do remember that this isn’t the saw’s intended use.
Sawing using a circular saw is so called because it spins on an arbour. To make such clean cuts, the blade or disc of this power saw likely has both abrasive materials and teeth. Circular saws are not just used in the woodworking industry, but also in the metal, plastic, and stone cutting industries.
As I mentioned in the introduction, a hand-held circular saw will do the trick when it comes to cutting angles into wood. In the next parts, I will elaborate on the how. For the time being, let’s address another inquiry. What sort of saw is best for cutting angles?
This is the mitre saw, often known as the compound saw or power mitre saw. With a mitre saw, you may set the angle of your crosscut and get to work cutting. A mitre saw is the ideal tool for cutting wood to the precise angles required for residential trim or moulding projects.
These saws are superior to others when it comes to cutting precise angles on wooden ends. This saw makes far cleaner slices than a circular saw.
This is not to imply that all mitre saws are the same. This is the assortment I use on a regular basis:
Standard/Power Miter Saws
The powered standard mitre saw can be used to cut wood at any angle, but it excels at making the 45-degree cuts that are especially useful for framing.
LED/Laser Miter Saws
The LED or laser mitre saw will become your best friend if you’re in need of a little extra help with precision and accuracy. A washer attached to the saw blade and the included laser guide will guarantee perfectly straight lines. In addition to being a practical feature, the LED lighting improves visibility.
Compound Miter Saws
A blade of a compound mitre saw can be adjusted to be tilted. A compound mitre saw’s ability to make bevel cuts is enhanced by the versatility of its saw head, which can be adjusted to a number of different angles. If you need to cut at an angle, these are the saws you should get.
Sliding Compound Miter Saws
The saw head on a sliding compound mitre saw can be moved along a rail. This saw has been upgraded so that it can now cut through lumber of greater width. For focusing on a specific corner or edge of the wood, the rails can be locked in place. If you want a precise cut while the saw is sliding, it’s best to invest in one of these more expensive saws.
Dual Compound Miter Saws
The dual compound mitre is a different kind of compound saw. A mitre saw with a swivelling and reversible head, also called a double mitre saw, allows you to make cuts at virtually any angle.
How Do I Use a Circular Saw to Cut a 45-Degree Angle?
You shouldn’t go to bed with a circular saw. It’s not the best saw for cutting angles, but it can do a lot of different jobs, so it’s a good investment to have around the shop.
Say, for example, you were working with wood and needed an angle of exactly 45 degrees. How to make that cut with a circular saw is outlined below.
To begin, adjust the depth of cut on your circular saw.
If you haven’t plugged in your circular saw yet, then don’t do it. If you already did plug it in, unplug it, as you need to select the depth of the cut.
Pull the blade guard back and adjust the depth the blade protudes from the base. The saw blade should always protrude through the wood until the gullets of the teeth are visable.
Before you move on, make sure the depth-adjusting lever is as tight as possible.
Step 2: Align Your Circular Saw Blade with Your Mark
Make a mark on the wood where you want to cut the 45-degree angle. You might have to keep your hand on the wood so it doesn’t shift, so make sure you’re wearing gloves when you work. Attaching a clamp to a square would be highly beneficial also as you can then ensure your cut is straight and square.
Check that the circular saw’s blade is aligned with the mark you make by nicking your wood board ever so slightly. To get items in the right place, just move them around a bit.
Third, use a template to make precise, straight cuts.
In order to make the clean, bevelled cuts you desire with your circular saw, it is recommended that you use a level or other suitable guide, as was mentioned earlier in this article. A handbook that can be modified to suit different tasks is preferable.
If you’re wondering how to cut an angle using a circular saw, consider this:
What Is the Proper Way to Cut a 2×4
Here we assume you need to make an angle cut in a 24 board. What steps would you take to achieve your goal? There isn’t much of a difference between the previous and these instructions, but I’ll go over everything nonetheless.
First, determine how deep you want the blade of your circular saw to be.
Determine the blade depth of your circular saw before beginning your 24 woodworking project so that you may get the desired cut depth. Cutting with a circular saw can be dangerous if the blade depth is not properly adjusted.
Turn off the power to the circular saw if it isn’t already unplugged, and then reposition the guard over the blade by drawing it into position. When using a circular saw, make sure the blade is a quarter of an inch to a half an inch below the base of the wood by pressing the blade guard against the 2×4.
Second, attach the hold-down clamp.
A hold-down clamp is necessary for using a circular saw safely and effectively. Only a single clamp is needed for this task. Having a hold-down clamp attached to both sides of the 24 increases the risk of one of the clamps slipping.
Your circular saw will encounter too much resistance from the 24 and will not be able to make the cut.
You risk serious injury or death if you lose control of your circular saw. Keep using the same clamp for holding things down. The 24 should be in the ideal position for cutting once the wood has been placed on the sawhorse.
The Third Step: Using a Marker, Cut the 24
Measure out where you want to make your angled cuts with a guide or a scale. Then, use a pencil to make a notation. Using a circular saw, get as close as possible to that mark so you can cut right angles in your 24.
Clamp a square or straight edge in place for step four.
A straight and square cut can be achieved with this method.
When Cutting Angles, Is There Anything Negative About Using a Circular Saw?
Based on what we’ve seen in the preceding two guides, a circular saw is an acceptable option for making angled cuts in wood. The size of the timber and the type of angle you wish to cut determine this.
If you want to be delighted with the end result of your woodworking job, it’s important to choose the right saw.
Cuts are generally rougher
As the saw is being guided by your hand, any slight variations in your grip will be reflected in the final cut. For this reason, a straight edge is crucial for producing a polished result.
In this regard, a compound mitre saw is always my first choice because it provides the most precise and clean cut. You should think about using these in your class.
Base Plate Tilting Can Cause Blade Catching
Keep an eye on the angle at which your base plate is tilted. The lower blade of your circular saw may become jammed at the edge of your wood if you move it too far in one direction. Instead of fixing the problem, applying more force with the saw will make it much worse.
Instead, you should cut with the blade guard up, press the release button, and then cut. Do not move the guard until the circular saw blade is at least an inch into the board.
Important safety tips
I hope you all have a great time in the shop, and I remind you that your safety is my top priority at all times.
My number one piece of advice for keeping yourself safe while using a circular saw is to avoid standing directly behind it at all times.
If the saw binds in the wood, it can kick back at you, which is why you should take precautions. If the saw does kick backward, you can protect yourself by standing to the side.
Maintain standard operating procedure by always protecting your eyes and ears.
For making quick work of mitre cuts in 2x4s and other lumber, a circular saw can stand in. If the angle exceeds 45 degrees, the cut will be rougher and less precise.
You’ll have a newfound respect for your circular saw now that you understand its many uses.