How to Prevent Kickback with a Circular Saw?
Even though a circular saw is a very versatile and useful power tool to have in your shop, it can also be hazardous, if not handled properly. Understanding and knowing how to prevent kickback with a circular saw is an essential safe operation.
Kickback happens when the saw tries to suddenly move backward because something has jammed the blade and stopped it from turning. This is a terrible thing: a saw suddenly lurching backward is very dangerous.
Most of the time, kickback is mild and controllable. You can usually feel a slight resistance to the saw as you are moving forward through your cut and push a little harder to keep the saw going through the material.
The worst situation happens when the blade jams and immediately stop just as you are pushing hard. Imagine if you were standing on a ladder or sawing overhead and this happens when you didn’t expect it. The results could be an injury-causing fall and possibly even broken bones. Experienced carpenters might handle this situation safely, but the aim is to never put yourself in the situation of letting this dangerous kickback happen.
Before starting a cut, think about how you will do it, where the cut material will fall and the possibility you might create a possible kickback situation.
This may seem obvious to some, but let’s consider this situation. Say you have an 8-foot piece of a 2×4, and you want to cut it in half. So, you set up two sawhorses about 6 feet apart and lay your 2×4 down. As you cut, everything seems to go fine, but as you cut more, the weight of the two halves of the piece pushes downward on the blade and put pressure. Suddenly the wood snaps and both ends of the material fly up into the air. Not good! This is not the correct way to cut a piece of lumber.
The solution is always to make sure that the material is supported on the side you are keeping, and the cut piece always has a place to fall freely away from the saw. This applies whether you are making rip cuts or crosscuts. Think about what you are doing before you ever start, and you can avoid putting yourself in a dangerous situation.
When starting a cut, position the saw a little away from the material, not touching it. Pull the trigger; bring the saw blade up to speed, and gradually push the saw forward. Whenever you felt a little resistance in the saw, pull back slightly, let the blade come up to speed and start the cut again. If you feel the resistance again, let go of the trigger back the saw out of the material and rethink what you are doing and why you are getting the resistance.
Using a circular saw is difficult enough. You need to know the proper way of using it. It’s using mostly for the woodworking task. If you don’t know how to use it then, you might hurt yourself. How? Do you know about kickback of a circular saw? If you already knew about it, then it’s okay. You know how to use it safely. But if you don’t know about it, then wait here. If you are using a circular saw regularly, then you must be aware and careful about kickback of the circular saw. You can injure yourself badly because of lacking proper knowledge. Check this video created by Woodworking with DIY tools based on the kickback of a circular saw.
More Tips for Accurate Cuts with a Circular Saw
- Easy Way to Make Accurate Crosscuts: It’s easy to make a perfectly square crosscut if you guide the saw with a layout square. Here’s how to do it. Position the saw in place with the blade lined up on the cut line. Slide the layout square next to the base plate and hold it tightly against the board’s edge. Make sure the blade isn’t touching the board and bring the saw up to full speed. Now, move the saw carefully along the square. The result will be a square and clean cut.
- Cutting Multiple Pieces: Gang cutting is the method I use which to cut multiple pieces to the same size at the same time. You need to make sure that the edges are perfectly aligned. Set the blade depth to about ¼ inch more for the maximum cut.
- Cutting Bevels: All circular saws have adjustments for cutting bevels up to at least 45 degrees; some go up to 60 degrees. The problem is the possibility of snagging the base plate on the leading edge of the material. When this happens, don’t force the saw, but release the trigger and nudge the blade guard by hand just back a little. Then, go ahead and cut. After cutting an inch, release the guard, and it should find it after that.
- Let Gravity be Your Friend: This is probably obvious when you stop to think about it, and maybe most of you already have. Circular saw it is the best choice for an extended vertical cut in the wall. Start the cut at the top and go down slowly through the wall. Let the weight of the saw move through the cut. You need not push much.