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Hand held circular saw, aka circular saw and parket saw. the popular hand-held tool for cutting longitudinally and crosscutting various materials. Circular saws are most often used for woodworking, but they can also be used for metal and other materials depending on the saw blade installed.
When buying tools, many buyers first of all pay attention to the cost. Which is understandable. not every our compatriot has the opportunity to throw away a few extra thousand, even when it comes to buying a saw for home. High power and advanced functionality are unnecessary for the DIYer. Therefore, the purchase of a budget circular saw can be called a good decision. Let’s start the review with the inexpensive tools that combine all the essentials.
The review opens with an inexpensive, but good model of circular saw, which has a fairly high power. 1250 watts is quite enough to quickly and easily saw even hard, pretty dried out wood. It is nice that the saw is equipped with an additional set of brushes. Weight is only 4.1 kg, which greatly simplifies the process of transportation, making the work really easy and comfortable. Disc speed reaches 5600 rpm, so even a large number of boards, planks and other lumber can be sawed in a very short time. Diameter of the disc is 185 mm, which provides a cutting height of 64 mm. All these features add up to make it a great value. At least if it is not the best budget circular saw model, it is definitely one of them.
A very budget and good saw. Any homeowner who has to saw boards and other lumber on a regular basis can easily buy it. Its power is as much as 1600 W, which makes it easy and quickly cope not only with wood but also with other materials, including aluminum. The speed of the disc is quite high. 4500 rpm, which is considered an excellent indicator that allows you to quickly cope with the considerable amount of work.
One of the most important parameters of any circular saw is the diameter of the cutting disc, so you should definitely pay attention to it when choosing a tool.
The disc diameter of this model is 185 mm. one of the most common indicators for a budget electric tool in this category. Weight of the device. 4.9 kg, which should be taken into account when buying. not all users will be comfortable working with it.
- high power;
- low cost;
- Well-designed dust extraction system;
- easy adjustment of the cutting angle;
- long warranty (5 years);
- small dimensions;
- elaborate security system.
ELITECH PD 1600L
A chic tool. reliable, easy to use and not too expensive. If you need a circular saw at an affordable price, this is a purchase you will not regret. Weight is quite large. 4.8 kg, but the corresponding power. as much as 1600 watts. Of course, if you have a quality disk, the saw can easily cut the hardest boards, beams and more. Diameter of the blade is large. 190 mm, which provides a cutting depth of 65 mm. This is one of the best indicators among budget circular saws. Can easily handle very thick boards. Speed of rotation per minute is up to 5000 rpm. Of course, any material is cut smoothly, without the slightest burr, splinter, and other imperfections that are often found with less rapid tools. An additional plus is the laser marker, as well as the ability to connect a vacuum cleaner. no more time and effort to remove small sawdust after work.
- high power;
- Vacuum cleaner connection capability;
- Equipped with an additional disc;
- rubberized handle;
- laser pointer.
Bosch GKT 55 GCE Overview
The manual circular saw of German company Bosch of professional model GKT 55 GCE produced since October 2011. The product package for sale through retailers includes:
- 165×20 mm circular saw for working with wood;
- hex key for the replacement of the working tool;
- cardboard box;
- user manual.
The list of advantages of the Bosch GKT 55 GCE plunge circular saw includes:
- The low weight and dimensions of the tool make it easy to use.
- Handles are ergonomically shaped with the back handle parallel to the material to be cut and the front handle perpendicular to the material to be cut. Thus the stability of the tool on the cutting line is achieved.
- Convenient, intuitive circular saw controls.
- High power electric motor lets you cut all kinds of materials, even composite materials such as laminated chipboard, hardboard and fiberboard.
- Electronic adjustment of engine speed is possible between 3,600 and 6,250 rpm. Maximum cutting speed for each material without overheating the cut is simple to select.
- Excellent circular saw blade quality results in very clean cuts, significantly reducing material consumption and finishing costs.
- High accuracy of cutting depth adjustment in vertical position. up to 57 mm, at 45° angle. 42 mm. Extremely handy limiter mechanism.
- Plunge blade mode, which makes it possible to start cutting from any point on the sheet metal.
- Easy tool change of the circular saw. The spindle is locked at the push of a button, and the locking bolt is unscrewed with the supplied wrench.
- Manual circular saw is compatible with the new Bosch FSN guide rail.
- A vacuum cleaner can be connected for removing sawdust that accumulates while the tool is working.
- Circular saw is equipped with “Constant Electronic” electronic system for maintaining the shaft speed set by the operator when working under load.
- Specially ground teeth on the circular saw blade reduce the noise level when cutting the material.
Among the disadvantages of the model, users include a short warranty period of only one year, but there is an opportunity to extend it after registration on the official website of the manufacturer. There are cases of saw bounce when performing plunge operation with damage to the sheet surface and guide rail. The diameter of the vacuum cleaner’s connector is not chosen correctly, which makes it difficult to put the hose on.
The feedback from users is mostly positive, indicating a high quality of the product and ease of use. The price to quality ratio of the product according to the customer feedback is optimal. There is a need to purchase guides and clamps for maximum convenience when using a circular saw, these accessories are not supplied with the tool.
Main technical characteristics
To understand how to choose a circular saw, you need to know the range of characteristics and their impact on the cutting process. We present in the table the main parameters and capabilities of the circular saw, as well as recommendations for the purpose.
There are 600-2000 watts. The higher, the heavier the tool, but it can cope with denser materials, work faster, no longer warm under load. For intermittent use in a country house, 800-1200 W is enough.
Affects the convenience of lifting, cutting vertical surfaces. If you will often work on a roof, choose the 4-5 kg model.
The speed range is 3000-6000 rpm. The higher the speed, the cleaner the kerf, the less burrs stick out, and the less need for detailed sanding. For production of furniture in the home workshop a frequency of 5000 rpm and more is needed. For rough cutting of boards, this parameter affects speed only.
Available in 160-230 mm. Impact on kerf depth of 45-85 mm. The biggest models have a cutting depth of up to 140 mm at a time on one side of the circular saw. The choice depends on the cross section of the material to be worked with.
There are discs for wood, stone. Solid or carbide-tipped teeth. First bent or straight. Straight suited for longitudinal and cross cutting of any species. Curved. for soft wood. Carbide discs for wood and stone, last longer, but cost more.
Except 90º, some models are able to change the position of the saw blade up to 45º. It’s useful for bevel cuts, kerf cuts, to connect parts afterwards at a 90-degree angle. Needed when assembling boxes, furniture, wooden greenhouses, windows, etc.
Needed when changing saw equipment. Without it you usually use two wrenches. one to hold the shaft and the other to turn the nut. Advanced versions of the spindle locking is done with a button. It’s more convenient (no wrench needed) and faster. Handy for when you often need to change wheels of different diameters or when you change from sawing stone to cutting boards.
Optional safety button. Without pushing it in, pressing the trigger does not start the wheel rotation. Increases safety.
Slows down when cutting hard materials, reduces productivity, compromises cut quality. With the constant speed electronic system itself determines the level of load, ensures compliance with the specified parameters.
During long working hours the motor winding gets warm. It leads to melted wires, short circuits. With protection, the saw shuts down earlier for longer, trouble-free usage.
Starts at low RPM and gradually increases speed. Reduces the load on the mains due to the absence of high starting currents, helps to accurately guide the tool to the cutting line trimmer.
Hyundai M 2000-255
The Hyundai M 2000-255 is a tool designed by a South Korean company. High power and speed, yet lightweight and compact. Electronic rpm adjustment feature lets you customize your saw for a variety of materials, in addition to wood. Soft start with auto-reset protection helps you to start in a comfortable mode and get a better cut surface. The tool is equipped with a work table extender for longer work pieces.
- speed regulation
- laser marker
- dust extraction function
- soft start
- clamping base for securing the workpiece
- table extensions
Watch a video with an overview of the tool’s features regarding machining accuracy:
Despite the fact that quality electric saws have a significant margin of safety, sooner or later they will break down. And if the repair of circular saws on wood in case of breakage of the electric motor or control mechanism is better to entrust a professional, then with malfunctions in the mechanical part you can try to deal with yourself.
Large coarse-cutting saw blades can also be rebuilt by hand
As a rule, these malfunctions manifest themselves through the deterioration of the quality of the cut. This means that the teeth of the board are blunt and require sharpening.
Please note! Only complete discs with a full set of teeth can be re-sharpened. Cracks or other surface defects means that the disc must be replaced.
Wood saw blades are sharpened on a machine with an abrasive wheel, the hardness of which corresponds to the hardness of the metal of the saw.
- The disk is removed from the mounts by unscrewing the fixing nut.
- Determine tooth shape. Straight ones are the easiest and are used for rough work that is not very clean, but the beveled ones are used for good quality wood and sheet material processing. Sometimes there are saws with trapezoidal teeth, designed for machining hard parts, but their sharpening is better left to professionals.
- To ensure good-quality sharpening edges, disk should be fixed by means of a metal strip, one edge of which is fixed on the machine.
- After clamping the blade, start the machine and feed the blade for sharpening. Grind each tooth separately, if necessary removing a disc from its holder and locking it in position again.
Of course, it is not possible to restore the blade 100% that way, but even non-professional sharpening, done following basic rules, can significantly increase the life of the saw blade.
Circular saws specifications
When choosing a circular saw for your home, first of all pay attention to the technical specifications, which are listed below.
The power affects the performance of the tool. The higher this indicator, the thicker products can be cut with the saw.
There are 3 classes of circular saws in carpentry, depending on power:
- Up to 1000 watts. light and compact devices, designed for cutting plywood or thin boards.
- 1000. 1500 W. semi-professional saws for small jobsites. Suitable for cutting small beams, logs or thick boards. If used at home, such a saw will last longer than a low-powered one.
- From 1500 W. professional tool with a long service life of the engine allows to work up to 6 hours a day with intervals.
Characteristics influencing the working speed. Most often, this value depends on the motor power. When processing hardwood at higher speeds, the risk of jamming the working body from the resistance of the material is reduced. Semi-professional models have a speed of 5200. 6000 rpm. this is a good indicator to buy.
Cutting depth is one of the main criteria for choosing a circular saw. Characteristic that depends on the power and diameter of the cutting disc. When buying a household saw the maximum depth of cutting will not exceed 55 mm, but the professional tool can easily make a cut of wood 80 mm thick and more.
- 40 to 46 mm, which is considered a shallow depth, and a tool that meets that parameter is a domestic tool.
- 50 to 55 mm. the saw is able to cut thick floorboards or small bars.
- From 65 to 70 mm. with this tool it is possible to make cutting of not load-bearing elements of wooden house framework.
- From 65 to 140 mm. a professional saw that can quickly cut small bars or several boards at the same time.
Working at an angle
This is more of a characteristic that relates to the base of the device than to the saw itself. Some bandsaws have slides and a locking mechanism for adjusting the angle, which is useful when working on doors, baseboards, or furniture.
What’s the best sole (platform)?
All experts say that a solid soleplate is best. But saws with a good molded sole are expensive.
The main thing is to look at the quality of the sole, not the production method. Even if the soleplate is forged, but thick and rigid, it is not worse than the cast soleplate.
Circular saws under 5000 have mostly a flimsy, stamped sole.
Saws priced under 5000-10000 have cast or stamped soleplates, but they are thick and hard!
Type of battery
Wireless battery-operated devices allow you to cut wood in any hard-to-reach place. Though it sounds like an advertising slogan, but it really is a useful tool. If you deal with sawing once in half a year, you do not need a cordless saw, this category of saws is more suitable for professional use.
There are two basic types of batteries for household power tools:
- Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries are modern batteries which do not lose capacity after power replenishment at any level of residual charge. Of the disadvantages. low frost resistance. the battery loses efficiency when used in conditions of subzero temperatures (in theory). In practice, people easily use them even in hot and cold temperatures.
- Nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cd) batteries are outdated, but still widespread. They require a complete discharge to replenish the capacity, but at the same time, they are convenient when working in extreme conditions. It is better not to buy such batteries and there are not many of them left on the market.
Battery voltage. there are 3 basic types on the market. 10.8V, 12V, 18V. As a rule of thumb, the higher the voltage created inside the battery, the more powerful the tool. The best battery packs on the market are Metabo and Bosch. Before you buy a new battery, you need to know what voltage range your particular appliance is designed for.
Whether you need a level or a laser pointer?
This option allows you to accurately adhere to the cutting path when operating the tool, as the beam indicates the direction of the saw. However, the availability of such equipment does not guarantee a perfect result, as its achievement depends on the experience of the craftsman and the hardness of his hand when working.
Do you need RPM control??
Important feature for professional woodworking, because it allows you to set the right mode for cutting a specific type of material. RPM also depends on the width, tooth size and other characteristics of the cutting wheel.
Do you need the soft start??
Also a convenient option, because the gradual increase in motor power without jerking the saw does not overload the electricity grid and prevents rapid wear of the motor. Of course, with frequent on and off cycles, the time to work the material increases because of the long acceleration of the disk, but the motor is spared from power surges. But this option is only found on expensive circular saws.
The specifications of a circular saw directly affect its cost. So, the cheapest model will work at low rpm with little useful power, because of which there may be problems in operation, and expensive professional tool will cope with almost any profile task.
Features of maintenance
Proper maintenance is the key to keeping your circular saw in good working order for as long as possible. How often you need to do this depends on how often you use your tool. For professional models replacement of defective components and lubrication of parts should be done 3 days after initial use. For domestic appliances, the frequency of maintenance is on average 6 months. All maintenance activities fall into 2 categories
Routine maintenance refers to a set of activities that must be performed after each use of the saw. These tasks are performed by the operator himself:
- Checking the working cable for continuity. Do not carry the tool by the cord and do not over bend it during storage;
- cleaning the saw from debris and sawdust at the end of operation (there is a special brush for cleaning);
- Checking the alignment of components, the correctness of the assembly, and the integrity of the housing;
- Periodic retightening of fasteners, as required;
- Mandatory inspection of the blade before starting work for damage, deformations, chips and cracks. In this case, the disk must be well sharpened.
Periodic maintenance is a set of measures that are carried out after the official operating period, which is specified by the manufacturer. This work is performed by professional craftsmen. employees of service centers:
- Check the condition of the carbon brushes and replace them;
- check of serviceability of anchor manifold;
- check the condition of the motor winding;
- Gearbox lubrication.
The important thing that lets you significantly extend the life of your circular saw is to use original, manufacturer-quality parts. Using analogue products solves the problem only for a short period of time. Saw failure is inevitable, and you can’t count on a warranty repair.