A skill saw can make any DIY project more manageable, whether it is for leisure or for any renovation around the house. You will learn how to use a skill saw in this guide.
Using a skill saw, you can make precise cuts in different materials. You just have to set the blade of your saw to the right angle and depth to get a clean cut.
Before you start cutting various materials using a saw, you need to familiarize yourself with the blades, cuts, and working of a skill saw. We will touch on all these things in this guide.
What is a Skill Saw?
Almost every hand-held saw is called a skill saw. The saw that we are talking about is a circular saw. It is called a skill saw because the company that made it originally was called Skillsaw Inc.
After that, skill saw became a universal name for circular saws or other hand-held saws. A circular saw can be used for making cuts in materials or cutting through them.
Which materials can a skill saw cut?
A skill saw can cut through almost anything that you would have to use in a home renovation project. These include:
- Ceramic tiles for flooring
- Composite materials
- Steep bar stock
- Construction lumber
- Sheet metal
Choosing the Blade
It is essential that you have the best blade for cutting the material of your choice. For lumber, the right blade is 6.5 inches or 17 cm.
Depending on the thickness of the material, you will have to use different blade sizes. If the width is up to 2.5 inches, use the 18.4 cm or 7.25 inches blade.
For heavy-duty projects, the 8-10 inches blades are used. You will most probably not need these for DIY projects at home. These are mostly reserved for industrial work.
How to Use Skill Saw for Home-Improvement Projects?
After you have familiarized yourself with the kind of skill saw and the right blade, prepare for using the skill saw.
Where should you Work?
It is best to work in a well-ventilated space as most materials give off dust when they are cut. If you have your work station in an open garage or your backyard, that is even better.
Safety precautions are a must for working with a skill saw. You do not exactly need a special suit for working with a skill saw, but some necessary precautions can keep you safe during work.
- Wear an eye mask to protect your eyes from dust and chips of wood or metal.
- Put on ear muffs if you are going to work for a long time.
- Wear a dust mask if your airways are sensitive to dust.
- Do not wear any jewelry while working.
- Tie your hair at the back of your head to keep them away from your face and the skill saw’s blade.
- Wear thick gloves to improve your grip on the saw and keep your hands protected.
Measure the Material
Using a carpenter’s pencil or a marker, make a line from where you want to cut the material. Check twice to see if the line is straight and is measured according to your required length.
These lines direct where the skill saw should go. Do not draw these lines with permanent markers as they might not come off your material, especially wood.
Keep in mind that skill saws are best for making straight and short cuts for curved or angled cuts, just a jigsaw.
Place the Material
Place the material to be cut on an even surface. Do not place it on a regular table or floor as the saw might cut through them.
To keep your material well-aligned and protect the saw blade from getting damaged, place the material between two sawhorses. You can get these at any hardware store.
Make the Cut
The ‘0’ on the skill saw’s baseplate should be positioned on the line you made. Use this when you need to make a regular cut as the ‘0’ represents that the blade is at 90 degrees.
Pull the trigger on the handle to activate the skill saw. Wait for it to go to full speed and then start cutting. Keep your stronger hand on the saw and the other hand on the front handle so that stability is increased.
Check if the baseplate is at a proper angle, and everything is in line. Then, start cutting.
Get a Clean Cut
Do not rush as it would damage the material and might even cause harm to you. Maneuver the saw with both your hands and push it slowly along the material. The right-hand side of the notch should be in line with the cut you have made.
Let the blade move at its natural pace and do not force it along. If you are making an angled cut, pull the blade guard to keep it out of your way.
In some models, the blade saw automatically get down when you lift the saw off the material and retracts when you place the saw back on the material.
Unplug the Skill Saw
After you have made the cut, release the trigger. The blade will take some time to come back to its resting position.
Unplug the saw after cutting and bring the blade guard to the down position. This is where it is locked. Place the saw in an inaccessible area if you have kids at home.
Using a skill saw can be harmful if you are not careful. Keep your hands off the trigger when you are not going to cut anything. You might accidentally start the skill saw and cut anything in the way, even yourself.
This guide had the complete process of how to use a skill saw. There might be some differences, depending on the model of the skill saw you are using. But the basic steps remain the same.