Circular saws are available in either a corded style or a battery style for portability. Circular saws are very handy for making power cuts when a miter saw is inconvenient or too large for the project. Blades for circular saws come in a wide range of types with different teeth styles and numbers depending on the material and type of cut you need. Blades also come in different diameters according to the size of the saw, 5 ½”, 6 ½” and 7 ¼”. Be sure that you purchase the correct diameter blade for your brand of saw.
Circular saw blades designed for cutting metal will be carbide tipped and are made from strong steel. The more teeth the blade has the finer and more even the cut will be but these blades do heat up quickly. Metal blades should have gullets to remove metal particles as they cut. Special metal blades are available for cutting softer metals and aluminum.
Circular saw blades for cutting plywood will have around one hundred teeth per blade, some with more and some less. The number of teeth per blade helps determine the smoothness of the cut. The higher the number of teeth the smoother the finished cut will be. Blades made for plywood are best used only on plywood or other thin woods and they can overheat easily.
Crosscut blades are designed to make a larger width cut. These blades will have forty eight teeth or more per blade and the teeth alternate slightly in their direction angle. Rip cutting blades are used for cutting wood parallel to the grain. They cut very quickly but leave a much rougher finished surface. Combination blades can be used for both rip cuts and crosscutting, cutting the wood against the grain. Blades start with twenty four teeth and go up in number for finer cuts.
Circular saw blades are available for cutting concrete and masonry and can also be used for cutting ceramic materials and tile. A diamond blade is designed more like a disc without teeth and it allows you to cut through concrete cleanly. A segmented blade is divided into large sections and is not used for cutting but for removing brick and grout mortar.
Blades can be marked as diamond, carbide tipped, carbon steel or general purpose. This designation on the blade lets you know the quality of the blade and approximately how long it will last under normal use. If you are doing large amounts of work you should purchase the more expensive but longer lasting circular saw blade types.
When using a circular saw always follow all safety instructions. Safety glasses are required. Also use caution in knowing where you are making your cut. You can end up cutting through your supporting material or even the cord of the circular saw if you are not careful.