Different Types and uses of Circular Saws

Circular saws are available in many shapes and sizes. Each shape and size is designed for cutting a particular type of material. If you need to cut various materials, you may need more than one circular saw. 

I am going to help you understand some types of circular saws and what they are used for. 

10 Different Types of Circular Saws: 

1. Worm Drive 

worm drive circular saws

This is a common circular saw that requires oiling. It is slightly different than other types in that its motor is mounted at the back of the saw. The place of the motor makes the saw thin and long. 

Usually, you will find its blade on the left side, which puts the weight on the right side. To provide you with a better sightline, the substantial part of the saw is located over the part of your project that you are cutting. 

Moreover, Worm Drive is excellent for cutting wider boards and facilitates plunge cutting. It is also durable and able to handle challenging tasks. 

The location of the gears that transfer power to the blade with respect to each other (90 degree-angles from each other) slows down the blade’s speed but produces more torque. 

2. Hypoid


Like Worm Drives, the motor of a Hypoid circular saw is placed at its rear end, the blades are placed at the left sight providing you with a better sightline, and they produce strong torque that enables them to cut wet pieces of wood or manage hard jobs. However, their motors are sealed, do not require oiling, and their gear alignment and transmission is very different from that of a Worm Drive.

It has a hypoid gear, which is a bevel wheel that has teeth engaging a spiral gear placed at a 90-degree angle from the wheel’s axis. Even though the motor is smaller than that of a Worm Drive, the blades are stronger and more efficient thanks to this alignment that increases the blades’ contact. 

3. Sidewinder

Sidewinder Circular Saw

If you have never heard the word “sidewinders” before, you have probably heard “in-line,” and they are two names to the same thing. 

They are called “in-line” because their motor is parallel to the blade (in line with the blade) that is at the side of the saw. The position of the motor makes the circular saw extra fast. 

Unlike Worm Drive, the substantial weight is placed at the solid side of your project and not at the side you are working on because the blade is on the right, and the main weight is on the left. 

The lightweight and compact size of these circular saws make them portable and perfect for over-the-head jobs. Moreover, they are available in cordless models. 

Other convenient feature: they do not need oil to keep things lubricated.

4. Abrasive Saws

Abrasive Saws

Abrasive saws are different than all those mentioned above. They use a composite friction disc instead of teeth to cut hard materials. However, the heat from the metal-on-metal action that expands the blade and the piece that is being cut, makes certain cuts harder to make than other saws. 

They have various forms, some of which are similar to table saws and are used to cut tile and metals, and others are free-hand and used for cutting pipe, concrete, and asphalt. 

Moreover, the way they are set up gives you great control over the piece you are cutting. The handle and the motor are closer to the user than they are to the blade, so the object you are cutting is pulled towards you. 

It is of high importance to note that you should get one made from cubic boron nitride or diamond if you want it to last longer with you; otherwise, it is money not well spent. 

5. Biscuit Joiners

Biscuit Joiners

This is mainly used to bond two wood boards together without any visible trace of nail holes or other marks. It is called “biscuit” because the slits it cuts are long enough to fit an oval-shaped biscuit. 

A biscuit Joiner cuts a slit in the same position on the sides of the boards you want to join. When the slits are cut, fill them with wood glue and insert a biscuit in one side. Since the second board is lined up with the first board, the biscuit can be pushed easily and quickly into its slit. After that, the two boards should be stuck together until the glue dries. Voila, mission accomplished! 

6. Carbide 

It is no surprise that the blades of Carbide circular saws are made of carbide. Its teeth that are made with cemented carbide are designed to cut rigid materials. 

Such circular saws come with horizontal or vertical slides, or with a pivot. The choice of using any of them depends on the material you are cutting. 

Horizontal slides are the most common; their blades are mounted on the gearbox. They are used as billet saws. 

If you want to cut multiple pieces at the same time, use a vertical slide. It is taller and therefore allows you to stack items up and cut them at the same time.

In case you want to cut small tubes, a pivot saw is your best option. Moreover, it can be used as a billet or a layer saw. 

7. Concrete/ Grinders

Concrete Circular Saws

Concrete saws are used for cutting different kinds of solid materials like concrete, asphalt, tile, brick, etc. They are also known as slab saws. They can either be hand-held or in a chop saw form. Moreover, their motors can be powered by using fuel, hydraulics, or electricity, or they can be pressurized. 

They are also compatible with many types of blades; however, it is better to use a diamond blade because it can cut through the hardest material.

The kind of blade you use depends on the material you are cutting, and whether you will be using water while cutting the material or not. 

On a side note, it is advisable and safer to use water while cutting some materials to avoid getting your material cut in the process, which will possibly injure you. Moreover, slower-running blades are great because the faster the spin, the more heat generated, and the quicker the blade gets damaged. The power output to the blade determines how fast the blade will spin. 

You should also note that friction generates a lot of heat. So, you should cut for a little time and then take a break to allow your blade to cool down. Also, this break will make the blade last longer and will minimize the amount of dust and debris.  

8. Flip-Over Saws


Flip-Over saws are very versatile. They can do the same jobs of a miter saw, and a table saw. 

For example, they can perform crosscuts at a precise angle, just like a miter saw can; and they can cut whatever material that a table saw can handle. 

There is not much that a Flip-Over saw cannot do. Moreover, its small size makes it extra easy to store at any place you want. 

However, it may be a bit unsafe because its blade pokes out through the table that is made to hold and move the piece you are cutting. 

9. Metal Cutting

metal cutting

Indeed, you can cut metal with any circular saw that comes with a blade that can cut metal. However, you will have to deal with the sparks that the metal-on-metal contact produces, and the metal shreds that get scattered from the blade. 

Luckily, some saws are specially made for cutting metal and therefore know how to protect you from having to manage this mess; this is one of them. It offers greater protection from the shreds and sparks. 

The protection makes up for the fact that they cut more slowly than wood-cutting circular saws due to their smaller blades. 

10. Brushcutter

Brush Cutter

It is a garden tool that is also known as brush saw or clearing saw. You should use it when you have weeds or foliage. It comes with numerous attachments like blades and trimmer heads that you can add to achieve different results.

They can also be powered by various methods including gas engines, electric motors, or cordless electric motors that come with rechargeable batteries.The motor transfers the power through the long pole to which it is attached. You will find a rotary head in front of the motor at the end of the brush cutter. These heads come in various shafts ranging from curved shatters to straight shafts or straight split shafts.

It is safe to use because its deflectors are attached on the cutting side. This placement prevents the user from getting injured by the saw or any debris that the saw might produce.

Final Thoughts: 

Now you know many types of circular saws and their uses. If you have not yet made up your mind, or if you are still confused, do not panic. 

The confusion is totally valid. All you need to do is relax, think about the material(s) you will cut, reread each type and what it is mainly used for, and there you are, you have got your answer.

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