How to use a circular saw without a table and what things should you consider?

6 easy steps on how to use a circular saw without a table

Circular saws are multilateral and high-powered tools that perform all sorts of different wood-cutting tasks in all kinds of DIY projects.

Even though cutting wood on the table with a circular saw is more convenient and can be done with more precision, there are cases where cutting without a table is required as it will be more effective.

In this article, we will find out how to use a circular saw without a table quickly and efficiently, so any woodworking project is completed in time with less effort.

How to use a circular saw without a table

There are a few advantages when using the circular saw without a table. That includes working on larger surfaces such as large sheets of plywood, dimensional material, foam sheet, and even metal sheet.

The variety of cuts includes the most common ones: a plunge cut, bevel, and cross-cuts.

Once you have learned the technique of using a table saw, you will be able to achieve great results performing cuts in a limited space environment and when the table isn’t available.

Below are the basic instructions for you to follow and safety measures to consider when working with a circular saw.

1. Always use personal protective equipment

Wearing the correct protective gear like safety goggles, ear muffs, gloves, and a dust mask is required at all times. It will ensure you won’t get any injuries when working with a saw’s blade.

2. Ensure the saw isn’t damaged and functions correctly

Check the power cord for exposed wire and cuts. Are there any signs of frazzling or splitting in the wire insulation? Make sure all connections are intact. If you notice any damage to the power cord, you must change the cord before turning it on.

If you start smelling the burnt smell, you must turn the saw off. Ensure you are using the correct blade.

It is important to look for any nails inside the wood before cutting it. They can damage the saw’s blade and the circular saw won’t be functioning correctly. The cuts have to be performed by applying pressure and the blade must be following the cut line.

3. Position a circular saw correctly

The direction the blade is rotating is extremely important. Your safety depends on that. The saw teeth must be positioned towards you, so the precise cuts are performed away from you. Double-check the blade’s position before turning the saw on. It has to be set at the desired dimension.

4. Attach the blade guard

The blade guard protects you from injuries, so ensure it is attached to the circular saw before you turn it on. Read the manual book on how to do it correctly.

5. Secure the material you are working with

When you work without a table, it is required to secure the piece of foam sheet or wood plank. You can use something like clamps to ensure nothing will move. The cut will be performed precisely if you follow this rule.

6. Prepare the area you are working in

The area where you work has to be organized. Move everything out of the way, so you have space to maneuver. Remove all other tools onto the shelves. All rubbish must be taken out.

Types of circular saws

In our days, the saws come in different designs. And all the circular saws have their own advantages and disadvantages. There are several common types:

  1. Worm drive circular saw. These high-performing tools are designed to easily cut through even the thickest materials. Whether you’re working with hardwood, plywood, or other material, these saws offer the safety and effectiveness you need to get.
  2. Direct Drive Circular Saw These tools have a direct motor drive, which makes them lighter and provides optimum power delivery. They are perfect for a wide range of personal projects.
  3. Brushless Motor Circular Saws. These saws are powered by a brushless motor, renewed for their lightweight design and exceptional efficiency. These saws offer precise cutting power while minimizing weariness.

Tips and tricks to achieve precision cuts

1. Always secure the wooden piece or a foam sheet before cutting it, so it doesn’t move or fall.

2. Drawing a cut line on the piece of wood before performing a cut is required. You can stick a masking tape on wood if it is dark.

It will be easier to follow the line and the accuracy of straight cuts with straight-edge sides will be achieved. You can also draw a cut line using chalk. It is useful when you have long cuts to make.

3. The masking tape can help to eliminate splinters caused by unfinished wood. Before marking the cut line, you must stick the masking tape onto the piece of wood first.

4. The blade with more teeth performs better and is more accurate. When you have to cut wood fast, a blade with bigger teeth is preferred. For precise cutting always secure the cutting material and follow the cut line.

5. Select the right blade depending on the type of material you are going to work with. Treated lumber will need a certain blade, and a metal or a foam sheet will require a different blade.

Ensure you have different blades at your place. Using an incorrect blade will result in blade binding. The spinning blade will just get stuck in the material you are cutting or will get damaged.


Do you need a table to use a circular saw?

You can work with a circular saw without it. All you have to do is attach the piece you are working with to some work surface that has a straight edge.

The most effective way to cut something is by sticking the wood plank onto the two sawhorses. Then you will end up with straight and accurate cuts for your project.

How to select the right circular saw blade for different materials?

To achieve the best result you have to purchase the correct blades for every type of material you are going to be working with. The blade has to be a certain size a tooth count matters as well. Also, don’t forget, that if you are working with a thick piece of wood, the blade depth will have to be adjusted.

If you want to cut a wooden plank, select the blade that has more teeth to achieve the smoothest finish. Other materials made of wood such as plywood sheets and laminates require the same blade.

When working with wood, bear in mind the possibility of splinters. To avoid them use a sharp blade and masking tape on the actual piece you are about to cut.
Metal sheets require a different saw blade with teeth made of a stronger material.

How to cut plywood?

The circular saw is the perfect tool to use if you want to achieve straight cuts when cutting plywood or dimensional lumber. Use an insulation sheet when dealing with a plywood sheet.

Using an insulation sheet ensures the most accurate and safe cuts. Cutting plywood can be tricky, as often it breaks and chips off. That is why there are specialized blades that perform the cuts accurately.

Can you cut foam insulation?

It is possible to perform the cutting of foam insulation with a circular saw. The best kind of blade to use will be a carbide-tipped or diamond-grit blade. You will be able to achieve perfect cuts without damaging the material.

What type of blade can I use for cutting plastic materials?

You should be cautious when cutting plastic as it melts easily. Select special blades with a higher tooth count. Always take safety precautions.

How often should I change circular saw blades?

When you aren’t getting straight and accurate cuts in the cutting process anymore, that means you have a dull blade, and it is time to think of replacing the circular saw blade. If you see the blade has some damage, some teeth are bent or missing, such a blade requires to be replaced as well.

How tall should a circular sawhorse be?

The required height for a circular saw to operate safely should be around 30 inches above the ground. Hence that is the average size of a sawhorse that is required.

What is the best angle for the sawhorse legs?

For the best results, you have to secure the piece you are cutting safely. The sawhorse is something that can help you with that. You just have to position it correctly, ensuring the correct angle of its legs. It should be around 20 degrees to provide the best support.

Is it safe to use a circular saw without a table?

Circular saws can be quite dangerous. As long as you follow all the safety precautions, secure the material using saw horses, and pay careful attention to the circular saw blade you are picking, you should be able to perform straight cuts on large pieces of wood without a problem.

Are there any alternative tools to a circular saw for making similar cuts?

You can make cuts using different kinds of saws instead of a circular saw. If you don’t have a circular saw but you have to complete straight cuts on a piece of wood, try using one of the miter table saws.

A table saw is able to produce an accurate cut in any material you are working with as long as the blade is chosen correctly.

If you require curved cuts to be made, you should be looking at using a jigsaw. Just be prepared it can make rough cuts at times.

A track saw produces straight cuts fast and efficiently.

Use a cordless circular saw or a worm drive saw if you want to rip narrow boards properly.

Every tool has its pros and cons. Selecting the one that is perfect for the required task is the key to success.

In the end

Now you know how to use a circular saw without a table, so the cu line is followed, and the cuts are precise. Following the tips above, any woodworking project will be finished fast and will be accurate.

The safety must be the number one priority. Always use protective gear before turning the saw on. Decide on the most appropriate blade to use based on the material you are going to cut. It will help to prevent blade binding.

Don’t skip drawing the cut line as it will help you a lot. Masking tape is the perfect way to highlight the cutting line on dark materials. The piece you are about to cut has to be secured.

If this information helped you to complete your wooden project, please share it with your friends. If you still have questions left, contact us in the comment section below.

Serg Cooper
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