How To: Use a Saw Properly
Preparation is the most important ingredient for making clean, accurate, safe cuts. To properly prepare for a cut, you must follow a strict regimen of steps:
- Determine and set up the saw and blade best for the material.
- Carefully measure and mark the cutting distance, angle and depth.
- Adjust the saw controls to precisely match those measurements.
- Check that every element of the saw and workpiece are secured.
- Think through the cut you are about to make, rechecking your measurements.
- Finally, after each of these steps has been completed, you can put on a pair of safety goggles and perform the cut with the confidence of knowing that the result will turn out exactly like you’ve planned.
Rough framing cuts are best accomplished with a circular saw. Its portable size makes it ideal for making fast rip and crosscuts into plywood and 2 x 4’s—a must for building a deck, house framing, and large remodeling.
Smooth intricate and curved cuts are made with a sabre saw. The tiny teeth cut in an upward motion as the saw is slowly pushed down a straight or curved path. The saw can also be plunged to make internal cutouts.
Notches and Cutouts
With the right blade a reciprocating saw can cut anything from soft woods to heavy metals. The saw’s shoe rests on the surface as the blade slices back and forth like a knife to cut through the material.