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How to Choose a Circular Saw

Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O’Connor discuss how to choose and use a circular saw.


  1. Tom praises the versatility of circular saws and shows off a variety of them.
  2. Tom also shows off a worm-drive circular saw. This saw offers good balance and more power. It also has the handle behind the blade for better control of the saw.
  3. Tom demonstrates the circular saw most commonly used, the sidewinder, electrical version.
  4. Tom admits while circular saws vary in quality, much of the experience boils down to the quality of the blade.
  5. Tom illustrates the difference between blades. Blades with a lot of smaller teeth are typically used for a finer cut. Less teeth, but larger blades are used for framing and give you a rougher cut.
  6. Diamond-tipped blades can be used to cut masonry.
  7. Tom says each circular saw comes with a knob that can adjust the height of the blade. That can determine how deep you would like your cut to go.
  8. Tom says there is also a knob that adjusts the angle of your cut up to 45 degrees.
  9. Tom illustrates the use of a 45-degree angled cut. Those pieces can come together to form a perfect 90-degree angled corner.