Circular saws...

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,537
Pisses me 9+ of 10 circular saws -mains powered- have the blade at the wrong side.:mad:
Am right handed, and cannot see the cut being made by the blade.


This image shows a left handed operating it, allows visual access of what is going on. Makes sense. But all mains powered circular saws are like this. Stupid for a right handed.

What is the rationale ? If having the blade on the far side makes any sense; why the cordless ones are the opposite ? :






This is the typical situation, cannot see the blade/cut. :



-Images borrowed from the web-
 
Last edited:

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,278
Notice the safety switch button in the first photo is on the right side. Try pressing that while using your left hand to hold the saw! That is a "right handed" saw. Not sure that is the safety button. It is usually on the left of the saw to be accessible by the right thumb.

If that doesn't convince you, look at your last picture. How are you going to do that with the saw in your left hand?
 
Last edited:

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
11,586
If I'm doing a plunge cut, I just look over the saw to make sure the blade is lined up with the cut line; while using my left hand to raise the blade guard. Otherwise, I line up the guide on the plate with the cut line.
 

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,537
Thanks. Seems am not understood.
How can a right handed operator see and follow the cut line with this saw ? :
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,278
Cutting tools have directionality. This may be a little OT, but first look at a circular saw blade in a table saw:
upload_2019-5-24_8-20-37.png

That blade turns CCW. Do you feed from the left or the right side? That answer should be intuitive, and obviously, circular hand saws are made so that it would be awkward at best (and dangerous) to feed from the wrong direction. Routers (should the feed be conventional or climb), drills (left or right hand), and even hand saws (some cut on the push, others on the pull stroke) have that property.

Yes, you need to know where the cutting edge is for safety, but for guidance you look further down the direction of cut. It's like driving a car, you don't look straight down at the wheels to follow the lane, you look further ahead. Circular saws are made for straight cuts.

For myself, I pick the direction (and hand to an extent) so the saw is most stable. That is, when possible, the larger surface of the plate is on the supported part of the board being cut. I do not use the contact point of the blade with the wood to guide me. Exceptions are saws for cutting curves, like a jig saw, scroll saw, or band saw with a narrow blade.

There are many books on the subject. Mine are quite old. One is an Atlas manual dating originally to 1938 (Atlas Press Company) and reprinted many times. Another is "Machine Tool Operations" by William J. Patton (Reston Publishing Company (Printice-Hall), 1974). The latter is available quite cheaply, e.g., https://www.amazon.com/Machine-Tool-Operations-William-Patton/dp/0879090669 . Both books focus on metal cutting, but the principles are applicable to wood. Of course, when using rigid machines, you can violate the rules to an extent. But that is not wise to do with hand tools.
 

cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,100
Blade placement has everything to do with safety. Regardless if it is right or left handed, the idea is that the blade lies at the outside of one's body when the tool is being handled. So for a right handed person the blade should be on the right (as seen by the operator) and for a lefty it should be on the left. The idea is to minimize the probability of the tool making contact with one's torso in case of an accident, or if it is somehow mishandled.
 

Thread Starter

Externet

Joined Nov 29, 2005
1,537
Thanks, fellows. The link from Berzerker mentions:


upload_2019-5-24_9-26-40.png


Agreed. Which means the way these have been manufactured with the blade at right beg for improvement.
I have both types; and using the 'standard' is the shits for me as right-handed.

jpanhalt : the area circled red is hardly visible for a right handed operator unless you force-position yourself ahead to be capable of seeing it...

Hi cmartinez...
If blade placement has to do with safety, why most cordless saws are made the opposite ?
----> https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cordless+circular+saw&t=canonical&iax=images&ia=images

So for a right handed person the blade should be on the right (as seen by the operator)
Could say "as not seen by the operator";)
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
10,278
Agreed. Which means the way these have been manufactured with the blade at right beg for improvement.
Not really. Compare, for example, blade tilt on a table saw. Original Delta Unisaw's went one direction; Powermatic went the other. Unisaw then came out with both tilt versions. Each has an advantage depending what you do. But either tilt can do the same things. See: https://www.canadianwoodworking.com/tools/myth-left-tilt-saw
 

Berzerker

Joined Jul 29, 2018
621
Sadly it is a right handed world. We should have all been born ambidextrous.

Working in the sawmill business for many years of my life I can say there are good reasons to do conventional and climb cuts! Both have their advantages.
 

killivolt

Joined Jan 10, 2010
786
Now I have to go look at my saw, as soon as I get out of my pajamas. Cheap Chinese Harbor Freight, I thought it was cool with the laser sight, I haven't used it yet.

kv
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,399
Re: circular saws:
It's the 'kick-back' that puts me right off... My advice? Use a table-saw (sans a 'self-destruct device':rolleyes:) and get it done!:cool:

Best regards
HP
Not that I do a lot of cutting with either, but I've never had an incident with kickback with my circular saw. At least nothing that scared me. The momentum of the saw body keeps it from accelerating too suddenly. My table saw on the other hand has delivered a terrifying incident. I'm really glad I was not aligned with the blade in that moment. I'd have a hole in me.

Blade placement has everything to do with safety. Regardless if it is right or left handed, the idea is that the blade lies at the outside of one's body when the tool is being handled. So for a right handed person the blade should be on the right (as seen by the operator) and for a lefty it should be on the left. The idea is to minimize the probability of the tool making contact with one's torso in case of an accident, or if it is somehow mishandled.
I agree. It's about getting your body as far off-plane of the spinning blade as possible. You don't want your eyes in line with where a carbide tooth will fly if it detaches from the blade. Your plastic safety glasses might slow it down but I wouldn't want to test that.
 
Top