Circular saws are dangerous if you don't use them properly. Even glancing contact with a moving blade can result in serious injury, and, like any other power tool, circular saws can present electrical hazards. Using any power tool carelessly can change your life forever. The key to safety on the job is remembering a few basic rules.

On a Circular Saw, Make Sure:

  • The blade guard works properly.
  • The blade is properly installed.
  • The housing has no cracks or missing parts.
  • The power cord is not damaged and no wires are exposed.
  • The plug is undamaged and is solidly attached to the cord.
Never hold the blade guard open with a wedge or wire. Replace worn out springs if you notice the guard return sticking or operating slowly.
Mark Clement Never hold the blade guard open with a wedge or wire. Replace worn out springs if you notice the guard return sticking or operating slowly.

When Operating a Circular Saw:

  • Never alter or disable any safety device or guard.
  • Never hold the blade guard open with a wedge or wire.
  • Always position lumber on a stable work surface that will support the material evenly to prevent the saw from binding up and kicking back.
  • Never place lumber against your body or an unsteady object when cutting.
  • Always push the saw away from you —not toward you — when cutting.
  • Never place your hand or fingers in the blade's path.
  • Always unplug the saw before changing the blade.
  • Always use proper tools to loosen and tighten blade hardware.

Protect Yourself

  • Use eye protection — safety glasses or goggles. If it's windy, use a full-face shield.
  • Use hearing protection.
  • Protect your legs with long pants.
Check extension cords for damaged insulation and remove damaged cords from service. Putting tape over damaged areas will not necessarily protect against electrical shock.
Mark Clement Check extension cords for damaged insulation and remove damaged cords from service. Putting tape over damaged areas will not necessarily protect against electrical shock.

Be Careful Around Electricity

  • Always plug a tool into electrical outlets protected by a Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), which will cut off electricity if there is a short circuit.
  • Never bypass the GFCI.
  • Never cut the “ground” prong off of a three-pronged plug.
  • Never lift or carry a tool by the cord or unplug it by pulling on the cord.
  • Avoid working in wet conditions.

Use double-insulated tools whenever possible, such as a circular saw with a non-metal body. Non-metal tools protect the wiring from contact with a conducting surface, reducing the risk of shock. But shock can still occur — especially under wet or moist conditions. — Adapted from our sister publication, EL NUEVO CONSTRUCTOR , which provides safety information in English and Spanish.

This safety information is provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Other OSHA safety information is available in English and Spanish at www.osha.gov or by calling (800) 321-6742.

For more product information, visit ebuild.com, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog.