Set the circular saw - this is how it works

For a table circular saw to actually make clean and exact cuts, it must be set correctly. The settings should also be checked occasionally. Which points should be checked and what you need for this, read in this post.


In order to be able to make exact and clean cuts with the circular saw, different things have to be set. Only when the saw blade is seated correctly and all angles are exactly right, can be cut exactly.

The following areas must therefore be set:

  • Parallel position of the saw blade (parallel to the table and the groove)
  • Main angle of the saw blade
  • the so-called side impact of the saw blade
  • the rip fence
  • Scale (if available)

Parallel position of the saw blade (parallel to the table and the groove)

The saw blade must be in any case parallel to the edge of the table and / or parallel to the groove. That's easy to check. At the front and rear edge of the saw blade, measure the distance to the edge of the table or to the edge of the groove. The value does not matter, it just has to be the same at the front and back of the saw blade.

It gets even more accurate when you measure the teeth, and then turn the saw blade once in between (this will tell you if it has a side impact, if the values ​​are different).

If this is not the case, you have to readjust (different, depending on the circular saw model).

Main angle of the saw blade

The two main angles of the saw blade - the 90° angle and the 45° angle - are particularly important for cutting exact right-angled cuts and precisely fitting mitres.

As a rule, the angles mostly match, but if not, you should definitely adjust them (depending on the model in different ways). The 90° angle can easily be checked with an angle iron attached to the saw blade. For the 45° angle, however, you need a protractor (if possible electronically, as much more accurate). If you do not have that, you can create a larger geo-triangle. Its side edges are also exactly at a 45° angle.

Lateral runout

A side impact can occur if the shaft or flange has some play. The easiest way to control a lateral strike is to compare the cutting width with the saw blade width (indicated on the saw blade) for a hidden cut. If the cutting width differs significantly from the specification on the sheet, it can be assumed that there is a lateral strike.

rip fence

The parallel stop must not move and must be at right angles to the saw blade. Even under pressure, he must not move. If you measure the distance to the saw blade in several places, also under counterpressure (press piece of wood against and measure again).


The exact scale of the rip fence can be easily determined by comparing the value of the setting with the actual width of the cut piece. Larger deviations are problematic because you have to measure again and again. But you can also easily calculate an existing (even) difference in the future.

Tips & Tricks

With cheap circular saws you will notice more deviations. If the circular saw is used only for coarse cuts, that is not bad - exact and right-angled cuts you get with a constantly adjusting circular saw but not in the long run. Also make sure to always check again after changing the saw blade.

Video Board: How to Use a Circular Saw. Everything you need to know in about 10 min