How Deep Can a Circular Saw Cut?

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Using a circular saw to cut a piece of wood or metal is not an easy task. It can be fatal if you are unaware of the procedure and the specs of the machine. Don’t worry if you have no prior experiences with a circular saw.

This article will teach you the fundamentals of cutting depth and how deep can a circular saw cut.

How Deep Can a Circular Saw Cut?

Before proceeding with the depth analysis, it is essential to learn the materials on which you can use a circular saw.

What Can You Cut With a Circular Saw?

You can cut various materials like concrete, wood, metal, etc.

A circular saw is a robust tool for cutting with a rotating blade placed within that spins in a rotary motion. It’s a lightweight, compact tool that you can easily transport to job sites. It is a good choice since it cuts smooth, neat, and accurate cuts in plywood, hardwood, or sheets.

Circular saw

However, it would help if you used a proper and robust blade designed for rough materials.

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To learn clearly about how deep a circular saw can cut, follow the below-mentioned steps sequentially.

Step #1 Know About The Blades

Blades and saws come in various sizes, allowing you to have multiple cutting depths.

There are, however, unique sizes that woodworkers, etc., stick to and use most of the time.

They usually use circular saws with blades’ sizes ranging between 10-1/4-inch and 16-5/16-inch, which are hardly seen in traditional markets.

Moreover, remember that in your circular saw, you must never use dull blades. Always use razor-sharp blades that can quickly pierce the material you’re cutting. They make the job simpler, safer, and efficient.

Here is a video that details various circular saw blades and which one to pick for your job.



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Be careful while installing circular saw blades, as they are sharp. Disconnect the power supply before adjusting or changing the circular saw blade. The blade spins at a very high speed; therefore, it can lead to severely fatal injuries if mishandled.

Step #2 Understand How Deep The Saw Cuts

The ideal depth range should be between 4-1/4 and 7-5/16 inches, for your record. This essentially means that you can cut a large piece of wood or metal with a circular saw effortlessly!

It is imperative to know that the cutting depth of any circular saw is less than the blade’s radius. Since the blade pivots in the middle, you can’t cut to the pivot.

As a result, the depth of cuts from other circular saws can be precisely estimated.

Moreover, a regular circular saw can have a maximum cutting depth of 2.5 inches, but you can change this by customizing your saw to your needs.

Man using a circular saw to cut wood


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Before moving on to the next step, ensure that the circular saw is in good working order. Check whether the lower retracting guard retracts and recovers correctly. It is an essential safety feature. Never use a circular saw that has a faulty lower guard.

Step #3 Adjust Depth To Your Needs

To begin, pull down the lock on the circular saw’s back to loosen the base plate.

After that, place the base plate on the material and change the saw’s height (or cutting depth) by moving the blade upwards or downwards.

After you’ve finished aligning the blade, replace the shoe level to secure its location.

You must adjust the depth of the cut on a circular saw to match the thickness of the board you’re attempting to cut before cutting.

If you want to have a clear illustration explaining how to adjust the height and depth of the circular saw, you can check out this.

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When setting the depth of cut, make sure there isn’t too much blade exposed under the material you’re cutting. The blade’s lowest tooth should not extend more than 1/8 inch under the board you’re cutting. A correctly set depth guarantees a safe and accurate cut.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should We Use a Circular Saw With a Larger Blade to Get a Larger Depth?

Yes, you can. However, the circular size must be larger than the blade size to function correctly and smoothly.


Knowing how deep a circular saw can cut is essential. Depending on this measurement and the requirements of your job, choosing your blade and its size becomes easier.

Go through different blade options and study their main features to find the most suitable one for your needs. The ideal range of cutting depth lies between 4-1/4 and 7-5/16 inches.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.