How to Make Angle Cuts With a Circular Saw

If you buy something through a link in our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.

The circular saw with the blade attached to a motor shaft is a popular tool among handypersons and DIY enthusiasts. But, how to make angle cuts with a circular saw? Cutting at precise angles isn’t tricky. Handling the circular saw when cutting, however, can be difficult.

How to Make Angle Cuts With a Circular Saw

If you haven’t worked with a circular saw before, don’t worry – this guide breaks down making angled cuts with one into four easy steps.

Method #1: Cutting at a Sharp Angle

Circular saws can cut through almost any material, including wood, plastics, fiberglass, metals, cement block, brick, and slate. With the right blade, the tools can rip, crosscut, and make angle cuts in wood.

Carpentry boards need a clean and tidy cut for the final products to look perfect. Using a guiding tool will ensure that you are cutting the board at the proper angle.

Circular saw cutting wood

The most widely used guiding tool is a carpentry protractor that can be found in any hardware store. To cut with this instrument:

  1. After you’ve adjusted the depth, draw the guiding line, unplug the saw, and place the base at about 7.5 cm into the board.
  2. Tighten the depth adjustment lever to lock it in place, align the blade with the drawn guiding line, and apply pressure with the Speed Square.
  3. Maintain a tight grip on the saw when cutting. After the cut has been cleared, finish the cutting process and relax your grip.
  4. Keep the saw’s bottom stuck to the instrument during the process.

Accurate alignment of the cutting line and the saw blade will ensure precision angle cut. You may need to apply a little more pressure to get past the blade guard resistance.

Warning!

While the circular saw is a convenient tool, it is also a dangerous one. If you don’t know much about circular saws, read the user manual before using one. You can watch this video to understand safety precautions.

Method #2: Making a Rough Cut

The finished product needs to be functional to do the required job efficiently. Rough cuts are usable, but since these boards are typically used as a frame, the cuts must be as precise as possible because structural integrity is essential.

Positioning the blade in parallel to the guiding line drawn on the board ensures a precise cut. Change the level of the saw and cut along the line as usual. Align the saw’s base plate with the drawing line and cut.

Many modern saws have some function or mechanism to help with freehand cuts. The notches or labels on the base plate are the most common ones.  You should stress aligning the base plate with the guiding line drawn on the board and making it a habit to cut along the guiding line. 

Method #3: Making a 60-degree Bevel Cut

Using a circular saw to make a 60-degree bevel cut is complicated.

Adjust the saw’s bevel to make a 30-degree cut first. After that, make a 30-degree cut in the opposite direction of the 60-degree cut.

Return the bevel to default to make a 90-degree cut.

Cut along the side of the 30-degree cut just completed. After that, the board should be angled at a 60-degrees.

Avoiding Injury

A saw can be fatal to the eyes or cause other dangerous situations if not handled properly.

It is a good idea to bind the saw blade during a cut because if the blade breaks free, it will rush backward at you with force.

Man holding a circular saw

The above accident happens when a person splits a long wooden board, plank, or plywood without following proper procedure and safety precautions.

There are several ways to avoid such an accident, but the most common practice is to make sure that cut-off pieces of the board easily fall off.

Method #4: Making a 45-degree Angle Cut

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Power down the saw.
  2. Loosen the bevel knob, and adjust the bevel angle to 45 degrees. Tighten the bevel knob.
  3. Adjust the depth, so the blade is ¼” deeper than the wood. Make sure you secure the depth by adjusting the lever.
  4. Place the wood on your workbench, and mark a line where you want to cut the wood with a pencil.
  5. Align the tilted blade with the line you’ve marked, turn on the saw, and let it spin up to its maximum RPM.
  6. With light pressure, slide the blade into the wood, ensuring it is aligned with the marking at all times. Ensure the blade never loses contact with the wood.
  7. The piece of wood will fall off when you finish the cut.

Warning!

When working with dangerous tools, you should exercise great caution. If your saw is slow to cut, check the blade, depth setting, and other related parts first.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does a Circular Saw Slow Down or Cut Infrequently?

It may occur due to wear and tear-related issues or manufacturing flaws. The most common cause of the circular saw stopping frequently is the pressure from the sides.

What Are Some of the Most Popular Circular Saw Cuts?

The most popular circular cuts include miter cuts, angle cuts, and rough cuts.

In most situations, the saw can provide you with superior accuracy and smoothness when working. It is true, especially if it’s a circular saw.

How Do You Make Better Angle Cuts With a Circular Saw?

Some say that using a circular saw is a task. However, many people believe on the contrary. If you’re not one of them, you must be having problems with the circular saw as well.

That’s why you should keep reading blogs like this to learn more about using a circular saw to make better angle cuts.

Conclusion

Cutting wood at an angle may seem complicated, but following the stepwise breakdown will help you get comfortable with it quickly.

Making your first angled cut with a piece of scrap wood is a good idea. This way, you won’t risk making mistakes on the piece of wood that you want to cut neatly.

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.