How Deep Can You Cut With A Circular Saw?

How deep can you cut with a circular saw

Cutting a piece of wood or metal using the saw is not a simple thing to do. It is even dangerous sometimes if you have no idea about it. Fortunately, we are here to help you answer some questions about cutting things with a saw. 

The topic today is “how deep can you cut with a circular saw?”, which is mostly for those who already have some experience in cutting things. 

So, what if you don’t have any idea about using a circular saw?

Don’t worry! This article will give you basic ideas about the depth of the cuts and how to adjust this depth that everyone can understand. Let’s find out now!

Many things!

We are talking about a versatile tool which can work on various pieces of work: lumber, metal, and even concrete. 

A circular saw is a powerful cutting saw, which operates in rotary motion with a spinning blade mounted inside. It’s a handheld and portable tool that you can bring to worksites comfortably. 

This robust tool works effectively for plywood, hardwood, or sheets as it offers straight, clean, and precise cuts. It can also cut through a thin piece of concrete. Sound incredible? Yes, it does; but in this case, you must use a proper and powerful blade, which is intended for rough materials. 

It looks like we have a fantastic cutting saw to work on various materials, but does it have any downside? 

Yes, definitely! The circular saw is excellent at delivering the straight lines, but it cannot provide curves on the workpiece. It also makes much noise when in use that may affect your ears severely if you don't wear protective gear. 

​How Deep Can You Cut with a Circular Saw?

Now, let’s talk about the depth of cuts that a circular can offer. In fact, it depends on the size of the blade. 

In common, a standard circular saw, which mounts a 7 1/4-inch blade, can provide a depth of 2 1/2 inch maximum. As an amateur user, I prefer this blade size for my project. This standard size of circular saw gives me more options for brands and kinds of blade. 

So you may ask if there are any more sizes of circular saws? 

Of course, there are also other sizes of the blade and saw that allow you to provide different cutting depths. However, they are special sizes that we only use in specific projects of woodworkers and timber-framers. 

These professional men often use bigger and broader circular saws with 10 1/4 -inch or 16 5/16-inch blade, which you rarely see on the market. But don’t worry too much as we are all do-it-yourself homeowners; we hardly ever need those sizes of the blade. 

But hold on just one second… Can you imagine the depth of cuts from those tools above? 

For your information, we estimated the depth should be from 4 1/4 inches to 7 5/16 inches. You can think of a big piece of lumber, timber, or metal being cut by this powerful tool without much effort.  Did we actually calculate this depth? Not really! 

The fact is that the cutting depth of any circular saws is less than the radius of the blade. It is because the blade operates on a pivot at the center of it, then you cannot cut all the way to that pivot. Thus, you can estimate the depth of cuts from other circular saws. 

​Can You Adjust the Depth of the Circular Saw?

Why not? 

Mentioned above is just the maximum depth of cuts from standard circular saws, and we can adjust this depth to fit our purpose and requirements. 

First, you need to loosen the baseplate by pulling the lock on the back of the saw down. Then, put that baseplate on the material, move the blade upwards or downwards to adjust the height (or cutting depth) of the saw. When you finish aligning, put the shoe level back to lock the position of the blade. 

What to note about the cutting depth?

First, do not set the blade too deep as the circular saw will work more roughly and robustly. It may be even dangerous as the blade teeth expose too much. 

Second, there are some specifications you need to keep in mind. If you are going to cut plywood with 1.5-inch thick, adjust the depth of cut at 1.65 to 1.75 inches. If the thickness is 2.0 inches, then the depth adjustment should be 2.25 inches relatively. 

Finally, calculating the correct depth and adjusting the proper height of the circular saw will give you a smooth and clean finish. Otherwise, you will leave the surface rough and lumpy due to friction and too many teeth exposed. 

One more question: can we use a bigger blade for a circular saw? Well, it depends on the size of your saw. 

A big blade goes with the bigger saw. You cannot mount a 2.5-inch blade to a 2.25-inch circular saw as it doesn’t match each other. The blade size must be smaller than the circular size so that it can work correctly and safely. 

​Final words

Now, you have the answer to the question: how deep can you cut a circular saw? It turns out that it’s a simple question but very essential when you are going to do a project using this kind of saw. 

To sum up, a standard circular saw can offer a cutting depth of 2.5 inches as the maximum, but you can adjust the depth to match your requirements. It’s easy by moving the blade up and down to align against the material before starting to cut. Sound very simple, doesn’t it? 

Below is where you can share your thoughts and ideas. Let’s see what we can help.

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