Set circular saw - that's how it works

In order for a table saw to actually make clean and exact cuts, it must be set correctly. You should also check the settings from time to time. In this article you can read which points should be checked and what is needed for this.

Setting ranges

In order to be able to make exact and clean cuts with the circular saw, various settings must be made. Precise cutting can only be carried out if the saw blade is correctly positioned and all angles are exactly right.

  • Also read - Brakes on the circular saw - how does it work?
  • Also read - Circular saw: changing the saw blade - this is how it works
  • Also read - circular saw or table saw?

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 run 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 always be parallel to the edge of the table and / or parallel to the groove. It's easy to check. The distance to the edge of the table or the edge of the groove is measured on the front and rear edge of the saw blade. The value itself does not matter, it just has to be the same on the front and back of the saw blade.

It becomes even more precise if you measure on the teeth and turn the saw blade once in between (this allows you to see whether it has a lateral runout if the values then deviate).

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 making exact right-angled cuts and precisely fitting mitres.

As a rule, the angles are usually correct, but if not you should definitely adjust them (in different ways depending on the model). The 90 ° angle can easily be checked with an angle iron placed on the saw blade. For the 45 ° angle, on the other hand, you need a protractor (preferably electronic, as it is much more precise). If you don't have that available, you can also create a larger geo-triangle. Its side edges are also exactly at a 45 ° angle.

Side blow

Side runout can occur if the shaft or flange has some play. The simplest way to check for side run-out is to compare the cutting width with the saw blade width (information on the saw blade) in the case of a concealed cut. If the cutting width deviates significantly from the information on the sheet, it can be assumed that there is a side cut.

Rip fence

The parallel stop must not move and must be exactly at right angles to the saw blade. Even under pressure, it must not move. If you measure the distance to the saw blade at several points, even under counter pressure (press the piece of wood against it and measure again).


It is very easy to determine how precise the scale for the rip fence is: namely by comparing the value of the setting with the actual width of the workpiece that has been cut off. Larger deviations are problematic here because you then have to measure again and again. But you can also simply calculate out an existing (even) difference in the future.

Tips & Tricks With cheap circular saws you will find deviations more often. If the circular saw is only used for rough cuts, that is not a problem - you will not be able to achieve exact and right-angled cuts in the long run with a constantly adjusting circular saw. Also make sure to always check again after changing the saw blade.