Video: How to Choose a Portable Saw

A step-by-step guide to finding the right saw for your needs.
 

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Whether you're tackling a home reno or just taking on some projects, chances are you need a portable saw. But which one is right for you? Don't worry. You got this. Your choice of saw will depend on what kind of cut you need to do if you want to do a straight rip or a crosscut. You need a circular saw. These are ideal for work that doesn't require a lot of detail, such as cutting deck boards or doing small fixes around your home. For curve cuts and detailed interior cuts, you'll need a jigsaw. Use this to cut out a spot for a sink and a countertop or create new house numbers from your front porch. If you need to do demolition work, a reciprocating saw will tear down walls and cut out boards. All portable saws are available in corded or cordless models. While corded versions are convenient for their constant runtime, which is ideal if you're using them for extended periods of time, cordless versions give you portability and the versatility to use them away from a power source. Once you've determined which portable saw is right for you, look at the features available in the specific models. Laser guides, generally found on premium models, help you make accurate cuts without having to mark the material in advance. The bevel capacity shows you the range of angles a saw is capable of making. The larger the capacity, the more versatile the tool. Models that include OLED lights to illuminate your cutting surface are very handy when working in dark space. A saw that includes an orbital action setting is useful for making aggressive cut, helping you easily chew through boards. A variable speed option lets you regulate the speed based on the task at hand. For example, if you're cutting very dense material, a low speed will make the job easier. Don't forget to consider the ergonomics of the tool or how it feels in your hand and the weight. If you'll be using it frequently or for extended periods of time, a lightweight model with a comfortable design will make a big difference. If their work requires you to switch blades often, a tool free blade change can save you time and hassle. An e-brake is a handy safety feature that allows you to stop the saw almost instantly, rather than having to wait for it to spend to its stop. Once you've got the portable tool that you need, don't forget to choose an appropriate blade based on the material you'll be cutting. Wood, metal, plastic composite, and more all requires specific blades to get the job done right. Don't worry. You got this.
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