Thursday, September 1, 2011


Sawing a straight cut on plywood and treated wood is tiresome for not-so-professional professionals. Since I had the kick of collecting power tools, I had given a try on a base line circular saw available on your local store. It is Skil Saw 5300, a 1300W brute. The Circular Saw is priced below RM300, making it amongst the affordable Circular Saw in the local market.
Out of the box, the saw comes with 7 ¼” Tungsten Carbide Tipped (TCT) blade equivalents to 184mm. The blade is 40 tooth blades is designed to cool down quickly compared to ordinary blades. The Circular Saw itself weighing at around 5 kg is no ordinary toy at its peak no load speed of 5,000 r.p.m. The built is sturdy and robust, able to withstand pressures and precisely designed meeting the acceptable safety standard. The motor is powerful enough to maintain a precise 60mm depth cut. Standard equipment provided with the saw are the 7 ¼” TCT blade itself, Blade Wrench and a Parallel Cutting Guide. The maximum adjustable bevel cut for the saw is 45 degree angle.  The Skil Saw sports a red colored tone similar to my old Black and Decker KR hammer drill. Kind of unoriginal, since out of thousands of available colors, why choose a color that has been normally linked to another brand.
The operation is quite simple, provided with the right technique and method. Cutting off a 3” wide treated wood is a short operation. However, for large surface area like ripping through an 8’ long plywood needs some initial planning and preparation. The rip fence guide is useful for such kind of long cuts. However, I prefer to use a dual rails and gliding action. The method is by fixing the plywood flat on a surface, then arranging 2 piece of long material clamped on both sides of the saw onto the plywood itself. The long material can be 2 piece of 9’ 1”X2” wood, or aluminum or anything that is long enough for the rip cut and wide enough to act as a glider for Circular saw. Before the real ripping commence, usually I will glide the Circular Saw back and forth, ensuring that the blade really touched the cutting mark. Once certain, turn on the plug and make the cut. You will be amazed on how simple it can be done. However, ripping a long cut without a guide rail, you are prone to slews and skips here and there, thus spoiling the subject. Keep in mind that wood material is not cheap locally, since our timber house are busy exporting our timbers for better pricing, so the best method is, measure twice or thrice, cut once!

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