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Production > Handheld Circular Saws
Handheld circular sawCircular saws are used for straight sawing. Depending on the blade, they cut either across (crosscut) or with (rip) the grain of the wood.

Operator Involvement

The operator adjusts the height of the blade. Then, holding the stock, the operator pushes the blade across it to perform the cut.

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Point of Operation Top
Potential Hazard:
  • Point of operation - Injuries can occur if an operator's hands slip while cutting the stock or if they are too close to the blade during cutting.
Possible Solutions:

Work Practices
  • Keep hands out of the line of the cut.

Kickbacks Top
Potential Hazard:

  • Kickbacks (that is, when the blade catches the stock and throws it back toward the operator) are another major cause of injury. Kickbacks can result if the blade height is not correct or if the blade is not maintained properly. Kickbacks are more likely to occur when ripping, rather than crosscutting. Kickbacks also can occur if safeguards are not used or if poor-quality lumber is cut.
Handheld circular saw
Possible Solutions:

Engineering Controls
  • When ripping, use a spreader to prevent material from squeezing the saw or kicking back during ripping [29 CFR 1910.213(c)(2)]. Use anti-kickback fingers to hold the stock down in the event that the saw kicks back the material [29 CFR 1910.213(c)(3)].
Work Practices
  • Use proper blade for cutting action (for example, don't use crosscut blade for ripping).

  • Operate saw at speed specified by the manufacturer.

  • Maintain and sharpen blade [29 CFR 1910.213(s)(2)].

  • Leave sufficient clearance for stock.

  • Properly support all pieces of stock, including the cut and uncut ends, scrap, and finished product.

Flying Particles Top
Potential Hazard:
  • Flying particles - Wood chips, splinters, and broken saw teeth may be thrown by the cutting action of the blade.
Possible Solution:

Work Practices
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