Hand-held circular saws and their use

Whether wood, plastic or even metal - with the hand-held circular saw these materials can be processed excellently. There are different models for different requirements. Here we present the most common designs and their applications.

The multi saw - the lightweight

A multi saw is the light version of a hand‐held circular saw. Most models have a cutting depth of 25 mm and are therefore suitable for sawing sheet material such as OSB or plywood boards. With the right saw blade you can even cut tiles. Its specialities are short cuts or plunge cuts.

The hand-held circular saw - the powerful classic

Hand‐held circular saws differ mainly by factors such as power and cutting depth. The base plate (or shoe) can be adjusted in its inclination, so that angular cuts are possible. The saw blade is covered by a foldable blade guard, with the upper blade guard firmly seated and the lower blade guard folded backwards during the sawing process. In order to reduce dust emissions and to reduce flying sawdust, hand‐held circular saws are equipped with an ejector tube to which a vacuum cleaner can be connected. Some hand‐held circular saws have a groove for a guide rail provided in the base plate. The subtle difference is in the detail, e. g. the tool‐free adjustment of the saw blade inclination and the saw blade height, a work lamp or a laser guide.

The immersion saw - the specialist

Immersion saws differ structurally in particular in that the base plate is firmly seated on the body and the circular saw blade is immersed from top to bottom in the workpiece through the base plate. In this way cutouts in kitchen panels, for example, can be achieved easily. As the saw blade sits further outwards in relation to the normal hand‐held circular saw, so‐called shadow joints can be sawn, e. g. in panelling work.

Useful accessories for hand-held circular saws

Guide rails

Doubtless the most useful accessory for absolutely straight cuts is the guide rail. It guides circular saws safely over the workpiece with a groove. Above all, panels can be processed better with this accessory than with the table saw. In order to minimise tears, guide rails are equipped with a rubber lip which rests directly against the saw blade.

With the first cut, the rubber lip is trimmed to the correct size so that it is correctly adjusted to the respective saw and can fulfil its function. Even if at first glance the rubber lip is too long, this is not a manufacturing defect, but this is wanted.
Our tip for you

Rip fences

The rip fence is very useful whenever you cut board materials across the entire length or you want to cut off strips from a panel, for example. A straight edge as a stop for the rip fence is important so that a clean cut can be achieved.

Stop brackets

A stop bracket is very useful for cutting down roof battens or boards. It is attached to the workpiece and guides the hand‐held circular saw in a straight edge, which is perpendicular to the workpiece. This makes right angle and repeatable stop bracket cuts a breeze. 

You can make your own stop bracket from spare wood. To do this, you take two straight bars, put one in the middle at a right angle over the other and screw them together. The length of the lower bar should be at least 1.5 times as long as the saw shoe of your hand‐held circular saw. With the first cut, the overhang of the bar is cut off, indicating where the cut will go.


A hand‐held circular saw should be your tool of choice when it comes to long and straight cuts. Today’s hand‐held circular saws are not as bulky and heavy as they used to be. Depending on the application, even a multi saw should sufficient for most home improvement work. With the right accessories, you can saw any panel extremely precisely.

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Picture of the author Frank Rath.
Written by Frank Rath
Published on 16.09.2018

Whether it's drilling, hammering, or sanding, our professionals in the workshop and DIY field will show you how it's done. Frank Rath is a freelance blogger and a passionate craftsman. With his tips and tricks about Einhell tools, you will not only become an absolute DIY expert but also learn how to safely use each device.