The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

12 amp circular saw update

12 amp skil saw update

The new 12 amp circular saw is just under 3 months old and is already acting like it wants to retire. The problem is an issue of needing to tighten the blade every few cuts. It's possible it may have been over tightened which might damage the bearings.

To be fair I think we under estimated our usage and should have chosen the next level up.

I think it might be the right saw for someone who doesn't cut treated lumber, but I now know we need the next size up.

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

With all your frequent use how sharp is the blade by now? Treated lumber dulls blades remarkably quickly.

I am not sure what to think of the screw loosening with use. It is usually a left-handed variety so the spinning blade should tighten it. Is there that much vibration? A drop or two of LocTite might band-aid the problem.

Good luck.

Comment by NinetyEight Thu Aug 16 18:02:41 2012

Good point about the blade. I should try a new one and I like the locktite idea for a band aid fix. Much better than duct tape.

Comment by mark Thu Aug 16 20:11:08 2012

Next time, get a saw with soldered in cemented carbide tips. It will stay sharp very long. You'll need to sharpen it with a grindstone though, a regular file literally won't cut it.

We have a 350 mm carbide tipped blade with cross-cut teeth on our big sliding table saw. It rips though 3/4" plywood like a hot knife through butter.

And watch out for nails in the wood; they'll chip the teeth.

Comment by Roland_Smith Thu Aug 16 21:16:32 2012
Roland --- I think part of the issue is that we're not real clear on how to tell if the saw blade is sharp enough. With the chainsaw, we sharpen or replace the chain (depending on how many times it's been sharpened previously) when the wood chips go from big chunks to sawdust. Is that what to look for here too?
Comment by anna Fri Aug 17 22:51:22 2012

The teeth of a sharp saw could easily pierce your skin by accident when you're handling it. If the teeth feel or look rounded (look at it with a magnifying glass if you can), it's time to sharpen it.

The size of the chips depends on the rotational speed of the saw and the speed at which you feed it through the wood. Since a circular saw moves pretty fast, there will be litte difference in the chip size, because they are small to begin with;

For example; our 350 mm sliding table saw is usually set at 3500 rpm; so the teeth are moving at 230 kph (143 mph). Let's say that you'd cut an inch with it in a second (you won't get that much I think, but just for example). In a second, the blade rotates 58.33 times. It has 96 teeth, IIRC. So in a second, around 5600 teeth pass through the wood. So each "chip" would be 1/5600 = 0.00018"! That's dust, not chips.

There are signs that a sawblade is dull, but most of those can also be produced by pushing too hard;

  • motor RPM drops
  • saw overheats and starts to wobble
  • motor overheats and quits
  • you need much more force than usual to push the saw through the wood

My guess is that most people sharpen too late.

Comment by Roland_Smith Sun Aug 19 02:29:49 2012
Roland --- Wow, that's sharp! I appreciate the tips on sharpening --- we'll definitely start paying more attention to the best time to sharpen.
Comment by anna Sun Aug 19 19:10:33 2012

Roland has covered blade sharpness well and I concur with everything he has said. The only other factor that occurs to me is that, depending upon what you have been cutting, sticky wood resins (or pressure treated crud?) can accumulate on the flat of the blade as well as the teeth, causing some drag.

That can be addressed by cleaning the blade with some Simple Green and carefully drying it to avoid rust. Some folks use oven cleaner but those can loosen the bond between carbide teeth and the blade and make for unexpected projectiles.

Sharpness of teeth is probably a bigger issue though.

Comment by NinetyEight Mon Aug 20 09:15:23 2012
NinetyEight --- Good idea on cleaning the blade as well --- that's a pretty easy thing to check. :-)
Comment by anna Mon Aug 20 13:39:44 2012

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.