10-Point checklist To Prevent Circular Saw Kickback

  • Post category:SAFETY FIRST

Professionals and carpenters love circular saws, that fantastic tool is considered their best and favorite power tool. It can be used by any craftsman, but it will be a good power tool as long as you maintain and follow all (And I mean it ALL) the safety instructions. One of the most common accidents that happen while using your circular saw is Kickback.

And I’m pretty sure you must know about it and learn how to avoid such a mishap if you are a beginner or even a professional user.

What is circular saw Kickback?

A kickback happens when you saw a piece of wood and suddenly the blade binds or the board that you are cutting bows downward, this will pinch the blade, the blade will suddenly stop and the circular saw will be left off and come back in your direction.

In addition, the kickback can occur when the wood piece is pinched between the blade and any other object like the rail guide or the fence.

The last thing you want to happen to you is kickback, because it may cause serious injuries. Whether the circular saw kickbacks to you or the work piece itself gets thrown off your table, you always need to wear all your safety kits. 

The saw kickback can happen by circular saws, miter saws or even table saws.

The only difference between them all is the thing that will be thrown off, for example:

Circular saws are held by hand and the clamps tighten the work piece firmly, so the work piece will not move, but when kickback occurs, the whole circular saw will be thrown towards you.

In case of a table saw, the saw is fixed and you move the work piece manually and you need to be cautious when you do that because the piece you cut will be the thing that will be thrown off. And believe me; it is thrown off in a tremendous speed.

How to prevent circular saw kickback (CHECKLIST)

I like to have that checklist everytime I run my circular saw, and I suggest you do the same. It’s all about safety procedures and technical adjustments to your tool.

I don’t want get hurt and so do you 😉

1. Handle the saw firmly

handling circular saw

The easiest way to prevent kickback is to make sure you have a firm grasp on both the rear and the front handles of the circular saw, this will reduce the kickback A LOT. And when you handle the circular saw, make sure that one of your fingers is on the saw trigger so you can release it at the moment the kickback occurs, and if you are using an electric circular saw with electric brakes, the circular saw will stop in just 2 seconds.

2. Maintain your position

Make sure you do not stand right behind the circular saw when you use it. Because if kickback happens, the circular saw will leap off the opposite direction of cutting. So make sure you are standing 

Circular saw kickback position

3. Tighten the work piece

Clamps woodworking

You must tighten the piece of wood that you are working on firmly on a flat surface using any sort of clamps that you are using, especially if you are working on a long piece of wood, you must tighten it correctly from both ends.

4. Use a flat surface to work on

When you put a board between two sawhorses and no supports are in the middle, this will make the board bend from the middle of the span causing the circular saw to kickback. Therefore, you can use a pair of 2x4s to support both edges and cut your board safely.

 If the wood is not supported, it will bind on the blade causing kickbacks.

Fixation sawhorse circular saw

5. Check your circular saw

circular saw cutting depth

Make sure that the blade does not have any broken or bent teeth

Check the blade if it has some sort of warping or distortion in its body

Don’t allow the circular saw blade to overheat. Overheating results from feeding slowly. If you have to feed it slowly, then you should make sure that the blade is sharp and the motor of your circular saw is strong.

Adjust the blade depth beyond the thickness of the board before you start cutting ( A half of an inch will be sufficient)

Make sure that the blade guard returns and retracts to its normal position while cutting

Make sure that the blade is properly and firmly attached to the rotating shaft of the saw and it is not waggling.

6. Start cutting correctly

When you start making a cut or just want to continue cutting in the middle of a piece of wood, make sure that the blade is not hooked on to the work piece before you start cutting, otherwise kickback will occur and the circular saw will leap off. You must wait until the circular saw reaches its maximum speed and then make the cut.

running circular saw

7. Make an overall check

Before you start, check the tightness of the blade as well as the bevel adjustment knob. Also make sure that the blade is sharp, because dull blades are not good and may cause kickback.

8. Stop immediately if something goes wrong

If you hear a screech sound comes out of your saw, stop the saw immediately and check the blade if it is pinched. If you notice that the circular saw wanders from the cutting line that you draw, start over again.

 AND DON’T STEER THE BLADE to its normal path, this will cause the blade to bend. If you wander away accidentally, just take the saw back, stop the blade and start over. When you do this several times, you will get used to it and become a professional in creating straight cuts.

9. Ensure that the cut piece is free to fall

If you are cutting a board, make sure that the side you are cutting is free to fall on the ground. This will prevent the binding of the blade and the formation of pinch points, and therefore prevent kickbacks.

10. Make sure you have all the safety gear

I will not stop writing about this in every post on this website. Always wear all your protective gear before running your circular saw, and this is the best and the most important gear:

#Protective face shield

#Cutting Gloves

#Hearing protection gear

And please DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE your safety and think that you’re totally safe without those gears just because you’re a professional, well your saw doesn’t know that. Your safety is the most important thing and nothing more.

safety gear circular saw