Old 07-30-01, 12:18 PM
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Could someone tell me what we were doing wrong?

Last weekend, we tried to cut a 1x4 with a small circular saw. All we did was burn the wood. On both sides of the cut were black and shiny. The saw was smoking very badly. We ended us using a hand saw.

This weekend, we were continuing but borrowed a full size circular saw (Skilsaw)but it was doing the same thing. This one came with several different blades, a ripsaw, a general purpose, and a fine tooth blade. We tried the general purpose but it did the same burning and smoking. We even tried the ripsaw but same results. The blade wasn't binding but we could only cut about an inch into the 2x4 and then we just went to the hand saw.

What were we doing wrong?
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Old 07-30-01, 12:36 PM
sandy2000's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 198
Circular saw -drat!

Sounds to me like the saw bladed were on backward.
Old 07-30-01, 12:46 PM
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Good ears! When we switched blades, we did put it on backwards. The teeth were coming up from under the wood. Then we took it out and made sure the blades were coming down into the wood.
Old 07-31-01, 04:55 PM
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Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
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I had a similar experience with my band saw. I had the blade on with the teeth upside down. Cut for 10 minutes trying to figure it out. Spent an hour adjusting the many guides. Then I saw the blade. Wow. No wonder I said to myself. Then I went out and bought me the right blade. After my first cut, the same thing happened. Crap, I bought the wrong direction blade! The next day before I returned to the store, I realized all I had to do was to flip the band inside out. I almost bought 2 new blades! That was close and boy did I feel stupid! But I now have an extra blade.


(Please don't tell anyone)
Old 08-01-01, 08:07 AM
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Would anything else cause this? We used two different saws and four adults watching the blade go around to make sure it was going in the right direction. We flipped the different blades around and tried all sorts of methods.
Old 08-01-01, 09:55 AM
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Location: Kansas City, Missouri.
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Gosh, I didn't realize you still had the problem. The reversed blade was a dead cinch to be the cause. In fact,
I find it difficult to imagine anything else.

Are you telling us that you cannot saw your wood fast with another persons saw, but the owner of the other saw never
mentioned having this problem all the time he owned it?
It that right, so far?

The only good explanation is a reversed or dull blade. Since you reversed the blade and have the same problem, then you have a set of really dull blades. How could any carbon blade ever get that dull?

Do you know if you are using a carbon blade or not? The free blades that come with low end saws are typically the cheap, non-carbon blades and are useless after minimal use.
Also, those cheap, thin toothed, stamped steel blades often do not have much tooth offset, if any, and are not hollow ground. So when the blade is covered with pitch, the always dull blade, will not cut thru a 2x4. A good carbon tooth blade is worth a lifetime supply of those $2 blades as every carbon blade owner will tell you. If the tooth width is no wider than the blade thickness, then it is not carbon. Carbon teeth are made of carbon steel, and bonded to a steel blade, while stamped steel teeth are stamped out along with the blade, when the blade is stamped out by a machine press.
I know the packaging on the cheap blades proclaim 'high speed steel', 'cuts thru anything', but anyone can tell you its a joke. The overload on your motor from using cheap blades will shorten the life of the saw dramatically.

Drag the edge of your thumbnail across the cutting edge of single tooth. A sharp blade will cut into the thumbnail and make it difficult to glide across. A thumbnail will glide easily over a dull tooth.

Having said what I believe to be to most plausible reason, I will add this remote possiblity. If you are using an undersized 100 ft extension cord, the voltage drop could be causing the motor to not run at full speed. The saw will have no power and you are overheating the motor to the point of ruin.

Let us hear back about your blade.


Old 08-05-01, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Tujunga, CA, USA
Posts: 209
If you can; read the owners manual; everyone may be missing something very obvious if we could see it. Circular saws can be dangerous, a owners manual covers basic safe operation. This is not meant to offend your intelligence, I just to want to clarify a few basic things. The teeth of the blade should be on top at the front of the blade. You push a circular saw rather than pull it. Thus the blade pulls the saw down rather push it away from the wood. Everything Lugnuts has said is good advice. Constuction lumber should be no problem for a decent blade. Extremely hard woods may require a premium blade and possibly a higher powered saw.
Phil H
Old 08-06-01, 08:28 AM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. The saw is up at my friends cottage. We are going to test it again to see if we can figure it out.
Old 08-09-01, 12:12 PM
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Lightbulb Saw Blade Design

It could be that you are using an incorrect saw blade design for the application.

Some blades have a uniform thickness all the way out to the teeth. This results in a cut (the kerf) not being wide enough to clear the side of the blade. Thus, tremendous temperatures are generated from friction. You should use a conventional Triple-Chip Grind carbide blade. Get a general purpose cross cut blade unless you need a finer cut. There will be several to pick from.

This will cut a kerf wide enough to clear the side of the blade. Also make sure that the kerf isn't closing behind the blade and binding the blade.

[Edited by JoeHandyMan on 08-10-01 at 09:22]
Old 08-12-01, 06:20 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: North Alabama, USA
Posts: 487
circular saw

All seem like good points. I am just wondering about the heat generated while blade was backwards. Did you try the same blade that had been heated? If so, may be time for new blade as the heated one may be ruined or off set. Just a thought.

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