Circular Saw Question: Single Pass Cuts or Multiple Pass Cuts? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 08-06-2012, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Circular Saw Question: Single Pass Cuts or Multiple Pass Cuts?

Hi there, Everyone:

I have what might be a very stupid question, so please bear with me.

I know that my 14 Amp 7-1/4 inch circular saw with a Freud Diablo 60 tooth blade CAN cut through stock about 2.5 inches thick in one pass.

But SHOULD I do it in one pass?

Or should I set the depth for half the thickness, make a pass, then set the depth for the rest of the thickness, and make another pass?

I would be using a clamped down speed square / straight edge / jig so that the cuts would be lined up perfectly (hopefully).

At what point (if any) would you make a cut with multiple passes instead of a single pass? (Note, I am talking about cutting from the same side with the circ saw set at a different blade depth, not making a cut, flipping the material over, and making a cut from the opposing side.)

(Again, I apologize if this is a crazy question. I just have all sorts of safety concerns regarding a circular saw.)

Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 6 Old 08-06-2012, 12:05 PM
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You will soon get a feel for whether the saw is cutting easily vs sounding like it is bogging down.

As long as the saw is cutting easily, then I would go with cutting as much as I can in a single pass.

Sometimes you may need to push a little slower, but it will be faster to make a single cut.

If the saw pulls 14 amps, this is close to the max of 15 amps of many circuit breakers.

If you need to use an extension cord, this amperage would benefit from a 12 gauge wire. The common big box store extension cords are 14/16/18 gauge.

If the gauge is too small, it would result in the saw not being able to pull its full amperage, and then would sound to be bogging down.
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post #3 of 6 Old 08-06-2012, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Again, thanks SO MUCH for the help and the explanation!!!

I completely forgot that most circuit breakers are only 15 amps max. Thanks for the reminder about that, too.

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post #4 of 6 Old 08-06-2012, 02:25 PM
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With most saws, I usually make the cut in one pass. As Dave pointed out, once you get the feeling for the saw/blade combination, you will be able to hear the saw bogging down.
BTW, just because your saw is rated at 14 amps, does not mean it is drawing 14 amps. The 14 amp rating is the maximum current the saw will take before emitting quantities of smoke. It will draw more and more current as the load increases at which time you will hear the saw bog down and you can take corrective action. For most of the cuts you will be doing it will likely only be pulling 10 to 12 amps.

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post #5 of 6 Old 08-06-2012, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much, John!

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post #6 of 6 Old 08-06-2012, 10:51 PM
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There's a bit more to this

You said:

I know that my 14 Amp 7-1/4 inch circular saw with a Freud Diablo 60 tooth blade CAN cut through stock about 2.5 inches thick in one pass.

That blade is fine for cutting sheet goods like plywood and crosscutting wood where you need a very fine cut with no tearout.
It will not make a good blade for ripping down the length of heavy framing lumber or thick hardwood.
Too many teeth, too close together.
A better blade for that would be a 40 tooth Diablo OR a 24 tooth Diablo, since the thin kerf blades take less of a bite and are easier on the motor. So it depends on what material you want to cut, how thick it is and how fine a cut you need.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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