Whether you’re an amateur hobbyist or a professional carpenter, using a guide rail with your circular saw is important, both for safety and quality reasons. When you use a guide rail, it’s easier for you to make straight cuts, perform a rip cut, and cut cleanly in general. Also, it makes it much easier for you to cut consistently.
Guide rails are also important for your safety. With a guide rail, you can ensure that the blade goes where it should, and keep your hands away from the blade. This is important for preventing accidents, which can be life-altering when working with machinery and tools like a high-powered blade.
There are different features you should look for when choosing a new circular saw guide rail. With these in mind, you should be able to find the perfect new circular saw guide for you and your favorite tool. We have compiled a list of some of the highest-regarded circular saws on the market, as well as providing a breakdown of their best features.
Using Circular Saws
If you’re new to carpentry, you might be wondering if you even need a power tool in the first place. While it depends on the kind of work you tend to do, circular saws can be a versatile and practical tool to have in your arsenal. Having a dependable blade is especially useful if you process a lot of lumber. In addition, truly powerful saws can be used to cut other materials too, like masonry, metal, and glass.
Many of us associate circular saws with making a rip cut, but you can also use them for other types of cuts. Once you get used to working with your circular saws, you should be able to use the blade for making all types of accurate cuts. This does depend a bit on the blade itself, and its features, but you should be able to use saws at a minimum for making a few different kinds of cuts.
Cuts You Can Make with a Circular Saw
Depending on the types of sidewinder saws that you are looking at, you should be able to use it to make a variety of cuts. You may need to adjust the settings on the blade or some of the accessories it comes with to make these different cuts- this depends on the type of tool you have.
If your blade can’t start at the edge of the board, then you might need to make a plunge cut. You can make this type of cut by pushing the shoe against the edge of your workpiece. Once it’s in place, you turn on the tool before you have made contact with the wood or material. Then, you simply lower your blade slowly, until it comes into contact with the material, and make the cut.
Once you’re used to using these types of saws, you should be able to make a clean, flawless crosscut. To do so, it’s vital that you have a square, which you can use to guide the blade at its foot. If you don’t do so, you risk the blade slipping, which can be dangerous.
With a fence, you can make very clean rip cuts with power saws. The rip fence slides onto the tool, and screws hold it in place.
What to Look For in Circular Saws and Things to Consider When Buying One
When choosing your circular saw, you should think about the type of woodwork that you do. For example, if you do a lot of fine, detailed work, then you might not need a blade that you can use for making deep, long cuts. If you need something that is portable, because you move around a lot, then a very powerful model is unlikely to be the best choice for you. One thing to think about is how much you are likely to benefit from having a tool that you can use to rip and cut large quantities of lumber.
If one of the most common tasks you perform as part of your carpentry is ripping lumber, then you’re likely to benefit from using any type of circular saw, but especially a more powerful one. On the other hand, if this isn’t something to do a lot of, then you should look for smaller saws, which is more suited to detail work and finishing details.
When it comes to evaluating the quality of your circular saw overall, one thing you can look at is the price. Generally speaking, the price of the saw you look at is going to reflect the quality of the materials it was made with, as well as the level of craftsmanship. A cheaper model may be more accessible, especially if you’re a hobbyist carpenter or woodworker, but this is one area where you should reconsider if you’re thinking about buying budget saws.
Still, you should think about your tools as an investment. One of the most important things to remember about a good circular saw is that it should last for decades if you treat it with care. While a budget option may be more affordable now, it may break down or fail fairly quickly. You might have saved money on it in the short term, but in the long run, this is far more expensive if you need to pay for replacement pieces or buy a new saw altogether.
Another thing to consider is the style of circular saw you should purchase. You can get cordless sidewind saws, trim saws, sidewinders, and other styles, too. Different styles of circular saw have different attributes, which make them more or less suited to different types of work. For example, a cordless saw is generally battery-operated, so these options are a great choice if you need the most portable saw that you can find. On the other hand, they tend to be less powerful than other models, and you need to charge or replace the battery when it runs out.
Be Safe When Using a Circular Saw
Once you’ve chosen your circular saw, there are some things you should keep in mind once you start using it. One of the most crucial parts of using a circular saw properly is safety and taking appropriate safety measures. Never cut when you don’t feel stable, or if you can’t see what you’re doing.
Why You Should Use a Circular Saw Guide
Now that you have your circular saw, you might be wondering why you should use a guide rail. It might not seem necessary, especially if you’re experienced with other types of woodwork or using machinery in general. While you may feel that you can get by without one, using a circular saw guide can make life much easier for you while you cut and work with lumber and other materials.
If making accurate cuts is important to you, then using a circular saw guide is by far the easiest way to do so. By setting up your circular saw guide properly and using guide rails, you can control the blade far more easily than you can without one. Using guide rails is especially important with lumber that is especially tough, as it can cause the blade to jump or move unexpectedly. One way to prevent this from affecting your work is by using a circular saw guide rail.
Your average circular saw guide rail also has anti-splinter protection at the edge. This is one excellent way to stop splinters from getting into and compromising your work. A good circular saw guide rail can also stop you from slipping, as well as your material. This is because most guide rails have strips or anti-slip mechanisms built-in, which help to keep everything in place, as well as to guide the blade.
One other advantage a guide for circular saw use is that this is a much more portable option than using a workbench with a guide built-in. By using a circular saw with guide rail, you give yourself the ability to work just about anywhere with your saw, while still being able to cut accurately and precisely, thanks to the guide.
What to Look For in a Circular Saw Guide
When you choose your circular saw guide, there are some features and functions that you should keep in mind. These can help you to select the best possible guide saw for your work. One of the most important things to consider when looking for a new saw guide is the length of the saw track. The best circular saw guide is going to have a saw track guide long enough to allow you to cut the wood that you need to cut.
In short, the length of the saw track determines how long your cut can be. If you need to make a lot of long cuts, for example, then you should look for a saw guide with a long saw track. The average length of a saw track is usually somewhere between 30-50 inches, but there isn’t any limit, in theory. Some blade track models can be up to 100 inches long.
Another thing to think about when selecting a new saw guide is the material it is made of. A circular saw guide should be resilient and made of strong, hardy material. Otherwise, your guide rail for circular saw may get damaged easily, and this can be an issue if you use it daily. A good guide rail is typically made of steel or aluminum. Both of these metals are good choices for a circular saw guide rail- which material you choose depends largely on your preferences.
Aluminum is a lighter and more portable metal, making it a good choice for your saw guide rail if you want a model that is easy to transport. However, it’s not as durable or hardy as other metals. Steel, for example, is stronger, and you can expect a steel guide rail to hold up for much longer. However, steel is also a lot heavier, meaning that it might not be the best choice if you want a guide rail that you can easily move.
One final thing to keep in mind is your blade and whether or not it’s compatible with the guide rail that you choose. Not all blades are compatible with all guide rail models, which is why you need to ensure that your circular saw can actually be used with the guide rails for circular saws that you’re considering buying.
How to Use a Circular Saw Guide
There are plenty of ways you can use a circular saw guide. You can use the guide rails to help you make all kinds of accurate cuts, as long as you set the saw guide up properly. If you are making rip cuts or straight cuts, make sure you set up the blade before you begin to cut. This allows the blade to follow the circular saw track properly. Also, when you use a circular saw on track, make sure to check that the area is clear first. If you start to cut without checking, you run the risk of injuring yourself and others.
How to Use a Cutting Side
The first step in using a circular saw guide is setting it up properly. You need to adjust the blade so that it sits a few millimeters above the wood. When you set up the blade to make the cut, you should also include the thickness of your guide rail. Otherwise, you may end up cutting into the guide rail itself by accident.
The Best Circular Saw Guide – Our Picks
With all that being said, we have compiled a list of some of the most popular and best circular saw guide models. We have based our list off customer reviews and feedback, as well as our own experiences using some of these guides for circular saws. Our list can hopefully be of some help to you if you’re looking for a new circular saw guide and don’t know quite where to begin.
Bora 543056K Circular Saw Plate and Straight Edge Guide System
A versatile model that is easy to use, the Bora guide has a blade track of 50 inches. It’s made of aluminum, meaning that the Bora is effortless to shift around and manipulate as you need. This allows you to cut with accuracy and precision. The clamp edge that the model comes with also functions as a great anti slip feature, so you don’t need to worry about your work moving from under you. However, some reviews for this circular saw guide rail have mentioned that the sled isn’t very high quality, and makes it difficult to cut smoothly.
SHOP FOX D4362 Guide Rail for W1835
Here is a circular saw guide rail that may be a good option for those on a budget, or someone looking for a simple, spartan model. It might not be the most elaborate of the circular saw guide rails, but the Shop Fox comes with a 55-inch long guide rail and is a good option for those who want to make consistent, clean long cuts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with an anti slip feature, either. This means you need to be careful with this model, to make sure you don’t slip or slip while you cut. Circular guide rails like these are probably best suited for those who don’t need a guide rail very often.
Bora WTX Clamp Edge & Straight Cut Guide for Circular Saws
This is one of the longest circular saw guide rails on the market, with a track length of 100 inches. If you need to make a long cut, or lots of longer cuts, then this would be a great option for you. The guide rail is made of high quality aluminum, so it is light and portable. If you don’t have a circular saw with track, then this model would be a good option for those who want a guide rail that makes long cuts effortless. You can also cut circular saw with this model.
However, some users have noted that the Bora WTX doesn’t guide the blade too well on very long cuts. You might find that the blade drifts a bit towards the end of your cut if you use the whole track. Also, you can only attach the straight edge guide at one side of the lumber. Some reviews also mention that this guide rail doesn’t feel very ‘smooth’ to use, which may make it difficult to make very straight cuts.
WoodRiver Guide Rail 4′ x 8′ Kit
This offering by WoodRiver is one of the most versatile guide rails we have found. Made of high quality aluminum, you can use the WoodRiver to make a variety of different cuts, instead of simply using it to cut straight along the edge of the lumber. The circular saw track is 56 inches long, and it comes with an edge guide clamp, which you can use as an anti slip feature, as well as to cut a straight edge. This means that you can easily keep the saw guide rail in place while you cut.
Circular saw rail models should be easy to use, though. Some reviews note that the WoodRiver is tricky to assemble, and doesn’t actually come with instructions for doing so. Also, it doesn’t have the same clamp edge features as some other models, meaning it’s easy to push the guide rail while you work. This, in turn, can push the blade out of alignment with the circular saw track. However, experienced users seem to regard this as one of the best circular guide rail options- provided you know what you’re doing.
Kreg KMA2685 Circular Saw Guide Rails
While this model is less versatile than some of the other guide rails on this list, it’s great for making straight cuts. The track saw guide for the Kreg KMA2685 works with a ruler, meaning that you can measure up your cut before you start working. Its circular saw track guide has large edges, making it especially stable. You can use this model to make any type of rip cut or cross cut, but it can’t be used to cut circular or other angles.
The Kreg KMA2685 might not be the most versatile circular saw track, but it is a great budget option and is a fantastic choice for those who are just getting started out with carpentry, or those who don’t need to make lots of different types of cuts.
Kreg KMA2700 Circular Saw Guide Rail
The Kreg KMA2700 circular guide rail is considered by many to be one of the best circular saw guides out there. This model has a fantastic range of features, which make it an excellent choice for beginners and professionals alike. First and foremost, the Kreg KMA2700 comes with anti chip strips. These anti chip strips prevent your wood from breaking or splintering while you work. Also, the track allows you to make cuts of up to 50 inches. You can cut a straight edge, make a rip cut, or cut circular saw with the versatile edge guide.
Made from aluminum, the Kreg KMA2700 is one of the lightest saw guide rails on this list. With a reliable anti slip system as well as a starting block, this model is one of the safest circular saw guide rails that we have ever tried. The circular saw track is long and feels smooth to work with.
DeWalt 1.5m Guide Rail
The DeWalt saw track is only compatible with DeWalt models, making it a bit limited compared to the other track saw guides. However, it has an incredibly long track at 1.5 meters, making this a fantastic choice for those who need to make lots of very long cuts. The rails are sturdy and strong, and this model actually comes with a blade attached. This is a track for circular saw option for those who process lots of lumber without needing to do much detailed work.
Based on all of its features, we think the best circular saw guide rail is the Kreg KMA2700. Its anti chip feature protects the wood while you work, and you can use it to rip cut, cut straight edge, or cut circular saw style with ease. In addition to the anti chip and anti-slip features, users love how easy the model is to set up and operate and note that it feels very high-quality, too. The circular saw track is long enough to make most cuts, and the circular saw guide rails are steady and dependable.
If you’re looking for the best circular saw guide that you can find, then the Kreg KMA2700 would be our first choice. We think this is the best circular saw guide on the market, and would happily recommend it to any woodworker out there.
Article Description: this article discusses circular saw guide models, including how to use them, features to look for when buying one, and some of the best circular saw guides on the market.
50-inch blade track
Clamp feature works well for preventing slipping
Sled isn’t great quality
SHOP FOX D4362
Good 50-inch blade track
Very spartan compared to other models (no anti-slip feature)
Bora WTX Clamp Edge
Very long blade track (100 inches)
Can make lots of different types of cuts
Blade drifts on long cuts
Guide rail doesn’t feel very ‘smooth’ when cutting
WoodRiver Guide Rail
Long blade track
High-quality, made from aluminum
Edge clamp is a strong anti-slip feature
Somewhat difficult to set up
More expensive than the other models- best for experienced users
Great budget option
Ruler allows for easy measuring
Large edges make the track feel stable and secure
More limited than the other options in the list
Mostly suited for straight cuts
Made of light but strong aluminum
Good non-slip mechanism
Track is not always completely secure
Long track- 1.5m
Comes with a blade
Only compatible with DeWalt products