Tool Tips

Don't know which tool is best for your needs? Not sure how to make the most out of your power tools? No problem! Get tool buying tips, tool use and basics and, of course, tool and workshop safety. Begin by selecting a product category below.

Tool Tips

Circular Saw BasicsExercise care when cutting large sheets of plywood, keep the cord across the board on the side AWAY from the blade to prevent "trapping" between the pieces.Use the correct blade and make sure that itÕs properly installed in the correct direction. Circular saws rotate counter-clockwise and most blades are marked with an arrow to line up with the counter-clockwise direction.Use a sharp blade. Dull blades bind and overheat. If a blade binds, donÕt force or wiggle it. Instead, power off the saw and use a shim to release the blade.Set the depth of the blade to no more than 1/4 inch more than the thickness of the wood to be cut. Always stand to the side of the saw to avoid injury in the case of kick back.Look for knots and nails before you begin. Avoid them if possible; if they cannot be avoided, be cautious when approaching them.<p>Never force the blade - instead guide it with a little pressure. If excessive force is required, there may be an obstruction in the wood or a new blade may be needed.</p>

Circular Saw UseA Skilsaw is ideal for making straight cuts through a single piece or multiple pieces of wood. It is lightweight and portable so you can use inside or out.Crosscuts and rip cuts<p>A crosscut is a shorter cut that goes across the grain of the wood. A rip cut is a longer cut that goes along the grain. Crosscutting will most often result in a "rougher" finish while rip cutting will result in a "smoother" finish, since the blade is cutting in the same direction as the grain.Depth adjustmentProper depth adjustment is important for safety and for the finest finish in the material. Turn the depth adjustment on the back of the saw to raise or lower the blade. Tighten the knob. For proper depth, approximately 1/2 of a tooth should be visible through the material. This will provide the most efficient use of the blade teeth to create a smoother cut and to reduce the chance of kickback (the saw bucking up out of the wood).Bevel adjustmentThe bevel adjustment slants the blade. It is used for angled cuts, generally when two pieces of wood are to be joined together. Select a bevel adjustment between 0° and 45° and tighten the knob before cutting.Maximum thickness of woodUp to 2-1/2" thick using a standard 7-1/4" bladeChoosing the right bladeBlades are labeled by their size, the material they are made of, and by the number and design of the teeth. A 20-tooth steel blade is ideal for most general-purpose woodcutting. A 40-tooth steel blade creates a smoother, finer cut (more teeth generally means finer cutting). A carbide blade will last up to 50x longer than a steel blade and is ideal for hardwood (like oak, maple, or mahogany) and treated lumber. See a complete listing of Skil blades and blade sets in the Accessories Section.

SafetySkil Tools urges you to use your tool safely - even on seemingly small projects. Learn how using the right tool, wearing the right gear and keeping your tools properly maintained could all impact your safety.

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