How Deep Can A Circular Saw Cut?

August 23, 2022

Use 7 1/4" circular saw to cut 1" thick wood board.

The cutting depth of the circular saw is relative to the size of its saw blade. The most common circular saw blade’s diameters include the 6-1/2″ and the 7-1/2.” The smaller 6-1/2″ can cut up to two-inch deep, while the 7-1/2″ circular saw can cut up to 2-3/4″ deep. You can also find circular saws with larger saw blades like the 10″ circular saw that could cut up to 4-inch deep. Thus, 10″ circular saw is very useful to cut 4″x4″ woods.

Besides, it will also help if you ask yourself about the depth of cuts you will often make with your circular saw. This question, of course, is relevant in figuring out the appropriate maximum cutting depth of the circular saw you would buy.

If you are aching to kickstart your woodworking career soon, you might as well consider buying a circular saw. A circular saw, of course, is a powerful and reliable tool that can cut easily through materials like wood, metal, and plastic. Yet, before you shell out your hard-earned money for such a tool, it will be best to know the kind of cuts you would make with it. 

Understanding Further the Cutting Depth of the Circular Saw

Circular saws get categorized according to the diameter of their saw blades. So, if it carries a 6-1/2″ saw blade, it is a 6-1/2″ circular saw. As mentioned above, the cutting depth of the circular saw blade depends on its diameter. So, if you have a standard 7-1/4″ circular saw, you can expect to cut up to 2-1/2″ deep on wood. 

If you’re a beginner in woodworking, the 7-1/4″ circular saw is the perfect one to kickstart your cutting spree. Of course, you can also use the 6-1/2″ circular saw for a start. But it will be best to start cutting using the 7-1/4″ circular saw.

As you become more experienced in using different circular saws, you will soon discover that there are other circular saw sizes aside from those mentioned above. You’ll find, for example, a 10-1/4″ circular saw and a 16-5/16″ circular saw. 

Yet, you would rarely see these circular saws with such a blade size. Besides, you would rarely need those circular saw blades with such a diameter. Below are the typical cutting depths of the standard circular saws in the market today:

Cutting Depth of the 5-1/2″ Circular Saw

One of the smallest circular saws you will find in the market is the 5-1/2″ circular saw. Since it has a small saw blade, it can only cut up to a certain depth. Its maximum cutting depth at 90 degrees is 1-3/4,” and 1-3/16″ at 45 degrees. You will find this type of circular saw in many home workshops. 

Cutting Depth of the 6-1/2″ Circular Saw

The 6-1/2″ circular saw is one of the most common circular saws in the market today. It can cut up to 2-13/32″ deep at 90 degrees and 1-11/16″ deep at 45 degrees. It is lighter and easy to handle and is likewise popular among DIYers. 

Cutting Depth of the 7-1/4″ Circular Saws

The 7-1/4″ circular saw is today’s most popular in the market. It is the standard circular saw used by many professionals and DIYers. It can deal with any cutting job and is lightweight and portable. It can cut a depth of 2-1/2″ at 90 degrees and 1-13/16″ deep at 45 degrees. As a starter, you should choose this size of the circular saw. 

Cutting Depth of the 8-1/4″ Circular Saw

The 8-1/4″ circular saw is likewise a popular circular saw size. In fact, it is the most popular large circular saw in the market today. It delivers powerful torque and features a worm-drive design. It can burrow a depth of 2-7/8″ at 90 degrees and 2-1/4″ at 45 degrees.

How to Adjust the Cutting Depth of the Circular Saw?

You can’t cut deeper beyond the maximum cutting depth of the circular saw. However, you can adjust the cutting depth of the circular saw. You only need to move the base shoe or footplate. Then, you need to unlock the base shoe found at the back of the blade guard. Raise or lower the footplate to get to the necessary cutting depth. Then, lock it in that position. 

At the onset, you must untighten the baseplate. Pull the lock to loosen it. Afterward, you can position the baseplate over the material you would like to cut. Move the saw blade downward or upward to get the correct depth. After aligning the saw blade, you can set the shoe level to the lock position.

Factors to Consider When Setting the Blade’s Cutting Depth

Aside from knowing the simple steps on how to set the cutting depth of the circular saw, it will be best likewise to be mindful of the following caveats when setting the cutting depth:

  • Avoid setting the circular saw blade too deep. The reason is that the circular saw will work doubly hard. Besides, if you set the cutting depth too deep, you expose more teeth. It will be riskier if you expose more blade teeth when cutting materials. 
  • You should be mindful of some specifications, like in the case when you would cut a 1.5-inch thick. It will be advisable to set the circular saw’s cut depth anywhere between 1.65″ to 1.75.” Meanwhile, if you would cut 2″ thick material, you can set the optimal cutting depth at 2.25.” to avoid possible kickback incidents.
  • It will be best not to use a larger circular saw blade on a smaller circular saw. You should only use the recommended size of the saw blade on your circular saw. Besides, the saw blade must be specific to the circular saw you are using to operate the circular saw safely.
  • Lastly, if you calculate the cutting depth and adjust the saw’s height appropriately, you can achieve the best cuts for your projects.


When cutting wood, you should not forget the helpful tip to set the cutting depth according to the cut you will make. The correct setting of the cutting depth of your circular saw blade will indeed lead to better cuts. Besides, if you set the cutting depth correctly, you will not risk exposing more blade teeth. You will also not waste much material and time if you perfectly set the cutting depth of your circular saw blade. 

You can only cut as deep as the maximum cutting depth of your circular saw. If you want to cut deeper, you need to choose a saw blade with a larger diameter. So, before buying a circular, know the deepest cutting depth you would often make using your circular saw. 

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