Imagine you had just released the trigger of your circular saw after cutting boards for hours, and suddenly, your index finger listlessly hit the blade. You thought the blade had already stopped, yet it went on rotating for more than 10 seconds. Fair enough, you were wearing your safety gloves and did not get a deep cut on your skin.
Scenarios like this may happen if you are not mindful of safety precautions and become quite absentminded. And if your circular saw does not have the necessary feature like an electric brake, its blade can go on rotating for 12 seconds after you’ve turned it off.
It helps that many present-day manufacturers of circular saws have innovated their circular saws’ designs and features. Now they add more safety facets and fatigue-reducing features that can lower the risk level involved in using their products.
Electric Brake and Its Functions
One of the remarkable safety features that you should look for in a circular saw is the electric brake. This break is not that obvious compared to other safety features like the auto lock-on and lock-off, shields, and blade guards. Yet, this safety feature may spell out the difference between the premium and the ordinary circular saws.
Some risks definitely come with the use of circular saws. Suppose you’re not using, for example, a circular saw with an electric brake feature. You may run the following risks like your fingers or toes accidentally hit by the blade, the blade damaging the wood floor, and the rotating blade hitting and cutting the cord. Yet, if your circular saw comes with this feature, you can surely lessen or eradicate the risks mentioned above.
Blades sometimes do not readily fall back to their original position after a cut. Besides, experts estimate that a circular saw blade will continue to spin for 12 seconds after turning it off. However, stopping the rotation of the blade earlier can reduce possible risks. Thus, manufacturers conceived of the electric brake to prevent the blade from rotating after 2 seconds.
You may wonder how the electric brake accomplishes this feat. Well, here’s how it does it. The circular saw is run by electricity, and electrons flow in one direction. Once you release the trigger, the electrical flow reverses itself, which, in turn, changes the motor movement, providing the needed friction to halt the rotation of the blade.
Thus, the blade stops earlier than it should do. If there is no electric brake, the extra 10 seconds of the blade’s rotation can spell the difference between an accident’s occurrence and non-occurrence.
Of course, electric saw and grinders come with mechanical brakes that can instantaneously stop the rotating blade. Yet, if your equipment comes with the additional electric brake feature, the level of risks is doubly reduced. Hence, the next time you shop around for a grinder or circular saw, you better ensure that the machine you purchase comes with this feature.
Additional Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Circular Saw
Besides understanding the importance of having an electric brake feature, it is also helpful to know the other important factors to consider when buying a circular saw. It will help if you check out these other factors to zero in on the best circular saw:
Cutting Depth and Capacity
When choosing a circular saw, it is crucial to figure out the cutting depth, and the prospective circular saw’s cutting capacity. The saw’s cutting depth refers to the depth the saw can cut or go above the cutting bevel. So, when choosing a saw, you need to ensure that the blade can cut the right depth.
The Saw's Dimensions
The circular saw’s dimensions are an essential factor in determining the efficiency and the tasks that it can perform. However, saws come in various dimensions and sizes. It will help if you use a larger saw for large-scale projects and a smaller saw for small-scale projects.
Controls and Speed
Saw blades are designed for extended life. They should run somewhere between 10,000 to 18,000 surface feet per minute (SFPM) and should never exceed 18,000SFPM. So, when choosing a circular blade saw, you should check about its speed.
To find the SFPM, you should multiply the blade’s diameter by 3.1416 to get its circumference. Then, multiply the result with RPM to come up with inches per minute. Afterward, divide the inches per minute result by 12 to arrive at the feet per minute result. The best result would be 15,000 SFPM.
Don’t be taken aback by the abovementioned calculation. The important point is you should figure out the controls and speed of a circular saw before shelling out your money on a particular brand or model.
When buying a circular saw, you have an option between electric-powered and gas-powered circular saws. Each option comes with pros and cons. So, you need to weigh between these two options and consider their pros and cons.
Circular saws, whether electric or gas-powered, come with their driving power, measured in horsepower. This driving power will determine the RPM of the blade.
Best Circular Saws with Electric Brake Feature
You may get confused about which electric circular saw with electric brake to buy, given the myriads of brands and models of circular saws today. Yet, if you know the essential factors to consider, you will be one step closer to the right choice. I have listed here the most recommended electric circular saws with electric brake to facilitate the search process for the best electric saw with electric brake:
DEWALT (7-1/4-Inch) Circular Saw with Electric Brake
If you’re shopping around for a lightweight option, consider Dewalt DWE575SB, which only weighs about 8.8 lbs. Dewalt DWE575SB is a corded saw that boasts of 5,200 RPM. It is heavy-duty and is handheld for easy use. Moreover, it features a 15-amp motor that can power this tool through challenging woodworking tasks without tiring your hands. Once you release the trigger after cutting, the blade automatically stops because it comes with an electric brake.
The DEWALT DWE575SB also features a smooth aluminum base that keeps leveled the saw. This feature minimizes the disturbance and movements when operating it. It also features a ball-bearing lower guard that offers protection to the machine, making this equipment withstand inclement conditions. Furthermore, it comes with an inbuilt dust blower that provides you with a clear line LOS (line of sight) as it blows away dust particles while you cut.
The DWE575SB can cut deep up to the 2-9/16-inch depth and is capable of 57-degree bevel capacity and 22.5 detents and 45-degree angles. You can use it, therefore, when doing different cuts. Besides, it comes with a ToughCord cord system that does not weigh on your hand. It also boasts of a creative cord design that better prevents cord pullouts.
The most remarkable feature of Dewalt DWE575SB that distinguishes it from other circular saw models is its electronic brake feature. This feature instantaneously stops the rotation of the blade when the trigger is released. This additional safety feature makes this circular saw model a premium model of a circular saw.
Makita 5007MGA 7-1/4" Magnesium Circular Saw
The Makita 5007MGA is a powerful electric circular saw that comes with a 15-amp motor. This motor can deliver 5,800 RPM that makes this circular saw model a great option with proven durability and performance. It also features two built-in LED lights for illuminating the LOS for greater accuracy of cuts. Moreover, its rubberized levers let you quickly adjust its position, using your other hand.
It features a cutting capacity of 2-1/2 at 90 degrees. Its bevel capacity is at 56° with 22.5 detents at 45°. These characteristics enable it to have enough power to deal with a wide range of cutting tasks. With its incredible depth, you will not find any problem when setting up its cutting depth. Besides, it comes with a fence that fits well its case adjustment. Plus, its change tool fits well onboard near its handle. Nevertheless, you can use a hex Allen key for this purpose.
The 5007MGA weighs around 10.6 pounds, which is slightly heavier than DEWALT. Yet, it is still lighter than other corded circular saws. It has an innovative design for ease of use and greater versatility. It is also meant to last long. Moreover, its blade wrench is conveniently positioned for easy blade changing and convenient placement. It also features a safety lock that stops the shaft from rotating when its hex bolt becomes loose.
SKILSAW SPT67WMB-01 Magnesium Sidewinder Circular Saw
Another excellent choice of an electric circular saw with electric brake is the SKILSAW SPT67WMB-01. The SPT67WMB-01 is a well-balanced saw that comes with a perfect motor housing for keeping the motor cooler. It will stay cool even and provides continuous powerful performance. Its motor is a 15-amp motor that provides durability and reliability.
The SKILSAW SPT67WMB-01 features a 56-degree bevel capacity, and bevel stops at 45 degrees. It also features an integrated dust blower that keeps the LOS free of dust for a comfortable and clean cutting experience. Moreover, it comes with a 24-tooth carbide blade along with a multi-function wrench.
One feature that distinguishes this circular saw from other brands and models is its electric brake. This electric brake immediately stops the blade when you release its trigger. This feature also reduces the risk level due to the accidental hitting of the blade. It also keeps the blade ready for the next cut.
DEWALT DWS535 7 1/4-Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw
If you are looking for an easy-to-use worm-drive circular saw, you should check out DEWALT DWS535. It can handle materials with thickness up to 2-1/2-inch wide with its extra-wide saw hook. This circular saw is more massive than DEWALT DWE575SB and Makita 5007MGA, for it weighs around 13.8 pounds.
The DEWALT DWS535 also boasts of magnesium construction that makes it durable. Its cast magnesium footplate underneath provides it with a solid base for excellent stability while cutting. It also features a 53-degree bevel capacity with detents at 22.5 and 45 degrees.
It comes with a rafter hook that is wide enough for folding into its body when it is idle. It also comes with a Tough Cord protection system. With this excellent cord system, it offers 4X better jerk protection compared to other worm saws. One downside of this brand is its lack of an electric brake and safety switch, considering that these two features are necessary for a worm drive of this size.
Genesis GLCS2055A 20V Cordless 5 1/2" Circular Saw
The Genesis GLCS2055A Circular Saw comes with the features you need to begin your DIY projects. It comes with an 18T carbide-tipped blade that is excellent enough for any cutting jobs. It also has a rip guide as well as battery and charger for the efficient performance of tasks. Moreover, it comes with a blade wrench.
This 20-Volt circular saw can cut through thick materials and can perform angle cuts for an excellent finish. It also boasts of a built-in laser that helps keep cut accurately. But most importantly, it is equipped with an electric brake that stops the blade immediately after you release the trigger.
When using a circular saw, you run the risk of injuring yourself and may experience cutting injuries in the worst case. So, you need to undergo training in the circular saw’s correct usage if it is your first time using the circular saw. Moreover, the tools you use should comply with the manufacturer’s instructions and established standards on circular saw’s usage.
You should also ensure that appropriate guarding is in place, and you have correctly installed the cutting wheel.
Furthermore, you should ensure that the tool that you are using carries the necessary safety features like auto lock-on and off, the shields, and the blade guards. But most importantly, it should include the one safety feature—the electric brake—that can greatly minimize the risks involved in the use of circular saws.