Why & How to Use a Circular Saw and a Guide Rail

In this short guide we'll explain the reasons you should be using a circular saw and a guide rail, and some tips on making sure your circular saw is set up properly.

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What does it look like in action?

Check out our guide on Toolstop TV.


For the purposes of the guide we'll be using two Bosch products.

First off, the circular saw.

We're using the Bosch GKS65GCE Hand Held Circular Saw with Constant Electronics.


We're partnering this with a Bosch FSN guide rail, but you can click here to see the guide rails we've got in stock.

For example, check out the following:

Why Use a Guide Rail

Simply put, it's the best way to guarantee precise, straight, accurate cuts, either at 90 or 45. If you need to cut workpieces that must be cleanly and accurately joined together, a circular saw (properly set up) and a guide rail is the way to get this done. Bosch claim "absolute accuracy" when using this set up.

The guide rail also helps prevent splinters in your workpiece thanks to the anti-splinter protection at its edge.

So, clean, accurate cuts over and over are possible when using a guide rail.

And you don't need to use clamps, which can clutter up your cutting line. Good quality guide rails have adhesion strips that help grip them to the work piece.

The guide rail in our demo happens to be made by Bosch, and of course the GKS65GCE works perfectly with it. However, the saw is also compatible with other makes of guide rail. Please watch the video below for more info.


How to Set Up a Circular Saw

The most obvious setting you need to make sure you've got right is the cutting depth.

Don't have too much of the saw blade displayed below the thickness of the material you're cutting.

Just a few millimeters is needed. Remember, it's the teeth that are doing the cutting rather than the blade itself. Obviously it's also important to make sure you're using the correct blade for the material you're cutting. Refer to our Circular Saw Blade Buying Guide for more info.

When setting the depth of cut, factor in the thickness of the guide rail, too.

Obviously it's important to check that your circular saw is compatible with the guide rail you're using, particularly if you're cutting bevels. The risk you run is cutting into the guide rail itself. The GKS65 GCE's bevel mechanism always keeps the blade away from the guide rail.


Fan of circular saws? Let us know how you use them in the comments below.

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Comments

Keith May on Thu, 18 Sep 2014 16:00:54 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Is the FSN guide rail compatible with my Bosch GSK 190?


Edward Redfern on Tue, 18 Jun 2013 07:17:10 +0100 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

I use two track saws as part of my system, both festools. the TS75 and TS55R. they have to be the most important machines for batch cutting and sizing panels both on and off site. The advantage of the rail system is a perfectly straight, splinter free cut, not only that but the feeling of stability when cutting is a real joy, especially when you're like me and don't have sight. Using the accessory kit for festool rails makes things even easier, especially when angle setting, angled ripping / cross cutting, etc. The rail saw has to be the best invention in today's power tool market. There are a number of great manufacturers producing their own Rail systems including Festool, Maffel, Dewalt, Bosch and others and each have their own design benefits / requirements. So, with different innovations on the scene, we're bound to see great things coming up in the future.


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