Share this Plunge Saw advice with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
Plunge saws are a big deal, but for many in the UK, they aren’t seen as being an essential tool in the kit.
For some, the reasoning goes that a circular saw will do what a plunge saw can do, and maybe a jigsaw can sort those fiddly little jobs in between.
However, we’d argue that a plunge saw is an essential power tool for joiners, carpenters, kitchen fitters, anyone who works with laminates, insulation or needs to make lots of cuts in small workpieces.
What is a Plunge Saw?
Sometimes referred to as a track saw, it is like a circular saw. With a blade that spins and cuts but with much more sophistication and accuracy. Rather than the guard retracting to expose the blade when cutting, such as with a circular saw, it has a fixed guard and the blade is exposed when plunging the handle to the pre-set depth.
Dust extraction and control is superior to a circular saw due to this design, and as we’ll see in this guide, accuracy, control and efficiency is too.
So, here’s the Toolstop Guide to Getting the Most from a Plunge Saw with 6 Easy Tips. In this guide we used the DeWalt DWS520K, but these tips will apply to most plunge saws in the market.
1. Using a Plunge Saw and a Guide Rail
This is a marriage made in heaven. The ability to slot into a guide rail, the friction strips on which will keep everything rock solid on the workpiece. It is an amazing way to cut quicker and more accurately, over and over again.
Make sure your saw isn’t fitted with a riving knife or that it’s a retractable one.
Then mark of where you want to cut, lay the guide rail along the marks, slot the saw onto the rail, and with a quick adjustment of depth (see below), make your cut.
2. Using a Plunge Saw for Quick, Accurate Cuts, Over and Over Again
Your plunge saw will be easy to set up. That means you shouldn’t have to faff about adjusting and readjusting the depth of cut.
The DeWalt DWS520K has an idiot-proof method for depth adjustment.
3. How to Use a Plunge Saw for Bevel and Mitre Cuts, Even on Small Workpieces
The ability to make quick cuts in small workpieces is another key asset to owning a plunge saw over a circular saw. All you need is a couple of “sacrificial pieces”, a guide rail and the correct depth setting, per above.
Making bevel and mitre cuts in just as easy.
Undo the front and rear bevel clamps on your saw, select the desired angle of cut (the DWS520K bevels up to 47º) then make the cut.
Roofers take notice; the make a compound mitre with a plunge saw is ridiculously easy. Check out our video guide to see how it’s done.
4. How to Cut Insulation Using a Plunge Saw
Cutting roofing insulation can be a total pest, especially if you’re not using the best tool for it. We suggest this is a task best left for a plunge saw, and if you watch our video guide you’ll understand why.
It’s not just the mess that’s an issue with cutting insulation. It’s making sure you make the most accurate cut to guarantee the insulation does what it’s intended to. Being able to quickly, cleanly and easily cut insulation at an angle is a massive boon for roofers.
5. Using a Plunge Saw for Cutting Laminates
Making a clean, efficient cut in laminates is one of the hardest jobs for any saw. However, we’ve added it to our list of jobs ably performed by a plunge saw for good reason, as you’ll see when you watch our video how-to guide.
Put away the masking tape, and cut right into the glossy side of the laminate without fear of marking or damaging the surface.
It goes without saying that you should be using the correct blade for cutting laminates, so check out our blade buying guide here.
6. Using a Plunge Saw to Cut Doors While Still on Their Hinges
This is a pest of a job if you don’t have the right tool, in this case, a plunge saw.
You’re laying flooring and you need to trim a few millimetres off the bottom of a door. You’ve got the choice to either remove the door from its hinges, make the cut then reaffix the door.
This costs you time and money.
However, with a plunge saw and guide rail you can make the desired cut while the door is in situ.
Don’t believe us? Watch the video guide.
So that’s 6 simple, easy to follow and practical tips from us on why you should own a plunge saw.
Check out all of the plunge saws available in stock right now, and here’s our top 3 picks for you.
Makita SP6000J1 Plunge Cut Saw 165mm Blade in Makpac Case with 2 Guide Rails and Connector – SHOP HERE
- Blade Diameter: 165 mm
- Depth of Cut @ 45º: 39 mm
- 56mm max cut @ 90° / 40mm max cut @ 45° / 38mm @ 48°
- Bevel Cut Range: 1 – 48 Degrees
Professional circular saw with plunge cutting facility which can perform an impressive 56mm depth of cut. With a contoured comfort grip. Can be used in conjunction with its guide rails and connector (both supplied). To acheive perfectly straight cuts with no need to use additional and awkward straight edges with clamps. This saw is very easy to use. With a Tip-Resistant design and a Depth Stopper for splinter-free cutting. Also boasts Variable Speed Trigger, Constant Speed Under Load, Electronic Brake, Soft Start and is Double Insulated for safety.
- Blade Diameter: 165 mm
- Blade Bore: 20 mm
- Bevel Capacity: 47 °
- Max. Depth of Cut at 90º: 59 mm
- Max. Depth of Cut at 90º [with guide rails]: 55 mm
- Max. Depth of Cut at 45º: 44 mm
- Max. Depth of Cut at 45 º [with guide rails]: 40mm
This fantastic product from Dewalt offers a simple and effective solution to a wide range of applications including laminate cutting and door trimming. Extremely high levels of accuracy, finish and durability make the DWS520KT a top quality product.
- Blade Size: 165mm
- Bore Diameter: 20mm
- Bevel Range: 0 – 48°
- Depth of cut @ 90° with track: 53mm
- Depth of cut @ 90° without track: 58mm
- Depth of cut @ 45° with track: 38mm
- Depth of cut @ 45° without track: 42mm
For clean, accurate cuts through every material, Triton’s TTS1400 Track Saw delivers on or off the track every time. The TS1400 features include soft start and variable speed, whilst the dual bevel quadrants front and rear provide cutting stability to a depth of 54mm / 2 1⁄8″. The mode selector barrel activates free plunge, scribe, or blade change, and cutting width indicators show the exact position where the blade plunges into the workpiece. The Triton TTS1400 Track Saw can be fitted to a track for long, precise cuts.
Share this with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and Google+
If you’re a plunge saw user already, what tips would you add to our list? Let us know in the comments section below.