I'm in the market for a circular saw and am right-handed. I was about to purchase one with a blade on the right b/c I've seen lots of pictures of right-handers (b/c their right hand is on the trigger) and their left hand on the second handle (the one near the front of the saw).

I thought that it's a safety thing to have the blade away from you...until I saw this video from this Old House (forward to ~1:00). Here he uses a speed square WITH a circular saw. He is right-handed and holding the saw in his right hand and holding the speed square as a guide in his left hand!

Is it safer and or appropriate to buy a right blade circular saw for right-handers...like this one pictured? The blade is to the right of your hand. In order to see the blade you would have to look over and to the right of your hand...which seemsm awkward to me. Right handed circular saw

  • Pick the one where the motor most often over hangs the supported side of the wood being cut. Jan 2, 2017 at 15:59
  • Hi @spicetraders. Why is that the better choice? Is it because otherwise the weight of the motor will pull the saw down after every cut?
    – milesmeow
    Jan 3, 2017 at 4:50
  • Hello @milesmeow. Yes the motor over the supported side is much more manageable, especially at the end of cut if on the cut off side (more so on plywood) the extra weight is fighting the unsupported wood. I am left handed but use a right hand setup for cutting as my space I work the most in is best suited to cutting that way. Jan 3, 2017 at 14:49

2 Answers 2


A right-handed person will always, naturally have the right hand on the trigger thus making the right handed blade easier to see from the right side.

For maximum safety, the left hand should also be on the tool. When it is, the left arm, riding high and forward, will partially obscure the blade and the cutting line from the left side view.

Also, when the right hand is on the trigger (and left forward of that) one might want the motor closer to one's body (than having the blade there).

  • When I got my saw 35 or 40 years ago I knew nothing about how select one or to use it safely. I just went in and got a good quality one and the motor was on the left of the blade. Was that the standard at the time for a right handed person? Why? I have often found using it awkward, but maybe I'm not using the correct technique. I'd like to get a worm drive with the motor on the right, but haven't gotten around to it. Jan 2, 2017 at 13:44
  • 1
    Worm drive circular saws are different and my answer would not apply to them as their motor is behind, not beside, the blade. I don't have one but one of my sub-contractors does. I've used his for cutting 4'x8' sheets (for which it is primarily intended). It's heavier, the center of gravity is different, but it cuts faster (ie. what one gets when combining a chain saw w/ circular saw). I would NOT prefer worm drive for cutting 2x's on saw horses or smaller/thinner stock sheets. Jan 2, 2017 at 13:58

What you probably saw was one of the Skil wormdrive saws. The original model of this type has been the professional saw of choice for decades. https://www.skilsaw.com/saws

Editing: Video [https://www.thisoldhouse.com/how-to/how-to-choose-and-use-circular-saw

https://www.thisoldhouse.com/more/choosing-and-using-circular-saw ]3


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