OSHA circular Saw Regulations

Handheld Circular Saws

Circular saws are used for straight sawing. Depending on the blade, they cut either across (crosscut) or with (rip) the grain of the wood.

Operator Involvement

The operator adjusts the height of the blade and, while holding the stock, pushes the blade through the work-piece to perform the cut.
A handheld saw is portable and requires only the users hands to operate. Handheld saws can be powered or manual. Powered handheld saws have a greater potential to be dangerous.

Operator Involvement

When using powered saws, the operator is responsible for holding the saw correctly and depressing the pressure control (trigger). The operator then maneuvers the saw according to how the stock is to be cut. Once the task is completed, the operator’s finger is removed from the trigger to stop the motor.

Potential Hazard:

  • Contact with the turning blade.


  • Portable circular saws must have an upper guard that covers the entire blade of the saw and a retractable lower guard. [29 CFR 1926.304(d)]
  • Hand-held circular, reciprocating, saber, scroll, and jig saws with blades greater than one-fourth inch must be equipped with a constant-pressure control. [29 CFR 1926.304(f)]

Additional Safety Measures

  • When using a hand-held saw, the blade should be directed away from the aisle and any people who are in close proximity to the saw.
  • Use the proper blade for the material being cut.
  • Maintain sharp blades.
  • Always wear eye and face protection.