While many construction projects require a number of saws, a straight flush saw can help lighten your load. They’re versatile, innovative, and highly adaptable based on your needs (Source). The best straight flush saws act as seven saws in one while helping you minimize material waste.
A straight flush saw is an evolution of a handheld circular saw. It uses a motor to set a circular blade in rotary motion (Source). However, what makes the straight flush saw unique is its ability to do the job of a beam saw, undercut saw, reciprocating saw and many other saws.
Some distinct features of the straight flush saw include its ability to adjust the cutting depth. This allows you to extract subfloor without damaging electrical or plumbing. The straight flush saw can also perform 0 clearance flush cuts. The straight flush saw is also adjustable to create a wide range of bevel cuts from -5° to 65°.
Straight flush saws are fantastic for creating precise cuts and for minimizing waste. Straight flush saws don’t require you to constantly measure and mark, and have a safety guard for extra protection. They’re the perfect all in one tool a carpenter, specifically a framing carpenter.
Prior to purchasing a straight flush saw, you’ll need to consider if its cutting depth and bevel range meet the needs of your project. You’ll also need to consider the dust collection system and ergonomic handle.
It’s about time you traded in your saw collection for one of these top-rated straight flush saws.
What is a Straight Flush Saw?
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a Straight Flush Saw?
- 2 Comparing the Best Straight Flush Saws
- 3 1. WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2″ Compact Circular Saw – WX429L – Best Overall
- 4 2. Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw – The Most Affordable Straight Flush Saw
- 5 3. TACKLIFE Circular Saw – Best Circular Saw for Precision Cutting
- 6 4. Makita Sp6000J1 6-1/2 Inches Plunge Circular Saw Kit – The Most High-End Straight Flush Saw
- 7 5. SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw – The Most Lightweight
- 8 Factors to Consider Before Buying a Straight Flush Saw
- 9 How to Use a Straight Flush Saw
- 10 Ready to Use a Straight Flush Saw for Your Next Project?
A straight flush saw is essentially a hand power tool that is mainly designed to cut straight and flush. Additionally, this type of saw may also be used for an array of other cutting applications.
Some of the best straight flush saws allow you to make a number of bevel cuts, with the base plate on some models being adjustable to between –5° And 65°.
As compared to traditional, undercut saws, the leading straight flush saws have an adjustable rear handle for enhanced control of the tool. They may also be fitted with zero-clearance blades in order to make zero clearance flush cuts.
For enhanced ease of use and efficiency on every project, it is advisable for you to buy only the best straight flush saw, as discussed below
Comparing the Best Straight Flush Saws
|WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2″ Compact Circular Saw – WX429L|
|Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw|
|TACKLIFE Circular Saw|
|Makita Sp6000J1 6-1/2 Inches Plunge Circular Saw Kit|
|SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch L Worm Drive Circular Saw|
1. WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2″ Compact Circular Saw – WX429L – Best Overall
The blade reduces tool strain considerably, allowing for a full-size circular saw cutting speed and performance. Compatible with 4.5-inch blades, this unit can deliver no-load speeds of up to 3,500 revolutions per minute (RPM).
The easy-set depth lever on this saw allows you to adjust the cutting depth, up to 2 inches. The tool allows you to adjust the bevel angle to between 0 and 45 degrees, allowing you to make an array of bevel cuts. The tool may be used on different materials, including metal, wood, plastic, and tiles.
2. Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw – The Most Affordable Straight Flush Saw
It features a slim, inline grip design that offers great comfort, balance, and control. This design also makes the tool maneuverable for overhead cuts. The design includes a left-handed blade positioning, which offers superior cut-line visibility on all projects.
When used at an angle of 90 degrees, the saw has a maximum cutting depth of 1-11/16”. When beveling at 45 degrees, it can cut up to a depth of 1/8”. It may be used to make cut-offs, plunge cuts, and rips. Best suited for wood, especially plywood, hardwood flooring, nominal 2” lumber, molding, pegboard, and dowels.
3. TACKLIFE Circular Saw – Best Circular Saw for Precision Cutting
With regard to flexibility, the tool is capable of making 90 and 45-degree bevel cuts. Additionally, it features an intuitive depth-scaled gauge lever, allowing you to select your preferred cutting depth. At 90 degrees, it may be used to cut up to a depth of up to 1-11/16” inches and up to 1-3/8” at 45 degrees.
The tool is powered by a 5.8 Amps copper motor, capable of delivering up to 3,500 RPM. Such a performance makes it ideal for cutting wood, plastics, plasterboard, PVC pipe, tile with ease. The model also features a protection switch, preventing the machine from accidentally opening, promises a safer cutting job.
4. Makita Sp6000J1 6-1/2 Inches Plunge Circular Saw Kit – The Most High-End Straight Flush Saw
It couples a powerful 12 AMP motor and a large cutting capacity to magnesium components for reduced weight and electronic speed control. These ensure that you maintain a constant speed under load, allowing for a smooth cutting experience.
The unit has a number of precision settings and settings to ensure that you always make quality, professional-grade cuts. The unit can make bevel cuts at an angle of between -1° and 48°, with positive stops at 22.5° and 45°. Powerful 12 AMP motor with soft start for smooth start-ups, and Electronic Speed Control to maintain a constant speed under load for smooth cutting.
5. SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw – The Most Lightweight
The power saw is powered by a 15 amp dual-field motor that is designed to remain cool, even during the toughest of applications. The 7-1/4 inch straight flush saw has a maximum cutting capacity of 2-3/8 inches at 90°.
It can also make bevel cuts at an angle of up to 53 degrees, with positive stop at 0° and 45°. This makes the saw suited for an array of applications, including framing, decking, siding, and ceilings. Works with soft, hard and engineered woods. Also, if you deal with siding much, take a look at this tool.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Straight Flush Saw
Depending on the design of the tool and the type of blade attached to the unit, a straight flush saw is capable of making to make crosscuts—straight cuts across a board or rip cuts.
Some of the leading models may also be calibrated to make an assortment of bevel cuts.
While shopping for the right unit, there are some of the important considerations you need to make:
Almost all power saws are powered by electric current, either from a rechargeable battery or a direct connection to a power outlet. As such, you need to choose whether to go for the best cordless or corded straight flush saws.
Cordless circular saws are conveniently designed for use in areas where extension cords are difficult to use.
They also feature a smaller, lightweight and compact design for enhanced portability. Cordless saws often have a cutting range of between 5 3/8 and 6 1/2 inches.
Corded models, on the other hand, are more powerful and may be used on tougher applications like continuous woodcutting, masonry and steel cutting. While 7 1/4 inches corded straight flush saws are common, these tools are available in an array of size options.
Depending on what you will be using the saw to cut, you need to choose between two main straight flush saw blades;
- Carbide-tipped Saw Blades
These are costlier but have been proven to last longer than steel blades. Owing to their tough construction, carbide-tipped blades are suited for the more demanding applications, such as masonry and metal applications.
If this is your preferred blade type, it is you should opt for either the abrasive wheel or the tougher diamond blade options.
- Steel Straight Flush Saw Blades
The preference of steel blades by many craftsmen may be attributed to their affordability.
Steel blades need to be sharpened frequently for enhanced efficiency. With most steel saw blades, the teeth are known to dull rather fast. As such, they are only suited for mild and occasional cutting applications.
At high speeds, these tools can be rather difficult to control. Since you need high levels of precision for every project, you should go for a saw that is comparatively easy to handle.
With regards to design, go for designs with primary and secondary handles that are comfortable and conveniently positioned. The primary handle is the one that has a trigger positioned inside for regulating speed.
Different models come with one or two secondary handles to help- stabilize the tool as you cut. It isn’t a hybrid table saw (see top reviews) that has a sturdy base for stable cutting. Models with secondary handles will come in handy when working on such projects as ripping a piece of plywood.
Again, you need to ensure that the blade changing mechanism on your preferred morel is relatively easy to use. Whether it requires you to use a tool or is too-less, the mechanism should make it relatively easy and fast for you to change the blades.
Rather than going for the cheapest straight flush saws, it is advisable to try and get the best value for your money. It helps to get a quality product that may be used on an assortment of applications.
These are the adjustment options you should consider:
- Bevel Adjustment
Bevel adjustment settings allow you to tilt the saw to an angle of between 0° and 57°. However, this tilt range varies from one model to another.
In most straight flush saw models, bevel adjustment settings are situated at the front end of the tool and often have some sort of a locking mechanism.
- Depth Adjustment
The depth adjustment settings are often located on the back of the saw. In some models, it is a simple flange type mechanism. Others use a threaded type of bolt with a “T” on the end—often used on the best cordless straight flush saws.
These have indicators on them, indicating the preset cutting level. Most of the leading straight flush saw brands offer a range of between 0″ and 2.75″. Most power straight flush saws have a maximum depth of about 2.5″. Sure, it isn’t comparable to 3″-5″ depth capability of some of the greatest deep cut band saws, but with the size and portability of flush saws, the 2.5″ depth is already a good number.
For enhanced safety and precision, the leading models are designed to automatically apply an electric brake the moment you disengage the trigger.
Shoe Type and Material
The shoe on a power saw is the flat piece of metal that acts as the base; the part on which the tool rests. These are perfectly flat and can be made from steel, aluminum, magnesium or strong plastic material.
Aluminum, magnesium and plastic shoes are lighter as compared to steel shoes. However, steel plates are comparatively stronger than any of these other materials.in the more advanced saws, the shoe features guides that may be used to make rip cuts.
How to Use a Straight Flush Saw
Electric straight flush saws operate at high speeds and can be dangerous, if not operated as they should.
First things first, ensure that you always wear appropriate safety gear, including safety glasses before operating the tool. Safety precautions should be standard for any cutting task, whether you’re using a basic felling ax (best models reviewed here) or inside your woodshop using a top rated plunge router.
You also need to read and follow the safety instructions given by the manufacturer, often printed on its instruction manual.
Having taken all the necessary safety precautions, here are some of the tips to help you use a straight flush saw appropriately:
Regardless of the type of project you are working on, you first need to set up the piece you will be cutting and make the right adjustments on the tool. Support the material on a bench or between two strong sawhorses.
The overhanging section should be large enough to allow the cut piece to fall freely. Attempting to prop up the off-cut may cause the material to buckle or even bind the blade.
If this happens, the straight cut saw will generate a powerful kickback that may result in injuries. Once done, you should proceed to set the preferred blade depth on the tool.
Basically, you need to ensure that the lowest tooth on the blade is between 1/8 and ¼ inches below the workpiece. All adjustments on the power saw should be carried out while it is still unplugged.
Making Crosscuts with a Straight Flush Saw
To improve the precision of such a cut, mark the side of the material that will become waste. You should then position the blade such that it leaves a pencil-line thickness on the keep side.
Now support the front of the saw shoe on the workpiece while keeping the blade about an inch from the material. If corded, plug the saw to a power outlet and start it.
Allow the tool ample time to reach its optimal speed before engaging it on the material.
Once ready, push it steadily push the saw through the material that needs cutting. To make a 90-degree crosscut, you may use a speed square to guide the saw.
Making Rip Cuts with a Straight Flush Saw
Position large sheets of plywood across sawhorses and ensure that the setup supports both sides of the cut.
Clamp a plywood strip or any other straight workpiece at a distance to help guide the saw shoe as you make the cut.
While cutting, you need to walk alongside the plywood, while holding the straight flush saw cord to prevent it from getting snagged.
For narrow rips, keep the saw straight by holding the shoe with your free hand and bracing your forefinger on the edge of the material.
You may as well use a pair of locking pliers or a rip-fence accessory to help keep the saw straight as you cut.
Ready to Use a Straight Flush Saw for Your Next Project?
Versatility is one of the things that make straight flush saws stand out from the rest. Not only is a straight flush cut saw capable of making different types of cuts, but it may also be used to cut different materials. So it wouldn’t matter if you have the greatest pruning saw in the world—if you need to cut a variety of materials, a straight flush saw would beat it any day in terms of flexibility.
You also need to use the tool properly for professional-grade results. To allow for this, you need a unit that features variable speed and bevel settings, and one that is compatible with different saw blades.
With this review at your disposal, choosing the best straight flush saw should be a walk in the park.
For other power tools worth purchasing, check out our other reviews, including this list of top table saws under $1000.