Can A Rotary Saw Cut Wood? [And How To Do That]

Rotary saws are very powerful tools that can cut through metals and brick. This power tool is versatile and extremely efficient. They are commonly used for very hard materials, but you may be looking to use them for woodwork. We have done the research and have all you need to know about cutting wood with a rotary saw.

Yes, you can cut wood with a rotary saw. The only limit to what you can saw through is the diameter of your saw blade. Here is how you cut wood with a rotary saw:

  1. Align your saw with the cutting line
  2. Turn your saw on
  3. Guide the saw along the line to cut the wood

Just as with any power tool, make sure to use proper safety equipment to avoid injury.

There are a few tools within the same family as rotary saws. These tools use different attachments to cut through the material. We have gathered all you will need to know about using a rotary saw. Keep reading for directions and other tools.

A carpenter using a rotary saw in his wood working project, Can A Rotary Saw Cut Wood? [And How To Do That]

How to Cut Wood with a Rotary Saw

Follow the steps below to cut wood with a rotary saw.

1. Align your saw with the cutting line

First, you will need to align your rotary saw on the line you will be cutting. With this saw, you will need to line the blade up on the side of the wood farthest from you. The blade of the saw cuts from the top down, so this will allow the motion of the wheel to cut better.

Rotary saws with round blades do not have shield guides as a circular saw would. Circular saws and rotary saws are often mistaken for each other.

2. Turn your saw on

Next, you will need to turn the saw on. You should hit the throttle on the saw until it is at full power before cutting into the wood. The saws are powerful and have high RPMs, so they can still spin after releasing the throttle. You need to be especially careful with setting the saw down after use.

An industrial worker using a power tool

Before you begin cutting, you will need to make sure that you are protecting yourself properly. Wearing goggles for eye protection is a very important step to protect yourself.

3. Guide the saw along the line to cut the wood

Then, once the saw is lined up you can begin cutting. The saw has to be on the side opposite to us because it needs to be pulled to cut. Using the line drawn, carefully drag your saw from one end to the other to cut the wood.

Using a rotary saw in cutting a 4-inch angle bar

Aside from there not being a guide on the tool, the saw blade spinning direction is different from circular saws as well. For an even better visual, you can adjust the location of the blade to the side of the machine. Then, you can clearly see your cutting path.

How do you cut wood with a Dremel rotary tool?

Dremel tools have different attachments that can be used for cutting. To cut wood, you can use a circular saw bit similar to a rotary saw. With this attachment, you would follow the same steps as cutting with a rotary tool.

There are also drill bit Dremel tools that can cut into the wood. This allows you to cut straight lines and freeform shapes. One downside is that you cannot cut through thicker planks of wood fully.

Click here to see this Dremel guide set on Amazon.

What is a rotary saw used for?

Rotary saws can be used to make accurate cuts. They can cut through just about any material with the right saw blade. These saws are mainly used to cut through metal, brick, concrete, and wood.

These saws can be used in the workshop, but firefighters regularly use them. Rotary saws work perfectly in emergencies. Firefighters are able to cut slits for ventilation and gain entry in rescue situations.

A fireman using a rotary saw in their emergency fire excercise

The strongest blades are diamond blades. The rigid material makes cutting through hard materials easier. There are also abrasive blades for brick and metal. Carbide blades work well on wood and soft plastics.

What size blade should I use in a rotary saw?

There are a few popular size options for rotary cutters. Twelve, fourteen, and sixteen-inch blades are used the most. Although the diameter sounds large, a small portion of it will be used for the cutting depth.

With a twelve-inch blade, you can achieve a four-inch cut at the most. Fourteen-inch blades can cut five inches deep. Lastly, sixteen-inch blades can cut about six inches deep.

Which rotary saw should you choose?

When picking a rotary saw, you should take two things into account. The first thing is your comfort level with power tools. The second thing is the kind of cuts you will need to make.

Rotary saws come in two different mounting styles. You can have a traditional (inboard) mount or an outboard mount. Traditional mounts have the blade directly in front of the saw's engine. Inboard mounting provides the most stability while cutting and is used more often on wood.

Click here to see this inboard rotary saw on Amazon.

Outboard mounts are mounted on one side of the saw's engine. This allows them to make flush cuts. These are less common in the workshop but are great for cutting things flush to walls or floors.

When using an outboard mounted saw, it will have more of a gyroscopic effect while spinning. It is less stable than the traditional mount, so make sure to practice before beginning your project.

Is a rotary tool the same as a Dremel?

Yes, a Dremel is a form of rotary tool. These tools use a spinning force to complete a task. Rotary tools can be used for sanding, etching, routing, and carving.

Something that adds functionality to Dremels is that you can usually adjust the speed. Being able to use different speeds gives you the choice of how aggressive you need the tool to be.

Click here to see this rotary tool set on Amazon.

In addition, rotary saws are also a type of rotary tool. They all perform similar functions. The size of the tool itself plays a role in what it can do. While rotary saws are larger and can handle bigger projects, Dremels are smaller handheld tools.

If you have a larger rotary tool, you can attach a smaller blade if needed. However, you cannot attach a blade that is too large for the tool. For this reason, Dremels are more limited than rotary saws, although they are both rotary tools.

How thick of wood can a Dremel cut?

To cut wood with a Dremel, it is best to use a straight cutting bit. Due to the size of Dremel tools, you cant achieve very deep cuts with them. A multipurpose cutting bit can cut hardwood up to three-eighths inches and softwood up to five-eighths inches.

Click here to see this cutting bit on Amazon.

The best part of Dremels is that you have complete freedom over the shapes that you can cut. With some Dremel bits, you can cut in any direction to cut out complex shapes.

Can a Dremel cut a 2X4?

No, a Dremel will not be able to cut a 2x4. The available attachments for a handheld Dremel are not large enough. A 2x4 plank is one and a half inches thick; the blade would not go completely through.

Can you cut thin wood with a Dremel?

Yes, you can cut thin wood with a Dremel. As long as the wood does not extend past the end of the Dremel bit, it will cut just fine. When the depth is too large, it ends up etching or scoring the wood instead.

A skilled worker making his carpentry project using a dremel tool

What else are Dremels used for?

Aside from home improvement projects, dremels are often used for hobbies. They can be used in anything from manicures to wood carving. Engraving bits are perfect for art projects involving lettering or calligraphy.

There are so many different bits that you can put on a Dremel. There are bits for sanding, etching, polishing, and cutting.

Different sizes of brushes, cutting disks, drills and sanding disk

To wrap it up

Rotary saws are very versatile and powerful cutting tools. They will work on wood as well as harder materials. If you need to cut something very rigid, switching to a diamond blade will help the saw cut easily.

The most important thing to remember with rotary saws is safety. The high-power blades take a few moments to stop, so be careful after switching the power off. Also, remember to pull the blade toward you instead of pushing it away to cut.

For more cutting tool tips and instructions, check out some of our other articles:

How To Cut A Corrugated Galvanized Steel Sheet

What Is The Best Tool To Cut Vinyl Siding?

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