Right-Handed vs Left-Handed Circular Saws

Right-Handed vs Left-Handed Circular Saws

Modern circular saws come in both right-handed and left-handed models. Below are the difference between Right-Handed vs Left-Handed Circular Saws:

A right-handed saw has the main handle on the right side and secondary handle on the left side. The blade is on the right. A left-handed saw is the opposite to the right-handed saw.  Right-handed saws are designed for righties and left-handed saws for lefties. If a right-handed person used a left-handed circular saw they need to cross their arms over the saw and vs versa.

Circular saws can be divided into several groups, according to different criteria. One of the criteria is which hand do you want to operate the saw with? Left hand or right hand?

So, right-handed circular saws are designed for those who are righters, while lefties prefer left-handed models.

Isn’t there a standard for what is a circular saw?

Some tools have the same design whatever hand you want to use them. But if you are a righter, and try to use a left-handed circular saw, you notice the big difference.


Because you will want to take the handles in your natural position and that means crossing hands. This not only that is difficult to use, but it will result will not so efficient cutting and a bigger risk of injury.

So, without any hesitations, let’s go down to the comparison.


Right-handed vs left-handed

Since the creation of the first circular saw, people are constantly fighting over this – which one is better?

The most important thing you need to consider is are you a righter or a lefter? Based on this, you will find the right model for you.

But as a righter, you may want to use right-handed or left-handed circular saw. This doesn’t have logic, right?

That is what I thought at first before I could understand the real difference between these types.

And now, let’s focus on all of the characteristics of both types of saws.

As a righter using a right-handed saw, you will hold the circular saw firmly with both hands, but you will need to bend over your right shoulder a bit, in order to see what you are cutting.

Your main handle is in your right hand and the auxiliary handle is in your left hand, which means no hands crossing.

Plus, the motor of the saw is on the waste side of the cut, which means the piece you are cutting is falling towards you.

And if you are using a right-side blade, there is one great thing to remember – the saw dust is ejected away from the user.

Now, let’s consider the left-handed circular saw, again, from a perspective of a righter.

You left hand will cross over the blade. This is unusual at first, but I guess you will get used to it.

The saw is between your hands, and not outside, so if you hold the material with your left hand you need to be very careful, as you don’t want to touch the blade.

In addition, the motor is on the side of the cut and the dust is ejected towards the user.

If you are considering this for the first time, you will easily notice that are more cons than pros of using a left-handed side, as a righter.

So, your thoughts probably go this way – then why would I go with a left-handed saw?

The answer is simple – visibility. Using a left-side blade will provide you with much better visibility of the cut.

If you still don’t get the difference between both types, I would suggest taking a look at this video, as it will provide you the basics of what you need to know.

What is better?

There isn’t one simple answer to this – if you ask several users, you will get different answers. It is just a point of view and everyone feels different about it.

What do the manufacturers say?

You can easily notice, that most of the worm drive saws are left handed. The reason is still unknown, but I think the users prefer to use models of this type.  If you are not sure what a worm drive saw is, you can check my article about worm drive verses hypoid verses sidewinder circular saws for more info.

Portable circular saws are, generally, left-handed as well. And what is a portable circular saw? Check my article about what is a portable circular saw to get the facts right.

What is your opinion on the right-handed versus left-handed circular saw? Which one do you use? Share your experiences and thoughts on this in the comment section below.

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Comments 1

  1. I’m worried about crossing hands when operating a saw. If there is any unpredictable movement of the saw, because of a wood or whatever, it can go really wrong really quickly. I’m still trying to buy a right-handed tool whenever I have an option, but still, I guess as time goes, you get used to it.

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