How Many Watts Does a Skill Saw Use?


If you are starting a wood workshop and are unaware of the power your tools need for a satisfactory operation, you must have many questions. One of the tools you’ll need is a skill saw, and it is good to know the amount of power you’ll need to operate it. 

A skill saw, also known as a circular saw, is an electrical device that needs perfect wattage for a hitchless operation. Understanding their working method and power consumption must concern you as there are multiple skill saws on the market.

Generally speaking, the standard watt consumption of a skill saw is 1440 watts at maximum or 15 Amp power. In addition, 1200 watts using skill saws can serve the same purpose without any difficulty.

We understand that a single statement might not be enough for you. Therefore, we have curated this guide on the power consumption of a skill saw and certain other factors. Without further ado, let’s dive into it.

What Are the Different Types of Skill Saws and Their Wattages?

What Are the Different Types of Skill Saws and Their Wattages
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We have mentioned an average value that a skill saw can consume. However, we will tell you about the different skill saw machines you can get from the market to have deeper insights.

Abrasive circular saws

abrasive circular saws
Photo by Russ Ward on Unsplash

An abrasive circular saw is usually used to cut sturdy metals, wood, stainless steel, steel, and other materials. Generally, it has two parts; a table for cutting materials and a blade. With a power of 2000 watts, abrasive circular saws can cut down the strong materials efficiently and safely.

Sidewinder circular saws

Sidewinder circular saws
Photo by Greyson Joralemon on Unsplash

In-line circular saws is another term used for sidewinder circular saws. It is generally a part of a skill saw machine designed for enhanced portability and compactness. If you are interested in this type of circular saw, you can consider a minimum power of 1250 watts and a maximum of 1440 watts of power.

Miter saws

miter saw used by a woodworker
Photo by Annie Gray on Unsplash

Invented in the 1960s, miter saws are versatile cutters despite their small volume. It would not be wrong to say that miter saws are the safest kind of skill saws. Miter saws perform best at a minimum of 1440 watts of power. 

Hypoid circular saws

hypoid circular saw
Image by 15299 from Pixabay

A Hypoid circular saw is one of the most popular choices for plumbers. It is best for cutting materials in powerful areas. This kind of kill saw features a compact body that is easily portable for installation anywhere. Hypoid circular saws consume 1440 watts of power or 15 amp.

Concrete Grinder / Circular saws

concrete grinder circular saw
Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Similar to an abrasive circular saw, this device has a blade with teeth. However, it is used for the cutting of soft materials or wood. When buying a concrete circular saw, you must consider the power consumption of this device to be at least 1200 watts or 2000 watts at maximum. 

What Do You Mean by Starting and Running Watts of Skill Saw?

What Do You Mean by Starting and Running Watts of Skill Saw
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When considering the power usage of a circular saw, the terms starting and running watts might cross your observation.

In simpler terms, starting watts is the power your skill saw requires to start functioning. The high amount of power needed by the motor of the device causes a sudden trip. When the machine releases the smooth distribution of power, it switches back on after being switched off for a fraction of a second.

On the other hand, the running wattage of a circular saw refers to the continuous amount of power needed for the uninterrupted working of the machine.

What Should Be the Size of the Generator for Running a Skill Saw?

What Should Be the Size of the Generator for Running a Skill Saw
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The size of the generator that can pair perfectly with your skill saw depends on the tool size. You can power up all the basic tools in your workshop, including skill saw with a 7kW or 10kW portable generator.

Here is the breakdown of estimated power delivery from these two sizes of portable generators:

10 kW generator can provide 6,500 to 9,500 watts of useable power depicting 6500 as starting watts and running watts to be 8500. While a 7 kW generator is suitable for 3,300 to 4,000 watts of useable power requirements. It works on 3100 starting watts and 3400 running watts.

What About Running a Circular Saw on a 2000 Watt Generator?

What About Running a Circular Saw on a 2000 Watt Generator
Image by Marion Doss via Flickr

It would be only a matter of ten minutes after which you will burn the motor of your skill saw if you run it on 2000 watts generator. The reason is that the skill saws require more than 10 amperes of power for running while a 2000 watts generator can only give a maximum of 11.5 amperes. So, instead of investing in a 2kW generator, we advise you to spend additional bucks for a long-lasting generator. 

Can a 1000 Watt Generator Operate a Skill Saw?

Can a 1000 Watt Generator Operate a Skill Saw
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As long as the starting and running wattages of a 1000 watts generator match the requirements of your skill saw, you can use it. In general, a 1000 watts generator can do the job, but you will need to make adjustments.

You will have to understand that the running wattage of a portable generator matters more than the starting one when you are running tools other than lights. If your generator has 5,500 starting and 8,075 running watts, you will face no problem in operating a circular saw.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to run a circular saw on a solar panel?

Yes, you can run your skill saw on solar panels. However, you will need a minimum of ten 30 watt solar panels for using a seven ¼’ circular saw device. With ten solar panels, you can easily produce 3000 watts in an hour, enough to start and run a typical skill saw.

Notably, you must only use the skill saw on a bright sunny day because you will have a disturbed power supply for your device on a rainy or dark day. Another factor that you must consider is that most circular saws work on the AC power supply. That is why you cannot directly connect these skill saws to the solar panels. However, if you use a DC motor, your skill saw’s direct connection with a solar panel is possible. 

Is running a skill saw on a car battery a good idea?

On average, a car battery can provide almost 20 amps of power at maximum. This power is not enough to start your skill saw and keep it running for more than a few minutes. Ideally, you can use a 20 amps car battery with 100 watts of power to run your skill saw for only five minutes.

What about the ampere usage of a circular saw?

It all depends upon the model of the skill saw you are using. However, the estimated ampere usage of a circular saw is between 10 and 15 amps. On that note, your calculations must be based on the running watts rather than starting watts when using an inverter generator is in question.

What type of inverter is well-suited for skill saw?

After you have decided on the size of the inverter as per your requirements, you need to choose from a pure sine inverter and a modified sine wave inverter. Pure sine inverters come with a greater price, but they are bang for the buck for running circular saws and other tools. Pure sine wave inverters draw amperes as you use a grid. Also, they are best for significantly cutting out the energy losses.

As a general guideline, a modified sine wave inverter can be the best bet when you intend to use it for electronics only. Contrary to that, a pure sine wave inverter can operate electronics and motors. Manufacturers optimize the electronics in the market mostly for a pure sine wave inverter. 

Is there any power loss in a skill saw?

Like any electrical machinery, a skill saw also loses power during the operation. However, the manufacturers design their skill saws to reduce the power loss to a minimal value.

If you want to lower the power consumption of your skill saw, then you must keep the blade clean. Regular cleaning will remove the additional weight on the blade reducing the power used for rotating it. Alternatively, you can lubricate the parts of your skill saw. It will minimize the loss of power as heat due to friction. 

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In a nutshell, a standard circular saw will consume 2400 watts as starting limit and 1200 watts as a running limit. On that note, certain factors might affect the watt consumption of a skill saw. One of them is the size of the tool; the bigger the tool size greater will be the power consumption.

That’s why you must have a clear picture of how much power your skill saw needs before you buy it for your workshop. If you want more information on this matter, you can also refer to the skill saw’s manufacturer for the exact specification of a particular model.

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