Can I Use A Circular Saw To Cut Tree Branches? (Tips and Techniques!)

A Circular saw and wood are like fries and ketchup for a construction hobbyist. There are lots of tools to cut wood andlots of other materials that circular saw cuts, but the pair is so unparallel that you would believe you can cut anything related to wood with a circular saw.

Commonly, a circular saw is not a promising and favorable option to cut tree branches. Crosscut saw, chainsaw, and many others would do a better job here. If you must cut the tree branches with a circular saw, make sure the blade is sharp and the saw is cordless.

If your brain is packed with queries and vague ideas, read the whole article to clear your doubts.

Can I Use A Circular Saw To Cut Tree Branches

Why Shouldn’t You Cut Tree Branches With A Circular Saw?

Theoretically, there is nothing wrong with cutting tree branches with a circular saw. But in practice, you will face some uplifting issues while using a circular saw to cut branches. The balance and chemistry between the tree branches and a circular saw are quite off. Let’s see why a circular saw is not a smart choice for cutting tree branches.

Saw Balance

A circular saw is a heavy tool. The saw balance in cutting any material is very crucial. There should be an angular balance between the material and the circular saw. Certainly, tree branches lack the offset to withhold a circular saw with a steady surface.

When you are cutting material with a circular saw, the material should lie flat on a steady table where the supporting side should be attached tightly to the table. But, due to the texture of tree branches, that support can’t be achieved in this case.

Blade’s Capacity

A circular saw’s blade is quite high-maintenance. They are prone to damage if you don’t treat them right or use them well. As the surface and the texture of tree branches are not smooth and flat, a regular circular saw blade can’t take such a heavy toll on itself. The blade will deteriorate easily, and the cut will not be smooth on tree branches.

Flat Surface

The base plate of the circular saw doesn’t only protect the blade or balance the weight of the motor. The foremost duty of the base plate is to attach the flat surface of the material with the circular saw. As the tree branches are very rusty and crusty, the base plate fails to attach to the material securely. This imposes a serious risk on the branches and the circular saw itself.

Branch Size

A circular saw executes the precise cut on a smooth surface that can penetrate through the material easily. Tree branches are abysmal and disorderly. The sizes are round, and the blade can hardly penetrate the core. Thus, the abnormal tree branch size doesn’t coordinate nicely with the circular saw.

Mastering the Art of Tree Branch Cutting: Tools and Techniques

Tree branches are certainly a difficult material to master. Although a circular saw falls short to cut them properly, some tools can be used to cut the tree brunches. If you have any of these tools, you should keep the circular saw on the side and utilize them for tree branches. Let’s see what those tools are.

Crosscut Saw

Crosscut saw is a manual tool that can cut the wood in perpendicular order. For the rusty and grainy texture of tree branches, these saws are perfect. Although manual labor is a drawback, the crosscut saw can provide you with a precise and smooth cut of tree branches.


Chainsaw is an electrically-charged saw that is functioned with a loop of chains that acts like blades. The best part is chainsaw is portable and the blade is large and thick. They are associated warmly with tree branches as a chainsaw can cut through the whole round base without rotating the branches, no matter how thick that is.

Pruning Saw

A pruning saw is dedicatedly designed for trees, branches, and woods. The blade is long and curved, making it ideal for separating a particular branch from the tree. The best part of a pruning saw is that it promotes the growth of a tree even after cutting branches.

In Case You Have To Cut Tree Branches With A Circular Saw

If you don’t have alternatives to cutting tree branches and the circular saw is your only option, you shouldn’t discourage yourself from using the saw. Indeed, it will not be as simple as other tools, but it would get the job done. However, for a little more easeful execution, follow the following cautions.

Battery-Operated Circular Saw

If you must use a circular saw, a cordless battery-operated saw should be your utmost choice. There are some ultra benefits you will only get from a cordless circular saw. The core advantage of this saw is that it is very lightweight.

You can maneuver the circular saw and contravene the tree branches easily with this type of circular saw. If you have more control over the saw, you can penetrate through the rusty texture more smoothly.

Special Blades

The main issue with the tree branches is the crusty outlook makes the blade blunt and the cut rough. As the blade of a circular saw has dents and bumps on the edge, the rough surface of tree branches damages the blade’s speed and sharpness.

If you opt for using a circular saw to cut tree branches, prevent using a regular blade that is mostly used for wood. Use a carbide-tipped blade that can eliminate the heat generated by the blade. Also, make sure the tooth is higher in number like 60-80 teeth.

Particular Branches

When you are cutting tree branches, consider the branch diameter. The best tree branches that can be cut via a circular saw are 2 inches to 4 inches in diameter. As the most circular saw blade can deep cut from 5/8 to 1 inch at one go, these 2-4 inches tree branches will be suitable for the circular saw blades.

Make Straight Cuts

The Circular saw is mostly known for its precise and accurate straight cuts. It can cut other cuts, but you should slightly maintain the straight cuts when it comes to tree branches. As the surface is not smooth like others, cuts other than straight cuts can put the blade and the circular saw at risk. Not to mention, the branches will be damaged too.

Multiple Branches At One Go

Another trait of the circular saw is that it can cut multiple materials on the same cutline in a single shot. This can apply to the tree branches as well. But here are some drawbacks too. If the branches are not tightly attached and the cutline is not marked, the blade can break with such high pressure.

Some Tips To Remember

  • Before you start cutting tree brunches with a circular saw, thoroughly check the quality of the blade that you are using.
  • If you can, choose a newly-purchased blade for cutting tree branches. If that is not possible, check the blade’s condition with a magnifier.
  • Make the surface of the tree branches as smooth as possible. The smoother the surface is, the more precise the cuts will be.
  • The gap between the teeth on the edge of the blade should be minimal. Also, ensure there is no additional hole or deep cut on any part of the blade.

Frequently Asked Questions


What surface can you use a circular saw on?

Tree branches have an unfavorable surface that the circular saw base plates can’t accommodate. For a flat surface, you can use a Styrofoam pad that is a few inches thick. That will make the surface flat for the blade to cut through the material.

Alternatively, you can lay some boards on the ground for supporting the material as the cut goes parallel between and to the boards.

How fast of a circular saw do I need to cut tree brunches?

With most circular saws you have very little liberty to select the power. Especially if the circular saw is corded, there is no function to dictate the power. However, in some cordless circular saws, there are some moderate options to change the power. For cutting tree brunches, a 12 amp circular saw is sufficient enough.

What materials can be cut with a circular saw?

Even though circular saws should be avoided in cutting tree branches, you can use a circular saw for numerous materials. This powerful and versatile tool can cut through wood with a flat surface such as plywood, MDF, softwood, butcher block, and hardwood.

Also, they are the best for cutting metal, steel, plastic, PVC, and masonries like concrete and brick too.

Final Words

The circular saw is indeed the most versatile tool in the construction industry. But the material the circular saw is about to cut must also maintain some attributes for precise and smooth cuts. The circular saw is not so suitable material for cutting tree brunches. You can use it in desperate times by following the instructions.


My name is Michael M. Militello, and I want to help you find the right tools and the best products for your next project! As a professional tool expert here in Houston, TX, With my vast tool experience, I can help you choose the right brand, model, and size for the job. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. You can reach me here on my blog and also on Facebook, Twitter , and Pinterest. I look forward to hearing from you!

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