Circular Saw Blade Direction (How to Tell What Direction Your Blade Should Cut)

| Last Updated: March 31, 2021

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To your beginner carpenter or occasional DIYer, the direction of your saw blade might not come across as important to get correct.

However, it can be dangerous for you and others if you don't install the blade to operate in the correct direction. Take a look below to see why.  

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

Below are some quick tips to understanding the correct circular saw direction:

  • Regardless of the type of circular saw, they all cut in the same direction

  • Blades often have an arrow pointing to the correct cutting direction

  • If your blade doesn't have a direction marker, remember they all cut counter-clockwise

How Does a Circular Saw Blade Cut?

Circular saw blades each tend to have a specialty in cutting a certain material or completing a type of cut. They'll also have varieties of these blades that feature different types of teeth like diamond or carbide-tipped teeth. 

As you may know already, the number of teeth also affects the type of cut that'll be made: the more teeth, the cleaner they cut as they don't have large gullets between each tooth. The gullet is the space between the tooth that extracts the material. Blades with large gullets remove wood more aggressively. 

If you're looking for a blade that cuts metal or abrasive materials, you can use a blade known as a continuous rim blade that can cut through materials like aluminum, brick, and much more. 

Therefore, it's important to understand what materials your blade can cut and how your blade operates, which is where the importance of blade direction comes in. 

What Direction Does a Circular Saw Blade Cut?

All saws will have their own direction of cutting. When working with a circular saw, it's important to remember that the part of the tooth that looks flat should be cutting into the wood. So, the blade would be cutting counter-clockwise.

It's important to get this right as it's safer than the opposite direction in terms of kickback and loss of control. Most modern saw blades will now come with an arrow that points in the direction it's supposed to be facing. 

A general rule of thumb is that circular saws cut upwards and table saws cut downward. If 

your blade doesn't have an arrow, remember to mark what way it cuts so that no one else forgets this rule. 

Do All Circular Saw Blades Cut in the Same Direction?

Yes, all circular saw blades will cut in the same direction. They'll cut from the bottom up, and this is why people tell you to put the nicest looking face of your wood facing the floor, saving the nicer part from being chipped. 

Most manufacturers have an arrow placed on the blade to keep you in mind to place it facing the correct direction. It's also common for the logo to be facing outwards on the correct side. 

People often get confused when working with saws that have the blade on the left-hand side; they follow the rule mentioned above of the logo facing the correct side.

However, on machines that have the blade on the left, it might be the opposite. Regardless, always remember that the teeth should cut upwards. 

If your circular saw begins operating in the opposite direction, this could be an electrical fault and should be resolved before you start cutting again. 


The direction of your blade can seem like an afterthought in terms of safety. However, many people have learned the hard way of injuring themselves because of this negligence. The above information is everything you need to know about the blade's direction; you're in safe hands if you follow our advice.