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A circular saw is an essential, heavy-duty tool for anyone needing to strip down wood quickly and efficiently.
It’s designed to cut straight lines, and most have an adjustable base plate to cut those straight lines at an angle.
This guide lists some of the best corded circular saws on the market today.
NOTE: We have a separate guide for those looking specifically for the best cordless circular saws available here.
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best Circular Saws with Reviews 2020
Here's a list of the best circular saws we found:
1. Makita 5008MGA Circular Saw - Best Overall
- Powerful 15.0 AMP motor delivers 5,200 RPM for proven performance
- Magnesium components create a lightweight saw (11.4 lbs.) that is well balanced and jobsite tough
- Large cutting capacity (3"" at 90°) and bevel capacity (0°-50°) with positive stops at 22.5° and 45°
- Make quick, one-handed adjustments using large, rubberized levers
- Two built-in L.E.D. lights illuminate the line of cut for increased accuracy
- Electric brake for maximum productivity
- Built-in dust blower clears the line of cut for greater accuracy
- Power motor & 8-1/4 rips through with ease
- Highly recommended for contractors
- Highly durable and lightweight thanks to magesium components
- Effective dust blower to keep the cutting surface clear
- Two LED lights to help with visibility
- One of the most expensive corded circular saws
- Not much else to dislike about this model
2. DEWALT DWE575 Circular Saw
- Extremely lightweight (8.8 lbs.)
- Great cutting depth at 90°
- Feature packed
- Tough build quality
- Less power than some of its main competitors
- Not much else to dislike about this
The DWE575 from DEWALT has an anti-snag ball bearing lower guard that lets it cover the wood surface smoothly, even when there’s sawdust present. It has an integrated blower to keep your field of vision clear and tough cord technology for better protection against the cord pulling out.
It’s weight is the thing that stands out the most. At just under eight pounds, this is one of the lightest saws you can find on the market. It’s still plenty powerful and even gets an extra 2/16 inch blade capacity when compared to earlier models.
This is a moderately priced saw that’s great for people who don’t like power tools, if only because it’s so lightweight that it’s a more approachable power tool. Although, it’s powerful enough for a professional to use on larger jobs and can tackle almost any kind of DIY around the house.
3. SKIL 5280 Circular Saw - Best Entry Level
- Powerful 14-amp motor delivers 5,300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
- 7-1/4-in carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
- 51° bevel capacity for a wide variety of cuts.
- Arbor size: 5/8 inches, cord length: 6 feet
- Lightweight 6.95-lb design reduces fatigue
- Dust blower keeps line-of-cut free of sawdust for improved visibility.
- Anti-snag lower guard reduces snags when making narrow cut-offs
- One of the cheapest saw around
- Large foot for stability.
- Ergonomic handles with incorporated safety lock.
- Shaft lock for easy blade changes.
- Laser guide to help make straight cuts.
- Good choice for the casual user.
- Rip fence not included.
- No electric brake to stop the blade quickly.
- Short 6-foot long power cord.
- Not an ideal choice for professional-grade work.
This is a lightweight circular saw that’s perfect for small jobs around the house for hobby work or just some light home improvement of DIY projects. This probably isn’t the best choice for someone looking for a professional grade tool.
One thing that stands out about this circular saw is the laser guide, which makes it really easy to make straight cuts. This is a great feature for someone who is buying their first circular and needs a bit of extra help keeping their lines straight.
This is a very reasonably priced saw that comes with a framing blade so you can get started right away without having to worry about having a blade on hand. The sawdust removal system is also very handy and will help keep the cutting surface clear so you can make sure you’re being even more accurate.
If you’re looking for cheap circular saws then check out our budget circular saw guide here.
4. Bosch CS5 Circular Saw
- 15 Amps Power provides power to cut through 3/4″ Plywood and other dense materials
- Left Blade Design gives users the clearest line of sight for easy, accurate cutting
- Improved Spindle Lock allow for quick and easy blade change
- Aluminum Upper and Lower Guard
- On-Tool Wrench Storage
- 56° Bevel Capacity
- Clear viewing area of cut line
- Anti-Snag Lower Guard will not hang up when making bevel cuts
- Easy serviceable brushes
- Tough enough to cut through hardwoods with the right blade.
- Left bladed saw which provides great visibility to cutting service.
- Powerful enough for professional grade work.
- Very Good Cutting Depth
- Excellent Build Quality
- No Blade Brake
- No Cutline Blower
- Does not have a laser guide.
This is a powerful tool that has a lot of great features. The anti-snag guard lets you make cuts without having to physically advance the guard. It also has a spindle lock for easy blade changes and to keep them secure and tightly held in place.
Something unique about the Bosch CS5 is that it’s a left blade saw. This doesn’t really mean that they’re catering to left-handed people, it actually makes things a little better for even right-handed users. You can see the cut as you’re making it instead of having to wait to see the result when you’re through with the cut.
As far as how much you’ll pay for it, this is a moderately priced circular saw that’s got a lot of power. The left-sided blade is a great feature.
5. PORTER-CABLE PCE310 Circular Saw
- An ideal choice for the home DIYer
- Excellent value for money
- Great cutting depth
- Very lightweight
- Lowest bevel capacity of all the saws we reviewed making it less versatile.
- No bevel stops to help make difficult angles.
- Not made for heavy professional grade work.
- No Blade Brake
- No Cutline Blower
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How to buy a circular saw
If you already figured out exactly what is a circular saw, you probably have some questions when it comes to what you should be looking for when buying one. While they seem like a pretty basic tool, there are actually some things to consider before buying one. In this buying guide, we’re here to help break down all the things you need to know.
Circular saws can make a few different cuts:
Crosscuts – which go straight across the material
Rip cuts – which go the length of the material
Bevel cuts – which cut through the material at an angle
There are a few parts to a circular saw that you should be able to identify and understand the purpose of when looking to buy one:
- Blade guard – This is a safety feature that covers the blade when it’s not in use and retracts when you need to use the blade.
- Footplate – This is the part of the saw that sits on the material and given the saw stability.
- Bevel Capacity – This refers to the maximum angle that the saw can be set at. It’s usually around 50 degrees. The high the bevel capacity, the more versatile cuts you can make.
- Depth Adjustment – This allows you to cut through materials in a range of thicknesses. Blade capacity is the term given to how deep a saw can cut.
- Bevel Adjustment – In order to make angled cut, the bevel adjustment tilts the foot plate so the blade can easily remain set at a whatever angle you’re looking for.
- Dust blower – Effectively removes dust from the material so you can clearly see your cut line.
There are also two different designs:
Sidewinder and worm drive.
- Sidewinders are the traditional option where the motor is located almost parallel to the blade. This option tends to be a little lighter, compact, and versatile.
- Worm drive circular saws have a motor that’s positioned at a right angle to the blade. These are usually longer than sidewinders and have the capacity to be a little more powerful because of the way the gear position affects the torque. You can find powerful saws in both styles so it really boils down to what is most comfortable for you.
Read a detail comparison of both the sidewinder and worm drive saws here.
Another choice you’ll have to make is what kind of power source you prefer.
Cordless saws are great for when you need to do a job where you won’t easily be able to access a power socket or it isn’t necessarily safe to use an extension cord. They’re best suited for wood material because wood doesn’t require as much power as something tougher, which will ensure the battery lasts a long time.
If you’re considering a cordless saw, consider the life of the battery. Make sure you have a charged spare ready to go in case your saw stops working right in the middle of a job. Also, keep in mind that batteries and chargers are often not included in the purchase price so you may need to buy them separately.
Corded saws are best for tougher jobs because of the constant stream of power. They’re great for cutting through brick, metals, or wood materials on jobs that require a lot of continuous work. Power cords vary in length but it’s a safe bet that you’ll need to get an extension cord in order for a corded saw to access all jobs.
Some Important Things to Know
- The blade that you’ll need will depend on the job you’ll be doing. There are a few blade options:
- High-speed steel blades are durable and stay sharp for a long time.
- Carbide tipped blades are expensive but have carbide tips on their teeth which stays sharper longer than any other blade material.
- Tile cutting blades are specially designed to cut ceramic and other materials and often have diamond tipped blades.
- Masonry blades are abrasive to help cut through all varieties of brick and concrete.
- Power is measured by amps with corded saws and volts with battery operated ones. The high the number, the more powerful the saw is. How much power you need your saw to have depends on the length of the jobs you’ll be doing and what the material you’ll be working with is.
- An electric brake is a feature that can quickly stop the saw blade from rotating in as little as 2 seconds. While this isn’t a necessary feature, it’s a really good one to look for if you’re a novice or safety is one of your top priorities when choosing a circular saw.
- Some circular saws come with a laser guide on board, which is a beam of light that is projected onto the material to be used as a guide so a straight cut can be made.
Now that you’ve read our buying guide and circular saw reviews, you should be able to decide which one will work best for the kind of jobs you’re working on.
Consider the power of the saw and the kind of material you’ll be working with, plus take into account any added safety features you need. This will help you find the perfect circular saw for your workshop.
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