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A circular saw is an essential, heavy-duty tool for any serious woodworker / DIYer.
It’s designed to cut straight lines, and most have an adjustable base plate to cut those straight lines at an angle.
This guide breaks down the some of the best circular saws on the market today.
We have made sure to include a range – from budget to top of the range.
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In a Rush?
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
Best Circular Saws with Reviews
Here's a list of the best circular saws we found on the market today:
1. DEWALT DWS535 Worm Drive Circular Saw
Not so Good
DEWALT is one of the most trusted names when it comes to power tools and the DWS535 lives up to that same reputation of quality. It has a ribbed magnesium base plate that will not bend. The base plate also has mounting points to attach a crosscut guide that can be purchased separately.
The thing that this model has that makes it unique and the reason why it’s our favorite is its motor. This is a powerful saw, able to cut through almost anything you can throw at it. It’s great for long professional jobs. The motor won’t bog down with thick, hard wood.
This is the most expensive model on our list, but if you need a reliable heavy duty piece of equipment you can trust on big jobs, this is it. This might be too much for you if you only need it occasionally, but it might still be worth the investment because it will last a really long time.
There aren’t a lot of things to complain about with this saw. It’s a little heavy so it might be difficult to use for long periods of time. Changing the blade is not straightforward at first and the instructions aren’t particularly clear so you might have to look elsewhere. But once you get this up and going, it will not disappoint. In our opinion, this is the best circular saw you can buy.
2. Makita 5007F Circular Saw
Not so Good
This is a small but powerful saw that can cut through a lot of materials without getting bogged down, including metal, pipes, wood, and tile. While a tile saw is the preferred tool to cut tile, with the right diamond blade, this circular saw also get the job done.
The base plate is made of a durable aluminum that will stay flat and last a long time. It provides a lot of stability which enables you to be more accurate with your cuts.
What stands out the most about this option is how much performance you get for what you’ll pay for it. It’s competitively priced and performs just as good as a lot of saws that are much more expensive.
We’re calling this one our best value because you really get a lot for what you’ll pay for it. Also, it has a really high-speed motor for a fairly smooth cut. For safety, there’s an upper and lower blade guard to protect your hands during both straight and bevel cuts.
One downside to this saw is it does not have any kind of speed control, but it’s still able to get most jobs done quickly and easily. Another thing to keep in mind is this saw has no electric brake so just be careful when removing it from the wood. Also, if you purchase the base version of this tool, you don’t get a lot of accessories that come with it.
3. Black & Decker BDCCS20B Circular Saw
Not so Good
The Black & Decker BDCCS20B has a powerful motor and a 5 ½” blade that makes it great and effective at performing everyday jobs around the house or in a workshop. This probably isn’t the best choice for a professional or a contractor as it’s not really made to perform heavy duty jobs. This one is the best cheap circular saw.
What stands out about this saw is how lightweight and portable it is. At only 6 lbs, it’s one of the lightest circular saws that we reviewed. It’s also cordless, which means you can take it anywhere without worrying about extension cords or keeping the cord out of the way.
This is a very reasonably priced tool and is a great buy if you keep in mind what it was made for. This isn’t something that’s going to get you through years on a worksite. But if you need something for a one time home project or ongoing small DIY projects, it’s an effective tool at a reasonable price.
One of the negatives is something you have to worry about with any cordless tool: battery life. You should get about 30 – 45 min of work time with each charge. Plan your jobs around that time frame or plan to have an extra charged battery with you so you can keep on working.
4. Bosch CS5 Circular Saw
Not so Good
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, if you can get used to the sawdust.
One downside to the left handed blade is that the sawdust is blown toward the user, which can make things a little messy. Using the left sided blade also takes a little getting used to if you’ve only ever used right sided blades, but once you get used to it, you’ll see the benefits.
5. Makita 5477NB Hypoid Saw
Not so Good
For anyone working with serious lumber on a regular basis, this is a great model that has both reliability and power. If you’re a DIYer who’s looking for something that will last you a long time, this is a great investment if you’re willing to spend a little more money. There are large levers for easy bevel adjustments and depth control. This saw is easy to handle and performs well.
One thing that stands out about this saw is the hypoid gear system have greater surface contact which provides more constant power making this saw reliable and easy to control. The oil bath technology and sealed gearbox translate to less maintenance, which is a nice feature, too.
This saw is moderately expensive, but it’s worth it if you’re looking for something that’s an investment. It’s easy to use and handle due to the oversized top handle and large adjustment levers and has a large cutting capacity.
One of the downsides of this model is that it’s pretty heavy at 14.3 lbs. The hypoid gear system and oversize handle to help with handling, but ultimately aren’t going to change the weight. This might be a little too much saw for some people.
6. DEWALT DWE575K Lightweight Circular Saw
Not so Good
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.
Blades are difficult to install and it doesn’t come ready with one in place so you’ll have that to figure out before you can start some work. The instructions are also a little difficult to understand so take your time trying to apply them to put the blade in when you first get this saw out of the box.
7. Makita 5007MG Circular Saw
Not so Good
This lightweight circular saw from Makita is great for DIYers and professionals. Its powerful motor can cut through some pretty tough wood. The blade wrench is attached, which is really convenient when it comes to change the blade. It also has a greater clearance between the rear handle and the blade case which makes it more comfortable for large or gloved hands.
One thing that stands out about this saw is the built-in LED light and effective dust blower, which combine to improve the visibility of the cutting surface and to make cuts more accurate. It’s a perfect balance of weight, function, power, and durability.
This saw us is on the high end of the price range for the saws in our reviews. Also included are a carbide tipped blade, rip fence, and a plastic case so you can get started using it right away. It’s powerful, durable saw that’s worth paying a little more for.
8. SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw
Not so Good
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.
One inconvenient thing about this particular saw is that the power cord is only 6 feet long, which doesn’t leave you a lot of room to play with. It’s not an insurmountable problem but it is worth mentioning. There’s also no LED light and no electric brake to stop the blade quickly. Also, it has a steel baseplate which isn’t quite as durable as one made of aluminum or magnesium and can bend if dropped.
9. DEWALT DCS391B Circular Saw
Not so Good
For a lightweight, portable circular saw that’s ideal for small to medium-sized projects, this cordless option from DeWalt is worth a look. It has a brake that stops the blade almost instantly for added safety.
The slide on battery design and rubber comfort grip make this circular saw especially ergonomic and comfortable to use. The design and the fact that it’s so lightweight make it easy to use for long periods of time without your hand getting fatigued.
This is a reasonably priced saw and performs very well, but keep in mind you will have to buy the battery and charger separately. This is the bare tool version, although you can find this tool with a battery pack included. However, if you already have Dewalt’s 20V MAX battery packs for another tool, this tool is compatible and you won’t have to spend any additional money.
As with any battery operated tool, it’s important to keep an eye on the charge while you’re working. If you don’t have a backup battery charged, you can really get set back in your work waiting for the batteries to be ready to go again.
10. PORTER-CABLE PC15TCS Circular Saw
Not so Good
This saw has a lower guard the gives minimal resistance so it can cut really smoothly while still offering some protection to your hand. The effective dust chute helps with accuracy as it removes debris from the cutting surface, helping you see the blade and the cut a little better. The dust chute works well, blowing debris away from the user which is an issue for some other saws we reviewed.
Something that really stands out about this saw is how much power you get for the price. It’s a great saw for jobs around the home and DIY projects but is lacking some of the features that would make it perfect for bigger jobs, like a higher bevel capacity and easy bevel stops. Still, it has the power you’ll need to do most jobs that will come up for home improvement and DIYs.
The price is very reasonable and worth every penny. It’s fast and effective enough to cut through almost anything you’d want to use it on without bogging down.
While there’s a lot to love about this saw, it does have a few flaws. The bevel only goes up to 45 degrees which make it a little less versatile than other saws that go to 50 or above. It also doesn’t come with a rip fence or carrying bag or a laser guide, all of which are nice things to have if this if your first circular saw purchase.
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 drives 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.
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.