Are you tired of lugging the saw around your workshop during your DIY projects? Do you wish there was something easy to use to cut materials like ceramic tiles and steel? If yes, then you should check out the best circular saw.
These are no ordinary tools. They come with various blades and sizes to choose from and use for your different DIY project materials and requirements. In fact, this is now the tool practically all professional handymen and even DIY enthusiasts have in their toolbox.
If the curiosity bug has bitten you, then the next few paragraphs should satiate it. We here present everything you need to know about the absolute best circular saw 2020.
Home Maker Guide created for informational purposes only. Thus, we neither endorse you in any way to buy specific products in our reviews, nor making you act like it’s written in our guides. We are reserving the rights for you to make your personal decision.
ARCHIE ADAMSEditor-in-Chief of the Home Maker Guide
Makita weighing just 10.6 lbs is a well-balanced tool with tough magnesium parts that has a powerful 15-amp motor and delivers 5,800 rpm for optimal performance and durability.
Two built-in LED lights to illuminate to create a clean and accurate cut while a ferrite core filters electrical noise. It also makes positive stops at 22.5° and 45°, thanks to its large cutting and bevel capacity.
Why We Like It
Dewalt portable saw weighs just 8.8 pounds, making it convenient to carry around. It comes with an electric brake and an integrated dust blower at the front. Its compact 15amp motor cuts through the toughest materials.
Dewalt comes with a 57° beveling capacity with positive stops at 45° and 22.5°. This saw has a tough cord, a 100% gluten-free steel blade and carbide tip teeth.
Why We Like It
Porter heavy-duty circular saw is strong enough to cut through most applications. Its 15-amp motor produces a lot of speed and power at 5,500 RPM. It is also durable, thanks to its magnesium shoe, upper and lower metallic guards.
Saw comes with a spindle lock and depth adjustment for quick adjustments. Though durably built, the saw weighs 9 pounds while its aux handle creates a comfortable and clear line of sight.
Why We Like It
Skilsaw circular saw features prove it was built for a professional. It's lightweight at 8.6 lbs. This reduces work fatigue while increasing productivity.
Its 15-amp motor is perfect for making demanding cuts. Being a dual-field motor that dissipates heat, it remains cool while you work. There's no worry about a cord hanging on sheet materials while working because of its 10 feet long.
This saw can be used on soft, hard and engineered wood. for applications like decking, ceilings, siding, and framing. Integrated dust blower helps keep the line of cut clear.
This is a cordless, battery-operated Black & Decker circular saw. Its high torque motor and 51/2” fast cutting 12T carbide blade quickly goes through various materials.
Thanks to its tool-free depth of the cut feature, making depth adjustments is so easy. The tool offers bevel adjustments with detents at 45° and 90°. It comes with a charger and 20V Lithium-ion battery and is backed by Black+Decker's 2-year limited warranty.
Rockwell Versacut is a multi-functional circular saw that cuts various materials like tile, wood and sheet metal. It’s ergonomically designed for a better and more comfortable single-handed grip.
The tool has a powerful 4.0 amp motor with a no-load speed of 3,500 rpm. Its built-in laser guide helps align the perfect cut while its 10 ft cord provides for added movement.
The tool’s dust extraction adaptor keeps the cut line devoid of dust for better visibility and cleaner cut. Its pivoting metal guard accommodates plunge cuts while the lock-off switch prevents an accidental start.
Skil's powerful motor and speed make it a favorite choice amongst DIY enthusiasts. It runs on a 14-amp motor that's just right to cut plywood and two-by-fours for your project.
It's relatively light for its power and performance, which in turn reduces user fatigue. Its power-on indicator reminds unit is switched on while blades are easily changed with the spindle lock and wrench.
Its dust blower keeps a line of cut free from sawdust for better accuracy while guarded trigger minimizes accidental start-ups. The saw comes inclusive of a 20-tooth carbide blade and wrench.
The Ryobi Cordless saw is a powerful, portable, and accurate power tool. It’s safe and convenient in use, thanks to its rubber overgrip and an extra handle on the left side. The grip gives you control even in slippery conditions while the laser guide lets you clearly see while working.
The unit comes inclusive of a 5 ½” blade with carbide tips and a blade wrench to easily switchblades.
If you are looking for a versatile circular saw, Milwaukee Tilt-Lok may be just right. It's made in China, but durably built and easy to use. It weighs just 10.4 pounds, and includes a blade, wrench, case and saw.
It runs on a 15 amp motor that produces 5,800 rpm. The spindle lock mechanism makes changing blades easy while the quick-lock cord keeps the cord tidily wrapped up. The saw has an adjustable locking and tilting main but soft-grip handle.
Are you looking for a powerful, lightweight circular saw that makes perfect right angle cuts? If yes, this Bosch 15 amp saw may be what you need. It delivers 5,600 no-load rpm.
It’s known for fast and smooth cuts while high-strength magnesium footplate provides for steadiness and precision. The tool has adjustable bevel and depth levels, and a soft-grip handle to cut various angles.
All this comes in a 10.2 lbs. body, including an anti-snag lower guard for the easy-to-read depth gauge. There's also a blower for dust management and precise cuts and an on-tool wrench for changing blades. The tool features a 56 bevel capacity with positive detents at 22.5° and 45°.
Some of your basic doubts should be cleared about buzz saws by now. This here is a buying guide to help you select the best circular saw for both professionals and amateurs.
Now that you know about the different types, here are the different features to help you select the best circular saw.
It’s the blade size that separates the battery powered and compact saws from full-sized ones. Most of them with a 71/4” blade is cheap and gives a cutting depth of 2 3/8” to 3”.
That’s enough to cut through most plywood and even stacked 2×4. However, this is not a cutting depth for home use. Cordless models with a 61/2” blade are better for cutting plywood and 2x4s for residential and DIY projects.
While bigger, cheaper blades offer greater convenience and lower cost of operation, the biggest difference lies in the cutting bevel depth. Any blade loses maximum depth at an angle that’s not 90° and is more if farther away from 90°.
The larger blades have deeper cuts at the same angle than smaller ones and complete most projects in a single pass. However, you may have to go back and make two cuts while cutting bevels with a smaller blade. In short, it’s better to use smaller blades for cutting something really thin and something bigger for cutting bevels.
This is the maximum depth a saw achieves where larger blades give deeper cuts. 71/4” is the most common diameter but those measuring 6” or more can cut through 2” dimensional lumber at 45°angle in a single pass. Generally, smaller blade models weigh less and are easier to control.
Look for circular saws with a shaft or spindle lock that prevent a blade from moving and make changing them so easy.
They come in different materials. So you can use them for different applications:
This is an important feature, especially for professionals. There may not be many power variants, but there is a massive difference between a 10 and 15amp motor.
Occasional users can use a 10-12-amp motor for standard wood cutting. However, professionals need more powerful models, with about 15-amp motors, to reduce downtime and increase productivity.
Obviously lighter saws are more convenient to carry and reduce worker fatigue. It’s generally the lighter ones with a smaller blade capacity that are easier to control.
Besides, worm drive saws are usually heavier than sideliners. The extra weight proves advantageous for heavy applications, which is why it’s better to choose based on expected usage. Anything you are comfortable using with maximum productivity is a better buy.
It’s difficult finding out a saw’s ease of use online. It’s better to visit and check at a hardware store personally. You get an idea of the model you are comfortable holding and using and if required, can buy one online. If you can’t personally visit a hard store, then at least choose from easy-to-use models.
Circular saws are divided into corded and cordless based on power source- battery or a cord plugged into an electrical socket.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages, which are compared below:
You basically have to choose between the two based on your personal preferences and usage.
If you are looking for something durable, avoid those with too many plastic parts. Not only are they fragile, but they also tend to vibrate a lot. While some manufacturers may put buffers over them to reduce the vibrations, they are prone to wear and tear. Models having more metal parts are always a better option.
There are additional features you may find in some models.
Saws tend to create lots of dust that covers your cut-line, making it difficult for you to see and work. A dust blower blows the dust away while cutting and is usually paired with an LED work light or laser.
Electric brakes reverse the saw’s current to stop the blade when the trigger is released quickly. Some brakes stop the blade in a few seconds. This is a handy safety feature because it prevents unwanted accidents.
This is a small flashlight that switches on even if the trigger is engaged a bit. This simplifies seeing the cut-line especially if you are outdoors where shadows can make the line hard to see.
Buzz saws are best for cutting smaller materials. While it may cut thicker materials, it’s not neat. The larger 71/4” units generally make it through bevel cuts with some room to spare at 45°. The smaller ones may give a really close cut.
This is why you should be able to adjust the saw’s cut depth as quickly as possible if you plan to make lots of beveled cuts. Many models let you make changes with one hand, others may need more effort.
Bevel cuts are cuts made with the blade not perpendicular to the material, a required feature in a circular saw. However, some do a better job and are a better buy, especially those where bevel can be easily changed.
There are basically two types – sidewinder and worm drive, with their respective features, pros, and cons.
These tools are most common and also referred to as direct drive or in-line. They are lightweight and compact, but also durable enough to endure everyday use in most average homeowner’s toolbox.
It works smoothly and efficiently with the blade directly attached to the motor’s driveshaft. It’s versatile. It has a motor and spur gears keeping the motor in line with the spinning blade. This is also why it spins rather fast, about 6000 RPM.
The blade is on the right with the weight on the left. It makes the tool compact and lightweight. However, its weight lies on the board instead of above the cut and makes seeing the cutline difficult.
Sidewinders are however safer because both hands stay a distance from the blade. Besides, they are easier to use, even by amateurs.
These saws use a worm gear to run the blade and are longer than compact sidewinders. Unlike sidewinders, the blade is on the left, and most weight on the right.
This is why they are generally heavier, more expensive and need more frequent lubrication. They are a better option for regular and heavy-duty use. Their design makes smaller cuts difficult to manage; however, it does let you see the cut you make. Their length makes wide dense lumber stack and plunge cutting easier than with the in-line models.
These saws work on about the same principle as spiral bevel gears, making them more efficient than worm drive versions. They are quieter but stronger with different oil management and heat dissipation methods. However, the micro sliding across the gear teeth usually reduces mechanical efficiency.
Unlike the worm drive worm-shaped gears, the gears here are conically shaped. With the motor parallel with the blade, power gets directly transferred to the blade, lowering the RPM while increasing torque. The increased torque is the saw’s major advantage, which is helpful for the stronger gear assembly.
Hypoid machines also offer an advantage while cutting. Its length and handle position give longer cuts and a different feel but it’s heavier than any other type. However, the weight can be used to your advantage while cutting lumber resting on foot.
Most hypoid saws have gears with oils. Its left side blade doesn’t need frequent oiling or maintenance. While they are not so easy to use, they are easy to learn.
There are two types of cut you can make: crosscuts across grain, and rip cuts with the grain. It doesn’t matter what you use, you cut your wood in the same manner:
First, unplug your power tool or remove the battery. Then press the arbor-lock button down and rotate the blade till the locking mechanism engages. Now remove arbor nut and hold the blade in place with the blade wrench and loosen the nut by turning the wrench in the direction of the blade cuts.
Remove old blade after retracting saw’s upper blade guard. Then slip the new one into the arbor and ensure saw teeth face the rotation direction. If you are apprehensive, there’s an arrow on guard to guide you.
Tighten arbor nut using wrench till its snug. Don’t overtighten nut because it will only make it difficult to loosen next time you have to change.
In case of models with diamond-shaped arbors, straddle blade over two wood blocks and then use a hammer or punch to remove the diamond insert from its center.
First, select a blade designed to cut the type of board you need. Use something with a special non-stick coating for high moisture content pressure-treated lumber because it reduces friction.
Place the wood on a slab or a solid platform. It should be thicker than the wood you plan to rip. Clamp sole to the platform at two points. Use some wood pieces to hold it tightly in place.
Next affix an edge guard for a uniform cut from one end to the other. Make sure blade depth is set so that it barely goes through the wood. You can make a reference cut first to make changes. Adjust saw’s width and then start ripping. Do everything while wearing required safety gear.
The best way to cut straight is by clamping down material using something straightedge like an aluminum carpenter’s level. There should be some offset for the blade’s kerf and be careful with the saw’s power.
Start cutting straight, while ensuring the power cord is away from your cutting path. Most importantly, make sure saw is plugged into a GFCI-protected outlet.
There is no definite size because it depends on the depth of your cut and the blade size. Different models have different blades. You first ascertain the depth and then decide between perhaps a 10-inch circular saw or 20-inch circular saw. Circular saws generally have a 7 ¼” size blade. However, you can use a table or compound miter saw if you need something with bigger blades. It’s not a good idea to buy something bigger than the recommended one.
A worm drive circular saw offers advantages like:
They are plywood blades, made of many small, high-speed teeth, about 160. It’s thanks to these small teeth that saw gives a cleaner cut on both sides. Besides, it generates less dust and it tends to cut straight because of increased contact with cut.
These best circular saw reviews, recommendations and buying guide of our team homemakerguide in choosing the top-rated instrument.
Makita Magnesium 5007M is the best circular saw 2021. It is a lightweight tool that has a powerful 15-amp motor. Two built-in LED lights provide good illumination. Bevel cuts are easy with this tool, and you can use it with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.