Whether you’re a contractor, carpenter, or just a regular Joe with a knack for DIY projects, you will benefit from quality tools, and circular saws are among the most common power tools - with multiple uses, professionals and amateurs all around the world agree that they are a true must-have in any tool collection.
With the proper blade, circular saws can cut through wood, steel, masonry or ceramic tile - which makes them a powerful ally in any renovation project. If you were thinking about getting one, we invite you to take a look at this article.
Next up we will share with you our recommendations on the best circular saws available out there.
Learn what our picks are for the best circular saws this year, read about how to best choose and use your saw and master your projects like never before!
Best Circular Saw Reviews
Cuz-D Industries SFS85
#1 Recommendation: SKILSAW SPT77W-01 Circular Saw
You’ve probably heard of Skilsaw: it is probably the best power tool producer ever, and definitely one of the most appreciated brands in the US. The original worm drive from Skilsaw has often been referred to as “the saw that built America”.
And it keeps getting better. This powerful and durable saw comes with jobsite-proven, pro-focused features. The Skilsaw SPT77W-01 Aluminum Worm Drive Circular saw is affordable and a plug-and-play, really.
Build and Technology:
On the lightweight spectrum at only 19 lbs (dimensions: 19.5 x 6.8 x 7.2 inches) , this is the best worm drive circular saw - it’s equipped with a worldclass Dual-Field motor, engineered specifically for saws.
Skilsaw’s Cut-Ready trademark technology is used to provide accurate depth measurements, while its 51° bevel is meant to allow users to successfully make a wide variety of cuts.
At 15 Amp power, you can go through more lumber in less time, and the anti-snag lower guard will make even those small cut pieces easy to handle and manage smoothly.
Not only is it a worthwhile investment, but an affordable one as well - this is definitely the best circular saw for the money!
- Affordable Skilset brand quality
- Easy to use
- Still heavy for a lightweight circular saw
- Doesn’t come with a case, so storage might be difficult
- It’s corded - limited mobility
#2 Recommendation: Makita 5007FA Circular Saw
Are you a framer, builder, mason or siding contractor? Then Makita 5007FA 7-1/4 Inch Circular Saw is ideal for you!
Build and Technology:
Only 13.3 lbs (dimensions: 14.4 x 9.7 x 10.6 inches), it relies on a technologically advanced centrifugal fan and a baffle system for efficient cooling of the motor, not compromising on the power though; you will appreciate the 15.0 AMP motor, which delivers 5,800 RPM.
The markings on depth and bevel scales are large and easy to read, and the two built-in L.E.D. lights illuminate the line of cut, giving you the cutting accuracy you need.
Easy blade replacement is ensured by a shaft lock and the stability that comes from the flat motor housing design. This circular saw has a heavy gauge aluminum wraparound base for improved durability and will allow you to make straighter cuts, while its built-in dust blower clears the line of cut.
- Low guard design
- Large cutting capacity
- Electric brake
- Spare parts are easy to get
- Long life-cycle
- Works well in extreme weather conditions
- Doesn’t come with a case, so storage might be tricky
- Cords are easily damageable
#3 Recommendation: Cuz-D Industries SFS85 Straight Flush Cut Circular Saw
Cuz-D Industries SFS85 Straight Flush Cut Circular Saw is one of the best circular saws you can get right now. It is the best corded, worm drive saw and its versatility will blow you away.
While it may not seem as the most economic option, if you do have the money do not hesitate to buy this saw, and you will find that it’s absolutely more than worth it - the return on investment will exceed your expectations!
Build and Technology:
Weighing only 14.3 pounds ( dimensions: 20.5 x 13 x 5 inches) and with a voltage of 115 volts, this extraordinary circular saw has a 65 degree bevel capacity, which will make hard to cut angles just a bad memory of before you had it, while keeping you safer with its trigger- actuated lower guard.
It can even be used as a jamb saw to a 3/8" capacity, thanks to the flush cutting capacity with zero clearance. The blade guard features a patent pending trigger to keep your hands clear at all times, while the handle pivots 90 degrees, making the saw very comfortable to use in any position.
It has a 3-1/8" cut capacity under the deck and a 1-9/16 nose plunge capacity. The 15 amp 99.2 in lbs of torque make it stronger than all other saws in the class. The all magnesium body keeps the overall weight down to lessen fatigue during use. It comes standard with 28 tooth anti-kick carbide tipped blade.
- Pricy - if you’re not planning to use it to full capacity it may be too expensive
- Corded - limited mobility
#4 Recommendation: Makita XSL02Z Compound Miter Saw
If you’re looking to take your home improvement project to the next level both figuratively and literally, then you will need to count on the best cordless circular saw to do it!
Makita, who are widely known for brushless motor technology and battery innovation, combine the best of both worlds to bring us the Makita XSL02Z lithium-ion powered circular saw, the best in its category!
Build and Technology:
This is a heavier tool, at 28.8 pounds (dimensions: 25.7 x 17 x 17.5 inches), powered by two 18V Lithium-Ion batteries for a total of 36V of power and performance.
To top this, it comes with the efficient BL Brushless Motor by Makita which delivers 5,700 RPM, thus ensuring fast cutting, and the exclusive trademark Automatic Speed Change technology comes to aid you in properly managing speed and torque for the best results under load.
Additionally, you need not worry about those large lumber cuts - Makita XSL02Z’ s cutting capacity is 2" x 12" at 90 degrees and 2" x 8" at 45 Degrees, while its 4-Steel Rail Sliding System increases rigidity and allows you to produce superior cuts. Last but not least, it features miters - adjustable 0-47 Degree left and 0-57 Degree right; bevels 0-45 Degree left and 0-5Degree right.
- Cordless - mobile
- Lithium-ion batteries are easily rechargeable
- Top notch accuracy
- Compact - Easy to store
- Dual battery
- Single bevel
- Some might find it heavy to carry
- The dust bag collects less debris than is produced
#5 Recommendation: Ryobi CSB135L Circular Saw
Ryobi is a Japanese power tool producer whose goal is to make pro-featured power tools affordable, and that is exactly what they provide. They provide excellent quality tools for the budget- constrained handyman keen on DIY home improvement.
If you are this handyman, then check out the features of Ryobi CSB135L circular saw - one of the best circular saws you can get for really affordable money.
Build and Technology:
This is an extremely lightweight circular saw, weighing only 7.35lbs. It features an adjustable bevel - up to 51 degrees, ergonomic handles - improved with GRIPZONE overmold technology for optimum grip, and a laser alignment system allowing precise cuts.
This saw is a great choice for delivering straight, accurate cuts with precise depth control - 7-1/4 in. 20 tooth carbide tipped blade cuts through wood as well as composite materials.
The motor capacity is 14-Amp and able to provide up to 5,000 RPM, ensuring top performance, while the on-board wrench storage and spindle lock make for a fast and easy blade replacement. The stamped steel base resists damage during all-day use.
- Easy to use
- Very Light and compact
- Good price-quality ratio
- Ideal for DIY
- Plastic housing - easily damageable if you are not careful
- No debris collection system
- Not powerful enough for large professional projects
- Laser reported not to be on point
#6 Recommendation: SKILSAW SPT70WM-01 Circular Saw
There’s nothing like cutting 4x lumber in one pass- and you can do it with the cleverly named SAWSQUATCH worm drive circular saw - a world class quality circular saw from America’s favorite power tool producer, Skilsaw.
This saw is for the more serious projects you may have in your home. If you are on a budget, you might want to consider postponing your DIY project and saving up to get one of this, as you will not regret it.
Build and technology:
Its light-weightiness and durability are both ensured by the Magnesium construction, - only weighs 23.3lbs (dimensions: 25 x 8.8 x 13.5 inches), which is light for a worm drive saw.
It features a 15 amp dual-field motor specifically designed by Skilsaw for saws, for durable power during heavy use - delivers up to 4700RPM, and a 51 degree bevel which makes a wide variety of cuts possible, stopping at 0 and 45 degrees.
Cuts 4x cleanly and accurately in one pass. It comes equipped with a blade, so it’s ready to use straight out of the box. Absolutely perfect for your lumber-cutting needs. With this saw you will save energy and time without compromising quality even one bit.
- Skilsaw guarantee
- Easy to use
- Thin handle
Types of Circular Saws
Let’s go on and explore what types of circular saws exist and how you can choose the one which will best suit your needs.
Circular saws can be classified based on the type of motor that powers them - and their respective possible uses derived from that; you have your regular saw, or sidewinder, the worm drive saw and the trim saw.
Many carpenters have one or more of each saw, and use them for different applications. We will explain which are the main differences between the two styles, and speak about the pros and cons of each one.
Sidewinder Circular Saw:
The sidewinder circular saw’s motor is what is known as a spur gear; by its nature, the motor is found on the side of as it must be in-line with the blade, which usually places it on the left. Consequently, the blade spins fast - around 6000RPM. The motor position allows it to be compact and lightweight.
Additionally, the fact that the motor is on the left also means that the heavier part of the saw will be on the solid board side, and not the cut off end, which is ideal if you’re using a sawhorse. While that is an undeniable pro to it, it also means that you will not be able to see the cut line as well as you’d like, keeping it out of the line of sight.
It is the best choice for working overhead, and both your hands will be kept at a safe distance from the blade. Because it is light and compact, it will be easier for you to handle it and get the best results.
What to expect price-wise: A sturdy sidewinder starts at around $100. There are many saws you can buy for less, but they may not be as dependable, and may be prone to easier damage. Professional sidewinders, which are quieter and can cut through dense wood, usually revolve around $125 or up to $150.
Word-Drive Circular Saw:
With a worm drive saw, the motor is at the rear of the tool, and the power is transferred to the blade by a pair of gears which are oriented at a 90 degree angle to each-other.
This type of setup reduces the speed of the blade - which can reach around 4500RPM, while increasing the torque, making it a more powerful tool, which makes the worm drive style saw well-suited for heavy-duty use. These are longer and heavier than sidewinder saws and tend to be quieter. The motor is typically on the right side of the blade, as opposed to the sidewinder.
The worm drive design, with the blade on the right-hand side, puts the motor weight on the left side, and changes the way you install the blade. It does make it extra-easy to follow the cut line while cutting, but at the same time you may not find it as comfortable to handle if you’re used to working on sawhorses.
They are however ideal if you’re looking for a really powerful tool which can make cutting through wider stacks of lumber easier. With the right blade it can cut even through metal or concrete.
The blade depth is easily adjusted as can the cutting angle with a couple of thumb sets, and plunge cuts with a worm drive are easy to make, which makes it an ideal choice if you’re framing or doing major renovation jobs. Worm drive circular saws are usually the choice of professionals, and not really a suitable tool for beginners or inexperienced DIYers.
When it comes to prices, a worm drive saw will cost you considerably more than a sidewinder, starting at around $200.
Both types of saws can be either corded or cordless. If you do want mobility though and are planning to buy a cordless circular saw, you should expect to pay a little extra for the benefit.
Lastly, a trim saw is, as described by its name, the type of saw which you would use for trimming and finishing. It has a small blade, usually no more than 4”, and you can think of it as a mini-sidewinder. It is suited for cutting thinner materials.
Circular Saw Blade Types
Aside from the motor power, a great deal of what makes a circular saw is its blade, and it is important to also understand the different types of blade which you can choose from depending on your needs, in order to achieve the best results in your project. Here are a few types of blades:
Also known as diamond blades - Diamonds fixed to the edge of the blade allow cutting through tough material, such as tile and slate. They produce a clean finish. Work for either wet or dry applications, and some work for both scenarios.
Similar to continuous-rim blades, but with a serrated rim that cuts materials such as brick and concrete. They are more aggressive than diamond blades and don't leave as clean a finish. Most will do for dry cutting only, but some are appropriate for both wet and dry applications.
The name comes from the fact that they have a rim which is divided by gullets, much like those on a standard blade. They are faster than other blade types and can handle tough materials such as brick and concrete. They leave a rough finish.
Aside from materials such as brick or concrete, abrasive blades can cut through metals. Like the diamond blades, they don't have teeth. They’re made of abrasive materials like aluminum oxide or silicon carbide.
How To Choose The Best Circular Saw?
The best choice in any situation is an informed one, so the first step in choosing the right circular saw for you is getting educated. Take the time to read everything about it and learn the basics before you go shopping. Ask someone who is more experienced to share their knowledge.
We hope that this article has been helpful so far, and now that we’ve talked about the different types of circular saws and what various blade types you can choose from, we will teach you how you can choose the right circular saw to match your particular project needs.
Here are the most important things to keep in mind when looking for the best circular saw. Once you’ve done your research, ask yourself these questions:
What kind of material do I need to cut?
This question is crucial to determining what type of circular saw you will need, and what type of blade your work will require. Keep in mind that different density materials require different blades and cutting power/speed. A dependable circular saw will be powerful enough to cut through everything you need it, from wet to really dense lumber.
The motor shouldn’t be overwhelmed and the blade should not overheat. Otherwise, not only will the cutting be poor and inefficient, but you risk getting hurt. Blade speed is another thing you should consider. You will want to be able to control your saw as much as possible. In this respect, keep in mind that the motor rating is fairly important; the higher, the better.
High RPM of the blade comes from a powerful motor and it stands for better control of the cut. Control means that you will be able to cut through tougher materials without much hassle. Our picks for the most powerful saws: Makita 5007FA 7-1/4 Inch Circular Saw with Brake, at 5800RPM.
How long will you be using it?
On a daily basis, how long will your cutting sessions be? Based on the answer to this question combined with what type material you will be cutting, you should be able to determine the level of resistance your circular saw should best have.
Assessing the motor’s power may result a tricky task. Amps are a good indicator of the power a motor can draw, but not as much of the power it enforces on the blade. Pay attention to the torque instead, as it indicates the rotational force. Our recommendation is number 6 on the list, Cuz-D Industries SFS85 Straight Flush Multi-Function 8 1/2" Worm Drive Circular Saw.
What will your power supply be?
Will you have an outlet nearby? Or will you be taking your saw to a remote location and rely on batteries? Depending on your power supply preference you may need to choose a longer or shorter corded saw, or maybe you will have to go for a cordless circular saw after all.
However, if you are worried about the battery’s longevity, you might be compelled to get a charger if you don’t already have one, or keep some extra fully charged batteries handy just in case. Please consider all these issues when making a decision, so that you be completely satisfied with your choice in the end.
Our pick for the best cordless circular saw: Makita XSL02Z 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 7-1/2" Dual Slide Compound Miter Saw.
And for the best corded circular saw, check out number 1 and 6 on our list : SKILSAW SPT77W-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Aluminum Worm Drive Circular Saw and SKILSAW SPT70WM-01 15 Amp 10-1/4" Magnesium SAWSQUATCH Worm Drive Circular Saw.
Where will you store it?
Do you have enough space in your garage or backyard to store a heavy power tool? Maybe you should consider a saw that is more compact, or comes with its own case.
Remember that your circular saw storage is not only a matter of space, but where and how you store it will influence its longevity and well-functioning. Keep an eye out for stable, dry spaces where it is not in danger of falling off or absorbing moisture.
Where will you be working with it?
If you should decide to take your saw outside, you must be prepared for any type of weather. There are saws out there which are specifically designed to withstand extreme temperatures or even rain.
Take a look at our second recommendation above, the Makita 5007FA 7-1/4 Inch Circular Saw with Brake, which has been known to do well under unpredictable weather conditions.
How much are you willing to spend?
One of the most important factors in making any purchasing decision is the price. When it comes to circular saws, do your best not to compromise quality over price. Remember that a good saw starts at around $100, and anything below that will most probably not be as sturdy.
These are powerful cutting tools and there’s a lot of risk involved in getting a poor quality saw. Sometimes it’s best to wait until you’ve saved enough money to get a good quality saw- it might spare you from some unpleasant situations.
Take a look at our recommendation number 5, Ryobi CSB135L 14 Amp 7-1/4" Adjustable Electric Circular Saw. This is the best saw you can get for the money.
What is my best fit physically?
Another important thing to consider is your own characteristics and limits. Physical strength and whether you’re right or left-handed should play a major part in the choice you make.
We recommend that you pick up different saws and see how they feel. It’s crucial that you feel comfortable using it in order to make the best of your circular saw.
How To Use A Circular Saw?
Go for some goggles and gloves and always follow the instructions in the user manual. They are there for a reason. Make sure that the power source is disconnected before making any adjustments to the blade.
Keep a safe and efficient work environment for handling your circular saw. Use a sawhorse or a bench, and place them in such a way that the cut pieces will fall down. Otherwise they might buckle and blind the blade, resulting in a risky kickback.
To cut with precision, make markings on the wastage side, then line up the blade to the marking on the keep side. Before you slice, support the front of the saw shoe on the work piece, but keep the blade about an inch away from the material. Let the saw reach full speed before running it through the wood.
As a circular saw blade runs through wood, the fibers on top splinter off - a process known as tear-out. If appearance matters to you, place the good side on the ground when cutting. If you need to cut the piece face-up or if both sides will be displayed, take the time to score the cut line with a utility knife before you cut.
Running a saw blade through the face of a board can turn it back across the surface, so please take care to keep your body or the cord out of the blade’s range. Discharge the lever for the depth setting and drop the shoe under the blade.
Then, tighten up the lever just enough to keep the blade from dropping, without locking it all the way. Let the saw the saw reach full speed, then lift the guard, and gently push the body of the saw down to start cutting.
Lay sheets of plywood on 2x4s across sawhorses and position them to support both sides of the piece. Secure a strip of plywood or other straight material to the work piece at the proper distance to guide the saw shoe while cutting the line. Move alongside the plywood as you cut, holding the cord all the way through to make sure it doesn't get in the way.
Ripping wide lumber:
If your board is too wide for the saw shoe, try holding a narrow piece of wood between your thumb and forefinger, clamping your finger along the board’s edge, and butt the saw shoe against the edge of the wood piece as you push both along the board you’re cutting.
Blade guards might jam on abrupt bevel cuts, so make sure you carefully jab the guard lever with one finger to get it over the edge. Once you’ve started cutting, release the lever. Do not ever remove the guard, let it stay up all through the process.
Finally, we hope that this information will be helpful to you and wish you the best of luck in all your projects!