TOP 10 Best Circular Saws: Comparison Table
Best Overall: Best Ergonomics - Makita Magnesium 5007MG Review
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
- 1-year warranty
- Increased accuracy
- Powerful 15amp motor delivers 5,800 RPM
- Well balanced
Convenient: Tough + Durable - DEWALT Circular Saw with Electric Brake Review
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
- Comes with a strong, patented 15-amp motor
- Ergonomically designed and weighs just 8.8 pounds
- Strong steel blade with carbide tip
- Has an electric brake and integrated dust blower
- Comes with a durable storage bag with a metal rim and plastic blade cradle
Lightweight: Porter Cable Circular Saw Review
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, saw weighs 9 pounds while its aux handle creates a comfortable and clear line of sight.
Why We Like It
- Durably built but lightweight
- Aux handle gives a comfortable grip
- The 15-amp motor produces 5,500 RPM
- Strong enough for most applications
Compact Circular Saw: SKILSAW Sidewinder Review
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.
- Includes a wrench and 24-tooth carbide blade
- 10 feet long cord
- The 15-amp motor delivers 5,300 rpm
- Lightweight at 8.6 lbs., but durably built
- Depth adjustment lever doesn't work well
Great Cordless Model: BLACK+DECKER Cordless 20V Review
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.
- Comes with Black + Decker's 2-year limited warranty
- Includes a charger and 20V lithium-ion battery
- Fast cutting 12T carbide blade
- Easily make depth adjustments
- Lightweight with commendable battery life
- Doesn't come with Allen wrench
- Complaints of the blade burning through wood
- The battery lasts only 10-20 minutes after 4 hours of charging
Small Yet Powerful: Rockwell Versacut Ultra-Compact Review
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 cut line devoid of dust for better visibility and cleaner cut. Its pivoting metal guard accommodates plunge cuts while lock-off switch prevents an accidental start.
- Powerful and accurate enough to work in places other saws can’t reach
- Has a 10ft cord, carry case, an edge guide, and a three-blade plate
- Laser guide helps cut through various materials
- Ergonomically designed with a no-load speed of 3,500 rpm
- Dust extraction adaptor keeps cut line clean
- Complaints of the handle being a bit too big for comfort
- Can’t make bevel cuts
- The thin blade tends to heat up while cutting thick material
Improved Dust Blower: SKIL 5180-01 Review
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 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.
- Lightweight but with a 14-amp motor
- Have a power-on indicator and a wrench in the foot
- Spindle lock makes changing blades easier
- Dust blower provides for accurate cuts
- Guarded trigger prevents accidental starts
- Made in China
- Complaints of a flimsy base that's not flat, solid or secure
- No dust collection port
Easy To Handle: Ryobi Cordless Circular Saw Review
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 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.
- Rips through most woods at 4,700 rpm
- Easy-grip even in slippery conditions
- The easy depth and beveling angle adjustments
- Extra side handle
- Battery and charger not included
- Great performance only in small projects
5-Year Warranty: Milwaukee Tilt-Lok Circular Saw Review
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 cord tidily wrapped up. The saw has an adjustable locking and tilting main but soft-grip handle.
- The 15-amp motor produces 5,800 rpm
- Cuts practically all types of DIY project wood
- Lightweight but powerfully built
- Easy to use
- Comes with a wrench, case and a 5-year warranty
- Does not have a break
- Complaints of receiving saw covered in sawdust
Safe & Durable: Bosch 15 amp Review
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°.
- A powerful 15-amp motor
- A blower clears dust
- Has a strong magnesium footplate
- Weighs just 10.2 lbs., and comes with a carrying bag
- On-tool wrench makes for quick blade changes
- Height adjustment knob breaks off after a few months of home use
- Complaints of safety guard switch breaking
Buyers Guide: All You Need to Know About The Best Circular Saw
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.
How to Choose the Best Circular Saw?
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:
- The steel ones are the cheapest. But they tend to dull quickly especially if used on hardwood. High-speed steel versions are harder and last longer.
- Carbide-tipped blades are expensive because of the carbide-tipped teeth. This, however, is why and how they stay sharp longer than steel or high-speed steel blades.
- Tile-cutting ones are ideal for cutting ceramic tile, with better versions having diamond-tipped teeth.
- Masonry blades are made of abrasive material, perfect for cutting masonry materials like concrete, brick and cinder block.
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.
Ease of Use
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.
Battery or Power Cord
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:
- Versatility Cordless versions like the Dewalt cordless circular saw adds versatility to your work. You can work in places with no easy access to electrical outlets, and where it’s difficult working with cords.
- Blade Cordless models generally have a smaller blade than the corded versions, enough for most household applications. However, a corded model is better if you do industrial or professional work.
- Power Cordless models are usually less powerful and lighter than the corded models, meaning you end up with less work fatigue. It, however, is important that you keep its battery fully charged and ready for use when you need it. Corded models are more powerful, without worry about it running low on charge because it’s connected to a power outlet. This is why they are better for industrial and professional applications.
- Portability Portability is the main advantage of cordless circular saws, and why it is made using lighter materials to reduce weight. However, as portability is not a matter with corded versions, they usually come with the best-cast iron shoes. These shoes are resilient against fall damage, unlike those with lesser shoes like aluminum which get easily damaged. Also remember that corded devices provide limited movement where you can move around only as long as the cord permits.
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.
LED Work Light
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.
The Cut Depth and Its Measurement
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 Capacity and Adjustment
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.
Best Circular Saws Types
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.
Best Circular Saw FAQ
How to Use a Circular Saw?
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:
- Wear eye and ear protection
- Adjust the blade and ensure its guard is in place and working properly
- Clamp the piece to work surface so that both hands are free
- Start a saw and carry it to the material to cut
- Prevent both sections from pinching and binding blade
- Push the blade through so that pieces cut and fall
How to Change a Circular Saw Blade?
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.
How to Rip Narrow Boards with a Circular Saw?
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.
How to Cut Straight with a Circular Saw?
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.
What is the Best Size Circular Saw?
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.
What is the Advantage of a Worm Drive Circular Saw?
A worm drive circular saw offers advantages like:
- Increased power and torque
- User side blade makes it easier for right-handers to see and follow lines
- An ergonomically designed heavy handle
- Smooth gears
What is the Best Circular Saw Blade for Plywood?
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.
Our Recommendations for 2020
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 2020. 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.
- 1 TOP 10 Best Circular Saws: Comparison Table
- 1.1 Best Overall: Best Ergonomics - Makita Magnesium 5007MG Review
- 1.2 Convenient: Tough + Durable - DEWALT Circular Saw with Electric Brake Review
- 1.3 Lightweight: Porter Cable Circular Saw Review
- 1.4 Compact Circular Saw: SKILSAW Sidewinder Review
- 1.5 Great Cordless Model: BLACK+DECKER Cordless 20V Review
- 1.6 Small Yet Powerful: Rockwell Versacut Ultra-Compact Review
- 1.7 Improved Dust Blower: SKIL 5180-01 Review
- 1.8 Easy To Handle: Ryobi Cordless Circular Saw Review
- 1.9 5-Year Warranty: Milwaukee Tilt-Lok Circular Saw Review
- 1.10 Safe & Durable: Bosch 15 amp Review
- 2 Buyers Guide: All You Need to Know About The Best Circular Saw
- 2.1 How to Choose the Best Circular Saw?
- 2.2 Best Circular Saws Types
- 3 Best Circular Saw FAQ
- 3.1 How to Use a Circular Saw?
- 3.2 How to Change a Circular Saw Blade?
- 3.3 How to Rip Narrow Boards with a Circular Saw?
- 3.4 How to Cut Straight with a Circular Saw?
- 3.5 What is the Best Size Circular Saw?
- 3.6 What is the Advantage of a Worm Drive Circular Saw?
- 3.7 What is the Best Circular Saw Blade for Plywood?
- 4 Our Recommendations for 2020