With more people taking up DIY projects and remodeling in their homes there is a demand for the kind of power tools that make the work easier. But how can you tell which is the best tool for the job?
The only practical way to cut large quantities and pieces of timber or sheet material is with a circular saw. So we have looked at what is available on the market so that you can choose the best circular saw for woodworking to suit your needs.
These are not cheap tools and the last thing you need is to pay out money for a flashy saw only to find that it doesn’t meet the requirements of your project.
So put your money away for the moment and let us take you through some of the best circular saws you can buy.
Our Top 3
This circular saw from Skil is a heavy duty and powerful tool. It has a 7 ¼ inch carbide-tipped blade which will handle most jobs that you throw at it. There is a spindle lock for easy blade changes.
Skil’s circular saw is powered by a 15 amp motor delivering 5300 revolutions per minute. It has a 51° bevel capacity with a positive stop at 45° for a wide variety of cuts.
A single beam laser makes straight cutting a lot easier and faster. When the saw is switched on there is a handy indicator light, and it also features a dust blower to keep sawdust out of your line of sight.
There is a safety lock/guarded trigger and a 12 month warranty covers the performance and quality of this circular saw from Skil. It weighs 8.7 pounds.
- 🏋️♂️Powerful 15 amp motor that operates at 5300 rpm
- 7 ¼ inch carbide tip blade
- Wide variety of bevel cuts available
- Safety lock/guarded trigger feature
- Dust blower for improved visibility
- Only a one year warranty
The DeWalt circular saw is cordless which makes it ideal for working on construction sites where access to power may be an issue. The lithium-ion battery offers 20 volts of power and 5500 rpm, maintaining speed under load.
It has a brushless motor and a 7 ¼ inch high speed steel blade which provides 2 to 9/16” depth cut and up to 57° bevel capacity.
A great safety feature on this DeWalt circular saw is the brake which prevents injury from things like kickback. The saw weighs just 8 pounds so is quite lightweight and has a 3 year limited warranty.
This circular saw comes in a handy carry bag with a 20 volt lithium-ion battery, fast charger and a blade changing wrench.
- Brushless motor providing 5500 rpm
- 7 ¼ inch high speed steel blade
- Maintains speed under load
- Bevel capacity up to 57°
- 2 to 9/16” cut depth
- Brake kit for safety
- You will need an extra battery to use while the other is charging
The lightweight design of this Black and Decker circular saw means you can work comfortably and in control for longer. The saw weighs just 7 pounds, so you can take it almost anywhere.
A powerful 13 amp motor makes cutting effective, and a laser guide improves accuracy and efficiency. Just follow the line for a perfectly straight cut.
To make changing the blade simple and quick there is a spindle lock and the corded design means that there is no limit on the runtime. You also have the ability to make precision angled cuts with an easy bevel adjustment up to 45°.
The saw comes with a 7 ¼ inch high steel speed blade that operates at 5300 rpm. You can also customize the depth of the blade to 2 ½ inches at 90°.
- Lightweight circular saw weighing just 7 pounds
- Good for rip cuts with inbuilt laser guide
- Bevel adjustment up to 45°
- Spindle lock for rapid blade change
- Blade guards are made of plastic
The Makita circular saw is well designed and very powerful. It will make light work of most jobs with its impressive 15 amp brushless motor which delivers 5800 rpm making it a tough workhorse for any construction site.
The saw is ergonomic and comfortable to use, well balanced and durable. It features magnesium components for durability. There are two built in LED lights to illuminate the line of cut for improved precision and accuracy and a dust blower to keep your line of sight clear.
For your money you get large cutting capacity of 2 to ½ inch at 90° and bevel capacity of 0° to 56° with positive stops at 22.5° and 45°. The 7 ¼ inch blade is made of high speed steel.
All of these quality features do come at a slightly heavier price, the saw weighs 10.6 pounds.
- Powerful 15 amp brushless motor
- Magnesium components for durability
- Ergonomic design
- Large cutting capacity
- Bevel cuts to 56°
- Only 1-year warranty
The Ryobi One P505 circular saw is a great little tool for smaller jobs around your home and workshop. It is a cordless saw, powered by a lithium-ion battery which is not included in the price. However, it forms part of the Ryobi One battery system where one size fits all.
A brushless motor provides 4600 rpm and the blade is 5 ½ inches with 18 carbide tipped teeth. There is a transparent polyurethane guard that gives you a clear view of the cut you are making.
Rubber mold handles on the saw make it comfortable and easy to maneuver, allowing you to maintain control in all conditions. There is an extra handle on the left for even more stability while cutting.
The foot of the circular saw can be adjusted to give you cuts up from 0° to 50°. There is onboard wrench storage and a spindle lock for quick, easy blade changes. The saw weighs 4.8 pounds.
- Small but powerful saw for home and DIY projects
- Part of Ryobi One battery system
- Rubber mold handles provide excellent grip
- Lightweight design
- Does not come with battery or charger
The Craftsman circular saw is a tough and durable tool that is great for construction work, remodeling or DIY projects. It has a high performance 15 amp motor which delivers 5500 rpm so can be used for the toughest tasks from ripping to angled cuts.
Featuring a 7 ¼ inch speed steel blade with 18 carbide tipped teeth it has the capacity for cutting 2x material. The tool-free beveling shoe is made of premium magnesium and pivots up to 55°. To make angled cuts there are detents at 22.5° and 45° for ease of use.
There is a metal upper and lower guard for safety and a metal rafter hook for convenience. A contoured overmolded handle adds increased comfort during use.
For quick changing of the blade there is a spindle lock and the saw weighs 11.05 pounds.
There is also a limited warranty of 3 years.
- High performance 15 amp motor
- 5500 rpm
- Tool-free beveling shoe up to 55°
- Premium magnesium shoe is lightweight but durable
- 3 year limited warranty
- Heavy compared to other circular saws
Teccpo are a relatively new and growing power tool brand. This circular saw from them is a handy mini version which makes short work of smaller more precise cutting jobs. It weighs just under 6 pounds.
A cordless saw, it works on a 20 volt lithium-ion battery, comes with a fast charger and operates at 4,500 rpm. There is a rubber overmolded grip that makes the saw comfortable and balanced to use.
The blades are capable of cutting soft metal, wood and tile. Cutting depth is adjustable from 1 to 11/16 inch at 90° and 1 to ⅛ inch at 45°.
A laser guide keeps your cuts straight and there is a parallel guide for rip cuts making this quick and precise.
In your purchase you will get the saw, battery, fast charger as well as blades for wood, metal and tiles. The circular saw also comes with a parallel guide, a hex wrench for changing the blades and a vacuum adapter.
- Lightweight and easy to use for small precise jobs
- Comes with 3 different types of blade
- Laser and parallel guide
- Not a very well known brand, so parts may be hard to find
With all these different manufacturers of circular saw it can be difficult to pick out exactly what your search should be focusing on.
We have broken down the most important features that you should consider when choosing a new circular saw.
Corded Vs Cordless
The choice between a corded or cordless circular saw will be mostly determined by where you will be using it. If you intend to use the saw in your workshop or home then you will have access to power. In this instance the best choice would be a corded circular saw.
If you are going to be moving around a construction site or different projects then a cordless circular saw may better suit your needs.
One of the drawbacks of having a battery operated saw is that you will at some point run out of battery power.
For this reason it is prudent to have two or three batteries so that you always have one to power your saw while the other is charging up.
A fast charger is also a good option if you have a battery operated circular saw so that you are not waiting around for it to charge.
It can be a bit confusing to work out the power rating of power tools especially when there are corded and cordless versions.
Electrical power tools are measured in amperage and this is the case for corded circular saws too. depending on the use to which the saw is going to be put choose your amperage accordingly.
For DIY and light use a 12 amp saw is sufficient for most people.For something with a little more oomph go for a 15 amp corded saw.
Cordless circular saws are power rated by the voltage of their batteries. The most common are 16, 18, and 20 volts.
Classification of circular saws is also done by the diameter of the blade. The most common blade size in our reviews was 7 ¼ inch but there are also smaller and bigger available.
A 7 ¼ inch blade will cut through wood that is 3 inches thick with no problem. For more heavy duty work an 8 ¼ inch blade would be better. If you are doing more precise or delicate work then a 6 ½ inch blade will suffice.
Circular saw blades come in a lot of different variations according to the material you wish to cut. The most common is wood but circular saws are also used to cut plastic, soft metals, and even masonry.
One of the most common advertised features of a circular saw is the speed of the motor. This is measured in revolutions per minute or rpm.
A saw with a higher rpm will have more cutting power. The range is typically between 3000 and 5500 rpm.
Gear-Driven Or Direct Drive
Some people may not think about how the circular saw is driven but this is worth considering.
A gear driven circular saw is often called a worm drive saw and it has the motor at the rear. This was the first type invented.
They are great for heavy construction work but the blade does spin more slowly and the cuts tend to be rougher.
A direct drive circular saw has the motor mounted next to the blade and is connected directly to the drive shaft.
These saws are the most common type used by DIYers although they are used in construction too. They can reach up to 6000 rpm.
Not all the cuts you will want to make will be straight so it is important to check out the bevel capacity of any circular saw you are considering. This is basically how much the base or shoe of the saw tilts.
Most good quality circular saws have positive stops at 22.5° and 45° for ease of adjustment and to save time.
The adjustment controls on circular saws will be either levers or screws. If you want something that is simple and quick to adjust then go for lever adjustment controls.
The saws with screw adjustments will take more time to make changes to but it comes down to personal preference. The kind of adjustments you will be making are for the depth and the angle of the cut.
You can also check out how the blade changes are made, most are done via a spindle lock for speed and efficiency.
An important consideration when choosing a circular saw is how heavy it is. This can affect how quickly you can work, where you can use the saw and what the quality of the saw is.
A heavy saw will be awkward and tiring to use and cause muscle fatigue. It may also limit where you can use the saw. The materials that the circular saw is made from including the housing will have a bearing on its weight.
For a durable but lightweight saw look for a magnesium body with either a magnesium or aluminum shoe. Other lightweight circular saws have strong plastic housing.
As well as being lightweight a well designed circular saw should be comfortable to use and not cause unnecessary muscle strain or fatigue.
Many of the circular saws in our review had ergonomic designs or molded handles. Not only does this make the saw more comfortable to use but also makes it safer.
Avoid saws that require you to hold down the trigger stop while simultaneously pulling the trigger, this is exhausting and will limit your movement.
Finally, once you have ticked off all the ‘must haves’ on your circular saw shopping list you can focus on the features that are not essential but desirable.
Again this will depend on your personal preferences and the jobs that you will be doing with your circular saw.
Some of the most common desirable features are bevel stops, LED guide light and onboard wrench storage for quick blade changes. Some people like the laser light guide but many doubt its usefulness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Main Purpose Of A Circular Saw?
Most people use circular saws for cutting wood, either pieces of lumber or sheets of plywood or MDF. But you can also use a circular saw to cut plastic, soft metal, tiles and masonry, you just need to switch the blade to the most appropriate kind.
What Is The Most Important Part Of A Circular Saw?
While a good circular saw is a combination of high quality parts all of which are fit for purpose perhaps the most important part is the blade. After all it is the blade that has to cut through whatever material you are using it on.
The other very important component is the motor as this is what will give the circular saw its power.
Which Features Should I Look For In A Circular Saw?
The main things to look for in a circular saw are the cutting depth, cutting capacity and bevel capacity. These are all based on the size of the saw’s blade so this is something that you need to consider too.
Safety features are important such as retractable blade guards, electric brakes and good grip handles.
How Long Do Circular Saw Blades Last?
There are many types of circular saw blades, in different sizes, materials and for a variety of purposes. You can cut wood, plastic, metal and even masonry with a circular saw blade.
A carbide tipped blade used for cutting wood should last six months to a year. Steel tipped blades were once popular but they have been replaced with carbide tipped blades as they only stayed sharp for a tenth as long as carbide.
What Should You Not Do With A Circular Saw?
Do not ever use a circular saw for a purpose other than the one it is intended for. In particular, always use the most appropriate blade for the material you are cutting.