Best Circular Saws: Top 10 Reviewed

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Having one of the best circular saws is a great addition to any workshop and earning its place with sheer versatility of cutting applications. Name one other tool that’s portable and can cut through such a wide range of materials with just a change of the cutting disc.

 

Metal, rock, wood, brick, steel, tiles, plastic and zombies all easy work for these powerful power tools. You can use them in space constrained settings, use them overhead, make bevels, straight cuts, crosscuts, cut lumber & logs for firewood and much more.

 

In a Hurry? Here are the Best Circular Saws (Corded, Left Handed, Cordless)

 

One important consideration when you’re looking for one online is finding one that’s a good match to your work needs and you should ask yourself what will you be using it for the majority of the time.

 

You can match up the tools performance and features to your expectations by asking questions like which is the best circular saw for a specific application? For instance, cutting thick metals, rafters or light use like cutting tiles?

 

The 10 Best Circular Saws

This guide will help you cut through the chaff with the best 10 handpicked circular saws looking at what work they are suited to and not suited to in some cases.

 

So strap in and enjoy this read. To make things easier, we have divided them into the best corded and best cordless models.

 

The 5 Best Corded Circular Saws

Corded saws are preferred for their torque and unlimited run times. The caveat is that you’ll have to live with that cord which can limit your movement depending on the application.

 

If your ideal best circular saw is a corded one, read on to find which ones tick our checklist.

 

1. DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch – Best Corded Circular Saw

The DeWalt DWS535B is a powerful, yet compact (cliché we know) worm drive circular saw that’s designed to address some of the common gripes that woodworkers have with worm drive saws.

 

For starters, it weighs 13.8 lb. That’s lighter than most other worm drives we’ve used. Also, the moment you grip this, you’ll realize that DeWalt has worked on the center of gravity. It’s nicely balanced. Gives you a firm grip.

 

Let’s talk about the build quality and the performance.

 

Tough, but thoughtful

The construction is pretty much on par with the rest of DeWalt’s tools. Tough molded plastic casing, cast magnesium housing and the tough cord protection system that allows you to get away with the occasional tug-of-war, brain fog moment.

 

But it’s not just heft for the sake of it. A lot of thought has gone into the design to make it easier to use. For instance, the saw hook is 2 ¾ “wide, which works great if you are looking to hang it on LVL beams and rafters.

 

Secondly, the spindle lock is at the rear of the casing, keeping it away from the gear box. No messy oil leaks to deal with.

 

We also like the bevel adjustment and the depth of cutting adjustment knobs/levers. Overall, it’s a very easy machine to use.

DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, 15-Amp, Worm Drive, Corded (DWS535B)

Clean and smooth cuts minus the kickback

Coming to the important part, the power. There’s ample power under the hood thanks to that 15-Amp motor. This is a professional-grade tool used by woodworkers and contractors at commercial job sites. It can easily cut through thick rafters and lumber.

It can also bevel 53°, which can be pretty useful if you do not have a table saw. You can cut bevels along a board and also use it for miters across the end. There are two detents at 22 ½ and at 45 degrees for common applications.

Best features

  • Powerful lightweight worm drive saw
  • 7-1/4″ Carbide Blade
  • Magnesium and aluminum housing
  • Magnesium foot plate
  • Weighs only 13.8 pounds
  • 15 Amp motor
  • 4,800 rpm
  • Tough cord protection system
  • Built to last

What could be better
There’s no onboard storage for the wrench. Tiny quibble though.

Verdict – Highly recommended!
The DeWalt DWS535B ticks all the right boxes that one considers while looking for a powerful circular saw.


2. Makita 5007Mg – Best Metal Cutting Circular Saw

The Makita 5007Mg is a top rated circular saw from the Japanese brand. It is lighter than the DeWalt, which makes it more appealing to the hobbyist.

 

As expected from Makita, the construction and the features are top notch, which will make this the best circular saw for the serious woodworker as well.

 

A delight to use

The secret of the lightweight design is Magnesium, which occupies the bulk of the casing and the components. The mandatory plastic parts, such as the handle have a textured finish for a secure grip.

 

It’s a very well balanced tool, irrespective of whether you are holding it over wood placed on the work desk, or in a more unconventional setting, such as overhead.

 

Large flip levers make it easy to make adjustments on the fly. Makita also adds two LED lights for use in low-light work spaces. One of the most underrated features is the built-in dust blower that ensures that saw dust doesn’t cover the line of cut.

Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

Cuts through everything

For a tool so compact and light, the Makita 5007Mg is surprisingly powerful. The 15-amp motor makes short work of dimensional lumber, hardwood, particle board, structural panels and a lot more.

It generates 5800 RPM and it does not get overheated or bog down while handling tougher, denser stock. That’s also due to the carbide-tipped 7 ¼” blade and the generous heat vents all over the unit.

Surprisingly, there are negligible complaints about kickback.The cuts are smooth and clean, every time. It has a bevel capacity of 56° with positive stops at 22.5° and 45° for repeated applications.

Best features

  • Lightweight saw with an ergonomic design
  • Weighs just 10.6 pounds
  • Magnesium casing and components
  • 7 ¼” carbide-tipped blade
  • Generous heat vents all over
  • 15-amp motor delivers ample power
  • Clean and smooth cuts
  • 56° bevel capacity
  • Comes with a storage box

What could be better
The box is a little large for the saw. But you’ve got to raise the base completely to be able to fit it into it, which is a little ironical. They could have just used the dead space instead and made it easier to store.

Verdict – This is a phenomenal circular saw. Its light, it’s powerful enough for most normal tasks. It’s easy to use and it’s one of the best brands in the biz.

 

3. SKILSAW Southpaw SPT67M8-01 – Best Left Handed Circular Saw

The Southpaw SPT67M8-01 is Skilsaw’s foray into the fast-growing market for blade-left saws. While we feel that this is more about personal preference than anything else, you could argue that the left inclination does enhance visibility.

 

It can be used by both left hand users and right hand users.

 

It’s definitely helpful when you are starting off with woodworking to get your cuts right. While that’s advertised as the big draw here, there’s a lot more to the SPT67M8-01 that more seasoned woodworkers would appreciate.

 

Magnesium keeps things light

The SPT67M8-01 is just 8.95 lb. It’s the best circular saw for people who struggle with heavy power tools. Club that with an ergonomic design, a handle with soft-grips and excellent weight balance, you have a tool that can be used anywhere for extended runs. Hand fatigue will be close to zilch.

 

To add to this, the bevel is generous at 56-degrees. Most circular saws at this price point offer between 45-54-degrees at best. Woodworkers who do not own a table saw might want to take this into consideration.

SKILSAW Southpaw SPT67M8-01 15 Amp 7-1/4 Inch Magnesium Left Blade Sidewinder Circular Saw

15-Amp dual-field motor
Under the hood, there’s a 15-amp dual field motor with two copper coils instead of one. This translates into really, long run-times with minimal risk of overheating. Also, the power is consistent, which means that the saw can run through tough stock without kickbacks or bog downs.

Hardwood, rafters, dimensional lumber, the – SKILSAW Southpaw SPT67M8-01 runs through everything, no matter what you throw at it.

The cuts are clean and smooth.

Best features

  • Lightweight lefty sidewinder
  • Weighs 8.45 lb.
  • Magnesium construction
  • Great for left and right handed users
  • Ergonomic design with great balance
  • Worm-drive like guards
  • Cut ready level gauge
  • Max cutting depth of 2-7/16 in.
  • 15-Amp dual field motor

What could be better

The SPT67M8-01 does not feature a safety switch. Also missing is a dust chute, which is kind of a letdown for more heavy duty tasks.

Verdict – This is a lightweight lefty sidewinder with the features and performance of a worm drive. Hard to go wrong with the configuration.

 

4. Metabo HPT C7UR – Great for Woodworking

The Metabo HPT C7UR boasts of an impressive feature list. It has a 15-amp motor that delivers a no-load speed of 6800 RPM. To add to this, there’s a very generous bevel capacity of 0-55-degrees.

 

Metabo’s (formerly Hitachi) power tools are known for the build quality and this one, comes at a very affordable price point to boot.

 

Powerful saw for framing

The HPT C7UR can make short work of OSB, 2×4’s, LVL, plywood and most other material, including hardwood. It’s lighter than worm drives for sure.

 

But it’s also not as heavy as many sidewinder saws that we’ve used either. It’s a perfect middle ground. You can use this for hours without too much hand fatigue.

 

The ergonomic design (slim handle closer to the blade) makes it easy to maneuver for more demanding applications.

 

The saw powers to life with a soft start (no jerks) and cuts smoothly. You get a great grip on the stock with that stamped aluminum base, which features reinforced ribbing.

Metabo HPT 7 1/4-Inch Circular Saw “Ripmax” Kit | 6,800 Rpm, 15-Amp Motor | Dust Blower Function | 24T Premium Framing VPR Blade | Unique Cord Hook | Carrying Bag | 5-Year Warranty | C7UR

Great value bundle
The C7UR comes with an onboard storage for the wrench. This might seem like a minor problem, until you misplace the wrench. Then you’ve got to spend a few bucks to get a replacement if you want to sharpen or swap the blades.

Also included in the package is a durable canvas bag for storage. Not as great as the storage box with the Makita. But it’s heavy duty vinyl and is practically rip-free even if you lug it along to job sites. We also like the unique cord hook on the saw. It diverts the cord away from the blade and hence the line of cut.

Best features

  • Top rated circular saw by Pro Tools
  • 15-Amp motor that produces 6800 RPM
  • Bevel capacity of 0 – 55 degrees with three positive stops
  • On board storage for the hex wrench
  • Dust blower function
  • Storage bag
  • Ribbed stamped aluminum base with a scale

What could be better

Yet to find a flaw with the Makita C7UR.

Verdict – This is the best circular saw according to a lot of professional woodworkers. It’s light, compact and has ample power to cut through most type of stock. Hard to go wrong with it.

 

5. Black + Decker BDECS300C – Best Budget Circular Saw

The Black & Decker BDECS300C is universally known as the cheapest, big-brand circular saw that one can buy. That’s not too far off from the truth. We are yet to find a big brand model that’s cheaper.

 

However, we feel that the word ‘cheap’ undermines the tool. This is a very efficient saw that works great for a variety of light duty woodworking tasks.

 

A breeze to use

The Black and Decker BDECS300C features a plastic-metal composite casing. It’s more plastic, less metal. But that’s expected at this price point. More importantly, it’s very durable and sturdy. The handles give you a great grip.

 

The balance is perfectly weighted and the guard doesn’t seem flimsy at all.

 

It weighs just 7 lb., which is aimed at the beginner woodworker. But we know a lot of people who would readily swap some power for a lighter weight tool. This fits the bill perfectly.

 

The controls are all relatively easy to use, including the bevel adjustments. It’s just 0-45⁰ degrees though.

Black & Decker BDECS300C 13 Amp Circular Saw with Laser with IRWIN Tools MARATHON Carbide Corded Circular Saw Blade, 7 1/4-inch, 24T (24030)

Laser guided cuts
One of the most advertised features of the Black and Decker BDECS300C is the laser guide, which assists you to stay true to the line of cut. We have mixed feelings about this. It works great in theory. But it won’t compensate for a poor quality blade, or denser stock.

This saw is powered by a 13 Amp motor and should be able to handle plywood, boards and other reasonably thick stock with ease. If you try to cut nasty hardwood with this, it will buckle under the pressure. The unit might get overheated and/or the blade might get warped.

If you are working within the limitations of the tool, you’ll rarely need that laser guide. Btw, you have to power on the blade to get the light working.

Best features

  • Cheapest circular saw from a reputed brand
  • Compact and lightweight at 7 lb.
  • Firm grip handle. Ergonomic design
  • 13-amp motor with a top speed of 5,300 rpm
  • Bevel capacity of 0-45⁰
  • Cutting depth of 2.5″ at 90⁰

What could be better

It would have been great to have separate controls for the laser guide.

Verdict – Despite a few limitations, the Black and Decker BDECS300C is a very useful circular saw for lightweight tasks. It is reasonably powerful and very easy to use. Beginner woodworkers looking for a budget-priced saw will love it.

The 5 Best Cordless Circular Saws

Every woodworker out there craves for the best cordless saw, as long as it doesn’t cut corners with power and/or battery longevity.

 

Taking these minimum requirements into account, we have curated a list of the top 5 options in the market.

 

1. DeWalt DCS570B – Best Cordless Circular Saw

Our #1 pick is the DeWalt DCS570B, a very powerful 7 1/4″ circular saw that bridges the gap between a corded and a cordless unit. It’s compact, it plows through a variety of stock and you do not have to bother about a cord getting snagged somewhere.

 

Take it outdoors or hop job sites with it. It just makes life simpler.

 

Generous bevel and cutting depth

The DCS570B comes with a generous bevel capacity of 0-57⁰. Most circular saws at this price point can swivel to 45-degrees at best. To add to this, the cutting depth is 2 5/16″, which allows you to finish your tasks in fewer passes.

 

Making adjustments to the bevel and the cutting depth on-the-fly is effortless. There are two positive stops at the commonly used bevels. There are locks which hold the blade in place securely as well.

 

We like the emphasis on accuracy with the railed and indented scales. An innate benefit of this is that a layer or two of sawdust won’t hinder with the visibility.

DEWALT 20V MAX 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Brake, Tool Only, Cordless (DCS570B)

Lots of power
You can make clean rips and full depth crosscuts on softwood and LVL with the DCS570B. But there are customers who have used this to rip hardwood with no problems at all.
It is powered by an XR brushless motor that’s able to produce an impressive 5200RPM speed under load.

The caveat is that the denser the stock, the more likely it is that the unit will run out of juice before you are done with the task. It ships with the stock 5 Ah battery which DeWalt claims will run for 330-crosscuts in 2×4” Pine.

However, that might be a stretch. The runtime is a letdown, especially when you compare it with corded units.

Best features

  • Powerful cordless circular saw
  • Generous bevel capacity of 0-57⁰
  • Cutting depth of 2 5/16″
  • Positive stops for frequently used depths
  • Secure locks
  • Trigger safety
  • LED light
  • Weighs 9.5 pounds
  • Rafter hook

What could have been better

Maybe a juicier battery. But if you are switching to cordless tools, we recommend stocking a spare battery always.

Verdict – Despite a short runtime, the DeWalt DCS570B has ample power and some great features that make it an excellent choice for hobbyists and professionals alike.

 

2. Milwaukee M18 Circular Saw – Best Multi Function Circular Saw

With the M18, Milwaukee steps one-step closer to creating a worm-drive quality cordless circular saw.  Its light, packs a punch with its performance and is extremely accurate.

 

The battery is identical to the one in the DeWalt. But the Milwaukee chugs on for a wee bit longer, even while dealing with heavy, dense stock.

 

Lightweight and ergonomic

The M18 is an ergonomically designed saw. The casing is molded plastic. But there’s ample magnesium components including the upper and lower guards, which reduce weight.

 

Talking about weight, this weighs just 9 lb. with the battery inserted.

 

This makes it one of the lightest weight circular saws in this list. Add to that the comfortable handle and the lack of cords, and you have a very versatile power tool that you can use for as long as the work demands.

 

Under the hood, you have Milwaukee’s proprietary brushless motor that delivers ample torque for demanding applications. The top speed is an impressive 5,000 RPM.

Milwaukee 2732-20 M18 Fuel 18 Volt Lithium-Ion 15 Amp 7-1/4 Inch Cordless Circular Saw (Tool Only) (Non-Retail Packaging)

Best in-class features
While it brings in the brute power and a better runtime, thanks to the REDLITHIUM™ 5.0 Amp/hour battery, we almost expect a tradeoff somewhere.

Thankfully, there’s none. The M18 comes with all the standard features and a few premium ones as well. It comes with a magnesium shoe with clear and accurate markings. The adjustment levers are easy to access and operate on-the-fly.

More importantly, you have clear visibility of the sightlines, which ensures accurate cuts. There’s a rafter hook, an integrated dust port and an electric brake, which brings the saw to a standstill when you release the trigger.

Best features

  • Lightweight cordless at 9 lb.
  • Worm-drive like performance
  • 5000 RPM top speed under load
  • Milwaukee’s brushless motor
  • Powered by a 5.0 amp/hour battery
  • Sufficient torque for demanding tasks
  • Magnesium guards and shoe with accurate markings
  • Rafter hook and integrated dust port
  • Electric brake

What could be better

No positive stops for bevel adjustment. That’s a surprise really.

Verdict – Apart from a tiny quibble, the Milwaukee M18 is one of the top contenders for the best circular saw in this list. The runtime is excellent too.

 

3. Makita XSR01PT – Best Battery Circular Saw

The Makita XSR01PT works like a worm drive. But it isn’t one. It’s not a sidewinder either considering that it has a helical design, with the gears positioned at a unique 45-degree angle.

 

Call it what you want to, this lefty packs a punch with its power and performance. There’s torque, the accuracy is top notch and it comes with two onboard batteries.

 

So you spend more time on the job rather than swapping batteries.

 

Balanced, stable circular saw

At 12.67 lb., the Makita XSR01PT is at that confusing cusp of heavy and light. It’s not as heavy as corded worm drives. But it’s heavier than most cordless options.

 

However, do keep in mind that you get an additional onboard battery. So the weight is a minor tradeoff for more runtime.

 

The saw is built like a rock. The casing is a blend of magnesium and aluminum, with some molded plastic components. It’s easy to hold and stays stable during operation.

Makita XSR01PT 18V x2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Brushless Cordless Rear Handle 7-1/4

Two x 18V batteries

Makita addresses the most common gripe that woodworkers have by packing in two 18V batteries on board. This leads to double the runtime that you expect from the competition, while handling standard stock. There’s an onboard battery gauge that shows you the battery levels for both batteries at a glance.

But where the saw really shines is the torque and the cutting speed. It features a brushless motor and a peak speed of 5,100 RPM. It can make short work of most types of stock, including SPF lumber and LVL. Add to that the 2-9/16” cutting depth and you have a great alternative for a worm drive saw, which can get a lot of work done in little time.

Best features

  • Two onboard 18V 5.0Ah batteries
  • Brushless motor that generates 5100 RPM
  • 50% longer runtime
  • Auto speed adjustments to prevent overheating
  • Electric brake for instant stops
  • 0°- 53° bevel capacity
  • Positive stops for frequently used applications

What could be better

It lacks an onboard dust blower for the cut line. For a tool that produces a significant amount of saw dust, an board blower for the cut line should be a standard addition.

Verdict – Double the power and double the runtime. If you are looking for a cordless circular saw for extended runs, that doesn’t compromise on torque or cutting speed, you’ve just found it.

 

4. Bosch CCS180-B15 – Great Hand Held Circular Saw

The CCS180-B15 is one of two cordless saws on offer from Bosch. This is a very basic saw, which does not come with the bells and whistles of its younger, newer brethren.

 

Having said that, it’s powerful enough to match some corded sidewinders that we’ve tried. There’s a lot of torque and the cutting speed is decent enough to get your tasks done.

 

6 ½” Lefty that’s built like a rock

The CCS180-B15 features a left-oriented 6 ½” blade. It has a maximum cutting depth of 2” at 90-degrees and 1 ½” at 45 and 50 degrees.

 

The bevel capacity is 50°, which is acceptable, but not special. However, we know a lot of woodworkers who prefer using table saws for bevels and miters. So this might not be a huge problem.

 

What bothers us slightly more is the fact that there are no positive stops for frequently used applications.

 

Coming to the construction, this is one of the sturdiest circular saws that we’ve seen. All the important components of the casing, like the blade guard are made of metal.

BOSCH CCS180-B15 18V 6-1/2 In. Circular Saw Kit with (1) CORE18V 4.0 Ah Compact Battery

Accurate with reasonable power
The cutting depth, as you would have noticed is not the best. So, if you are looking to make rip cuts, be aware that it’s going to take a while. However, the accuracy is top notch. So is the blade visibility.

Also included is an onboard blower which ensures that your line of cut remains unhindered.

Best features

  • Compact left-blade oriented saw
  • Compatible with all Bosch 18V lithium-ion batteries
  • 6 ½” blade with 2” cutting depth
  • 50° bevel range
  • Onboard dust blower
  • Aluminum foot and upper guard
  • Depth-of-cut gauge and bevel scale with clearly visible text
  • Comes with a storage bag

What could be better

Well, this is a very basic model and also one of the oldest ones in this list. It does not feature a rafter hook or an LED light.

Verdict – The Bosch CCS180-B15 has a tried and tested track record. It has a powerful brushed motor that generates enough torque for most applications. The design is very easy and comfortable to use as well.

 

5. Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw – Contractor Grade 

What do you do when you have to cut through tough materials, like metal or dense hardwood materials that would make a conventional circular saws quiver in fear? You get the Milwaukee M18 Fuel.

 

This is a monster cordless saw that’s designed for special applications that demand brute force.

 

It generates tons of power and it doesn’t buckle under the pressure even with extended runs.

 

Light enough for overhead tasks

The M18 is designed for overhead applications. We specify this because the tool weighs just 5.9 lb. without the battery.

 

It features an ergonomic handle and has a very compact form factor that does not induce fatigue even if you are perched on a ladder and cutting a steel U-beam overhead.

 

There’s an LED light on board for a clear line of cut in dimly lit environments and there’s an extra-large cut guide, which ensures accuracy as well.

 

Two other features that deserve a mention are the chip collection system, which is phenomenal, and the blade brake which halts the saw in an instant.

M18 FUEL 18-Volt Brushless Lithium-Ion 5-3/8 in. Cordless Metal Saw (Tool-Only)

Cool cuts through everything

Under the hood, you have a brushless motor with an impressive top speed of 3,900 RPM. It generates a lot of power for a tool this size. In fact most customers who have used this to cut metal have been surprised at how easily it cuts through stainless steel, angle iron, sheet metal and strut.

The 30T Carbide-Tipped Metal Saw Blade does not produce burrs. More importantly, it does not get damaged easily, even if you stretch the operational hours. Talking about runtime, the M18 Fuel is rated for 370 cuts in ¾” EMT. This equals to approximately 6-hours of runtime for ¾” EMT.

In case it does run out of juice, the quick-charge charger recharges it to full capacity in just an hour.

Best features

  • Powerful cordless saw for cutting metal
  • Weighs just 5.9 lb. without the battery
  • Ergonomic design with a compact form factor
  • LED light for clear line of cut
  • Excellent chip collection system
  • Powerful brushless motor
  • Top speed of 3900 RPM
  • 30T Carbide tipped blade
  • Excellent runtime
  • Fast charging charger

What could be better

The inbuilt overheat protection system kicks in quite often when you are cutting through dense materials. We know that this is a necessary evil. But it does get a little bothersome after a while.

Verdict – Go buy it already! If you are looking for a powerful metal cutting saw, there’s no better choice than the M18. It’s lightweight, cordless and matches the power of a corded model.

 

Circular Saw FAQ

Most potential buyers are torn between the best circular saw and a table saw. Then there are some who own a table saw already but would like to add a circular saw to their workshop.

 

Irrespective of your predicament, this brief FAQ aims to clear these doubts, and also provide answers to some of the common doubts that buyers have.

 

Which is the best circular saw for beginners?

Ideally, you need a saw that’s not too fancy or pricey. But one that ticks off most of the basic boxes in a checklist.

 

Look for a saw that’s reasonably powerful, compact, lightweight, that provides an accurate cut and has all the basic safety features. A metal blade guard, a trigger safety lock and an electric brake are non-negotiable.

 

A powerful motor will ensure that the nasty kickback is avoided, even if you accidentally go overboard with the use. An onboard dust blower will provide you with a clear line of cut, while positive stops on the bevel will make it simpler to use.

 

You can choose between a corded and a cordless one depending on the intended applications. Corded works best for prolonged runs, while cordless gives you the flexibility to work outdoors.

 

Which is the best circular saw for woodworking?

Guess what? You are in luck. We have 10 best circular saws, all perfectly suited for woodworking. You can take your pick. Jokes apart, there are no special feature sets that make one best circular saw better over the other, for woodworkers.

 

Depending on what you are comfortable spending, you can choose between a basic sidewinder, or opt for more torque with a worm drive. Do you handle a lot of wet lumber or dense hardwood? Go for a worm drive like the DeWalt DWS535B.

 

But if you work mainly with LVL, plywood and 2×4’s, even a quality sidewinder like the Metabo HPT C7UR will be a great pick.

 

Which is the best compact circular saw?

If you are looking for the most compact circular saw in this list, it is the Bosch CCS180-B15. It has a 6 ½” blade as compared to most others, which have a 7 ¼” blade. It weighs only 6.6 lb. and measures 13.4” x 8.9”, which is very maneuverable.

 

Are cordless circular saws any good?

That’s a tricky question. Here’s a plausible explanation. The line between a cordless and a corded saw has been steadily blurring.

 

Some of the new cordless models produce as much torque as their corded counterparts. The runtimes have been consistently improving as well.

 

But unless you hop job sites or work outdoors, where a cord can limit movement, it might be overkill. Why deal with the hassles of frequent battery recharges when you can just buy a corded one and work freely?

 

In the end, it all boils down to your specific requirements from the best circular saw.

 

What to Look for When Buying a Circular Saw

If all the identical specs and some of the technical jargon sounds overhwleming to you, then here’s a brief buyers guide that shows you what factors to consider while you shop for the best circular saws.

 

The Design

There are two types of circular saws.

 

The sidewinder

This is the more common design, in which, the motor that powers the saw is located along the same axis as the cutting blade. The blade is connected to the motor by a shaft and that’s what drives it.

 

Sidewinders have the size and weight advantage. Also, they are often unfairly maligned for being a weaker choice. In reality, most sidewinders have enough power to tackle most common tasks.

 

Worm drives

These have the motor positioned parallel to the blade. It can be either on the right or the left depending on the blade orientation. The motor is geared and this delivers more torque to the blade. In a nutshell, worm drive saws can generate more power, are quitter and run longer without getting overheated.

 

Corded and cordless

There’s enough written and spoken about this all over the internet. Here are our two cents. Corded tools are no longer superior to cordless ones. Their torques and power outputs are identical. Both varieties can function for 5-6-hours on-the-trot as well. So choose wisely.

 

Power

The rule of thumb is that the more the cutting power, the easier it will be for you to handle a wider range of materials.

 

Corded saws generally have 15-amp motors with the RPM under load ranging from 3000-6000. Cordless models are generally powered by 18V to 20V batteries.

 

The latter is a standard feature in most DeWalt saws and can generate a wee bit more power than the 18V ones.

 

Blade Capacity

The blade capacity will determine the cutting depth. Larger blades can cut deeper. Most of the best circular saws feature 7 ¼” blades, while there are a few which feature an 8” one.

 

The cutting depth on these saws range from 2 5/16 of an inch to almost 3”. If you are looking to clear a lot of material, the extra cutting depth will help you get the job done in fewer passes.

 

Bevel capacity and positive stops

Most budget priced circular saws will have a bevel capacity of 45-50 degrees.

 

There are a few which have generous bevel capacities that can extend to 57-degrees. Unless you are looking to make bevel cuts or miters with the circular saw, we don’t think that the bevel capacity is as critical as it is sometimes made out to be.

 

If you do intend to use this, then look for positive stops at 22 ½” and 45-degrees, as these are the most commonly used bevels.

 

Our Final Thoughts

That’s it folks. We hope that you enjoyed reading our recommendations for the best circular saw. Each one of the 10 circular saws we’ve reviewed here are versatile and well suited for a variety of applications. Whether you are a hobbyist or a professional contractor, we are sure that you’ll find a saw that’s a fit for your needs.

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ABOUT JOHN LEWSAM I am a 40-year-old qualified electrician with many years experience in the trade and many more years in trades that have required me to use a massive variety of power tools. I have over 20 years of power tools experience. Read more about me