What is the Best Circular Saw For Beginners? (2023)

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Circular saws make tackling jobs like deck building a lot easier, so it’s only natural that newbies today are learning how to use them. However, the sea of options for this tool can lead them to buy models with far too advanced features with a steep learning curve. 

So before purchasing, check our woodworkers’ and engineers’ recommendations for the best circular saws for beginners. 

Premium Option
DEWALT DWE575SB Circular Saw
Editor’s Choice
Makita 5007Mg Circular Saw
Budget Option
PORTER-CABLE PCE310 Circular Saw
DEWALT DWE575SB Circular Saw
Makita 5007Mg Circular Saw
PORTER-CABLE PCE310 Circular Saw
• Electric Brake
• Type: Corded Circular Saw
• Aluminum Shoe
• Blade Size: 7 ¼ inch
• Dust Blower
• Anti-Snag Lower Guard Design
• Power: 15-amp motor
• Large Cutting Capacity: 2 ½ inch
• Bevel Capacity: Up to 56 degrees
• Built-in Dust Blower
• Quick Blade Changes
• Two LED Lights
• Cut Depth: 1 ⅞ and 2 ½ inches
• Saw Blade Type: Carbide Tipped
• 15-amp Motor Engine
• Bevel Angle: 45 degrees (Max)
• Magnesium Shoe
Premium Option
DEWALT DWE575SB Circular Saw
DEWALT DWE575SB Circular Saw
• Electric Brake
• Type: Corded Circular Saw
• Aluminum Shoe
• Blade Size: 7 ¼ inch
• Dust Blower
• Anti-Snag Lower Guard Design
Editor’s Choice
Makita 5007Mg Circular Saw
Makita 5007Mg Circular Saw
• Power: 15-amp motor
• Large Cutting Capacity: 2 ½ inch
• Bevel Capacity: Up to 56 degrees
• Built-in Dust Blower
• Quick Blade Changes
• Two LED Lights
Budget Option
PORTER-CABLE PCE310 Circular Saw
PORTER-CABLE PCE310 Circular Saw
• Cut Depth: 1 ⅞ and 2 ½ inches
• Saw Blade Type: Carbide Tipped
• 15-amp Motor Engine
• Bevel Angle: 45 degrees (Max)
• Magnesium Shoe

Reviews of the Top Circular Saws For Beginners

1. Makita 5007Mg Circular Saw

As a heavy-duty circular saw, Makita 5007Mg makes every cutting process efficient with its 5800 RPM operational speed. It’s also equipped with convenient adjustment levers suitable for quick saw blade changes. 

It features magnesium components and only weighs around 10.1 lbs, so we still categorize it as a lightweight saw. 

During our hands-on tests, we could execute accurate cuts without difficulty as its cut angles allow a bevel capacity of up to 56 degrees. Users can also rely on the unit’s positive stops at 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. DEWALT DWE575SB Circular Saw

If we’re talking about safety features, we don’t doubt that DEWALT DWE575SB is the best circular saw for beginners. For starters, it’s equipped with an electric brake. Thanks to this, the saw blade will immediately stop as soon as the motor is turned off, preventing circular saw accidents.  

The blade brake also allows this Dewalt circular saw to pause in every cut, making it less prone to wearing and tearing. It has a max bevel capacity of 57 degrees, which you can execute at its positive stops of 22.5 and 45 degrees. 

Its circular saw blade also has a carbide tip, so it can resist wearing and abrasion during usage. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. PORTER-CABLE PCE310 Circular Saw

Cordless circular saws can be more expensive, so we highly suggest buying corded ones like PORTER-CABLE PCE310 if you’re on a tight budget. 

If you ask us, one of the cool features of this unit is its convenient spindle lock and cut depth adjustment. Thanks to these, making accurate cuts don’t bring so much hassle. Upon closer inspection, we also noticed its upper and lower blade guards are designed with metal that adds to the model’s durability. 

Unlike a cordless saw that relies on its battery life, this 7 ¼-inch circular saw can run as fast as 5500 RPM because of its powerful 15-amp motor.  

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. Milwaukee M18 Cordless Saw

At first glance, you wouldn’t be able to guess that Milwaukee M18’s soft grip handle has unique mechanisms. It’s only through the hands-on tests that we found out that the top handle design of this M18 chainsaw from Milwaukee enables the unit to tilt in eight different blade positions. 

On top of that, its heat-treated steel blade can operate at 5800 RPM, making its accuracy spot on. 

Some may prefer cordless tools for their flexibility, but this unit has a 9 ft power cord that will allow you to move as further as you want from the outlet. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw

Another affordable option you can consider buying is SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw. Despite its lower price tag, it includes a single-beam laser guide that’s not typical on models of the same class. It’s a convenient feature that allows you to cut the marked line accurately.

Our thorough inspection also led us to see its indicator light, enabling users to know if the unit is powered on or not.

Its blade is equipped with a spindle lock, which made it easier for us to execute blade changes during the hands-on tests. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

6. BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20C

If you need an easy tool to carry around, you can check out cordless circular saw options like BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20C. It has a smaller blade and fewer teeth, making it lighter than the previous ones we tested. 

Its batteries are also interchangeable with other BLACK+DECKER power tools, so you don’t have to buy extra batteries if you have one at your disposal. And because it operates with lithium-ion batteries, you can expect it to last longer than standard battery-powered tools. 

As we tried it in different materials, its adjustments allowed us to set bevel angles at 45 and 90 degrees. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. BOSCH CS10 Circular Saw

BOSCH CS10 includes a spindle lock and wrench in its package, so beginners won’t have difficulty changing blades. We also believe that you’ll find its angle and depth easy to adjust as it’s equipped with levers. 

This unit has soft and easy-to-grip handles, so using it for extended hours will be easy for any user. On top of that, it features a built-in blower that reduces sawdust during usage. 

If you inspect it closer, you’ll notice its bevel louvers. You may not know, but this feature enhances the tool’s dust management. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Circular Saw For Beginners Buyer’s Guide

Construction Quality and Durability

Like it or not, your tool’s durability and material quality will determine its stability. And, of course, you can only expect an accurate cut if your machine is wobbling through the operation. If you don’t want that to happen, we suggest getting a model with a footplate or a shoe. 

If you can, ensure these features are made of magnesium or composite materials. Although these metals are light, they have strong and rigid attributes that can withstand the vibrations and heat brought by the cutting operations. 

You’ll also encounter units that are made of steel. This option will save you money as they’re widely available and cheap. However, it’s crucial to note that they’re also heavier than other alternatives. 

Upon our quick scan of today’s market, it’s hard to ignore that most models with high-end constructions are made with either aluminum or magnesium [1]

On top of that, units made with plastic materials are also in the market’s circulation. While it’s true that some of them can execute decent cuts, we don’t recommend them for long-term use. 

Size and Weight

Some woodworking tasks take time to finish, so it’s important to take note of the tool’s weight because you’ll be the one holding it down. 

Although these are stationary tools, you’ll switch their position in every cut. Because of this, a heavier model can cause a hassle. 

One of the features that affect the unit’s mass is its motor. While brushless motors are light and compact, worm drive alternatives tend to lean on the heavier side. 

For beginners, we urge you to choose lightweight circular saws. The models you must consider can weigh somewhere around six to nine pounds.  

Rotations Per Minute (RPM)

Your saw’s rotations per minute (RPM) determine how fast the blade can operate. Normally, you’ll find it on the product’s user manual or labels. 

However, don’t forget that these specifications are categorized as no-load speed. It means that the RPM can differ when engaged with a material. 

As long as the tool you choose runs at a range of 5300 to 5800 RPM or more, it should be fast enough to handle tough materials. The faster the blade can rotate, the more product it will cut during usage. 

Performance and Reliability

If you want your circular power saw to perform well, you must determine the right blade size to use for your project. As you know, only some blade types can execute the same smoothness and accuracy. 

If you have circular saw blades with fewer teeth, they will cut faster. However, the ones with more teeth will deliver finer cuts.

You must also consider the motor power, as this feature will determine if the tool is powerful enough to tackle the task. The higher the amps of the motor, the faster it cools down. 

And if it doesn’t heat up while you cut the material, the more productive and reliable the tool will be. 

Depth and Bevel

If you’re dealing with thick boards, the circular saw’s depth of cut is a crucial feature to consider. This feature will signify how the blade can go through the material. 

Based on regular woodworking tasks, saws that can cut around 2 ½ inches deep should be enough to fulfill most project requirements. We suggest using bandsaws or other cutting tools if your material requires deeper cuts above this range.  

As for the bevel adjustments, there will be models allowing the blade to be adjusted up to 57 degrees. You can opt for these options if you intend to create miter joints. It should be easier to do angled cuts as the unit can tilt in different directions.

Corded or Cordless?

When it comes to power, corded saws are always superior to cordless.  The reason for this is their power isn’t tied to battery levels. However, they’re not as portable as cordless models. 

Besides that, corded are sold much cheaper than battery-powered saws. You may not know, but cordless units must be purchased with chargers and extra batteries. For this exact reason, they have a higher market value. 

Ease of Use

If you’re a beginner, you won’t have any problem using circular saws as long as they have visible cut lines, guides, or work lights (if possible). 

Although changing blades can be a tough challenge, users may find this process easier if the unit has an onboard wrench tool and spindle lock.  

Left or Right Blade?

Manufacturers understand that not all people use the same hand to hold a tool, which is why you’ll encounter two types of circular saws in the market. The first has its blade loaded on the right side, while the second has the disc mounted on the left side. 

Technically, this blade positioning does not affect the tool’s performance or reliability. However, it’s not too far-fetched to say that a left-handed person may use a unit with a left-side blade better than one with a right. 

Logic aside, it’s safer for the users to use a power saw with the blade positioned on the same side where their hand is because it lessens the chances of being hit by woodchips. On top of that, it can also increase the operation’s stability. 

Blade Change

As mentioned, blade changes will be easier for you if the unit you purchased has an onboard wrench tool. On top of that, the spindle lock will immobilize the blade, making the process safer for you. 

Electric Brake

As you’ll need to make quick pauses when making cuts, waiting for the blade to stop spinning can get annoying. But if your power saw has an electric brake, the rotation will halt immediately when the motor stops. You can rely on this feature if you need to do successive sawing cuts. 

Laser Guide

It’s not a mandatory feature to look for in your tool, but it can help beginners in initial material alignment. Not all circular saws have it, so you may need to shop around to find one that includes this function. 

Laser guides aren’t 100% accurate all the time, but it’s a great measuring tool if you don’t have an exact ballpark figure for your cut. 

Price

The best circular saw for beginners isn’t always sold at a ridiculously high price. In fact, you can choose from options ranging from over $50 to around $200. However, this price range can increase depending on the tool’s construction and features. 

What are the Parts of a Circular Saw?

Shoe

At the bottom of the saw’s frame, there should be a shoe that maintains the unit’s stability. This place is where you slide the material, so it plays a crucial role in controlling blade depths and angles. 

Blade Guard

This feature prevents blade contact that can harm the saw and the operator. It serves as a cover for the exposed saw blade. You’ll need to replace it when bent or broken if you don’t want your circular saw to keep stopping. 

Motor Housing

Besides the blade, your tool’s motor is a key component of its cutting performance. As the operation will likely cause vibration, having a durable motor housing can dampen the wobbling and prevent any internal damage. 

Bevel Adjustment

Because of their reliable bevel adjustments and controls, circular power saws can be used in different projects. This feature should allow you to change the blade angles according to your project needs. 

Trigger Switch

As soon as the operator clicks the trigger switch, the power saw’s motor will start or stop the blade from operating.

Batteries or Power Cord

If you’re using a cordless power saw, batteries will be part of the tool and will be responsible for its power. Meanwhile, corded models will have power cords to plug in electric outlets. So, it’s important to know how many watts does a circular saw use to see if your power source can provide the wattage it needs to run functionally. 


FAQ

Is a cordless circular saw good for beginners?

A cordless circular power saw should be convenient for a beginner if your workshop doesn’t have easy access to an outlet. It can also be handy and light if you want to carry it around. 

However, it’s not recommended if you intend to use it in different projects. Cordless models also cost more than corded alternatives, so it’s not a wise choice for users on a tight budget.  

Which is the best brand to go for?

The brands we included in this product roundup are all proven and tested over the years. 

If you read it thoroughly, you’ll find that some brands like Makita and DeWalt are known in the power tool industry for manufacturing durable and long-lasting products. 

Each brand offers saws fit for different needs and budgets, but rest assured that they have options suited for beginners. 

Our Top Pick For a Circular Saw For Beginners:
Makita 5007Mg Circular Saw

Our pro woodworkers picked Makita 5007Mg as the best circular saw for beginners among the others we tested because of its durability and versatility. 

We also liked that it’s equipped with LED work lights, making this corded unit easier and safer for newbies. On top of that, its blade adjustments and changes will be manageable for a regular tool novice to try.  

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
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