FINDING THE BEST CIRCULAR SAW: A BUYING GUIDE AND A REVIEW

makita 5477NB mini circular saw

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A circular saw is a compact tool that every woodworker or builder needs in his arsenal. These handy tools are perfect for portability and efficiency, plus they do not put excessive strain on your arm. However, all the above won’t be true if you don’t pick a substandard model. 

Luckily, our experts are here to review the best circular saws of 2022. 

Best Overall
5280-01 SKIL15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
Best Compact Option
WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2" Compact Circular Saw
Best Budget Choice
BLACK+DECKER 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Laser
SKIL 5280 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2
BLACK+DECKER 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Laser
This circular saw is an excellent balance between cost and performance. It delivers 5300 RPM, faster than many other models on the market. The saw is lightweight and excellent for everyday use.
For smaller and quicker jobs, the WORX WORXSAW is the best compact option that’s efficient and won’t weigh you down. It’s excellent for lumber at only half the size of a full-sized circular saw.
A job well-done at the worksite or workshop doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. This circular saw has a laser guide that offers precision and a spindle lock to switch out the blade easily.
Best Overall
5280-01 SKIL15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
SKIL 5280 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
This circular saw is an excellent balance between cost and performance. It delivers 5300 RPM, faster than many other models on the market. The saw is lightweight and excellent for everyday use.
Best Compact Option
WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2" Compact Circular Saw
WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2
For smaller and quicker jobs, the WORX WORXSAW is the best compact option that’s efficient and won’t weigh you down. It’s excellent for lumber at only half the size of a full-sized circular saw.
Best Budget Choice
BLACK+DECKER 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Laser
BLACK+DECKER 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Laser
A job well-done at the worksite or workshop doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. This circular saw has a laser guide that offers precision and a spindle lock to switch out the blade easily.

Reviews of the Best Circular Saws

1. SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inches Circular Saw

The first saw on our list is the SKIL 5280-01. It has an impressive 15 amp motor and produces 5300 RPM, enough power to cut through dense wood, engineered wood, laminated lumber, and other materials. The 7-1/4-inch carbide-tipped blade on this circular saw is secured in place with a lock spindle that allows for quick blade changes. For more accurate cuts, the shoe is also perfectly parallel with the blade. This saw also has a 10 foot power cord.

Unlike other 45 degree bevel saws, the 5280-01 circular saw features a 51-degree bevel to accommodate various angles for beveled cuts. Although it’s a full-sized saw, the SKIL can help reduce fatigue on your arm, thanks to its anti snag features that also keep the saw on track. It also has a guarded trigger for added safety.

Another excellent feature in this corded tool is the dust buster that gives you a clear line of sight and keeps it free of debris.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

2. WORX WORXSAW 4-½: Compact Circular Saw

Small handheld models are often featured on our list of best circular saws, and that’s because they are half the size and weight. The smaller size of the WORX WORXSAW 4 1/2 inch will allow for quicker and more efficient cuts with more control. Even with a corded power source, this circular saw’s performance is still impressive although it’s smaller than standard circular models.

Bevel cuts on this tool can be set from 0 to a  45 degree angle with the EZ depth gauge and the WORKXSAW 4 1/2 inch Compact Circular Saw is the best overall choice for cutting saw for lumber around 2 inches thick without weighing down your arm. With that angle of 45 degrees, this saw was designed with a left-sided blade that gives users a better visual of their cuts. And with a thinner circular saw blade, it can work harder than other saws.

 Overall, it’s one of the best lightweight circular saws you can find today. If you’re a homeowner working on basic projects and you don’t want a more powerful saw, this is great for making cuts on particleboard, thin plywood, and other materials.

 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

3. BLACK+DECKER Circular Saw with Laser

The BLACK+DECKER 7 1/4 Lightweight Circular Saw with Laser Guide features a 12 amp to 13 amp motor and a lock spindle for easy blade switches. This pro-level circular saw is excellent for heavy duty jobs and isn’t a very hefty tool for those who don’t need something for long term.

The addition of the laser pointer guide will help you make more precise cuts on plywood or lumber by visualizing the path. The bevel adjustments are easily done for angled cuts with this circular saw. It’s nicely balanced, with easy to adjust blade height and angle.

You don’t only get the saw, but also a wrench for adjustments. This budget circular saw comes with a 2-year limited warranty.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

4. DEWALT 7-1/4-Inches Circular Saw with Electric Brake

Like the famous Dewalt DWE575SB, the Dewalt 7 1/4 Circular Saw also comes with an electric brake that stops the blade once you let off the trigger. This costs a bit more, but it’s worth your money. The compact and lightweight saw has a 1/4 inch blade plus a  patented 15 amp motor powerful enough to handle any depth of cut for plywood or lumber.

The Dewalt circular saw offers more beveling capacity with a maximum of 57 degrees. This is highly precise and comes with its own carrying case. To help you keep your workspace clean, the dust buster will clear the way for these power tools to give you a clear view.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

5. TECCPO Mini Circular Saw with Laser

This corded circular saw option that has a lot of power for its small size and light weight. At 3700 RPM, these small saws are excellent power tools for those moving from site to site. Not only that, but the smaller blade size and overall lightweight body gives more portability and maneuverability when ripping plywood, slicing board pieces, or cutting framing.

The circular saw comes with extra blades for cutting that are suited for different materials. This tool features a double safety switch and a guided laser so you can easily cut in a straight line. As a small handheld saw design, the TECCPO Mini Circular Saw features an ergonomic handle and is easy to maneuver. It doesn’t have the same power as a full-sized saw, but if you’re doing basic home improvement projects, this tool is a good choice.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

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

The Makita 5007Mg Circular Saw is excellent to make quick and accurate cuts and is made of magnesium components to make the frame lighter than most other saws. It’s one of the most powerful corded circular saws out there with a 5800 RPM and 15 amp motor as its power source. It also has an exceptional scale that is easy to read. The Makita also has a  3-3 / 8 inch blade has a maximum cut depth of 1 inch at 90 degrees. We recommend upgrading to a better blade, though.

Any circular saw is useless if you can’t see the cut. The Makita saw features two LED lights on board to illuminate the path when you’re cutting plywood. This  saw has a large cutting capacity and the bevel is adjustable up to 56 degrees. Other than the depth of cut and extra features, the Makita saw is also covered by a 1-year warranty. Overall, it’s one of the best circular saws of 2022.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

7. GALAX PRO 10 A 5800 RPM Hand-Held Circular Saw

The GALAX PRO 10 A is another well-balanced power corded circular saw with a powerful motor that won’t require you to spend a lot. The design of this saw is very similar to the Bosch CS10 and it’s also very easy to maneuver. The hand-held design allows you to make straight cuts without worrying about the weight. This tool is great for cutting plywood sheets, trimming deck boards, and cutting framing lumber.

You can make bevel and miter cuts with the easy to adjust lever that can also set the cut depth. The GALAX PRO circular saw is safe to use with its motor housing and won’t start up without you unlocking it first with the safety button. It also features a parallel guide to assist your cuts and an integrated dust blower to keep the path clear. 

What We Like

What We Don't Like

(You can also compare Miter Saw versus Circular Saw to see how it compares to other brands.)

8. SKIL SPT67M8-01 Sidewinder Circular Saw

Unlike other options, SKIL SPT67M8-01 features a left SIDEWINDER blade, which means you have the blade mounted next to the saw motor side. This feature enhances cutting line precision and visibility. You can also count on the durability of this direct drive circular saw because this unit is constructed with magnesium frames that effectively reduce user fatigue. 

During the cut, our testers enjoyed high torque and speed settings, all thanks to its powerful dual-field engine. This motor type includes cooling technology, so you wouldn’t need to worry about sudden overheating in the middle of your DIY project. 

This sidewinder model can also execute a variety of cuts suited for different applications because it has a bevel range of up to 56 degrees. You can lock into the stops for easy adjustments when making bevel cuts for various home projects.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

9. BOSCH CSW41 Worm Drive Circular Saw

Worm drive saws are excellent at heavy-duty work. Since BOSCH CSW41 features a worm drive design, users can expect highly accurate cutting during use. The blade on this tool is on the left side, so you’ll have no reason not to see the cutline. 

Matched with its worm drive feature is its 15-amp engine. Because of this, it can provide more torque to accomplish most tough cutting applications. This worm drive circular saw weighs 13.2 pounds, making it capable of running up to 5300 RPM at high-speed configurations. 

If you intend to use this worm drive circular saw to slice small wood pieces, its anti-snag lower guard will provide you with smoother operations so the blade doesn’t bind to thinner materials.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

10. DEWALT DCS570B 20V Max Cordless Circular Saw

If mobility is what you seek, buying a cordless saw like DEWALT DCS570B 20-volt should be at the top of your list. Although this unit is battery-powered, it’s powerful enough to maintain consistent speed operations around 5500 RPM. It also has outstanding accuracy, and the battery life is superb.

You can execute at least 330 crosscuts on 2×4 pine wood boards, as long as this cordless circular saw is fully-charged, handled carefully, and maintained appropriately. But the more amp hours you put into the unit, the more cuts you can do.

This circular saw has a bevel capacity of 57 degrees and 2-9/16-inch cutting depth, so it’s versatile enough to tackle intricate cutting jobs. Overall, it’s on of the best cordless options in our books, maybe even better than some of its corded counterparts.

What We Like

What We Don't Like

Circular Saws Buyer’s Guide

Circular saws are handheld tools for quick cuts, but like any power tool, there are some things to consider before you purchase one.

To ensure you get the right circular saw for your projects, our team has compiled a list of important features to want in the top saw. It’s more than the cut line and the material of the saw blade. While most circular saws would work fine for small to medium jobs, you should also take into account the design of the saws, the motor power, and the type of cut you like.

Corded or Cordless Circular Saw?

There are two types of circular saws, and they are corded and cordless circular saws. What’s the difference between them?

Yes, having a cordless circular saw such as Dewalt DCS391B will bring more convenience and higher portability compared to corded models. However, cordless or battery-powered circular saws have a shorter performance period and less amperage [1]  in some cases.

Older cordless tools were inferior compared to the more conventional corded saws and were outperformed in terms of speed and power at every turn. However, newer cordless saw models have lithium ion batteries that last longer, are less heavy and won’t jam the blade. If you prioritize flexibility in movement, we suggest going for battery-powered models over corded models. We suggest buying extra batteries, though. A spare battery and charger could come in handy for cordless saws.

Brushless motors have a lot to do with the smooth cutting operation, but we’ll talk about the its power in a bit. The lithium ion batteries are very efficient and can extend the hours you get out of your cordless circular saw. 

In the end, deciding between a cordless circular saw and a corded saw is more about the power and speed, but also the convenience factor. If you are someone who works on a construction site without needing to relocate often, then our team suggests the traditional corded circular saws as they have better power and higher speeds. However, if you require a lot of movement and move from site to site, then battery-powered or high-powered cordless saws are the best for you. When searching for the best cordless circular saws, consider how heavy the job is and whether you would be operating it for extended periods. Look at the battery life as well.

Motor Power

The motor power says it all when it comes to how fast your blade can cut through material and what it can slice through. A smaller saw will have less amperage simply due to the room it has. A smaller body cannot accommodate a larger motor, which equals less power. 

For example, regular-sized 7-¼ inch circular saws should be able to yield 12 amp to 15 amps on average with blade speeds of 5000 to 5500 RPM as a rule of thumb. If you can find circular saws of that size with more power and faster RPM, then you’re in luck.

One thing to keep in mind is the speed doesn’t necessarily dictate the material you can cut through, you can cut a laminating floor with a saw in the same level of speed. The material you can cut through is determined by the construction of the circular saw blade. That being said, most circular saws cut metal, wood,  slate, plastic, fiberglass, laminate flooring, and other materials — as long as you have the proper blade type.

You may also come across what’s called a high-powered worm drive circular saw, which are longer lasting, more powerful and have more torque. The motor in a worm drive circular saw can be found in the rear, and it has a number of worm gears near the blade. These gears have a spiraling worm shape, hence why it’s called the worm drive design. Size-wise, a worm drive circular saw is also typically larger. Thus, you’ll find that these are pretty heavy saws that are made for heavy-duty construction work. The blade spins slower, though.

While we didn’t include a lot of worm drive saws in our list, a good model would be the Makita 18V X2 LXT circular saw. It has a blade brake, dust blower, and variable blade speed.

Cutting Depth & Bevel

Some adjustable features include the cutting depth adjustment and bevel capacity. Depending on what you’re cutting, or how you cut thick wood using a circular saw, you want the freedom to adjust these features to give yourself an easier time. It’s not only about having the option to adjust the depth and the bevel, but also how easy it is to do so. A saw that can  do repeated cuts at its depth of 2-9/16 inches is good enough.

For example, some circular saws have buttons for the setting but others integrate lever controls for depth adjustment. In our experts’ experience, the levers are easier to control and access when you’re in a hurry.

As for the bevel, this is necessary for angled cuts and you want the circular saw to give you a wide range of angles. You may find the most common setting to go up to 45 degrees, but others can go higher to 57. For something higher than 45 degrees, you can find some stops in the angle adjustments at 22.5 to 45 degrees.

Ease of Use

Most DIYers and woodworking professionals appreciate a power tool that’s easy to use, so the ease of use is another vital consideration. Having a dust port surely is important but the weight is also a very big indicator of how easy the circular saws, either a  6 ½ and 7 ¼ circular saw varietyare to maneuver. You want ones that are as light weight as possible so the circular saws don’t put undue strain on your limbs.

 

Circular saws that are light weight also equate to easy handling. You’ll be able to work longer hours on your DIY projects without feeling fatigued. It just makes the job easier. You can even operate some saws with just one hand. Our expert team will dive into the materials you may find in your saws in the next section.

The blade change should also be simple. The cleanup should be easy, too there are impressive circular saws with dust port or dust blower that can guarantee a fast sawdust cleanup. Dust collection ports and a vacuum adapter help with visibility as well.

 

Size and Design

Larger full sized models are heavier and bulkier but they are more powerful, has an easy to read scale, and can get the job done faster as opposed to a more compact handheld model. The other size factor to consider is the blade. There is a very extensive range of blades and some circular saws can come with a few options for different materials.

Aside from listing the blade size, manufacturers can also label what each blade is good for, and you can always buy a new blade if you’re working with different materials. You will come across plywood blades and all-purpose among others. There are also diamond blades for concrete and masonry. You may also see the tooth count on the blade, which is also a great indicator for the materials they can cut through. The higher the tooth count, the harder the material the blade can handle. And the higher the teeth per inch (TPI) rating, the more polished the finish will be.

If you want to know other materials that these saws can cut, you can check our page on how to cut plexiglass using the circular saw power tool. 

It helps if the design of the saw is ergonomic, whether it’s a full-size, front-handle, rear-handle, or barrel-handle.  For the material, there are a few ubiquitous ones in circular saw manufacturing, and they are steel, aluminum and magnesium. Steel was once the most popular type, but manufacturers have started to trade it for the lighter aluminum and magnesium options.

Sure, aluminum is lighter, but it’s not as durable as steel and also more expensive. Our experts like magnesium for its lightweight properties and higher durability, but this quality is more on the expensive side. 

Another nifty feature you may want on board is a built-in rafter hook. This allows you to hang the saw from a rafter or ladder.

If you want to make your saw more convenient to usewhen woodworking, you can check some ways to convert circular saw to table saw without costing you much. 

Safety Features

If you know how to use a circular saw when cutting concrete blocks, then you are aware of its corresponding safety measures. There are important safety features to look for that can not only keep you from injury but also facilitate your work include a LED light, laser guide for the cut line, and blade guard for a straight cut.

Having LED work lights will give you clear visuals of the cut path so slicing through lumber would be accurate. The laser guide will allow for a precise cut line and reference point, but our team still suggests utilizing a blade guard to make sure the cut is straight. Spring loaded blade guards cover the blade once it’s lifted from the material, thus reducing injury risks.

Then there is the consideration of the shoe material (steel, aluminum, magnesium shoes). This is the base plate that rides on the material. Steel shoes can bend, so an aluminum or magnesium shoe has square edges but the magnesium shoe is what we recommend as it’s much lighter. Not only that, the magnesium shoe is the strongest among the three, and can slide smoothly over lumber.

Additionally, remember to wear proper eye and ear protection. Make sure to check for nails or screws before cutting, and mark your lines clearly if there’s no guide.

The warranty isn’t a safety feature of the saw itself, but more of a safety feature to protect you as a buyer. If you end up with a faulty product that was damaged upon delivery or if your parts need replacing or fixing, an extensive warranty helps.

As you probably saw on our top list, we have products with a very basic 1-year warranty and others that have at least 2 years.

 

FAQ

What is the best circular saw for home use?

The best saw for home use is the WORX WORXSAW 4-½ circular saw. It’s a small handheld model that is great for easy home improvement jobs. It’s very lightweight, still packs a lot of power and is highly portable for all job site areas. 

What size circular saw is best?

The best size for this saw is 7-¼ inches. This also happens to be the most common size and is the best suited for a variety of jobs. It can cut through many materials and is still lightweight and easy to use.

Our Top Pick For a Circular Saw:
5280-01 from SKIL

Our team’s top choice for the greatest lightweight circular saw is the SKIL 5280-01. The 15 amp motor power with carbide blade tips can cut through tough materials. Even if you have the blade fully submerged in wood (or whatever cutting material you’re working with), it can easily handle the task. It has safety features too, like a guarded trigger.

This tool includes a high level of adjustability from cutting depth to the bevel degrees. Maneuvering is easy as the saw is incredibly light for its size and the dust buster will keep your cutting area free from debris. 

 

To keep your space tidy after a long day’s work, you can use the best small shop dust collection we listed here. Read next!

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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