Circular saws come in a range of sizes, and I can’t stress enough how vital it is to choose the right one for your specific needs. Based on the project you have in mind, weighing all options is crucial; otherwise, you might not get the outcome you’re hoping for.
To avoid mistakes, I’ve put together this guide on circular saw sizes, along with some key tips, to help you pinpoint the perfect sizing for your project.
The Varying Sizes of Circular Saws and Their Uses
3 ½ Inches
Circular saws of 3 ½ inches in size are ideal for cutting straight through various lightweight materials like carpet, cardboard, medium-intensity fiberboard, and lumber. Also, due to its compact build, you might find this size of circular saw easy to store.
4 ½ Inches
If you’re going to use a circular saw to cut tiles, PVC tubes, soft metal, wood, plastic, or plasterboard, you can use a 4 ½-inch circular saw.
6 ½ Inches
These 6 ½ inches circular saws can cut up to 2 9/16 inches or 61mm deep. Using this type of circular saw, you can cut various board thicknesses and lumber sizes.
7 ½ Inches
The 7 ¼ inches saws are suitable for cutting various depths, which can go up to 2 3/4 inches or 70mm cuts. So, you can use this type of saw on more wood projects.
8 ¼ Inches
8 ¼ inches is a large-type circular saw. So it offers more power and cutting depth. Worm drive circular saws are usually of this size, which cut through thick materials and even concrete.
10 ¼ Inches
The 10 ¼ inches circular saws are best for professional use as it’s heavy-duty. It can cut thick materials like metal, timber frames, and more.
Most Common Sizes of Circular Saws
The most standard sizes of circular saws are 6 ½ inches and 7 ½ inches. Many reputable brands in the saw industry offer various circular saws with such sizes.
Here are some of the top circular saw brands in the market with this size and their corresponding specs and features:
Cutting Depth at 90 Degrees
2 5/32- inch or 54.5mm
7.8 lbs (3.4kg)
2 11/64-inch or 55cm
8 lbs (3.6kg)
2 1/16-inch or 62mm
5 lbs (2.27kg)
Most Common Power Rating
The standard power supply for circular saws manufactured in the USA is 120 or 230 volts for corded models. As for cordless models, 18 volts is the standard power supply.
Regarding the power rating, 1800W is the most common for circular saws.
(For in-depth information regarding power, you may want to check the watts used by circular saws.)
Most Common Circular Saw Blade Type and Size
When it comes to blade types, most circular saws are equipped with tungsten carbide-tipped blades – typically with 24 TPI (Teeth per Inch). This blade type is used for swift and precise cuts for materials like wood and sheeting.
Choosing Between Wormdrive and Inline Motors
So, if you’re considering your budget, opt for the inline motor units. Plus, they’re compact and practical, making them more suitable for home use. If you’re willing to invest a bit more, I’d personally recommend the wormdrive units. They’re sturdy and versatile, making them suitable for a wide range of projects.
Safety Features to Look Out For
The Retracting Lower Guard is a circular saw’s most significant safety feature. You should never use a saw with a defective retracting lower guard. Before you start using the saw, make sure that it’s working properly .
Also, make sure to check if the saw you’re using is a wormdrive or inline motor. Wormdrive saws are usually designed for left-handed, and inline (or sidewinder) saws are for the right-handed. Having a good grip is vital to performing the job flawlessly and safely.
By now, you’ve got a grasp on the various circular saw sizes available. It’s essential to select the right one based on the materials and the nature of your project.
But don’t stop there. Remember to factor in its power supply, rating, blade type and size, motor type, and, importantly, its safety features.
Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.
Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.