When it comes to woodworking, there’s little to beat a great multi-purpose circular saw.
For rips and cross-cuts, a circular saw is probably the most popular power tool. As with many tools, the prices of circular saws were once too high for the average woodworker. As technology has advanced and these saws are now mass-produced, you can pick up a great model without spending a fortune.
Versatility is one of the key selling points of the best circular saw. You can take care of a wide array of tasks from rips and cross-cuts through to beveling and plunge cuts.
The right saw should boast sufficient power to carve through anything you throw its way. From wet timber to denser hardwood, a circular saw should make light work of all lumber.
While you can pick up extremely cheap circular saws, you’re well advised to look at more than just the bottom line. Very cheap saws will not only lack power and accuracy, they won’t last the test of time either. You are much better off saving up and getting a solid saw that won’t let you down.
Today, we’ll explore 5 great circular saw reviews so that you can choose the best one for your needs. We will look at an assortment of saws at different price points so there is something for everyone.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the 4 main options you have when you’re looking for the best circular saw:
- WORM DRIVE
Circular saws are grouped as either sidewinder or worm drive.
Sidewinders are much lighter than their worm drive counterparts. Think about how you will be using your saw. If it’s just for the occasional cut or two at home, this may not be such an issue. If, on the other hand, you’ll be using your saw at work for extended periods, weight comes to the fore.
With sidewinders, the motor lies flush to the blade. Power and torque is transferred through a spur gear.
The motor on worm drive circular saws is in back. Two gears set at right-angles to each other cause the blade to spin.
While the speed is less than with a sidewinder (4500RPM rather than 6000RPM), you’ll experience much more torque with a worm drive.
The position of the motor leads to worm drive saws being longer and much heavier than sidewinders.
While home woodworking enthusiasts naturally choose one saw or the other, many contractors appreciate the different qualities of each kind of saw. Having one of each is a smart move if budget permits.
Most power tools give you a straight-up choice between a corded and cordless model. Circular saws are no different.
Corded saws are more powerful. If you plan to do most of your cutting in one place and you prize performance above all else, go corded. For stone, masonry and tiles, corded saws work wonderfully. They are also best for cutting large volumes of wood.
One thing to watch out for: these cords are almost always too short. Make sure you have an extension cable to hand for more freedom of movement.
Although they are normally slightly more expensive, cordless circular saws offer outstanding convenience. You will not be encumbered by a restrictive power cord and you can move around with ease wherever you want to cut.
In addition to the extra expense, the serious downside of a cordless is needing to wait for the battery to charge up once it’s run down. Think about how you will be cutting and for how long. Only you know whether or not this downtime will prove to be a nuisance.
For portability and ease of use, cordless circular saws win hands-down.
Top 5 Circular Saw Reviews 2016 - Comparison Chart By Mitersawjudge.com
Top 5 Circular Saw Reviews 2016 - Comparison Chart By Mitersawjudge.com
Are you on the hunt for the best circular saw? You’re in luck because there’s a huge choice of great tools available. We are here to help simplify your buying decision.
Take a quick glance at this run-down of 5 top-notch circular saws:
Detailed Circular Saw Reviews
1. SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
First up in our look at the best circular saws is a superb 7 ¼-inch model from the highly reputable SKIL.
This is a beefier and more powerful version of the best-selling 5680. If you want to chop your way through all kinds of wood, the 15-amp motor and 18-tooth 7 ¼-inch blade will deliver in fine style.
SKIL have a reputation for producing great tools without charging a fortune. The 5280-01 is very reasonably priced without compromising functionality.
- 15-amp motor
- Positive stop at 45 degrees
- Shaft lock
- Anti-snag lower guard
- Locked and guarded trigger
- Laser guide
You’ll get a maximum cutting depth of just under 2-½ -inches. You’ll be able to churn through 2x4s with absolute ease. If you want to cut 4x4 pieces, you’ll need to make more than one pass.
At 45 degrees, the depth of cut is 1 and 15/16-inches. There is a positive stop at 45 degrees. It can extend to 51 degrees.
There’s an integrated dust blower that will keep all the sawdust out of your line of sight. The laser guide shoots out a single beam that makes following the cutting line a cinch.
The blade supplied has 24 teeth and is great for general cuts with wood. The 5/8-inch arbor hole is a standard size. An onboard wrench and locking feature makes swapping the blades quick and easy.
Coming in at less than 9 pounds, you can work for a long time without feeling the weight. The cord is slightly too short at just 6 feet so make sure you have an extension cable.
Added features include a safety button to prevent accidental starts, lever adjustments on the baseplate and a torque clutch to minimize kickback.
- Get both power and precision from the 15-amp motor
- Weighing under 9 pounds,you can enjoy performance without straining yourself
- Changing blades is a breeze thanks to the shaft lock
- Large foot leads to great control
- Cut with ease guided by a single beam laser
- Work smoothly with SKILL's patented anti-snag lower guard
- Some users question the build quality so think about how heavily you will use your saw
- No rip fence included with this package
If you’re looking for an affordable, quiet and smooth circular saw, the SKIL 5280-01 is well worth popping on your shortlist.
While it is not cut out for heavy-duty and relentless commercial work, if you want a manageable and capable circular saw for your home workshop, it’s a great choice.
2. Rockwell RK3441K Compact Circular Saw
Next up on our look at the best circular saw reviews is a highly compact model from Rockwell.
Every woodworker has different cutting needs and there’s a growing market for ultra-compact circular saws that don’t sacrifice cutting power.
- 5-amp electric motor
- Blade can spin at 3500 RPM
- 41/2-inc blade
- Weighs just 5 pounds
- Carbide blade with 24 teeth per inch
- Left-handed blade design
While 7 ¼-inch circular saws have long been the kneejerk choice and 6 ½-inch blades are growing in popularity, Rockwell have gone for a 4 ½-inch blade with inline body styling.
Although this nifty circular saw tips the scales at less than 5 pounds, the 5-amp motor generates more than enough power for cutting through most wood. Maxing out at 3,500 RPM, you can rip your way through 2x4s without undue effort.
The inbuilt dust port is a nice touch. Since you will usually be using a small saw like this in finished areas, keeping things clean is a must.
At 90 degrees, you’ll get a maximum cutting depth of 1 1/16 inches. You will cut 1 1/8 inches at 90 degrees.
Although it’s scaled down in size, you’ll enjoy most of the functionality you associate with larger, more expensive circular saws.
- Incredibly lightweight at less than 5 pounds but still packs a punch
- Powerful 5-amp motor operating at 3500RPM lets you slice through 2x4s with ease
- Grip is balanced and confortable offering you complete control
- Super-maneuverable so work overhead without straining your arms
- Superb value for money
- Plunge cut indicators take the guesswork out of cutting
- Not appropriate for prolonged commercial use
If you want a supplementary circular saw, the Rockwell makes a fine choice. It won’t make the grade for large commercial projects but for small DIY jobs in the house, its portability is a complete winner.
For regular cutting with smaller pieces of material, the RK3441K will not disappoint.
3. DEWALT DWE575SB Circular Saw
No list of the best circular saws would be complete without the legendary DWE575SB from industry giant DeWalt.
For a lightweight and low maintenance 7 ¼-inch saw at a highly competitive price, the DWE575SB is safe, capable and extremely powerful for its size.
- Weighs 8.8 pounds
- 7.2 inches wide
- 7 1/4-inch blade
- Integrated dust blower
- Electric brake
- 1950 watts with 5100RPH
DeWalt consistently produce top-tier tools that don’t need you to arrange a bank loan. Whether you are woodworking at home or on site, this 7 ¼-inch blade will deal with all regular cutting needs fuss-free.
The lightweight nature and ease of use make this circular saw ideal for anyone just starting out.
With carbide tips on the 18 teeth of the steel blade, cutting is a breeze with the DeWalt.
For beveling, there is a pair of detents at 22.5 and 45 degrees. Bevel capacity is 57 degrees while you can achieve a 2 9/16-inch depth of cut.
Safety comes first with DeWalt. With an electric brake to grind things to an immediate halt when needed and a dust blower included, you can work without worrying about having a mishap.
For a full range of cutting applications, the motor is rated at 1950 watts with a no-load speed of 5100RPM.
Changing the blade is straightforward. There’s onboard wrench storage meaning you won’t need to reach out for your toolbox.
- Incredibly light weightand menauverable for a circular saw at under 9 pounds
- Safety is at premium with superb
- Keep your working ares free of sawdust and wood particles with inbuilt dust blower
- Extremely good value for money: perfect combination of affordability and performance
- 57 degree beleving with 2 detents (22.5 degrees and45 degrees) for real versatility
- No load speed of 5,200 RPM is impressive
- Watch out for blade being misaligned
For a real all-round workhorse, the DeWalt DWE575SB circular saw is a strong contender for the best circular saw on the market.
7 ¼-inch blades are incredibly common with just cause. You can take care of pretty much all of your cutting needs in one truly compact package. You’ll even get a carrying case thrown in!
4. Bosch CS5 Circular Saw
Bosch has been producing a huge range of power tools for many decades and they continue this tradition with an outstanding 7 ¼-inch left blade circular saw.
Most blades on circular saws are positioned on the right. If you prefer it on the left ten the CS5 is well worth looking into.
- 71/4-inch blade
- 15-amp motor
- Anti-snag lower guard
- 24 teeth are carbide-tipped
- No-load speed of 6200 RPM
- Depth adjustment lever
The 15-amp motor runs at 6200 RPM so you’ll be able to make a full range of cuts with power and precision.
Tweaking the depth of cut can be awkward. It’s extremely simple with the Bosch. You hit a lever and vary the depth accordingly.
The blade has 24 carbide-tipped teeth. Swapping out the blades couldn’t be less hassle. With a tool-free spindle lock, you can change them without breaking your stride.
You can bevel to 56 degrees with the Bosch CS5. The sidewinder of this left blade has an anti-snag lower guard. Alignment is easy thanks to the line guide. Use the notch on the left for straight 90-degree cuts and the one on the right to bevel.
If you use your power tools for lengthy stretches, it’s important that they feel right. The soft grip of the Bosch’s handle lets you work away without any discomfort.
There’s no safety switch, electric brake or rip fence but at this price point you can’t ask for much more.
- Powerful 120V 15-amp motor for great cutting performance
- 24-tooth carbide blade can be changed tool-free for your convenience
- Easy lower to adjust the depth of cut
- Bevel adcustment to 56 degrees with anti-snag lower guard for smooth operation
- Rapid no-load speed at 6200 RPM delivers powerful cuts
- Handle grip soft and comfortable so work without blisters or soreness
- No safety switch so use with extreme care
If you fancy a left blade circular saw and you want a great mix of affordability, durability and performance, take a long hard look at the Bosch.
For a versatile saw at home in the workshop or on site, this corded powerhouse is a safe bet.
5. Festool 561438 TS 75 EQ Plunge Cut Circular Saw
Rounding out these circular saw reviews is an industry favorite, the legendary Festool TS 75 EQ.
If you’re on the lookout for a first class plunge cut circular saw, Festool deliver, albeit at a price.
- Spring-loaded riving knife
- Fastfix system
- Slip clutch
- 13-amp motor
- 1350-3550RPM no-load speed
- 75-inch guide rail
The go-to circular saw for many professional contractors and home woodworkers alike is the TS 75 EQ from Festool. The stellar brand also offers a slightly smaller option, the TS 55.
There’s a small, replaceable plastic guard near the cutting edge. This helps to almost completely eliminate splinters.
The nifty guide rails mean you can get accuracy you might normally associate with a table saw or panel saw.
Most circular saws don’t have riving knives but the Festool comes with a spring-loaded splitter that retracts during plunge cuts.
You can put the Festool under some pretty heavy cutting action with no drop in performance. It’s a tool built for commercial use so you don’t need to hold back.
It’s a very user-friendly experience with the TS 75 EQ. Swapping out the blades is stress-free and the cutting action is smooth and stable.
- Almost no kickback thanks to outstanding spring-loaded riving knife
- Quick and controlled plunge cuntting so no messing around with the fence
- Change blades fuss-free with FastFix Blade Change System
- 75-inch guide rail helps you achieve clean, splinter-free finishes
- Capable 13-amp motor can deliver variable speeds of 1350-3550 RPM for versatile cutting
- Rugged and built to last under even prolonged ,heavy use
- Very expensive compared to others
If you often need to make cuts in the middle of wood and you want the accuracy and power that comes with a plunge saw, the Festool TS 75 EQ takes some beating.
It’s not cheap but if you plan to get plenty of mileage out of your saw, it certainly represents outstanding value for money. It’s not a saw for everyone but it’s a study in power tool excellence.
Who Needs Circular Saws?
Any serious home woodworker has a place for a circular saw in their tool kit.
The beauty of these general purpose saws is that you should be able to slice your way through pretty much any wood in no time. It makes no difference how dense the timber is or what condition it’s in. Whether it’s soaking wet or riddled with knots, a circular saw will carve through regardless.
Circular saws are staples on the job site and widely used throughout the construction industry. They work just as well for home enthusiasts with heavy cutting requirements.
It’s also possible to get a saw and blade perfectly suited for cutting metal. You should get a dedicated blade and you should use one saw for wood and another for any trunking, conduit or metal work.
We will take a more in-depth look now at some of the features you should take into account when you’re looking for the best circular saw.
Price is always a driving factor so set your budget and stick to it. This alone will narrow your options nicely.
In addition to researching the product itself, it pays to study plenty of user reviews. Generally, someone who has spent out good money on a product will give a fairly accurate account of their experience. Check the good and bad reviews. Pay attention to any reported downsides.
We’ll walk you through some of the most crucial factors to consider when investing in a circular saw.
Usage and Maintenance Tips
Using a circular saw is pretty easy to get to grips with. If you are looking to cut down larger pieces of material rather than working in fine detail, this is the perfect tool for the job.
As with all power tools, safety should be uppermost in your mind at all times. Make sure you are wearing any appropriate safety clothing and that you keep your working area free of dust and debris.
When it comes to maintenance, circular saws are not too demanding. Clean your saw off after each use and you’ll be good to go.
If you are keen on woodworking, whether in the home or on a professional basis, there’s little substitute for the best circular saw.
As you can see, there are a number of key factors to bear in mind when you are on the buying trail. Take your time to do plenty of research. Analyze your needs carefully. Time spent at this stage is very worthwhile. The last you want is to rush out and get a saw unsuited to the jobs you will carry out with it.
Once you have decided firmly on your budget and the type of circular saw that best meshes with your woodworking, it’s time to bring one home and get cutting!