Best Circular Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2017

Best table saw reviews

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.

THE BEST CIRCULAR SAW: HOW TO FIND IT?

Finding the best circular saw for sale is not difficult once you know what to look for.

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.

CIRCULAR SAW GUIDE: WHY CHEAP SAWS DON'T WORK IN THE LONG RUN

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. That is why many experts advise on buying Dewalt circular saw, Milwaukee or Ryobi circular saw models as some of the most popular brands.

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 circular saw types you have when you’re looking for the best circular saw:

  • SIDEWINDER
  • WORM DRIVE
  • CORDED
  • CORDLESS

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.

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.

SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw

I must say, I am very impressed with this saw!! I built a small lawn edging wall which curves a bit, and I needed to cut the capping bricks. I guess I could have rented a circular saw, but I wanted to buy one and not spend to much on one. As I researched about saws specific for cutting bricks the price started going up.

By Dan B.

Main Features

  • 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 on this circular saw for sale include a safety button to prevent accidental starts, lever adjustments on the baseplate and a torque clutch to minimize kickback. This makes the SKIL circular saw great when it comes to power and precision.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

    • Some users question the build quality so think about how heavily you will use your saw
    • No rip fence included with this package

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an affordable, quiet and smooth circular saw, the 5280-01 SKIL circular saw 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 and relatively cheap circular saw that will give you the added comfort of handling a reliable product..

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.

Rockwell RK3441K Circular Saw

I've used a larger 7 1/2 inch Dewalt circular saw for years. But now it's getting cobwebs because of this Rockwell RK3441K compact saw. This compacts saw is so darn handy, lays easily in my tool bag, is more convenient than my larger traditional circular saw to tot around that it's becoming my go-to saw for small to intermediate cuts in wood and metal. It has a nice /precise /quality rip fence and angle cut feature and the knobs are quick and secure to set any angle cut.

By Victor J.

Main Features

  • 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Not appropriate for prolonged commercial use

Conclusion

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, this DeWalt circular saw is safe, capable and extremely powerful for its size.

Dewalt DWE575SB Circular Saw

Great saw. I've used it for many projects and it works very well. They say lightweight, but that doesn't mean very light. I'd say it may be slightly lighter than other models or other larger saws. I wouldn't buy it because it is supposed to be light. That said it works great. Even if you have battery tools, I think you should have a basic corded circular saw. You can use this all day long.

By Evan H.

Main Features

  • 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.

At last, changing the blade is straightforward on the Dewalt circular saw. There’s onboard wrench storage meaning you won’t need to reach out for your toolbox.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Watch out for blade being misaligned 

Conclusion

For a real all-round workhorse, the DeWalt circular saw (DWE575SB ) 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.

Bosch CS5 Circular Saw

As a deck builder, I use this saw EVERY day, cutting extremely hard woods like ipe and garrapa. This saw, like all 15amp, circular saws can handle the wood and any kind of cut. I use only top quality Diablo blades, and regularly perform finger rips and compound miters without any issues with the motor bogging down and blade deflection. I also regularly have to rip wet PT wood, and this saw handles it all fine. This is a great saw and a great price, the blade-left design provides excellent line of sight when cutting with your right hand.

By Crever J.

Main Features

  • 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 on this Bosch circular saw 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • No safety switch so use with extreme care

Conclusion

If you fancy a left-blade saw and you want a great mix of affordability, durability and performance, take a long hard look at the Bosch circular saw.

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.

Festool 561438 TS 75 EQ Plunge Cut Circular Saw

As all Festool products, this saw seems to be expensive,but not really considering the quality of the tool and its features! For overall quality, Festools are the best value for the money. trite, but so true, "you get what you pay for", and this ceretainly is no exception.

By Danniel B.

Main Features

  • Spring-loaded riving knife
  • Fastfix system
  • Slip clutch
  • 13-amp motor
  • 1350-3550RPM no-load speed
  • 75-inch guide rail

This is one of the go-to professional circular saw chosen by many 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Very expensive compared to others

Conclusion

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?

Best Circular Saw Reviews

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.

Buying Guide

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.

    Keeping a clean working environment is critical. Not only does dust irritate your eyes and nose, it’s also not safe if you can’t clearly see what you are doing. Throw in the fact that you can harm your saw if it gets too clogged up and you can see why dust collection is so important. Whether you go for a circular saw boasting a dust collection bag or one you can connect to your shop vac, don’t overlook the issue of dust collection.

    Circular saws come with a full range of blade sizes. They range from 6 ¼ inches all the way through to 14 inches. The 7 ¼-inch blade has become the go-to choice for woodworkers and contractors alike. The size of the blade will determine how deep a cut you can make. Smaller blades can handle regular 2-inch wood even when cutting at an angle. If you want to cut through larger 4-inch sections, you’ll need to up the ante to a 12 or 14-inch blade. Consider the thickest pieces of wood you’re likely to cut and choose accordingly.

    Not all circular saws have brakes. If you have a model with no brake, the blade takes a short while to stop revolving when you cut the power. Those with braking systems will bring the blade to a complete halt in less than 2 seconds. Having no brake is not a deal-breaker but it’s safer to focus on a saw with this functionality. The same split is true when it comes to laser guides. Those saws that come equipped with this feature allow you to follow a beam of laser light marking out the cutting line. You can get by perfectly well without a laser guide but life is easier when your cutting is precision-guided.

    If you are a carpenter or contractor, it’s worth pondering just how versatile your circular saw will be. You need a saw with a tilted base for beveling so you can make precise, angled cuts. Think about your specific needs and choose accordingly.

Usage and Maintenance Tips

Best table saw reviews

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.

CLOSING WORD

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!

FAQ:

1. HOW DEEP CAN YOU CUT WITH A CIRCULAR SAW?
The depth of cut is determined by the capacity of the blade. The bigger the blade, the deeper the cut. The most commonplace blade comes in at 7 ¼-inch diameter. You can get smaller blades as well. Even 6-inch blades will rip through 2 inches of timber with one pass.

2. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SIDEWINDER AND A WORM DRIVE?
The key difference is the positioning of the motor and the transfer of power to the gears then blade. With a sidewinder, the blade shaft and motor shaft are lined up. Worm drives have a spiral thread on the shaft at right-angles to the blade shaft.

3. CAN YOU USE A CIRCULAR SAW TO CUT METAL?
You can but you will need a dedicated blade suitable for metal. Beyond this, it’s not recommended that you use the same saw to cut wood and metal.

4. WHAT IS A DADO BLADE?
A dado blade, also called a dado set, is a type of circular saw blade. It’s usually used with a radial arm saw or a table saw. These blades are used to cut grooves for your woodworking projects.

5. WHAT ARE RIP CUTS AND CROSS CUTS?
A rip cut is when you cut a piece of wood parallel to the grain. Cross-cuts, on the other hand, are cuts perpendicular to the grain. This tends to shear the fibers of the wood whereas a rip cut will lift up small splinters.

6. WHAT IS THE POINT OF A RIVING KNIFE?
Kickback is a potential menace when using power saws. The wood becomes jammed in between the blade and the fence. It then catches on the teeth of the blade and can flick back toward you. An adjustable riving knife will move in harmony with the blade to reduce kickback.

7. DO I NEED A LASER GUIDE?
No. You can get by perfectly well without one. If you want superior accuracy, though, a laser guide helps to cut straight with absolute ease.

8. ARE CIRCULAR SAWS ANY GOOD FOR PLUNGE CUTS?
They certainly are. If you are making this type of cut on a regular basis, there’s no excuse not to invest in a plunge saw. If, on the other hand, you will only plunge cut from time to time, a circular saw makes a good fist of a job. Be very careful when making plunge cuts. Safety should always come first.

9. IS IT DIFFICULT TO CHANGE THE BLADE ON MY CIRCULAR SAW?
No, it’s really rather simple. Watch out for models equipped with a shaft lock or spindle lock. This will simplify the process further. Take your time to choose a suitable blade and keep one in stock so you don’t get caught short.

10. WHAT IS GANG CUTTING?
If you want to cut multiple pieces of plywood to the same size, clamp them together and cut through the stack with a single pass. This is gang cutting and it’s a great time saver.

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