From Joseph (who you may remember as Old JC’s stepdad) right through to Geppetto and beyond, carpenters and tradesmen were always searching for better for efficiency in their wood-cutting adventures pleading for something better than the archaic hand saw. They may have missed out, but that doesn’t mean you have to, and if you don’t have the best circular saw in your tool arsenal then what are you doing?
Circular saws are a necessary tool for anyone who works with wood, metal, tile, and any material you can think of. If you want to speed up your projects while still maintaining and even exceeding high quality and performance, these tools are a fantastic place to get started.
The Best Circular Saw
Our top pick for the best circular saw is the DeWalt 7-1/4-Inch Lightweight Circular Saw which delivers marvelous accuracy and precision with a lightweight construction for excellent control, but is still sturdy to tackle through heavy duty jobs. The guard doesn’t interfere with cuts, and the electric brake provides safety and convenience.
It’s also an unstated product (and who doesn’t love an underdog?) The circular saw reviews neglect to give you the full picture of how great this is and minimize expectations. Even if you’re impressed by the product description, what you get will exceed everything you imagined, to bring you a fantastic, reliable, durable saw which would fit perfectly in anyone’s toolbox. Make sure you also check our guide to the best cordless drills.
Lightweight and compact 15 Amp operation delivers power
Integrated dust blower
57-degree beveling capacity with positive stops at 45 and 22.5 degrees
Electric brake with trigger release
- Weight8.8 pounds
Well balanced and weighted
Blades are easy to change
Durable construction for everyday use
No rip fence or safety switch
For a top quality option for true professionals and any DIYers who love to have the best tools around, the Makita 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Circular Saw is the circular saw for you. It’s powerful motor delivers optimum performance over years of daily, heavy use. It offers variable speeds to suit the demands and material while its bevel capability makes it easy to saw at different angles completely hassle-free.
It arrives perfectly aligned, allowing you to get started on your projects straight out of the box, and even over time it won’t require readjustment unless the job demands it. The dust collection function keeps visibility high, which increases efficiency, meaning you can kick back and relax quicker after a job well done.
Powerful 12 amp motor for optimum performance
Precision accurate cutting for splinter-free finish
Variable speed control dial from 2000 to 5200 RPM
Bevel capability to 48-degrees with positive stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees
- Weight16.5 pounds
Rubberized grip improves comfort and reduces hand fatigue
Excellent dust collection
Anti-tipping mechanism ensures safety
Short power cord
With 15 amps for near-unrivaled performance, the SKILSAW 7-1/4-Inch Lightweight Worm Drive Circular Saw high-powered but surprisingly lightweight choice. This is thanks to the magnesium construction, which is designed to provide control and reduce fatigue so you can work harder for longer. The Cut-Ready depth is convenient and saves you time starting jobs, while also providing accurate measurements you can rely on.
With a 53-degree bevel you’re guaranteed a variety of cutting angles, and it delivers consistent speed and cutting throughout the years. Even though it’s one of pricier options on the list, it’s still a reliable table saw ideal for tradesmen but also perfect for casual home improvement buffs who want high-quality tools to make the job straightforward and easy. Our handy guide to the best stud finders features more great products like this.
Light magnesium construction reduces fatigue
Cut-Ready depth of cut system for quick, accurate depth measurements
53-degree bevel allows wide variety of cuts
15 amps of power for faster more efficient cutting
- Weight11.5 pounds
Anti-snag guard for smooth operation when cutting off small pieces
Redesigned blade guard
Consistent speed and performance throughout the years
Bevel adjustment too stiff for fast switching
Weighing a mere 3.4 pounds, the Rockwell 3-3/8-Inch Versacut Ultra Compact Circular Saw is the most lightweight deal you’ll find today (and even tomorrow and beyond). It’s ultra-compact while still delivering versatile multi-functionality for a variety of demands and materials without the quality of performance dropping when moving between.
This corded circular saw has an ergonomic slim grip handle for easy operation and puts you in total control of your cutting. The depth setting is fast and simple, and you can attach a vacuum to reduce dust build up around the house and shop while keeping visibility at a high, and the built-in laser guide provides even greater precision for delicate jobs and saves you setting up a straight-edge guide.
Ultra-compact and multifunctional operation
Ergonomic design with slim grip handle
Pivoting metal guard accommodates safe and easy plunge cuts
Dust extractor adapter improves visibility
- Weight3.4 pounds
Powerful 4 amp motor
Easy depth adjustment and blade lock
Long power cord ensures freedom on the job
Cumbersome blade changes requiring 2 wrenches
A reliable power saw that’s available at a fantastic price, the SKIL 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is our pick for the best value on our list. Its 14 amp motor provides a massive 5200 RPM for fantastic power for the price and delivers superb speed and fast, efficient cuts with a variety of materials.
It’s easy to use and set up along with a lightweight design that helps reduce fatigue and the spindle lock makes blade change easy, should you need to tackle something a little tougher. Its 51-degree bevel capacity ensures wide cutting variety for whatever angle you need to cut at, although its size means it’s perhaps not excellent for large all-day jobs, but for the price will you really care?
Powerful 14 amp motor delivers 5200 RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
51-degree bevel capacity for wider cutting variety
Dust blower improves line of sight and visibility
Single beam laser enhances precision
- Weight12.1 pounds
Spindle lock included for easy blade changes
Lightweight design reduces fatigue
Easy to set up and use
Only suited for small jobs and DIY
Those looking for a mini circular saw that’s easy to hold, use, and maneuver the brilliantly named WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2-Inch Circular Saw is something for you to consider. It’s effective enough to complete a plethora of DIY jobs while also offering enough functionality for fast professional jobs on the go. It’s compact and portable, so won’t take up much space in your toolbox and gives you an option for something smaller when the job demands it.
The thin blade reduces tool strain, which provides full-sized cutting speed at nearly half the size and weight. The attachable dust port keeps the area clear and improves visibility, and if you’re a righty (which we’ll take a punt you likely are) the left-handed design prevents obstruction and gives you a clear line of sight. Because of its size, it’s unlikely to become the number one saw for professionals, but it still has its uses, and you can’t ask for much more than that.
Easily maneuverable compact with 50% less weight than standard 7-1/2-inch options
Thin blade reduces tool strain
Easy-set depth gauge lever with 0-45-degree bevel settings
Integrated safety trigger on grip provides comfort, balance, and control
- Weight5.3 pounds
Left-sided blade design improves visibility
Rotating exhaust deflector fits shop vacuum
Excellent for quick, small, accurate tasks
Blade quality not as high as other saws
The Makita Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw deliver a lightweight and well-balanced option while still offering a large diameter for wide, near-universal cutting capabilities. Its powerful 15 amp motor delivers a huge 5800RPM and gives you smooth, easy, knife-through-butter-like cutting without splintering edges whether you’re cutting at 0 or 56-degrees.
With two LED lights, you’re provided fantastic accuracy (if you need them) and the dust blower further enhances precision to give you top quality performance at a reasonable price for both professionals and casuals. The blade is easy to adjust with an attached blade wrench to save you losing it in the bottom of your toolbox, and while it’s a little (okay very) loud, but what do you expect from 15 amps?
Magnesium components make a lightweight, well-balanced saw
Powerful 15 amp motor delivers 5800 RPM
Two built-in LED lights illuminate cutting line for better accuracy
Large cutting capacity with 0 – 56-degree bevel adjustment
- Weight10.6 pounds
Still jobsite-tough despite lighter materials
Smooth and accurate performance for heavy duty demands
Easy to use and adjust
Loud blade operation
The beauty of the cordless circular saw is its portability, and the Milwaukee M18 Fuel 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw provides just that and more. Compared to corded saws, it has 40% less weight while still ensuring optimum performance through cutting depth. The POWERSTATE Brush Motor is both durable and reliable, providing fantastic results with whatever material you’re tackling.
Its ambidextrous design makes it perfect for anyone who needs a left-handed circular saw – which is nice and inclusive of Milwaukee – and its LED lights help guide you along the correct path. Our favorite feature, though, is the rafter hook which helps you get to those hard-top-reach, often high up places, which is not something you’d ever find with a corded saw, and could transform your projects for the better.
40% less weight than corded saws without sacrificing depth or performance
POWERSTATE brushless motor is durable and reliable
LED lights increase accuracy in low light environments
Upper and lower tool guards ensure safety
- Weight8.5 pounds
Ambidextrous trigger and safety catch
Rafter hook perfect for hard-to-reach places
Cordless and easily portable
Overheats during all-day jobs
The Bosch Bare Tool 6-1/2-Inch Circular Saw is a large and durable option that guarantees years of great performance without asking you to break the bank. While it’s as powerful as other options, it’s still more than enough when looking for portable circular saw to take to the job or to use around the house, and is more than capable of slicing through thick wood.
This was done even with the default blade, which experienced contractors will tell you is good, but not the best you’ll find. The anti-snag lower guard prevents jolting, while the left-blade design ensures a clear line of sight for fine accuracy. The safety button can be a little hard to reach, but we’ll hope you don’t need to use it too often.
3900 no-load RPM gives extraordinary power-to-weight ratio
Left-blade design gives clear line of cut view
Bosch exclusive anti-snag lower guard and electronic brake
Durable construction for years of use
- Weight10.05 pounds
Tough blade guard
Easy to use depth adjustment locking lever
Powerful and portable
Safety button can be hard to reach
Our final choice is the Genesis 4-1/2-Inch Circular Saw, which brings a modest but respectable 3500 RPM to the table and combines this with a triple gear reduction system to provide maximum torque. This is great by itself, but when you factor in the Tungsten-Carbide blade, you’ve got a high performing saw on your hands that ensures results and simplicity in your projects.
There’s a built-in dust port and vacuum adapter to keep your workspace clean, and the adjustable cutting depth and bevel offer variety for what you can do. The trigger position makes it hard to get a decent grip for some, but it’s cheap enough (but not cheap feeling) we don’t mind too much. If you need a compact circular saw that goes a step or two further than the norm, this is a powerful, reliable, and easy-to-use option you can take anywhere. Well, almost anywhere.
3500 RPM with triple gear reduction for maximum torque
Ability to cut through all 2X material with Tungsten-Carbide blade is convenient and efficient
Built-in dust port and vacuum adapter keeps work area clean
Adjustable cutting depth and bevel settings
- Weight6 pounds
Compact and lightweight design for portability
Versatile and multifunctional for a variety of materials
Easy to maneuver
Trigger position makes it hard to get a good grip
Circular Saw Buying Guide And FAQ
Features To Look For In A Circular Saw
Type-The two types of circular saws you’ll find are worm drive and sidewinder, which we go into greater detail about below. Worm drives are not as powerful, but is better for plunge cuts. Sidewinders are more powerful and are available in either corded or cordless models.
Power-Your electric saw will be powerful, that much is obvious, but you need to find the best circular saw for your needs, which may not mean the most powerful. Small jobs or simple DIY won’t require too much power whereas professionals should look for something that’s at least 14 amps.
Weight-While your handheld circular saw will have weight to it, there are differently weighted option available. Lightweight saws are better for overhead sawing, but they may not be as powerful. Heavier saws will pack this necessary power, but could be harder to control, especially after a long day.
Blade Visibility-Blade visibility helps you make sure you’re making the right cuts in the right places. Sometimes, it depends on whether you are left- or right-handed and if this is an issue, you can look for ambidextrous saws which work perfectly in either hand.
Ergonomic Design-Holding an electric wood saw can get tiring on the hands, so an ergonomic design is a must. This reduces fatigue so you can continue to grip the handle with sufficient control and ensures you don’t make a mistake.
Precision-For the best project results, a precise cut is a must. When buying your saw, measure it up against something to check the notches are correct, otherwise you’ll end up with inaccurate cuts.
Depth & Bevel Adjustment-You’re likely to work with different thicknesses, so a saw with a wide range of depth adjustments is a must. Similarly, the bevel adjustment allows you to tackle different angles properly and safely.
Shoe – Baseplate-The shoe (or baseplate) keeps your saw steady against whatever you’re working on. This stabilizes the saw and prevents it from slipping, ensuring safe and satisfactory cuts.
Cordless vs Corded-Choosing between a cordless and corded circular saw will depend on what you need to use it for. Cordless saws offer better mobility and portability, but they aren’t as powerful and you must recharge the batteries. Likewise, the best corded circular saw options pack more power, but with the cord, you won’t have as much range with your movement.
Safety-Safety is always important with power tools. You can look for products with electric brakes to stop the motor if needed and also with guards that protect you from bits of material coming off. As with any construction work, always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.
Blade Left vs Blade Right-This will depend on what hand you hold the saw with and remember it could hinder your visibility if you have the blade on the wrong side.
Dust Blower-Sawing creates a lot of dust, if you weren’t already aware, and a dust blower is an essential feature to have on your circular saw. Not only does it keep the area clear, it improves visibility by keeping the dust out of vision, ensuring better accuracy.
If you can find a circular saw with a vacuum adapter, you can direct the dust entirely away from your job to clear the area even better.
Electric Brake-We all know how hazardous construction jobs can be, and safety features such as an electric brake puts our minds at ease - even if only a little. The electric brake on your circular saw will be easy to access and immediately stop the motor should something go wrong.
We hope nothing goes wrong, obviously, but you can never predict when something bad will happen. If you’re even just a little concerned about safety when using your saw, find one with an electric brake.
Laser Guide-A circular saw with laser capabilities is awesome for achieving accuracy and precision like never before. While not all circular saws have this feature, those that do will eliminate the need to draw chalk lines, or just plain hope you’re staying in line.
Almost all saw jobs require precision, and with a laser guide, you’ll never need to worry about going off track again, which is great for peace of mind, and helping you relax. Not too much though, you’re still working with a saw.
LED Work Light-Kind of like laser guides but not really, the LED work light helps you see where you’re cutting. This increases your accuracy and precision and is also useful in low-light situations. It saves you using a torch and ensures better control over your cutting.
Types Of Circular Saws:
Worm Drive Circular Saw
A worm drive circular saw is where the motor is located and mounted on the back of the tool which makes it longer than other types. This set up provides more torque, but also reduces the revolutions per minute to a limit of around 4500.
This kind of saw is ideal for plunge cuts and when tackling wider boards, although it requires more maintenance than other saws, as you need to keep it sufficiently oiled.
Sidewinder Circular Saw
Also known as an in-line saw, the sidewinder circular saw is the most common model you’ll find. The motor is on the right side of the saw (usually), which allows it to rest on the workpiece and not the part you are sawing off. If you do a lot of overhead cutting, the sidewinder is a fantastic option, as it’s more lightweight.
Because the motor is in-line with the blade, it generates more speed that typically tops out at 6000RPM. With sidewinders, you have the option of going cordless, offering you greater mobility, and you also need not add oil.
Circular Saw FAQ
Q: How does a Circular saw work?
A: A circular saw uses a disc-shaped blade to cut quickly and efficiently through metal and wood (among other materials) along a flat surface. Additional features ensure safe usage and help you cut accurately.
Q: What cuts can Circular Saws make?
A: There are a variety of cuts you can make with a circular saw, and some are more straightforward than others. They include:
- Rip cut
- Non-through cut
- Bevel cut
- Plunge cut
If you’re a professional, you’re likely to encounter all these cuts during your work, but if you’re working around the house, you may only use a few.
Q: Will I need a specific saw blade for certain cuts?
A: Most of the time, yes you will. Besides your regular purpose blade that comes with the saw as default (although you’ll sometimes get other ones in the package) you can find blades for both rip cuts and crosscuts to make the job easier and more efficient.
You also must consider the demands of the cut, as smaller blades cannot cope with more intensive jobs, and you don’t want to risk breaking them.
Q: Can I sharpen my circular saw blade?
A: Like any sharp tool, circular saw blades will require sharpening after some time to ensure productivity, efficiency, and safety. If you think you can do this yourself, you can’t. Blade sharpening is not something you can do at home, and if your blades dull, seek a blade sharpening specialist to fix them.
Q: What size Circular Saw should I get?
A: The size you get should depend the jobs you need to complete. The larger the depth of the cut, the larger the saw you’ll need. Your standards blade diameter is 7-1/4-inches, which will handle the demands of most jobs in a single pass.
You may not need this blade, though, especially if you’re only planning on simple DIY work. If this is the case, you can look at smaller sized saws, which are more portable and lightweight. They also won’t take up much space in your toolbox.
If you’re a professional craftsman, we would recommend going for the largest saw available, as this will give you greater versatility to handle the demands of a variety of jobs.
Q: How long do Circular saw blades last?
A: Any decent tool is built to be durable, and circular saw blades are no different. However, they are not designed to last forever, and when you’re unable to sharpen the blade sufficiently, it’s time to accept you need to replace the blades altogether.
Carbide-tipped blades are more durable than steel blades, so if you want blades that will last longer from the off, look for circular saws which use those blades.