Best Circular Saw Reviews (2019): The Top Tools For The Money
Circular saws aren’t necessarily a tool that everyone can use, but it is also one of the tools that will become a woodworker’s best friend. When used safely, the best circular saws can provide a clean, accurate cut on a number of different boards. They can cut through dense boards, wet boards, and even pressure-treated wood with ease. At the same time, these saws can also handle some of the finish work you may need to do.
Our Favorite Circular Saws
The best tools will come with added safety features, user controls, and an overall design that protects people when the saw is engaged. There may be different weights and sizes, but all of these top-rated tools have the same key ingredients for a consistent user experience.
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Max Amps||Price|
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Max Amps||Price|
|Bosch CS10 Circular Saw|| 4.2 ||15|| $$$ |
|Skil Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide|| 4.6 ||15|| $$ |
|DeWalt Lightweight Circular Saw w/ Electric Break|| 4.7 ||15|| $$$ |
|Porter Cable Heavy Duty Circular Saw|| 4.5 ||15|| $$ |
|Black and Decker 20v Lithium-Ion Circular Saw|| 4.2 ||12|| $ |
|Skil 5180-01 Circular Saw|| 4.4 ||14|| $ |
|Makita 5007MG Magnesium Circular Saw|| 4.7 ||15|| $$$ |
|Rockwell Versacut Ultra-Compact Circular Saw|| 4.3 ||4|| $$ |
|Worx Worxsaw Compact Circular Saw|| 4.4 ||4|| $$ |
|DeWalt DWS535 Worm Drive Circular Saw|| 4.7 ||15|| $$$$ |
What Are the Different Types of Circular Saws?
When you’re shopping for a new circular saw, you’ll usually find recommendations to purchase either a “sidewinder” or a “worm drive” saw. These are two different types of motors that can be used to turn the blade.
Sidewinders are direct drive saws. They work by having the blade connected directly to the motor. This means the tool keeps the saw perpendicular to the motor. It’s the standard design that most people use on a regular basis, including woodworkers.
Worm drive saws, which are sometimes referred to as hypoid saws, are geared down and more independent of the motor. This causes the blade speeds to be reduced, but the saw is able to generate more torque to create a clean cutting experience.
Once you’ve settled on the type of drive you want to have, you’ll need to consider the orientation of the saw. Most models today have a right-sided orientation, which means the blade is set on the right-hand side of the tool’s handle. This is done because when you cut on a bench or one of the best saw horses in your possession, the weight of the tool can be supported.
Right-side orientation also prevents many of the kickbacks that can occur when the blade binds up during a cut. Yet for some left-handed individuals, a blade-left orientation may be more comfortable to use. Blade-left unitss are not routinely made by today’s manufacturers, so if this is your preference, we recommend the Bosch CS5 as a great option to meet your needs.
How to Find the Best Baseplate for Your New Circular Saw
All circular saws come with a baseplate. This is the flat component that the saw rotates through when you’re making a cut. You set the baseplate on top of your working piece and then run the saw through the cut line.
Most models tend to come with a baseplate that is made of either magnesium or aluminum. Either option will work for woodworkers because it increases the durability of the tool. You can save some money by using a baseplate that is made from stamped steel, but these plates tend to have curled edges that can make it difficult to obtain a straight-edge cut.
Magnesium baseplates tend to be lighter than aluminum baseplates, but their durability is about equal.
As you look at your baseplate options, you will also want to consider how the lower guard works with it. If the lower guard is slightly oversized or undersized, then it can sometimes snag on you. That creates a jumping action during a cut, which can then cause you to burn the edge. Look for an anti-snag lower guard in the saw reviews to ensure you avoid this issue with your work.
What Are the Features of the Top-Rated Circular Saws?
Circular saws may come with a wide variety of features these days. One of the most useful features is a laser guide, which directs your cutting as you move through your working piece. You may have a chalk or pencil line to follow, but the laser guide helps you make sure that you remain straight throughout the cut.
These additional features can also be found on many of the best circular saws that are available today.
- Bevel Capacity. The best circular saws for woodworkers tend to have a bevel capacity that exceeds 45 degrees. This gives you added flexibility for certain cuts that you may need, especially if you’re cutting miters or creating roof framing.
- Saw Size. Many units come in a standard 7.25-inch size. This refers to the circumference of the blade. There are several other sizes that are available, including portable 4-inch blades. Whether it’s larger or smaller than the standard size, each option has specific advantages that are worth considering.
- Power Source. You can find corded and cordless designs available to woodworkers right now. Corded models tend to be lighter, but they also limit the locations where you can work. On the other hand, cordless models require you to purchase a battery and charger in most instances, which adds to the final cost of your purchase today.
Although there are lots of good contenders for our best circular saw, overall we think the title should go to the DEWALT model for its excellent design and high level of performance.
What will it cost me to buy a Good Circular Saw?
Most circular saws are available for less than $150 right now. This includes cordless models where the rechargeable battery is included in the final price. The cheaper models tend to use stamped steel and may have blade guards that are difficult to use, but can still create a solid straight cut when called upon. Higher-priced models create more consistency while requiring less long-term maintenance.
For the average woodworker, expect to pay about $100 for a good saw with the specific features that your creativity may need.
Let’s Have a Look at Some Reviews
Thanks to the stamped steel shoe on this unit, you’re given an optimal line of sight that gives you an accurate cut every single time. It also features a metal upper and lower blade guard so that you don’t have to worry about cracking or fracturing when you’re in the middle of a cut. The design is also well-balanced, so you won’t feel over-tired when using this tool despite its added weight. This allowed us to create a smooth, clean cut every single time over a wide variety of different woods. It performed slightly better on soft woods than hardwoods, but with a little extra patience, the end result was always the same.
We could get about 45 minutes of continuous use out of a full charge of this battery. With that being said, the amount of power that we received over the last 5-10 minutes was much lower than the amount of power when first getting started. If cutting continuously, we’d recommend using this saw for about 30 minutes before sending the battery for a new charge to avoid consistency issues. This saw is a left-handed design option, so your cuts will require you to support the full weight of the saw as you push it through your working materials.
You have three options when looking at this model. You can purchase the saw on its own, have it come with a rip fence option, or have it come with the saw blade. If you choose the former, then be aware that this tool takes the standard 7.25-inch blades. It features a 15-amp motor to provide consistent cutting power. This allows it to produce a no-load speed of up to 5,200 RPM. We really liked the design of this particular saw when it comes to making bevel cuts. The lower guard has been designed to work with the integrated dust blower so that you always have a clear sight line while performing a cut.
The base plate on this SKIL model is made from steel, although the thickness of the base plate might be a little questionable. We didn’t have any cutting issues with this saw that involved the performance of the base plate and it remained in excellent condition throughout our time with this particular saw. We found that if we relied on the laser guide alone and didn’t take the curf into account, however, the actual cut was nearly a full quarter-inch off from what we wanted.
The best reason to purchase this particular unit from Bosch might be because of its adjustable bevel and depth levers. This allows you to take advantage of multiple cut angles for your woodworking needs. The adjustments only take a few seconds to complete as well, so you’re not stuck facing a lot of down time with this tool in your collection. You have a total bevel capacity of 56 degrees and positive detents of 22.5 and 46 degrees.
The 14-amp motor on this unit makes it stand out. So does the reduced weight of the saw, which helps prevent a lot of the arm fatigue that you can find with this tool. The dust blower works pretty effectively with this tool, especially when you’re working on a bevel cut. You have a 51-degree bevel with positive stop at 45-degrees, which increases its overall cutting capacity. We found this model to be powerful, consistent, and it didn’t bind even on a long, thick cut.
This model takes advantage of magnesium components to create a lightweight option for those who have daily woodworking tasks to complete. We appreciated the double LED design for better light at the cut line, though it isn’t as effective as a laser guide. The large cutting capacity of 2.5 inches at 90 degrees was consistent and there are positive stops at 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees with the bevel capacity of this saw. Grab it and you’ll want to get to work right away.
This ultra-compact unit is a dream come true for woodworkers. Equipped with a 4-amp motor, you’ll be able to make quick work of the smaller cuts that you need to make. The 4-inch blade won’t let you tackle thick wood pieces, of course, but this saw does have the power to cut through tile, plastics, and sheet metal with ease. The slim-grip handle gives you a solid grip at all times with this saw and there is a laser guide built into the saw so you always know the right place to cut. The metal guard also makes plunge cuts simple and easy to do.
Although this 4.5-inch compact small is more of a hobbyist tool that a true contractor’s item, you can still easily cut through a 2×4 in a single pass with this tool. You have more maneuverability and less strain, giving you consistent speeds for clean cuts time and time again. It also features a left-handed blade design so you have better cut line visibility, though this also means you may need to support more of the saw’s actual weight. The depth gauge lever was easy to set and our cuts were consistent without chipping out, so we highly recommend this handy tool.
If you want a saw that is durable and can withstand whatever woodworking chores you might throw its way, then this is the saw you’re going to want to have. The extra wide hook accepts materials up to 2.5 inches wide and you have a better cord jerk protection with this saw as well. The cast magnesium footplate gives you the solid cutting platform that you need without compromising on the handling. It has a 53-degree bevel capacity with the common detents at 22.5 degrees and 45 degrees. It will cut whatever wood you put in front of it and be hungry for more.
The best reviews can help you find the tool with the right features and durability to make short work of your woodworking chores. Pick up yours today and you’ll find that making a straight, clean cut has never been easier than it can be with the right saw.