Power tools are absolutely essential for certain projects. If you are looking to build decks or a tree house, just another common saw from your tool bag is not going to suffice. It is either going to be entirely inefficient and inaccurate, or result in an injury to you during the process.
This is where circular saws enter the scene. Not only are they easy to handle, but also lends you enough freedom to manoeuvre it wisely while aiming for accurate cuts. A circular saw the absolute go-to product for a handyman looking to cut through tough materials with ease. Thanks to their efficiency, you do not need to worry about injuring yourself unnecessarily anymore.
Circular saws come in all sizes and prices. If you are simply building a small cabinet for your home after having watched a few Do-It-Yourself videos on the internet, a small circular saw powered by a battery will do the job. But if you are a professional, and have a bigger job at hand, you will need a completely different kind of circular saw with very specific features and construction.
Depending on your budget, there are literally hundreds of options in the market. But of course, not anything and everything is suited for your purpose. This review guide aims at helping you decide which circular saw is going to work best for your needs by explaining the criteria you need to look for and the different models that are worth consideration.
Prior to investing in a circular saw, you need to be aware of the different kinds of designs currently available in the market. This will help you to narrow down your search, and guide you towards a specific feature.
In general, there are three kinds of circular saws available in the market.
Also known as direct drive saws, the sidewinder variety typically features a blade from 5 inches to 10 inches or more in diameter. The motor is located to the side on the right or left of the blade. This also depends on whether your saw is for right handed people or left handed people. For right handers, the motor should be placed on the left side so that it does not block their view while cutting an object. Sidewinders are the most common type of circular saws that are popular with everyone. These are frequently used in household for sawing through materials like plywood and concrete. They are light weight, and are synonymous with household circular saws unless otherwise specified.
Worm drive circular saws are a bit different from the sidewinder variety. They are heavy, and are not recommended for minor repairs inside the house. The name of this saw is derived from the spiral shaped worm gear that runs the blade. They are bulky, and are used in sawhorse projects. Worm drive saws are powerful tools that can be used to do plunge cuts in a hassle-free manner, thanks to the shape. The blades are larger (diameters ranging from 6 and a half to 8 and a half inches), and are usually placed on the left of the motor. These heavy duty saws are known for their longevity. They can endure abuse for years, but you will need to keep them well-oiled.
Trim Saws – Trim saws are the smallest and lightest of the three designs. They are not as popular as the other two varieties since they are not that powerful. The blade diameter is 3.5 to 4.5 inches and the weight ranges from 4 to 7 lbs mostly. A trim saw can be a handy tool if you are cutting through thin materials, but it is practically useless for working on larger projects. While the light weight and compact size may allow you to manoeuvre it well for getting accurate cuts, the disadvantage of not being able to cut through thicker material limits its utility and consequently, its popularity.
Dewalt is a familiar name in the saw making industry, and you can trust their products easily. The DWE575SB is a compact, lightweight product from the company that comes at a price much cheaper than its competitors in the market. The 7 ¼ inch blade spins at 5200 rpm, thanks to the powerful 15 amp motor. Regardless of whether you are cutting concrete or ply or stone, this product will do a smooth job as long as you remember to switch the blades for each job.
Weighing just under 9 pounds, it is perfect for doing household repairs. The electric blade is a useful feature that stops the blade once the trigger is released, thereby making it safer to use. So even if you drop it by mistake, you are not predisposed to any serious injury or damage.
The only disadvantage is that you may not be able to get the most accurate of cuts with this device, but considering the price range, you can barely expect more.
Unless you are completely new to the circular saw market, chances are you have heard about Makita. The 5007MG is yet a corded circular saw that not only boasts of great features at a moderate price, but also comes with brand value and trustworthiness.
The saw possesses a number of magnesium components that make it lightweight, but durable. Like the Dewalt DWE575SB, this circular saw also uses a 15 amp motor. The blades are 7 ¼ inches in diameter, spinning at 5800 rpm.
The two most interesting features in this saw are the integrated dust blower and the two LED work lights. They work in sync to keep your line of vision clear, helping you to get the most accurate cut possible with the saw. The easy to read scales are yet another useful feature along with the right-sided blade and single hand depth and bevel adjustments.
While one might argue that the Makita 5007MG does not go easy on the pocket, it has to be remembered that Makita tools are known for their longevity and efficiency. So if you are looking to buy a genuine product for life, the price should not act as a deal breaker for you.
If you are not a fan of corded saws, and are planning to buy a battery powered circular saw, the Hitachi C7ST is just the one for you. It is small and weight just below 10 pounds; so you need not worry about carrying it around or manoeuvring it the way you want.
Don’t be deceived by the compact size though. This powerful machine has a 15 amp motor that drives the blades at 6000 rpm. While this implies you are going to get smooth cuts on most materials, it also means you are going to experience much more vibration than the ordinary circular saw. Once again, Hitachi takes care of that by designing the model ergonomically with soft rubber that absorbs most of the vibration so that the user can use it without feeling the full vibration in the grip.
You can adjust the cutting depth easily without any hassle. The front dust blower ensures your vision is not blocked by dust and debris.
Bosch is a reputed name in the saw industry, and the Bosch CS5 indeed lives up to its brand name with its great features, lots of power and a moderate price. This is a little beast that can cut through anything smoothly, courtesy the powerful motor that can spin the 7 ¼ inches blades at 6200 revolutions per minute. The blades are so durable that even if you use the machine every day for an entire year, you’ll still get results as good as the first day of use.
The fact that this product boasts of a left sided blade makes it easier for right handed people to clearly see their cutting line. Moreover, several customers prefer left-bladed saws in general, irrespective of their handedness. It must be noted here that the CS5 does not come with a dust blower, so the left sided blade indeed helps to keep the line of vision clear.
The anti-snag lower guard is a nice feature to have since it allows the operator to keep working without retracting the guard before a tricky cut. Although it is a mid-range priced saw, the Bosh CS5 is among the cheaper ones when you consider only left-bladed saws in the market.
The Milwaukee M18 Fuel 2731 is one of the higher range priced products in this list, costing $176.99 on Amazon. It is also one of the very few 7 ¼ inches cordless circular saws in the market that are regarded highly by customers around the world.
The features are indeed impressive. The magnesium used in the blade guard and the shoe maintains durability while cutting down on weight. In fact, this saw weights no more than 9 pounds including the battery. The 18 volt motor produces enough power to rotate the blades at 5000 rpm. That is sufficient if you are looking to buy a circular saw for your household needs.
The blade, in this case, is on the right side. Other notable features include LED work light, easy-to-read scales, single-hand depth and bevel adjustments, and spindle lock. It gives over 300 cuts on a charge, and comes with a warranty of 5 years.
This is a cordless circular saw from Dewalt that focuses on efficient function while continuing to be affordable. The 20-volt motor can power the blades up to 5150 rotations per minute that is enough to do 45 degrees bevel cuts in 2x material with moxie.
The shoe is made of magnesium but the lower guard is plastic. This might be a deal breaker for you, if you are looking for a durable lower guard. Also, the DCS391B comes with no battery and charger, and you will have to purchase them separately for a significant price.
This is an expensive alternative to the circular saws listed above, priced at just below $200 on Amazon. The 15 amp motor promises powerful cuts, and the light weight ensures precision and better manoeuvrability. The motor is so designed as to run efficiently for a longer time without generating a lot of heat. The lower guard protects against snags, making it all the more safer to use.
The size of the saw you are using may pose hurdles for quick household jobs. So if you are in the market looking for small, compact circular saws that do not compromise on power, the Black and Decker BDCCS20B is the best product for you. It packs a number of useful features at an affordable price, and is battery powered; so you do not have to worry about the cord either.
This Porter Cable model is a heavy duty circular saw best suited for repairing things that need quite a bit if motor power. The 15 amp motor ensures it can cut through tough materials without any hassle. However, you may be required to change the blades frequently if you are planning to do a lot of heavy duty stuff. Although recommended for household repairs, this product can be used by professionals as well with good results.
This is a cordless circular saw priced at under $60 on Amazon. The 6 ½ inch blades are sufficient to cut to a depth of just over 2 inches at 90 degrees and just under 1.5 inches at 45 degrees. It is a lightweight machine, weighing only 5 pounds without the battery.
With so many best circular saw reviews on the internet, it is easy to get confused regarding which things to look for while buying a circular saw. That is why we have listed below a few features that you should be focussing on before you settle on the product best suited for you.
It is a common misconception that larger the blade is, the better will be the cutting power. In reality, the power of the saw depends on the motor it comes with, and not the blades. Each job requires a specific blade size, and you need to consider the utility you are expecting from the saw before you actually make a purchase. For instance, 12 inch blades are ideal for cutting through thick timber, but you are going to need much smaller blades for precise cuts on thin plywood.
The argument in favour of corded circular saws is that they are generally cheaper and easy to handle (you simply have to plug it inside the socket as opposed to keeping the battery of a cordless saw charged adequately). The argument against is that cords may often interfere with your cutting, and that might be a deal breaker for a few.
The dictum is: lesser is the weight, better is the manoeuvrability. So if you are looking to get precise cuts, you will need a circular saw that weighs less than 10 pounds. Moreover, for users looking to get quick fixes and repairs at home, purchasing a heavy circular saw is unfeasible and imprudent. On the other hand, a tougher motor and bigger blades (and consequently, heavier saws) are your go-to while working on tough timber.
Motor power is an important feature to look out for, and you must make sure that it complements the blades that you are using. Cheap blades will not work efficiently with high end motors, and larger blades will not help if you are using not-so-powerful motors. Usually, the 15 Amp motor provides enough power to cut through tough materials, while also working well with 6 ½ inch blades.
The secret to purchasing the best compact circular saw is not just research, but also a comprehensive understanding of the features of a circular saw. A huge number of reviews on the internet describe several products as the best circular saw in 2017, but not one speaks about the saw that is best suited for your needs.
Getting bewildered among so many products in the market is a common issue, and that’s precisely why we are here. This detailed buying guide was prepared keeping in mind the features you need to be looking for, thereby helping you to make an investment you won’t be regretting later on.