10 Best Circular Saws | March 2017

We spent 31 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Both professional contractors and occasional DIYers will find one of these circular saws perfect for their next project. Choose the right model for your cutting needs based on our selection that compares blade speeds, cutting accuracy, torque and more. Skip to the best circular saw on Amazon.
10 Best Circular Saws | March 2017

Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
Overall Rank: 9
Best Inexpensive
The Ryobi CSB124 has an air diverter and dust exhaust so you can always see the cut line and won't have particles flying at you. This brand is known for its decent quality and affordable price, & those attributes apply to this model.
The Black & Decker BDCCS20B is perfect for the home DIYer, with its affordable price and array of features, but it's decidedly not suitable for heavy-duty use, as it cannot handle many applications common in construction work.
The Hitachi C7ST feels solid in the hand, and has a low center of gravity, which makes it easy to achieve accurate cuts every time. The lighting fast 6,000 RPM blade speed means a "hot knife through butter" effect for most woods.
The Hilti 00427728 is a corded model that offers 5,800 RPMs on zero load, and a fine cutting depth of nearly 2.5 inches. It is also slightly quieter than many similar saws, which you'll appreciate each time you use it.
  • includes a wrench and instructions
  • rather expensive option
  • easy access depth adjustment rod
Model 00427728
Weight 14.9 pounds
The SKIL 5680-02 is an affordable option that performs almost as well as saws twice its price, thus its many stellar reviews. It has a bright laser guided cutline, and 51 degree bevel adjust, both of which help with accuracy.
  • wide footplate adds stability
  • guarded trigger for safety
  • power-on indicator
Brand Skil
Model 5680-02
Weight 14.2 pounds
The Makita 5008MGA lets you quickly adjust from 0° to 45° using positive stops and easy-grip levers, so you spend less time on setup and more on cutting. Its dust blower keeps your cut line clear, allowing for straighter cuts.
  • easy to read ruler markings
  • reinforced cord for job site durability
  • powerful 15.0 amp motor
Brand Makita
Model 5008MGA
Weight 15.1 pounds
The Ridgid R3210 has a 24-tooth carbide blade that won't dull easily, and allows for extra smooth cuts great for precision jobs. Its components are largely constructed of magnesium, which means a lightweight but very solid tool.
  • high torque worm gear
  • offers a clear view of the cut line
  • externally accessible brushes
Brand Ridgid
Model R3210
Weight 18 pounds
The DEWALT DWS535 includes a 7 1/4-inch worm drive-powered blade, and a cast magnesium footplate to provide a tough and solid cutting platform that will glide with ease even as you slice through multiple boards or sheets of plywood.
  • 53 degree bevel capacity
  • top-accessible spindle lock
  • extra wide saw hook
Model DWS535
Weight 18.3 pounds
Weighing in at only four pounds, the Rockwell RK3440K VersaCut is lightweight enough to be held all day without causing cramps. And when precision is critical trust its plunge cut indicators to show the exact position of blade entry.
  • laser indicator to align cuts
  • slim design fits into tight spaces
  • easy to set cut depth
Brand Rockwell
Model RK3440K
Weight 7.2 pounds
The Milwaukee 0730-22 has a revolutionary 28V li-ion battery with 4,200 RPM capabilities, making it one of the most powerful cordless models available. It delivers torque and blade speed you'd only expect from an AC powered tool.
  • dual tactile grips for added control
  • quick acting electric break
  • aircraft aluminum shoe won't bend
Brand Milwaukee
Model 0730-22
Weight 21.2 pounds

Circular Saw Types And Features

Any circular saw you choose is going to come equipped with several basic features. When shopping for saws, you will see they are classified by their blade diameter. Most commonly, blades range from 5.5 inches to 7.25 inches.

The blade guard is a crucial safety feature on any circular saw. When the saw is not being used, it covers and protects the blade (and your fingers) from damage. It can be easily retracted in order to expose the blade when it is being used.

The foot plate is a base piece intended to keep the saw steady by pressing against the wood or other material while sawing. Circular saws have a depth adjustment setting that allows you to to move the foot plate so you can accommodate different thicknesses in your materials. The bevel adjustment allows the foot plate to tilt so you can make bevel cuts at the desired angle.

All circular saws are capable of making three basic cuts on wood or other materials. The first is a crosscut which simply means the saw cuts straight across a board. Rip cuts move along the length of the board. Bevel cuts refer to angled cuts that require a bit more creativity and adjustment of your saw settings.

Finally, you are going to run into two basic types of circular saws while you are shopping. The most common type is the sidewinder (or inline) circular saw. These saws have a more traditional appearance with the motor sitting on the same axis as the blade. A shaft connects the blade and motor in order to run it with precision. This type of saw can perform most tasks required from a circular saw, and they are often lightweight and easy to maneuver.

The worm drive saw is a bit heavier and more cumbersome because its motor sits at a right angle to the saw blade. Instead of a shaft, it uses gears to move the blade adding more power than a sidewinder saw. This makes it great for those heavy duty jobs.

Don't Run In Circles: Choose Right The First Time

The type of circular saw you buy is going to boil down to how you plan to use it. Aside from the basic choice between sidewinder and worm saws, you will run into options you might not have considered.

First, decide if you want a cordless or corded saw. This decision will be largely based on where you plan to use your saw and what type of job lay ahead. An obvious advantage to the cordless saw is its convenience. If you are working in a tight space, the cordless circular saw might be your best bet. If you plan to use a cordless saw for your next project, try to stick to cutting wood. Some can cut other materials, but the extra power necessary can drain the battery quickly and take up more time than necessary.

Corded circular saws are more powerful because they don’t have to rely on a limited battery. They can chew through steel, masonry, and are excellent choices for those heavy duty wood cutting jobs. The biggest drawback to a corded circular saw is that you might have to purchase a compatible extension cord.

Second, don’t buy a circular saw without first checking the blade capacity. The blade capacity is the maximum depth that the blade can cut. This feature is indicated by the size of the blade. The bigger the blade, the deeper it will cut. If you have thick pieces that need to be cut, you will want to go with the larger blade. However, if precision and control are your priority, smaller blades are a better choice.

Third, electric brakes are a favorite safety feature of many circular saw users. When the user releases the trigger, the electric brakes reverse the momentum and can stop the blade in nearly two seconds. If your circular saw has this feature, it greatly improves safety.

Other important features, depending on your intended use include spindle locks, bevel capacity, bevel stops, and laser guides. All of these features improve the accuracy and quality of your cuts and improve the ease of use of your circular saw. Laser guides are especially helpful because they use a light beam to show the cutting line.

A Brief History of the Circular Saw

There is a lot of debate over who is the inventor of the first circular saw. Differing stories are told with several European countries claiming first rights. For instance, some say that Samuel Miller invented the first circular saw machine, but it is argued that he didn’t invent the blade to go with it. Others say the dutch were the first to use a circular saw in the seventeenth century.

However, in the United States, we hear a completely different story altogether. Tabitha Babbitt was in Harvard, Massachusetts when it was rumored that she saw two men struggling to saw a log with a pit saw. She then took it upon herself to make a tin disk with notches that could be attached to and spun with her spinning wheel. This significantly cut down on sawing time, and the idea was eventually used in saw mills.

Babbitt was unable to obtain a patent due to her religion, but her invention lives on and has been improved upon over the years. York Saw Works was established in 1906 with its most popular product being the circular saw. This invention has been perfected over time and is now available in many different varieties including hand saws and table saws and is still one of the most popular tools in production today.

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Last updated: 03/26/2017 | Authorship Information