best circular saws

Best Circular Saws for Woodworking – Top 5 Review & Buying Guide

Like any other product, there is a wide range of circular saws in the market. Just by the first glance, you can really tell which saw can match your cutting requirements.

Some of the products might have exaggerated features which can even make the situation worse.

If you are among the many buyers who are in this situation, then you are in the right place. We know how complicated it can be to figure out which features are important in a circular saw.

We have already gone through the difficult task for you and came up with a detailed, must-read review of the best circular saws.

Makita SP6000J

Our Rating: 4.5/5

  • perfect option for plunge cuts

DEWALT DCS391B

Our Rating: 4.6/5

  • Powerful motor

Makita 5007Mg

Our Rating: 4.8/5

#Top Pick#

  • Excellent design
  • Durable

DEWALT DWE575SB

Our Rating: 4.6/5

  • Lightweight

SKILSAW SPT67M8-01

Our Rating: 4.7/5

  • Ergonomic handle

Makita SP6000J 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Circular Saw

  • Powerful motor that delivers optimum performance in a wide range of wood materials
  • Precise and accurate cuts which deliver a splinter-free mirror finish
  • Variable speed control to help the user match the sped of the application
  • Electronic speed control which maintains constant sped for smooth cutting
  • Built-in current limiter that prevents motor burn out
  • Large cutting capacity
  • Soft start features for smooth start-up
Makita SP6000J

Most professional woodworkers highly recommend the use of Makita SP6000J1 6½-Inch Plunge Circular Saw to perform cutting tasks.

According to the reviews posted by most previous users, the saw can be used for a good number of years. You can sue the saw for a wide range of woodworking projects.

Whether you need to make a cabinet from spare wood or you just want to strengthen the legs of a broken dining table, the saw can be a perfect option for you.

Makita circular saw delivers accurate and precise cuts with minimal tear-out. It uses a powerful motor of 12 AMP and a large cutting capacity with magnesium components which makes it lighter.

It also has an electronic speed control which helps maintain a constant speed. The saw can be a good alternative to table saws if you require a portable option. It can be used both at the workshop or job site.

Pros

  • Can accurately cut plywood and leave a beautiful cut edge
  • Can easily cut large pieces
  • Has an electronic speed control for a consistently smooth speed
  • A perfect option for plunge cuts

Cons

  • Does not cut the material narrower than the track easily
  • Can't replace your job site contractor saw

DEWALT 6-1/2-Inch 20V MAX Circular Saw (DCS391B)

  • Powerful motor that delivers speed and power which makes it easier to cut the most demanding cuts
  • High strength and lightweight magnesium shoe for job site durability
  • Has a rubber grip for comfort, control, and optimal balance
DEWALT DCS391B

This is also among the most powerful saws that we have around. The saw uses a 20v lithium-ion battery with a speed of 3700 rpm.

Once you purchase the product, you may notice that it is quite heavy compared to many other saws in the market. Regardless of this feature, the saw is durable and comes with a rubber grip to provide maximum comfort.

Dewalt DCS391B also has a carbide-tipped blade that can accurately cut at both 45 degrees and 90 degrees. The powerful battery also guarantees sufficient runtime.

Compared to other blades, Dewalt dcs391b provides smooth, stable and cleaner cuts. It is also easy to handle and maneuver.

The saw makes it easier to make smooth and straight cuts without using the fence. It is packed in an attractive, hard plastic case.

Pros

  • Easy maneuverability
  • Powerful motor
  • Smooth operations
  • Durable

Cons

  • Slow speed
  • Not as powerful as corded brands

Makita 5007MG Circular Saw

  • Has magnesium components which make the saw light, well balanced and job tough
  • Powerful motor for proven performance and job site durability
  • Built-in LED lights which make the line of cut more visible for increased accuracy
  • Large cutting capacity
  • 1 year warranty
Makita 5007MGA

Makita circular saw is also one of the most powerful cutting tools that we currently have.

The saw has a powerful motor that rotates as fast as 5800 times per minute. The features make the saw a good option for cutting a wide range of materials.

The saw can work well for both professionals and newbie cutters. It has excellent quality, and it is also easy to adjust the blades.

The LED lights also make it easier for the user to see the cutting line. With the powerful 15 amp motor, cutting tough materials will never be a problem.

The saw has rubberized handles that make it comfortable to use and easy to control.

The settings are easy to read and understand. Since this is a corded saw, you don’t have to worry about recharging batteries. Even with these amazing features, the electric saw is among the most affordable circular saws.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Excellent design
  • High-quality blade
  • Powered by a 15 amp motor
  • Suitable for cutting thick stock

Cons

  • Needs high power to run

Dewalt DWE575SB Circular Saw

  • Lightweight and compact
  • 15amp saw which delivers power to the toughest applications
  • 57-Degree beveling capacity
  • Integrated dust blower
Dewalt DWE575SB

With its impressive design and strong performance, Dewalt DWE575SB Circular Saw has gained a great reputation among users.

The circular saw is light in nature making it very easy to handle. It can easily rip through rough materials like plywood.

Regardless of being lightweight, Dewalt DWE575SB can easily and quickly work on the intended tasks. The saw also has a feature that gets rid of sawdust during woodworking.

The package comes with a carrying case that protects the machine and makes it easier to transport.

However, the saw does not come with a rip fence which means that you will have to purchase it separately to make uniform cuts.

It runs on 15 amp power with a speed of up to 52rpm. The speed may not be high, but it can rip through the toughest materials with ease.

Pros

  • Durable
  • Affordable price
  • Grip for more comfort
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Not a good option for heavy-duty cutting

SKILSAW SOUTHPAW SPT67M8-01 15 Amp 7-1/4 In. Magnesium Left Blade Sidewinder Circular Saw

  • All magnesium construction
  • 15 amp dual-speed motor
  • High torque increases the speed of cut and improves productivity
  • Worm drive styled guards direct dust away from the user
SKILSAW SOUTHPAW SPT67M8-01

The saw has a blade located on the left part for easier visibility. It is specifically made for experts with a 15 amp motor which increases cooling and extends the useful life of the saw.

It also has a rugged all magnesium construction that reduces the weight of the tool and dissipates motor heat. The blades are located on the left for cutline visibility and improved accuracy.

Pros

  • Powerful motor
  • Lightweight design
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Solid base

Cons

  • Consumes more power

Circular Saw Buying Guide

The Benefits of Using Circular Saws

If you have ambitious DIY projects, powerful tools like a circular saw can be handy. Whether you trade on wood or you are a home user, there are tasks that you may not handle with a jigsaw. This is where a circular saw comes in.

The saws can play an important role if you want to renovate the house or construct furniture. The right circular saw can make quick and accurate cuts on every task.

Here are the main reasons why you should consider investing in a circular saw.

Impressive versatility

Provided you use the right blades, a circular saw has enough power to work on a large variety of materials. With its portable nature, you can use the saw for different types of cuts

Budget-friendly

You don’t need to spend a fortune on a quality circular saw. It is easy to get a convenient tool at an affordable price. This is one feature that makes circular saws stand out when compared to other saws like table saw.

Suitable for job sites

Whether you want to take the circular saw to a construction site or you aim to work on your backyard, the saws can easily adapt. In short, these types of saws are flexible and easy to use.

Fast

Circular saws are generally fast. These saws come with blades installed in such a way that they can quickly and accurately cut wood and other materials

Different options

Circular saws are available in corded and cordless models which increases you’re buying options

Important Considerations When Purchasing a Circular Saw

Circular saws are gaining more popularity among woodcarvers, builders among other users. This is because the saws can perform a large variety of tasks.

A circular saw can work on any type of home structure.

Whether you require small shelves, kitchen shelves, garden shelves or cutting boards, the saws can perform it all. Circular saws are also known to effectively handle complex cutting projects. Most of these saws are also affordable.

Here are the important things that you should consider in a circular saw:

Design

You might be tempted to believe that sheer power determines the best saw. But this is not the case. In fact, it is the smaller things that you should be paying attention to.

These include the cord length (for corded saws), dust chutes, rip fences, spindle locks, and electric brakes.

These are actually the features that can make a great difference in the functioning of a circular saw. For instance, you may find a saw with a speed of 6200 rpm.

But if this saw does not include the above mentioned features, do not expect it to work in the best way.

These features also contribute to the durability and versatility of the machine. A simple accessory like an included carrying case makes the machine more portable, which means that the product will be more useful.

Size of The Saw

The saw size is one feature that you should ignore when purchasing a circular saw. The saws are available in different sizes, all of which are designed to perform specific duties.

Before purchasing a circular saw, you should first determine the nature of the tasks you want to work on.

size of circular saw

If you need to perform large tasks, a bigger sized saw can be a good choice. For lighter duties, you should consider a smaller saw.

Cutting capacity and depth

Cutting depth is determined by how deep the saw can go into the wood. Circular saws with blades that have the right depth can work more efficient that blades with the wrong depth.

Speed and control

The rotation rate also plays an important role in determining the efficiency of the saw. The number of revolutions per minute will determine the amount of work to be done.

Blades that have a higher resolution rate can easily handle bigger projects. Such saws can also work on tougher materials compared to blades with fewer revolutions per minute.

Style

The current circular saws are available in three styles:

Worm drive saws

These saws are either short or long. The handles are located behind the blade. The blade is placed on the left side. The saws are heavier and have more torque.

Sidewinders

This is the most common style that comes with handles over the blade. The blades are located on the right side of the tool.

Sidewinders are light in nature, and also less expensive. Besides, they spin faster than worm drive saws. These saws are a good option for home workshops.

sidewinder

Trim saws

These saws are designed to cut thinner materials and finish carpentry jobs.

Power

The power of circular saws is expressed in amp. The standard circular saws have 15 amps. If you don’t need to use the saw frequently, a 10-12 amp saw can function equally well.

For corded saws, power is measured in amp while in battery operated saws; the power is measured in volts.

Generally, the higher this number is the more powerful the machine will be. The amount of power you need can depend on the length of job you need to do and the type of material you want to cut

Ergonomics

Does the saw handle fit in your hand? Does it come with the right weight for you and are you comfortable with the blade visibility?

These are also important questions that you should ask before investing in a circular saw.

Electric Brakes

An electric brake is an important feature in a circular saw which takes only 2 seconds to stop the blade from rotating.

This is a great feature that you should consider in a circular saw, especially if safety is your main priority.

Circular Saw Blade

The best blade to use will depend on the job you want to handle. Here are the blade options available:

  • High-speed steel blades : These blades are not only durable, but they also have the ability to maintain their sharpness for a long time.
  • Carbide tipped blades: These blades are quite expensive. They have carbide tips on their teeth which makes them start sharp for a longer period compared to other materials.
  • Tile cutting blades: These blades are designed to cut ceramic.
  • Masonry blades: The blades are abrasive in nature and can easily cut through brick and concrete.
blade of circular saw

Other Important Considerations

  • Grip
  • Weight
  • Safety of trigger
  • Bevel angle
  • Accuracy
  • Visibility
  • Power sources

Below is a video discussing what to look for when purchasing a circular saw.

Corded vs Cordless Circular Saws

Corded saws are powerful in nature. They provide more torque compared to cordless circular saws. The saws also have bigger blades and do not need to charge.

Cordless saws, on the other hand, can come in handy if you have tasks that require moving around. The saws do not require portable generators and cords. They are also lighter in weight.

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the two types of circular saws

Cordless circular saw

When used the right way, both the blades and the saw can be very reliable.

Advantages

  • Convenience
    One benefit of cordless saws is that they are easy to use. This is due to the fact that you don’t need a power plug or even a wire when operating the tool. You can handle your tasks with less interference since you don’t have to worry about electric supply.
  • Comes with other extra features
    Cordless saws also have small features that can be really helpful when combined. For example, some saws have an LED light to ensure that you do your work safely and correctly under low light. Some models even come with extra batteries.
  • Safe
    Compared to a corded saw, the cordless ones are safer to use. The saws have a small sized blade that won’t harm the user in case the machine is mishandled.
  • Saves time
    You can save a lot of your precious time when using a cordless saw. You don’t have to worry about looking for a power supply to operate the machine. The saws also do not have long cords or extensions which are considered delicate and need to be handled with care.

Disadvantages

  • Operate on a battery
    The machines run by a battery which may take time to charge. With extended use, these batteries become less powerful and will require a replacement.

Corded Circular Saws

Advantages

  • Power
    Corded saws are powerful and are able to complete the toughest tasks within a shorter period of time. So long as the electricity supply is not interfered with, be sure that the job will be done on time. This feature makes the saws a perfect solution for heavy-duty tasks that require more power.
  • No replacement tools required
    Once you purchase a corded saw, you won’t have to shop for accessories or replacement tools in the future. This is contrary to cordless saws that operate on a battery. In the long run, the battery will wear out and get damaged which forces you to spend money on replacements.
  • Effective and powerful performance
    The machines have the ability to perform well with less hassle. They are also less expensive compared to cordless circular saws.
  • Perfect blade size
    The saws blade size moves faster and far from the axis. This helps achieve superior cutting power. The machine can effectively handle steel cutting, masonry and continuous woodcutting.

Disadvantages

  • Project interference
    The cords in the saw may at times interfere with your projects. This happens when they are damaged or cut in the middle of your tasks. If there is frequent power blackout in your region, you may not be able to finish the tasks on time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS) on Circular Saws

A good circular saw should be powerful, versatile and easy to use. The tools are safe, as long as you follow the right procedure in operating the saw.

If you have never used a circular saw before, there are plenty of questions that you may need to be answered before using the machine.

Experienced users may also need some clarifications concerning the working of the saw. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions on circular saws

Which is the best circular saw?

Similar to other tools, finding the right circular saw model that can complete cuts quickly and safely can lead to fewer frustrations.

The best circular saw also reduces the cost of operation. The best way to know that a saw is right for you is to first determine the tasks you need to do.

Do not focus on a single project at hand considering that you might also want to use the saw for a different task in the future. Instead, think about the type of projects that you are likely to do with the machine.

What are circular saws used for?

In woodworking, circular saws are used for cutting wood as well as other materials. The saws are either right of left sided depending on the blade side where the motor is located.

Which circular saw size is the best?

Most circular blades have a diameter of 7 ¼ inches.

Generally, saws with a blade capacity of at least 6 inches are convenient when cutting through a 2-inch dimension wood at a 45 degrees angle in a single pass.

On the other hand, a 5 3/8 inch saw can cut through 2 inch dimension wood in one pass at 90 degrees. At 45 degrees, it will require 2 passes.

Are circular saws safe?

Compared to table saws, circular saws have faster blades. The outer edge spinning is about 120 mph. With incorrect use; the saws can cause serious damage.

Why do blades cut properly only one side?

The problem is usually caused by a faulty blade. The issue mainly occurs for improper tension, blade dish or side clearance.

Why do I experience the material burning while ripping?

Several reasons can lead to burning of the material. Some of the reasons include:

  • Improper alignment of the fence
  • If the blade is heeling
  • Dull blade
  • If the stock shifts off-axis

Can I use a circular saw instead of a miter saw?

The answer is yes. However, beginners should exercise caution. One advantage of circular saws over miter saws is that they are more versatile.

But skill is required to operate these machines, especially when you are working on huge projects. Here are the main differences between these types of tools:

Miter saws

  • Can cut accurate angles for picture frames and baseboards
  • Your hands will not be close to the blade
  • The unit is stationary

Circular saws

  • Can handle large pieces of wood
  • They are small and portable
  • Less expensive
  • Angled cuts are more difficult with this saw

Safety Precautions When Using a Circular Saw

There is no denying the fact that circular saws offer great benefits. But still, the machines are also known to cause more injuries compared to other handheld tools.

The good news is that you can protect yourself during the projects to guarantee your safety as well as the safety of your circular saw

safety precautions using circular saw

Safety equipment

Every time you use a circular saw, ensure that you have put on appropriate safety equipment. These include hearing protection, safety glasses and appropriate clothing.

These are actually the most important pillars of woodworking safety. Once you comply with this, it will be easier to avoid the most common injuries caused by circular saws.

Blade guards

The blade guards can at times be frustrating to use. This is especially when it gets caught and does not retract properly when you are working on thin materials.

If you have to retract the saw blade guard manually, reach over it using your hands and lift the handle to move the saw forward. Avoid using another tool to position the blade guard to an open position since this can expose the blades.

Saw blades

Always ensure that the saw blades are sharp and free of pitch. With a dull blade, there will be higher chances of kickback and binding. But if you have a sharp blade, your cuts will be much faster and cleaner.

Cutting safely

To ensure that you are safe when using the blade, it is first important to know how this tool works. Majority of the circular saws come with blades mounted on the right side of the motor.

If you use your right hand to operate the machine, try to lean over the saw in order to clearly see the cut line. Worm drive saws have blades on the left hand side. This makes it easier to see the blade as it engages the cut line.

Other Important Safety Considerations

  1. Stand on your side when cutting wood to avoid kickback. Ensure that you stay balanced and in full control
        
  2. Make sure that the blades are sharp when cutting. With sharp blades, the tasks will be done more efficiently and faster too. The blade cutting nut should not be over tightened. You should only consider changing the blade once the circular saw disconnects from the power source.
        
  3. The cutting surface should be free from metal objects like screws and nails.
        
  4. Use both hands for control
       
  5. Before using the saw, ensure that it is in perfect working condition
        
  6. Use a new manual if you have to replace the equipment. Most manufacturers are continually improving their safety standards. A new machine can only be effective when you are using the right procedure to operate it.
        
  7. Wait for the blade to stop moving before you use the saw on your working surface. Circular saws that come with a blade brake can greatly reduce this waiting time.

Conclusion

With so many options to choose from, we can’t really say that there is one best circular saw to purchase. Your purchasing decision entirely depends on your needs.

From our review, there are many reasons why Makita 5007MG stands out.

The DEWALT DWE575SB is light and portable. It also comes with amazing features at an affordable price.

SKILSAW SOUTHPAW SPT67M8-01 also provides value for money, thanks to its powerful motor and all magnesium construction.

Hopefully, this review on the best circular saws will help you make a better decision on the circular saw model that suits your requirements.

There are many challenges that come with shopping online. But we have already gone through the hard work to ensure that you get the best product with less hassle.

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