Best Circular Saw Review & Buying Guide [2019]

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Circular saws are essential tools needed along with power drills and hammers to get the job done. However, choosing the best circular saw can be confusing, especially when you do not know the crucial features to consider.

To simplify things for you, we have curated a list of high-quality saws. We have also highlighted the features that make each tool stand out. This list will help you make the right decision while purchasing.

Our Top Circular Saw Reviews

Brand
Best Overall
Makita 5007MG
Best for the Money
Dewalt DWE575SB
Best Cheap Pick
Porter-Cable PCE310
Product
Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
DEWALT  7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric...
PORTER-CABLE 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, 15-Amp...
Motor
15.0 amp
15.0 amp
15.0 amp
Speed
5,800 rpm
5,100 rpm
5,500 rpm
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Makita 5007MG
Product
Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
Motor
15.0 amp
Speed
5,800 rpm
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Dewalt DWE575SB
Product
DEWALT  7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric...
Motor
15.0 amp
Speed
5,100 rpm
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Porter-Cable PCE310
Product
PORTER-CABLE 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, 15-Amp...
Motor
15.0 amp
Speed
5,500 rpm
Rating

Best Overall Circular Saw: Makita 5007MG

Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

Makita is renowned for making premium power tools. The brand also seems to have an understanding of how to balance useful features with the capable Makita 5007MG circular saw. The device has advanced features. It is built to handle several tasks for experienced carpenters.

It is also easy to use and benefits even beginner woodworkers who may be looking for a versatile and reliable saw. The Makita saw runs on a 15 amperage motor with a maximum of 5,800 RPM and cuts with unmatched smoothness and accuracy. Some of the remarkable features worth mentioning are the magnesium elements and design. 

The elements reduce the weight of this unit while still preserving its sturdiness and stability. When it comes to the design, you may not see anything impressive because it is a conventional design. However, the large grips are worth investing in as they cushion against vibrations and reduce fatigue, especially when working for an extended period.

Additionally, the rubber coating prevents slippage. The saw comes with a 7¼-inch coated blade that features two 10 degrees bevel faces and a two-pointed tip to deliver a cleaner cut and maximize cutting performance. The coating on the blade reduces pitch build-up and heat while cutting depth is between 45 and 90 degrees.

The 5007MG saw has other impressive features. One of these is the dust blower. It removes dust from the cutting area to ensure you have a better view of your workpiece. The LED lights illuminate the sawing area for clear vision while cutting.

This circular saw is built with accuracy in mind. This is due to the LED lights and massive cutting capacity, making it one of the most accurate saws on the market. It is also easy to read the scales on the bevels and the shoe. You can make adjustments using one hand.

You will find this circular saw is also equipped with an electric brake to stop the blade whenever the trigger is released. The saw is not the cheapest tool you will find on the market for this category. However, it made the number one spot on our list. It feels stable all the time, and glides effortlessly through different types of wood. It is worth every penny.

What We Like

  • Ergonomic design that cushions users from the vibrations
  • The flat base that follows easily a cutting guide
  • Unparallel accuracy
  • Electric brake
  • 15 amperage motor
  •  LED lights

What We Don’t Like

  • Difficult to make angular cuts due to the guard that jams occasionally
  • Costly
Sale
Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
  • Magnesium components create a lightweight saw (10.6 pounds) that is well balanced and jobsite tough
  • Powerful 15.0 AMP motor delivers 5,800 RPM for proven performance and jobsite durability
  • Two built in L.E.D lights illuminate the line of cut for increased accuracy

Best Circular Saw for the Money: Dewalt DWE575SB

DEWALT  7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric...

Dewalt is known for manufacturing quality power tools. The DEWALT DWE575SB is a powerful compact saw and an excellent choice for DIYers as well as professional woodworkers. The device is designed for ease of use and durability. It is one of Dewalt’s best circular saws.

One of the most interesting things about this device is that it delivers raw power despite its compact size. It runs on a 15 amperage motor and produces 5,100 RPM which is enough to allow you to complete all your tasks. The lower guard features a ball bearing design to allow for smooth retraction.

The Dewalt circular saw comes with an electric brake that stops the device immediately after the trigger is released. We liked this safety feature because it will protect you from injuries and also help you make accurate cuts. It makes bevel cuts up to 57 degrees with a cutting depth of between 45 to 90 degrees.

The shoe is built from high-grade aluminum that offers an accurate and durable base for cutting. There is also an integrated dust blower that we liked. The dust blower improves the visibility of your cut line. You will end up with accurate cuts.

Moreover, the DWE575SB is equipped with a cord protection feature that is well made and durable. The cord has a rubber component that enables the cord to bend in all directions without getting damaged. It can also stand up to wear and tear.

Dewalt made this circular saw with ease of use in mind as it is comfortable to use. The handle is ergonomically designed and very comfortable. Another notable feature worth mentioning is the spindle lock. This feature will enable you to change the blades effortlessly as it is easily accessible.

The only issue we experienced while using this device was the wobbly blade since it is not accurate. The blade is not stable and keeps moving while cutting. While this is not a big deal for some projects, you may find it difficult to use this saw when you want to make small, accurate cuts.

The Dewalt saw is a powerful, lightweight, and well-balanced device that operates smoothly. It ranks high when it comes to safety because of the inclusion of the electric brake feature. 

What We Like

  • Cuts effortlessly through different materials
  •  Dust blower system
  • Electric brake
  • Smooth cuts
  •  Cord protection feature
  •  Compact and lightweight

What We Don’t Like

  • Wobbly blade
  •  A bit expensive
Sale
DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric...
  • Lightweight and compact 15A (Ampere) saw delivers power for the toughest applications
  • This product is manufactured in China
  • This product meets customer requirement

Best Budget Circular Saw: Porter-Cable PCE310

PORTER-CABLE 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, 15-Amp...

The Porter-Cable PCE310 is a heavy-duty machine that cuts through different materials. This is due to the 15 amperage motor that delivers up to 5,500 revolutions per minute. It is also equipped with an 18 tooth carbide blade and a 2-3/8 inches depth of cut at 90 degrees and 1-13/16 inches at 45 degrees.

However, the most impressive feature of this circular saw is the cast magnesium base and power. Magnesium is a key component in the construction of power tools. It is not as heavy as steel, which minimizes the maneuverability of the device while increasing fatigue.

Unlike other metals, it also does not flex. Instead, it combines the lightweight components of other metals and the strength as well as the rigid aspects of steel. Besides, there are times when the shoe is not aligned to the body which can be difficult to fix it back.

However, the Porter-Cable saw is equipped with the set screw that makes setting the shoe at the correct angle a breeze with the body. Another exciting feature on this device is the radiused base that reduces the chances of getting stuck when cutting hard stock.

The included Allen wrench makes changing blades a breeze. To change the blades, hold down the locking button located at the top of the saw and adjust the screw that holds the blade. The lower and upper blade guards also function well.

The good thing is that they are made of metal and are a bit thin. However, this is a positive because they keep the weight of the device down. One problem we encountered while using this unit though was the bevel adjustment.

Though it is straightforward, we had difficulties cutting precise angles using the adjustment. The marks on the gauge are difficult to see and sparingly engraved. The shoe is also small and thin. Some users wish it was a little bigger.

Overall, the PCE310 circular saw is ideal for a part-time DIYer or beginner woodworker because of its affordability. You can also upgrade later without feeling that you wasted your money buying this affordable saw. That way you would have a backup tool.

What We Like

  • Easy to change blades
  • Does not flex
  •  5,500 RPM
  • 15 amperage motor
  • Cast magnesium base
  • 18th tooth carbide blade
  • Affordable

What We Don’t Like

  • Produces noise during operation
  • Unsuitable for cutting accurate angles
  • Some users don’t like the small and thin shoe
Sale
PORTER-CABLE 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, 15-Amp...
  • 15 amp motor running at 5,500 RPM provides power and speed through applications
  • Magnesium shoe, metal upper & lower guards provide added durability
  • Spindle lock and depth adjustment for quick adjustments on the job

Best Hand-held Circular Saw: Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K Versacut 4.0 Amp Ultra-Compact...

The Rockwell RK3440K is a small portable circular saw. It is perfect for small cutting jobs as it only weighs 5 pounds. It is equipped with three blades for handling different tasks. One is for cutting masonry materials like marble and concrete. The second blade handles PVC pipes and thin steel. The third blade is meant to handle thin aluminum and wood.

It also comes with a 3-3/8 inch blade with 1-1/16 inches cutting depth. However, the device’s most appealing features are its design and ease of use. First, this power tool is easily portable making it easy to tackle projects on the go.

Additionally, it is user-friendly. This one is built in a way for beginners, who are not familiar with how a circular saw works, to use. It also features a parallel cutting edge to increase accuracy and an ergonomic design for allowing one-hand operations.

You might also find the non-scratch base plate interesting because it prevents damaging delicate surfaces like vinyl. It also doubles as the blade cover and is spring-loaded. The package includes a carry bag and two wrenches to safely remove and secure the blades.

The 4 amperage motor delivers impressive performance at 3,500 RPM while the left-handed blade enhances the visibility of your cut line, adding to its ease of use and versatility. Bevel capacity is 1-1/8-inch at 45 degrees and depth of cut is 1-11/16-inch at 90 degrees.

This saw is an option for woodworkers who work regularly with small pieces of wood. It is also good for those looking for a backup tool when working in tighter places that can’t accommodate a conventional saw.

What We Like

  • Non-scratch base plate
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile three blades
  • Ergonomic design
  • The left-handed blade
  • Carry bag

What We Don’t Like

  • Pushing down the plate to expose the blade is difficult
Rockwell RK3440K Versacut 4.0 Amp Ultra-Compact...
  • Powerful, 4.0 amp, multi-functional, ultra-compact circular saw
  • Cuts wide variety of materials such as tile, wood, sheet metal, plastics, flooring, and more....
  • Ergonomic design with slim grip handle improves comfort and enhances grip and control – guide with...

Best Versatile Circular Saw: Bosch CS5

Bosch CS5 120-Volt 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

If you are searching for a circular saw that can tackle both woodworking and construction projects, the Bosch CS5 is an excellent choice. The 7-¼ inch saw boasts of 15 amperage motor and runs on 120 voltages.

It is equipped with an anti-snag lower guard to prevent injuries and enable you to continue cutting without the need for retracting the guard. It also has a bevel capacity of 56 degrees. Other fascinating aspects include the left-blade design that gives you clear visibility of the cut-line and blade. The design also increases the accuracy of your cuts.

The blade is located on the left side of the saw. Therefore, if you are a right-handed woodworker, stand on the left side of the device to view the blade clearly. You may also find the assembly of the blade interesting because it is very stable.

The Bosch saw has soft grip handles to enable you to work for an extended period without feeling fatigued. It also features 24 tooth carbide blades to enable you to make cuts easily.

Additionally, there is a 9 feet cord to ensure you are not limited while working on your projects, a line guard to enhance accuracy, and a spindle lock to make changing the blades a breeze.

One major issue with most users is blade deflection as it messes up with wood pieces and the absence of a dust chute. The CS5 saw is ideal for users interested in woodworking and construction tools. It is a bit costly. However, it’s worth the purchase.

What We Like

  •  Line guard for aligning the saw
  •  Soft grip handles for enhancing comfort
  • Left blade design
  •  9 feet cord
  • Spindle lock
  • 24 tooth carbide blade

What We Don’t Like

  • No dust blower
  • Blade deflection
Bosch CS5 120-Volt 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
  • Features enhanced line of sight, power, and durability
  • Left-blade design
  • Anti-snag lower guard

Circular Saw Features and Considerations

There are things you need to pay attention to if you are planning to buy a circular saw. Most people don’t know the features to check while shopping. They end up with a model that is either overpriced or doesn’t meet their expectations. Here is a guide to help you get a better idea of the factors to look for before making the purchase.

A closeup shot of a circular saw

Type of Circular Saw

There are two main types of circular saws which include:

Sidewinder

This type of saw utilizes a motor with spur gears. The motor has to be aligned with the spinning blade due to the nature of the gears. The blades tend to spin quickly at around 6,000 RPM while the position of the motor makes the model lightweight and compact.

The weight is usually on the left side while the blade is located on the right side. Due to the design, the weight of the tool tends to be on the board and not above the cut. The problem with this is the inability to view the cut-line while cutting.

When it comes to safety, this type of saw is one of the safest because both hands stay away from the blade. They also don’t require a lot of experience to use since it is easy to operate them.

In terms of pricing, you can get a cheap unit. However; it may not meet your needs. There are also high-quality ones that are affordable to woodworkers on a tight budget.

Worm Drive

The blade of this saw is located on the left side making most of the weight to stay on the right side. This design alters the way you will install the blade. However, it will allow you to see the cut-line. It can be difficult getting used to it especially if you are transitioning from the sidewinder ones.

Most people who use the worm drive saws like taking advantage of the model’s weight while making cuts in a handheld position. The length of this saw will also enable you to cut wide workpieces.

Additionally, it is easier to make plunge cuts using these types of saws than with sidewinder types. The power transfer method of the worm drive circular saws makes these machines the most powerful within its class. However, they are pricey.

The absence of auxiliary mechanical parts enables the worm drive saws to deliver adequate power and impressive amounts of RPM to cut through materials of any density. The only issue these units struggle with is smaller cuts meaning you won’t be able to achieve accuracy with small cuts.

Right Blade vs. Left Blade

The right blade and left blade saw orientation are not built for right-handed or left-handed people. Neither does your dominant hand matter. The different orientations are crafted for specific purposes.

Picking a saw with the blade located on the opposite side will allow you to stabilize the saw when you are making cuts especially if that side is your dominant hand. You will also enjoy clear visibility of the cut-line during one-handed operation.

However, during a two-handed operation, the visibility can be affected because of your left hand getting in the way. On the other hand, selecting a device that has the blade located on the side of your dominant hand also has advantages and disadvantages.

While using this unit, you will have to look beyond your arm and shoulder to view the material you will be cutting. Some saws that have this orientation struggle to remain stable. Most saws don’t have a lot of issues while others are designed poorly and can experience significant problems.

Left and right side of circular saw

Despite the difficulties, these saws don’t have major differences between them. So, you can use the one you are comfortable with whether the left blade or right blade saw.

Cordless vs. Corded Saw

For circular saws to work, they need to be powered either by batteries or a plug. Both sources have their own advantages and disadvantages.

When it comes to corded saws, they are 7powered by electricity. You don’t have to be stressed about charging batteries, buying extra batteries, or stopping working on your projects due to drained batteries.

On the other hand, you will have to carry extra batteries with you when using cordless units as one battery won’t be enough to complete the job. This can make you spend more money than the amount you originally intended to use.

However, a cordless saw means you won’t have to work with a power cord. The saw can be used anywhere you want without a power outlet in sight. One problem with cordless circular saws is that they are not as powerful as their corded counterparts.

Between the two types of saws, neither is better than the other. It’s all about what you need for your unique project. A corded model is ideal when you need power and a cordless one when portability is your priority.

Blade Size

Circular saws are equipped with different blade sizes. The 7¼ and 5½ blade sizes are the most popular. However, there are other sizes as well. They are usually carbide-tipped meaning each saw is only able to utilize one blade size. 

The size of the blade you pick should be determined by the size of the blade your saw is compatible with. This is because the blade size tends to affect the depth of the cut.

It is important to bear in mind that longer blades will enable your saw to cut deeper. Also, the number of teeth on a circular saw is affected by the blade size however on a slight note.

You can find saw blades equipped with the number of teeth you are looking for in different sizes. So, don’t allow that to affect the size of the saw you intend to buy.

Safety Features

Safety is a major concern with any power tool. There are a few features of a saw that enhance the safety aspect primarily the electric brakes. Though not essential, investing is a circular saw that is equipped with a brake is a good choice.

Electric brakes help reverse electricity flow in a saw’s motor every time you release the trigger. Reversing the flow of electricity stops the blades quickly as opposed to leaving the blades to rotate on their own.

The brakes can stop the blades within a short period. Another outstanding safety feature worth mentioning is the blade guard. It’s crucial to check for this feature because unlike the top part of the blade that usually equipped with a blade guard, there isn’t one for the bottom.

However, some saws come with a retractable bottom guard. You can easily lower and raise this using a lever within a few seconds.

Build Quality and Design

Though the design is a matter of personal choice, there are things you should not pay attention to. For instance, if you come across a saw with lots of plastic parts, chances are it is prone to a lot of vibrations.

Some companies deal with the vibration issue by placing buffers and cushions over the plastics parts. However, it only works for a limited period as there are usually shortcomings like wear and tear in the long run.

In terms of build quality, you will be able to notice a model that is built poorly. So, opt for those that feature many metal parts in their design. Such models are durable and more reliable.

Power

While some users consider this feature irrelevant, it is crucial, especially for professional woodworkers. Although the market doesn’t offer a lot of power deviations, the difference between a 10 amperages and 15 amperages motor is huge.

A man using a circular saw to slice wood

However, woodworkers who use these saws occasionally don’t require more than 10 amperages for wood cutting. On the other hand, professional woodworkers need more power to increase their productivity and minimize downtime. The standard amperage for powerful circular saws is about 15 amperages.

Bevel Capacity

The bevel capacity of a good circular saw should exceed 45 degrees. This will ensure you have the needed flexibility required to make certain cuts especially if you are working on roof framing or cutting miters.

Bevel capacity is used to determine the biggest angle a saw can cut. Machines that come with a bevel capacity of 45 degrees are limited to making cuts at 45 degrees angle only. We recommend getting a unit that can offer you more.

Shoe (Plate) Material

This is an essential element as it determines the quality of your cuts. Bent shoes should be avoided because they can mess up everything. Cast metal shoes are the best since they can withstand drops and falls without bending easily. They are also durable.

Though flat aluminum shoes weigh less and make the saw to feel portable, they are susceptible to bending when dropped. However, it’s all about your personal choices.

Wrap Up

A good circular saw is a useful tool you can have in your woodshop or toolbox. The saws on our list are the best you will find in the market and their performance is excellent. You can use them to cut through different types of materials. So, choose the one that meets your needs, knowing that it will give you value for your money.