The circular saw is an essential tool for every DIY enthusiast or contractor. When choosing the best circular saw for home or professional use, there are a lot of features to consider. Our circular saw reviews will help you decide which features are most important to you so that you can make an informed decision about which circular saw to purchase.
The first circular saws came into use all the way back in the late 1800s. In those days, they were more like rip saws that could convert logs into usable lumber. Over the decades, circular saw technology has made vast improvements.
Today’s circular saws are versatile power tools that can handle a wide variety of cutting jobs. They are most commonly used for wood cutting applications, but with the correct blade, you can also use them for cutting everything from PVC and metal to ceramic tile and masonry. Read on for a thorough explanation of how to choose a circular saw for your needs.
Circular Saw Comparison Chart
|Brand/Model (Click Item Text to Scroll to Review)||Rating|
|1. DeWalt DCS570B 7-1/4" 20V Cordless Circular Saw with Brake|
Our Top Pick for 2019
|2. DeWalt DWE575SB 7-1/4" Circular Saw with Electric Brake||9.6/10||CHECK PRICE|
|3. Milwaukee M18 2630-20 6-1/2" 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Circular Saw||9.5/10||CHECK PRICE|
|4. Makita 5007MG Magnesium 7-1/4" Circular Saw||9.5/10||CHECK PRICE|
|5. Tacklife TCS115A Circular Saw with Metal Handle||9.4/10||CHECK PRICE|
|6. Ryobi P506 5-1/2" One+ Lithium Ion 18V Cordless Circular Saw||9.4/10||CHECK PRICE|
|7. SKIL 5280-01 7-1/4" 15-Amp Circular Saw||9.3/10||CHECK PRICE|
Best Circular Saw Reviews
1. DeWalt DCS570B 7-1/4″ 20V Cordless Circular Saw with BrakeCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
DeWalt has been a trusted name in the power tool industry for years, and the DeWalt DCS570B is a perfect example of their impressive craftsmanship. This cordless circular saw with a 7 ¼” blade has several notable features that put it right at the top of our list. In addition to a brushless motor and right-side blade orientation, this saw has been designed with electronic blade brakes that stop the blade quickly, making it safer and more user-friendly on the job site.
The DeWalt 20V Max has also features comfortable handles with an ergonomic grip. The pommel has been cleverly designed to relieve wrist strain while cutting. This model also features a push in safety trigger for added peace of mind. We found the bevel angle and depth of cut adjustments on the saw to be very smooth and easy to operate.
We also love the detents on the bevel adjustment that make it easy to lock it into place for the more common 22.5- and 45- degree cuts. It’s easy to feel when you have the angle you’re looking for, and the base plate slides smoothly for easy operation. For added convenience and safety, this circular saw is also equipped with a metal blade guard and an LED cutline light that illuminates the cut line very effectively.
This saw stands up to the performance level of most corded models, and you should have no problem getting in a full day’s work with two batteries. Some reviewers were disappointed that the design does not include a rafter hook, but for the price, this cordless circular saw provides offers fantastic value for the money. The DeWalt DCS570B 20V Max comes with a three-year warranty.
2. DeWalt DWE575SB 7-1/4″ Circular Saw with Electric BrakeCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
If you are in the market for a low maintenance, lightweight circular saw, you’ll want to check out the DeWalt 7 1/4” Lightweight Circular Saw. This corded model weighs in at just 8.8 pounds and also features an electronic braking system that stops the blade instantly, making it an excellent option for the beginning DIYer. This is a right-side blade oriented saw with a 2.55-inch maximum depth of cut, as well as a 57-degree bevel capacity and 22.5- and 45-degree detents, so it’s also practical for professional use.
We love the built-in dust blower that automatically kicks in to keep your cutting path clear of debris and dust, allowing you to work more quickly and accurately. Although this is a compact and lightweight circular saw, it still has a remarkable 5,200 RPM no-load blade speed, making it powerful enough to complete even heavy-duty wood cutting applications with clean, smooth cuts.
The blade angle on this circular saw is easy to adjust and can be locked into position within a matter of seconds. The DeWalt DWE575SB comes with a generous 7 ¼” carbide tipped blade for added durability. This efficient blade can cut for long periods with no fear of heat damage to the blade.
Users of the DeWalt Lightweight Circular Saw also appreciate the streamlined design that prevents dust accumulation, making it easy to transition from one cut to the next without fuss. Although this saw can handle most wood cutting applications, it should be noted that this saw is not powerful enough for cutting thick sheet metal. DeWalt offers a three-year warranty with the purchase of this saw.
In closing, you might have noticed that this is the second unit from DeWalt to make our list. DeWalt’s tools are some of the highest rated in the industry and continue to top the charts on our various article reviews. Check out our best table saw reviews article or best miter saw reviews article to see more of DeWalt.
3. Milwaukee M18 2630-20 6-1/2″ 18 Volt Lithium Ion Cordless Circular SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
The Milwaukee M18 2630-20 Cordless Circular Saw is an excellent choice for the budget minded do it yourselfer or carpenter. This lightweight, cordless circular saw has been equipped with extremely durable magnesium blade guards to guide the user through cuts quickly and accurately. This model also features an electronic brake that stops the blade quickly for safety and faster transition from one cut to the next.
The Milwaukee 2630 weighs in at about 8 pounds, so it’s highly portable and perfect for the job site. Users found this circular saw to be very well balanced and comfortable to work with, even on all day jobs. It features a soft grip handle that feels good in your hand and improves accuracy, even in slippery conditions.
This cordless circular saw features an impressive 3,500 RPM motor that can handle a variety of tasks, from plumbing work to carpentry. This is a very versatile circular saw, capable of completing bevel cuts up to 45 degrees. The depth of cut can also be adjusted to as much as 1 ½”. A 24T carbide blade is included with purchase.
Although the Milwaukee M18 2630-20 doesn’t come with a battery pack at purchase, it is compatible with all of Milwaukee’s M18 18 Volt Lithium Ion Batteries. Keep in mind that this tool is not the most powerful circular saw on the market, so using the correct blade for the job is crucial to its performance. Milwaukee backs up their product with a 5-year warranty.
4. Makita 5007MG Magnesium 7-1/4″ Circular SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
Professionals love the Makita 5007MG, and it’s easy to see why. This corded circular saw is durable, yet lightweight and has several features that make it a great option at a reasonable price point. The motor on this saw delivers a powerful 5,800 RPM, making it very capable of cutting everything from hardwood and ceramics to sheet metal. Thanks to the fast cutting speed, your cuts will be clean and smooth.
The Makita 5007MG provides a maximum depth of cut of 2 ½” and bevel cuts of 22.5 and 45 degrees, with blade stops in each position. The maximum bevel cut for this model is 56 degrees, making it an extremely versatile tool for bevel work, including cutting miter angles. This saw has also been designed with a dust blower that keeps your cutline clean and visible for improved accuracy.
One of our favorite features of this 7 ¼” circular saw are the two LED lights that brightly illuminate your cut line in dimly lit spaces. We also like the ergonomic front handle that makes the saw more comfortable to use on all day jobs. Makita even includes a convenient base ruler on this saw, allowing for quick measurements as you cut.
Makita includes a carbide tipped, 24T framing blade and rip fence with the purchase of the 5007MG. It also comes with a one-year warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee. Although most reviewers find this saw to be a joy to use, some reported problems with the guard, saying that it doesn’t ride up like it should as they make a cut.
5. Tacklife TCS115A Circular Saw with Metal HandleCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
The Tacklife TCS115A is a corded, compact circular saw that comes complete with six blades and 3,500 RPM motor with enough power to cut everything from wood and plastic to tile with ease. You can use the 24T TCT blades for most wood cuts, the 60T HSS blade for cutting soft metal and some wood, and the diamond blades for cutting tile, making this a very versatile circular saw. This circular saw by Tacklife is also capable of making bevel cuts from 0 to 45 degrees.
Reviewers of the Tacklife TCS115A love the left side blade orientation that provides better visibility of the cut line. They also love the parallel guide attachment that helps even the novice user achieve precise, straight cuts quickly and easily. In addition, the ergonomic, one-handed design of this mini circular saw, along with its slim grip and stable operation, make it easier and less tiring than two-handed models. This circular saw is also equipped with a laser guide for additional precision.
We were very impressed with the performance of this compact circular saw. However, there is one design flaw with this model. Pushing the safety button and pulling the trigger at the same time can be a bit awkward and painful, especially if you have smaller hands. Tacklife provides a one-year warranty with the purchase of the TCS115A.
6. Ryobi P506 5-1/2″ One+ Lithium Ion 18V Cordless Circular SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
The Ryobi P506 One+ is a cordless, 5 ½” circular saw that comes at a fraction of the price of most other models on our list. This 18V compact circular saw was designed with a comfortable grip rubber handle for excellent control, in even in slick conditions. This tool also comes with a laser guide that activates automatically when the saw is turned on, making it easier to achieve accurate cuts.
This cordless circular saw by Ryobi allows for beveled cuts from 0 to 50 degrees and has a cutting depth of 1 and 9/16-inch. It comes with a 24T carbide tipped blade and has a powerful motor that provides 4,600 RPM. Users will really appreciate the quick blade release mechanism that allows the blade to be changed easily. This saw automatically blows the sawdust away from the user, keeping the cut line clean for improved accuracy.
The Ryobi One+ is compatible with most 18V battery packs made by Ryobi. This wallet-friendly circular saw is a great choice for the novice DIYer, but pros will probably need a tool with a longer battery life. Ryobi is known for taking care of its customers, and they provide a generous three-year warranty on this product.
7. SKIL 5280-01 7-1/4″ 15-Amp Circular SawCLICK TO CHECK PRICE
The SKIL 5280-01 is an affordable, corded circular saw that’s perfect for a variety of woodworking projects. This saw has been designed with a laser that makes precision cutting much easier. The 5280-01 only weighs about nine pounds so it can be used all day without causing fatigue. The powerful motor provides 5,300 RPMs for smooth and clean cuts.
This model also includes a dust blower to keep your cut line clean, and it has a right-side blade orientation. A 24T blade is included with this saw for a variety of wood cutting applications. It features a rubberized grip and a trigger release mechanism to stop the blade.
This 7 ¼” circular saw by SKIL also includes an integrated dust blower to keep your cut line clean. The SKIL 5280-01 has a 2 3/8” maximum depth of cut. It can bevel at angles up to 51 degrees and includes a positive stop at 45 degrees for easier miter and angle cutting.
It should be noted that this saw does not include an electronic brake, which is an important safety feature that most other circular saws in this price range have. While we did find this saw to be quite durable, it is made from mostly plastic components, which is a bit disappointing. This circular saw is covered by a 1-year warranty.
Circular Saw Blade Left vs Blade Right Orientation
You probably noticed that most of the circular saws we reviewed have a left-side blade orientation, while others, like the SKIL 5280-01, have a right-side blade orientation. If you are new to using a circular saw, you are probably wondering exactly what that means, and which one is better. In all honesty, it really just comes down to personal preference and which hand is your dominant one. Electric chainsaws are another example where the left versus right topic comes into play.
For example, if you are right-handed, you will most likely prefer a blade left oriented circular saw. With a blade left orientation, the right-handed user can hold the saw handle in their right hand while stabilizing whatever they’re cutting with their left hand. Right-handed users will also have better cut line visibility with a blade left oriented circular saw.
On the other hand, a left-handed operator may prefer a blade right oriented circular saw. This orientation makes it easy for the operator to see the cut line. It also allows the left-handed user to operate the saw with their dominant hand and hold the material they are cutting with their right hand.
Unfortunately, if you are using a two-handed saw, your view of the cut line will likely be obstructed by the hand that’s holding the pommel, no matter which blade orientation you choose. In that case, you might want to choose a saw with a laser cut guide to ensure accuracy if your view is obstructed. In the end, you may just have to try out both orientations to see which one you prefer.
Corded vs Cordless Circular Saws
If you are trying to decide between a cordless or a corded circular saw, there are several things to consider that might help you choose. In this case, it really comes down to your individual needs as the tool user. Let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages of each option.
The obvious advantage of a cordless circular saw is that you don’t need an outlet to power the tool. That makes it more portable and provides an obvious advantage at remote job sites. You will also never have to worry about the cord getting tangled as you’re working, or having the plug pulled out of the wall.
While cordless circular saws are more versatile, but there are some disadvantages to think about. They are usually heavier than their corded counterparts because of the added weight of the battery. Once the battery runs out, you have to wait for it to charge up again to resume your work. However, many users get around this problem by keeping a second battery on the charger while they work.
In the case of a corded circular saw, the clear advantage is that they usually have more power since they are connected to a wall outlet. They also tend to be more lightweight, since there’s no battery back to haul around. If you need your circular saw to stand up to heavy, daily use, a corded model might be the better option for you.
At the end of the day, both options have their advantages, and they are both useful additions to your tool inventory. If the work you’ll be doing with the saw requires you to be mobile, a cordless saw is your best bet. On the other hand, a corded model will deliver power consistently, without the need to stop and charge the battery.
Setting Up and Maintaining a Circular Saw
One of the first things you’ll want to do when setting up your new circular saw is to ensure that you have the right blade for the job. Most of the circular saws we reviewed in this article come equipped with a carbide tipped blade. Carbide tipped, or TCT blades are multipurpose, extremely durable, and can stand up to cutting through plywood, plastic, and aluminum with ease.
In some cases, you may wish to purchase an additional blade, or blades, for your circular saw. If your primary application will be cutting metal, choose a special metal cutting blade that can go through everything from lightweight steel, aluminum siding, and brass smoothly. If you will cutting tile, you will need to choose a diamond tipped blade. You can also get special masonry cutting blades that are made of fiberglass and have no teeth.
You should also check your new circular saw to make sure it’s aligned correctly before you use it for the first time. Most saws will have an adjustable set screw that can be used to calibrate the saw, along with a straight-edge or square. Refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions on how to calibrate your particular saw.
When it comes to maintaining your saw the majority of the care will revolve around the saw’s blade. The blade should be cleaned regularly. You’ll need to remove the blade and wipe it down with a damp paper towel. The excess buildup can be removed with a gentle degreaser, like Simple Green. Be sure to allow the blade to dry completely before placing it back on the saw.
You should plan on replacing the blade whenever it is dull. The amount of time a blade lasts will vary significantly according to how much use the saw gets. You can tell that a blade is becoming dull if it chips or tears the material you are attempting to cut, it begins to bind up during cutting, or if it burns the wood. If you are having to exert a lot of effort to push the saw through the material, it’s time to change the blade. Most circular saws come with a blade wrench, so changing the blade is a fairly easy process.
After every use, wipe down the body of the saw to remove any loose sawdust or debris. An air can works great for removing debris from hard to reach areas. Blowing any loose debris or sawdust out of the motor and gears will extend the life of your saw.
Best Circular Saw Buyer’s Guide
Circular saws are an extremely versatile tool that every DIYer or professional contractor should have in their tool collection. Today’s circular saws come with a variety of features that make them easier to use for a variety of different applications. When you get ready to choose the ideal circular saw for your needs, compare the features listed below with the above reviews to help you decide.
Start by using our guide to decide whether you need a corded or cordless model and whether you want a saw with left or right-side blade orientation. Knowing this will help you narrow down your choices quite a bit. The next thing to consider is RPMs, or rotations per minute. The higher the RPMs, the more powerful the saw, and the smoother the cut.
Safety is also a key consideration when selecting any power tool. In our opinion, electronic brakes are essential on a circular saw because they stop the blade from rotating almost immediately when you release the trigger. This is important, not only for safety, but also because it allows you to move on to your next cut quickly. Safety buttons or triggers are also an important feature to look for because the blade will not spin until you push them, reducing the risk of accidents.
For the woodworker who will be making a lot of beveled cuts, you can’t go wrong with a unit like the DeWalt DCS570B. The manufacturer has included preset detents that allow you to set the saw at the most popular 22.5- and 45-degree angles quickly and easily. This can be a significant timesaver on the job site.
When it comes to the size of the blade, consider what applications you will be using the saw for most of the time. The majority of the saws we reviewed have a 7 ¼” blade, which is probably the most useful blade size for most people who will be cutting a lot of wood because it will give you the greatest depth of cut, usually around 2.5 inches. In comparison, a 6” blade will usually only have a depth cut of about 1.75 inches, which is fine if you’ll mostly be using the saw for cutting sheets of plywood or pieces of PVC.
You may also want to consider the length of the warranty provided by the manufacturer, especially if you will be using the saw on a daily basis. Most of the saws that we reviewed have at least a one-year warranty, but Milwaukee provides a very generous five-year warranty on their M18 2630-20 Cordless Circular Saw. For pros who count on their circular saw at the job site, an extended warranty is a huge plus.
Summing It Up
When choosing the right circular saw for your situation, start by considering your needs. The best circular saw for the job isn’t always the most expensive one, and even the more affordable models often come with some great features. Our circular saw reviews can help you compare the most popular circular saws, so you can decide which features you really need, and which ones you can do without. In the end, it often just comes down to personal preference and what you’re most comfortable with.