Circular Saw Buying Guide 2017

Circular saw has become an essential tool in any workshop. However, there are so many different options in the market that could make the beginner user confusing about what feature they are looking for. The circular saws are offered with different shapes and sizes which could be suited to only one or combination of different purposes. Then, what criteria you should consider to determine whether it is the best circular saw for you!

Circular Saw Reviews

A circular saw is a powerful electric saw that uses a flat blade or a toothed disc which moves in a rotary, spinning motion to cut various materials such as metal, wood, masonry or plastic. It is a must-have versatile tool that comes handy and serves its purpose well. It is conveniently portable and may be handheld or mounted to a machine.

This handheld type circular saw is a basic tool for every builder, carpenter, or home renovator and is widely used by home builders for home improvement as it is designed to make rip-cuts, crosscuts, it can even do both and anything else you wish to accomplish with the saw.

Top Rated



* Cordless circular saw
* 36-Volt Lithium Ion
* Best 7-1/4″ deep cut capacity
Electric brake enhances safety

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Makita 5402NA

Makita 5402NA

* 16-5/16-inch large saw
* Powerful motor, quietly
* Perfectly constructed design
* Great for cutting larger pieces

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Makita 5402NA


Now we will discuss some feature you should look at when you choosing the circular saw:

1. Speed Control

The circular saw’s power can be gauged by its motor strength and at what speed the blade spins. This can be measured by the number of RPM or revolutions per minute it spins. They use high power rating for a smooth cut. Its motor power ranges from 500 to 1500w. The higher the wattage, the more RPM it yields and the greater the RPM, the more power and control you get. More power grants the capability of running bigger blades. Larger models have bigger blades and hence, a maximum cut depth of about 65mm can be made. With more power comes more control and means the circular saw will possess greater ability to cut tough materials. So when choosing a circular saw, the blade speed is a very important factor you must pay attention to.

2. Bevel Capability

A good circular saw must let you adjust its base by tilting it in order to achieve angled cuts. It must be able to provide a base plate that is adjustable. This feature will enable your circular saw to be angled at the range of 0-45 degrees and modify its cutting depth. Built-in adjustments ensure accuracy and improved efficiency when used for common angle adjustments.

3. Visibility

It is critical to have a clear view of the cut line so in buying one, being right or left handed must be considered to find the best saw with blades and notches that enhance visibility.

4. Depth Adjustment Lever

The ability to adjust the cutting depth allows ease in cutting materials of different kinds of thickness. This aids in good visibility, simple adjustments necessary and makes it easily accessible, well within reach. The outboard levers also allow you to keep your trigger hand in place, on the handle where it belongs, while you work on the locking the perfect blade depth into place. Tucked between the blade guard and handle would be the inboard levers, which could be quite difficult to operate so you must prefer thick, rounded levers or those that are covered in rubber for grasping it easy and secure. The depth scale must be easy to read and distinctly marked. Cast numbers or engraved markings are way better than stickers because they are permanent.

5. Electric Brake

This will stop the motor in just about 2 seconds after you release the trigger. On the other hand, a saw that doesn’t have an electric blade takes about 10 to 15 seconds to stop. The electric brakes function in a way that it reverses the flow of electricity towards the saw’s motor. Electric brakes are preferable and is now being offered by most models because it greatly helps reduce inconvenience brought about by prolonged use of the circular saw. After a while, your arms and fingers tend to get tired, and a blade that stops quick and fast would give less risk of getting hurt and ensures your safety.

6. Blade Guard

This serves as a protective covering of the blade when the saw is not in use and is ideal for safety measures as well. It then retracts to reveal the blade when you are ready to use it. However, it could be a really frustrating experience when the blade guard gets stuck and won’t retract exactly when you are in the middle of cutting. Those with rough or sharp edges are those that are most likely to get stuck when you are cutting in agles or regular wooden surfaces, therefore you must look for circular saws that have a large lobe above its blade guard’s leading edge.

7. Dust Blower

Circular saws are likely to produce massive clouds of dust so you must look for one that is equipped with a dust bag or has a vacuum cleaner connection to collect the mess. A dust blower enhances visibility by removing the dust from the cutting lines. A dust port gives the option to connect to a shop vacuum or a dust bag for easy dust management.

8. Weight and Balance

Balance proves more important than weight for long hours of use of the circular saw. The trigger should have sufficient space even when you are wearing gloves. Consider as well the positions in which you would usually use the saw. For instance, most handles that may be comfortable for overhead work may not be best on long cuts with plywood.

9. Extra Features

Some saws have a built-in laser which projects a laser line on your work material that allows for superior accuracy and efficiency when making straight cuts.


Choosing the right one according to your preferences to suit your needs and meet its purpose is not a simple task. This guide aims to give you a broad view of circular saws because it is not only based on style and design, but on the benefits of its features and functions, as well as performance. You would need to consider the different factors and do a lot of research and your efforts will lead to a well informed decision in purchasing the perfect one for you.

1. Worm Drive Circular Saw (inline motor)

Worm Drive Circular Saws

The motors in this type of saw is situated at the right angle of the saw blade. It utilizes gears to increase torque that is transferred to the blade.

  • Recommended applications: extremely demanding professional, home applications (such as framing)
  • Pros: more power, heavy duty, corded, quietly, for ambidextrous, easy to follow a cutline, plunge cuts, cut through difficult materials
  • Cons: heavy, more expensive

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Worm Drive Circular Saws

2. Sidewinder Circular Saw (inline saw)

Sidewinder Circular Saws

These are traditional and the most common of circular saws. Its motor is positioned in the same axis as the blade. Its shaft runs directly from the motor for driving the blade. It is available in both left and right-handed models.

  • Recommended applications: light to heavy duty, home and professional use
  • Pros: lighter, less expensive, suitable for most applications, better balanced, easier to handle
  • Cons: obscuring the line of sight when used with the wrong hand, side-mounted motor may block view

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Sidewinder Circular Saws

3. Trim Saw

Trim Circular Saws

These are unique, unlike the commonly used worm drive and sidewinder saws, because it is designed for small tasks. It is very easy to control, light, and mainly used for finishing work on projects in carpentry or any kind of task that works with thin materials. Trim saws are circular saws that have small blades with diameters usually measuring between 3-1/2 to 5-3/8 inches.

  • Recommendation applications: jobs requiring shallower cuts (such as finish carpentry work)
  • Pros: compact and light, easy portability, maneuverability, corded or cordless
  • Cons: only for small task

4. Cordless Circular Saw

Cordless Circular Saws

These are best suited for cutting wood given its battery limitations. It can cut through tough materials, however it uses more power and therefore drains batteries quickly. The size of cordless saws ranges from 5-3/8 to 6-1/2 inches.

  • Pros: less expensive, convenient, portable, light weight, no extension cords, smaller than most corded saws, work well in confined spaces, no need carry generators, eliminates danger and expense of cutting through the saw’s cord
  • Cons: less power, limit of batteries, small capacity, suite for cutting wood products, limit of sizes

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Cordless Circular Saws

5. Corded Circular Saw

Corded Circular Saws

Corded saws are best suited for tough work such as masonry and steel cutting. It doesn’t depend on batteries so you need not mind the amount of power being executed for it will last a long time. It comes in various sizes, but the most common would be the 7-1/4 inch size and requires an extension cord.

  • Pros: use power, suited for tough cutting jobs, steel and continuous woodcutting, offer many size
  • Cons: heavy, more expensive

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Corded Circular Saws


There are many benefits of the circular saw in various industries such as construction and the wood working.

1. Cutting the cost in half

The circular saws help to reduce the cost of per cut. A normal rude wheel of the circular saw provides the average of 60 cuts before the replacement. The blade cut more than 2000 cuts before wearing out. Although, the initial cost is a little higher, but it cuts the input cost in half.

2. Faster cut time

The blade of the circular saw cuts the metal and material in less time when compared with the other types of saw. Although, it enters the material slowly, the complete cut time is faster. The sharper blades and slower speed of the circular saw leaves the material cooler after any cut. It makes the work process faster as no one has to wait for cooling of the metal.


The circular saw can be deemed as the necessary tool for the person who practices the carpentry in any work which requires the construction from the wood and fine woodworking projects. It helps to cut the sheet goods such as the plywood with more ease and accuracy than the table saw. It can be also used to cut the curved shapes during any woodworking project.


It is clear from the above discussion that when a carpenter or anyone is cutting wood, the purchasing of the best circular saw is the best option. These circular saws function as the effective tool to achieve the goal in less time. There are many brands of the circular saw in the market which are popular with the people. Some of the best options are given below.

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