Updated: June 8, 2015

Circular Saw Reviews:

A handheld, power circular saw is one of the most useful tools a person can own. For making straight cuts in timber or manmade board, it is much easier than using a handsaw and will give a better edge if the correct type of guide is used. A circular saw can also be used to cut rebates, miters or chamfers at any angle up to 45 degrees, and cutting through tongued and grooved floorboards. Priced between $60 and $400 you can imagine the features and differences that exist between them. Perhaps the most important thing to consider is - Do you need a corded or cordless circular saw? Keep in mind that the cordless circular saws rated by experts perform extremely well but they will cost you quite a bit - probably around $350 to $400. The advantages to a cordless model are that you have no cords to deal with and the saw then becomes very mobile and portable.


Buying Guide - Corded saws are great - look for ones with blade brakes and laser guides so your work becomes even easier. The best saws are those that run smoothly, have kerf indicators, and have bases that are accurately aligned. Experts claim that the average 24 tooth, 7 1/4 inch blade on a circular saw will spin at roughly 5800 rpms so they are efficient power tools that need to be respected. Sidewinder saws are those with the motor on the side of the saw, while the heavier worm drive saws have the motor parallel to the blade. The sidewinder circular saws will be cheaper to buy and somewhat easier to handle since they are lighter. With a worm drive you get increased torque, but decreased speed. Also, find a saw with easy to maneuver knobs and levels that will let you adjust the blade angle or depth. We found some excellent reviews online at Popular Mechanics - they tested 11 circular saws to see which ones could rip an 8 foot cut based on speed and feel. Consumer Reports did a recent update to their circular saw ratings and they do a more thorough test on their saws - cutting speed, power, ease of use, battery endurance (for cordless models), maximum cutting depth, and basic construction of the saw. We also found that This Old House website did some recent reviews on all types of circular saws as well. Epinions and Amazon.com have some of the more in depth owner reviews which is what we like to read. Certainly expert opinions matter, but ultimately it's what the consumer thinks about a product that really gets our vote. Top brands are Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, Porter-Cable, Makita, Hitachi, Skil, and Black & Decker. Browse the best selling circular saws online here.

Best Circular Saw:

RECOMMENDED - The best corded circular saw is the Milwaukee 6394-21. Milwaukee saws are top rated and the 6394-21 has a Quik-Lok cord attachment, an electric brake for extra safety, and a tilt-lok handle to keep the saw balanced. Just over 10 lbs, this sidewinder saw from Milwaukee has great balance and performance and includes a 5 year warranty. Perhaps $165 is too much to pay, you can still get excellent performance from the Milwaukee 6390-21. The other top performers are the Makita 5007MG 15 Amp 7-1/4-Inch Magnesium Circular Saw and the Makita 5007FK 15 Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with LED Light which both sell for about $120 but receive excellent customer feedback on several sites. You can see all the top rated Makita circular saws here.

Dewalt Circular Saws:

As mentioned above, Dewalt makes a great heavy duty circular saw, but that is just one of many they produce. We like Dewalt circular saws for their durability, performance, and easy of use. They "make sense" and that in itself is huge help for someone who only operates it once a year or 2 times a week. I don't feel like I have to go back and refresh myself with the manual each time I use mine. The DEWALT DW364K 7-1/4-Inch Heavy Duty Circular Saw with Electric Brake is my pick as the best corded circular saw. In talking with our local Home Depot, we found that the DEWALT DWS535 7 1/4-Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw ($150) is the top rated heavy duty circular saw on the market. The motor is mounted behind the blade, which makes it a hypoid saw. Although the sidewinder saw is lighter, the heavier hypoid saws make cutting sheet stock easier in many cases. Saws with the motor behind the blade have less risk of kickback and they allow for better cutting-line visibility. Customers say they love the durability of the 13 lb saw along with it's smooth performance. The 3-year warranty is ample, but not as good as the Milwaukee saw above You can browse all the DeWalt circular saws on Amazon here.

Cordless Circular Saw:

RECOMMENDED - The best cordless circular saw (rated by consumers) is the Milwaukee 0730-22. At $300 it is pricey, but you also get 2 batteries and a charger. The Milwaukee cordless saw performs as well as the corded saws and you also get the 5-year warranty. There are cheaper versions of cordless saws out there, ones like the Ryobi P500 ($120) that comes with a battery and charger. Not as powerful as the Milwaukee cordless, it still provides a carbide-tipped blade, onboard blade wrench, ergonomic handle, and laser guide. The blade is a bit limitd at 5.5 inches and the bevel adjusts to only to 45 degrees, but the Ryobi circular saw is a good budget blade circular saw for the average homeowner. See all the top rated cordless circular saws here.


Circular Saw Guide - How to operate/use the circular saw:

Circular saws are easy to use but they can be a potential hazard with the blade whizzing around at a few thousands revolutions per minute. Don't treat it like a toy, be responsible with it. Only use a circular saw where you can see the underside of what you are cutting and know that it is clear of obstructions, you do not want to saw through an electric cable or copper pipe. Always use a facemask and goggles. Above all, read the manual when you first buy the saw to get the basics of how the circular saw works (parts, safety features, etc).