Best Circular Saws For The Money

Best Circular Saws

Last Update: August, 2019

Circular saws are the time saving, streamlined power tools that will make every job easier. You will no longer have to drag heavy materials to a table saw in order to make the cuts you need – only to lug the material back to your work zone.

These lightweight saws are made for everyone from professionals who want to simplify their workday to novices who want to perfect their DIY projects. Don’t wait – read on to find the best circular saw for you.

Circular Saw

Summary

Makita 5477NB

Makita 5477NB

This saw will cut your work time by providing fast cuts over large surfaces. Powerful and durable, this one is built to last even with heavy use.

Skillsaw SPT77WML-01

Skillsaw SPT77WML-01

Lightweight and built to last, this saw is made to be easy on your body during long jobs. The anti-snag guard protects you and prevents the breakage of thin materials.

Porter Cable Circular Saw

Porter Cable Circular Saw

This saw packs power along with a price point that is affordable. Lightweight and easy to use, this tool is well-balanced and runs smoothly for users at all skill levels.

Dewalt Flexvolt Circular Saw with Brake

Dewalt Flexvolt Circular Saw with Brake

Cordless saws will free you up to go further distances without having a cord holding you back. Dewalt ensures that your safety is in mind with an electric brake.

Milwaukee 2730-20

Milwaukee 2730-20

The small size of this saw makes it a wonderful option for DIY users. This saw is durable and will do the job right while lasting a long time.

Pros:

  • Cutting guides are accurate
  • Powerful
  • Durable – minimal service requirement

Cons:

  • Heavy compared to saws marketed as lightweight

More About The Makita 5477NB

The Makita saw comes equipped with heat treated hypoid gears that cover a larger surface area. With more surface area that can be covered, you will get even more out of this saw because of its powerful 15 amp motor.

For commercial carpenters who work long hours on the job, this saw is a godsend that promises high-speed performance for a long lasting period. Bevel capacity is between 0 and 51.5 degrees with positive stops at both 45 degrees and 51.5 degrees.

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Makita 5377MG

Makita 5377MG

SKIL 5280-01

SKIL 5280-01

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K

Pros:

  • Great for all skill levels
  • Accurate and precise
  • Lightweight and easy to transport

Cons:

  • High maintenance – requires lubrication frequently

More About The Skillsaw SPT77WML-01

The Skillsaw worm drive circular saw is constructed out of magnesium for a lightweight build that promises to cut down on user fatigue. The powerful 15 amp motor slices through your material and stays cool, even through a full day of use.

This saw is recommended for use with soft, hard, or engineering woods and is ideal for creating decks, frames, and even siding or ceilings. An anti-snag blade guard protects the blade when it is not in use and prevents it from snagging when using thin materials.

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Makita 5377MG

Makita 5377MG

SKIL 5280-01

SKIL 5280-01

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Lightweight at only 9 pounds
  • Simple and accurate adjustments

Cons:

  • Markings for the depth of cut scale are a little unclear

More about the Porter Cable Circular Saw

The Porter-Cable saw provides speed and power through all jobs. It has a 15 amp motor that runs at 5,500 RPM to ensure that the job gets done quickly. Cutting depth adjustment is easy and quick thanks to the nifty spindle lock feature.

The magnesium shoe combines with the metal upper and lower guards adds durability to this lightweight saw. At only 9-pounds, this saw is definitely lightweight. This saw is perfect for at home users who just want something to get the job done quick and easy.

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Makita 5377MG

Makita 5377MG

SKIL 5280-01

SKIL 5280-01

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K

Pros:

  • Cordless saw
  • Blade cover on the left side
  • Comes with 2 batteries

Cons:

  • Fan in the fast charger is loud

More About The Dewalt Flexvolt Circular Saw with Brake

This Dewalt circular saw is a step above the rest with its flexibility. That’s right – this is a cordless circular saw. You can leave the cords behind and bring the saw up on the roof with you.

The two battery kit comes with smart batteries that change voltage automatically when the tool is changed. This Flexvolt technology of one battery with two voltages works consistently with other products in the DeWalt line.

Also included is a fast charger for your battery pack, so you won’t be left without a battery on the job site.

Upon the release of the trigger, the electric brake promptly stops the brake for your safety. The blade cover is on the left side so the dust blower will not blow sawdust in your face.

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Makita 5377MG

Makita 5377MG

SKIL 5280-01

SKIL 5280-01

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Great for at-home users
  • Nice safety features

Cons:

  • Allen wrench placement on the tool is inadequate

More About The Milwaukee 2730-20

Milwaukee brings you a highly durable circular saw that is lightweight. This saw comes with a brushless motor.

This saw is preferable for DIY users and is accurate for trim cuts and other smaller cuts. The blade is 6.5-inches and will cut across a 2x on a 45.

The saw will cut off automatically if kickback occurs.

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Makita 5377MG

Makita 5377MG

SKIL 5280-01

SKIL 5280-01

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B

Rockwell RK3440K

Rockwell RK3440K

FAQs

As you can see, there are quite a few options at your disposal when it comes to circular saws. Before you drop everything and go purchase your favorite saw, let’s go over some frequently asked questions.

How do circular saws work?

These tools work by means of a blade with teeth that cuts through various materials. This is done by electrically spinning the blade around a part called the arbor.

These saws can be attached to a table or handheld. Industrial sized options are available for those who need it.

Features of a Circular Saw

These saws can come equipped with tons of great features.

Laser Guide

A laser guide can help lead your cut. This is especially beneficial for new users.

Cut/Depth Adjustment

Having the ability to adjust the depth of your cut will make your finished product come out quicker and more accurate. This is an important feature for those at all skill levels.

Electric Brake

This feature will stop the blade immediately upon release of the trigger. For safety measures, this one is definitely preferable to have on all saws.

What safety features should I seek out?

These saws can be quite dangerous, so it is important to honestly evaluate your skill level and purchase accordingly. There are several types of safety features, but some important ones to consider are the following:

Blade position, blade visibility, cutting depth, sturdy base, dust blowers to keep the cut line clear, and spindle locks and brakes.

How long can I expect my new blade to last?

Blades obviously are going to experience wear and tear and need to be replaced. While a definite number cannot be given for this determination, there are signs you can look for to determine if you need to replace the blade.

For example, look out for chipped or worn out teeth. Material that chips or tears more often is also a sign. If the blade becomes difficult to use, starts binding, or if it burns the wood, then you will likely need to replace your circular saw’s blade.

Key features to look for

Before you buy a brand new circular saw, you should be sure that you are making the best choice for your budget. Here are a few critical features to look out for, in circular saws of any price range.

Design

A lot of people tend to assume that the power of a saw is the most important feature. While power is important, what actually matters most for the saw’s performance are smaller factors, like the length of the cord, dust chutes, spindle locks, and other features.

The design of the saw, rather than the power, is what ultimately makes a difference.

You’ll want to look for a circular saw that is designed to be comfortable and convenient for you to use.

It doesn’t matter how powerful it is – if you can’t use it comfortably, it won’t be worth your money. Keep an eye out for a saw with an intuitive design and plenty of features that make it easier to use.

Cutting Features

The bevel capacity of your saw determines what angles you will be able to cut it. A bevel cut means a cut that is not perpendicular to the saw, in other words, at a 90-degree angle or steeper.

The bevel adjustment is what allows you to switch between bevel cuts, or angles - with the right bevel adjustment you can vary between deeper rip cuts and smooth, angled cuts easily.

Another important feature is how the saw cuts. A saw with a wider bevel capacity and depth adjustment will allow you to cut as deeply as you need to at any angle.

It’s also helpful if your saw is equipped with positive bevel stops, to quickly adjust the shoe to the angles you most commonly use, allowing you to easily switch back and forth between bevel cuts.

Types of Blades

First of all, you need to make sure that the blade you buy is a good fit for your saw. It should be the right diameter to fit the saw and have the right sized arbor, or center hole.

Your blade should also have a higher RPM rating than your saw – a lower rating risk damaging both the saw and the blade.

As far as the cutting quality of the blade goes, the key feature to look out for is the number of teeth. A blade with more teeth will cut through wood a little slower but produce a clean, smooth cut line. A blade with fewer teeth will be faster, but choppier.

A carbide tipped blade of any tooth count can also improve the performance and longevity of your saw. If you plan on using your circular saw for a variety of tasks, it can be helpful to have multiple blade options on hand.

Power

Last but not least, you will definitely want to consider the power of your saw. The power of handheld circular saws is measured in RPM (rotations per minute).

The higher the RPM rating, the smoother and faster your saw will be able to cut. However, saws with higher RPM’s can be trickier to handle and more expensive.

For general wood crafting and DIY work, an RPM of around 5,000 should be plenty. For more serious work, you may want to look for something a little more powerful, up to 6,200 RPM.

Special Features

There are a few special features that can make your circular saw easier to use. One handy feature is LED lights or laser pointers, that guide the saw's path through the wood.

This can help you to make clean, straight cuts quickly. A magnesium shoe is a great feature that will improve your saw's durability and help it to deliver a perfectly balanced cut every time, at any level.

Additionally, safety features like an electric brake and handguard will make the circular saw safer and more comfortable to use.

Portability and Storing

One of the main reasons carpenters and home DIYers choose handheld circular saws, over large table saws, is for the convenience. They are light enough to hold in your hand and small enough that they can be easily packed away and stored when you are not using them.

Many circular saws come with convenient carrying cases so that you can take your tool on the road with you if you need to move to another shop.

Carrying cases are also great for when you need to store the saw for a long time without using it – they will keep out potentially harmful moisture and dust particles, ensuring that the saw stays in the best condition possible.

Cordless vs Corded Saw: Which is Better?

The first thing you will need to consider in buying a handheld circular saw is whether you would rather have a corded or cordless saw. There are benefits to both options, and in the end, the best type to you comes down to your preferences.

First and foremost, a corded saw is going to be more powerful in almost all instances. Because of their continuous attachment to the power source, they will have a higher RPM, and so be able to cut quicker and more cleanly through the wood.

If power is what you need, then you will have to stick with a corded circular saw. These will be able to power through thick lumber and hardwoods much easier than a cordless saw.

Corded saws are also usually more affordable than cordless too. For the same quality and RPM and special features such as LED lights, you will get a better deal with a corded saw.

That said, corded saws can be difficult to work with. The cord can be annoying and get in the way while you are working. They don’t allow for a very high range of movement.

However, if you’re going to stay in one place, then a corded saw will be fine.

If you have a larger workspace and like to be able to move around it freely while working with your circular saw, you might be more interested in a cordless option. They will cost a little more, but it is worth it for the convenience.

A cordless saw will be able to work on similar materials, more than likely, but the issue is battery power. The battery of a cordless saw tends to drain quickly.

Likewise, if you are going to be walking around or going somewhere like a roof, the cordless option will make those jobs easier. You won’t have to deal with tangled wires or cables that are too short.

Whichever saw type you choose, either corded or cordless, make sure that you are comfortable using it. Check that it comes with all the essential features you need for better working efficiency.

Safety

As a final consideration, it is super important to take into account the safety of your circular saw. No matter what saw you buy, there will be some risks to using it.

That's why you need to take precautions like wearing protective gloves and eyewear and preparing your woodcuts before you start working.

One of the biggest risks when using a circular saw, just like with bigger types of saws, is a kickback. Kickback can happen when the teeth of the saw get caught in the wood, causing the motion to reverse and the saw to kick upward in your hand.

Kickback can happen with any saw, but there are some measures you can take to protect yourself against it. A saw with an electric brake will help by automatically shutting off in the case of kickback if you release the trigger.

Conclusion

Circular saws are an awesome addition to any home woodworking or DIY shop. They help you make clean cuts at any angle. They are safe, lightweight and much easier to handle and work with than larger table saws.

If you have never shopped for a circular saw before, start with any one of our top recommendations here. Just look for the best design, price range and right combination of features for you. With the right tools, you are ready to tackle any woodworking task.

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