Circular saws are one of the most versatile power tools. Furthermore, they are a heck of a lot less work than using a hand saw and a must have for larger and/or precise jobs. B&B readers will find information about circular saws in the below sections as well as a list of the best circular saws.
General Thoughts on Picking Out the Right Circular Saw for You
A circular saw is one of the most important tools that shouldn’t be missing in your tool kit. By having the appropriate blades, you can use circular saws to make straight or beveled cuts in your wood, steel or masonry work. It does not necessarily mean that you have to be a professional woodworker or architect in order to have one; you can as well use it in your DIY projects.
These saws can be used by handymen, constructors, or for personal wood projects. If you are working on a tree house, building a deck or even making window replacements, you should consider acquiring a circular saw to make your work easier.
Buying a circular saw may not be a challenge, the issue to deal with, is making the best and right selection. What matters most is buying the right tool for the right task. Circular saws, just like any other product, are differentiated to suit different tasks. They have different features and go at different prices.
It is unfortunate that you may walk into a shop, take a look at the different machines but not be able to know which model hits your target mark. You may take 10 to 20 minutes staring but fail to understand why two circular saws appear to be the same but have a price difference of more than $50. Do not worry because you are at the right place, keep reading as you familiarize yourself with what it takes for a saw to be marked “The best”.
There are many models in the market and buying the best circular saw will obviously require some basic knowledge. Nevertheless, not every saw will be a good match for you; you need to first ask yourself why you are buying a circular saw. The nature of the project is what basically determines the model you should opt for. For example, it may be more convenient to buy a corded model if you are dealing with time-consuming projects. On the other hand, if you need flexibility on several small projects or working in a confined space, a cordless model will be the best option.
What to Look for When Buying a Circular Saw
It is very important to understand the three different categories of circular saws. The three key distinctions are worm-drive saws, sidewinder, and the trim saws.
The worm-drive saws were developed in 1924 and were named so because of the inner drive system that is spiral-shaped. These models are very strong and tend to be used in heavy projects. The shape of the saw makes plunge cuts easier compared to other models.
The sidewinder models have the motor either placed on the right or left side of the blade. They are designed to accommodate both the right and left-handed people. They are usually used in making plywood cuts, wet lumber or concrete. Most people working with DIY projects prefer the sidewinder circular saws.
The last category is the trim saws that are rarely used today. They have been overtaken by the worm-drive and sidewinder circular saw models. They are light, easy to manage and used in very light tasks.
After taking into consideration the above, you need to take a closer look at the following factors before making the final decision.
Depending on your woodwork, you may need to make deeper or shallow cuts. It is, therefore, important to buy a machine with the right blade size. Larger blades make deeper cuts and the reverse is true. Most blades have a diameter of 7-1/4 inches.
Evaluate your project and determine whether you will require bevel cuts. If the answer is yes, you will need a circular saw with this feature. It helps in improving efficiency when making cuts at certain angles. Bevel capabilities also assist in adjustments and positive stops.
The size of our hands differs and thus the grip. It would, therefore, be better working with a machine that has an adjustable handle. This will elevate user-comfort when working at different angles or heights.
Your safety when working with machines should be given first priority. Circular saws are not an exceptional and that is why the electric brake makes a significant difference in a saw. It stops the blade by reversing the flow of electric current as soon as the trigger is released, eliminating any possible accidents.
Type of Blade
This is the key part of any saw. Blades vary depending on their application. Some are suitable for high-speed cutting while others are just for ordinary purposes. For example, steel blades are cheap and work well with softwood but gets dull quickly. Carbide-tipped blades have tips on their teeth and are more expensive. Other types are the tile-cutting and masonry blades.
Motor capacities differ with the worm-drive saw models being the most powerful. A motor with higher amps means more cutting power. It is advisable to choose the machine that is powerful enough to tackle your projects as early planned. In case you are dealing with DIY projects, you may settle for a 7-10 amp motor or less.
The main goal of this review is to help everyone out there make the best decision. We, therefore, carried out several tests with the help of professional woodworkers and carpenters. It was a hectic process involving cuttings with different 2×4 wood boards and plywood that are commonly used. Bevel capabilities, cut depth adjustments, and user comfort were also tested. Manufacturers also played a major role by providing us with the necessary information on the sampled models. Finally, we came up with the best five circular saws that we highly recommend to anyone.
The 5-Best Circular Saws
Here are the best circular saws currently available for purchase.
1. DEWALT 7-1/4 inch Worm-Drive Circular Saw
Of all the saws we tested, I must say the Dewalt DWS535 wasn’t the favorite for nothing. It is one of the most powerful circular saws with a 4800 rpm no-load speed and a 53-degree beverage capacity. Well, you may be wondering what that means, it simply means that your work will be fine and smooth when working with this model. It is also safe with the electric brake feature that lacks in most models. Maneuverability is easy due to its light weight of 13.8 pounds.
It also has a magnesium construction that lends power without additional bulk. Not forgetting the cast magnesium shoe that provides a firm solid cutting platform. The model suits both professional woodworkers and DIY projects. This is because of the extra-wide saw that is capable of hooking wood materials op to 2-1/2 inches wide. The tough cord system also offers 4X protection to the cord jerk. If you are an experienced carpenter with loads of work, you will be very glad using the DEWALT DWS535 Worm-Drive Saw. It is one of the best that beats the rest in performance.
2. SKIL 15 Amp 7-1/4 Inch Saw -With Single Beam Laser Guide
This is another model that gets the job perfectly done. It has a 15-amp motor that is powerful enough to handle most DIY projects. You won’t experience any hassles cutting lumber or making additions to your room or deck. The 51-degree bevel capacity is just incredible for more diverse cutting options. You can comfortably make cuts at 45-degrees with convenience. It makes cuts with a maximum depth of 2-1/2 inches.
The 15% weight reduction is very significant when compared to the previous models. You, therefore, won’t experience any fatigue while working with this enviable machine.
One great advantage of this model is the single beam laser that helps the user make very accurate cuts. The integrated dust blower also keeps the cutting line clear while the spindle lock and the on-tool wrench makes it easy to change blades. It is pleasing how the blade guard also retracts smoothly and fits in its place. I would personally recommend this model since it has more power than required for most ordinary jobs.
3. BOSCH CS5 120 Volt 7-1/4 Inch Circular Saw
The Bosch saw is one great piece of value that any professional carpenter will take pride working with. One great feature of this model is the anti-snag guard that lets you make bevel cuts without necessarily advancing the guard. It has a powerful 15 amp motor that enables it to make its way through the toughest material. This left-blade model works great with right-handed users.
It is one of the best models that suits projects involving clear-cut-line viewing. It also has a spindle lock lever that eases the process of changing blades. The no-load speed of 6200 RPM is incredible and more than the normal DIY projects may demand. Another great feature of the Bosch CS5 is the on-board blade wrench. For standard framing cuts, this model is just as good as any other worm-drive circular saw. I highly recommend that you give it a try.
4. HITACHI C7ST 15 Amp 7-1/4 Inch Circular Saw
This is a professional-grade model that will cut through wood, tiles, concrete or bricks. In short, the Hitachi C7ST will tackle any tough job with its bold powerful 15-amp motor. The blade’s no-load speed of 6,000 RPM makes it easy to have quick, smoother and burn-free cuts. It is possible to make 45-degree bevel cuts with convenience. The model has easy-to-read side and front scales that ensure accurate smooth cuts are achieved. The 7-1/4 inch blade is tipped with carbide teeth and powers through tough materials with ease. This is one of the few models that can comfortably make a 90-degree cut even when being used by a newbie.
It also has a dust blower that is well integrated to keep the cut line clear for accuracy. A blade guard is also incorporated to protect users. User comfort is not left out at all; the model has an adjustable single-handed handle. This is also enhanced by the fact that the Hitachi C7ST only weighs 9.5 pounds making maneuverability easier.
Whether you are a woodworker pro or just beginning your career, you won’t find it difficult to balance the saw and make straight cuts using the Hitachi C7ST. The saw has a low center of gravity and a soft grip handle that reduces vibration during operation. Hitachi C7ST hits the mark as far as leading worldwide innovative craftsmanship is concerned. It is a circular saw worth every single coin spent.
5. MAKITA 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 6-1/2 Inch Saw
Makita hits the mark in having the best brushless circular saws. The XSH03Z motor can deliver a no-load speed of 5,000 RPM, adequate enough to make the fastest cuts. Powered by 18V LXT Lithium-Ion battery, the model employs an automatic speed and torque change technology. This feature helps in optimizing performance and saving energy. Your saw is always guaranteed of safety in any case overloading, over-discharging or overheating occurs.
The model can tackle any DIY project or even tougher jobs with its 2-1/4 depth capacity. No user can complain of fatigue, transport problems or user comfort when using Makita XSH03Z. It is one of the lightest models only weighing 7.3 lbs. Its ergonomic and compact design also makes it easy to handle the tool even when making cuts through the hardest materials.
The Benefits of Working with a Circular Saw
- Greater Control. The above circular saws have got incredible features that give you control over your entire woodwork. Some of the features include the adjustable handles, depth controls, and the integrated dust blower
- Quick, Smooth and Burn-free Cuts. You will enjoy the ability of the above circular saws to make quick and fine cuts through hard materials. They are all worm-drive saw models with powerful motors. The no-load speed is above 4500 RPM for all models. You can, therefore, handle any tough project or DIY tasks.
- High Bevel Capacity. Any user of these circular saws can comfortably make angled cuts. The bevel capacity is amazing and adequate for simple and professional woodwork jobs.
- Accurate Cuts. Incorporation of laser beam guides and integrated dust blowers makes it possible to work on long projects while maintaining accuracy and professional standards. This is a major benefit of using these saws.
There are many more benefits associated with the best circular saws. These are a just a few.
Always take time researching before making the final purchase of a circular saw. Consider the work you intend to tackle with the machine capability. It is highly advisable to compare the features of the machine you intend to buy and the design requirement of your project. Never forget the three categories of circular saws.
Some tasks are so simple and will only require a trim or sidewinder saw while others will only be successful with the use of powerful models such as the DEWALT DWS535. I have made the work easier for you by recommending the above models to all handymen and professional carpenters.