The 7 Best Circular Saws are a Cut Above the Rest

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Having a reliable circular saw available is a must-have for anyone in the construction biz or who works on DIY projects at home. The problem many people run into is trying to find the saw that fits their needs without going beyond their budget. Should you go with a corded or cordless? Sidewinder or worm drive?

Our list of top rated circular saws include major brand names you have dealt with for years, and includes the quality products that only these industry leaders can provide. Both traditional corded models and a couple powerful cordless models are included. Whether you’re replacing floors, building a new deck, or needing to replace an old saw model, getting the best circular saw for the money should be a priority.

Our 7 Favorite Circular Saws

 ProductPower SourceRPMCut DepthWeight
worm-drive-circular-sawSKILSAW SPT77WML-0115A Corded5,3002-3/8"11.6 lbs.
best-cordless-circular-sawDeWalt DCS570B20V Cordless5,2002-9/16"7.5 lbs.
best-corded-circular-sawDeWalt DWE575SB15A Corded5,1002-9/16"8.8 lbs.
top-circular-saw-reviewsMakita 5007MG15A Corded5,8002-1/2"10.6 lbs.
milwaukee-m18-circular-sawMilwaukee M18 2630-2018V Cordless3,5002-1/8"8.5 lbs.
top-rated-circular-sawBosch CS515A Corded6,2002-7/16"10.0 lbs.
best-budget-circular-sawSKIL 5280-0115A Corded5,3002-3/8"7.0 lbs.

Circular Saw Reviews

#1 – SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 7-1/4″ Worm Drive Circular Saw

worm-drive-circular-sawThis all-magnesium saw may only weigh 11.6 pounds, but it’s no lightweight when it comes to power. Designed for framing, the saw’s 15 amp dual-field motor and SKILSAW Worm Drive will power through the toughest wood all day long without overheating.

With a maximum cutting depth of 2-3/8 inches at 90 degrees, positive stops at 0 and 45 degrees, and maximum bevel capacity of 53 degrees, it’s the perfect choice for dozens of tasks. Best of all, an on-tool multi-function wrench and 24-tooth carbide-tipped SKILSAW blade are included so you can begin cutting right away.

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 reviewWorm drives, which have the motor at the rear of the saw, are far superior than standard sidewinder saws when it comes to torque. Normally, worm drive saws are much heavier than a sidewinder motor but the extra weight here is almost not noticeable. This SKILSAW is perfect for older craftsmen and weaker individuals. That said, the SPT77WML-01 is considered by many professionals to be the best circular saw for framing.

It’s really important to check this tool for oil when it arrives, as some consumers have reported receiving their’s with an empty reservoir. Additionally, keep in mind that magnesium is a softer metal than steel and won’t take as much abuse in an industrial setting as a heavier metal.

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#2 – DeWalt DCS570B 7-1/4″ 20V Cordless Circular Saw

best-cordless-circular-sawWith a maximum cutting depth of 2-9/16 inches on the 7-1/4 inch blade, this DeWalt saw can perform a multitude of tasks with ease. The brushless motor can provide 5,200 RPM even under load, allowing it to make up to 100 cross cuts in a pine 2×4 before needing a recharge. Additionally, this saw has a maximum bevel of 57 degrees, making it a great choice for framing jobs.

Consumers love the bottom plate design, which allows for a perfect cut every time. The saw cuts fast without being noisy, and is fully compatible with 20v MAX batteries.

The biggest drawback with cordless saws has always been power, but you’ll be amazed how much torque this DeWalt produces. Combine that with its biggest benefit (portability), and this just might be the best cordless circular saw you’ve ever used.

Being sold as a bare tool, this model lacks a battery and charger, resulting in additional purchases unless you already own other DeWalt 20v MAX tools. Also, note that the predicted battery life is for a softwood and may be drastically lower for hardwoods such as oak.

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#3 – DeWalt DWE575SB 7-1/4″ Circular Saw

best-corded-circular-saw

At only 8.8 pounds, this DeWalt model is one of the lightest circular saws around and features an automatic electric brake to stop the blade spin when the trigger is released. Its high quality combined with affordable price has made it a top seller for many years now.

The 15 amp motor is capable of a blade spin of up to 5100 RPM, fast enough to cut through pressure treated lumber, hardy board, etc. The 57 degree bevel capability is standard for most circular saws of this type, but you will only find hard stops for 22.5 and 45 degree cuts on models that make the grade.

And because DeWalt is a leader in construction tool manufacturing, the DWE575SB includes a rugged cord design that is more resistant to cord pull-out, fraying and wrap-around. For safe, dependable operation, the DeWalt DWE575SB circular saw is definitely near the top of the list.

The DWE575SB will net you a full 2-9/16 inches of cutting depth, but cutting anything thicker will require some creative thinking on the part of the user.

The blade which comes with the saw is an 18t blade, which is suitable for rough cuts and framing, but trying to do any sort of precision cutting where a smooth cut is required will mean purchasing a finer blade or using a different type of saw altogether such as a miter saw (for shorter cuts).

Another problem that you should be prepared for is the shakiness of the shoe plate. While it is relatively stable, there is still some noticeable movement when the show has been locked in place that will demand extra attention during fine cuts.

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#4 – Makita 5007MG 7-1/4″ Magnesium Circular Saw

top-circular-saw-reviewsAnother popular saw with pros and home users is the Makita 5007MG. It weighs 10.6 pounds, and is constructed of commercial grade materials that can stand up to heavy duty usage.

For increased accuracy, this model features dual LED line-of-cut indicator lights and maximum blade spin of 5800 RPM (only the Bosch is faster). The shoe plate pivots up to 56 degrees, and provides stops for 22.5 and 45 degree angle cuts. Maximum depth of cut is 2-1/2 inches.

The blade that comes with the saw has 24 teeth, which is an improvement over many competitors, but still less than what you will need for the most stability and smoothest cutting.

The most common complaint is that the blade guard tends to stick if it is put under any bind at all, which can be a problem for angle cuts. In addition, its weight is a bit higher than others but the build quality is top notch and it’s possible the Makita will outlast them all.

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#5 – Milwaukee M18 2630-20 6-1/2″ Cordless Circular Saw

milwaukee-m18-circular-sawThe only 6-1/2 inch model on our list, the Milwaukee M18 is perfect for smaller jobs. Lightweight with an ergonomic soft-grip handle, this cordless circular saw is easy to use even on long days at the shop.

Heavy duty magnesium guards protect the blade from drops while the on-board fuel gauge keeps you informed of remaining battery charge. An aircraft aluminum shoe ensures accurate cuts, while the electronic brakes stop the blade quickly after each completed cut.

Maximum cutting depth is 2-1/8 inches, and the max bevel is 45 degrees. While it’s possible to do a 45 degree cut in a 2×4 with this smaller saw, you may want to consider a standard 7-1/4″ saw if that’s going to be a common task for you.

Being compatible with the excellent line of M18 batteries, this saw can run a long time with a high-capacity battery. The included 24-tooth blade is quite sharp and lets you get to cutting immediately. A wrench is included, which stores neatly in the handle.

The 2630-20 is smaller and less powerful than others in this list, making it great to work with for smaller jobs, but less ideal for commercial or industrial applications. Some say the fence can also make blade adjustments more difficult than they should be.

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#6 – Bosch CS5 7-1/4″ Left-Bladed Circular Saw

top-rated-circular-sawBosch is also well known for their commercial construction tools, and the CS5 deserves a place on this list. It weighs only 10 pounds, and the shoe plate will bevel up to a 56 degree cut, slightly less than the standard.

This is a left-blade saw, which means the blade is on the opposite side of the motor from most standard circular saws. It will accept any standard blades, but remember that standard blades will need to be reversed, or mounted with the printed side facing the motor.

Having the blade on the left side means a typical right-handed user will have excellent line of sight since the blade is closer to you. The disadvantage is that your left hand has to slightly cross over the top of the saw when gripping the auxiliary handle in the front. But it’s nice that manufacturers give the consumer the option so you can go with what works best no matter if you’re right or left-handed.

There are no automatic bevel stops for the 22.5 and 45 degree angles, but the bevel guide is easy to see and is clearly marked with the angles you are looking for. The biggest flaw is that this model does not include a safety switch or electric brake, so the user will need to be extra careful handling the saw or setting it down after use.

As with any out-of-the-box circular saw, the blade it comes with has a low tooth count, and replacing it with a better blade will reduce kickback and improve the quality of your cut at a slight sacrifice in speed.

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#7 – SKIL 5280-01 7-1/4″ Circular Saw

best-budget-circular-sawThis laser-guided, 15-Amp circular saw has an integrated dust blower for clean, precise cuts every time. The 7-1/4 inch blade can cut to a depth of 2-3/8 inches, while the bevel can be adjusted up to 51 degrees with a positive stop at 45 degrees. A 24-tooth carbide blade is included so you can get started right away.

For the low price, the 5280-01 packs a lot of features normally found in more expensive models. There’s enough power in this baby to cut through bricks with a proper masonry blade attached.

The safety switch can be released once the saw is powered up, making it difficult to activate the saw accidentally. At just under 7 pounds, the saw is the lightest on our list making it comfortable to use for almost anyone. That said, it’s not intended for heavy-duty, all-day use.

Despite the overall quality, this saw might need some adjusting out of the box. Some owners have reported the laser needed adjusting. Additionally, the blade can jam up when the nut is too tight. But for the price, the SKIL 5280-01 makes its case for being the best budget circular saw available today.

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FAQs

There are some great advantages to owning a good circular saw, but there are a few important considerations you should be making. Here are two common and important questions you might not have thought to ask:

Corded vs Cordless – Which is Better?

There are a lot of advantages to both corded and cordless models, and while they have roughly the same power, their differences mean neither truly replaces the other. Some key comparison points are:

  • Blade Size: Corded saws can use larger blades, which in turn permits a deeper cut
  • Portability: Cordless saws don’t need an on-site power source, whereas corded models require an on-site electrical supply to run.
  • Safety: Cordless blades lack a cord, reducing the risk of tripping and accidentally cutting the cord.
  • Staying Power: Corded models keep the same power level at all times, while a cordless can lose power and speed as the battery drains.

See Also:  Top Rated Jigsaws for Smooth and Easy Cuts

Can Circular Saw Blades Be Sharpened?

Both steel and carbide blades can be sharpened to increase their lifespan. However, carbide blades require special care and a diamond wheel. For this reason, you should always defer to a professional to sharpen carbide while you can easily sharpen steel blades yourself.

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