The 8 Best Circular Saws

Your workshop isn't complete without one

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Our Top Picks
"Capture debris from the top of the water before it can sink."
"This saw will easily handle the typical two by fours and plywood that most small projects rely on."
"You will easily notice the difference a lightweight saw can make."
"Comes with one of the best laser guides around."
"The lightweight and streamlined design makes it easier to hold and maneuver while on the job."
"At around four inches, the blade will still be enough for cutting wood two or more inches thick."
"Stands out among circular saws since it will give you this level of precision without being tied down like a tablesaw."
"By avoiding the use of cheap metals and plastics, this saw's overall build will survive more abuse than cheaper options."

Best Overall: DEWALT DCS575B Flexvolt Circular Saw

The top circular saw needs to do one thing well: cut things. A saw that can't chew through wood time after time rarely gets the job done. Blades are easy to replace, but if the motor isn't up to the task, you should look elsewhere. Thankfully, the Dewalt DCS575B Flexvolt is built with this exact kind of toughness in mind. Its durability starts with a brushless motor capable of running up to 5800 RPM. Combined with a high-speed steel or carbide tipped blade, this saw will repeatedly give you quick and high-quality cuts.

With a 7 1/4 inch blade, the saw can easily cut through 2 inch or more thick lumber in one pass. For angled and beveled cuts, the tilt of the blade is adjustable up to 57 degrees. If you have other Dewalt power tools in your garage, this saw is also a good option for tool compatibility. The separate battery is designed to work with a wide variety of other Dewalt power tools. The battery will automatically detect and change the necessary voltage. For longer and tougher jobs, the saw can also be used with an extension cord. Finally, the electric brake will ease the minds of anyone worried about safety. Once the safety trigger is depressed, the electric brake will stop the blade cold in less than two seconds.

Best Budget: Skil 5180-01 Circular Saw

Conventional circular saws can quickly get up there in price if you're looking for the latest and greatest. For people with the occasional weekend or DIY project, most expensive saws won't be the right fit. The SKIL 5180-01 is an excellent budget option since it will give you reliable cutting power and durability at an affordable price. At just 7.2 pounds, it is a couple pounds lighter than the other top picks. With the standard 7 1/4 inch blade dimension, this saw will easily handle the typical two by fours and plywood that most small projects rely on.

For the price, this saw is also a good match for dusty worksites. With the built in dust blower, you will be able to keep the cutting area clear of the small types of debris that can ruin the 14 amp motor.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: SKILSAW SPT67WL-01 Circular Saw

If you're looking for a more economical option with the same cutting abilities, the Skilsaw SPT67WL-01 is the perfect runner-up. Billed as one of the lightest Pro circular saws on the market, the SPT67WL-01 is only 8.6 pounds. While working on all-day projects, you will easily notice the difference a lightweight saw can make. A 10 foot power cord will extend your range without having to worry about running out of power with a battery.

The saw comes with a standard 7 1/4 inch blade that you can tilt up to 56 degrees for a beveled cut. The till locks at a 45 degree angle which will make common cuts faster to make. If heat is a concern, the Dual-Field motor will allow the saw to continue running longer while staying cooler.

Best Laser Guided: DEWALT DWE575SB Circular Saw

Some circular saw features are meant to make basic cuts quicker and more accurate. A laser guide is one of the most useful features for doing just this. It can give you a clear and visible reference guide while making long cuts that need to be completely straight. The Dewalt DWE575SB comes with one of the best laser guides around. In combination with a durable stamped aluminum shoe to provide a smooth base, this saw can keep a cut straight over the length of many feet and yards when cutting long pieces of plywood.

This saw also includes a couple of extra features in case you are worried about making the perfect cut. Since it uses a power cord, it comes with a patented protection system that is three times more durable than a standard cord. This will protect against accidental cord pullouts if you reach the length of the cord. The integrated dust blower will also keep your sight line of the laser guide clear and free as you make long cuts. Put together, this saw is all about going straight and long whenever you need.

Best Compact: Genesis GCS545C Circular Saw

While smaller, a compact saw has many advantages over the standard size. Generally, the saw is more lightweight and streamlined in design. This makes it easier to hold and maneuver the saw while on the job. The Genesis GCS545C is one of the most versatile compact saws available today. With a 5.8 amp motor rated for up to 3500 RPM, it packs a powerful punch in a body that is half the weight of conventional circular saws. If you want a tool that is versatile around the project site, the GCS545C also has a few additional features that should peak your interest.

For messy projects, this saw has a built-in dust port and vacuum adapter to keep the cutting area free of debris. The dust collection system will work with a variety of standard vacuums and shopvacs. The saw is also compatible with many cutting blades. The included tungsten carbide tipped blade is strong enough to cut through thick materials like wood, flooring, tile, and some metals. To use other kinds of blades, all you have to do is remove the existing blade and pop in the other.

Runner-Up, Best Compact: Rockwell RK3440K Versacut Circular Saw

Anyone looking for the most mobile and ergonomic compact saw design should look at the Rockwell RK3440K Versacut. With a streamlined, light design, the Versacut is small enough to be controlled with just one hand. At around four inches, the blade will still be enough for cutting wood two or more inches thick.

For people looking for flexibility in a saw, the Versacut is designed to cut a wide variety of materials including woods, plastics, ceramic tiles, and even some metals like aluminum and sheet metal. At just four pounds, it is also one of the lightest options on the market. This makes it perfect for working around the home, yard, or professional job site where you need to cut many things in different locations in a single day.


Best Rail-Guided: Makita SP6000J1 Circular Saw

If you need the maximum degree of precision possible, the only thing for you to even consider is a rail guided circular saw. While laser guides are good for making accurate cuts, nothing can compare to the solid guiding line of the rail. The Makita SP6000J1 stands out among circular saws since it will give you this level of precision without being tied down like a tablesaw. With a 55 inch guide rail, this saw can also make long and repeated cuts while maintaining the same level of precision.

The 6 1/2 inch plunge blade and 12 amp motor are enough to handle most types of common cuts found on residential and commercial projects. If you think you will be cutting different types of material and thicknesses in one setting, the variable speed control dial will also help you match the speed of the blade to the thing you're cutting.

Best Splurge: SKILSAW SPT77WML-0 Circular Saw

Professionals usually have different demands in their circular saws compared to weekend warriors and DIYers. Professional circular saws need to stand up to the typical types of abuse most job sites can easily throw at them. For people wanting the absolute best in durability and cutting power, the Skilsaw SPT77WML-0 is the only option to consider. With the standard 7 1/4 inch cutting blade, it can cut up to 2 3/8 inch pieces of wood without flinching. The blade can also tilt up to 53 degrees with 0 and 45 degree locks.

One thing that sets this saw apart from other options is the magnesium based construction. By avoiding the use of cheap metals and plastics, this saw's overall build will survive more abuse than cheaper options. Skil's Cut-Ready system is also handy if you need to make quick and accurate cuts of various depths.

What to Look for in a Circular Saw

Style Circular saws are available in either a worm-drive or sidewinder style. Worm-drive saws have the motor mounted behind the blade (which sits on the left) and usually offer excellent visibility for right-handed users. Sidewinder (also known as direct drive) saws have the motor mounted next to the blade (which is often on the right). While this can offer more control of the saw, it also can put the saw slightly-off balance, since the motor side will be heavier.

Corded vs. cordless Cordless circular saws offer freedom and flexibility to cut anything, anywhere—which is especially great for an outdoor job site. But cordless models also generally have more limited power and their runtime is limited by battery life. On the other hand, a corded saw will usually give you more cutting power and can run as long as it’s plugged into an electrical outlet.

Guide system Can your eyes and hands work together to cut a straight line? If you need extra help keeping your blade on track, a guide can help. Some circular saws have laser guides that beam a path along your cutting surface, while others are on a rail system that keeps the blade moving straight.

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