Many homeowners are focusing more on enhancing their home improvement skills. Surveys cannot deny this fact. Moreover, statistics show that three out of four Americans have already engaged in DIY woodworking to hone their woodworking skills. As an experienced woodworker, however, I have received many inquiries about woodworking stuff, and one question I get asked more often is about which brand and model of the circular saw is best to buy.
Of course, the circular saw is the perfect tool to jumpstart your woodworking career. It is the ideal tool for making clean and straight cuts. With its fast-spinning blade, it can cut materials from thin panels to thick boards. Moreover, you can either cut across the grain or with the grain using the circular saw. So, if you can choose well your circular saw, you’ll be in for a smooth woodworking experience.
Table of Contents
- Most Recommended Circular Saws for Woodworkers
- Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Selecting a Circular Saw
- What Specifically Can a Circular Saw Do?
Most Recommended Circular Saws for Woodworkers
Choosing a best circular saw may prove to be a bit confusing, given the myriads of models and brands of circular saws in the market today. It will help, therefore, if you know the following most recommended circular saws by the experts: In this way, you can quickly narrow down your options and zero in on the ideal circular saw for your needs:
1) SKILSAW SPT67WM-22
If you are looking for a blend of the conventional and latest technology, you can check out the SKILSAW SPT67WM-22. This circular saw features a powerful motor (15amp) that ensures power when dealing with demanding cuts. You can do bevels and cuts using this circular saw. Of course, you can rip and crosscuts using this saw.
With regards to the aspect of portability, it is lightweight at 8.6 pounds. So, you can carry with ease this circular saw anywhere you need to work. It also has the capability to dissipate heat with its dual-field motor. Thus, this circular saw stays cool and also has a longer lifespan.
This SPT67WM-22 is a sidewinder. It also comes with a magnesium blade. Of course, magnesium blades are the most dependable and durable material for making blades. It is also corded, so you will have continuous power as long as there is no power outage.
- It comes with a powerful motor.
- Its magnesium blade is more accurate and durable than other types of saw blades.
- Excellent bevel cuts at 56 degrees.
- Its depth is challenging to set.
2) SKILSAW SPT77WML-01
If you want a circular saw that offers excellent performance, you should check out the SKILSAW SPT77WML-01. However, it is a bit expensive than the other options. The SPT77WML-01 isn’t a sidewinder but a worm drive. Designers of this circular saw had in mind the users.
The SPT77WML-01 is lightweight at 11.6 pounds, and it is easy to use. It cuts readily and is easy to adjust. It also comes with a 7-1/4-inch blade that can cut up to 2-3/8″. Moreover, it can cut up to 53 degrees bevel cuts. Like the above-mentioned circular saw, the motor of this one features a dual field (15amp). Hence, its motor can stay cool even with continuous use.
This circular saw, of course, comes with a minimalistic design. Its unique design can fit into tight spaces. Furthermore, you can make quick adjustments with this saw to ensure that you can get a perfect cut every time you use it.
- It comes with enough power for making quick rip cuts.
- It offers an ergonomic design.
- It’s easy to use and set up.
- It allows for easy adjustment.
- Its advertised weight is incorrect, for it may weigh over thirteen pounds.
3) DeWalt DCS573B
If you want a cordless circular saw, you can check out the DeWalt DCS573B. It is a 20-volt circular saw that comes with a unique design. It features a brushless motor that offers a compact design. Moreover, its rugged design is impressive.
However, the DCS573B is heavy, which is quite a downside. It weighs around 11 pounds, including its battery. Transporting it, therefore, becomes a challenge. Moreover, the position of its handle is excellent and offers ease of usage.
The DCS573B is also massive, but any user will find it easy to operate. It provides a superb cutting capability. Besides, its blade is efficient. The saw has a maximum speed of 5,500RPM that guarantees quick cutting.
- It offers excellent safety features like an electric blade brake which you will only find in top-notch electric saws.
- Its batteries limit its power.
4) Makita XSS02Z
The Makita XSS02Z came from a well-known brand that produces excellent power tools. So, you can expect that the Makita XSS02Z is an excellent circular saw likewise. This one, however, is a cordless circular saw. So, you can carry this saw anywhere you will need to cut boards.
Its motor is capable of providing up to 3,700 RPM. Additionally, it can withstand harsh conditions, for it comes with a durable make. It is lightweight at 7.3 pounds. Moreover, it features a 6-1/2″ blade that can cut up to 2-1/4 deep. Plus, an 18V Lithium-ion battery powers this circular saw. This battery is quite easy to charge and lasts longer.
- It allows you to work anywhere because it is battery-operated.
- The durability of the blade that goes with it is questionable.
5) SKIL 5280-01
The SKIL 5280-01 is another powerful circular saw option. It features a powerful motor (15amp) capable of powering this circular saw (5,300 RPM). With its faster rotation, you can surely make quick and excellent cuts. It also features a 7-1/4″ blade that has carbide tips.
The SKIL 5280-01 is lightweight and portable at 6.9 pounds. Its dust blower also comes handy in clearing the cut line of sawdust. Moreover, it comes with a lower guard that lessens snags, especially when making thin and narrow cuts.
Besides, it features an indicator light that shows whether the saw is on or not. It also has a laser guide feature that emits a beam laser to guide you when cutting. I would state that this is a solid choice that can help you accomplish your woodworking tasks better.
- It has an electric blade brake feature that can save you from nasty cuts.
- It’s durable with a sturdy casing.
- Its dust blower is remarkable.
- It comes with a laser guide.
- The manual guide may be a bit complicated to follow.
6) PORTER-CABLE PCE300
You may consider the PORTER-CABLE PCE300 a less appealing option because of its price, but when you use it, you will get amazed by its cutting power. Moreover, it offers an excellent ergonomic design that you would surely love.
Apart from its affordable price, the saw comes with good construction. Its steel shoe is made of steel. Besides, it comes with a powerful motor (15amp) that could deliver a powerful 5,500 RPM (maximum). Thus, this circular saw can surely deliver fast cuts. Furthermore, its control system is quite a no-brainer, and changing its blades is relatively easy.
The saw is a bit heavy at 8.5 pounds. So, you need to flex your muscles when carrying this circular saw. Its maximum bevel adjustment is at 45 degrees. So, you will not find it challenging to use. It also comes with an aux handle for additional comfort and easy cutting.
- It offers ease of use and operation.
- It comes with a carbide-tipped blade.
- It’s durable.
- It has a strong motor.
- It is a bit heavy.
7) Rockwell RK3441k
The Rockwell RK3441k is a high-performing circular saw that is reasonably priced. It is pretty easy to operate and doesn’t need an elaborate setup. Thus, if you are a tyro in the use of a circular saw, you will indeed find this circular saw a breeze to operate.
The RK3441k is capable of 3,500 RPM. This circular saw is portable and weighs only 5 pounds. So, you can carry it around anywhere you would like to engage in woodworking. It is easy to grip with its (inline) grip design that provides incredible balance and comfort when cutting.
With its left-handed design, you can see your cut line. Its dust port also helps you see your cut line clearly. It may be of small size, but it exhibits excellent performance.
- It’s perfect for left-handed woodworkers.
- It lets you have a clear view of your cut line.
- It is quite easy to use.
- It’s portable and lightweight.
- Some woodworkers feel that it lacks weight for added pressure.
Buyer’s Guide: Factors to Consider When Selecting a Circular Saw
Once you’ve narrowed down your options after knowing what the experts recommend, you can now zero in on the best circular saw for your needs. Nevertheless, it will also help if you know the factors to consider when purchasing a circular saw:
Style and Design
Circular saws come in myriads of designs and styles. You will find, for example, a sidewinder or a worm drive. The worm-drive saw, for example, features a motor mounted at the back of the blade. With this design, you will have excellent visibility for most right-handers.
On the other hand, the sidewinder has the motor next to the blade on the right side. This design, of course, offers better control but may also put the saw a bit off-balance, with the motor side a bit heavier than the other side.
Cordless or Corded
Another factor you must look into is whether you want a cordless or a corded one. Of course, each option comes with its upsides and downsides. The cordless, for example, can provide you with better flexibility sans cord. You can bring it anywhere you would like to cut as long as the batteries come fully charged. But the cordless usually comes with limited power and is more reliant on batteries. However, the corded circular saws feature more power and don’t stop working as long as you plug them into a power outlet.
The motor’s power is another consideration worth taking note of. Some motors are rated 10amp or 12amp, while others come with a 15-amp motor. The lower amp motors are less powerful and are suitable for lightweight jobs. The 15-amp motors, on the other hand, can provide the circular saw with enough power for heavy-duty workloads.
Moreover, you will find cordless circular saws. These cordless circular saws come powered by an 18V battery. You will also find cordless circular saws that come with a 20V battery. These 20-volt models are suitable for long work sessions.
You will find that most circular saws come with a 7-1/4″ blade. Well, this is probably the best size of the blade for hobbyists and DIYers. These blades can handle wood with a maximum thickness of 3 inches. You will also see circular saws with blades measuring 6-1/2″. These blades are best for lightweight cutting tasks. Besides, there are also 8-1/4″ blades for heavy workloads. You will also find smaller circular saws with blades of 4-1/2″ size. These saw blades are perfect for cutting thin materials.
Dust Collection System
One way to ensure that you have a visible cut line is by having a reliable dust blower and an excellent dust collection system. So, when choosing a circular saw, it will also help if you consider these features in your choice. Choose a circular saw that comes with these features to make the cutting process for you safe and easy. With an excellent dust collection system, you will not need to worry about cleaning up after work.
Adjustable Cutting Depth
Another factor you must consider is whether you can easily adjust the cutting depth of the circular saw. Some circular saws don’t come with an excellent depth adjustment system. So, when you shop around for a circular saw, it will help if you search for a circular saw that features easy adjustment of depth. Go for a multipurpose saw because this type of saw usually offers the option of depth adjustment.
Another factor to consider is the saw’s beveling capacity. If you don’t have a miter saw for making bevel and miter cuts, you can use the circular saw for such a purpose. Nevertheless, your choice of a circular saw should give you better angular cuts. Moreover, it should come with extra positive stops. The abovementioned circular saws are primarily capable of bevel cuts up to 50 degrees.
One important feature that you should not take for granted in a circular saw is the anti-snag guard. This anti-snag guard is a simple tool that is very useful likewise. It lets you make tiny cuts with ease. It also serves as an added safety feature against kickbacks.
Ease of Changing Blade
Your circular saw should allow you to change its blade with ease. It should not have a complicated change blade system. With the ease of changing the saw blade, you can save much time that you can allot for other worthwhile woodworking tasks. Saw blades will quickly wear out if you use them more frequently. So, you must ensure that your choice will allow you to change the saw blade without much fuss quickly.
Other Features to Look For
When selecting a circular saw, it will also help if you look for extra features that may prove beneficial to you in the long run. One such feature is the ability of the motor to work well under stress. You should also look for circular saws with added safety features of the motor, like fans, a cooling system, and a braking system. Moreover, you can look for LED features that could provide you with lighting during the cutting process. Plus, it will be best to look for circular saws that come with ergonomic designs.
What Specifically Can a Circular Saw Do?
When it comes to capability, the corded circular saw is undoubtedly a powerful one. It can quickly cut across the grain and rip with the grain. The designs of circular saws don’t vary much. Moreover, most circular saws come with a 7.25-inch blade. Likewise, the motors of circular saws are mostly 15 amps, though you will also find 12-amp circular saws. The circular saw can cut deep up to 2.25 inches or more.
The circular saw is a quick solution for all the woodworks you wish to undertake. It can do small jobs and works well, even on construction sites. It can also provide you with exact cuts. Besides, the electric circular saw features components like the motor, blade, outer frame, and dust blower.
As you search for the perfect circular saw, you would find that the prices of these saws go up as you get closer to the best circular saws. Of course, you should not be deterred by the higher costs of the best circular saws. Furthermore, you should go and buy the best circular saw if you are a professional. However, if you are a beginner—who saves money for a circular saw—you should save further so that you could buy the best circular saw in the market today.
Once you got the best circular saw, you should also make it a habit to practice all the recommended safety protocols when using a circular saw. The circular saw can be a dangerous device if you don’t use it properly. So, make sure that you follow the safety tips to ensure that you will end up with no kickbacks, accidental cuts, or any other injuries due to the use of a circular saw.
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker and carpenter who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.