Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Circular Saw
Genesis GCS545C Compact Circular Saw
Rockwell RK3440K Versacut Ultra-Compact Circular Saw
You can’t really call yourself much of a tradesman or handyman if there isn’t a circular saw somewhere in your shop, truck or tool box. Along with the power drill and the hammer it’s one of the essential tools for getting things done. Whether building a deck, fence or home addition, making furniture, cutting sheetrock, laying down a hardwood floor or framing a house the circular saw is the beating heart of the project. Below are the 12 best circular saws for 2019.
The Best Circular Saw
The Makita SP6000J1 partners a 12 amp motor with lightweight magnesium components to create a circular saw that puts more power per pound at your service than just about any other. But that’s hardly the biggest selling point. What really separates the SP6000J1 from the competition is that it provides you portable table saw precision wherever you need it. The precision cutting system provides splinter free cuts even in normally hard to cut materials. It does this by way of the built in depth stop that produces a 1/16 inch preliminary cut. The end result? A precise, clean splinter free slice that lets you get the most from the material. There’s electronic speed control, a bevel capability of 1-48° and outstanding cutting capacity of 2 3/16” at 90° and 1 9/16 at 45°. With the Makita SP6000J1 in your arsenal your table saw is going to get pretty lonely. Make sure you also choose one of the portable work benches from our list to make your work and life easier.
Plunge release lever for maximum comfort of the user
Large cutting capacity
12 amp motor with an electronic speed control
Circular saw and guide rail for precise cuts with fewer tear-out
- Weight16.5 pounds
You can forget jagged edges on plywood cut with the SP6000J1.
The powerful motor makes short work of even large pieces.
Electronic speed control helps produce that nice smooth finished product.
Pieces narrower than the guide track can be a problem.
The Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 Circular Saw looks as tough as it is. This is an outstanding lightweight circular saw that enables you to bring your A game to every job. With 15 amps behind you you’ll rip through the largest pieces like a hot knife through butter. For angled cuts there are 0° and 45° positive stops on the footplate so you’ll always obtain the cut you need, not just a close approximation. Adjusting for different level cuts is fast and easy and the worm drive engine is fitted with leading edge magnesium parts to keep the weight down and reduce arm fatigue. The saw as a whole is beautifully balanced and feels more like an extension of your arm than a power tool. It’s a joy to work with regardless of the task because it doesn’t fight back when the going gets tough and it doesn’t shy away from the engineered woods that are becoming commonplace on so many projects today. Make sure to also check our guide to top electric chainsaws on the market for more amazing products like this.
7-1/4 inch saw which cuts to a depth of 2-3/8 inch at 90 degrees
Quality, consistent and extraordinary cutting performance
Has a 24-tooth carbide-tipped blade
On-tool multi-function wrench that enables blade changes
- Weight11.5 pounds
Unquestionable build quality.
Adjusting to different cuts is fast, easy and dependable.
The magnesium components do a good job reducing weight.
At 11.6 pounds it may still be a bit heavy for some.
Say the words “circular saw” to most people and chances are they’re going to conjure an image that looks an awful lot like the Dewalt DWE575SB. This is a classic circular saw with tried and true DNA that’s both light and powerful. Although some would classify this as a “small” circular saw labels don’t matter as much as performance. And in this case the DWE575SB delivers big power saw capability and power. You’ll cut 22.5° or 45° bevels, enjoy the newly expanded depth cut of 2 9/16 inches, slice through your task at 5,100 rpm and still have some arm strength left at the end of the day. Though the saw is manufactured in China Dewalt have kept a close eye on the build quality and there’s no discernible drop off from any previous generations. It’s just a hungry, durable, capable standard circular saw that’s going to answer when you call on it. And if you are looking to upgrade your tools, make sure you check our best camping saws review for more great items like this.
Ball-bearing lower guard for durability
Electric brake to ensure and enhance safety
Prevents cord pull
High grade stamped aluminum shoe for superior cut
- Weight8.8 pounds
High grade aluminum base plate provides safe, accurate cuts.
The line of sight aids are easy to keep track of.
The 15 amp motor isn’t going to shy away from tough jobs.
Dust control can be an issue.
Sometimes you need to hunker down with a full sized circular saw and sometimes that full sized saw is just overkill. The Rockwell RK3440K Versacut is an ultra-portable circular saw capable of cutting wood, plastic, ceramic tile, aluminum, slate and more with speed and precision. It weighs less than 4 pounds and sports a streamlined profile that stays out of your way. The RK3440K has a highly effective dust extraction system that enables you to keep tabs on progress and the hardy 4 amp motor will handle all but the most extreme tasks. The thoughtfully designed handle, light weight and balance of this tool makes reaching for it a no-brainer. It’s the kind of tool that makes your job easier and you can never have enough of those. The RK3440K also boasts a new laser guide up front that is going to spoil you going forward and make you ask why your larger, heavier, more expensive saws don’t have it. If you work with wood, you may also like out top axes for wood review.
Handles all wood, tile, ceramic, plastic and flooring jobs
Slides into restricted compartments with ease
Features dust extraction adaptor to keep the cut line clear of dust
Very compact, versatile, robust and streamlined
- Weight3.4 pounds
Makes knocking out smaller tasks faster and less labor intensive.
The 4 amp motor is more powerful than you think.
The 120 inch cord is the gift that keeps on giving.
Often find yourself applying more pressure than you need to.
The Porter-Cable PCE310 is the type of circular saw you want to have in the truck when you arrive at the jobsite. It provides 15 amps of power at 5,500 rpm and that’s enough to make short work of your toughest tasks. And because it tips the scales at a modest 9 pounds it has a stunning power to weight ratio that separates it from most of the pack. It provides 2 1/2 inch cuts at 90° and 1 7/8 inch at 45°. There’s a 55° max bevel and presets at 22.5° and 45°. The 7 1/4 inch carbide tipped blade is hungry and effective and provides nice clean cuts rather than just smashing its way through the material. The magnesium shoe is here for the long haul and the entire tool is perfectly balanced and forgiving. Toss in the fact that it’s ultra-affordable and comes with a 3 year warranty and it’s difficult to make a case against adding one to your arsenal. Make sure you also check our guide to the best band saws for more great items like this.
Magnesium shoe and upper and lower guards for added durability
Provides maximum 55 degrees bevel
High in efficiency and performance
Comes with an 18-tooth carbide-tipped wood cutting blade
- Weight9 pounds
The lower guard is effective and unobtrusive.
At 5,500 rpm there isn’t much it can’t handle.
At 9 pounds your arm isn’t going to fall off at the end of the day.
No rip guide.
For power and precision it’s hard to beat the Makita 5007MG. With a 15 amp motor delivering a no-load 5,800 rpm it’s quite capable of handling anything you’re likely to encounter on the jobsite. It’s a little heavier than some of the other circular saws on this list but its combination of flawless balance and effortless cutting power goes a long way toward mitigating any ill effects. The handle doesn’t seem like anything terribly special when you look at it but once you grab hold and make a few cuts you realize the engineers at Makita got it right. The magnesium components at work here help keep the weight down and there’s an LED light out front to show the way in those dimly lit rooms that are all too common on jobsites. The electric brake brings the 7 1/4 inch blade to a quick and effective stop the second you release the trigger and it’s available at a very attractive price.
Greater clearance between the back handle and the blade case to afford a better grip
Large cutting capacity
Features an ultra coated framing blade with a superior tooth design
An in-built LED light to illuminate the line of cut for a more precise cut
- Weight10.6 pounds
We appreciate the LED lights in all sorts of ways.
The ergonomics of the saw are first rate.
Comes with a limited 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
No grounding plug
If you find yourself on a job and are suddenly faced with the need to produce a few quality cuts it’s nice to be able to reach into the tool box and pull out this beauty. The Genesis GCS545C is a real find. It’s a portable circular saw with a 5.8 amp motor that will handle all but the biggest cuts and hardest material. With a triple reduction gearbox, a built in dust port and a 4 1/2 inch carbide tipped blade you won’t have to second guess yourself when you approach the cut. The GCS545C displays excellent balance, has a handle that’s molded to your physiology and produces cuts as precise as anything you’d expect from a top of the line full size circular saw. At just 6 pounds you won’t dread picking it up even toward the end of a very long day. And maybe best of all you can get it for less than the price of a pair of jeans.
Ports and adaptor to keep your entire working area clean always
Will cut through copper and aluminum with the optional HSS blade
Compact, powerful and tough design
Offers a double cutting capacity
- Weight6 pounds
It’s deceptively powerful for such a small tool.
It produces very high quality cuts just about every time.
The dust port and vacuum do a great job keeping things clean.
Small enough to lose track of on the job.
The DCS575SB from Dewalt is one of their Flexvolt line of power tools that use the innovative Flexvolt battery that switches from 60 to 120 volts depending on the Dewalt tool you pop it into. This battery operated circular saw will cut up to 350 2x4s on a single charge of that Flexvolt battery. The 15 amp motor is powerful enough to handle just about any task that’s in front of you and at only 8.1 pounds the DCS575SB doesn’t punish your forearms if you cut all 350 of those 2x4s. The 7 1/4 inch carbide tipped blade is going to slice through even the toughest material and there’s an electric stop on the blade that ensures you won’t accidentally get caught up in the spin-out. They’ve even included a nifty LED light to help you better see where you’re going with your cut. A nice, simple, useful touch. If you are a passionate DIYer, make sure you check out our screwdriver sets guide as well.
Uses the Dewalt Flexvolt battery system.
Powerful 15 amp motor.
2 1/4 inch depth at 90°.
Weight: 8.1 pounds.
- Weight10.1 pounds
Its cordless design means you can take it anywhere.
The LED light is really helpful in low light situations.
The 15 amp motor doesn’t hesitate no matter the material.
Doesn’t always produce the smoothest cut.
The 5180-01 is another high quality classic profile circular saw from SKIL. There’s no magic at work here, just good engineering, outstanding build quality and useful features. The 5180-01 provides a single beam laser guide that makes keeping your line a snap even in less than ideal conditions. No more “good enough”. With the 5180-01 it’s spot on every time. This is one of the lightest full size circular saws out there which makes it even easier to get the most from the 14 amp motor and 5,300 rpms. The 7 1/4 inch carbide tip blade is better than most stock blades you’ll see and swapping out blades is easy as pie. The dust blower keeps the cutting area free of obstructions and there’s a handy safety button that prevents accidental start up. If you are into DIYs, you need to own this product.
14 amp motor.
Built in laser guide.
Safety button averts accidental startups.
Depth cut 2 3/8 inches.
Weight: 7.2 pounds
- Weight7.2 pounds
The laser guide is a great addition and keeps things true.
Changing blades is incredibly fast and easy.
The light weight of the saw saves your arms for other things.
No carrying case.
The 6390-21 from Milwaukee is a standard circular saw with a twist. Or should we say a tilt. This powerful, durable electric saw employs a system that allows you to tilt the handle to any one of several different angles and lock it in for maximum comfort. The Milwaukee engineers finally recognized what no one else has been willing to: that people are different heights and so their optimal angle of attack is going to be different. But the 6390-21 has more than one card up its sleeve. Its 15 amps of power and 5,800 rpm slide through the toughest material with easy and without turning it into a maze of splinters. Blade changing is fast and simple with the one-touch spindle lock. Like a lot of products today the 6390-21 from Milwaukee is built in China. But unlike a lot of other products today the company did not lose touch with quality control when they made the move. Make sure you also check our guide to the best hammer drills.
No-nonsense 15 amp motor.
Tilts into 4 different attack angles.
Comes with a durable, attractive carrying case.
Winds down rapidly.
Weight: 10.4 pounds
- Weight17.8 pounds
Plenty of power for whatever is next up.
The tilting feature is long overdue for folks of non-average height.
Can’t beat the sturdy convenient carrying case.
No laser guide or front end light.
The Bosch CS10 is a powerful, beautifully engineered circular saw that slips through the hardest, nastiest material in the blink of an eye. It has a built in blower that keeps the cut line free of obstructions, a 7 1/4 inch carbide tipped blade and 56° bevel capacity with detents at 22.5° and 45°. This is an aggressive tool that’s not going to waver even when faced with the hardest material. It’s relatively light at just over 10 pounds and that, combined with the durable composite footplate, lets you cut with confidence and precision time and time again. 15 amps is pretty standard for most of the high-end circular saws these days but for some reason the 15 amps wielded here seem to provide just a bit more oomph. Maybe it’s because every aspect of the tool is built to such exacting tolerances. It should definitely be part of your power tool set.
15 amp motor, 5,600 rpm.
Durable composite footplate.
Worm drive gear train.
Built in blower to keep the cut clear.
Weight: 10.3 pounds.
- Weight15.26 pounds
A great looking, beautifully engineered tool.
Bevel adjustment is quick and easy.
The high tech worm drive motor really devours material.
Carry bag is nothing to write home about.
The SKILSAW SPT67WL-01 Circular Saw is one of the lightest full sized circular saws out there and also happens to be one of the best built. With its dual-field motor, lightweight housing and 56 degree beveling capacity you’re able to cut whatever you need to cut however you need to cut it. That dual-field motor is 15 amps of worm drive enabled power. To make sure you have a clear view of what you’re cutting with all that energy there’s a built in dust blower. While the 5,300 rpm is not the fastest on the lot the lack of speed is compensated for with torque to beat the band. About the only thing missing is the positive bevel stop at 22.5 degrees. Throw in the affordable price point and the 180 day satisfaction guarantee and you’ve got a value and performance winner.
Built-in dust blower.
Powerful 15 amp heat-dissipating motor.
Standard 10 foot power cord.
No load speed 5,300 rpm.
Weight: 8.6 pounds.
- Weight11.75 pounds
An outstanding overall value.
Easily handles the hardest materials.
The light weight lets you work harder, longer.
No laser sighting.
Circular Saw Buyer’s Guide
Blade Size - The size of the cutting blade is very important in choosing a circular saw. It also depends on the material to cut. Bigger blades penetrate more into the material and so for larger and thicker substances, large blades are required.
Blade Material - Since most materials that need cutting are sufficiently hard, it requires that the blade material be extra hard to avoid breakage. Tungsten tipped blades are amongst the hardest blades although other tougher metals are also used in other applications.
Blade Adjustability - The blade needs to be adjusted to suit a particular cut and so the ease of adjustability needs to be considered when choosing a circular saw.
Weight - Circular saws are usually hand-held and should not be extra heavy. That is why lightweight materials such as magnesium are employed largely in their construction. A good saw should be lightweight enough to handle and to move around easily.
Durability - Durability is an essential characteristic of the blade of a good circular saw as well as other associated parts. A good machine is designed to withstand the huge number of hours of cutting through hard materials and should, therefore, be durable.
Power - Generally, the greater the power, the stronger the cutting capacity of a circular saw. For example, a 15.8 amp rated motor of a circular saw is expected to deliver more strength and speed than a saw with a motor rating of 14.5 amps, for example; barring any special and innovative engineering feats.
Ease Of Use - Also, consider how ergonomically balanced the device is since this is a key design requirement. The weight of all the components of the machine must unite to give an optimal center of gravity to afford easy handling. Additionally, the position of the handle needs to be considered. Some handles are positioned at the top whilst others are fitted below the appliance.
Safety Tips When Using A Circular Saw
- Read the accompanying user/operation manual very carefully and thoroughly.
- Be careful and hold the handle firmly when starting the motor since it may twist in your hand as a result of force from the motor.
- Always wear goggles and other protective gear before starting the machine.
Circular Saw FAQ
Q: How many amps do I need for a circular saw?
A: 15 amps is a regular and average power but other manufacturers employ slightly higher or lower power rating motors to deliver greater or less power to suit peculiar needs.
Q: How deep can you cut with a circular saw?
A: A typical 15 amp circular saw motor with a 7-1/4 inch saw has a maximum cutting capacity of 2-3/8 inch at 90 degrees with a maximum of 53 bevel capacity.
Q: Should I buy a corded or cordless circular saw?
A: Seeing that circular saws require a relatively high amount of power to operate and that that level of power can only be delivered sustainably by the AC mains or generator, it is advisable to go for a corded saw if you want the consistent, reliable performance of the machine.