The Best Circular Saw Choices And Buyer’s Guide For 2021

With the power to slice through wood, steel, masonry, and ceramic tile, a quality circular saw is a mainstay of any home or professional tool collection. But when it comes to choosing the right model for your needs, sorting through all of the options can be overwhelming.

Our Picks for the Best Circular Saw Options

Circular saws may be corded or cordless, feature left- and right-blade orientations, rely on sidewinder or worm drives and include a range of different blade sizes.

Below, we at Tool Guides Hub will narrow down the choices to the top performers in each category and provide you with a handy guide that summarizes the features and specifications to consider when making your purchase.

Best Cordless Circular Saw

Metabo HPT Cordless Circular Saw C18DBALQ4

With the option to operate on either traditional electric or battery power, the Metabo HPT Cordless Circular Saw C18DBALQ4 is quite possibly the most versatile model on the market. Like the other offerings in Metabo HPT’s MultiVolt line of power tools, this saw offers impressive performance stats on both corded and cordless platforms, with the convenience and flexibility to take it virtually anywhere.

In cordless mode, the Metabo HPT Cordless Circular Saw C18DBALQ4 is powered by a muscular 36V battery, which delivers up to 220 crosscuts in a single charge. Unfortunately, the battery and charger are sold separately, driving the total cost of the saw up to around $350. However, you can still use it with traditional corded electric power at no additional cost, which is one of these saw’s major strengths.

The saw also incorporates brushless motor technology for extended runtime and durability with minimal maintenance. The soft-start function keeps startup noise and recoil to a minimum, and the silent mode feature lowers the RPM and decibel rating for quieter, more efficient operation. Thanks to its motor housing design, blade changes are simple and quick.

At just under 10 pounds, the saw is lightweight and easy to transport, with a soft-grip handle that enhances comfort and control while preventing fatigue during extended periods of use. A built-in LED light allows for optimal cut line visibility and accuracy.

If you’re looking for the best circular saw overall, look no further than the Metabo HPT Cordless Circular Saw C18DBALQ4. Below are some of the fast facts about this offering.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: 36V battery or AC adapter
  • Blade diameter: 7.25 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 1.875 inches at 45 degrees, 2.4375 inches at 90 degrees
  • Bevel stops: 0, 45 and 55 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 9.7 pounds
  • Warranty: Lifetime

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Honorable Mention: Milwaukee M18 FUEL Circular Saw 2732

If you’re willing to spend a little more money, Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL 2732 Circular Saw is a fantastic choice for serious carpenters, contractors and remodelers. Capable of a whopping 750 cuts per charge, the proprietary POWERSTATE Brushless Motor maintains high speeds under load for fast, consistent cutting. See the latest price of this best circulaw saw option here.

Best Corded Circular Saw

Metabo Circular Saw HPT C7UR/C7URM RipMax Pro

Boasting an RPM of 6,800, the Metabo Circular Saw HPT C7UR/C7URM RipMax Pro is blazingly fast, allowing it to make smooth, quick cuts through lumber, framing and other material. It’s designed for comfort as well as performance, with a wide trigger and narrow handle located close to the blade for a more balanced, ergonomic user experience.

The bevel adjustment lever of the Metabo Circular Saw HPT C7UR/C7URM RipMax Pro is accessible and easy to read, with positive stops at zero, 45 and 55 degrees. An innovative cord hook repositions the cord as you cut to keep it out of your way, and onboard hex bar wrench storage ensures you’ll always have tools at the ready when it’s time for a blade change.

If you’ve been on the hunt for the best circular saw with a cord for higher power output, you can’t go wrong with the Metabo Circular Saw HPT C7UR/C7URM RipMax Pro. Below are some of the fast facts about this offering.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Blade diameter: 7.25 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 1.8437 inches at 45 degrees, 2.375 inches at 90 degrees
  • Bevel stops: 0, 45 and 55 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 11.1 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

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Best Compact Circular Saw: 18V/20V Max

Makita XSH03Z 18V LXT Brushless 6.5-Inch Circular Saw

Designed specifically to excel at cutting and ripping tasks, the Makita XSH03Z 18V LXT Brushless 6.5-Inch Circular Saw shines in applications like formwork, framing and roofing, making it an ideal choice for contractors looking for a compact, portable saw with plenty of power. The brushless motor produces up to 5,000 RPM and can complete up to 350 crosscuts on a single charge.

Makita’s Automatic Speed Change technology automatically adjusts cutting speed and torque under load in real time to optimize performance. Extreme Protection Technology (XPT) protects the tool from moisture, dust and other environmental hazards, and the aluminum base and magnesium blade cover and motor housing are both durable and lightweight.

All in all, if you’re looking for the best circular saw that is compact and easy to move about, the Makita XSH03Z 18V LXT Brushless 6.5-Inch Circular Saw is a wonderful option. Below are some of the features and specifications of this best circular saw offering.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: 18V LXT battery
  • Blade diameter: 6.5 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 2.25 inches at 90 degrees
  • Bevel capacity: 0 to 50 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 6.4 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years

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Best Compact Circular Saw: 12V

Milwaukee 2530-20 M12 Fuel 5-3/8″ Circular Saw

The Milwaukee 2530-20 M12 Fuel 5-3/8″ Circular Saw has a secret weapon: its POWERSTATE Brushless Motor, which delivers consistent performance, long-term durability and professional-grade power to leave its competitors in the dust. The REDLINK PLUS Intelligence feature manages output to protect the motor from overload, overheating and excessive discharge.

The M12 REDLITHIUM XC4.0 battery pack in the Milwaukee 2530-20 M12 Fuel 5-3/8″ Circular Saw lasts through up to 170 crosscuts with each charge, while keeping the tool’s total weight at a featherlight 6.25 pounds.

All in all, if you’ve been looking for the best circular saw that is small and portable, the Milwaukee 2530-20 M12 Fuel 5-3/8″ Circular Saw is your best bet. Below are some fast facts about this best circular saw offering.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: M12 REDLITHIUM XC4.0 Battery Pack
  • Blade diameter: 5.375 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 1.575 inches
  • Bevel capacity: 0 to 50 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

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Best Budget Corded Circular Saw for Professionals

SKILSAW SPT67WM-22 Magnesium Sidewinder Circular Saw

As the only Sidewinder on the market with all-magnesium housing, the SKILSAW SPT67WM-22 Magnesium Sidewinder Circular Saw has the rugged construction to stand up to tough job site conditions while keeping the motor cool for extended life.

Its category-leading torque maximizes speed and productivity without sacrificing accuracy or cut quality, and it comes with a premium 7.25-inch, 24-tooth Diablo carbide blade, allowing you to do your best work as soon as you take the SKILSAW SPT67WM-22 Magnesium Sidewinder Circular Saw out of the box. 

In the end, if you are on a budget but still want the best circular saw for your needs, you can’t go wrong with the SKILSAW SPT67WM-22 Magnesium Sidewinder Circular Saw. Below are some of the specifications and features of this beautiful machine and best circular saw offering.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Blade diameter: 7.25 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 1.875 inches at 45 degrees, 2.4375 inches at 90 degrees
  • Bevel stops: 0 and 45 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 8.6 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

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Best Budget Cordless Circular Saw for Professionals

Makita Brushless Circular Saw XSH06PT 18V X2 LXT

As the industry leader in brushless motor technology and battery innovation, it’s no surprise that Makita makes the saw that dominated this category, the Makita Brushless Circular Saw XSH06PT 18V X2 LXT. Drawing its power from a pair of 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries, the XSH06 features an electronically-controlled brushless motor that automatically adjusts torque and speed to match the demands of the task at hand.

When it comes to heavy-duty applications like cutting sheet and dimensional lumber, the Makita Brushless Circular Saw XSH06PT 18V X2 LXT performs as well as any corded saw without tethering you to an electrical outlet. Its die-cast magnesium base, blade guard and blade cover keep the tool’s total weight down around 10.5 pounds.

The Makita Brushless Circular Saw XSH06PT 18V X2 LXT also incorporates Makita’s trademark Star Protection Computer Controls, which keeps the tool and battery in constant communication to monitor conditions and prevent overloading, overheating and over-discharging.

Overall, if you’re on a budget, but still want the best circular saw for professionals, you can’t go wrong with the Makita Brushless Circular Saw XSH06PT 18V X2 LXT. Below are some of the common features of this best circular saw offering.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: Two 18V LXT lithium-ion batteries
  • Blade diameter: 7.25 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 2.575 inches at 90 degrees
  • Bevel stops: 22.5, 45 and 56 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 10.5 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years

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Honorable Mention: DeWalt 20V Max XR Circular Saw DCS570B

Combining the power and cutting depth of a traditional corded model with the flexibility and portability of cordless technology, the DeWalt 20V Max XR Circular Saw performs particularly well when crosscutting 2x material and ripping sheet material.

An electric brake adds convenience and safety, and the 3-year warranty and familiar DeWalt quality make it a good value for professionals in the market for a cordless circular saw. Get the latest price of this best circular saw option here.

Best Corded Circular Saw For DIY Projects

Kobalt Circular Saw K15CS-06AC 15-Amp 7-1/4-in

This affordable offering from Kobalt features a 15-amp motor capable of hitting 6,200 RPM to take on almost any home renovation or residential construction task you can throw at it. With guards and base crafted from lightweight magnesium and an ergonomic soft-grip handle, the Kobalt Circular Saw K15CS-06AC 15-Amp 7-1/4-in allows you to keep working for hours without fatigue.

The electric brake ensures user safety, and onboard LED lights illuminate your work area to allow for accuracy in low-light conditions. The Kobalt Circular Saw K15CS-06AC 15-Amp 7-1/4-in is guaranteed by Kobalt’s famous 5-year, hassle-free warranty. 

In the end, if you’re looking for the best circular saw for do-it-yourself projects, and don’t mind dealing with a cord, you can’t go wrong with the Kobalt Circular Saw K15CS-06AC 15-Amp 7-1/4-in.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Blade diameter: 7.25 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 1.8125 inches at 45 degrees, 2.375 inches at 90 degrees
  • Bevel range: 0 to 56 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 11.7 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

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Best Cordless Circular Saw For DIY Projects

SKIL Circular Saw PWR CORE 20 CR540603

As the self-proclaimed inventor of the circular saw, it’s no surprise SKIL makes several appearances on our list. This cordless saw set, the SKIL Circular Saw PWR CORE 20 CR540603, is an outstanding value, with the 20V circular saw, PWR CORE 20 Lithium Battery and Automatic PWR JUMP Charger included in the economically-priced package.

The 24-tooth, 6.5-inch carbide-tipped blade cuts quickly and smoothly through a variety of materials and thicknesses, and the electric brake minimizes downtime between cuts. Cutting-edge PWR CORE 20 lithium battery technology provides cooling action to extend runtime by up to 25 percent and battery life by up to 200 percent.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the SKIL Circular Saw PWR CORE 20 CR540603 is the PWR JUMP charging system, which delivers a full charge in just five minutes.

All in all, if you’ve been looking for the best circular saw for do-it-yourself projects, and don’t want cords to get in your way, look no further than the SKIL Circular Saw PWR CORE 20 CR540603. Below are some of the features and specifications.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: PWR CORE 20 Lithium Battery
  • Blade diameter: 6.5 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 1.6875 inches at 45 degrees, 2.40625 inches at 90 degrees
  • Bevel range: 0 to 50 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 9.1 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

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Best Residential Circular Saw

SKIL 5280 01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

Most homeowners will use their circular saw only occasionally for repairs or specific projects, so their needs are different than those of the prolific DIY enthusiast. The SKIL 5280 01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is a well-rounded, inexpensive choice for intermittent use.

The 15-amp motor provides plenty of power for cutting lumber and sheet materials for decks and other household projects, with a single-beam laser guide to ensure accurate cuts. A 51-degree bevel with 45-degree positive stop adds versatility, while the anti-snag lower guard and wide foot plate enhance stability for optimal performance.

Thanks to its lightweight construction and included carrying bag, the SKIL 5280 01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is a high-quality, budget-friendly tool that you can take almost anywhere. All in all, if you’re looking for the best circular saw for homeowners, look no further than the SKIL 5280 01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw. Below are some fast facts.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Blade diameter: 7.25 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 1.9375 inches at 45 degrees, 2.4375 inches at 90 degrees
  • Bevel range: 0 to 51 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Warranty: 5 years

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Best Beginners’ Circular Saw

RYOBI CSB125 13-Amp Corded Circular Saw

The RYOBI CSB125 13-Amp Corded Circular Saw is perfectly suited to help woodworking and home improvement novices overcome the learning curve that often accompanies their first purchase of a circular saw.

The 13-amp motor provides sufficient power for common applications without feeling overwhelming, and the 7.25-inch, 20-tooth steel blade allows for more deliberate and forgiving cuts.

The user-friendly spindle blade lock of the RYOBI CSB125 13-Amp Corded Circular Saw allows for simple, keyless blade changes, and the included cutting scale provides a helpful reference for new users learning to cut accurately. The sleek ergonomic design, front pommel handle, and intuitive trigger switch make the saw a pleasure to use. 

Overall, if you’re on the hunt for the best circular saw for beginners, look no further than the RYOBI CSB125 13-Amp Corded Circular Saw. See below for some of the specifications and features.

Features and Specifications

  • Power source: Corded electric
  • Blade diameter: 7.25 inches
  • Cutting capacity: 1.875 inches at 45 degrees
  • Bevel range: 0 to 51 degrees
  • Blade side: Right
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Warranty: 3 years

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Factors to Consider When Buying the Best Circular Saw

While the list above includes the top-performing circular saws in common categories, tool-buying is a very individualized process that should incorporate your individual needs and expected applications. As you conduct your research and compare various brands and models, these are some of the factors you should consider before making your purchase.

Power Source

If your main priority is raw power, a corded circular saw is likely your best option. Most familiar power tool brands offer one or more 15-amp models, often for less than $100, and you can expect the tool to last through at least 10 years of regular use. However, buying a corded model means you’ll always be limited by the availability of electric power and the length of your extension cord. 

At the other end of the spectrum, cordless circular saws offer maximum convenience. You can take them almost anywhere, and they tend to be lightweight and comfortable to use. However, most cordless models can’t quite match the power output of their corded counterparts, and your runtime is dependent on how much of a charge the battery can hold.

Once it’s drained, you may have to wait several hours for it to charge before resuming your work. Cordless saws are also more expensive to purchase and own than corded models, with a higher up-front cost as well as the cost of replacing the batteries every three to five years.

Until the price and performance of cordless saws reach relative parity with plug-in electric saws, this category comes down to a choice between price and power versus portability.

Blade Orientation

Though the majority of circular saws feature a blade-right orientation, blade-left models are still relatively common. For right-handed users, blade-left saws offer a better line of sight and saw balance, but the risk of injury is higher since the guide hand crosses over the blade; for left-handed users, the same circumstances apply to blade-left saws.

Regardless of which hand is your dominant one, one orientation may feel more comfortable and intuitive to you, so try to test-drive both styles in a store before making your decision.

Drive Type

Circular saws fall into two main drive type categories: rear-handle worm drive and sidewinder direct drives. Worm drives often weigh more than sidewinders and deliver more power, offering more torque from the same motor as their direct-drive counterparts.

Sidewinders typically feature more compact, lightweight designs with slightly offset inline handles. While drive type isn’t usually a major factor in circular saw purchasing decisions, it is one more consideration to add to the mix.

Blade Size

Blade sizes for circular saws run the gamut between 4.5 inches and 16 inches, with the most common sizes falling at 6.5 and 7.25 inches. The larger the blade, the more power they require to maintain sufficiently high RPMs, so blade size can be a useful metric when comparing the power capabilities of two models.

Both 6.5-inch and 7.25-inch blades can easily cut through 2x material in a single pass, with some 7.25-inch blades capable of slicing through 3x material like a hot knife through butter. If you frequently find yourself working with 4x material, a 10.25-inch blade is your best bet, although SKILSAW manufacturers a beast called the “Super Sawsquatch” that wields a massive 16.3125-inch blade.

On the compact end of the spectrum, some models accept blades as small as 4.5 and 5.375 inches. Check the specifications to find the maximum cut depth of these smaller blades; as long as they match the depth of the material you’ll be using, a compact saw can be an excellent choice for your needs. (For reference, 2x dimensional lumber measures 1.5 inches in thickness.)

Cutting Power

Cutting power is largely a function of the saw’s motor size. The most muscular circular saws typically feature a 15-amp motor; users who don’t need quite as much power will probably do fine with a 13-amp version. Cordless models measure power in volts, so look for higher voltage numbers if power is a key consideration for you. 

Weight and Design

Because they are handheld tools, weight plays a major role in the comfort and ease of use of circular saws. Saws made from lightweight magnesium can shave a pound or two from their total weight, and cordless models are frequently the lightest options on the market. In addition to overall weight, the tool’s center of gravity also determines how easy it is to use and how much control you can maintain over its movement.

You should also consider the ergonomics of the saw’s handle. Does it fit comfortably in your hand? Does it offer soft-grip construction for enhanced comfort? Does it absorb vibrations to prevent fatigue over extended periods of use? Do you prefer a handle positioned at the top or bottom of the saw? Finding the answer to these questions can help you identify a circular saw you’ll actually look forward to using. 

Price and Value

For many shoppers, the up-front price tag can make or break the circular saw buying decision, but it’s also important to consider the total cost of all necessary components as well as the long-term value the saw will provide.

If the price on the saw itself is low but doesn’t include the batteries needed to operate it, you may not be getting a great deal once all accessories are factored into the cost. If the blade that comes with the saw is of mediocre quality, calculate how much more you’ll need to spend to get a top-performing blade.

The length of the manufacturer’s warranty should also be considered when assessing the total value of the saw and its related components. Finally, read reviews written by previous buyers to get a feel for how well the saw stands up to long-term use and the level of customer service the company provides.

Our Final Thoughts on the Best Circular Saw Options

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