Best Circular Saws of 2021 (Review + Guide)

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Circular saws allow you to cut through materials like plastic, various metals, and most commonly, wood, with more ease and precision than a manual saw. Today we will be reviewing the best circular saws for 2021 with a focus on woodworking.

Table Of Contents


Best Circular Saws with Reviews

Best Overall Circular Saw Pick: DEWALT 6-1/2-Inch 20V MAX Circular Saw

Features:

  • Weight: 3.2 kgs
  • RPM: 5,150
  • Blade size: 6.5 inches or 7.25 inches
  • Power source: Battery

The cordless DeWALT Max Circular Saw is our best overall pick for the cordless option and the countless positive reviews speak to its quality.

This model comes in a 6.5 -inch and 7.25-inch version. We recommend the 7.2-inch model as it is more versatile and will cover almost all your needs.

It features a durable and lightweight magnesium shoe (the base piece of the saw) that will provide stability and precision for all your woodworking needs. Steel and aluminum are commonly used metals for circular saw shoes, but magnesium or aluminum are considered the best and most durable. The manufacturer also purposely left enough space in the base so you can clearly see where you’re cutting. Paying attention to the little details is a sign of a great manufacturer.

The DeWalt MAX circular saw also features rubber grip handles and an LED light that provides comfort, control, and accuracy. This will come in handy (no pun intended) for long days at the worksite.

The saw features an adjustable blade of up to 57 degrees for depth and bevel cutting.

The final reason this model is our best cordless circular saw overall pick, is the power. At 5150 RPM, this saw will provide enough power and speed to deliver a fine cut.

This is a great circular saw for beginners and professionals alike as it will cover most of your cutting needs given its size, power, and features – all at a very fair price point.


Best Corded Circular Saw: Makita 5007MG Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

Features:

  • Weight: 4.8 kgs
  • RPM: 5,800
  • Blade size: 7.25 inches
  • Power source: Corded

The Makita 5007MG 7.25-inch circular saw is our best overall corded pick due to its intelligent design, power, and features all at a very fair price point.  The manufacturer recommends this circular saw for a wide variety of projects including framing walls, floors, roofs and will effectively cut through most wood.

This circular saw features a magnesium shoe, which is stronger and more durable that both aluminum and steel options commonly seen.  It also features adjustable blade height and angle for depth and bevel cutting.

To make cutting with this saw more accurate, it features a LED light to guide your cut line and a built-in dust blower that clears the cut line for added visibility.

The circular saw has rubber grips that will provide all day comfort. That said, it is on the heavier side at 4.8 kgs.

In terms of power, this saw is at the higher end for 7.25-inch circular saws. It boasts 5800 RPM which will provide enough power to finely cut soft, hard, and engineered wood.


Best Worm Drive Circular Saw: SKILSAW SPT77W-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Aluminum Worm Drive Circular Saw

Features:

  • Weight: 6.4 kgs
  • RPM: 5,300
  • Blade size: 7.25 inches
  • Power source: Corded

Sidewinder circular saws will cover most of the needs of the DIYer. A Worm drive circular saw is sometimes preferred by professionals because of their added weight and power. The SKILSAW SPT77W-01 is one of the best worm drive saws on the market. It is slightly lighter than some other models which will reduce fatigue for those long days on the worksite but still provide that stability that is looked for in worm drive circular saws. 

The height adjustments are quick and secure giving you confidence in the depth of your cut. The design of the handle is slightly lower than other models giving you more visibility, leverage, and control of the blade.

At 5,300 RPM, this saw will finely cut all variety of wood types.


Best Circular Saw for Trim: BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX 5-1/2-Inch Cordless Circular Saw

Features:

  • Weight: 3.2 kgs
  • RPM: 4,800
  • Blade size: 5.5 inches
  • Power source: Battery

This cordless circular saw is great for small projects around the house and workshop. Where it lacks in power it makes up for in price and portability. This circular saw is on the smaller side at 3.2 kgs and supports a blade size of 5.5 inches.

This model of cordless circular saw maxes out at 4,800 RPMs which is great for cutting thinner pieces of wood (baseboards, trim, thin pieces of wood in general). We recommend this saw for cutting wood that is a maximum of 1 inch thick or less – anything thicker and you may start to see smoke which will result in a less clean cut. The official Black&Decker site even refers to this as a TRIM circular saw. Keep that in mind prior to making your decision on which circular saw is best for you.

Lastly, it features an adjustable bevel to easily adjust between a 45- and 90-degree angle.


Best Cordless Circular Saw for Professionals: DEWALT FLEXVOLT ADVANTAGE 20V MAX Circular Saw, 7-1/4-Inch

Features:

  • Weight: 5 kgs
  • RPM: 5,500
  • Blade size: 7.25 inches
  • Power source: Battery

This cordless circular saw winds its way as our best pick for professionals as it comes with a few additional bells and whistles.

First, let’s start with the basic features. This is a 5500 RPM saw and when paired with a proper battery (20V), packs a lot of power. It has an aluminum shoe which is light weight and very durable. Aluminum and magnesium shoes are the best for circular saws. That said, this circular saw is on the heavier side at around 5kgs – a tradeoff for the additional power and features.

This saw comes with a few additional features that you don’t typically find on other models making it our best pick for professionals. It has an optional dust port that will allow you to connect a dust extractor to minimize, you guessed it, the amount of dust that it kicks up. This is great for easy cleanup and to keep dust out of the air. Lastly, it has a rafter hook on the handle. If you’re a stickler for keeping your tools organized, this gives you an additional storage option.


Circular Saw Buyer’s Guide

What to keep in mind when buying a circular saw:

  • Sidewinder vs Worm Drive
  • The size
  • Corded vs Cordless
  • Power

Sidewinder vs Worm Drive

The difference between a sidewinder vs worm drive comes down to design and weight.

A sidewinder circular saw will have the blade mounted to the left or right of the handle. A worm drive saw will typically have the handle behind the blade that allows the user to transfer more weight and thus more power to the blade.

Sidewinder circular saws are typically lighter and more portable. Worm drive saws are typically heavier and provide more power.

Sidewinder circular saws allow the user to provide some torque and added maneuverability but will sometime choke on tougher areas of wood. A worm drive circular saw will cut through most woods with more ease.

Many professionals prefer to use worm drive saws when cutting longer pieces of wood. While it ultimately comes down to preference, for the everyday DIYer, a sidewinder saw will be sufficient. For a professional contractor or carpenter, a worm drive saw may be preferred.

Size

Your first consideration when choosing the best circular saw for your needs should be the actual size. Size will directly impact how deep you are able to cut. A 7.25-inch circular saw is the most common size and will likely be suitable for most of your projects.

Corded vs Cordless

Are you always working near an outlet or do you move around the worksite? These are major considerations when figuring out which circular saw is right for you. Historically, corded saws were able to deliver more power, however, batteries have come a long way. If you remember to keep your batteries charged, cordless options will provide just as much power and can be more convenient for you.

Power

For circular saws, power is defined by rotations-per-minute or RPM. General rule of thumb, higher RPM equals more power and finer cut. Common RPM for 7.25-inch circular saws is between 5,000-5,500. For cordless options, your battery will need to be properly charged to maintain that power.


Frequently Asked Questions

What size circular saw is best?

There is no “best” size when it comes to circular saws. It comes down to what you will be using the saw for. Circular saws are categorized by the diameter size of the blade. Circular saw blade sizes range from 3-inches all the way to 16+ inches. However, the most common size is 7.25 inches and for good reason. It is versatile enough to cut up to 4-inch-thick wood which should cover most DIY projects. Typical cut depth for a 7.25-inch saw is approximately 4 inches but always read the product description to verify maximum depth.

Portability and size will also impact your purchase decision. A 7.25-inch circular saw will typically be bigger and heavier than a smaller sized model. Cordless vs corded circular saw models will impact portability. Cordless saws offer more portability but require a strong battery to maximize power and efficient cutting. Corded saws don’t have that requirement but instead require an outlet near your worksite, which is not always the case.

Lastly, blade type should also be factor in your decision making. What will you be cutting? There are specific blades for cutting certain materials like metal or concrete. This guide is centered around woodworking. For those intents and purposes, a 7.25-inch blade should cover your needs.

Should I get a 6.5-inch or 7.25-inch circular saw?

It depends on your project. A 6.5-inch saw will typically be lighter but also not provide the same cutting depth as a 7.25-inch saw. If you’re exclusively cutting thin pieces of wood (2 inches thick max), a 6.5-inch saw will likely do the trick. They are typically less expensive as well.

A 7.25-inch saw will provide more power, adjustable depth, and versatility. A 7.25-inch saw is appropriate for cutting wood up to a maximum of 4-inches thick. There is a wide variety of blades available at this size as well.

Lastly, price can be a factor as well. A 7.25-inch circular saw will typically be more expensive than its 6.5-inch counterpart.

How do I choose a circular saw?

The key to choosing the best circular saw for your needs is to get a good idea of the scope of your project by answering these questions:

  • What material will you be cutting?
  • How deep do you need the cuts to be?
  • What is your budget?
  • Do you want fancy additional features like a dust collector?
  • What brands are reputable?

Hopefully our guide provides you adequate information for choosing the best circular saw for your project. That said, we encourage you to read other sites and reviews prior to making your purchase so you can make the most educated decision possible.

Ryan

Ryan

Ryan is a writer for ToolboxAdvice.com. He's been a hobbyist and painter for a long time, and now enjoys teaching others. His content primarly focuses on reviews and guides for painters and construction professionals.

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