7 Best Corded Circular Saws [2020 Review]
There are a plethora of power tools available for the modern builder. But what if, for some reason, you’re only allowed to own just one power tool? Chances are you would choose the circular saw.
The circular saw seems to be a very basic power tool because all it does is rip a workpiece apart and nothing else. But when it comes to sheer power, precision, and versatility, nothing comes close to the circular saw. The best circular saws can cut through anything from balsa to walnut to very dense ironwood (check out this video for an interesting comparison on the density of different types of wood).
It can cut straight lines and produce bevel cuts. It is primarily used to cut wood and metal, but swap the carbide-tipped blade with a heavy-duty diamond-tipped one so you can cut bricks, ceramics, concrete, and other hard materials.
We’ve assembled and reviewed some of the very best corded circular saws to give you a head start if you’re shopping for a replacement for your broken tool or if you’re looking for a gift for a family member or a friend.
We’re also going to break down the different circular saw sizes, and the features you should consider when shopping for one.
- Powerful 15-amp motor delivers 5,300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
- 7-1/4-in carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
- 51 degree bevel capacity for a wide variety of cuts. Arbor size: 5/8 inches, cord length: 6 feet
- Lightweight 6.95-lb design reduces fatigue
- Dust blower keeps line-of-cut free of sawdust for improved visibility.Anti-snag lower guard reduces snags when making narrow cut-offs
- Imported from: China
- POWER TOOLS
- Commercial Brand: DEWALT
- Lightweight and compact 8.8-Pound
- Electric Brake
- Powerful 15.0 AMP motor delivers 4,500 RPM with compressed winding technology to keep the overall size more compact yet deliver jobsite durability
- Magnesium components create a lightweight saw (13.2 pounds) that is well balanced and jobsite tough
- Retractable hook allows tool to remain close by, but never in the way
- High quality, heat treated hypoid steel gears do not prematurely wear like traditional bronze-alloy worm drive gears
- Oil bath technology is created with a built-in fan and sealed gear housing to ensure 100% oil surface coating for less maintenance
- Powerful 15-amp motor for fast, smooth cuts
- Adjustable bevel and depth levers for a variety of cut angles
- Unobstructed cut line visibility for precision accuracy
- High strength composite footplate for safety and durability
- On-tool wrench storage for fast and easy blade changes
- High performance motor runs at 5, 500 RPM's for aggressive fast cutting
- 71/4inches 18T Carbide tipped blade with up to 21/8inches Capacity for 2x material
- Tool-free BEVELING shoe pivots up to 55 deg. For angled cuts with detents at 22.5 and 45 Degree for ease of use
- Magnesium shoe for durability and reduced weight
- Metal upper and lower guard for added durability
- The product is easy to use
- The product is durable
- The product is manufactured in China
- 15-amp, 5,800 rpm, and 3-1/4-horsepower motor with spindle lock and quick-lock cord
- Locking, tilting main handle adjusts for comfort
- Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories
- This is one budget-friendly circular saw.
- Its strong 15 amp motor. Cutting a thick piece of wood throughout the day is not a problem with this sidewinder saw.
- Its ergonomically designed handles reduce operator fatigue and increase ease of use.
- Package includes a 7 1/4″ carbide blade, contractor bag, and a blade wrench.
- Its cord is only 6 feet long.
- The laser guide is not that useful.
If you’re looking for a dependable circular saw but you’re not quite ready to spend a lot for it, then you might want to check out the SKIL 5280-01 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw. This is one of the most affordable circular saws on the market, which is great if you’re a hobbyist who wants more value for his or her money.
Its 15 amp motor performed well, cutting through tough pieces of wood like a hot knife through butter.
Its one unique feature is the built-in laser beam. This allows you to cut a piece of wood without using a pencil or marker. But the truth is it is not as useful as one would expect it to be. The accuracy is sometimes off, so it’s still best to use a pencil to ensure accurate cuts.
You can use it to make steep bevel cuts as you can adjust it to 51° with a stop at 45°. Other useful features include an integrated dust blower, a power indicator, and a safety lock that prevents accidental start.
- The electric brake is a good safety feature. This stops the blade from spinning immediately after you release the trigger.
- It weighs 8.8 lbs. This is one of the lighter corded circular saws on the list.
- Its beveling capacity can reach up to 57°.
- It can cut a depth of up to 2 9/16″ at 90°.
- It always keeps your work surface clean thanks to the built-in dust blower.
- There are some units where the blade is not parallel with the base plate.
The DEWALT DWE575SB 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is one of the most popular and highly rated circular saws on the list — and with good reason. This is a lightweight and ergonomically designed saw. It only weighs 8.8 lbs., plus it has a large handle, as well as an additional front grip with rubber overmold that allows you to securely grip and guide the tool while working. The trigger is positioned separately from the handle itself to prevent you from accidentally pressing it.
Its 15 amp motor produced an impressive and reliable performance. Its comes with a very sharp blade that can cut through a thick workpiece smoothly and accurately.
Removing and mounting the blade is easy thanks to the wrench that comes along with it. There’s no need to worry about losing the wrench as it has built-in storage at the tail of the saw.
This DEWALT circular saw allows you to make bevel cuts up to a steep 57°. It also has detents or stops at 22.5° and 45°.
This saw is more expensive than most on the list. The model includes a carbide-tipped 7 1/4″ saw blade and a soft tool bag. But you must double-check when you order online as some sellers offer circular saws only (blade is sold separately).
- The components are made of durable magnesium.
- Its cutting depth reaches up to 2 3/8″.
- You can make bevel cuts up to 51.5°. There are positive stops at 45° and 22.5°.
- The unit has highly visible scales to ensure accurate measurement and adjustment each time.
- The blade is located on the left side of the machine, while the motor is located at the rear. This configuration allows you to get the tool into tight spaces.
- This Makita Hypoid Saw is heavier than most circular saws on the list (13.2 lbs.).
The Makita 5377MG 7-1/4″ Magnesium Hypoid Saw is a builder’s dream tool. Cutting a thick piece of lumber is a breeze thanks to its powerful motor and ultra-sharp and heavy-duty 7-1/4″ carbide-tipped framing blade.
It can cut up to 2 3/8″ if set at 90°. It can make a bevel cut up to 1 3/4″ when set at 45°, and up to 1 9/16″ at 50°.
Changing the blade takes some getting used to. It comes with a hex wrench that is used to mount and remove the blade.
The handles, which are ergonomically designed, can reduce operator fatigue to an extent. But keep in mind that this is a rather bulky circular saw, so fatigue is inevitable especially if you’re going to use it for several hours. Because it is a hypoid saw, it is also pricier than most circular saws on the list.
- Its baseplate is made of heavy-duty yet lightweight cast magnesium that will not be bent out of shape when accidentally dropped.
- There’s no need for an extension cord as it has a 10 ft. cord.
- It has a bevel louver that siphons dust away from your work surface.
- You can make bevel cuts up to 56°, plus it has detents or positive stops at 22.5° and 45°.
- The package includes a Bosch carbide-tipped blade, a blade wrench, and a nice carry bag.
- This Bosch circular saw is heavy (it weighs 10.2 lbs.).
The Bosch CS10 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is built to impress at first glance. The housing looks and feels solid. The handles are large and ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and reduced user fatigue. It also has a metal rafter hook for moments when you have to use both hands for other tasks but you want to make sure that the tool is well within your reach.
Its powerful motor and its durable carbide-tipped blade delivered exceptional performance even when used to cut thick and tough pieces of wood.
Changing the blade takes a bit of practice, but it becomes easy once you get the hang of it. The unit comes with its own blade wrench (1619X01144).
Bosch has made it easy to adjust the depth and the baseplate, but watch out for that little flex in some units.
But what about the price? The good news is the Bosch CS10 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is reasonably priced, retailing at a little more than $100 at the time of writing. It’s a good investment price-wise and quality-wise especially if you’re a professional woodworker or builder.
- Its blade can reach a cutting depth of up to 2 1/8″.
- Keep it within reach especially when framing thanks to its metal rafter hook.
- You can easily adjust the tool to make bevel cuts of up to 55°. It has positive stops at 22.5° and 45°.
- It has a durable yet lightweight magnesium shoe.
- This is one of the most affordable corded circular saws on the list.
- You have to buy a better blade as the carbide-tipped blade that comes with it is not as good as expected.
- It doesn’t come with a carry case or box.
Framing or building a deck is never easy when you don’t have the right tools. The good news is you can finally finish that project you’ve put on the backburner with this CRAFTSMAN CMES510 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw.
You’ll notice that it has a solid feel and weight to it. It has a large handle, and the trigger is easy to reach but its position makes it hard to accidentally press when the machine is in idle mode. The handle and the front grip have a rubber overmold, ensuring that you’ll get a good grip on the tool while working.
Adjusting the tool to make bevel cuts is a breeze. Simply adjust the lever located at the front of the tool to your desired angle, lock it in place, and you’re all set.
- It has a TILT-LOK main handle that you can adjust to ensure maximum comfort as you work.
- Cutting the toughest lumber is easy with its powerful 15 amp motor and ultra-sharp 7 1/4″ blade.
- Changing the blade is easy. It comes with a blade wrench with its own storage area in the tool.
- You don’t need to use an extension cord as it has an adequate 9 ft. fixed cord.
- It comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Its overall weight (10.4 lbs) contributes to user fatigue.
You have a lot of spare red oak or verawood in your garage, and you want to turn it into a nice new side table or cabinet. The problem is your last circular saw gave up on you after you used it cut some hard lumber, so you’re looking for a new saw that will outlast it. You might want to check out the Milwaukee TILT-LOK 6390-21 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw if you’re looking for a durable circular saw that can cut through even the toughest hardwoods.
Unlike other circular saws, this tool has an adjustable handle so you can choose which position is more comfortable for you. The front handle with rubber overmold ensures additional comfort as you work.
You can make bevel cuts up to 50° without reaching for an Allen wrench to adjust the tool. Plus, it has a cutting depth of 2 7/16″ when set at 90°. You can also make 1 11/16″ cut when you set the machine at 50°, and 1 13/16″ cut when you set it at 45°.
It comes with its own blade wrench and carrying case. It is one of the heaviest corded circular saws on the list so that can take its toll on your arms if you’re planning to use it for several hours.
- Changing the blade is relatively easy thanks to its blade wrench (included).
- It has a built-in dust blower that helps keep your work surface clean.
- This Ryobi corded circular saw has a depth cut of 2 7/16″.
- The package includes a carbide-tipped blade, an edge guide, and a tool bag (inclusion of item depends on seller).
- The laser guide is a nice and innovative touch, but it doesn’t help much when it comes to making accurate straight cuts.
A cordless circular saw is great for working outdoors or if you’re working in a setting where you don’t have access to electricity. But nothing beats a corded circular saw (like this RYOBI CSB144LZK) when it comes to sheer power and dependability. Let’s look at the specs that make this particular product stand out.
It has a dependable 15 amp motor and heavy-duty carbide-tipped 7-1/4″ blade that cuts through even the hardest and toughest lumber easily. It features a built-in laser alignment system which is a good innovative addition, but a good old pencil is still the way to go.
The size and position of the handles help prevent user fatigue. The textured rubber overmold also helps ensure a good grip on the machine. It also comes with a hex wrench that is stored at the rear for easier access during blade changes.
At the time of writing, it costs a little more than a hundred dollars. If you want a good circular saw but you still want to save some money, then you might want to try this.
Circular Saws by Blade Size
Circular saws are classified by the size or diameter of the blade they use. Small circular saws use blades with diameters that range between 3 1/4-inch and 5 1/2-inch. They are ideal for cutting thinner and lighter workpieces, such as plywood, wood trim, and more. These small circular saws are compact, lightweight, and easy to maneuver even in the tightest spaces.
The most common circular saw you can find on the market uses blades that have a 7 1/4-inch diameter. (Note: All of the corded circular saws we have reviewed here are 7 1/4-inch). They are popular among DIYers and professionals alike thanks to their portability, powerful motor, and versatility.
The 7 1/4-inch blades are ideal for cutting thicker workpieces with a width of up to 3 inches. They can also be used to cut thinner pieces of wood, but these beasts can seriously damage the thin workpiece. Apart from 7 1/4-inch, you can also purchase a smaller 6 1/4-inch blade.
You can also find larger circular saws that are designed for thicker workpieces and heavy-duty use. These circular saws use blades that have a diameter ranging from 8 inches to 14 inches. These are used primarily by professional builders and woodworkers. These saws can be used to cut a thin workpiece, but a beast of a machine like these can do more damage than good.
Circular Saw Buying Guide
Worm Drive Versus Sidewinder Circular Saw
The difference between these two types of saws is the position of the motor and the type of gear they use. With the sidewinder circular saw, the motor is positioned right next to the blade. The blade is usually positioned on the right side of the machine, and the saws have a maximum speed of up to 6,500 RPM. But you can also find units (such as this SKILSAW Southpaw and Bosch CS5 circular saw) where the blade is located on the left side of the machine and the motor is located on the right side.
The motor of a worm drive circular saw, on the other hand, is located at the rear of the blade. Its maximum speed can reach up to only 4,500 RPM. But what it lacks in speed, it makes up in torque. The majority of worm drive circular saws have blades located on the left side of the machine. They are heavier and pricier than sidewinders. But unlike sidewinders, you can wiggle them into tight spaces.
The cut-line indicator is a pair of notches located in front of the saw’s foot or baseplate. This indicator allows you to see whether your blade is perfectly aligned with the line you made on the workpiece. The size of each notch should not be too narrow that you can’t see the cut line nor too big that your precision suffers.
You might need to visit your local hardware store if you want to see the circular saw in action and check the blade visibility. A circular saw with a great design lets you see the blade while you’re working to make sure that it is aligned to the cut line. Steer clear of saws that block your line of sight with the front handhold or any part of the machine.
The bevel function allows you to make angled cuts. You probably won’t need to use this function often, but it’s good to know how to use it. Always check if the bevel knob or lever is easy to operate and if it locks in place securely.
Standard aluminum baseplates ensure that the machine is lighter and easily maneuverable. But it can also easily bend when you accidentally drop it. The good news? You can bend it back into place.
If you want a tougher baseplate, then look for circular saws outfitted with cast aluminum or cast magnesium baseplates. Because they are stiffer, the baseplates made of these materials are not prone to bending when dropped. Unfortunately, they can crack when dropped, so make sure that you use the power tool carefully.
You can choose fiber-reinforced plastic baseplates if you want a stronger circular saw. Thick fiber-reinforced plastic baseplates are very stiff and strong, but they are relatively rare compared to saws with standard or cast aluminum and magnesium baseplates.
Other Circular Saw Features To Consider
Circular saws have two types of brake systems: the manual brake system and the electric brake system. With the electric brake system, the blade stops rotating automatically when the trigger is released. This allows you to begin another cut immediately as soon as you finish another. With the manual brake system, you have to wait for 5 to 7 seconds before the blade comes to a full stop.
Some circular saws are now equipped with LED lights and laser guides. The LED light is a welcome addition especially if you are working in low-light conditions. The laser guide, though innovative, is not much help at all as most carpenters and builders still prefer the good old pencil or marker when marking a cut line.
To be clear, all of the circular saws we’ve reviewed performed well even when used to cut the toughest of hardwoods. But, of course, there can only be one.
So, the best corded circular saw among the products on the list is the SKIL 5280-01 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw.
What makes this particular electric saw the best in class?
This SKIL circular saw’s motor is one of the toughest and most dependable. Couple it with its 7 1/4″ carbide-tipped blade, and you can easily take on even the toughest of hardwoods to create your latest project.
It is compact and lightweight (only 6.95 lbs.), so handling and maneuvering it is a breeze. The handles are covered in textured rubber for a non-slip grip. The trigger is located on top of the handle and not inside. This strategic positioning prevents accidental start-ups.
Other unique features of this Skil saw include a dust blower, a power indicator light, and a laser guide.
This compact circular saw is also one of the most affordable on the market, making it perfect for ordinary homeowners and hobbyists who want a reliable corded circular saw for a wide variety of projects.
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