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Design

Best Circular Saw For High Power And Faster Cutting Speed

 August 26, 2021

By  Tim Parry

Circular saws are necessary tools as they provide accurate and smooth cuts on various materials. They make it easy to cut through wood either with the grain or across it. Whether you're looking to start on a DIY project, enjoy woodworking or furniture building, investing in the best circular saw can come in handy,

Modern circular saws feature different blades designed to cut through the thickest wood, metal, and even the toughest stone and concrete. These power tools allow you to build faster and safer.

Depending on your project, you have the choice of battery-powered and corded saws. Battery power saws are more portable, but corded offers more power. It's important to settle on a circular saw that meets your power and speed needs. Additionally, it should be ergonomically designed such that you're able to handle the weight while using it. A saw that's too heavy might cause discomfort and wear you down. Lastly, the saw should have a safety feature to protect you from the cutting blade. This can be in the form of a safety lock which is great for preventing any injuries.

We reviewed the best circular saws and outlined features to consider when choosing them.

Which Circular Saw Brand Is The Best?

What Is A Circular Saw?

A circular saw is a mechanical tool mostly used to cut large pieces of wood, plastic, metals, concrete, and other materials like tiles and bricks. It can make curvilinear and straight cuts. It is highly popular among DIY enthusiasts and professionals for its high levels of precision and sawing capacity. Whether in a workshop or on a construction site, it is an effective instrument for carrying out various tasks.

Below are our top picks of the best circular picks that guarantee power and faster cutting speed.

Best Circular Saws

1. SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Lightweight Worm Drive Circular...
  • Lightest magnesium construction reduces user fatigue for less down...
  • Cut-ready depth of cut system helps with quick, accurate depth...
  • 53° bevel allows users to complete a wider variety of cuts
  • 15 Amp of power gives users the power to rip through more lumber in...
  • The anti-snag lower guard provides smooth operation for small cut-off...

The circular saw features a powerful 15 amp motor that delivers 5,300 RPM at top speeds and faster cuts.

The Skil 5280 01 saw boasts a single laser beam that allow the operator to maintain consistent passes on cutlines, taking some of the learning curves out of straight cuts. Hence, making the job easier.

The saw features bevels up to 51 degrees, allowing the 7¼-inch blade to cut various angles. In addition, it has a spindle lock that assures safety and easy blade changes.

The Skil saw features a dust blower that keeps line-of-cut free of sawdust for improved visibility. In addition, it has an anti-snag lower guard that reduces snags when making narrow cut-offs.

PROS
  • Features a spindle lock for safety
  • Features a laser guide
  • Allows you to make various cut depths
  • Has plenty of power
CONS
  • The motor sits pretty low to the shoe
  • Some reviews noted that the depth adjustment isn't great

2. SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 Circular Saw

SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Lightweight Worm Drive Circular...
  • Lightest magnesium construction reduces user fatigue for less down...
  • Cut-ready depth of cut system helps with quick, accurate depth...
  • 53° bevel allows users to complete a wider variety of cuts
  • 15 Amp of power gives users the power to rip through more lumber in...
  • The anti-snag lower guard provides smooth operation for small cut-off...

The Skilsaw SPT77wml is designed with the operator in mind. The circular saw is best suited for more those looking for the best in durability and cutting power. It features a standard 7-1/4 cutting inch blade and can cut up to 2-3/8-inch pieces of wood. In addition, the blade can also tilt up to 53 degrees with 0 and 45-degree locks.

The worm drive circular saw is powered by the Dual-Field Motor, a powerful 15 amp motor designed for saws and helps keep it cool. In addition, it features a maximum 53° bevel capacity that enables users to complete a wide variety of cuts.

PROS
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • No lightweight
  • Comfortable and easy to use
CONS
  • Some reviews noted that the worm drive circular saw bends easily

3. BLACK+DECKER 20V

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX 5-1/2-Inch Cordless Circular Saw (BDCCS20C)
  • Tool-free circular saw blade change
  • Cordless circular saw with pivoting shoe for increased control
  • Part of BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* System metal cutting circular saw

The Black & Decker cordless circular saw is perfect for DIY projects as it's lightweight, weighing just 7½ pounds. It takes away the intimidation of maneuvering a heavy saw that most DIYers tend to have,

Additionally, the saw comes with an interchangeable and rechargeable battery. The saw is powered by a motor with a top speed of 3,700 RPMs, making it powerful enough for most projects. The base bevels up to 50 degrees and adjusts the blade's height for cuts up to 2 inches deep.

The saw also features a built-in safety in the handle to prevent accidental activations.

PROS
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Decent battery life
  • Offers plenty of power and torque
CONS
  • Not for heavy-duty projects

4. Makita SH02R1 Circular Saw

Makita SH02R1 12V max CXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 3-3/8" Circular Saw Kit...
  • Makita-built motor delivers 1,500 RPM for faster cutting
  • 3-3/8" blade delivers a maximum cutting depth of 1" for a wide range...
  • Adjustable cutting depth from 1" at 90° and 5/8" at 45°
  • Tilting base for bevel cuts from 0° - 45°
  • Cuts plywood, MDF, pegboard, particleboard, melamine, drywall and more

Corded circular saws are often overlooked for not being very powerful, but there are times that the convenience of portability is key. If searching for the best circular saw that would give you both value in terms of convenience while maintaining an impressive amount of power, the Makita SH02R1 is a perfect choice.

The cordless circular saw features a motor that delivers 1,500 RPM for faster cutting. The cordless tool draws its power from 2 12-volt lithium-ion batteries and can slice through lightweight materials like plywood, MFD, pegboard, drywall, melamine, particleboard, and more. The saw itself weighs only 3.5 pounds, so it won't weigh you down while onsite.

The saw features a 3-3/8-inch blade that delivers an adjustable cutting depth from 1 inch at 90 degrees and 5/8-inch at 45 degrees.

A three-year limited warranty covers the power tool.

PROS
  • Compact tool
  • Works well if you're left-handed
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Light and portable
CONS
  • Right-facing blade hence not suitable for right-handed motion
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty projects
  • Slow compared to corded saws

5. Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2" Plunge

Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2" Plunge Circular Saw Kit, with Stackable Tool...
  • 12 AMP motor with variable speed control dial (2,000 - 5,200 RPM) for...
  • Large cutting capacity (2-3/16" at 90° and 1-9/16" at 45°). Power...
  • Bevel capability (-1 to 48°) with positive stops at 22.5° and 45°
  • Bevel capability (-1 to 48°) with positive stops at 22.5° and 45°
  • Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2" Plunge Circular Saw Kit, with Stackable Tool...

When it comes to precision, the rail guarded circular saw is the best choice. However, the Makita SP6000J1 stands out as it boasts a level of precision that lets you deliver a splinter-free mirror finish.

The saw is powered by a 12 amp motor with a variable speed control dial ranging 2,000 - 5000 RPM, assuring optimum performance in various materials. The variable speed control dial aids you in matching the speed of the blade to the material you're cutting.

Additionally, the saw features a large cutting capacity starting 2-3/16" at 90° and 1-9/16" at 45°. It has a 6-1/2-inch plunge blade, meaning unlike most circular saws, which can only begin a cut from the edge of the material, you can "plunge" the blade into the material from any point.

PROS
  • Great dust collection
  • Easy to use
  • Bevel adjusts from -1 to 48 degrees
  • Makes super clean and accurate cuts
CONS
  • Some reviews noted that the blade is exposed on the left side

Features To Consider When Buying Best Circular Saw

a) Corded Vs. Battery Powered

Circular saws come in two forms: corded or battery powered.

Corded circular saws require access to a power source, while battery-operated tools afford you the convenience of portability. However, most people tend to prefer corded circular tools as when circular saws hit the market, and they were inferior to a good corded tool in both power and speed. They also had low battery lives and would jam as soon as the blade felt any resistance.

Currently, today's cordless circular saws have more power, and the battery life runs longer. This is majorly due to the adoption of brushless motors and lithium-ion batteries.

b) Style

When shopping for the best circular saws, you'll come across two styles: a worm drive or a sidewinder. These refer to the motor alignment and position. Worm drive saws have the motor mounted behind the blade and generally offer excellent visibility for right-handed users. They tend to be longer, larger, and heavier than sidewinders.

Sidewinder saws have the motor mounted next to the blade, which is often on the right. This offers more control, but it can also slightly off-balance the saw since the motor side will be heavier. They generally run at high speeds in a compact footprint.

Ideally, if looking for speed, size, and ease of maintenance, a sidewinder tool is the best circular saw. However, for power and torque, the worm drive is best suited.

c) Power

Power is a key determinant when it comes to deciding on the best circular saw. Therefore, it's important to check the specs carefully when shopping for a circular saw. Ensure to check the amps rating and make sure that it's at least up to 15 amps. Check the RPM (revolutions per minute) as well.

Additionally, check the saw to ensure that it has enough torque to slice through the materials you want to cut with it.

d) Weight

Weight is key when it comes to handheld tools as it directly impacts the operator's comfort.

Too much weight means you're going to tire out pretty fast. Hence, it's important when shopping for the best circular saw to compare the weight of the various power tools and see which one can be carried without breaking a sweat.

This is also where you decide whether to settle for a worm drive circular saw or a sidewinder circular saw. Generally, worm drive saws are heavier than sidewinders, but they also have more power.

The bottom line is not to pick a saw that will wear you down.

e) Blade Size

Circular saws feature various blade sizes, with the most common being 7-1/4 inches. This size is best suited for DIYers and can tackle more than 3 inches in thickness. You can also find circular saws with 6-1/2-inch blades. These tend to be generally for lightweight jobs, while tools with an 8-1/4-inch blade are more heavy-duty use. Finally, there are also saws with small blades that feature around 4-1/2 inches, mostly used for cutting panels or other thin materials.

Blades come in various types, including all-purpose, finish, plywood, and framing blades. The tooth count around a blade is generally the determining factor to what projects a blade is ideally suited for. The lower its tooth count, the rougher the cut will be, making the blade suitable for demolition or framing. Blades with a higher count should be used for cabinetmaking, plywood, and finish work.

f) Safety

When working with power tools like saws, it's always key to consider your safety and those of others first.

Manufacturers build safety features into their circular saws to prevent the dangers that arise from these power tools. An example includes the electric brake, which stops the saw blade immediately after the user releases the trigger.

Older tools won't allow the blade to come to a stop on its own, resulting in a spinning blade coming in contact with something unintended.

Other features include built-in LED lights and spring-loaded blade guards. The lights illuminate the workpiece, allowing you to see the cutline and any debris or imminent mistakes that you should avoid. The guards cover the blade as soon as it is removed from the workpiece, minimizing the danger.

g) Ease of Adjustment

Certain materials such as plywood require a shallow blade depth, while others require the dull depth that the saw can muster. Hence, saws should allow users to make quick and accurate depth adjustments, allowing for true versatility.

Generally, most circular saw tools feature levers or knobs to adjust the blade angle, known as the bevel. The knobs tend to be more accurate at zeroing in the perfect angle, though they're a bit of a hassle to loosen and tighten when wearing work gloves.

The essential consideration when it comes to blade angle adjustment is an easily accessible knob. You'll often find some saws with knobs in the most peculiar of places, for instance, the rear of the saw between the handle and blade guard—but an angle-adjustment knob in front of the motor where it's easy to access is the best design.

Tim Parry


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