Circular Saws Explained
The key function of a circular saw is to enable you to swiftly make straight cuts through material. In addition to making crosscuts, circular saws can be readily adjusted to allow you to make cuts with a bevelled edge. Standard circular saws will include a blade guard that keeps the blade safely covered when the saw is not in use, along with a foot plate that ensures the saw remains stable against the material you’re looking to cut. When you’re dealing with materials of varying thickness, you’ll also be glad of the standard feature of a depth adjustment. Additionally, you’ll find most circular saws feature a bevel adjustment. This allows the foot plate to be tilted against the blade, letting you make bevel cuts with minimal fuss.
Blade Diameters and Circular Saw Design Varieties
In most cases, the size of a circular saw is defined by the diameter of its blades. The most common blade sizes you’ll encounter range from around 5.5 inches to just over 7 inches. That being said, look hard enough and you’ll find plenty of variety in either direction.
When it comes to settling in on a design type, you’ll find two main varieties to choose from when shopping for circular saws. Without doubt, the most common type of circular saw is the so-called inline saw or sidewinder saw. With these types of saw, the blade and motor are located on the same axis. This type of circular saw is generally smaller and more lightweight than other options, making them a good choice for the everyday consumer.
Those looking for a more robust circular saw with heavy-duty applications in mind might be better suited by worm drive saws. The positioning of the motor in relation to the saw blade is different than with inline saws, with the motor sitting at a right angle. Gears are utilised to transfer more torque to the cutting blade of this type of saw. Although they’re somewhat larger than inline saws, worm drive saws are generally quieter when it comes to operation.
Corded or Cordless?
If you’re struggling to locate a power source, cordless circular saws are the ideal option. Cordless saws are generally more compact and easier to transport, while also making them more convenient for use in smaller environments. There’s some limits to a cordless circular saw, however. Smaller batteries tend to make cordless saws best suited to cutting materials like wood, for example. They can of course be used to make cuts with hardier materials, although doing so will drain battery reserves more quickly. If you’re looking for a circular saw to cut through tougher materials like steel, or you need a saw that can cope with constant use for long periods of time, a corded model is advised.
A long-standing supplier of power tools, Makita was founded in 1915 and is today one of the most prolific producers in the industry. Established in Japan, but now a worldwide operation, Makita produces a wealth of power tool products for all consumer types, with everything from mitre saws to angle grinders on offer.
Founded back in 1924, DeWalt is a big name in the world of hand towels and power tools. In addition to everyday consumer products, the brand offers a wealth of products for the woodworking, construction and manufacturing industries. A subsidiary of Black & Decker, DeWalt now offers hundreds of individual power tool products and countless more accessories.
Evolution Power Tools is a specialist manufacturer that focuses on producing tools that can cut through assorted materials with ease and minimal hassle. Evolution puts the focus on stripped-back simplicity, with all manner of materials of varying condition able to be cut through with just a single tool, negating the need for multiple saws and accessories.
See our guides on the best mini circular saws as well as plunge saws.
Bosch is a leading authority in the world of power tools. The Bosch Group has been operating for more than a century and today provides products to consumers in around 150 countries. Bosch not only provides a premium line-up of power tool products, it also lead the pack when it comes to design innovation.
Originally founded in 1943, Japanese manufacturer Ryobi became a prominent force in the field of power tools in the late 1980s. Ryobi puts an emphasis on innovation, bringing pro-level features to everyday power tools that the average consumer can enjoy. More recently, Ryobi’s one-size-fits-all battery approach has made the brand even more popular.
Established in 2015, Tacklife is an increasingly popular brand that produces everything from power tools to gardening equipment. At the heart of Tacklife’s philosophy is an eagerness to engage and listen to the customer, making excellent use of feedback to improve product offerings and expand an ever-growing range.
Circular Saw, TACKLIFE Circular Saw 1500W 4700RPM, Cutting 65mm (90º), 45mm (45º), 2 Saw Blades 24T + 40T(185mm), Laser Guide, Double Safety Switch, Ideal for Wood, Soft Metal and Plastic – PES01A
The TACKLIFE PES01A is definitely worth considering if you want the perfect balance of affordability and functionality. At just a fraction of the cost of more expensive models, you can still enjoy first-rate performance and impressive spec usually found only in more premium circular saw models.
The PES01A is a good choice if you’re looking to enjoy high levels of precision from your cuts. Why? Well, this model includes a laser guide and ruler as standard. Used properly, the laser guide and ruler allow you to make incredibly straight cuts with high levels of accuracy at all times. Even though it’s relatively affordable, this circular saw will still yield professional cuts quality. This is also a very powerful circular saw option. A 1500W copper motor delivers full operating performance, despite the more compact design of the saw. In fact, the motor delivers some truly impressive cutting action, with up to 4,700 rotations per minute possible. Thanks to this cutting efficiency, you can use this circular saw to slice through materials including plasterboard, plastic, PVC pipe and of course, wooden workpieces. There are two blades included along with the circular saw itself, including one with 24 teeth and one with 40 teeth. You can quickly and easily swap between the two blades by using a hex wrench tool, which is also included.
In addition to straight cuts, this circular saw also provides you with the flexibility to make bevel cuts at 45 degree and 90 degree cuts. You can make cuts at 90-degree angles at depths of up to 65 millimetres, while bevel cuts at 45 degrees can be carried out at depths of between 0 to 45 millimetres. To make life easier here, you’ll find a parallel guide attachment to allow for straighter, more precise cuts. This is very handy if you’re hoping to work more quickly, while minimising the chance of making a mistake. Safety features are also accounted for here, with a double safety switch on hand to prevent the circular saw from accidentally opening. For peace of mind when cutting, this is a big benefit. There’s also an aluminium alloy guard included to ensure extra durability and the utmost in safety when working. Furthermore, a dust hose connector is included in the overall design so you can hook the saw up to a vacuum cleaner and keep your work environment free of dust. This is essential for keeping your workpieces and work environment clean and safe.
The WORX WX423 brings together compact convenience with first-rate functions. It might be on the smaller side, but the WX423 doesn’t skimp on power and performance. In fact, because of its innovative design, it holds up well against many larger models of circular saw out there. With its relatively powerful motor, this compact saw can be put to work in cutting a wide range of materials, including wood, ceramic, tile, metal and more besides.
The standout feature of the WORX WX423 is without doubt its compact size. This smaller size doesn’t just offer lightweight convenience, it also provides you with a cutting tool that can easily access those more awkward places. What’s more, it allows for easy one-handed operation. If you’re looking to tackle smaller cutting jobs more quickly, this is definitely going to be be fit for task. This compact saw is a user-friendly option in every sense. When it comes to making cutting depth adjustments, things are incredibly straightforward. You’ve a depth guide to help you make the best decision to suit your individual task, with maximum cutting depths of 27 millimetres allowable. Other useful features here include a dust extraction connection. Simply hook up the connection to a vacuum cleaner and you can ensure your workpiece and work environment is kept free of dust. Ideal if you’re working indoors or making continuous cuts to many pieces of material.
Because is it is mains -powered, this lightweight circular saw doesn’t have the same limitations in terms of power output as cordless models. However, there are some limitations in terms of performance here. For one, you’ve only got a single speed setting to work with. Although this circular saw is capable of working with various material types, you may find this somewhat limitation. That being said, with proper practice, you can ensure clean cuts with all your workpieces. In addition to the standard model with an 85 millimetre blade, you can also choose from variants that include a 120 millimetre blade, as well as models with stronger motors rated at 500W and 1200W. There is also the option of selecting a model that includes a laser guide for when you’re after higher levels of precision from your cuts.
Slightly more expensive than the last model on this list is the Makita DSS611Z LXT. However, don’t be put off by the higher recommended retail price, with this model offering plenty of premium features that make it well worth considering adding to your collection. The DSS611 has been manufactured to provide consumers with a more affordable alternative to the DSS610. Just like its more expensive sibling, it offers plenty in the way of lightweight convenience, portability and powerful performance. However, if you’re familiar with the pricier model, you should bear in mind that this one does away with a few features specific to the DSS610. Namely, this model is lacking the LED job light for enhanced visibility, the 45-degree positive stop feature, the electric brake feature, as well as the blower function.
However, there are still plenty of attractive features you’ll love about this particular model. If you’re worried that a cordless circular saw won’t deliver the battery performance you require to meet the demands of your cutting jobs, the charge time of this unit will definitely impress. You can enjoy a full charge after just 22 minutes with this nifty little number. This fast charging time is possible thanks to the air-cooled Makstar Optimum Charging System. What’s more, lithium-ion batteries are included as standard, with this variety of battery offering far greater operational lifespans than some alternatives. Compared to other batteries, including those of the Ni-Cad and Ni-MH variety, the ones you’ll find here will provide you with up to 430% greater runt times. The lithium-ion batteries have another benefit as well. They’re around half the weight of other types of battery, yet still deliver an impressive 18 volts of power. The lower bulk of these batteries ultimately provides you with a cordless circular saw that’s as lightweight as possible.
In terms of cutting capabilities, this handheld circular saw won’t disappoint. You can cut at 90 degree angles at depths of up to 57 millimetres, while 45-degree cuts are possible at depths of up to 40 millimetres. If you’re looking to cut at 50 degrees, maximum cutting depths of up to 36 millimetres are possible. High comfort grips are a standard feature of the design of this circular saw, making it incredibly easy to work with for longer sessions.
Bosch is synonymous with robust power tools and the PKS 55 Circular Saw from the reputable manufacturer doesn’t let the side down. This handheld circular saw is both comfortable to work with and allows for effortless cuts thanks to its compact design that takes ergonomics into the account in a big way. You can achieve standard straight cuts with ease, with mitre cuts also easily achievable. The ergonomic handles are finished with a non-slip coating that allows for flexible work at all times, while all key functions and features are easy to activate thanks to accessible design. Precise depth setting features can be accessed and operated on both sides of the device, meaning you won’t need to stop and start all the time when making adjustments. What’s more, the lock-off feature can also be activated from either side of the main circular saw housing as well.
The high-grade saw blade is worth a special mention.. This circular saw is equipped with premium Speedline Wood saw blade that is lauded as one of the most efficient blades on the market. If you’re looking to make precise cuts with wood workpieces, this is definitely one unit to consider investing in. It’s also incredibly easy to make the right cuts every time thanks to the handy lock-off switch. As we’ve mentioned previously, this feature can be activated from either side of the saw body, preventing you from switching on the saw by accident and causing unnecessary damage to workpieces or causing injury. Added protection is guaranteed thanks to a robust aluminium guard that covers the saw blade securely. This saw can also be combined with a CleanSystem Box that ensures your workspace is kept as clean as possible. This box collects all dust debris, preventing you from having to manually clear away workpieces as you go, while also preventing the incidence of inhalation.
Powerful performance can be expected as standard here thanks to a robust 1200W motor. This powerful motor will allow you to undertake most sawing applications with ease, offering cutting depths of up to 55 millimetres with wooden workpieces. CutControl technology is also on hand, with clearly visible base plate markings and a transparent extension allowing you the freedom to undertake freehand cuts with high levels of precision. Should you wish to change the saw blade, the spindle lock allows for an easy time of things. The PKS 55 has an integrated spindle lock mechanism that is both quick and easy to operate.CHECK LATEST PRICE & AVAILABILITY
We’ve already talked about the DSS611, so now it’s time to look at the more enhanced version. First and foremost, it’s worth making a point that the DSS610Z from Makita is only marginally more expensive than its counterpart. With so many more features included as standard, you should definitely consider investing a little more into this more elaborate model. In addition to the basic cutting specs and power capabilities of the other model, this circular saw boasts handy extras like an LED light that provides you with optimal visibility when working. You’ve also got the benefit of a double safety trigger for peace of mind while working, not to mention an electric brake. This brake function is particularly appealing for those worried about dangerous run-on of the blade. If you’re working at pace and want to minimise accidents, be it injury to yourself or damage to the material you’re looking to cut. There’s also a large lock off lever and safety cover with calibration marks as standard here.
When it comes to performance, the DSS610Z will not disappoint. This powerful circular saw boasts an 18 volt lithium-iron battery to facilitate robust cutting requirements with ease. With its heavy gauge base, you can look forward to a stable and secure cut, whether you’re making a conventional cut or looking for bevelled results. With smooth cutting at incredibly high speeds of up to 3,700 rotations per minute, this circular saw won’t let you down. There’s more handy features included to make life easier in general, with the integrated dust blower a particularly nifty. This blower directs unwanted sawdust away from the cutting line, giving you much better visibility while working. Combined with the LED job light, you need never worry about impaired views of your material and cut lines again.