Best Circular Saw Reviews

Best Circular Saw Reviews

We’ll guess that you are a DIY person that finally took that bold step and decided that it is high time you’ve built yourself a shelf, a cupboard, or a nightstand. Good for you. It’s a bold step, especially since carpentry is a difficult hobby to master. Building something with your own hands is fun, but tasking. And since you’ll be using a circular saw in the process, it is also very dangerous. We cannot stress enough the importance of handling a saw with care. That is the reason why we are starting this article with a fair warning.

Now that we’ve mentioned the saw, we’ll hazard a guess that it is the reason that brought you to our page. You’ve finally gone to your hardware store deciding to pick one up and ended up standing there for hours, clueless as to how to even begin choosing a perfect circular saw. A person would think it should be pretty straight forward. After all, you need it for cutting a piece of wood, so how complicated can it be?

As you already noticed, there aren’t so many differences between different saw you usually see on the shelf of your local hardware store. For a layman, it is difficult to make a good purchasing decision when the only distinctive factors he has to choose from are brand and color. So why is it that some saws cost $50 and others $200? We’ve decided to write up this little circular saw guide that will help you choose the tool you’ll be using for years to come! We’ll try to make it simple and easy so bear with us!

The Best Circular Saws ​

Types of Circular Saws

Even though most circular saws look alike, there are some key distinctions between them that you need to be aware of. The first one is obvious: how is the saw powered? This is easily answered. There are two different types of saws in this category, corded and battery-operated. Both have their advantages and disadvantages that we will get to in a moment. The second key distinction is the type and the placement of the motor. This is where things get a little complicated, but not to worry; we’ll keep it short and simple, explaining what saw is best used for what.

The following lists looks at four different types of circular saws. These are all hobbyist saws. Professional saws are a completely different category, and unless you are a heavy-duty carpenter, chances are you won’t need them.​

Worm Drive Circular Saws


A worm drive saw has a motor that is positioned at the back of the saw. The motion is then transferred to the blade by gears that are positioned at a 90-degree angle. This makes the saw blade longer, but also increases its weight. Worm drive saws are a slower, gaining around 4500 RMPs, but have stronger torque.

The weight of the saw is on the right, and the blade is positioned on the left side. This leaves the line of site clear on the cut, making it easier to work the saw. The shape of the worm drive saw makes it suitable for cutting long sheets of wood, and it is also better at performing plunge cuts.

DEWALT DWS535 Circular Saw Review

When it comes to quality tools, the DeWalt Company has surely built a name for itself. If you want to invest a bit more when buying a saw, but be absolutely certain that you are making a lifelong purchase than DeWalt is your best bet. Their model DWS535 is a great addition to your collection, regardless of whether you are a weekend carpenter or a professional who tackles this sort of work on a daily basis.

Features of DEWALT DWS535​

This worm drive circular saw weighs less than 14 pounds so it is really easy to handle. Its lightness allows you to work for a substantial amount of time before usage fatigue sets in. It's constructed out of high-quality materials that are guaranteed to last for quite a bit before you require a replacement.​

  • Magnesium housing and foot plate – Thanks to the magnesium housing and foot plate, DeWalt managed to keep this saw relatively light. The material is also extremely durable, so you will not have to worry about it falling apart after only a few uses. Both the quality of make and the quality of materials are outstanding.
  • Extra wide hook – This tool also comes with a handy, wide rafter hook that easily folds towards the body of the saw when not in use. That hook is great for handling materials that are 2 and a half inches wide.
  • 4800 RPMs – This is a corded saw that runs on 110/120 volt AC current and it is powered by a pretty strong 15-amp motor that will run at around 4800 RPM in testing conditions, which means with no load.
Advantages of DEWALT DWS535

  • Lighter than most saws – Thanks to the material that was used in manufacturing this saw, it’s lighter than many of its counterparts on the market. This doesn’t mean it weighs absolutely nothing, you still need some upper body strength to operate it, but your arm will be grateful you bought it in the end.
  • Tough-cord protection system – This patented system provides a four times better protection from damages caused by jerking the cord around all the time.
  • Bevel angle adjustment – You can accurately adjust the angle at 22.5 and 45 degrees thanks to the indentations that are there to save you time. Also, the angle of the blade itself is adjustable from 0 to 53 degrees.

While it is considered to be one of the handiest circular saws on the market, some buyers note that there are some minor problems with the tool. They note that the slight start-up jerk is annoying, but is to be expected due to the high torque. Some also say that a protective casing would be a great addition to the product.

Bottom Line​

When all is said and done, we are very confident in our recommendation of the DEWALT DWS535 7 1/4-Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw. It is a great addition to your tool box and since it has a three-year limited warranty, you can rest assured that should anything go wrong in that period of time the DeWalt company has your back!​

Sidewinder Circular Saws


Sidewinder saw uses a motor with something that is called a spur gear. This means that the motor has to be in line with the blade. This enables the saw to spin fast, somewhere in the vicinity of 6000 RPMs.

With sidewinder saws, the blade is usually positioned on the right side, and the motor and the complete weight of the tool is to the right. This keeps the saw’s weight on the side opposite of the cut-out, which is safer. The trade-off is that the line of sight is a bit obstructed. On the other side, sidewinders are typically lighter, making them safer for overhead work.

DEWALT DWE575SB Circular Saw Review

DeWalt’s DWE575SB model is a relatively affordable one, but don’t think it will fail you simply because it doesn’t cost a million bucks. As all other DeWalt products, this sidewinder circular saw is built to last and made from quality materials that guarantee its longevity. It is a perfect addition to your tool box, regardless of whether you use it occasionally or you take it out on jobs.

Features of DEWALT DWE575SB​
  • The 2.55-inch depth of cut – When you use the saw perpendicularly the cut is 2.55 inches deep. At a 45 degree angle, it is 1.9 inches deep. The beveling capacity of the saw is 57 degrees and it has positive stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees so it is easier to adjust to the most common angles.
  • Electric brake – One of the best features of this saw is its electric brake. Once you release the trigger it automatically activates and stops the blade. This is a great safety feature that comes in handy if anything goes wrong during a job.
  • Strong motor – Despite being rather small in size, this saw is exceedingly powerful. It runs off a 15 amp motor and gets up to 5100 RPMs! With this type of cutting power, it can tackle even the most demanding jobs and complete them without a hitch.
Advantages of DEWALT DWE575SB

  • Lightweight – Working with circular saws can be tiring, especially if you are at it the entire day. This model allows you to work longer hours thanks to being only 8.8 pounds in weight. It is one of the lightest, yet powerful saws on the market.
  • Integrated dust blower – This model has an integrated dust blower that keeps your line of sight clear and enables you to do precision cutting without having to stop to check your alignment.
  • Tough-cord system –Tough-cord system is a patented system by DeWalt that decreases the chances of you damaging the cord or pulling it out by accident. The cord itself is 4 times tougher and resilient, and it’s hard to cut it even when you give it a try!

Most users are more than happy with the performance of this saw, but since nothing in life is without a fault, we’ll mention that there is one thing on it that could have been better planned. Some users note that the depth adjustment is poorly located, at the back of the machine, which makes it difficult to use sometimes. They agree that it is a small drawback and that the machine is otherwise excellent.

Bottom Line​

DEWALT DWE575SB Lightweight Circular Saw with Electric Brake is an excellent sidewinder saw that is both convenient and powerful, without being bulky or heavy. It cuts through most of the materials with ease, professionals speak highly of it, and even amateurs are impressed with its performance. To make things even better, this saw is very affordable and will give you years of use!​

Hypoid Circular Saws

Makita 5377MG

Even though hypoid saws are very similar to worm drive saws, there are some noted differences that experienced woodworkers will appreciate. The main difference is in how the power is transferred from the motor to the blade. A hypoid gear has some sliding and you can think of it as being somewhere between a straight-cut gear and a worm gear.

The motor at the back of the saw and the blade is on the left, leaving the line of sight clear for cuts. The great thing about hypoid saws is that they do not require lubrication since the gears are encased in an oil bath.

Makita 5377MG Circular Saw Review

Makita is a trusted name in the tool industry and has been for years now. It is not surprising that all their equipment is of exceedingly high quality and this hypoid saw is not different. It is a great addition to your toolkit, sturdy, durable and completely reliable. The new hypoid gearing system allows it to deliver more constant power and its great design makes it lightweight and easy to use.

Features of Makita 5377MG​

This Makita's model weighs 13 pounds, so it is lighter than most worm drive saws, which makes using it a more convenient and easier. Magnesium components greatly contribute to its durability and lightness. That coupled with a powerful motor and virtually no maintenance makes this saw one of the best sellers, and a top pick of both professionals and amateurs.​

  • Powerful motor – This powerful 15 amp motor will drive the saw through even the hardest material. It is capable of 4 800 RPMs and the compressed winding technology harnesses all that power in a relatively small design.
  • Hypoid gears – Hypoid gears have more surface contact and are able to deliver more power to the saw. They also keep the machine on a cooler operating temperature, enabling longer usage hours and ensuring its longevity.
  • Durable magnesium components – Thanks to its magnesium components this saw is both durable and lightweight. Magnesium adds additional strength to the already perfect design and ensures that the saw is maneuverable and easy to use.
Advantages of Makita 5377MG

  • Low maintenance – The great thing about this saw is the fact that the gears are encased in an oil bath, which means that there will be no messy oil changes ever! This also prolongs the life of the saw, so it will be in perfect order for years!
  • Easy to adjust – The angle of the cut can be adjusted from 0 to 51.5 degrees. Changing the angle is made easier by oversized levers and positive stops of 22.5, 45 and 51.5 degrees. These are the most common angles so it is very convenient that they can be adjusted in mere seconds.
  • Ergonomic design – Thanks to the unique design of the machine, the handle is placed a bit higher than it is usual. This makes it easier to grip, enabling better control of the saw. It is also rubberized to prevent slippage and accidents.

This is a great overall saw, but some buyers note that it is a shame that a rip fence is not included in the package. They also say that the startup jerk is somewhat powerful, but are quick to point out that these things are manageable and most certainly not deal breakers.

Bottom Line​

If you need a powerful circular saw that will provide precision cuts and last a good long while, then this is a model you’ve been looking for! Makita 5377MG Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Hypoid Saw has excellent specifications and is reasonably priced. A perfect addition to your tool box that will make you the envy of your DIY group of friends!​

Cordless Circular Saws

Makita SH01W

The greatest benefit of battery-powered circular saws is the fact that you are not limited by a cord when using it. This means you can make your cuts wherever you like, in your home, garage, or at the job site.

The newer models of cordless circular saws do not have less power when compared with their corded counterparts. The only drawback that they suffer from is the fact that the battery does run out eventually so you have to replace it or recharge it to continue working. However, their portability and maneuverability more than makes up for that.

Makita SH01W Circular Saw Review

This Makita battery-powered circular saw is a great tool to have if you are often engaged in a wide variety of DIY projects, regardless of whether you’re doing them in a professional capacity or as a hobby. This saw is both compact and practical since it’s not only battery-powered but it is small enough so you can easily carry it around with you without it getting in the way.​

Features of Makita SH01W​

This is Makita’s first 12V battery-powered circular saw. It is what you might call a mini saw because it lacks the strength of regular worm drive or sidewinder saws. This makes it very light, weighing around 3.3 pounds and allows you to carry it with you at all times. If you predominately make smaller cuts and would rather not be forced to carry around your large saw with you, than this model will suit your needs perfectly.​

  • Strong motor delivering 1400 RPMs – The power that this unit delivers is truly impressive, especially if you take into account that it is both small and powered by a battery! Its great drive will make all your smaller cutting jobs easy and fast!
  • Long battery life – Lithium-Ion battery that powers this saw is a winner of a prestigious Energy Star award, which guarantees it complies with very strict regulations of the American two over-reaching agencies, Department of Energy and Environment Protection Agency. The battery itself has an extended life so this means that it will last longer.
  • Built-in dust blower – This great little feature makes sure that the dust and debris that is produced during cutting gets immediately sucked in and out of the way. This keeps your line of sight clear and allows you to make more precise cuts.
Advantages of Makita SH01W

  • Ergonomically designed handle – thanks to its ever-sized and ergonomically designed handle, this tool boasts exceptional balance. This makes it easier to maneuver as the weight is evenly distributed so the tool fits in your hand perfectly.
  • Compact and maneuverable design – One of the key benefits you get with this circular saw is the fact that it is very lightweight and designed for on-the-fly use. As it should be, considering that most people buy it because of its great portability and ease of use.
  • Additional accessories – If you decide to buy this kit you will get two Lithium-Ion batteries, a charger and a carbide-tipped blade. Considering its already affordable price, these freebies are a great addition to your purchase.

Most buyers noted that this saw performed well within the limits of what was expected from it. They do point out that battery use life is relatively low, and that the battery will run out quickly during intensive use. However, they say that the manufacturer was kind enough to include 2 batteries in the package, so when the first one dies on you, replacing it takes only a couple of seconds.

Bottom Line​

Makita SH01W Circular Saw Kit is a great buy for all budding DIY enthusiasts that are faced with some light carpentry and woodworking during their projects. The entire kit is rather affordable, and with the added benefit of a 3-year warranty (and a 1-year warranty on the battery), and in our opinion, it is definitely worth the cash you’ll be handing over for it!​

What To Look For In A Good Circular Saw

There are some key features that you have to be careful about when buying a circular saw. Quality saws are lighter and more durable thanks to the materials in their composition. This, in turn, makes it easier on you to handle them and get proper cuts. Other than that, there are several other things you might consider accessories that will also make your life easier when cutting.​

  • Motor strength and RPMs – the stronger the saw, the faster you will finish. It is important that you can get a decent amount of RPMs on your saw. This will help you cut through harder materials and provide you with a cleaner cut.
  • Magnesium shoe – In the past, most circular saws had a shoe made from steel. This made the saw both bulky and difficult to operate. A magnesium shoe reduces the overall weight of the saw and is less likely to bend or break in case of an accidental fall.
  • Extended bevel capacity – this is the ability of the saw to cut at angles. The depth of the cut usually diminishes at steeper angles, but a bevel capacity above 90 degrees is sometimes necessary so try to get a saw that will get you there.
  • The depth of cut at 0 degrees – This is the actual cut of the saw when it’s not used as a bevel. Most saws will cut at around 2 inches which is plenty. Try to avoid saws that have a lower depth of cut.
  • Laser guide – Some saws are fitted with a laser to help guide your cut. This is especially useful with sidewinder saws where your line of sight is not clear. Even though most saws are now fitted with a laser guide, you want to test it out to see how accurate it is.