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The Best Circular Saws of 2022

Circular saws are becoming more sophisticated and easier to use. Here are some of the best for DIYers and professional builders.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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10 Best Circular Saws Ft Ecomm Via Homedepot.comVia Merchant

Choosing a Circular Saw

The first power tool — an electric drill — was invented in 1889. Less than 40 years later, the Skilsaw Company produced the first handheld circular saws. These offered obvious advantages over hand sawing. Now, no one who works with wood would be without one.

Today, multiple refinements of this essential tool make it indispensable. Pretty much every circular saw includes features like plastic housings, blade guards and adjustable bases. But designs vary. The saws with the most sophisticated and user-friendly features often cost more … but not always.

Features to consider when buying a circular saw

Although many circular saw features are standard, manufacturers continue to incorporate new ones into more sophisticated designs. Here are some of the standard and not-so-standard features to consider as you shop for the best circular saw for your purposes.

  • Gear-driven or direct drive: The worm-drive circular saw was the first one invented. It develops more cutting torque than a sidewinder, i.e. a saw with a blade mounted next to the motor and connected directly to the drive shaft. Worm-drive saws are preferred for heavy construction, though the blade spins more slowly and makes rough cuts. Hypoid saws are a variation of the worm-drive model.
  • Bevel capacity: The base or shoe tilts for making bevel cuts, but not all models tilt the same amount. The best circular saw bevels more than 45 degrees with positive stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees, saving time when making adjustments.
  • Adjustment controls: Look for easy-to-operate adjustment levers for tilt angle and cutting depth. Turn screws take more time and can slip.
  • Tool weight: Heavy saws are more tiring and awkward to use. Housing and base materials influence weight. The best circular saw has a magnesium or plastic body and an aluminum or magnesium shoe. Besides their weight, steel shoes can bend and rust.
  • Ergonomics: The best circular saw for most uses should be lightweight and compact with easy-to-operate controls. Beware of saws that require you to keep the trigger stop depressed while simultaneously holding the trigger. It’s tiring and limits your freedom of movement.
  • Desirable features: The best include positive bevel stops, onboard wrench storage for quick blade changing and an LED guide light. You’ll appreciate the LED when your shadow blocks the room light, making the cut line hard to see. Some saws offer a laser guide, but the usefulness of this feature is debatable.
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Makita 18 Volt Brushless Cordless Circular Saw Ecomm Via HomedepotVia Merchant

Best Circular Saw Overall

The price tag qualifies it as splurge. But if you aren’t on a budget, the Makita 18V X2 LXT Circular Saw delivers corded power in a cordless model. It features a 7-1/4-in. blade, 2-5/8-in. cutting depth and a brushless worm-drive motor that delivers fast blade rotation (6,000 revolutions per minute) to eliminate chip-out problems.

It weighs only 10 pounds with two on-board batteries. It also features variable blade speed, a blade brake, dust blower and a 56-degree bevel with positive stops. Nice.

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Skilsaw Lightweight Worm Drive Circular Saw Ecomm Via AmazonVia Merchant

Best Worm-Drive Circular Saw

The Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 Lightweight Worm-Drive Circular Saw is modeled after the original Skilsaw invented in 1924, but updated with modern features.

The magnesium body makes it lighter than other worm-drives. The bevel plate tilts 53 degrees, and the anti-snag blade guard keeps the saw on track even when cutting small pieces.

One caution: The saw blade rotates more slowly than those on sidewinder saws. The resulting chip-out can be a problem on rip cuts.

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Makita Magnesium Hypoid Saw Ecomm Via AmazonVia Merchant

Best Hypoid Circular Saw

Makita, a reliable name in power tools, is one of the few manufacturers offering hypoid saws. With its lightweight magnesium construction, the Makita 5377-MG Circular Saw weighs only 13 pounds, light for a geared saw.

The gears are made of heat-treated steel, which wears longer than the bronze-alloy ones of traditional worm-drive saws. It bevels to 51.4 degrees, and there are positive stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees for quick changes. The gear housing is sealed, and the gears, unlike traditional worm-drive gears, never need lubricating.

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Makita Magnesium 7 Inch Circular Saw Ecomm Via AmazonVia Merchant

Best Corded Sidewinder Circular Saw

Makita again takes top honors with its all-magnesium 5007 Mg 7-1/4-in. Circular Saw. This saw, which comes with a carrying case (a nice touch), weighs in at only 10.6 pounds. It bevels all the way to 56 degrees, with positive stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees.

The ergonomic design features a front handle for extra stability, a built-in dust blower to keep the cut line clear and two LED guide lights. This is the tool you need for your next framing project.

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Milwaukee M18 Volt Ecomm Via HomedepotVia Merchant

Best Cordless Sidewinder Circular Saw

Many cordless sidewinder saws come with undersized blades to make them more compact and save on power. Not the Milwaukee M-18 Brushless Circular Saw, which takes the same 7-1/4-in. blade corded saws use. It’s equally useful in the shop and on a construction site.

The 5-amp hour battery, discreetly placed to keep it out of the sight line, provides enough power to the brushless motor to rip hundreds of feet of plywood. It’s a little heavy but has an extra handle to compensate.

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Dewalt Circular Saw Ecomm Via AmazonVia Merchant

Best Starter Woodworking Circular Saw

If you’re just starting out in woodworking, you’ll probably find a cordless saw easier to use than a corded one. The DeWalt 6-1/2-in. 20V Max Circular Saw will get you up to speed in no time.

This is the first saw on the list that costs less than $100. It features a lightweight plastic body and magnesium shoe. The undersized blade makes it easier to handle than a saw with a full-sized blade.

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Dewalt Lightweight Circular Saw Electric Brake Ecomm Via AmazonVia Merchant

Best Pro-Grade Woodworking Circular Saw

If you’re working eight-hour days on the jobsite, you need a lightweight saw that can handle heavy-duty tasks. At only 8.8 pounds, the DeWalt 7-1/4-In. Circular Saw is one of the lightest. The corded 15-amp motor works all day without flagging.

The electric brake eliminates waiting for the blade to stop, and the bevel capacity is 57 degrees — more than most saws. Aluminum shoe, adjustment levers (not turn screws) and on-board wrench storage for quick blade changes make it a trusty companion on the jobsite.

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Dewalt Atomic 20v Max Circular Saw Ecomm Via AmazonVia Merchant

Best Cordless Mini Circular Saw

The blade may be only 4-1/2-in., but the 20-volt battery of the DeWalt Atomic Circular Saw provides the same power as a full-sized saw. The barrel handle, typical of mini-saws, provides a steady grip for ripping plywood, slicing through 1-1/2-in. stock and other utility jobs.

This saw comes with a removable auxiliary handle, a dust blower and on-board blade wrench storage. It also features a quick-stop brake.

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Ryobi One Lithium Ion Cordless Ecomm Via AmazonVia Merchant

Best Budget Circular Saw

Even if you purchase the Ryobi One+ 5-1/2-in. Circular Saw with the battery and charger, it still costs less than most others. But if you already own tools in Ryobi’s One+ system, you can buy just the saw for about $40.

This saw can do most of the same jobs as a more expensive one, as long as you’re not cutting through six-inch beams. It features a 50-degree bevel angle and on-board wrench storage.

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Skil 15 Amp Circular Saw Ecomm Via Amazon 001Via Merchant

Best Value Circular Saw

The Skil 15-Amp 7-1/4-In. Circular Saw is an almost pro-grade model at less than half the cost. Rating 4.7-stars on Amazon, it weighs only 8.7 pounds with a 51-degree bevel angle.

Useful features include the dust blower and the additional handle in the front. Some users may appreciate the guarded trigger and laser guide. Even without them, this tool is a great buy.

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Chris Deziel
Chris Deziel has been active in the building trades for more than 30 years. He helped build a small city in the Oregon desert from the ground up and helped establish two landscaping companies. He has worked as a carpenter, plumber and furniture refinisher. Deziel has been writing DIY articles since 2010 and has worked as an online consultant, most recently with Home Depot's Pro Referral service. His work has been published on Landlordology, Apartments.com and Hunker. Deziel has also published science content and is an avid musician.