Are you interesting in getting a circular saw some time in the near future, either as a gift for the tool enthusiast in the family or as a present for yourself? Well, to save you hours of searching through reviews on Amazon, I have compiled a list of some of the best circular saws on the market today, both Worm-Drive circular saws and Sidewinder circular saws are covered. If you are going to buy at your local hardware store, then I suggest you read our circular saw guide to get an idea of what to look for while you shop.
Best Circular Saw for beginners
I have tested some of the popular circular saws and track saws in terms of their quality, efficiency and value for the money. Please keep in mind that these are not 100% scientific experiment. And obviously, I can’t afford to test every saw available in the market.
My circular saw reviews are based on my personal experience. Below is the list of the saws I tested with my recommendations and the reason why I liked or disliked a particular model.
Worm-Drive circular saws
These saws have the motor located parallel to the blade. They are heavy duty saws meant for tough cutting jobs; these circular saws are best for professional carpenters or people experienced with circular saws.
#1. SkilSaw SPT77WML-01 Worm-Drive Circular Saw
What I like: The SkilSaw is a great worm-drive circular saw. It has 15 amps of power, which makes able to easily cut through tough materials all day long. If you get the diamond blade attachment (sold separately) then you can easily cut through things like granite countertops. Though the default blade is certainly powerful in its own right (it cuts through hardwood with no hassle at all).
The saw is built with a special magnesium shell, so it feels pretty lightweight. You usually do not expect worm-drive circular saws to be lightweight, but the SkilSaw is pretty manageable. It is easy to make adjustments mid cut, and it has a 53 degree Bevel attachment, with marked indents for 0 degrees and 45 degrees.
You can tilt this SkilSaw base up to 53° which works well for bevel cuts.
What I don’t like: The biggest issue with the saw is that it is pretty low on lubricant. So, if you buy the SkilSaw SPT77WML-01, make sure you pick up some extra lubricant to go with it.
Makita makes the best hypoid circular saws and the this is one of the best in their product line. The main feature of this cutting saw is the excellent toque that you can get from hypoid mechanism.
What is a Hypoid Saw?
A hypoid saw is a circular saw with a hypoid gear system inside. So how does this compare to a worm drive saw?
A hypoid gear is a spiral bevel gear with offset between the axes of the crown and the pinion. The main advantage of a hypoid gear system is its efficiency. A typical worm drive saw is said to have efficiency ranging from 50% to 80% whereas a hypoid saw has up to 95% efficiency.
Very little kick-back. (This was a problem in 5477NB model)
Maximum speed of 4,500 RPM
Effective hypoid gear system
Slightly inferior build quality
Heavy tool (All hypoid/worm-drive are heavier when compared to sidewinder models)
#3. Makita 5477NB Hypoid Saw
What I like:
The Makita circular saw has a good amount of power, with 15 amps. But, the real attraction here is the patented “Hypoid motor,” which Makita says delivers more power and grip than traditional worm-drive motors. In my experience, the Hypoid motor does make the Makita quite a bit more powerful than other worm-drive saws. The saw comes with a 51-degree bevel attachment. Probably my favorite thing about the Makita is that because it has oil bath technology, you basically never have to change the oil on the Makita.
What I don’t like:
There is a pretty significant amount of kickback with this circular saw. So, make sure you give it a few practice runs before doing any serious projects with the saw. Also, significant kickback can lead to your wrist being sore after a long cutting session.
#4. DEWALT DWS535 Worm-Drive Circular Saw
This 7-1/4-inches circular saw comes with 15apms power and has a maximum speed up to 4800 rpm.
What I like: The Dewalt has a 53-degree bevel, so you can make a lot of versatile cuts. In terms of power, the Dewalt is fairly standard for a worm-drive circular saw; it will be able to handle most jobs with ease. I especially liked the magnesium footplate, which provided a really sturdy cutting platform.
What I did not like:
There is no blower, so dust and debris will accumulate fast while using the Dewalt; so make sure you keep some compressed air nearby to quickly clean off your work area. Also, it does not come with a case; nor does there appear to be an official case sold by Dewalt.
There are two other variants of this saw; the DWS53B is eqipped with electric brake while the DWS535T comes with twist lock. For more details check the Dewalt webpage.
Sidewinder circular saws
These saws have the motor perpendicular to the blade. They are typically lighter than worm-drive saws, and are better for beginners.
#5. Rockwell RK3440K VersaCut Circular Saw
What I like: The Rockwell circular saw is very comfortable, compact, and easy to maneuver; probably the most compact circular saw I have ever seen. It is easy to make accurate cuts because it comes with a built-in laser guide and plunge indicator. I also liked that it came with carbide tipped blades, which add a bit of extra cutting power.
What I don’t like: The biggest issue with the Rockwell is a lack of power. It only has a 4 amp motor, well below the power of other circular saws. Given the size of the circular saw, it is understandable, but I still wish it was more powerful.
SkilSaw SPT67WL-01 Sidewinder Circular Saw
What I like:
The SkilSaw has a powerful 15 amp motor, which is really good for a sidewinder saw. Also, for versatile cuts it comes with a 56 degree bevel (with an indent mark at 45 degrees); furthermore, the bevel degrees go up in increments of 1 as opposed to the usual 5, making accurate cuts easier. Unlike many other sidewinders, the SkilSaw feels really durable because of its hardened magnesium based and housing. It is also pretty reasonably priced at $100 flat.
What I don’t like:
There is no rafter hook, so working on rafters and trusses with the circular saw can be a bit difficult. Also, I do not like that the saw does not come with a case and I am not sure if an official case is sold by SkilSaw.