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Best Circular saw 2020 • 7 Circular saws Reviews

A powered cutting tool, a circular saw uses a disc to split apart a variety of materials. Our team's review offers insights drawn from the best reviews on the Internet.

Most of the regular work I'm currently engaged in involves a wide
mixture subjects, from 500 word articles for local newspapers to
brochure or blog articles. My favourite subjects are those that involve
innovation within technology.

Dave White
Expertise: Technology, Computer Operating Systems, Musical instruments
More about the author

Circular saw Leaderboard  2020

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Most of the regular work I'm currently engaged in involves a wide
mixture subjects, from 500 word articles for local newspapers to
brochure or blog articles. My favourite subjects are those that involve
innovation within technology.

Dave White
Expertise: Technology, Computer Operating Systems, Musical instruments
More about the author

What is a circular saw?

A circular saw is a powered device that has a spinning disc which is used to cut through metal, plastic, wood and other materials in a highly controllable manner. They have been used in professional sawmills for a couple of hundred years but the most recent generation of circular saws are hand tools which are ideal for use in a workshop or on site.

You can find them with various power ratings, modes of operation and in numerous sizes. The best ones are highly reliable although you may need to change the cutting blade once in a while after you have reviewed its sharpness.

How does a circular saw work?

How does a Circular Saw work in a review and comparison?Unlike a conventional saw, which uses a back and forth motion to operate, a circular saw makes use of rotational force. Because the teeth of a circular saw are arranged in a circle, the blade simply needs a rotational motor to spin it around. Once the blade of the circular saw is up to speed spinning, it can be introduced to the material it will cut. Some circular saws are held in a fixed position on a workbench, maybe clamped in a vice, which means that the material to be cut is passed over the cutting blade.

Handheld circular saws, on the other hand, function in the opposite way with the material they are cutting being held secure while the tool itself can move.

The best circular saws of this type will often have tungsten carbide tipped teeth. Other options for the best performance include high speed steel blades. In some cases, industrial diamonds are also added are also added to the best blades which helps circular saws to cut through the most durable of materials, such as granite.

The advantages and applications of circular saws

Advantages from a Circular Saw comparison reviewOne of the chief advantages of the best circular saws is that they operate in a highly efficient manner. When a review of a circular saw is made in comparison with a tenon saw, for example, it is simple to see that one requires lots of energy to be used up stopping and starting as it is move back and forth. On the other hand, a circular saw only cuts in one direction without stopping. As such, it is free from many of the inefficiencies that have an effect so many other types of saw.

Furthermore, because a circular saw only operates in one direction, it is often best at cutting without potential jams from occurring. Saw technologies that rely on back and forth motions can get stuck when they change direction quite easily. Unlike hand saws, all the best circular saws have an external power source which means that even handheld ones do a lot of the work for you as they cut through their material.

Often found in professional sawmill, circular saws are now just as commonplace in domestic environments alongside other power tools. You can find specific types of circular saw that have been designed to be best at certain applications. For example, as the name suggests a concrete circular saw is often used to cut up paving slabs and sections of poured concrete.

A panel saw is another type of circular saw that tends to be used in manufacturing facilities to cut boards to precise lengths. You can often find the best models being used in DIY stores to cut MDF and plywood panels to specific dimensions for customers, for example. There again, pendulum saws are often used for cutting into ice sheets. These, too, are a type of circular saw. Finally, other than handheld circular saws, you can also find table saws being used in many fabrication centres and workshops around the world. These are fixed-position circular saws which are usually best for cutting up timber accurately and, consequently, tend to be favoured by cabinet makers.

What types of circular saw are there?

What types of Circular Saw are there in a comparison review?The most common type of circular saw you can buy is a handheld one. The best ones offer a combination of cutting power along with a lightweight feel that makes them flexible in the way in which you can use them. Too heavy and they become tiresome to operate, especially when you are on site. Lighter ones are best for prolonged usage but you often have to compromise a little on power.

The majority of handheld circular saws are powered via mains electricity. Some of the best or, at least, most powerful ones are powered with petrol, however, much like chainsaws.

When it comes to a table circular saw, the power source is less of an issue because this does not have to be held or carried around. The material that is to be cut is moved instead of the saw itself in this case. As such, you can obtain table circular saws which are both electrically and petrol powered. Furthermore, some of the best models also have a hydraulic motor which supplies their power.

Many buyers of circular saws will review the market and decide that the best one for them is a multi-purpose tool. This is especially the case because one of the main plus points of circular saws is that you can change the blade depending on the sort of material you need to cut through.

However, if you know that you will be mostly using your circular saw for only certain types of material, such as masonry, then you should obtain one specifically designed for that. The same goes for people who will mostly stick to cutting wood, plastic or metal.

The Big Circular Saw Buyer’s Guide

Like other power tools, circular saws ought to be free from basic defects when they are sold. That said, there are a number of important safety features to look out for and review on any circular saw you are considering purchasing. What are the best ones your model ought to have?

  • Buyer’s Guide from a Circular Saw review and comparisonA depth adjustment control that is well away from the cutting blade.
  • A base plate should be present on handheld models that prevent fingers from slipping through to the blade.
  • Two handles which allow operators to retain full control as they move their circular saw over the material it is cutting.
  • A safety switch which must be pushed down before the power on the device can be engaged.
  • A retracting blade guard which is usually spring loaded that prevent the blade from cutting into any material other than the intended area.
  • A dust port which means that the unit can be hooked up to a bad or n external vacuum device that clears away dust.

In addition to reviewing these basic safety features in order to make sure that they all function properly, buyers of circular saws need to make sure that they test for any potential weak points in their product’s design. You should consult the owner’s manual to review the following key factors and operational limitations.

  • The maximum number of revolutions per minute the circular saw is capable of producing.
  • The direction of spin that blades are set to turn, according to their teeth’s orientation.
  • The blade diameter or diameters that the product is able to accommodate. Handheld ones can be anything from 110 mm to almost twice that size.
  • The arbour hole size which also impacts on the sort of blades that can be fitted the saw in question. These tend to vary between 10 and 30 mm depending on the unit.
If you fit incorrectly fitting blades, then it is perfectly possible that the unit will wobble around when you operate it. Therefore, it is always best to test a circular saw immediately after you have fitted a new blade to make sure that it is installed correctly. If the circular saw kicks from side to side in your hands or the blade bows out as it rotates, then it is best to discover this fact before the blade guard is retracted when you are actually cutting through something.

Once reviewed for safety, you can progress. However, with a brand new blade, it is still often best to check the incision you will make ends up being straight by testing it on a scrap piece of wood or metal.

The Big Buyer’s Guide from a Circular Saw review and comparisonAnother key safety measure that all circular saw owners ought to review is to make sure that their product’s safety guard retracts fully before returning to their initial position. The best ones will cover up all of the blade when the saw is not in use to protect it and to prevent accidental injuries. Only the best are capable of opening and closing seamlessly and without friction as you use the tool to cut through material. Crucially, this should always be the case no matter how low or high the base plate has been set to. You may need to adjust this to cut through wider items. If so, then it is best to check the safety guard still operates properly after you have reset the base plate, otherwise known as the shoe by some manufacturers.

In common with other power tools, you should make sure that the unit will cut out in the event of an operational problem. Some of the best electrical circular saws around will cut out if they experience a short circuit. If the model you have purchased does not have this feature built in, then make sure you only use yours in conjunction with a circuit breaker. Those which are petrol powered should only have a relatively small tank so that the risk of a fire is minimised.

Finally, remember that testing your circular saw after you have purchased it still means taking care. Although this is advisable so that you can return a defective product while it is still within its warranty period, you should ensure that no damage is caused to the unit from your own misuse.

A good idea is to wear workmen’s gloves so that you don’t mark the product and it is also best to protect your eyes with safety goggles. If any of the safety features fail on your circular saw when testing and reviewing it for safety then, even with the best of intentions, personal protective equipment may be all that is able to save you from serious injury.
Keep your hands in the operating position on the unit’s handles and ensure the blade has fully stopped rotating before you are tempted to remove them. In the case of the table type of circular saw, you should also keep your fingers well away from the blade when it is operational.

Results and Experiences From Consumer Tests

Results from a Circular Saw review and comparisonA number of reviews are conducted into the current crop of circular saws on the market in the UK over the course of an average year.

In recent reviews, no particular manufacturer has dominated the market although certain individual products have been found to be more effective than others, for example, Makita’s corded HS7601J/2 circular saw which was found to be among the best in several reviews. Many praised its build quality and its ability to produce accurate cuts time and again. The product’s aluminium base plate, in particular, was found to be easy to operate when conducting plunge cuts.

Experiences from a Circular Saw review and comparisonIn similar reviews, Evolution’s Rage 1B circular saw was found to be one of the best options around for occasional users. With an all-round ability to cut effectively and a three-year warranty, the Rage 1B was designed by Evolution for DIY enthusiasts rather than professionals largely due to its 1,200 Watt motor.

That said, the unit comes with a coarse, general purpose blade which may be all you will ever need if you won’t be using it every week. This product compares well with another popular one among UK review sites, the DeWalt DWE560K-GB which is also light and easy to handle. That said, this particular circular saw is designed with professionals in mind much more.

Like other DeWalt products it comes with a handy airlock system for trapping debris and a reinforced power cable, something that is not to be found on inferior models. The DWE560K-GB is also one of the quietest handheld circular saw models around so it is one of the best if noise is an issue for you.

If you are looking for value, then the Black and Decker CS1015 has come out on top in some reviews after hours and hours of testing. Although it packs a lot of punch for the initial outlay, this is a relatively basic model with no laser guidance system and no spindle lock to rely on. However, it does the basics very well according to those who have reviewed all of its functions.

In the same review, the Bosch CS5 was found to be a very effective circular saw with lots of power to spare. In fact, this one was tested and found to produce a blade speed of up to 6,200 RPMs. Nevertheless, it tends to blow dust backwards which is not ideal for maintaining the direction of a cut that needs to be highly accurate. In the interests of fairness, voth the CS5 and the CS1016 were tested under the same conditions, cutting through two by four plywood by hand, before they were reviewed.

Circular Saw Brands

There are plenty of different tool making brands that produce circular saws. Although no single brand could be said to be the best, a brief review of each of them should be conducted before choosing a single product. Bear in mind that many of these brands offer multiple circular saw products within their range and that new products for review become available all the time. What follows is, therefore, a review of the various brands and their key differentiators rather than a guide to which particular product is best.

  • Makita
  • Bosch
  • Evolution
  • DeWalt
  • Silverline
  • VonHaus
  • Ryobi
  • Einhell
  • Black and Decker
  • Hilka
A Japanese brand that is known all over the world, Makita make a large number of power tools, including circular saws. There are well over a dozen different circular saws on the market at any one time from Makita which also makes a number of accessories, including blades, power packs and waste bags. The brand is one of the most trusted among consumers, especially for its cordless saws and drills. This is largely because of the reliability of their charging stations which have reasonable fast charging speeds. In fact, Makita was the first company to introduce a rechargeable power tool of any type, way back in 1969. Although it is headquartered in Japan, Makita makes its circular saws in factories in South America, North America and Europe.
A private company, Bosch was founded in 1886 and has since become a highly trusted brand for high-quality components and engineering. Because Bosch makes such a wide range of products – it has anything from mobility solutions to consumer electronics in its portfolio – it could not reasonably be described as a circular saw specialist. That said, the German manufacturer has built up a reputation for reliable power tools of all kinds. Within the circular saw range, you can review a number of tools which include circular mitre saws and miniature handheld circular saws. Like Makita, the majority of their circular saw products and handheld and come with a cordless battery pack to operate in a wide variety of situations.
Evolution Power Tools make three different ranges of circular saws within their products portfolio. There is the Project range which is aimed at the DIY and hobbyist market. Often perfectly good for occasional use, this range is at the low end of Evolution’s price range. The mid-range is called Build which is aimed at tradespeople and professionals. In this range you can find mitre saws, tables saws and handheld circular saws to review which are designed to cut through mild steel and hardwoods efficiently. Many products in the Build range come with extended warranties and ergonomically designed handles. The third range Evolution offers is called Steel which includes a couple of high-powered circular saw. Although they are not necessarily the best products available from the brand, these are the most durable and designed for repeated use.
Founded in 1924, DeWalt is an American power tool brand. Based in Maryland, the company has been producing circular saws for decades, developed from the company’s founder most famous invention, the radial arm saw which was patented in the 1920s. DeWalt makes both corded and cordless handheld circular saws as well as its own circular blades. The entire range comes with a very distinctive black and yellow livery that makes the brand identity really stand out. Like Evolution, DeWalt makes products that are aimed at both the DIY market as well as circular saws that a really designed for professional usage day in and day out. Some products are sold with multiple battery packs which mean that you can have one set on charge while you continue to use your saw with the other. Some independent reviewers place a great deal of store on the reliability of DeWalt power tools.
An ISO 9001 accredited company, Silverline has been making a wide range of hand and power tools since it was first set up in the latter half of the 1970s. The company makes a great deal of how its brand identity is associated with ethical trading which includes a great deal of attention being paid to health and safety in its factories and the reliability of its products once they leave them. As well as drills, mixers, multi-tools, planers and routers, Sliverline manufacturers a number of saws. There are only a couple of handheld circular saws to review within its portfolio, however, both of them operating with under 1,500 Watts of power. In addition, there is a mitre saw which uses the same sort of circular blades – Silverline also makes its own range of blades which tend to be produced in multi-packs of two or three.
VonHaus is a manufacturing brand that is just as well known for its homewares and appliances as it is for power tools. The company makes furniture and a wide range of garden products as well as its electrically powered circular saws. A quick review of its circular saws is possible because the range is not extensive. Nevertheless, it is possible to choose a general purpose handheld circular saw, a mitre saw and a small table saw from within its product portfolio. Like DeWalt, VonHaus is a very distinctive brand which makes used of bright orange and dark grey to produce a singular brand identity. Two year extended warranties are possible from VonHaus but owners must make sure that they register their product soon after purchasing it. Dust extraction pipes are included on several products but you need to connect them to a separate vacuum device to make use of them.
Another Japanese manufacturer, Ryobi Power Tools and Ryobi Outdoor Power Equipment are both brands that are owned by Techtronic Industries, a business which also owns Vax and Hoover US. Like other circular saw brands, Ryobi products have some brightly coloured liveries. In the case of Ryobi, this is lime green coupled with grey which makes a bit of a visual clash. You will never fail to spot where you left a Ryobi circular saw in your workshop or building site. The manufacturer makes products which are suited to both professionals and hobbyists with a wide variety of power ratings. All of the circular saws in the range are electrically powered with the majority of them being cordless products.
Founded in 1964, Einhell is a German maker of both power tools and garden equipment. As well as lawn mowers, string strimmers, vacuum cleaners and chainsaws, Einhell makes table saws, scroll saws, jigsaws and circular saws. Some of its circular mitre saws are available with laser guiding systems to help ensure that you are able to keep your cuts at exactly the right angle. It makes its own blades which can be purchased singly or in multi-packs. Einhell circular saws come with a bright red and black finish and they have some very lightweight products in their range which makes them ideal for certain buyers.
An American brand, Black and Decker makes all sorts of power tools. It has been trading since 1910 and because it is so long-established in the marketplace, it has built up a reputation for reliability. The brand produces its own blades as well as circular saws, often referred to a Piranhas due to the shape of their teeth. The manufacturer has both corded and cordless products available within its portfolio of circular saws. Each of them comes with Black and Decker’s distinctive orange and black brand colours.
Often recommended because of it after sale telephone support, Hilka‘s UK headquarters are situated in Chessington, its base operations for over four decades. As well as grinders, demolition breakers, wallpaper strippers and drills, it makes table and handheld circular saws. Offering RPMs that can be as fast as 4,500, their products are mostly used by DIY enthusiasts although they could certainly be used in certain professional situations, too. All of the current range of Hilka’s circular saw products are corded. Hilka also produces its own circular saw blades as well as the power tools themselves.


Guide to Circular Saws

The development of the circular saws over time

The development of Circular Saws in a review and comparisonAlthough they originally began being used as stationary tools in sawmills, circular saws were developed into handheld general tools in the twentieth century.

The first known one was being used by a shipbuilder in the 1770s in Southampton. In the nineteenth century, very large ones were being used for the first time in the United States for industrial purposes.

However, it was not until the miniaturisation of electric motors in the 1960s and 1970s that allowed manufacturers to start producing them as portable power tools. As any review of twenty-first century circular saws will indicate, the most recent developments in the best of these products has come down to improvements in battery technology which has allowed for more and more effective cordless models.

Circular saw facts

Due to the fact that circular saw blades are thin, they are best for creating an narrow kerf, or cutting section on the material they are working on. This means that very accurate cuts can be made.

In addition, a thin blade means they are best when working on a valuable item where you don’t want a lot of wastage. When a circular saw can be set to cut into a material from an angle that is not perpendicular, it is called a mitre saw.

All types of circular saw cutting blades are known to leave a residue of small burrs. It is often best, therefore, to rub them away with a file or some abrasive material, such as sandpaper.

Making a circular saw yourself

Although it is possible to make a circular saw by connecting a blade to any rotating motor, it is best not to do so. Even if you are an experienced engineer, homespun circular saws will not possess all of the safety features that a manufactured one will do. Among the chief problems is how to hold the blade properly so that it does not snap when in use, something which could lead to minor injuries at best.

Safety instructions when dealing with circular saws

Safety instructions from a Circular Saw review and comparisonMake sure that your power cord is kept away from the cutting blade of your saw. Accidentally cutting through it can result in a shock. Make sure it won’t get caught up around your feet when using it either. For cordless models, it is best to make sure that your battery pack is fully charged so that the saw performs at its best when you are operating it. Several cordless circular saw models offer users the chance to review the remaining power level with a display but this is by no means universal.

Another good safety tip is to ensure that sections of cutaway material can fall away to one side after they have been cut. As such, it is best to use one on a workbench or a similar raised platform. Keep your workpiece clamped or in a vice so that it is secured firmly and does not slip as you use a handheld circular saw.

Even if you have a waste pipe connected to a bag or a vacuum cleaner, it is a good idea to wear a face mask so that you don’t breath in any of the dust from the sawing. Equally, wearing safety goggles is best to avoid shards from flying into your eyes. Finally, don’t set the blade too deep which means you need to apply a lot of force. Instead, it is best to make an initial incision to cut part way through and then lower the blade for a subsequent pass. This means the saw is less liable to kick back at you when operating it.

How to set up a circular saw correctly in 4 steps

Step 1

Step 1

Whether you are installing a new circular table saw or a handheld one, the most important job is to make sure the blade you are fitting is lined up correctly. Place something that is straight against the blade while the saw is unplugged and ensure it meets the base plate or the table at right angles at either end of the tool with a set square.

Step 2

Step 2

Ensure that the blade depth is adjusted to the level you want to cut at. Again, this is something that should only be attempted when the power tool is not operational. You can usually review the height of the blade by checking a gauge that is next to the product’s depth adjustment knob.

Step 3

Step 3

If you have purchased a circular saw which has a guidance laser on the front of it, then there should be nothing you need to do to set it up other than to test it is working properly before you begin sawing.

Step 4

Step 4

Many circular saws on the market have two operational speeds. Test each of them before you begin to cut. It is often best to make a minor incision into the material you are cutting at the lower speed and to remove the saw to make sure you are in exactly the right position before proceeding with the rest of the cut as full speed.

10 tips for the care and maintenance of a circular saw

Tip 1

Tip 1

It is best to review your workpiece and remove nails and screws from any wood you are going to cut through before you get started since this will make the blade last longer.

Tip 2

Tip 2

Allow your battery pack to fully charge, especially the first time you use your circular saw, to ensure a long life.

Tip 3

Tip 3

It is best use a proper cross-cut blade if you are going to saw through wood against the grain. They are specifically designed for this purpose.

Tip 4

Tip 4

Plywood blades are designed to cut through composite woods so use this type if you want to avoid splintering.

Tip 5

Tip 5

A nylon brush is the best thing to clean a blade before you stow it away. Avoid abrasive wire brushes which can cause damage.

Tip 6

Tip 6

Check over your handheld circular saw before you put it away. A quick visual review can help to spot minor problems before they become big ones.

Tip 7

Tip 7

Don’t be tempted to lay a circular saw down with its weight going through the blade. Instead, it is best to extend the safety guard so this does not happen or to place it on its side.

Tip 8

Tip 8

If you keep your circular saw in humid or moist conditions, then it will age prematurely. It is best to avoid sheds near to swimming pools and so on.

Tip 9

Tip 9

Review the oil settings on your circular saw in the owner’s manual. Most manufacturers recommend a certain grade of oil to keep your tool from overheating so check this and keep it topped up.

Tip 10

Tip 10

The base plate, or shoe, of a circular saw can become roughed up or even gouged as it is used. To avoid this leading to poor cuts in future, it is best to use some sandpaper to remove them.

Useful accessories for circular saws

Useful accessories for Circular Saws from a review and comparisonThe best accessories to have in your toolkit for circular saws is a range of different blades for various jobs. Framing blades are good for everyday use such as rough carpentry jobs but you might want a thin kerf blade if you are cutting into a precious material, such as tropical hardwood, for example. Turbo rim blades, often fitted with diamonds, are excellent for tough cutting jobs, such as concrete or stone.

For safety, goggles, gloves and a dust mask are also best to have available. In addition, you may need to keep your workpiece secured in a manner that a conventional vice cannot cope with so additional devices, like G or C-clamps can be beneficial. For table saws, kill switches can be a big advantage. Lastly, spare dust bags are best if you are going to use a handheld circular saw all day long.

Alternatives to using a circular saw

Cutting in a straight line with a power tool can also be done with a jigsaw. However, many people find they do not offer them the same level of control.

An alternative tool to a table saw would be a band saw although, once more, these don’t necessarily produce the same, straight-line results that a circular blade will do. If you are worried about the potential for a kick back from such a powerful hand tool, then it is best to opt for a hand saw instead.


Can a circular saw cut a tile?

It is possible to do this. Operate your saw with a slow speed and apply gentle pressure after the tile has been scored.

Why choose a circular saw?

Circular saws are superior than other types of saw for cutting straight lines. If you don’t need to cut for carpentry of joinery, then another type may be preferable.

Why does a circular saw kick back?

The powerful motor of a circular saw can kick back if the blade is pinched when it is cutting. Therefore, this type of saw is inappropriate for felling trees and so on.

How are circular saw blades made?

Circular saw blades are factory made these days and sometime laser cut for precision teeth. The shape of the teeth differs depending on the material it is designed to cut through.

Are circular saw blades universal?

No they sometimes have different apertures so not all of them fit with all models of circular saw. You need to check compatibility.

Which circular saw blade is best for MDF?

FAQ from a Circular Saw review and comparisonAny circular saw blade that is designed to cut through wood will be fine for sawing through MDF.

Where was the circular saw invented?

Although the earliest recorded use of one was in England, many scholars believe this technology was originally developed by carpenters in Germany in the 18th century.

Where to rent a circular saw?

There are hire places all of the UK which provide temporary access to a range of power tools. Given they are becoming more and more affordable, buying one is often preferable.

What circular saw blade should you buy?

This depends on the job you need it for. If you don’t have a specific material you need to cut through, then opt for a general purpose blade instead.

Can circular saw blades be sharpened?

Yes. Use a file to sharpen your blade’s teeth. Clamp you blade in a vice while you do this so you can work on it safely.


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