Circular Saw Guide
When it comes to getting clean cuts on even the toughest of materials, there’s nothing comparable to the circular saw. Whether it’s MDF, heavy timber, or any other material, this tool should prove to be a handy companion for a number of years. After a quick look online, you’re likely to find numerous models offering various cutting depths and cutting capacities; so how do you know which to choose? Well, we’ve created a guide with everything you need to know!
If you choose the wrong saw for your needs, you’ll encounter issues from the very start so let’s have a look at the most important features.
Speed - Often, people look for high speeds without really understanding why but it all comes down to control. If a motor can turn the blade quickly, the user has more control and this equates to cleaner cuts. As you look for a model, you’ll see RPM mentioned and this stands for ‘revolutions per minute’; our reviews a little later should allow you to compare some examples.
Blade Size - As you choose a blade, this’ll directly impact the depth of the cut as well as the capacity. We should note here that you don’t have to stick with the blade that comes with the unit since other blades may fit. Regardless, the key detail here is ‘maximum cutting depth at x degrees’ since this explains how deep each cut will go at different angles. While some saws will cut deeper at 0 degrees, others will go further when at a 45-degree bevel.
What do you need? If your concern is with cutting straight down into a material, you can look out for this number when shopping the market.
Design - If you plan on using the saw regularly, and for extended periods of time, we also advise looking for a model that offers a sleek design and efficient handle. Without these additions, it won’t be long before you’re putting the tool down for yet another break as it feels heavy on your arms and shoulders. Typically, the bigger brands in the market have considered this after the many years of customer feedback so it shouldn't be trouble finding an ergonomic saw.
Other Features - While these are the main concerns when buying a circular saw, you can also look out for various safety mechanisms or features that’ll make your experience more enjoyable. For example, many will have an automatic shut-off system to prevent the motor from overheating. Before such an invention, the user would have to take regular breaks or else just buy replacement motors (that’s if the overheating didn't damage other areas of the saw too).
Elsewhere, an automatic braking system will stop the saw in an emergency while LED lights just make working in darker environments that little bit easier. As long as a saw has the essentials, it’s then down to you what additional features you want. Talking of features, let’s have a look what the market currently offers!
Bosch Professional Corded 240V Circular Saw
- Choose between 110V or 240V
- 70mm cutting depth
- 56 degrees bevel capacity
- Compact design
- Turbo blower
If it’s power you’re looking for, this Bosch model will be a great place to start. In truth, not many can compete with the 240V offered by Bosch and, as you’ve probably guessed, this is made easier because it’s corded. For some, this’ll be a big disadvantage but the power allows for a 70mm cutting depth and the turbo blower means you won’t have to keep stopping to clear the dust. Furthermore, you can tell the manufacturer has thought about the cutting process because a clever wood chip deflector provides a fuller view of the workspace.
Despite the extreme power in this saw, the unit itself is actually sleek and versatile. With a soft-grip handle and a fan-cooled motor, there’s no reason why you can’t work on long projects without the whole experience becoming uncomfortable. When the manufacturers work so much on power and the blade, they often forget about the consumer and their experience. Luckily, Bosch is known for well-designed products and this circular saw is no different.
In terms of the blade, this is a TCT blade with 16 teeth; 56 degrees also seems to be the limit when creating an angle. If you’re likely to put your saw down for a number of days or weeks, Bosch has created a blow-moulded case to keep the model protected (we’ve all damaged our own tools in the past while in the shed or garage so this case is a great bonus!).
Ryobi 18V Cordless Brushless Circular Saw
- 40% more run time
- Consistent cutting speed with E-control
- 55mm cutting depth
- 185mm 24 TCT blade
Within the One+ range from Ryobi, there are now over 70 tools for those who like to work around the home and garden. With this particular model, the performance remains strong despite being cordless and this has been a major advancement in the industry in recent times. Thanks to the E-control system, the saw should last 40% longer compared to older models and the combination of blade and motor allows for cuts on materials up to 55mm thick.
Where does the extra run time come from? The motor is ‘brushless’ which utilizes efficient technology and is known to last longer than brushed motors (as well as providing 20% more power!). With an adjustable bevel, users take full control depending on the job at hand. Although the product comes without a charger and battery, you may already have these if you own any Ryobi 18V One+ product. In case you didn't know, the same battery fits all the tools across the One+ range which should go some way to explaining why it’s so popular.
Finally, the blade measures at 185mm which is why they have suggested 55mm as the maximum cutting depth. If you choose to go with Ryobi, you’ll have protection in the shape of a three-year warranty, adjustments can be made without requiring tools, and you can even enjoy a rotatable dust port for even more comfort when working extensively with the tool.
VonHaus 1200W Circular Saw
- 1,200W of input power
- Tool-free blade changing
- 185mm TCT blade
- 65mm cutting depth
- 5,000 revolutions per minute
- Two-year warranty
Once again, we have a well-known brand and the circular saw in question offers strong performance across the board. For example, the 1,200W should be more than enough for any projects you have in your home. Meanwhile, the 185mm TCT blade will be strong enough to cut up to 65mm thanks to a motor that produces 5,000 revolutions per minute. Whether it’s thick pieces of timber or thin pieces of material, you shouldn't have a problem maintaining a clean cut from start to finish.
With this solid foundation, it’s then about what extras the model can offer. With VonHaus, you’ll have a two-year warranty which is always beneficial. Although we hope a saw will last a number of years, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. If it does, and it’s within the first couple of years, this suggests a problem with the saw as opposed to general wear and tear; the warranty will give you support from the manufacturer.
Additionally, the blade can be changed without needing a spindle wrench. If you want to replace the blade, the process is pain-free (which is more than can be said for the models years ago!). Furthermore, there’s a dust extraction system which has the purpose of keeping a workspace clear and should then make all tasks that little bit easier.
Makita Cordless 18V Circular Saw
- Maximum cutting depth of 57mm
- Ergonomic design
- 18V motor
- 22-minute charge time
From a quick look at the main features above, you can probably tell that the previous models we’ve seen are stronger across most areas. In fact, Makita has even stated that this model has been designed and developed as a ‘cost-competitive’ sister saw for their main circular saw. However, this doesn’t make it any more useful (as long as it still suits your needs). If you want a saw you can rely on every so often, rather than every single day, the Makita DSS611 might be the one for you.
Compared to the DSS610, there are some important differences including the removal of the LED light, electric brake, and blower function. This being said, it retains the sleek design and offers an 18V lithium-ion battery which is said to last longer than Ni-Cad and Ni-MH batteries. The high-quality grips ensure the user is comfortable while sawing, and the removable dust nozzle provide some flexibility.
What about the cutting depth? Well, this is where the model comes into its own. Although it won’t cut as deep as other saws we’ve seen, there are three cutting depths depending on the angle you use. For example, a 90-degree angle will yield a cutting depth of 57mm, a 45-degree angle allows for 40mm, and there are other options too. Once again, this highlights the flexibility and makes this option ideal for awkward or tricky tasks.
Evolution FURY Circular Saw
- Evolution multi-material cutting technology
- 1,200W hi-torque motor
- F185-TCT blade with 16 teeth
- 60mm cutting depth
- Up to 45 degrees bevel tilt
- Three-year warranty
Finally, we want to show you a product that allows you to make decisions over exactly what saw you receive. You can buy the regular product, or a little extra investment will see it come with an additional FURY blade, Wood blade, or Diamond blade. With the saw itself, it offers Evolution multi-material cutting technology which is actually patented so you won’t find it with any other manufacturer. With any blade, you shouldn't have a problem cutting wood, plastic, mild steel, and non-ferrous metals. If you go for the additional Diamond blade, this extends to concrete, brick, and stone.
Often, cutting mild steel can cause all sorts of problems but you’ll have a workable finish within seconds with Evolution. Also, it doesn’t produce extreme heat, burrs, or sparks; not many companies can say this about their product. All this is possible because of the 1,200W hi-torque motor and an F185-TCT multi-purpose blade. Anywhere between 0 and 45 degrees, you should be able to cut to a depth of 60mm.
We believe this circular saw suits anybody looking for versatility; through different angles and materials, this Evolution product will be a handy companion. What’s more, the three-year warranty keeps you protected should anything happen to go wrong (note: this only applies for those who purchase in the UK).
Best Circular Saws
Thank you for reading our extensive circular saw guide, you should now have the information you need to buy a saw of your own. Remember, think of the projects you need to complete and choose a saw to match. This way, you won’t be disappointed and it’ll last for years to come!
Last update on 2018-10-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API