In today’s article, we will review and compare the best circular saw that money can buy. By definition, the term ‘circular saw’ encompasses a variety of other saws, such as a mitre saw or table saw. The most widely accepted definition in woodworking terms “circular saw” refers specifically to the hand-held type which we will be specifically reviewing today. To make naming matters even more interesting, the hand-held circular saw also goes by ‘skill saw’. Most modern-day circular saws run off of electricity. Below you will find both the tested and proven corded varieties, as well as the newer lithium-ion battery-powered circular saws which do equally as good as a job. They just tend to be more expensive. All in all, the circular saw has come a very long way from its humble beginnings in timber cutting.
The history of Circular Saws
The circular saw was invented around the end of the 18th century as a rip saw to convert logs into lumber (timber) in sawmills and various claims have been made as to who invented the circular saw. Before the design was invented logs were sawn by hand using a pit saw or using powered saws in a sawmill using an up-and-down saw with a reciprocating motion. The rotary nature of the circular saw requires more power to operate but cuts faster because the teeth are in constant motion.
Why would someone choose a Circular Saw over say a Mitre Saw or Table Saw?
The answer lies in the amount of usage and what you are using it for. If you are an average consumer and just need to do simple fixes around the house then a circular saw is right up your alley. Now if you have say a full kitchen to create then I would recommend something more heavy duty and precise like a Mitre Saw.
Typically, the material to be cut is securely clamped or held in a vise, and the saw is advanced slowly across it. In variants such as the table saw, the saw is fixed and the material to be cut is slowly moved into the saw blade. As each tooth in the blade strikes the material, it makes a small chip. The teeth guide the chip out of the workpiece, preventing it from binding the blade.
Characteristics of the circular saw include:
• Cutting is by teeth on the edge of a metal blade or by an abrasive wheel
• The cut has narrow kerf and relatively smooth surface finish
• Cuts are straight and relatively accurate
• The saw usually leaves burrs on the cut edge of metal and plastic (which should then be addressed with sandpaper)
• Saw setting should be done geometrically
These above characteristics are all qualities we want to look for in our saw. Also, below we will be taking into account the type of power, both corded or battery-powered, motor power, build quality, and the all-important manufacturer’s warranty. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be able to make an educated and precise decision on which is the best circular saw that fits both your workload and your budget. Now let’s get to our list of the best circular saws available in the UK! For your convenience, each saw is linked to Amazon for you to further read reviews and or purchase.
Our Pick as the Best Circular Saw: Makita HS7601J/2 190 mm Corded Circular Saw Review
As mentioned in previous articles the Makita brand is my longtime favourite and go to for any of my woodworking needs. In this article, we will be comparing two separate Makita Skill saws against each other. This model has a cord and the other one is cordless. Keep in mind for most brands the cordless model will set you back more money than the corded one. This particular model is extremely compact and lightweight. Definitely portable in its MakPac Carry Case. The 190mm blade with a bore diameter of 46mm has a maximum cut at 90 degrees of 66 mm and 46 mm at 45 degrees. I found the single action lever a nice touch for quick adjustment of cutting depth. As the second cheapest corded Circular saw it is a spectacular value for the price and avidly competes with other more expensive models on this list. As with all Makita products a full 3-year warranty is included.
Cheap Circular Saw: Evolution FURY1-B Multi-Purpose Corded Circular Saw Review
This is the cheapest Corded Circular saw on the list and my goodness is it a great value! The more I get to experience and use in the field the Evolution line of saws the more I like them. They are a newcomer in this field but their new technology is a welcome addition to circular saws in general. They utilize the patented Evolution Multipurpose cutting technology which is optimized to cut mild steel, nonferrous metals, wood and plastic all with one 185 mm blade. In Lehmans terms, the saw is using a high torque low RPM gear box to slowly chip away at the surface rather than ripping through it. These leads to some impressive results as steel will not spark or produce heat and is left with an instantly workable finish. This saw has a 0-45 degree bevel tilt and the 185 mm FURY multipurpose TCT blade (16 teeth) is included. Also, for those purchasing in the UK a 3-year warranty is included.
Bosch Professional GKS 190 Corded 240 V Circular Saw Review
Bosch and DeWalt have always been on the forefront of build quality. This Corded 240 v Circular saw is no exception. It is one of the highest motor powers in its class for fast sawing progress in both soft or hardwood. Given its power, I found it relatively portable. Not as portable as the Makita but definitely holds its own. At 90 degrees the 190 mm blade has a maximum cutting depth of 70mm and a bevel capability up to 56 degrees. In some models of circular saws, excess debris can cause a visibility issue and can get just downright messy. I found the turbo blower and the optimized wood chip deflector were extremely efficient at keeping a dust free view of the cutting line. Thus far this is my favourite in terms of quality to price ratio for the corded varieties I reviewed here.
DeWalt 240V 184mm Corded Compact Circular Saw Review
DeWalt has been a leader in the industry for a very long time and consistently shows in its quality. This is a 240v corded circular saw and later down the list we will be comparing the cordless DeWalt. The 184 mm blade has a maximum cut depth of 65 mm. For the same price, I would recommend that one looks at the Bosch above for slightly better specifications. I did find the anti-snag lower guard and the high strength magnesium upper guard to be of great assistance in consistently creating even cuts.
BLACK+DECKER CD602 Circular Saw Review
I don’t often review too many Black and Decker products but I chose to include this particular saw because of all the amazing reviews it received online. It is slightly more expensive than some other offerings but also has some features not seen on other saws. I was blown away by how little noise and vibration this saw made. Also, the depth of cut adjustment made changing depth on the fly super easy. As is with most Black and Decker’s this unit comes with a 2-year guarantee. Even though this saw performs well and has abundant features I cannot justify the extra 10 pounds when one could go with a Bosch or DeWalt.
Best Cordless Circular Saw: DeWalt 18V 165mm XR Battery Circular Saw Review
The Lithium -Ion technology has come leaps and bounds in the past few years. Not only do they charge faster now but they also hold and give out a lot more power. The 18V Lithium Ion battery in this unit is part of the intelligent XR Lithium Ion Series designed for efficiency. This coupled with the powerful and highly efficient PM58 DeWalt fan cooled motor with replaceable brushes delivers up to 3700 rotations per minute for fast cutting action. In comparison to the above corded model, it generates less power. However, this cordless circular saw is powerful enough to get through most jobs with ease. I suppose one has to question whether or not they want the complete mobility that comes from having no cord or not. Keep in mind that for the price above a battery is not included and the DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion Battery 4AH will set you back an additional 40-50 pounds.
Makita Cordless Circular Saw Review: Makita DSS611Z LXT
As the second Makita in this review, this is the cordless skill saw variety. Once again in today’s market, it depends on what kind of mobility you are looking for in your saw. If you want complete freedom then cordless is the way to go. The 165 mm blade with a 20 mm bore diameter has a maximum cut depth of 57 mm at 90 degrees and only 40 mm at 45 degrees. Unlike its corded brother cuts will not be as deep with this saw. I was happy to see the battery even though not included did have a quick charge time of only 22 minutes. Even though this unit lacked some power it made up for it in its great compact and lightweight design. This would be a perfect cordless circular saw for the average consumer or even a gift for someone looking to get into woodworking. As always, all Makita saws come with a 3-year warranty so you are sure to see many great years of usage.
WORX WX427 XL 710W Mini Circular Saw Review
As the final saw on the list, this is a smaller and lightweight version of a circular saw. This Worx is probably the best mini circular saw you can buy online in the UK. The reason being that it is somewhat unique in its versatility. The 710W motor has enough power to cut through both tiles and masonry as well as plastic and metal. However, for similar features and more power, one would look into the Evolution Fury above as I found the cuts to be slightly cleaner. Furthermore, you won’t need to change out the blades with the Evolution as you will with this depending on what you are cutting. The blades have a maximum cutting depth of 46mm at 90 degrees. One of my favourite features is the form factor of the saw. It physically looks different than the norm and is suitable for one-handed operation with its ergonomically designed slim inline grip. Also, the laser guide was a great addition to improve the accuracy of my plunge and regular cuts. Therefore, you can make use of it as a cheap plunge saw as well. So, for smaller jobs and easy handling, it’s definitely worth considering.
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Best Corded Circular Saw
The Bosch Professional GKS 190 Corded 240 V Circular Saw for a reasonable price – hands down, wins the highest quality corded circular saw. It is corded but exceeds the power and cut depth of almost all other saws on this list and is contained in a well-constructed and designed body all under the Bosch name. The fact is that the cordless technology has advanced drastically but it just hasn’t been able to trump the corded variety. If you are looking for the best cordless circular saw, I would recommend the DeWalt 18V 165mm XR Lithium-Ion Circular Saw.
Best Budget Circular Saw
The Evolution FURY1-B Multi-Purpose Corded Circular Saw that is cheaply priced, by far wins the Best Budget Circular Saw. For approximately half the price of Bosch and DeWalt you are getting more than ample power coupled with the versatility of one blade that can cut through both metal and wood alike all in a beautiful form factor. The icing on the cake is the saw comes with a 3-year manufactures warranty if purchased in the UK.
Best Cordless Circular Saw
If mobility is important to you, then look no further than the DeWalt battery powered circular saw. The battery life is long enough to get you through most of the jobs. If you attach a 5 A.h. battery to it – it will be powerful enough to do most jobs just fine. This is a great addition to any serious DIYer out there. Please bear in mind that you need to purchase a battery and a charger as we only included the body in our cordless circular saw reviews.
Can I use a bigger blade on my circular saw?
Technically speaking, you can but there’s no way me or any other professional would recommend it. If you do, however, make sure that the maximum rpm rating of the blade will not be exceeded by saw. Also, your saw will be underpowered by a larger blade, as the larger diameter will require more power from the motor to provide the same cutting power at the tooth. Therefore, if you overstress your motor, it creates more heat than the one he is designed to remove and, as we all know, heat kills a motor.
I hope you’ll find these circular saw reviews useful. At the end of the day, it all comes down to your budget, needs and brand loyalty. Whether you plan to buy a corded one or you prefer the mobility a battery-powered one offers you, there are a few things you need to know before starting to cut. Use it in a safe manner because, no matter what, safety always comes first. Happy cutting!