corded circular saws

Best Corded Circular Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2019

Best Corded Circular Saw Reviews 2019

For jobs big and small, a corded circular saw is one of the most useful and versatile power saws on the market. Whether you are an avid DIYer, a professional laborer, or a master woodworker, nearly everyone can find a use for a circular saw. That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best corded circular saw reviews as well as a helpful buyer’s guide. We personally feel that the DEWALT or the Makita are the best options for most people, but you have to keep reading to find out the best deals.

DEWALT DWE575SB 7-1/4-Inch Lightweight Corded Circular Saw with Electric Brake – Best Seller

dewalt corded circular saw dwe575sb
https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DWE575SB-Lightweight-Circular-Electric/dp/B007QUZ16A/
DEWALT is one of the big daddies in the power tool market, so it should come as little surprise that it is the best-selling circular saw on the market. That said, DEWALT handheld power saws are not without their faults and are just as often more name than game. With the DEWALT DWE575SB, we see a circular saw that does pretty much everything you need it to do and for however long you need to do it. Unfortunately, the use of subpar Chinese manufacturing limits the quality and versatility of this circular saw.

Good Power
Though the DEWALT does not actually top our list in any of the cutting power categories, it does still provide an all-around solid amount of cutting power. Part of this is due to the industry-standard, powerful 15 amp motor that the DEWALT uses. On top of that, the DEWALT features a fairly fast cutting speed of 5200 RPMs which should be more than enough to help prevent the blade from tearing or burning the workpiece. On top of that, the DEWALT also features the deepest maximum cutting depths which makes it a great option for professional laborers who need to make plenty of tough cuts quickly throughout the day.

Decent Extras
Again, the DEWALT does not really lead the market in any meaningful extra features category both in terms of the amount or the quality, but they do offer some solid options. For instance, even though the DEWALT is one of the heavier saws we reviewed, it also features an aluminum shoe to provide strength without too much counterweight. On top of that, the DEWALT also has a bevel cut capacity of 57-degrees with positive stops at 22 ½” and 45”. This is also one of the few circular saws we found that features both an anti-snag guard and electric brake. If only it were more precise, this would arguably be the best circular saw for pretty much any job in which you would use one.

Pros

  • Has a 15 amp motor
  • Has a no-load cutting speed of 5200 RPMs
  • Can make bevels cuts
  • Has deepest maximum cut reviewed
  • Has an aluminum shoe
  • Is a safer circular saw

Cons

  • A more expensive circular saw
  • Not the most precise

Makita 5007MG Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Corded Circular Saw – Top Pick

makita corded circular saw 5007mg
https://www.amazon.com/Makita-5007MG-Magnesium-4-Inch-Circular/dp/B000N5SVEY/
Though other brands may be more popular due to successful marketing campaigns rather than objective performance, Makita is known in the professional power tool market as one of the best brands around. This is not to say that Makita is universally good in all respects as they do have a bit of a focus when designing their tools. Specifically, Makita started as a manufacturer of electric engines and has used that specialty to make some of the most powerful power tools on the market. Unfortunately, this does mean that Makitas are also often less ergonomic and precise with their action than some other professional-grade brands.

Great Power
As anyone familiar with power tools would suspect, the Makita puts plenty of cutting power into their circular saw–though they have been recently surpassed by a longtime competitor. Regardless of the 5007MG’s official ‘ranking,’ this circular saw can chew through lumber for hours without a break and roar for you to cut more. The motor’s 15 amps may not surpass any competitors, but Makita uses precision cut and heat treated gears as well as superior wiring to better transfer the energy generated by the motor to the blade. This shows up as well with the cutting speed as the Makita is second on our list with 5800 RPMs.

Big Player
Because Makita can more easily generate solid cutting power compared to some of their competitors, they have the luxury of focusing on other features without worry. One big difference between the Makita and every other circular saw we came across is the inclusion of two bright LED lights to help visibility in dark workspaces. On top of that, Makita made sure to use as much magnesium in the saw’s construction as possible. Unfortunately, this does little to alleviate the weight from the design as this is one of the heaviest saws on our list. Thankfully, the magnesium foot is lightweight, durable, and provides a decent shoe.

Pros

  • Has a 15 amp motor
  • Has a no-load cutting speed of 5800 RPMs
  • Has built-in LED work lights
  • Has great cutting depths
  • Has a solid shoe
  • Can make bevel cuts

Cons

  • A more expensive circular saw
  • Is a heavier circular saw

Skil 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Corded Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide – Best Value

skil corded circular saw dwe575sb
https://www.amazon.com/5280-01-15-Amp-4-Inch-Circular-Single/dp/B01BD81BLO/
Skil is no longer the professional-grade brand that is was decades ago, but they are positioning themselves nicely as a quality consumer-grade brand. This is important because it means that you should not purchase the Skil circular saw with the intention of using for professional-grade jobs. In fact, arguably the biggest flaw of the Skil is that not only is it not powerful enough for that kind of work, it is not durable enough to handle that amount of heavy-duty use. Still, for the price, this is by far the best circular saw for your average homeowner.

Solid Value
When you look at the specs of the Skil and compare it to many of the professional-grade options on our list, you will notice more similarity than difference. Then, when you look over and notice the price of the Skil is almost three times less than the average price of professional-grade models, this seems like a steal. While the Skil cannot handle a professional workload, it does still come with a 15 amp motor that can achieve cutting speeds of up to 5300 RPMs–both of which are more than enough for 90-percent of all jobs. That said, the cuts themselves are fairly rough and imprecise, so you may need to add a kerf.

Fairly Convenient
Though the Skil may not be ideal for heavy duty work, the company does understand the average consumer value ease above performance. In this regard, the Skil may be the most ergonomic standard circular saw reviewed with its lightweight 7 lb construction being the least we saw. This is further reinforced with a profile design that is the most compact for a standard circular saw. On top of that, the Skil also comes with a laser guide to help those less proficient user maintain a straight cutting line.

Pros

  • A less expensive circular saw
  • Has a compact profile
  • Has a 15 amp motor
  • Has a laser guide
  • Is a lightweight circular saw
  • Can make bevel cuts

Cons

  • Not the most durable
  • Not the most precise

WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2″ Compact Corded Circular Saw – WX429L – Runner Up

worx corded circular saw wx429l
https://www.amazon.com/WORX-WORXSAW-4-1-Compact-Circular/dp/B00ZFR4GJE/
One glance at the WORX circular saw is all you need to see that this product is not like the others. In fact, the WORX WX429L is not your standard circular saw but instead is a compact circular saw. This carries with it some important considerations but one of the most notable, and obvious, is that this circular saw cannot accomplish many of the same tasks as a standard size circular saw. On the other hand, the small profile and lightweight design allow the WORX to be used for tasks that a standard circular saw cannot accomplish.

Like Dynamite
Though the works may have the smallest profile on our list, that does not mean it is a poorly performing or weak circular saw. However, it does have a 4 amp motor which is significantly less than any other option we reviewed and will limit both the jobs you can do with it and the speed it can cut. That said, so long as you use the proper technique and take your time, there are not too many types of cuts a standard circular saw can make that the WORX cannot. In this regard, the most limiting quality of the WORX to compete with a standard circular saw comes in the blade size which still allows for a surprising maximum cutting depth of 2”.

Ups and Downs
Because of its compact size and left arrangement, the WORX actually offers one of the better sightlines that we found. On the other hand, being able to see the line you cut may not help as much if you need to use a guide as they are flimsy and imprecise. Still, the WORX does as much as it can to make using it easy including a one-handed operation design as well as a one-handed blade adjustment for both depth and bevel. Finally, the WORX is one of the few circular saws legitimately able to design their product ergonomically.

Pros

  • A less expensive circular saw
  • Is a compact circular saw
  • The lightest circular saw reviewed
  • Has a great sightline
  • Can make bevel cuts
  • Is easy to use

Cons

  • The weakest cutting power reviewed
  • Not the best guards

Bosch CS5 120-Volt 7-1/4-Inch Corded Circular Saw – Also Consider

bosch corded circular saw cs5
https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-CS5-120-Volt-4-Inch-Circular/dp/B000WMDBIE/
Along with Makita and Milwaukee, Bosch is another major power tool manufacturer which sits firmly in the professional-grade market. As such, some of you may be scratching your head why the CS5 is only a runner-up, but Bosch needs to make a few design changes before it can surpass some of our other entries. Still, the Bosch can be a great option for someone looking to make some of the fastest, roughest cuts you will see.

Surprising Power
Considering that Bosch is known more for its precision than its power, it may come as a bit of a surprise to our readers that this is actually the most powerful circular saw on our list. Even better, Bosch was able to accomplish this feat without sacrificing much of their characteristic precision. The motor itself is not terribly impressive coming in at the standard 15 amps, but the transmission is able to generate cutting speeds of up to 6200 RPMs which is both the fastest on our list and quick enough for the hardest of woods. When you combine the cutting power with a solid cutting depth, it almost makes up for some of the Bosch’s flaws.

Odd Spot
Based on the fact that the Bosch is not only the most powerful circular saw we reviewed but also one of the more precise, you may be wondering why it is ranked so low on our list. Basically, the Bosch CS5 is afflicted with certain flaws that are not really found on other models and can be deal breakers for a number of users. First and foremost, the Bosch is by far the heaviest circular saws we reviewed which complicates the issue of the shoe further. Essentially, the Bosch CS5 has a flimsy shoe which is known for bending and warping rather easily–something made worse because of the Bosch’s weight.

Pros

  • Has a 15 amp motor
  • Has a great guard
  • Can make bevel cuts
  • Has the fastest cutting speed reviewed
  • Has a good sightline
  • Has solid cutting depths

Cons

  • Has a flimsy shoe
  • The heaviest saw reviewed

Best Corded Circular Saw Buying Guide 2019

Power
Because of the type of cuts and situations of use, power is arguably more important for a corded circular saw than it is for any other kind of handheld power saw. Circular saws can be seen as the draft horse of the power saw family: straightforward and without artifice but able to do heavy labor for extended periods of time without issue. However, a big part of why circular saws are able to work for so long without a problem is due to the power they provide. Keep in mind, with a more powerful the circular saw not only can it make a wider range of cuts but each cut causes less wear and tear to the motor as well.

That said, simply getting the most powerful circular saw may not necessarily be the best idea depending on what kind of cuts you expect to make most often. For example, if you are a professional laborer who is liable to make upwards of dozens of long rip cuts through an inch or more of various hardwoods, you should probably go ahead and spring for a more powerful circular saw. On the other hand, if you only use your saw to cut consumer-grade wood or other materials for a handful of projects a year, you may not need to pay as much money to get the most powerful circular saw.

It is also worth noting that the more power the saw generates, generally the less precise the cut. This is because a more powerful motor will inherently vibrate more than a less powerful motor–vibrations which will then be translated along the blade. While many manufacturers add features to help reduce this effect, there will always be a little bit of play, and the more powerful the motor, the more imprecise the cut. As such, circular saws used for woodworking projects may not necessarily use the industry-standard 15 amp motor in order to provide more precise cuts.

Speed
When judging power saws, the cutting speed can often be a bit of a red herring manufacturers use to market their product to you. However, when it comes to corded circular saws, the cutting speed is far more important due to the most common uses for the power saw. Basically, corded circular saws were designed to make a number of longer rip cuts or shorter crosscuts. This versatility, while incredibly valuable, means that the circular saw needs to be able to handle a wide range of different types of woods making some of the more difficult cuts. While the power and torque generated will ultimately determine how easy it is to make the cut, the cutting speed will impact how quickly you can make the cut.

In this instance, you want a circular saw that cuts quickly because it will allow you to make a quicker cut and carries with it a far less chance of burning the cut face. That said, it is important to remember that different hardnesses and densities of wood will require an adjustment to the cutting speed. On top of that, the likelihood that the saw blade will burn the cut face of the workpiece is primarily dependent on feeding the blade at the proper rate. If you try to cut too quickly, it does not matter what the cutting speed or power of the circular saw is–you will either tear or burn the workpiece depending on the material’s hardness.

Cut Depth
Once you make sure that your circular saw has the power and speed to make the kind of cuts on the types of material you are most likely to use, you need to make sure that it can make the breadth of cuts you will need. If you are unlikely to use the circular saw for making cuts to workpieces over an inch thick, this is less of a concern. This is also not too terribly unlikely as most small consumer projects require workpieces thicker than that. Of course, if you want to cut one of the most common lengths of lumber, the 2×4, then you are going to have to look more carefully.

That said, cut depth is not actually a singular spec but instead covers a couple of different specs–though one is far more important than the other. The two cutting depths of note are at 90-degrees and at a 45-degree bevel, though it is the 90-degree cutting depth you should pay more attention to. For one, the 90-degree cut is overwhelmingly more common than the bevel cut, though a corded circular saw is liable to make more necessary bevel cuts than most other types of power saw. On top of that, the bevel cut is unlikely to be made on a 2×4 and would use a different type of power saw if it were. Still, with this being the case, you will want to make sure that your corded circular saw has a 90-degree cutting depth of at least 2”.

Shoe
Though there are a number of different components and moving parts on a corded circular saw, arguably the most important is the shoe. The shoe, or base plate, is a thin metal sheet that sits between the workpiece and the saw and helps guide the blade while maintaining stability. This component can cause more frustration for professionals and imprecise cuts for DIYers than any other if it is not up to snuff. That said, making a good circular saw shoe is a bit more nuanced than it might first appear.

This is because the shoe needs to be made of a material that is strong enough to handle professional use but does not add undue weight and increase the amount of fatigue you feel after using it for an extended period of time. While steel is a popular choice because of how strong it is, steel is also the heaviest material used for circular saw shoes. Many manufacturers have sought to strike a fine balance between strength and ergonomics by using aluminum alloys, magnesium, or tungsten. These materials are incredibly strong and durable for their weight, though they are not as strong and durable as steel.

Ergonomics
As manufacturers further continue to refine corded circular saws, more and more attention is paid to factors that do not actually impact how well the power saw performs at its designated function. Instead, manufacturers are looking for innovative ways to redesign the circular saw from the ground up so that it is easier to use. All of these features are considered part of ergonomics, though they can affect wildly different aspects of using the product. Some ergonomic qualities can be fairly straightforward like the product dimensions of its weight while other ergonomic qualities may not be immediately obvious on first glance. Regardless of how apparent the feature is, all ergonomic qualities are designed to make using the circular saw easier in general.

Still, some features like the product weight focus on how the power saw fatigues you while using it for extended periods of time. Essentially, the lighter the circular saw, the less fatigue you will feel compared to a heavier saw over the same period of time. Other features that can further reduce fatigue include a trigger start as well as an automatic switch–though this last feature can be incredibly dangerous without proficiency. Other ergonomic features may reduce fatigue, but they are ultimately designed more for ease of use at the moment. A compact profile and molded handle with a comfortable grip are two of the most common features added for this effect.

Ease of Use
This is another area where manufacturers are beginning to put more resources and attention towards as they refine their designs. Of course, the ease of use has very little in common with ergonomics and is generally seen as more important for DIYers who might not be as experienced or skilled as professional laborers or woodworkers. Still, most ease of use features will improve the user experience of any skill level so long as the feature works as intended. For instance, nobody enjoys the issues that dust buildup can cause both to the workpiece and to the user. As such, a high-quality dust vac or vac port is considered an incredibly valuable feature, even if it comes at a bit of a premium. Some of the most well-received qualities to this end involve making it easier to see the cut you are making.

This should not be underestimated in terms of value as circular saws once were far more frustrating to use. These days, many manufacturers are switching to a left-aligned design to provide a more direct line of sight to the cut point. Some manufacturers even go above and beyond this by adding a laser sight guide or LED work lights, though of the two the latter is generally seen as more important for professional purposes than the former. Other ease of use qualities involve various guards which are not only designed to protect the user but also keep the workpiece stable and aligned throughout the cut.

FAQ’s

When to Use a Corded Circular Saw

Given how much corded circular saws can accomplish, you would be forgiven for thinking it was the only power saw you need. In fact, while the circular saw is incredibly versatile, there are a wide range of cuts for which it is not ideal. While the specific types of cuts vary from circular saw to circular saw, the one thing that carries over from saw to saw is precision. Basically, circular saws are some of the least precise cutting saws on the market–which is not really much of an issue if you use a circular saw in the right situation.

Essentially, circular saws are great for pretty much most rough and even intermediate cuts, but there is not a circular saw in production which is capable of making woodworking finish cuts. As such, circular saws are best used either when you expect to go back over the workpiece and provide a finish or when you just need to make rough cuts. It is this latter situation where we find the circular saw to be the most useful since it can make rough cuts especially quickly and for an extended period of time. As such, if you are working on a project with larger workpieces, like a deck, rough cuts will carry you through. However, if you are working on a project with incredibly delicate and exquisite workpieces, you probably should put down the circular saw.

How to Choose a Corded Circular Saw

Though we have provided you with a great list and solid buyer’s guide, knowing about the products and the market does not necessarily tell you which one is right for you. In this case, you need to figure out which kinds of projects you are liable to work on and select the circular saw designed for that purpose. You can get a less expensive, lower powered model, but it will take you twice as long to cut larger, thicker, harder workpieces.

Likewise, you can opt for the most powerful, most expensive model, but you will run through workpieces if you try to make precise cuts on fragile workpieces. Instead, the right approach is to identify which jobs you need the circular saw for and to pick the circular saw that is best suited for those tasks. This means that a professional laborer or experienced woodworker could easily have multiple corded circular saws for different purposes.

Troubleshooting Your Corded Circular Saw

Because of how powerful and versatile a circular saw is, people will regularly use it in ways not intended. This can lead to a poor cutting action or the circular saw failing outright. The first thing you should do any time you are having cutting difficulties is to check the saw blade. This may seem a bit basic, but much like turning an electronic device off and then back on, the overwhelming majority of circular saw issues can be remedied with a sharpened blade. The other major issue often affecting the quality of the cutting action is that alignment of the blade which can be difficult to fix if the manufacturer uses a poor blade bolt. Otherwise, realigning the blade and making sure it is fastened with the proper amount of torque will fix the other half of most problems.

Conclusion

In the end, the best corded circular saw will likely depend more on the type of jobs you have to do than anything else. While price or proficiency may come into play, most circular saws are similar enough in these regards that the jobs ultimately break the ties. That being said, the Makita and DEWALT are the best circular saws for the most jobs due in a large part because of their power and durability. This allows these two corded circular saws to be used heavily for professional-grade jobs without failing under the load. Of course, if you are looking for something a bit less expensive, SKIL has an okay option, but it is not that durable. For a more compact profile, the WORX is a solid circular saw, though it is the least powerful circular saw reviewed.