Milwaukee 6394-21
Milwaukee 6394-21

Best corded circular saw.

Reviews praise the 7.25-inch Milwaukee 6394-21 circular saw for smooth, accurate cuts, easy adjustments, excellent balance and comfort. It has an electric brake for safety, a Quik-Lok cord attachment and onboard blade-wrench storage. The Tilt-Lok handle adjusts to keep the saw balanced, and a front handle provides extra control. The 10-pound Milwaukee saw can bevel to 50 degrees, useful in many remodeling and construction projects. It carries a five-year warranty.
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Sears Craftsman 10871
Sears Craftsman 10871

Best budget circular saw, corded.

This 13-amp, 7.25-inch Craftsman circular saw lacks a blade brake and can't match the power of more expensive saws, but owners say it does a fine job on most homeowner projects. Reviews praise its laser guide and dual LED lights, and it comes with a carbide-tipped blade. Unlike quite a few budget circular saws, this one can make beveled cuts up to 54.5 degrees. The warranty is for one year.
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Makita BSS610 LXT
Makita BSS610 LXT

Best cordless circular saw.

Reviews recommend this light 7.1-pound Makita circular saw for comfort, safety and convenience. The 18-volt lithium-ion batteries recharge in 45 minutes and hold their charge a long time between uses. The saw has a laser guide and dual LED lights, plus a dust blower to clear the cutting line. The 6.5-inch blade can cut 2X lumber even at a 45-degree bevel, and the saw comes with a 3-year warranty.
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Ryobi P500
Ryobi P500

Best budget cordless circular saw.

Reviews say the 5.5-inch Ryobi P500 circular saw is the best budget cordless saw, but it's not as accurate as more expensive cordless saws, nor does it use better lithium-ion batteries. The Ryobi P500 uses 18-volt NiCad batteries, and it comes with a carbide-tipped blade for longer blade life. The Ryobi saw bevels only to 45 degrees, but has a laser guide, onboard blade wrench and comfortable handle. It offers a two-year warranty.
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DeWalt DW378GK
DeWalt DW378GK

Best heavy-duty circular saw.

The DeWalt DW378GK is a hypoid saw with the motor mounted behind the blade. This makes for better cutting-line visibility and less risk of kickback. It's heavy at 13 pounds, but light for this type. Experts say the added weight can even be an advantage when sawing sheet stock on a horizontal surface. Reviews praise this saw's performance, durability and convenient rafter hook. It comes with a three-year warranty, plus a 90-day "no questions asked" return option.
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Circular saws are useful for cutting lumber, plywood, posts or even metal. You can make beveled cuts as on a compound miter saw, and with the addition of guide rails, it's possible to make long straight cuts that would otherwise require a table saw. (ConsumerSearch has separate reports on miter saws and table saws.)

We found the best circular saw reviews at Tools of the Trade Online, Popular Mechanics and Fine Homebuilding - all based on excellent comparison tests. Popular Mechanics covers several budget models priced for occasional homeowner use, but oddly enough, doesn't pay much attention to safety issues. This is surprising, since the Consumer Product Safety Commission finds that most power tool accidents involving blades occur to homeowners and hobbyists. Most budget circular saws lack blade brakes, but expert reviews recommend these as an important safety feature.

Woodworking and construction publications, including Fine Homebuilding, the Journal of Light Construction and Tools of the Trade Online do cover safety issues thoroughly. Tools of the Trade also provides excellent comparison tests of eight lithium-ion-powered cordless circular saws. These batteries offer quite a few advantages over the NiCd and NiMH batteries that power most cordless power tools. For example, lithium-ion batteries maintain their charge better during storage, meaning you'll be less likely to find a drained battery in your cordless saw.

We're noticing some improvements in budget circular saws, since nearly all now come with carbide-tipped blades. However, the tests at Popular Mechanics show that the least expensive circular saws make it much harder to make accurate cuts or to follow a long cutting line, even with a guide rail. So, for hobby woodworking or do-it-yourself construction projects, it will be less frustrating to invest a bit more in a better circular saw. Reviews recommend consumer-brand circular saws - models priced below about $130 - only for occasional rough cuts where precision doesn't matter, and where the user is paying extra attention to safety. The most recent review at Tools of the Trade Online, for example, finds that it's too easy to accidentally start both the Firestorm FS1500CSL (*est. $70) and the Worx WT431K (*Est. $120).

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WORX WT431K Revolver BladeRunner 15 Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
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