The best circular saw is versatile, accurate & easy to use. Perfect for cutting precise straight lines, quickly. The right model and blade is a match for timber, sheet material, man-made board and more.
There are two big decisions in choosing the right circular saw for you. Number one is size. A large blade diameter will cut to a greater depth, while a mini circular saw is more compact and ideal for thinner materials. The second decision is whether to go cordless.
Choosing a cordless circular saw makes complete sense – if the budget allows. Compared to a corded equivalent, they’re easier to use, safer & super convenient. And while working with a cable may offer more power, this is marginal assuming you opt for the right cordless model.
How to Choose the Best Circular Saw
When choosing a circular saw there’s plenty to consider. Blade size, power, weight, speed, accuracy, safety and ease of use are all important. Then comes, alignment guides, motor type, braking and durability. These 11 aspects are the key decision-making factors we use to assess and compare circular saws.
A good circular saw will handle a variety of tasks – different depths, angles and materials. Our research & saw recommendations are principally based on wood cutting. However, a blade change means all the recommendations below can handle steel, aluminium and ceramics (tiles).
The blade diameter and saw design define the cutting depth. Generally, deeper is better although a bigger saw is usually more expensive and heavier. A small saw can also be considered, safer. They’re certainly easier to handle.
Verum compares 100s of circular saws. We scrutinise specifications, check manufacturer claims, listen to experts and verify real-world insight to help you choose the right model. Take a look at the recommendations below…
Best Mini Circular Saw – Corded
The Hychika is the best budget mini circular saw you can buy. Versatile, safe and easy to use – this is a great addition to any tool kit. It comes with a range of accessories and gets a big thumbs up from owners.
Supplied with three blades, this circular saw is designed to handle wood, plastic, aluminium and ceramics (tiles), out of the box. The benefit of using the right blade for the right material cannot be overstated. And getting a full set of blades in one purchase is both convenient & good value for money.
Owners love this Hychika mini circular saw. Used for a variety of tasks, it consistently outperforms expectation. Mostly used for DIY, this saw is often purchased for a specific task, but then used again & again. It makes numerous jobs quicker, easier and consistently delivers a professional finish.
If you’re after for a versatile and safe saw that can handle most cuts across boards and sheet material – look no further.
BLADE DIAMETER: 85mm | MAX DEPTH: 25mm | MAX NO LOAD SPEED: 4500rpm | POWER: 500w | BRUSHLESS MOTOR: No | WEIGHT 3.2kg
HYCHIKA 500W | Verdict price £70 | Check best price on Amazon
Bosch PKS 55
Best Budget Circular Saw – Corded
This Bosch circular saw is compact, effective & affordable. Great for DIY, it will handle a variety of tasks, has a good maximum cut depth & the power to match.
DIY Circular Saw
Ideal for cutting kitchen worktops, floorboards & garden decking, this saw is the right match for DIY projects that require accurate (& quick) straight cuts. The critical specification here is the maximum cut depth of 55mm. Perfect for worktops & all deeper cuts. The 1200w motor means that you won’t be lacking power. Plus easy-change blades mean you can swap in different cutters for the right cut in a variety of materials.
Owners rate this saw highly. User experience matches the specifications and expected Bosch quality – all good. However, if you decide to read through the hundreds of owner reviews, proceed with caution, Most of the coverage combines comments on three different Bosch saws, the recommended PKS 55 & the smaller PKS 16 & cordless PKS 18.
To be clear, only the PKS 55 gets a Verum recommendation.
This is a no-fuss circular saw, perfect for serious DIY. Affordable & robust.
BLADE DIAMETER: 160mm | MAX DEPTH: 55mm | MAX DEPTH 45°: 38mm | MAX NO LOAD SPEED: 5600rpm | POWER: 1200w | BRUSHLESS MOTOR: No | WEIGHT 3.9kg
BOSCH PKS 55 | Verdict price £75 | Check best price on Amazon
Best Cordless Circular Saw
This cordless circular saw from Makita ticks all the boxes. Powerful, versatile & easy to use it makes light work of the toughest tasks. Plus it has several technical features usually only associated with more expensive premium models.
Automatic speed control, soft start & an electric brake make this saw an easy choice for professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike. Automatic speed control means the speed is matched to the load conditions & cutting performance is guaranteed.
The soft-start feature on the Makita has a couple of benefits. In addition to the safety aspect of no initial kick, it will also preserve the life of your saw. However, the most significant safety feature is the electric brake. If something does go wrong, you release the trigger & the blade stops. Without elaborating on what can happen if the blade keeps turning, an electric brake is worth every penny!
Makita Circular Saw with a Brushless Motor
The Makita DHS680 has a brushless motor. Along with improved control, this advanced technology means the saw will last considerably longer. (Most models under £200 use traditional motors that use small brushes to transfer current – these wear out.) Plus, a brushless motor is more efficient, meaning your batteries will have a longer run time. If budget allows, go brushless – you’ll save money in the long run.
In addition to the superior motor technology, control & safety features, this saw has several additional advantages over the alternatives. For accurate cuts, you need to see the cutline. With twin LED lights & a dust blower, this line is clear of wood dust & well lit. Plus, the lightweight design & large baseplate make this saw, stable in operation & easy to use.
With batteries, this circular saw does cost a few quid more than traditional corded kit. However, it’s a truly outstanding power tool. Perfect for precision cuts, safe & built to last.
BLADE DIAMETER: 165mm | MAX DEPTH: 57mm | MAX DEPTH 45°: 41mm | MAX NO LOAD SPEED: 5000rpm | POWER: 680w | BRUSHLESS MOTOR: Yes | WEIGHT 3.1kg + BATTERY
MAKITA DHS680 | Verdict price £160 | Check best price on Amazon
Click to See The Complete Guide to Batteries & Chargers
Dewalt DCS570N Cordless Circular Saw
Pro Circular Saw for Ripping, Cross Cuts & Bevels
The Cordless Dewalt DCS570N is robust, fully-featured and capable of handling thick timber, boards and most construction materials.
Powerful and with a large 184mm blade this model has a maximum cut depth of 64mm straight and 48mm at a 45° angle – it’s suited for pretty much any job.
Powered by a brushless motor, it’s reliable and durable. The brushless motor design may cost more but the benefits are significant. All-day use, longer lifetime and lower battery drain make it the must-have component for trade.
Even with years of experience, a good circular saw brake is good to have. Reducing kickback by stopping the blade quickly can be the difference between finishing the job and a trip to A&E. Adding to the usability of this saw, a bright LED light makes working in different lighting conditions easy.
The Dewalt DCS570N is a high-performance cordless circular saw that won’t disappoint. It will handle most jobs, has good safety features, and has an all-metal design plus a brushless motor – It’s built to last.
SPECIFICATION: BLADE DIAMETER: 184mm | MAX DEPTH: 64mm | MAX DEPTH 45°: 48mm | MAX NO LOAD SPEED: 5500rpm | POWER: 1400w | BRUSHLESS MOTOR: Yes | WEIGHT 3.6kg + BATTERY (18v Dewalt – 5Ah recommended)
Dewalt DCS570N | Verdict price £200 | Check best price on Amazon
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Circular saws are fast and efficient. However, care should be taken regardless of whether you’re a seasoned pro and or a newbie DIYer. A circular saw brake is an excellent safety feature. When your finger comes off the trigger the blade stops. Without going into graphic detail, should anything go wrong (such as kickback), this can make all the difference. On a lighter note, it also means that on completing the cut, you can put the saw down immediately rather than waiting for the blade to stop spinning.
Kickback occurs when the blade binds in the cut. This results in the saw or wood recoiling back at you. While a brake helps prevent accidents from happening, clearly kickback is best avoided. Here are three tips…
- Support the wood on a flat surface and clamp where appropriate. Avoid cutting between two sawhorses as this can result in pinching and kickback towards the end of the cut.
- Use the right (sharp) blade.
- Hold the saw with both hands and don’t stand directly behind it.
Avoid the Duds
Not all circular saws are equal. Unfortunately, most budget models are somewhat basic and lack important features, such as a brake. However, what’s surprising is that numerous premium models, also come up short. Paying more should get you a brushless motor for longevity and a brake for safety.
Both the Makita and Dewalt (detailed above) are powered by a brushless motor and have an effective safety brake.
Perfect Cuts With A Circular Saw
- Follow the safety instructions that accompany your saw.
- Use the right blade for the material
- Use a clamped rail (or fence) to accurately guide the saw. To do this, clamp a straight sturdy length of wood (or similar), parallel to the cut line at the appropriate distance which allows you to guide the saw baseplate along the rail
- Most circular saws cut on the upstroke. This means you’ll get a better edge finish on the underside.
- Use masking tape for a better edge finish and/or …
- Score your cut line. This will give you the cleanest edge. (Especially with laminates)
Best Buy Circular Saws
Best Buy (MINI)
Hychika Mini | Verdict price £70
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Best Budget Buy
Bosch | Verdict price £75
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Makita Cordless | Verdict price £160
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Budget or Premium?
A mini circular saw is perfect for numerous DIY tasks. However, if you require deeper cuts, choose a model with a full-sized blade.
At the premium end of the market, for value & performance, the Makita & Dewalt models are hard to beat. Cordless and with all the right features, they make precise cuts, are safer than most & will last longer – Perfect for the professional tradesmen & serious DIY. The Makita is better value, but if you already have Dewalt batteries, the DCS570N is a no brainer.