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Buying a Circular Saw

There are many woodworking tools you need in a workshop. However, a circular saw is perhaps the most flexible tool because it can cut in straight lines or create rounded incisions. There are many types of circular saws available, but each comes in handy for certain projects. Here are some factors to consider before buying a circular saw.

Why buy a new circular saw?

An old circular saw might have a slow motor, which can cause the blade to heat up and grow dull. A new model typically has increased power to prevent this problem.

Unlike any other saw, a circular saw can make quick, straight cuts across board, tile and steel. They also can create accurate bevel cuts on almost any piece of lumber or material.

Over time, a blade dulls and doesn't make the same clean cut, which poses safety risks for the user. A new model with a fresh blade helps make woodworking projects quick, and yield better results.

Features of new circular saws

Circular saw designs

  • A sidewinder circular saw is constructed with motor along the blade to create easy maneuvering
  • A worm-drive design aligns the blade and motor, making it light and compact
features of a circular saw

Safety features

  • The blade guard covers the saw's blade whenever it's unused and automatically retracts when in use
  • A footplate keeps the saw steadily secured to the work surface
  • Electric brakes automatically slow down the blade's momentum and quickly bring it to a stop when the saw's trigger is released

Learn how to change a circular saw blade or make a straight cut with a circular saw




features of a circular saw

Technical features

  • A circular saw's power is measured in amps and volts
  • A bevel stop is a built-in setting for making bevel cuts at multiple angles
  • The blade capacity is the maximum depth at which the saw can cut
  • The shaft lock allows a user to keep the shaft and blade still, making the blade much easier to change
  • A laser light feature on high-grade models helps guide and ensure an accurate cut on the first pass




features of a circular saw

Types of Circular Saws

Cordless Circular Saws

These small, battery-operated saws are portable, making them perfect for projects outside the workshop.


  • Price Range: $60-$280
  • Blade Diameter Range: 5.5-7.25 inches
  • Battery Voltage Range: 12-20 volts
  • Length Range: 8-12 inches
  • Width Range: 4-12 inches
  • Height Range: 6.75-10.5 inches
  • Weight Range (excluding battery): 3.5-6.5 pounds


types of circular saws

Cordless circular saws are best for…

Small workshops or remote areas: A cordless circular saw is a good choice when working in a small workshop or an area with limited access to wall outlets and extension cords.




Cutting wood or sheet wood material: Because they're compact and operate on battery power, a cordless circular saw might not have the continuous power to cut through dense, tough materials. However, this saw is typically able to make clean and precise cuts for small-scale tasks dealing with thin boards.

Corded Circular Saws

A corded circular saw offers more power for professional-grade projects.


  • Price Range: $40-$150
  • Blade Diameter Range: 5.5-7.25 inches
  • Voltage Range: 120 volts
  • Amp Range: 13-15 amps
  • Length Range: 7.7-10.5 inches
  • Width Range: 10-17 inches
  • Height Range: 9.25-17.5 inches
  • Weight Range: 8-15 pounds


types of circular saws

Corded circular saws are best for…

Professional workshops: Corded saws require a power source, wall outlet space and heavy-duty extension cords, which are usually readily available in large workshops.




Cutting tough material: When making cuts through steel, masonry or ceramic tile, a corded circular saw typically packs enough power and voltage to get the job done with clean cuts. This type of saw draws plenty of power, so it's best for large-scale projects that require continuous cuts.

Bottom Line

A new circular saw can make quick, clean cuts and is an essential tool for almost any woodworking or do-it-yourself project. When choosing which type of saw to purchase, consider the materials and number of cuts that are required for your project. If you're working in a large workshop on tough materials, a corded circular saw is your best bet since it provides continuous power. However, if you're simply cutting wood or are working away from a power source, a cordless circular can do the trick.