The 10 Best Circular Saws Corded and Cordless in 2020 – Buying Guide and Reviews

Man cutting wood with circular saw while friend helps him

A circular saw – whether corded or cordless – is one of the most useful power tools to have if you’re handy around the home. If you’re a keen woodworker like me, then finding the best tool for the job is a must.

In this article I’ll be taking a look at the best corded and cordless circular saws available in 2020. I’ve spent time researching and reviewing the best products to help you make the right decision.

I’ve also included a handy buying guide so you know what factors to consider when choosing the best circular saw.

Here’s a quick roundup of the best corded and cordless circular saws:

Corded:

Cordless:

Our Top Picks for Best Corded Circular Saw 2020

Even with advancements with cordless tools sometimes they just don’t quite cut it. Sometimes for long days on the job, making sure you have enough charged batteries can get tiresome and expensive. In this case a corded circular saw might be more suitable. Here’s a list of what I consider to be the best corded circular saws in 2020.

Top Pick – DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Electric Brake, 15-Amp (DWE57SB)

One of the most important things I look for in a circular saw is a lightweight, ergonomic design. After all, if you’re going to be using it for extended periods of time then you don’t want it to be heavy.

Luckily, this is something the DEWALT nails. Weighing in at 8.8llbs means you’ll feel comfortable using it, even for long woodworking sessions. Add to this the comfortable handles and ergonomic shape, and in my mind you’ve got a real winning circular saw.

Perhaps one of the best features of this circular saw is its brake. It’s useful because you only have to release the trigger to stop the motor. This is both a time-saver and a helpful safety measure.

Another good feature is its integrated dust blower. This is handy for keeping your cutting path clear – exactly what you need for precision cutting. Combine this with the carbide-tipped blade spinning at 5,100 RPM  and you’ve got a well-rounded tool that’s suitable for pretty much any household job.

The only real downside I found with this product (and it’s not even a massive one) is that it could do with a projected cutting line for improved precision. However, it’s fairly easy to follow the guide, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

Speed5,100 RPM
Amperage15
Blade Diameter7 - ¼ inch
Item Weight8.8 lbs
Cut Depth2 - 9/16 inch
Warranty3 year

Pros

  • Carbide-tipped blade provides durable and precise cutting.
  • One of the lightest circular saws available.
  • 5,100 RPM blade speed is enough for most household jobs.
  • Suitable for people with small hands who might struggle with other models.

Cons

  • No illuminated cutting line
  • Dust blower can be a bit powerful in enclosed spaces.

Overall, the DEWALT DWE57SB is a great choice of circular saw for anyone needing an easy-to-use and lightweight product. Whether you’re looking for a replacement saw or are new to woodworking, this is an ideal choice.

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Top Value Pick – SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide

For many of us, finding the right balance between quality and value for money is a top priority. The SKIL saw offers excellent value because it’s powerful and easy to use. In my opinion, it ticks just about every box you might need.

Possibly my favorite feature of this product is its laser cutting beam. This comes on when the blade is in motion and ensures you’re always cutting in a straight line. While I’m confident in my cutting ability, I’ll never say no to something that makes it easier!

The blade has a 51-degree bevel, which gives you a wide range of cutting options. Although this saw is easy enough for a beginner to use, its more advanced cutting features (such as the bevel) make it ideal for more advanced users looking for versatility.

Another great feature is the 15 amp motor. It’s powerful enough to cut through a variety of lumber or sheet materials. This makes it suitable for anyone needing a all-round saw for a range of jobs.

The only negative I could find for this saw was that the laser can move out of position occasionally because of vibrations. You can easily correct this by adjusting it with an allen key, but just make sure you check before cutting!

Speed5,300 RPM
Amperage15
Blade Diameter7 - ¼ inch
Item Weight6.95 lbs
Cut Depth2-⅜ inch
Warranty5 year

Pros

  • Guarded trigger prevents you from accidentally turning it on.
  • Blade is incredibly easy to change.
  • Versatility and ease of use make it suitable for all users.
  • Great value for money.

Cons

  • Laser sometimes needs to be readjusted.
  • Safety switch might be difficult to manipulate if you have small hands.

The SKIL 5280-01 offers great value for money, making it an ideal tool for anyone not looking to pay the earth for a functional tool.

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PORTER-CABLE 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw 15-Amp (PCE310)

Before finding the PORTER-CABLE circular saw, I was conscious that many other products had quite flimsy blade guards. This product has metal blade guards, which drastically improve its durability.

It also has a heavy duty yet lightweight magnesium shoe for extra durability and reduced weight. While this might not be high up on everyone’s list, it’s something to pay attention to if you’re going to be using your saw regularly.

Another good feature of this saw is that the carbide-tipped blade spins up to 5,500RPM. Driven by a 15 amp motor it’s powerful enough for pretty much any household job you might have lined up.

What’s more, the main and auxiliary handles are comfortable and easy to hold. You should be able to use this saw for extended periods without getting tired hands. This is of course a useful feature when you’re doing a lot of cutting.

My only real criticism of this saw is that the base plate is surprisingly flexible. This might impact your ability to cut straight lines. However, once you get used to the amount of force you need to use it’ll stop being a problem quite quickly.

Speed5,500 RPM
Amperage15
Blade Diameter7 - ¼ inch
Item Weight9 lbs
Cut Depth2 - ½ inch
Warranty3 year

Pros

  • Ergonomic handles stay comfortable, even during long cutting sessions.
  • Blade is high quality and makes very clean cuts.
  • Professional quality tool that’s suitable for all home jobs.
  • Blade is easy to adjust between cuts if needed.

Cons

  • At 9lbs, it’s slightly heavier than some.
  • Flexible base plate takes a bit of getting used to.

Once you’ve gotten over the flexibility of the base plate, the durability of the PORTER-CABLE makes it a great addition to any tool kit.

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Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

One thing I’d noticed about a lot of circular saws is that their ruler and angle markings can be difficult to read when working. This Makita circular saw goes in the opposite direction. It offers high-contrast, easy-to-read markings that result in precise and accurate cuts every time.

Makita have paid plenty of attention to the quality of their blade. It features two-pointed tips and heat-resistant coating. In short, this results in quicker, easier, and higher quality cuts, which is exactly what you need for a professional looking job.

Another great feature is the lightweight magnesium shoe and cutting guard. The result is a lighterweight product that doesn’t sacrifice cutting quality and precision.

My favorite feature on this saw is its 2 LED lights that illuminate the cutting area. You can always see where you’re cutting, and the integrated dust blower helps to keep the path clear too.

The only downside I could find for this saw is that the blade guard might not retract correctly when you’re cutting at an angle. I found this is easy to overcome by simply retracting the guard. However always ensure you use the handle on the guard to do so and ALWAYS keep your fingers away from the blade.

Speed5,800 RPM
Amperage15
Blade Diameter7 - ¼ inch
Item Weight10.6 lbs
Cut Depth2 - ½ inch
Warranty1 year

Pros

  • Handles are comfortable and ergonomic for longer cutting sessions.
  • A powerful and high-quality saw that’s up to any cutting job you might have.
  • Has all the features of a professional saw at an at-home price point.
  • LED lights allow for more precise cuts in all conditions.

Cons

  • Blade guard sometimes doesn’t retract properly.

I found the Makita 5007Mg to be a great all-rounder for any at-home cutting job. Its quality blade and construction make it a great addition to any toolkit.

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Bosch CS10 – 7-1/4-Inch 15-Amp Circular Saw

I’ve noticed that many saw brands expect you to find somewhere safe to store your blade adjusting key. The Bosch comes with on-tool wrench storage, meaning you no longer have to spend time searching around for it!

Functionality was clearly top of this list during the design of this saw. It has an easy-to-read depth gauge and anti-snag blade guard, both of which result in faster, more accurate cuts.

Another useful feature are the angle markings on the blade cover. While some brands are difficult to read, the Bosch has indents at 22.5 and 45 degrees, making it even easier to find the right cutting angle. This might not sound like much, but it’s a definite time-saver.

I also appreciated the comfortable handles with sturdy grip. When you’re using a tool for a long time, small features like this become very noticeable. It might not be marketed as a professional tool, but you could comfortably do a full day’s work with it.

The only downside I found is that the handles can flex more than you’d expect when in use. But to remedy this you just need to be careful with how much pressure you apply. It might take a bit of getting used to, but it’s not the worst thing ever.

Speed5,600 RPM
Amperage15
Blade Diameter7 - ¼ inch
Item Weight10.2 lbs
Cut Depth2-7/16 inch
Warranty1 year

Pros

  • Saw delivers professional-quality cuts at an affordable price point.
  • Angle markings are easy to read, even when in use.
  • On-tool wrench storage makes adjustments easy.
  • Comfortable to use, even long-term.

Cons

  • Slightly more plastic in the body than I’d expect.
  • Handles can flex when too much pressure is applied.

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Our Top Picks for Best Cordless Circular Saws 2020

Recent advances in battery technology and motor efficiency has made it possible for manufacturers to produce cordless power tools capable of standing up to the tough demands of a job site. Circular saws are no exception, here I’ll run through what I believe to be the best cordless circular saw on the market in 2020.

Top Pick – DEWALT FLEXVOLT 60V Max 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw (DCS577B)

Before finding the DEWALT FLEXVOLT, I was conscious that cordless saws can be less powerful than corded circular saws. Well, I can say that this saw changed my opinion because it’s definitely powerful enough!

It has a 60V lithium-ion battery and can reach a blade speed of 5,800 RPM. In short, you shouldn’t have any concerns about its power compared to a corded saw.

Another good feature of this saw is that it provides precision even without a laser guide. Like many other sidewinder saws, it has a left-mounted blade and a dust-blower. This combination ensures you can always see your cutting line.

On top of this you have the brake for stopping the motor. This is both a safety feature and a helpful timesaver as you don’t need to wait for the blade to stop spinning before you can safely put it down.

My only real critique is that the battery can run down fairly quickly with prolonged use. But you can overcome this by buying 2 batteries and ensuring that one is always fully charged.

Speed5,800 RPM
Voltage60
Blade Diameter7 - ¼ inch
Item Weight10.87 lbs
Cut Depth2-7/16 inch
Warranty3 year

Pros

  • Able to deliver the cutting power and speed of corded circular saws.
  • Simple to use and ergonomic design.
  • Left-mounted blade allows for clear line of sight.
  • Electric brake allows for quick stops whenever you need it.

Cons

  • Battery life isn’t amazing, but this is due to the saw’s power.

If you’re looking for a portable and powerful circular saw, you could do a lot worse than the DEWALT FLEXVOLT. It’s reliable and powerful, and allows even an inexperienced person to make precise cuts.

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Top Value Pick – Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B 18-Volt Lithium-Ion 6-1/2-Inch Circular Saw

Finding the right balance between weight and power is often difficult with circular saws. The Bosch Bare-Tool weighs in at only 6.6lbs. It still delivers 3,900RPM, has perhaps one of the best power-to-weight ratios on the market.

One of my favorite features of this product is its aluminum blade guards. These aren’t as flexible as magnesium, but are still lightweight and durable. Arguably, aluminum is a much better choice of material.

This saw also features an adjustable bevel and depth gauge, both of which lock securely into place. You can be confident in its precision even when cutting through difficult materials.

Another great feature is cutting accuracy. The blade is left-mounted so you can always see where you’re cutting. However, this feature is only beneficial for right-handed users.

The only downside I found to this saw is its rotation speed. At 3,900RPM it’s not as fast as some others. But it should still have enough power for cutting through lumber and other softer materials.

Speed5,000 RPM
Voltage18
Blade Diameter6 - ½ inch
Item Weight7.3 lbs
Cut Depth2 - ¼ inch
Warranty3 year

Pros

  • Lightweight construction makes it easy to carry around – perfect for roofing jobs or similar.
  • Clear cutting edge and sturdy blade guard mean precise cuts every time.
  • High quality materials make it durable, even with long-term use.
  • Built-in motor protection to prevent overheating.

Cons

  • Lower RPM than other cordless saws.
  • No dust-blower could impact line of sight.

Overall, the Bosch CCS180B is the best value for money because it’s compact, lightweight, and versatile. Even with its minor downsides, it’s still easy to use.

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Makita XSH03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 6-1/2-Inch Circular Saw

While adjustable blade speed is not something I normally consider, the Makita XSH03Z ticks this box. More than anything, it allows you to adjust torque mid-cut to compensate for changes in material.

Perhaps the best feature of this saw is its 5,000RPM blade speed. This is significantly faster than other cordless saws. It provides enough power to cut through pretty much any material you might need to.

Another great feature is its compact design. At only 13 inches long, this saw is perfect for those hard to reach jobs, such as in roofing or framing. That said, it’s still a great saw for all other jobs too.

Even though it’s compact, it still offers a large cutting capacity (2.25 inches at 90 degrees). This makes it a versatile product that’s lightweight, easy to use, and ergonomic. In my opinion it ticks almost every box you might have!

My only negative of this saw is that the blade cover and depth guard can become wobbly quite quickly. But after playing around with it, I found there was a fairly simple fix:

  • Tighten the Philips-head screw on the one end and the hex-nut that holds the plate onto the saw.
  • Remove the screw underneath the base plate and rotate the bolt it’s holding in place. Then tighten the screw again.
Speed5,000 RPM
Voltage18
Blade Diameter6 - ½ inch
Item Weight7.3 lbs
Cut Depth2 - ¼ inch
Warranty3 year

Pros

  • Compact design makes this a great choice for fiddly jobs.
  • Blade speed is enough to cut through almost anything.
  • Adjustable blade speed compensates for changes in material.
  • Lightweight and ergonomic – perfect for long-term use.

Cons

  • Base plate can be wobbly, but this is easily fixed.

The Makita XSH03Z is a versatile tool that’s powerful enough to take on pretty much any cutting job you might have in mind. What’s more, its only downside is an easy fix.

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SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V 6-1/2-Inch Circular Saw

Battery life is always a concern with cordless saws because they are quite power heavy. When I found out the SKIL PWRCore has 25% more battery life, I was certainly interested.

Along with extended battery life, it also has a quick charge function that gives you a full battery in 5 minutes. While this isn’t directly related to the saw’s performance, I find battery charging to be a major pain point in choosing the right circular saw.

Another useful feature is the built-in dust blower, something many cordless saw lack because of power consumption. It’s much easier to keep track of your cutting line, resulting in greater precision.

The guard and shoe are aluminum, which means greater durability and a lighter product. This is great for extended use, particularly when combined with the ergonomic and comfortable handles.

For me, the only real downside is that the blade stops rotating if you push the saw too hard. But this appears to be a safety feature. To compensate for this, you simply need to go slower than you might usually.

Speed4,500 RPM
Voltage20
Blade Diameter6 - ½ inch
Item Weight8.0 lbs
Cut Depth2 - ⅛ inch
Warranty5 year

Pros

  • Quick charge time and long battery life.
  • Dust blower helps you track cutting line.
  • Battery comes with overheating protection.

Cons

  • Has to be used more slowly than you might expect.

The SKIL PWRCore offers the kind of fast charging that many of us look out for. This is a functional and useful saw that is ideal for a range of household jobs.

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DEWALT DCS391B 20V Max Lithium-Ion 6-1/2-Inch Cordless Circular Saw

When choosing a circular saw, one of my main buying factors is ergonomics. That’s what makes the DEWALT DCS391B a great choice: it’s comfortable, easy to hold, and even easier to use.

A good feature of this saw is its blade guard and foot, both of which are aluminum. This means that not only is it lightweight, but it’s also pretty durable too.

The blade bevel locks into place securely, allowing you to make difficult cuts with precision. This is not something that manufacturers always get right, but you can count on DEWALT to do things properly.

The only slight negative for this saw is that the battery can run down fairly quickly, but this is due to its power. But you can easily overcome this by buying a second battery.

Speed5,150 RPM
Voltage20
Blade Diameter6 - ½ inch
Item Weight7 lbs (without battery)
Cut Depth2 - ⅛ inch
Warranty3 year

Pros

  • Ergonomic design makes it comfortable to use, even long-term.
  • Blade guard and foot are durable and lightweight.
  • Blade is easy to change and adjust.

Cons

  • Battery runs down quite quickly, but a spare battery removes this issue.

The DEWALT DCS391B is a functional and easy-to-use circular saw that’s ideal for less experienced users. If you’re in the market for a “beginner’s” saw, this might be the right one for you.

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What to look for when choosing the best circular saw

Choosing the right circular saw for your needs isn’t a simple thing. There are many factors to consider, such as the material you’re cutting, blade speed, cutting angle, etc.

You can check out this YouTube video for information on how to choose the right circular saw. But I’ll break the information down in detail below so you know exactly what to look for.

What are circular saws good for?

Circular saws are ideal as portable cutting tools when you don’t want to have to set up a table saw. They’re ideal for quick and less precise cutting jobs, such as cutting lumber to size. If you want real precision from your cuts, consider a jigsaw instead.

Which type of circular saw?

Before getting into product specifications, you’ll have to consider a few more basic questions to narrow down your search.

Corded or Cordless Circular Saw?

The most obvious difference is that cordless are battery powered, whereas corded are mains powered. However, this does impact a number of other factors:

  • Corded saws are generally more powerful, making them better for cutting tougher materials.
  • Corded saws generally have larger blades (7.25 inches as opposed to 6.5 inches).
  • Corded saws have constant power delivery, while cordless might be variable.
  • Cordless saws are more portable and convenient.
  • Cordless saws save you time because you don’t have to find a wall outlet or untangle cables.

Generally speaking, if you want a more powerful tool then go corded. If you need portability and convenience at the expense of some power, choose cordless.

Left Hand vs. Right Hand Blade?

Circular saws have either left- or right-mounted blades. This is so the user can see their cutting line without the blade getting in the way.

A right hand blade assumes your main hand is you right, so the blade is on the left. A left hand blade is the opposite way round.

The main deciding factor here is whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. Generally you’ll find that worm drive saws are left-handed, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Sidewinder vs. Worm Drive?

Circular saws are either sidewinder or worm drive. In short, these terms refer to the way the motor drives the blade. But it’s worth looking into this in more detail to clarify a few points.

Worm drive use something called a worm gear, which is a spiral gear that turns another gear at 90 degrees. Having this kind of setup increases the blade’s torque, which means more power.

A sidewinder, however, houses the motor closer to the blade and uses a spur gear to turn it. While this means less torque, it results in a lighter and easier to control machine. This makes sidewinders better for beginners.

If you’ve already done some research you might have wondered, “Why are worm drive saws left-handed?” The reason is because it’s cheaper to thread the armature with a right-hand thread.

So, are worm drive circular saws better? Worm drive saws provide more power, so are better if that’s your main consideration.

But sidewinders generally provide more control, and so are better for beginners. Sidewinders are also slightly lighter and more compact, making them more portable.

Features to consider when choosing the Best Circular Saw

Hopefully you’re able to decide on the best general model for your needs. If so, it’s time for us to get deeper into the specifics to help you find the perfect circular saw. Here are what I consider to be the main buying requirements.

Blade size

Blade size dictates how deep you can cut with your saw. For example, with a 7-1/4 inch, you could expect to cut up to 2-1/2 inches deep. With a 6-1/2 inch, you could expect to cut up to 2 inches deep.

Generally, as many circular saws have an adjustable depth gauge, you might as well go for the larger blade. It provides greater cutting power and speed, meaning you can get the job done quicker.

Power

Power will usually be a major consideration when choosing an electrical tool. As you’d expect, more power means the saw will cut through things quicker. But you have to consider several other factors too.

A saw’s power rating relates to its depth of cut; more powerful saws are generally able to cut deeper.

If you’re in need of some serious cutting ability, anything over 1500W will be fine. Bear in mind that for harder wood (such as oak) you’ll need a saw with at least 1200W.

For cordless saws, think about battery capacity too. Cordless saws are usually less powerful than corded. Any that offer high power ratings will usually go through their battery in no time at all.

When it comes to battery capacity, you want something that’ll last several hours. More powerful saws will consume battery quicker, so bear this in mind. You’ll also want to look out for cordless saws with fast-charging, or buy a second battery.

Within power you also need to consider RPMs. RPM refers to how fast the blade spins, and a faster blade means more cutting power. This allows you to tackle harder materials too.

Generally you’ll want to aim for 4,500RPM and up for a good all-round tool. Anything less will is fine, but you’ll possibly struggle cutting through harder materials.

Cordless saws often have lower RPMs than corded because they’re less powerful. If you need strong cutting ability then stick with corded.

Ease of Use

Circular saws should be easy to use. After all, if you want to make precision cuts then you don’t want to be bothering with a difficult tool. However, usability extends to things like blade changes and visibility too.

A circular saw should have ergonomic handles that provide grip and stability. A saw’s kickback can throw off many beginners, so you want a good handle to prevent this.

Also, a circular saw should be well balanced for precision. As a general rule, worm drive saws are more balanced than sidewinders. This is because the motor is positioned in line with the blade, rather than to one side.

As mentioned above, blade position affects visibility of cutting line. You want to be able to see the blade but not have it restrict your line of sight. A good circular saw will have an adjustable blade cover for just this reason.

A saw’s shoe is also an important point to consider. It’s the part that rests on the material you’re cutting. This means it should be sturdy and durable, so avoid plastic at all costs. Magnesium is more flexible but is lighter than other metals.

Finally you need to consider changing the blade. Changing a blade shouldn’t be a difficult task, as this video demonstrates. Look for the following features:

  • A spindle lock prevents the motor from spinning while you change the blade. This simply makes things easier.
  • Some models will use a standard wrench, while others will come with a specific tool. Using a wrench means you don’t have to worry about losing the tool.

In short, a more ergonomic circular saw is better if you’re using it for long jobs. You also want good balance for precision and an easily changeable blade is better for beginners.

Precision

Precision is definitely important when choosing a circular saw. The following points affect precision:

  • A sturdier foot will mean less wobble.
  • A well-balanced saw will cut straight lines easier.
  • A thinner blade allows for more precise cuts.

Another thing to consider is a laser guide. Not all saws have them, and not all users believe in them. A laser will point a straight line from the front of the saw, allowing you to follow it for precise cuts every time.

You could also use a set square to check a line before you cut it. However, laser guides are helpful for beginners who might be unfamiliar with a circular saw works.

Depth and Bevel Adjustments

Depth and bevel adjustments are important on a circular saw because they allow you to make varying cuts. A good circular saw will have clear markings so you can adjust with precision.

Some might also have locks at certain angles, such as 45 degrees. This is a helpful feature if you don’t want to constantly check your measurements during sawing.

Portability

Cordless saws will always be more portable than corded. This makes them better for fiddly jobs like roofing where you might not have access to a wall outlet.

If you’re cutting in a single location, I’d definitely recommend a corded saw. They offer greater power and cutting speed, and it’s not worth sacrificing these for portability.

Safety

Circular saws have many safety features, although some more than others. Here are some of the main things to look out for:

  • The blade cover prevents you from cutting anything but the material.
  • Some will have a safety switch you must hold to engage the power switch.
  • A stable foot will mean less wobble, which means less chance of accidents.

Some models will also have an electric brake. This puts the blade into reverse when you let go of the trigger, which makes it stop faster. As blades can take a long time to slow down, this is a useful feature. Particularly for lots of short cutting jobs, as you’ll be putting the saw down more often.

Generally speaking, all circular saws will come with the most basic safety features such as a blade guard.

Warranty

New models should come with at least a 1-year warranty, although some might be longer. For me, this isn’t a deal-breaker, but having confidence in your equipment is important all the same.

The warranty means you’ll be able to get any repairs completed free of charge. A quality machine should last for years without issue. But if this is a concern, look out for models with a 3-year warranty at least.

Conclusion

Hopefully this article has given you enough information on the best circular saws (corded and cordless) to help you make a decision. As you can see, there are lots of factors to consider and it’s not always an easy choice.

I recommend choosing a saw that’s powerful enough to cut the toughest material you might encounter. Generally, I’d recommend corded over cordless, although this’ll depend on your needs.

My top pick from this list is the DEWALT DWE575SB. It’s powerful enough to cover almost any job, but is also easy to use and comfortable for longer projects.

If you think there are any other powerful contenders for the best circular saw then let me know below!

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