Best circular saws for home DIY projects

Get safety and precision with these power tools that pack a punch.

Man using circular saw

by Eleanor Weaver |

A key item for almost every toolbox, a handheld circular saw is a super versatile and affordable tool for efficiently cutting wood and other materials to size.

With its sharp rotating blade, you can quickly and accurately make curved-linear and straight cuts by freehand, perfect for DIY-ers and professionals looking for a lightweight piece of kit that'll offer great precision and cutting abilities.

We've listed the key features to look for in your circular saw and the best mechanical tools for the job.

What to look for in your circular saw

Cutting capacity and depth

By looking at the measurements of the blade diameter, you can determine how deep a cut you can make in your materials. The larger the blade diameter, the deeper the cut.

Cordless or corded

Corded and cordless options are available for circular saws. Cordless saws are less powerful than the corded models and are somewhat limited in terms of duration of use and depth of cut. However, they are more portable and arguably safer without the risk of a cord getting entangled. If you're planning to use your tool on the go, a cordless circular saw would be your best option.

Speed

The higher the revolutions per minute of the blade, the better the cut in terms of control and precision.

Power rating

The more powerful the circular saw, the more likely it is to cut through tougher materials and have an increased speed.

Circular saw in action
©Getty Images

Safety features

Safety is always important for DIY tasks and different circular saws can have built-in features to improve your safety. This could include adjustable blade depth to make for safer and easier adjustments, a blade guard to protect you from the blade, dust extraction for clearing chip and dust particles and improving vision, and an electric brake for quick stopping.

Bevel capacity

On a circular saw, you can adjust the angle at which you cut, but the capacity of this can vary for different circular saws. Most go up to 45 degrees.

Adjustable guides

Having a guide can help improve the accuracy of your cuts. Options could include a fixed parallel base guide, an attachable guide, or a laser guide that uses an LED light to guide your way.

Blades

While most circular saws are best designed for cutting through wood, MDF, and plywood, you can get multi-material blades that can cut through other materials too including aluminium, copper, brass, plastic, and laminate. Don't worry if your specific circular saw has a blade built for wood - you can often swap this out for a blade that will cut through the other materials, so long as the blade measurements are the same.

Best 10 circular saws

The Makita circular saw is compact and lightweight, and is double insulated to help minimise noise, keeping it to 87dB and under. Out of all our top picks, this saw has one of the best cutting depths at 66mm, and is equipped with an aluminium base plate and die cast safety cover for increased durability.

Reviewers have said that this circular saw is effortless to use, of first class quality, and great value for the price. We love that it comes equipped with a carry case, but some have said that it is oversized.

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 66mm | Cordless or corded: Corded

Compatible blade diameter: 190mm | Speed: 5200 RPM | Weight: 4kg

Power rating: 1200W / 240V | Safety features: Blade guard and rear dust exhaust port

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Compatible with guide rail (not included)

Other features

• Multi-material TCT blade

• Adjustable blade depth for plunge or trench cutting

• Double insulated for noise reduction

• 3 year guarantee

Not only does the Bosch circular saw come at a really competitive price, it definitely prioritises the user experience. The ergonomic handles, large controls, and non-slip coating help make for comfortable work and unlike the Makita, this tool comes with a guide rail included. You can also buy a CleanSystem Box as an extra accessory if you're looking to keep your workplace as clean as possible - it collects saw debris and reduces dust inhalation.

It doesn't cut as deep as other circular saws on this list, but it's still a great little saw for DIY enthusiasts. One reviewer said, "Was a little nervous at first as had only used small jigsaws before, needn't have worried, read easy to understand instructions before using. I'm a 72yr old lady DIYer and wish I had purchased this tool years ago, would have saved me so much time and energy. I can highly recommend it to anyone."

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 55mm | Cordless or corded: Corded

Compatible blade diameter: 160mm | Speed: 5600 RPM | Weight: 3.9kg

Power rating: 1200W | Safety features: Blade guard, rear dust exhaust port, and vacuum adaptor

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Guide rail

Other features

• Adjustable blade depth for plunge or trench cutting

• Speedline wood saw blade

• 2 year guarantee

As the second Makita saw on our list, this one is Amazon's bestseller and we can see why! Not only is it cordless, super helpful for not having to worry about being near power or cords getting in the way, but it has a brushless motor too. This means it draws fewer amps, works twice as long, and the reduced heat generation helps to extend the battery life and time between charges.

It's the bare unit, so you'll need to make sure to buy the batteries separately. This does make it one of the more expensive saws as a result, but it has been highly recommended by users, receiving 4.8 out of 5 stars across over 3,500 reviews!

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 57mm | Cordless or corded: Cordless – battery required

Compatible blade diameter: 165mm | Speed: 5000 RPM and automatic speed control | Weight: 3.3kg

Power rating: 18V – light up battery fuel gauge | Safety features: Electronic brake, blade guard, blower function to clear dust, exhaust port, twin job LED lights, and electronic current limiter for overload protection

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Guide rule

Other features

• Adjustable blade depth for plunge or trench cutting

• Multipurpose TCT blade

• 3 year guarantee

This high-powered circular saw has been optimised using Multi-Material Technology to cut through a whole range of materials including mild steel, non-ferrous metals, wood, plastic, and even wood with embedding nails all with a single blade. Cuts are smooth and cool to the touch, providing professional quality cuts with accuracy.

One reviewer said, "After just using hand saws over the years I thought it was about time I got myself a circular saw. I didn't want to spend a lot of money either as it would have been a waste with my main trade being a plasterer. One thing I didn't expect was just how cheap some of these saws are. After reading through reviews I decided on this one and I'm so glad that I did. This saw is an amazing piece of kit for a low price. The fact it comes with a multi-material tungsten carbide blade is a bonus and the safety trigger system to prevent accidental start of the saw is just amazing. I highly recommend this to anyone."

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 64mm | Cordless or corded: Corded – 3m cable length

Compatible blade diameter: 185mm | Weight: 4.2kg | Speed: 3700 RPM

Power rating: 1200W hi-torque motor / 240 voltage supply | Safety features: Electronic brake, blade guard, channeled airflow for optimum visibility, and dust port adaptor included for vacuum extraction when cutting wood

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Parallel edge guide

Other features

• Adjustable blade depth for plunge or trench cutting

• Multi-material TCT blade including wood, non-ferrous metals, plastics, laminate, and 3mm thick mild steel

• 3 year limited warranty

With advanced brushless motor technology, this circular saw delivers revolutionary performance with more power, higher torque, longer runtime, and motor life. It'll also help you to cut to the best accuracy with a parallel edge and laser guide to make perfect fine cuts.

This circular saw from Erbauer is part of the EXT one battery system, so if you have other tools from the power tool experts, the one battery can run multiple tools giving you the option to grow your collection by adding bare tools without the added cost of batteries. Having said that, the battery is not included, so you'll need to make sure to buy this separately if you don't have another Erbauer tool at home.

One reviewer said, "I'm building my cordless Erbauer range and recently added this. It's perfect for mobile work and using it with my shop vac keeps the workspace clean. The guide is a nice feature and having marks for 45 and 90-degree cuts really helps. Settings are pretty accurate, although I rely on the laser as an approximate indicator of direction rather than whether it's precise on the cut line. I typically use a straight edge and clamp when cutting my workpieces and will be making a jig sometime to simplify this. Great product for the money."

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 61mm | Cordless or corded: Cordless – batteries sold separately

Compatible blade diameter: 165mm | Weight: 4.2kg | Speed: 5400 RPM

Power rating: 18V | Safety features: Blade guard, channeled airflow for optimum visibility, and dust extraction facility

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Parallel edge and laser guide

Other features

• Multi-material 24-tooth TCT blade

• 2 year limited warranty

The first of two Einhalls on our list, the Einhell TE-CS 190/1 Corded Circular Saw packs a punch for power! Not only does it share the top spot for cutting depth, but it also has the highest power rating and cutting speed so it'll be able to cut through tougher materials and with greater precision. It boasts a large handle for tireless working and control and LEDs, and a dust extraction adapter to help keep the workplace clear and your cutting area illuminated for optimal sight. The high-grade carbide blade gives clean cuts, making this a great choice if you're looking to target larger DIY tasks.

One reviewer said, "We bought this as we are laying down laminated flooring in a couple of our bedrooms as well as in the hall. It works really well and I would recommend this model."

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 66mm | Cordless or corded: Corded

Compatible blade diameter: 190mm | Weight: 5.93kg | Speed: 6000 RPM

Power rating: 1500W/ 230V | Safety features: Blade guard, dust extraction adapter and LED for optimum illumination

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Parallel edge guide

Other features

• Easy adjustable blade depth for plunge or trench cutting

• High quality carbide saw blade

• 2 year limited warranty

This circular saw is quite different from the other tools on our list because of its miniature size. Ideal for cutting through wood, soft metal, tile, and plastic, it comes with the three mini blades fit for purpose and has an adjustable cutting depth of 0-25mm. Cut comfortably with precision with the laser guide and ergonomic, soft rubber handle to help prevent hand fatigue.

One reviewer said, "I don’t normally write reviews, but I make exceptions when something is either very good or very bad. In this case, the saw is brilliant! I was skeptical because of the price, but I thought if it lasts for one project then it’s paid for itself. I’ve now done two projects and it’s still going strong and on the original blade! I have a bigger circular saw but I chose to grab the Hychika every time now because it’s lighter and quieter and easy to be more accurate.

"Good range of accessories, the only negative I would say is that the laser has to be turned off manually and I keep forgetting because my other saws have it as built in to run off the mains. This means the battery in this one runs out because I haven’t flicked the switch off. Good adjustable depth for cutting and good at plunge cuts. Very happy with the saw, hopefully getting replacement blades will be straightforward. I would definitely recommend."

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 25mm | Cordless or corded: Corded – 3 metre cord length

Weight: 3.2kg | Speed: 4500 RPM | Power rating: 500W/ 240V

Safety features: Double safety switch, power-on indicator and dust exhaust pipe

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Laser guide, scale ruler, and guide fence slot

Other features

• Adjustable blade depth

• 3 saw blades for wood, metal and tile cuts

At just 2.6kg, this is the lightest circular saw on our list, great if you're a DIY enthusiast but have weakened hand dexterity and strength, or are just looking for a light tool to work with. Being so light, it's compact and easy to work with and comes cordless for even more seamless operation. You can adjust the cutting depth and tilt angle quickly and easily without any tools, and the high-quality LEDs and dust vacuum attachment help to give you a clear view of what you are doing, as well as helping to keep the work area clean.

It comes supplied without a battery or charger, so you'll need to make sure to buy these separately and account for this in the cost of your new tool.

One reviewer said, "Perfect bit of kit after using a corded circular saw for such a long time this is just great to own and work with. Light, quiet, and just the job with no electric cable getting in the way."

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 54mm | Cordless or corded: Cordless – battery and charger sold separately

Compatible blade diameter: 165mm | Weight: 2.6kg | Speed: 4200 RPM

Power rating: 18V | Safety features: Blade guard, dust extraction adapter and LED for optimum illumination

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Parallel edge guide

Other features

• Easy adjustable blade depth for plunge or trench cutting

• High-grade precision 40 teeth saw blade

• 2 year limited warranty

Reviewers have praised this circular saw for its quality, both in the cuts and the whole operation of the use, right out the box. Compact, lightweight, and easy to use, this high-power saw gives increased cutting performance for heavy-duty applications and has a cutaway inner guard which helps gives an improved line of sight for cutting directly to the line. The efficient dust extraction port helps to minimise airborne dust particles and the saw comes with a high-quality 24-tooth TCT blade and rip fence.

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 65mm | Cordless or corded: Corded

Compatible blade diameter: 184mm | Speed: 5500 RPM | Weight: 3.7kg

Power rating: 1350W / 240V | Safety features: Blade guard, channeled airflow, and cutaway inner guard for optimum visibility and dust extraction spout

Bevel capacity: 0-48 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Parallel edge guide

Other features

• Multi-material 24-tooth TCT blade and rip fence

• 1 year guarantee

At the lowest price, this circular saw from Wickes is a top pick if you're looking for extra power and oomph to your cut quality, but are working on a tight budget. Compact yet powerful, you're guaranteed excellent precision and straight lines with the parallel edge and laser guide to help keep you on track. It's compact yet powerful and comes with a dust extraction port and vacuum adapter to help keep your working surface clear of debris. Some reviewers reported having minor issues getting it to attach, but at this price, it's still an absolute steal!

One reviewer said, "For the money this is unbeatable. Very simple straightforward saw, easy to use, and not a lot to go wrong with it. Don't waste your money on a more costly saw this does what a saw should do!"

Key specifications

Cutting capacity and depth: Max depth of 65mm | Cordless or corded: Corded – 3m cable length

Compatible blade diameter: 190mm | Speed: 4800 RPM | Weight: 4.64kg

Power rating: 1400W | Safety features: Blade guard and dust vacuum adapter

Bevel capacity: 0-45 degree bevel scale | Adjustable guide: Parallel edge and laser guide

Other features

• Multi-material 24-tooth TCT blade

• 2 year guarantee

How to change a circular saw blade

You may need to change your blade for different materials or, if you're finding your saw is having difficulty cutting through or you're having to use more force, this could be a sign that your blade has become blunt and needs changing. In order to change your blade safely, follow these steps:

1 Firstly, make sure your tool is unplugged and the power is off.

2 Then, push down on the spindle lock located on your saw to stop the blade from rotating in the removal process.

3 Next, use the provided removal tool that came with your circular saw to undo and remove the old blade (usually a hex key).

4 Finally, replace with the new blade and tighten in place.

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