Are you on the lookout for the best circular saws? The right ones can help you to trim down your wooden doors, board out your loft, build a new deck and much more.
Whatever woodwork project you have lined up, a circular saw will give you that all-important professional finish.
Most DIYers prefer a handheld option. These are usually cordless and lightweight, ideal for various DIY projects. The more serious DIY or woodwork hobbyist may choose something larger, like a table saw, but will need a permanent spot to store it (like a workshop or sizeable garage).
With the help of this guide, you will be able to make an informed decision on the best circular saw for your next DIY project.
The best circular saws you can buy now
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1. Makita HS7601J/2 240V 190mm Circular Saw
The best circular saw overall
Corded/Cordless: Corded | Wattage: 1200W | Blade Length: 190mm | Weight: 4kg
If you want a well-built, quality circular saw that’s fit for cutting doors and laminate wood flooring, then this great all-rounder from Makita is one for your shopping list.
The HS7601J/2 comes with a decent-sized aluminium base plate to keep it steady and an aluminium safety cover to help stop unwanted accidents. Equipped with a 1200W motor that delivers 5200rpm, it has enough power to make light work of cutting through standard 35mm doors and thicker wood.
It also has a maximum depth of 66mm at the default zero degrees. An easy-to-use rear angular guide allows for up to 45° bevels, but this reduces the maximum depth for a cut to 46mm — still enough if working on a door.
While there is no laser guide to assist with cuts, a functional metal guide ensures that you get straight and accurate lines. The blade that comes with the saw is a little coarse, so you might need to invest in one with more teeth for smoother cuts. But thanks to its flat motor housing, it's easy — and safer — to switch blades with this model.
2. Ryobi ONE+ HP RCS18X 18V Brushless Circular Saw (Bare Tool)
The best cordless circular saw
Corded/Cordless: Cordless | Blade Length: 184mm | Battery Included: No | Weight: 3.2kg (without battery)
The Ryobi ONE+ HP RCS18X handheld 18V cordless circular gives you the freedom to take it wherever your latest DIY project happens to be, without worrying about needing to be near a power point.
This is a very capable circular saw that is as happy being used as an occasional tool at home or for more serious projects. It easily rips through a variety of materials including battens, studwork CLS timbers, chipboard, and gloss coated MDF. Its rotation speed of 4500 RPM and the 184mm blade with a cutting depth of 62mm also allows for the cutting of most sheet materials.
It comes supplied with a removable adjustable fence for accurate cutting of long strips or trimming sheet materials, and the base is marked with guides when free cutting a pre-drawn line. There's also an LED light which proves useful for highlighting the guide markings if there are any shadows.
The tool is sold separately, but it is part of Ryobi's ONE+ range so it shares battery compatibility with all the usual suspects such as drills, saws and finishing tools.
Read our full Ryobi ONE+ HP RCS18X 18V Brushless Circular Saw review
3. Wickes 190mm Corded Circular Saw
The best circular saw if you're on a budget
Corded/Cordless: Corded | Wattage: 1400W | Blade Length: 190mm | Weight: 4.64kg
If you want a circular saw that will get the job done with minimum fuss but can’t justify splashing out on a top-of-the-range model, then this saw is definitely one to consider.
You get a lot of circular saw for your money. The Wickes 190mm Corded Circular Saw may not be built for heavy-duty use, but it's a top choice for the occasional DIYer. Powered by a 1400W motor, it has enough grunt to get through wood with ease.
The supplied disc is a 24T model. This is great for ripping through timber — especially along the grain. But if you need to cut across the grain and require a smoother finish, you’ll need to invest in a 60-80T blade.
A 3m lead offers plenty of room to manoeuvre when using, and a cutting depth of 65mm is ideal for most DIY jobs. An adjustable guide allows up to 45° bevels and a rare addition on a budget model — a laser guide — helps ensure straight cuts.
4. DeWalt Plunge Cut Circular Saw and Guide Rail Kit
The best circular saw for high-accuracy cuts
Corded/Cordless: Corded | Wattage: 1300W | Blade Length: 165mm | Weight: 5.1kg
This DeWalt Circular Plunge Cut Saw is much more than an occasional tool. It’s not cheap, but you are getting a pro-level circular saw here. A sturdy, heavy-duty saw, it brings quality, precision and comes as a kit with some essential extras.
The saw has a parallel plunge action for quick, precise cuts, and the blade is fully enclosed for both accuracy and safety. It also makes sure that 90% of dust goes out the exhaust port rather than around the room, meaning there's less mess to clear up afterwards.
Powered by a 1300W motor, the saw has a maximum of 4200rpm and comes with a 165mm 48T blade that helps create clean, sharp and smooth crosscuts. The smaller blade means that you don’t get quite such a deep cutting depth, but at 59mm, it's still more than enough for wooden doors and flooring.
Plus, it’s capable of up to 45° bevel cuts at 40mm — again, still ideal for doors. Also included in the kit are 1.5m guide rails — with bag — for perfect straight cuts, a heavy-duty carry case, and two clamps for improved accuracy.
5. Erbauer EXT 18V 165mm Cordless Circular Saw
An effective cordless saw that's good value for money
Corded/Cordless: Cordless | Wattage: 1300W | Blade Length: 165mm | Battery Included: No | Weight: 5.1kg (without battery)
You get plenty of performance from this cordless saw, which has high torque and a longer runtime thanks to its brushless motor technology.
With a maximum speed of 5400rpm, the included 165mm disc still boasts a cutting depth of 61mm and up to 45° bevels. A standard parallel guide, a laser guide and a soft grip help ensure that you can get good straight lines when cutting wooden doors, boards and flooring.
It is worth noting that while the Erbauer saw is part of the EXT one battery system, it doesn’t include a battery, so you will need to purchase this separately. Be warned, this will up the price by around 70%, as the saw is not compatible with previous generation Erbauer tools.
6. Evolution Power Tools Sliding Mitre Saw
The best circular saw for precision crosscuts
Corded/Cordless: Corded | Wattage: 1500W | Blade Length: 210mm | Weight: 13.2kg
If you want precision cuts on more than just wood, then this mitre saw could be for you. Powered by a hi-torque 1500W motor, the Evolution Power Tools Sliding Mitre Saw comes with a 210mm Japanese tungsten carbide tipped multi-material blade that can work its way through plastics, copper, aluminium, mild steel and wood with no problem.
The 24T blade doesn’t give the smoothest of cuts, so you might need to finish your cut yourself. Alternatively, you can invest in a different blade.
A neat laser guide helps ensure that you are getting accurate cuts every time. The saw offers up to 45° bevels that are easy to sort, up to 50° mitre cuts and an adjustable cut depth up to 65mm. This gives plenty of flexibility for all different types of cuts and materials.
7. DEWALT XR Brushless Compact Circular Saw
The best compact circular saw
Corded/Cordless: Cordless | Wattage: 750W | Blade Length: 115mm | Battery Included: No | Weight: 1kg (without battery)
This compact circular saw is lightweight, portable and cordless, meaning it’s a great option that you can take with you anywhere. It’s like a scaled-down version of a handheld circular saw.
You get a 115mm blade — with a maximum cutting depth of 38mm — and a 750W motor. These are smaller and less powerful than a standard handheld saw but can still power through standard 35mm interior doors, and are also ideal for sawing through plywood, MDF and chipboard.
As an added bonus, the DEWALT XR Brushless Compact Circular Saw is brilliant at getting into awkward and difficult-to-reach areas. A brushless motor gives an improved run time, typically lasting longer than saws with brushed motors. But the DeWalt doesn’t come with a battery or charger, so you will have the extra expense of purchasing one separately.
8. Evolution Fury 5-S Table Saw
The best circular table saw
Corded/Cordless: Corded | Wattage: 1500W | Blade Length: 255mm | Weight: 21kg
If you're a serious DIYer or keen woodworker, then a table saw is a tool you seriously need to consider, and the Evolution Fury 5-S Table Saw is a great choice.
Due to its size and weight — 21kg — it’s not an everyday portable item. But you do get a wide — 64.2 x 93 x 94cm — sturdy surface to work, making it easy to get accurate clean cuts on large items.
The table is powered by a hi-torque, 1500W motor and comes with a larger-than-usual 255mm multi-purpose 24T blade, which is capable of cutting through metal, laminate and plastic as well as wood. An adjustable saw blade means you can get cuts of up to 85mm, while a removable rip fence ensures straight cuts, with a screw-on material pusher offering flat 45° angles.
A quick rotation of the bevel and mitre handle gives up to 60° cutting angles, pretty much all you need. For your safety, there's a push stick included, so you don’t need to get your hands anywhere near the blade.
What are the main types of circular saw?
Circular saws come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but the main types include:
This is the most popular type of circular saw. It is portable, so it's easy to carry, and is operated using both hands.
A handheld circular saw is typically used to cut through doors, flooring and MDF.
A circular saw blade protrudes through the top of a table, which provides support for the material, usually wood, being cut.
This is less portable than a handheld and is the best choice for tradesmen and serious woodworking hobbyists.
Also known as a mini circular saw, these are a smaller version of handheld saws.
They perform similar functions, but typically do not have such a deep cutting depth or as many features.
These are mounted circular saws that allow for precision crosscuts in wood.
The best mitre saws are typically used by carpenters and DIYers to cut skirting boards, mouldings, trim work and other general carpentry.
How to choose the best circular saw
Looking to cut your wooden doors, lay some laminate flooring, or board your loft? You need to get the best circular saw for the job. Here we take a look at some of the things you need to look out for:
Cutting depth and bevel capacity
The cutting depth is how deep the saw can cut into the wood. The common depths range from 40mm to 60mm+.
This is ideal for popular DIY jobs, like cutting doors, MDF, boards and flooring. Remember though that not every cut will be a straight cut, so choose a product that helps you get the cleanest possible edge.
Saw blades come in a few different sizes, have different bores (the hole in the middle) and a different amount of teeth.
When replacing a circular saw blade, the first thing you need to check is the size of the blade itself and the bore size. Get either wrong and the blade won't fit.
Once you have the right size blade, you need to choose how many teeth. As a general guide, the more teeth, the smoother the finish. 60T-80T (this is the amount of teeth) is good for cross-cutting (cutting across the grain) on doors and flooring.
If you’re cutting timber with the grain, however, you can choose a blade with less teeth, like 24T.
Power tools can be dangerous, so take a look at what safety features a circular saw has. An electric brake is a useful addition, as it helps bring a blade to a stop quicker.
Check out the blade guard, how much of the blade it covers, and how sturdy it is.
A couple of accessories that work well with the best circular saws are a hard carry case and a dust bag.
A hard carry case will protect your circular saw from knocks and damage, while a dust bag will collect any excess dust. This will stop it spraying everywhere, prevent you from breathing any dust in, and there will be less mess to clear up afterwards.
What size circular saw do I need?
The most common size circular saw is a handheld that boasts a 165mm-190mm saw blade.
Physically, they are very similar in size, but bigger blades need more room, so these are generally larger and slightly heavier.
The larger saw blades typically have a slightly deeper cutting depth, but both choices are ideal for standard interior doors, flooring, boarding and most woodcutting DIY jobs.
Do I need a bench to use a circular saw?
No. Handheld circular saws are the popular choice for DIYers, as they are typically the least expensive option and do the job that most hobbyists want.
Bench/table saws are larger, more expensive, less portable and generally the tradesman's choice. Unless you do a lot of woodworking and have your own workshop, there’s no real need to own one.
How we're testing circular saws
There's a lot to consider when buying one of the best circular saws, and the Homebuilding & Renovating team is getting hands-on experience with the products in this buying guide to help you feel confident in choosing the right tool for you.
In our ongoing independent reviews we are testing the motor power and build quality to gauge each saw's efficacy, and assessing key factors including ease of use and value for money. We’re also reviewing everything in-between from included attachments to which households will most benefit from buying a specific circular saw.
Our team is passionate about DIY and home improvement (which probably won’t be a surprise) so we already have detailed knowledge about the brands that make these [products]. Moreover, we have taken into account user reviews when compiling this buying guide, and gleaned key information from our sister sites such as Real Homes and Ideal Home to help you find the best tool for your home.
Still intrigued by our testing process? Find out more about how we test on our page. Here are a few of our Homebuilding & Renovating tools testers:
David is a renewables and ventilation installer with over 30 years of experience, who is passionate about testing new tools. He has reviewed the Ryobi ONE+ HP RCS18X 18V Brushless Circular Saw for Homebuilding & Renovating.
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Steve is Homebuilding & Renovating's DIY content editor, and has been a writer and editor for two decades. He is an avid DIYer with over 20 years of experience in transforming and renovating homes. He specialises in painting and decorating, but has strong all-round building skills, having previously worked in the industry for 10 years.