Circular Saw Reviews
Anyone who has ever gotten serious about working with wood will know just how useful and important a circular saw can be. Used properly it can do the job of 3 or 4 other tools, and it can shave hours off your work time. One of the main reasons why a circular saw is so useful is you can bring it with you wherever there is a piece of wood that needs to be cut and do the job there. It is light enough that you can cut a rotten ceiling beam right on the ceiling, and it will make the cut clean enough that you can come with a replacement part and add it in without any extra hassle. Of course, the problem with most circular saws is that the lighter they are, the more powerful they are, and they more reliable, the more you have to pay for them. And whether you are making a leaving out of working with wood, or is just a hobby, you need to make sure that you can keep the price as low as possible.
For that reason we decided that we would take a look at some of the best offers on the market and come up with a list of circular saw reviews that will tell you not only what the best product may be, but what type of job each one is for. That means a enthusiast do it yourselfer can buy the best tool for his needs and pay half of what a professional would have to buy. That is because an enthusiast will not use a circular saw as much as a professional, and since you are working with wood in order to relax and have fun, you don’t really care if it takes 3 seconds or 20 to change a blade. Of course all the circular saws we have chosen to review are of the best quality and anyone of them could work very well in the hands of a professional, but the fact remains that some of them are a better choice for a professional than a layman.
|DeWalt DWE575SB Lightweight Circular Saw||4.7/5||$$|
|Makita 5007F 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw||4.6/5||$$|
|DEWALT DWS535 7 1/4-Inch Worm Drive Circular Saw||4.8/5||$$$|
|Rockwell RK3440K VersaCut Circular Saw||4.3/5||$$|
|SKIL 5680-02 15 Amp 7-1/4-Inch SKILSAW Circular Saw with Laser||4.6/5||$|
DeWalt DWE575SB Lightweight Circular Saw
The first circular saw we decided to review is the DeWalt DWE575SB Lightweight Circular Saw. It is what could be called a cross over circular saw from the enthusiast to the professional level. It is the lightest high power circular saws on the market, at just 8.8 pounds. Still it is powered by a 15 Amp motor, which is actually the industry standard for this type of saws. It can literally go through even oak or other hard woods, like a hot knife through butter. Still the fact that it is so light means you can easily bring it with you wherever you need to work. The 15 Amp motor develops 1,950 Max Watts Out or MWO and can spin the blade at speeds of up to 5,100 revolutions per minutes. As any professional will tell you, be it a concrete former or a framer or a remodeler, that is more than enough for any type of job. Still, the reason why we chose to start our list of reviews with a DeWalt is because, besides uncompromising reliability, they are well known for their affordable prices. That makes the DeWalt DWE575SB Lightweight Circular Saw an excellent price choice even for do it yourselfers who may be willing to spend that little bit extra to get the very best in this class. The saw has all the features you would expect from a professional tool including a dust blower that cleans the surface ahead of the blade so you can easily see where and what you are cutting. Another interesting feature that enthusiasts will certainly appreciate is the tough cord protection system that all DeWalt products come equipped with, as that will keep you from accidentally unplugging the saw. The DeWalt DWE575SB Lightweight Circular Saw has a bevel capacity of 57 degrees, but you also get firm stops at the 22.5 degree angle and at 45 degrees. That translates into the ability to make angle cuts so different pieces of boards can meet and form 90 degree angles without the need to do any additional marking. All and all, the DeWalt is sturdy and light enough to be a professional tool, and yet affordable enough to be an excellent choice for amateurs.
The Makita 5007F is our first and best choice for a purely enthusiast level circular saw. It is ever so slightly cheaper than the DeWalt we have just talked about, and, therefore it becomes just that little bit less reliable to be an authentic entrepreneur tool. Still, it does use a powerful 15 Amps motor capable of turning the blade to 5,800 rotations per minute. The blade itself is a 7-1⁄4 inch Makita 24T carbide-tipped mforce blade, which, in case you do not know what all that means, is the standard blade made under Machita specifications. So you get an above average blade, powered by a very sturdy circular saw. That should be enough to allow you to build several summer wood cabins if you so wished. The problem is that professional woodworkers really push their tools to the extreme, and for that reason Makita is not really the best tool for them. However, a do it yourselfer will absolutely love the fact that, besides the standard blower that you would expect to find on any of these machines, you also get a 2 built in LED lights that allow you to better see the line of cut. The cutting capacity is quite large at 2-3⁄8 inches, which also makes this a perfect tool for an enthusiast who may, at times, make slight miscalculations in the thickness of their wood. The balance of the tool is exquisite, and that will in turn be of great use to any novice wood worker.
Having dealt with the enthusiast advanced and entry level circulars saws we can now focus on the one product that is only meant for professional users, the DeWalt DWS535. The first thing to tell you that it is a professional circular saw, besides the price, is the much stronger cast magnesium footplate. The second thing is the motor that still develops 15 Amps of power, but it uses a sturdier and somewhat heavier worm drive. That protects the gears and the motors much better than the classic drive used on the other circular saws, but it also draws the price and the weight up. The advantage is that the shoe is made from magnesium, which is also a lighter material, and that means the DeWalt DWS535 ends up weighing a very reasonable, even light weight, 13.8 pounds. In the box you get a 7-1⁄12-inch carbide-tipped blade, but you will probably want to replace that with your favorite aftermarket brand. The only disadvantage of the worm drive is that it can only spin the blade to up to 4,800 RPM, but that should be more than enough to cut through any type of wood, and, because of the special drive, there is almost nothing in the composition of the wood that can actually do any damage to your circular saw. The blade can changed in seconds due to the top spindle lock and the easy drop out system. The saw hook itself is one of the more interesting features of this saw because it is extra wide and thus can accept material up to 2-1⁄2 inch wide. And whether you are a beginner or a pro, you are going to appreciate the familiar DeWalt toughcord protection system that provides an exceptional cord jerk protection. The cutting depth at a 90 degree angle is 2-7⁄16 inches and at a 45 degree angle it can only go as low as 1-7⁄8 inches. So, all and all, you do pay a little bit extra, but you do get a tool that will not give out on you no matter how rigorous your working conditions are.
Rockwell RK3440K VersaCut
The truth is that there are more types of circular saws than just the standard 7” blade ones, and our list of reviews would not be complete without the quirkiest one out there, the Rockwell RK3440K VersaCut. It uses just a small 4 Amps motor to power its tinny 3 3⁄8 inches blade. That gives you a depth of cut of only 1 inch, but that should prove more than enough if you are a framer. Interestingly enough the blade can be exchanged with any other 3 3⁄8 blade, giving you the possibility to cut not only wood but also tiles. It uses a laser indicator to help you cut perfectly straight lines and that is a truly intelligent innovation from our perspective since, no matter how good a blower you may have, the line will always be somewhat difficult to follow. Due to the fact that the Rockwell RK3440K VersaCut has a plunge indicator, you can actually make very fine cuts right on the job site so you can, for example cut through a tile, or the top wood plate on a window sill, and not go so deep as to destroy the blade or whatever is under the material you are cutting. The one that we appreciate above all else about the Rockwell RK3440K VersaCut is that the standard blade it comes with can actually cut through wood and you get a second blade that can actually cut through aluminum and PVC , and a third intended for ceramic tiles and cement. And the fact that the entire circular saw is so small means it is also an incredibly maneuverable tool. It can actually be of invaluable use to both enthusiasts and professional workers. However, the one thing that it is not, is that it is not a replacement for a full size circular saw. And yet the price is comparable with the first DeWalt and Makita circular saw reviews that we did, so you would basically end up paying double in order to have a complete tool set.
Skil 5680-02 Circular Saw
We obviously could not conclude our circular saw reviews without talking about the ultimate entry level circular saw on the market, the Skil 5680-02 circular saw. This is clearly not a saw that a professional wood worker would want to spend money on, but if you are a do it yourselfer on a budget, or if you are a professional at the beginning of your career and money is incredibly tight, than the Skil 5680-02 is the best choice you have. Skil are actually famous for coming out with products that match the best the competition has to offer, but at a very low price. Their biggest down shoot is that they tend to cut corners on the quality of the workmanship and of the parts, but they still usually manage to come up with a half decent product, which is exactly what the Skil 5680-02 is. It has a 15 amp motor capable of spinning a 7-1⁄4 blade at more than 4,800 RPM, which is more than enough to cut through any type of wood. As you would expect that saw comes with some pretty standard features like a 51 degree bevel with a positive stop at 45 degree, just like the DeWalt circular saws we have been talking about, so you can make the right angle cut without any previous markings. Besides that, the Skil 5680-02 also has an interesting feature in that, besides the standard dust blower, it has a laser guide that will help keep you perfectly on track. The last important thing to note about the Skil 5680-02 is that is actually an upgrade built on top of the experience they got from the Skil 5680-01. That means they worked out many of the problems the initial product came with, and now the foot is a lot more stable, the lower guard has an anti snag system that works quite well, and the Skil 5680-02 is also lighter and more powerful than the initial version. That is not to say that if you are a DIYer you should give up DeWalt for Skil, but that, if money is tight, you should go with the 5680-02.