Circular saws are one of the most common hand tools used by craftsmen, handymen, framers, woodworkers and homeowners. The basic premise isto provide a versatile and affordable saw that is lightweight and can be used to cut a variety of material. All saws make straight cuts and many include the ability to make beveled cuts. Prices range from around 500 dollars to thousand dollar, depending on the style, power and features needed.
DEWALT DWS520CK 6-1/2-Inch 12-AMP TrackSaw Kit
The DEWALT DWS520CK is a mid-range priced saw kit that has a 12 amp motor, which promises up to 1300W of power. This corded track saw provides splinter-free, straight cuts that are perfectly precise.
This powerful track saw is both easy to set up and easy enough to operate for even beginner woodworkers. The rugged, yet lightweight unit has a 12A motor with a soft start feature which will make sure that the saw does not jump when it is switched on. It also winds down to stop quickly and quietly. This track saw features a riving knife for extra safety and a blade that retracts fully into the guard, so the saw sits flat on the base when not in use.
If you are going to make cuts of 96 inches or less that will regularly require precise and straight cutting, then the DWS 520 CK will be a great purchase for yourself and your workshop. This track saw produces finish level cuts and tear-out on the track side of the saw is basically non-existent. This is a cost effective saw that can be trusted for quality and consistent work.
Festool 575387 Plunge Cut Track Saw Ts 55 Req-F-Plus USA
The Festool TS 55 REQ-F-PLUS Punge-Cut Track Saw Imperial is not your standard circular saw. With its accuracy and versatility, it would better be compared to the most advanced table saws, miter saws or panel saws available. Add in its incredible portability and unbelievable ease of use, and you have a precision-cutting solution like no other, as at home in the highest-end cabinet shop as on a job-site remodel. With the addition of micro-adjustable depth controls and a flat housing for flush-cutting against walls or adjacent surfaces, the TS 55 REQ is Festool’s most advanced plunge cut saw ever, which is saying a lot. This “saw only” version is an ideal choice for users who already own a Festool Gude Rail. Germany
Makita 5402NA 16-5/16-Inch Circular Saw
The 5402NA takes a few seconds to wind up when the trigger is pulled. When I fed it into the hemlock at full depth, it bogged down, but if I let the blade wind up to full speed and then reduced the feed rate to a snail’s pace, the saw performed just fine. It was also fine cutting 4 in. or less, such as when making tenons and half-lap joints. The cuts were square and showed little evidence of blade wobble.
Next, I tested the saw on a small grade-level deck project. Although the saw is comfortable to run, it’s a boat anchor to drag around the job site. I found myself trying to decide if the saw or the 6×6 post was the heavier item to move. Ultimately, I found it easier to roll the post onto a miter-saw stand to finish the cut started by a small circular saw than to work this monster all day.
The 5402NA is not a saw I will use every day, but when the situation demands, I’m grateful to have it. The tool comes with a 32-tooth blade, blade wrench, rip fence, and storage stand.
Festool 575389 Plunge Cut Track Saw Ts 75 EQ-F-Plus USA
The Festool TS 75 EQ Plunge Cut Circular Saw is a powerful unit that will deliver pinpoint accuracy to your work. This isn’t just a standard circular saw, though.
When taking into consideration its versatility and accuracy, it could be better matched against the most advanced miter saws, panel saws and table saws.
This is Festool’s most powerful plunge cut saw. It will provide enough power to slice through the toughest material with little to no swirl or burn marks. This corded circular saw isn’t only impressive because of how straight it can cut, but also how well it is able to make high accuracy cuts without splintering.
Straight Flush Saw SFS-85 Cuz-D Industries Multi-Purpose
The Straight Flush Saw is something new to the market – in fact it seems to still be getting to the market. In any case, the tool is a remake of the circular saw in such as way as to facilitate both deeper cuts, and more importantly, cuts that allow completely flush positioning against studs, posts, headers and more. The idea is that the new Flush Saw can be a single tool that would replace the necessity to use a standard circular saw and finish with a recip saw – or jump to a reciprocating saw for a job that would be much cleaner with a high-speed circular saw cut.
Makita XPS01PTJ 5.0Ah 18V X2 LXT Lithium-Ion (36V) Brushless
Makita’s XPS01PTJ 18V X2 (36V) LXT Cordless 6-1/2” Plunge-Cut Circular Saw Kit delivers precise, accurate cutting without the hassle of a cord. When combined with an optional guide rail system (sold separately), the saw produces arrow-straight cuts with minimal tear-out. It combines a powerful brushless motor powered by two included 18V LXT® batteries with Automatic Speed Change™ Technology, which adjusts cutting speed and torque during the cut for optimum performance.
The saw has a variable speed control dial (2,500 to 6,300 RPM), with soft start and an electric brake. It has a large 2-3/16” depth of cut at 90°, with a bevel cut range of -1° to 48° and positive stops at 22.5° and 45°. Star Protection Computer Controls™ allow the tool and battery to exchange data to protect against overloading, over-discharging and overheating. Compatible with Makita 18V Lithium-Ion batteries with the star symbol on the battery.
Skilsaw SPT70WM-22 10-1/4″
The Skilsaw Sawsquatch is a beast of a circular saw that effectively puts miter saw capacity in a more portable and maneuverable handheld unit. Officially listed under model number Skilsaw SPT 70 WM-22, it’s been dubbed the Sawsquatch and is hoping for a legendary reputation.
The Skilsaw Sawsquatch design has one major purpose in mind – cut 4X material in one pass. That’s fortunate for me since I’ve been looking for ways to cut the tops off of fenceposts on our farm more easily. We set them well into the ground so they’re solid, but they’re far from perfectly in line at the tops.
So far my options have been a recip saw, chainsaw, or two passes with a standard circular saw. None of these are terribly attractive solutions but I typically default to the circular saw for a faster, cleaner cut.
Skil SPT78MMC-22 Worm Drive Outlaw Metal Saw15A
Skilsaw’s worm drive hand held circular saws have been around for almost 100 years now and were so widely used by the professional tradesman for so long that the word “Skilsaw” had become synonymous with “circular saw” (like Sawzall and the reciprocating saw).
However, in recent years the Skil brand became so diluted with stocking stuffer, multi use, gimmicky tools and tool sets, that a long overdue rebranding was necessary to separate their professional level tools. Having used several of of their tools since the delineation, I had little doubt the Skilsaw Outlaw Metal Cutting Saw would be worth my attention.
The first thing I noticed out of the box was that there was no case, not even a bag. I’m a big fan of hard cases; they definitely aid in extending tool life. I consider this a disappointment for a tool at this price point.