The Best Corded Circular Saws of 2022

A corded circular saw is an invaluable addition to the home workshop or professional tool kit. This guide can help you pick the best tool for a wide range of cutting tasks.

By Bob Beacham | Updated May 19, 2022 12:01 PM

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Best Corded Circular Saw

Photo: amazon.com

Both keen DIY woodworkers and professionals have numerous different saws to choose from, but without a doubt the two most versatile are the jigsaw and the handheld circular saw. The latter is invaluable for general workshop use, remodeling, and job site tasks, but the choice is much wider than many might assume. A closer look at the full range of circular saws reveals some interesting options.

While cordless tools continue to grow in popularity, the best corded circular saws often offer the optimum combination of performance and value. The following article delves into all the important details in order to help you make the right buying decision.

  1. BEST OVERALL: DEWALT 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, Lightweight (DWE575)
  2. RUNNER-UP: BOSCH CS10 7-1/4-Inch 15 Amp Circular Saw
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: BLACK+DECKER 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Laser
  4. UPGRADE PICK: Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
  5. BEST DIY: CRAFTSMAN 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw, 15-Amp (CMES510)
  6. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: SKILSAW SPT70WM-01 15 Amp 10-1/4″ Magnesium
  7. BEST COMPACT: WORX WX427L 6A 4-1/2” Corded Compact Circular Saw
  8. BEST LASER GUIDE: SKIL 5280-01 Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser
  9. MOST VERSATILE: Evolution – 027-0004C Power Tools R185CCSX 7-1/4″
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Makita 5477NB 7-1/4″ Hypoid Saw
Best Corded Circular Saw

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Corded Circular Saw

Those shopping for a corded circular saw for the workshop will find tremendous variety. In addition to the wide range of “standard” tools, there are highly maneuverable compact models and high-performance heavy-duty saws. Strictly speaking, table saws are also circular saws, but this article will concentrate on handheld models. The following technical aspects are important in narrowing down your choice.

Blade Size and Types

Circular saws are generally rated by their blade size. A 7¼-inch blade is common among general-purpose models, but they go to over 10 inches on heavy-duty circular saws and can be less than 4 inches on compact models.

Depth of cut is one of the main factors in choosing the best circular saw for a particular task. It is important to study specifications carefully as two saws with the same blade size often differ here. Look for the depth of cut with the blade at 90 degrees, which will be the absolute maximum. For most users, it’s also important to check the depth of cut when the blade is at 45 degrees, a common angle for bevel cuts.

The number of teeth and the blade material will also have an impact. Most circular saws described as 7¼-inch will be supplied with an 18- or 24-tooth blade with durable tungsten-carbide-tipped teeth. They are good for all kinds of general-purpose sawing, particularly with the kind of lumber used for remodeling or building work. However, a wide variety of different blades are available and can be worth investigating for different jobs. More teeth give a smoother cut and are often used for hardwoods. There are special blades for cutting sheet metals like aluminum, and diamond-tipped blades can saw through tile or concrete.

Power and Speed

The amp rating is usually a good indication of performance and thus the kind of work the saw is intended for. The maximum power of almost all corded circular saw motors is 15 amps, and it’s the most that can be supplied by a standard household outlet. Models aimed at the occasional DIY user might have slightly less powerful motors of around 13 amps. Compact tools might be as low as 4 amps.

Blade speed can be a useful measure in that a blade that’s turning faster will in theory cut more quickly. However, speeds quoted are invariably no-load speeds (in other words when the saw is not cutting), so they aren’t always an accurate reflection of performance. As a result, many saw makers don’t quote them. Generally speaking, manufacturers do a good job of matching speed to power output, so it’s rarely an issue.

Sidewinder or Worm Drive

There are two ways the power of a circular saw is transmitted to the blade: sidewinder and worm drive. Strictly speaking there’s a third: hypoid drive. However, a hypoid circular saw is very similar to a worm drive circular saw. It has slightly more efficient power transfer but is basically the same in terms of the impact it has on buyer choice.

Sidewinder drive is the most common. The motor is directly connected to the side of the saw blade, driving it via a rotating shaft. Sidewinder saws are usually more compact, lighter, and have faster blade speeds.

On worm drive (and hypoid) saws, the motor sits behind the blade and drives the blade via offset gearing. These saws are usually larger and blade speeds are slower, but they generate greater torque. This makes worm drive the better option for corded circular saws that regularly cut thick or hard materials.

Shoe Material and Weight

The shoe (or sole) is the base plate of the saw that rests on the material being cut. On budget corded circular saws, it is often steel, which is cheap and durable. However, it’s also heavy and prone to rust. Aluminum is perhaps the most common shoe material. It’s lighter than steel and doesn’t rust. It’s not quite as tough, but minor dings are not difficult to repair. Magnesium alloy (often just called magnesium) is the premium shoe material. It is almost as strong as steel, doesn’t rust, and it’s around 30 percent lighter than aluminum. It is noticeably more expensive, though.

All-up corded circular saw weight will make a difference to those who use the tool all day, especially those who cut vertically as well as horizontally. That said, lightness isn’t always a benefit. Plastic body parts will result in reduced weight but might not have the durability for some environments.

Ease of Adjustment

Corded circular saws are adjustable for depth of cut and blade angle. How easy this is to accomplish can make a big difference to convenience, particularly if changes need to be made frequently.

On older saws and some very low-cost models, depth adjustment requires an Allen wrench. Most now have easy-to-use tool-free levers. Some saws still require an Allen wrench for changing the angle of the shoe. Onboard storage for the wrench is often provided. A marked scale is attached for angles, but detents (preset holes or notches) for common angles like 22.5, 45, and 90 degrees make the job faster. It’s common for saws to have a maximum angle of 45 degrees for bevel cuts, but some go a little further, the maximum found for this article being 57 degrees.

Circular saws almost invariably have a spindle lock, which stops the blade rotating to make it easier and safer to change. Onboard storage for the blade wrench is another useful extra.

Additional Features

  • It can be a nuisance waiting for the saw blade to slow down so you can rest the tool safely. Some of the best corded circular saws have an electric brake that activates as soon as you take your finger off the trigger, stopping the blade much more quickly.
  • A dust blower that clears the path in front of the saw blade is a nice addition, especially if you frequently cut sheet material where gathering sawdust can obscure a cut line.
  • The safety guards around the bottom of the blade can sometimes stick. Ball-bearing guides provide consistently smooth opening and closing.
  • Laser guides are now available on some saws, helping users maintain accuracy by projecting a beam along the cut line. Care is needed when setting up, and alignment should be checked regularly.
  • One or two circular saws offer LED work lights, though it’s not a common feature.
  • A rafter hook is a useful addition, allowing the saw to be hung somewhere convenient rather than needing to be stored on a bench or the floor.
  • A bag or case is useful for storage and protection but is not common, even among more expensive circular saws.

Our Top Picks

The top picks all come from recognized brands known for their high product standards and reliability. They represent a wide cross-section of both common designs and more unusual models. In order to make it easier for you to find the best corded circular saw for a specific task, each product has been assigned to an individual category.

Best Overall

Best Corded Circular Saw Dewalt
Photo: amazon.com

With such great options available, it’s difficult to pick a single best corded circular saw, but the DeWalt offers both keen DIY enthusiasts and professionals just about everything they need. There is also the brand’s high standards of precision, durability, and reliability.

The 15-amp motor provides the basis for a powerful 7 1/4-inch tool. Maximum depth of cut is 2 9/16 inches. Bevel angle is up to 57 degrees, with detents at 22.5 and 45 degrees. Both are tool-free lever-operated. At 8.8 pounds, the DeWalt circular saw is one of the lightest tools in its class. one of the lightest circular saws in its class.

A dust blower is a useful addition, and ball bearings make for smooth guard operation. The supplied blade is an 18-tooth model, which offers fast and aggressive cutting but is perhaps a bit coarse for sheet work. A 24-tooth version is an affordable addition.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 inches
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Weight: 8.8 pounds

Pros

  • Powerful yet light and maneuverable
  • Smooth action lower blade guard
  • Integrated dust blower clears cut line

Cons

  • Instructions could be clearer
  • Comes without bag or carry case
  • Premium price tag

Get the DeWalt circular saw at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

Runner-Up

Best Corded Circular Saw Bosch
Photo: amazon.com

The runner-up from Bosch is another solidly built 15-amp 7 1/4-inch saw. It has a maximum depth of 2 7/16 inches and beveling to 56 degrees, with detents at 22.5 and 45 degrees. The 24-tooth blade will tackle most workshop and site jobs with ease. It weighs 10.2 pounds. There are simple levers for fast adjustment and an onboard wrench for blade changes.

Like the DeWalt, there’s a dust blower and a snag-free blade guard. The Bosch doesn’t quite match the DeWalt on a few key statistics but remains an excellent all-rounder and one that is very competitively priced. A carry bag is a nice extra.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 inches
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Weight: 10.2 pounds

Pros

  • Easy depth and bevel adjustment
  • Rafter hook convenient for roofers
  • Onboard blade wrench storage

Cons

  • No blade brake
  • Magnesium shoe does little to reduce weight
  • Price is competitive, but still relatively high

Get the Bosch circular saw at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.
Check for a refurbished Bosch on Amazon.

Best Bang For The Buck

The Best Corded Circular Saw Option: BLACK+DECKER 7-1 4-Inch Circular Saw with Laser
Photo: walmart.com

The Black & Decker corded circular saw is typical of the brand: It’s a basic tool but one that offers all the essential features. Its price puts it within the reach of those who might only use a circular saw occasionally.

The motor is a 13-amp unit: not massively powerful but still capable of powering the 7 1/4-inch 18-tooth blade to a maximum 2 1/2-inch depth of cut. It will bevel to 45 degrees. All adjustments are tool-free. The shoe is steel, but much of the body is plastic, resulting in a remarkably lightweight tool at just 7 pounds. Perhaps surprisingly on such a low-cost circular saw, a laser guide is included.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 inches
  • Power: 13 amp
  • Weight: 7 pounds

Pros

  • Very lightweight DIY saw
  • Includes laser cut line guide
  • Good value for money

Cons

  • Care needed not to crack plastic parts
  • Supplied blade could be better
  • Laser guide can be challenging to set up

Get the Black+Decker circular saw at Amazon, Walmart, or Ace Hardware

Upgrade Pick

Best Corded Circular Saw Makita
Photo: amazon.com

The 7 1/4-inch Makita circular saw has a powerful 15-amp motor with precision gearing designed for maximum power transmission. At 2 1/2 inches, the maximum depth of cut isn’t particularly impressive, but the high-performance 24-tooth blade will cut effortlessly through just about all job site framing, flooring, roofing, and paneling materials. Beveling goes to 56 degrees, with detents at 22.5 and 45 degrees. Levers make adjustments quick and easy.

While shoe and blade guards are magnesium to reduce weight, it’s a measure of the tool’s toughness that it still weighs 10.1 pounds. A clear scale is marked on the leading edge of the shoe, and twin LEDs light the cut path. There’s a dust blower, too. The job site theme continues with the provision of a rip fence and a sturdy storage case.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 inches
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Weight: 10.1 pounds

Pros

  • Combines high performance with reliability
  • Supplied blade is very good
  • Comes with durable case

Cons

  • Relatively heavy despite magnesium components
  • Power cord could be longer
  • Considerable investment

Get the Makita circular saw at Amazon or The Home Depot.

Best DIY

Best Corded Circular Saw Craftsman
Photo: amazon.com

The 7 1/4-inch Craftsman corded circular saw has a powerful 15-amp motor driving a fast-cutting 18-tooth blade (a 24-tooth version is available). The 2 1/8-inch depth of cut is a fraction less than some but still more than enough for many types of dimensioned lumber. Maximum bevel is 55 degrees, with the usual detents at 22.5 and 45 degrees. Both adjustments are tool-free.

Perhaps surprisingly on a budget circular saw, the shoe is magnesium, though this does little to minimize the 11-pound weight. However, blade guards are durable steel rather than the plastic found on some low-cost saws. A useful rafter hook completes the specification.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 inches
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Weight: 11 pounds

Pros

  • Powerful motor provides fast cutting
  • Good capacities for a DIY saw
  • Comfortable handle gives confident control

Cons

  • Relatively heavy despite magnesium shoe
  • Dust blower is poor
  • No blade braking

Get the Craftsman circular saw at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or Lowe’s.

Best Heavy-Duty

Best Corded Circular Saw Skilsaw
Photo: amazon.com

One glance at the 10 1/4-inch 40-tooth blade leaves little doubt that the 15-amp Skilsaw is designed for heavy-duty cutting. The impression is reinforced by the high-torque worm drive and the auxiliary side handle that provides extra grip.

The grip is necessary when the 16.5-pound tool is used at its maximum cut depth of 3.7 inches. A tool-free lever is premarked with 2x and 4x lumber thicknesses for fast setting, and it will produce bevel cuts to 51 degrees, again tool-free.

The shoe is magnesium, combining toughness with weight saving. The lower guard is bearing-guided for smoothness. This is far from an everyday circular saw, but for those who need maximum job site performance, it offers outstanding capabilities.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 10-1/4 inches
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Weight: 16.5 pounds

Pros

  • Worm drive transmits enormous power
  • Reliable, durable dual-field motor
  • Fast setting of common cutting depths

Cons

  • Requires two hands for control
  • Very expensive
  • Not recommended for beginners

Get the Skilsaw circular saw at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

Best Compact

Best Corded Circular Saw Work
Photo: amazon.com

Despite its modest size, the Worx compact circular saw can tackle a wide range of DIY and professional tasks, from sawing small-section lumber to cutting tile, plastic pipe, or even sheet metal. The 6-amp motor provides plenty of power, and the 4 1/2-inch blade cuts to a maximum depth of 1 11/16 inches. The aluminum shoe angles both left and right up to 45 degrees. All adjustments are lever operated.

There are a lot of features packed into this small body. It comes with two 24-tooth general purpose blades, two 60-tooth high-speed steel blades for metal cutting, and two diamond grit blades for tile. There’s a dust extraction port and a laser for accuracy. The Worx compact circular saw is a great addition to any tool kit, particularly for working in confined spaces.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 4-1/2 inches
  • Power: 6 amp
  • Weight: 5 pounds

Pros

  • Compact yet versatile tool
  • Includes cut line laser
  • Wood, tile and metal cutting blades provided

Cons

  • Modest depth, though it can cut 2×4
  • Quite pricey
  • Clunky dust extraction hookup

Get the Worx compact circular saw at Amazon or Walmart.

Best Laser Guide

Best Corded Circular Saw Skil
Photo: amazon.com

Even without the laser beam, this corded circular saw from Skil is an impressive tool. There are 15 amps of power driving a 7 1/4-inch 24-tooth blade. At 2 3/8 inches, the maximum cutting depth is similar to many rivals. There are 51 degrees of bevel available, with a detent at 45 degrees. As expected from a quality tool, adjustments are by quickset levers.

The main feature is the laser, which projects a thin beam allowing accurate following of cutlines. This is particularly useful when it’s difficult to see the blade. There is also a dust blower to clear the path and a snag-free blade guard for smooth operation. The Skil weighs a reasonable 8.7 pounds. It is a great circular saw for the home workshop at a very competitive price.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 inches
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Weight: 8.7 pounds

Pros

  • Fine line laser for improved accuracy
  • Power on light and trigger guard for added safety
  • Quality 24-tooth blade

Cons

  • Can stall on hardwoods
  • Lacks the performance for professional use
  • Occasional faults with blade mounting bolt

Get the Skil circular saw at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

Most Versatile

Best Corded Circular Saw Evolution
Photo: amazon.com

Evolution has built a reputation for producing a range of versatile saws, much of which is due to the clever multi-material blades. On this model it’s a 7 1/4-inch 40-tooth model, capable of cutting through lumber (and embedded nails), ferrous and nonferrous metals, plastics, laminates, and composites. Maximum depth of cut is 2 1/2 inches in wood, and it will bevel to 45 degrees.

Powering the saw is a robust 15-amp motor. The design of the aluminum shoe channels air out the front, blowing dust away from the cut path. To extend capabilities even further, slotted guides are available so the Evolution can be used as a track saw. Once set up, this allows the user to make perfectly straight cuts in lumber, plywood sheets, worktops, and so on.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 inches
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Weight: 12.5 pounds

Pros

  • Versatile 40-tooth multi-material blade
  • Clear markings and easy adjustment
  • 40” of guide track included

Cons

  • Modest cutting capacities
  • Included track is quite short
  • Care needed with plastic levers

Get the Evolution circular saw at Amazon.

Also Consider

Best Corded Circular Saw Makita4
Photo: amazon.com

The Makita hypoid saw is aimed more at the contractor than the home workshop user, though DIYers undertaking substantial remodeling jobs might find it well worth the investment.

With the large contact area of its hypoid gears, the Makita transfers more of its 15-amp power to the 7 1/4-inch 24-tooth blade. This means consistent cutting to its 2 3/8 inch maximum depth with no risk of stalling. Beveling is available to 51.5 degrees, with 22.5- and 45-degree detents.

The shoe is steel for job site durability and has been chemically treated to prevent rust. Its useful rafter hook underlines the Makita’s target market of roofers, framers, and other carpentry trades. The 14.3-pound weight reflects the robust construction intended for tough working environments.

Product Specs

  • Blade Diameter: 7-1/4 inches
  • Power: 15 amp
  • Weight: 14.3 pounds

Pros

  • Hypoid gear design offers long life
  • Consistent power delivery in all materials
  • Durable construction throughout

Cons

  • Unlikely to appeal to DIY users
  • Surprisingly heavy
  • Needs two hands to control

Get the Makita hypoid saw at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Acme Tools.

Our Verdict

The DeWalt circular saw is the model that will suit most people, most of the time. It is very well made, has excellent capacities, is light and durable. It also comes with a premium price that won’t bother the pro, but might make the DIY user pause. For them there’s the Black+Decker circular saw. Not as solid or as powerful, but not nearly as expensive.

How We Chose the Best Corded Circular Saws

In addition to owning my own wood shop, I have remodeled two homes from the ground up. I have owned low cost, and premium brand circular saws so I know what to look out for. To make sure we had a full picture of the current corded circular saw market the team researched the latest products from all the leading tool brands.

In order to underline the differences in specification discussed above, we tried to make as varied a selection as possible so we had something to meet all needs. Durability is a key issue, so while cheaper corded circular saws may be available, we stuck with tried and trusted brands. However, we are also keenly aware of how important price is, so we made sure there were tools to suit all budgets.

Shopping for a Used or Refurbished Circular Saw

Historically, most people would baulk at the idea of spending good money on a used or second hand tool, but today’s refurbished models are not the dubious equipment found at a neighborhood yard sale. For some time, reputable manufacturers and retailers have been offering refurbished or renewed products like circular saws alongside new models.

The idea is that when a commercially viable fix is possible, it cuts down on waste—which is always a good thing. It may also offer buyers the opportunity to acquire products that might otherwise be outside their budget.

These should not be tools that have been beaten to death for 364 days and returned on the day the warranty expires. It’s true that often they have been tried by another buyer but will have been returned within a relatively short return window. Other times, they might be tools damaged in transit or in the warehouse.

So are refurbished circular saws any good? In our opinion, yes. There’s every chance they could represent a real bargain. There are some interesting offers on refurbished or renewed circular saws at Amazon and Walmart among others. However, care and common sense is needed.

  • Specify the type of saw you want first. Look at new models. Then see what you can get on the refurbished market that comes close to those specifications.
  • Keep a tight rein on your budget. It’s easy to get carried away. The idea here is to save money, or get better value.
  • You should be looking for a substantial cost reduction. If the saving is only saving 10 percent or 15 percent, it might be better to buy new.
  • Make sure you know exactly what is included. Cordless tools often won’t include battery or charger, for example.
  • Be sure to check warranty and return periods before you order. Don’t make assumptions, even if you bought from the retailer before.

While refurbished, reconditioned, or renewed tools are often excellent, there’s always a chance it could be a dud. Buy from a reputable source. Check the saw as soon as it arrives so you can get your money back if there’s a problem.

FAQs

The information above provides a close look at how these tools function and highlights a number of key features. Further detail comes from the top picks for the best corded circular saw in a number of different categories. That said, it’s possible there may still be a few unanswered questions. The following addresses those that come up often.

Q: Is it hard to maintain a corded saw?

Not at all, though there is an easy routine that will help extend the working life of both blade and saw:

  • Clean the saw when you’re finished for the day and store it away from humidity to prevent rust.
  • Change the blade immediately if there are any signs of damage or when it fails to cut effectively. A dull blade puts excess strain on the motor.
  • If you’re cutting sappy lumber, clean residue from the blade with mineral spirits or acetone.
  • Depending on the type of circular saw, there may be brushes in the motor that will wear out eventually. However, they can last several years and are not difficult to change when necessary.
  • Worm drive and hypoid gears need regular lubrication.

Q: Do corded saws consume a lot of electricity?

They are not the least power-hungry of tools, though it depends on size. The wattage rating of the motor tells you the actual consumption. For a circular saw, 1,200 watts is considered average. None in this group dropped below 900 watts; neither were there any that exceeded 2,000 watts.

Q: How long should the cord extension be to move freely?

Even the best corded circular saw only has a cord 6 or 8 feet long, and this can feel restrictive. Most woodworkers plug into an extension to allow more freedom of movement. Just 12 or 15 feet should be plenty, though you can use up to 50 feet if an outlet isn’t nearby. A useful tip for cord safety is to loop it over your shoulder so that it trails behind you. That way you never risk getting it in the way of the blade.

Q: Are corded saws childproof?

No. They should be kept out of children’s reach even when unplugged. The blade guard might catch inquisitive fingers, and if it pushed back, it would reveal teeth that could be sharp enough to cut flesh.