Best Circular Saw Guides of 2020 – Round-up Review

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Circular saws can be versatile tools. But making the best of it depends on a few essential accessories, like the guide rail. This one contributes to the comfort of the operator and the precision of the cuts.

Wouldn’t you like to know how to pick one and what to look for when doing so?

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best circular saw guides:

  1. Best Overall: E. Emerson Tool Co. C50
  2. Runner-up: Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide
  3. Best for the Money: Bora 544006 

Comparison of the Best Circular Saw Guide Rails

Product

Specs

Price

E. Emerson Tool Co. C50

  • Self-clamping straight edge
  • Pack of two
  • Low profile and flat top

Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide

  • Multiple cuts with one setup
  • Up to 24" wide cuts
  • Precision controls

Bora 544006

  • Best for the Money
  • Low profile clamps
  • 3 point saw security

Kreg KMA3700 ACCU-Cut XL

  • Best Kreg Circular Saw Guide
  • Anti-chip guide strips
  • Cutting capacity up to 100"

DeWalt DWS5100

  • Best Dewalt Circular Saw Guide
  • 12-inch ripping capacity
  • Foldable design

What is a Circular Saw Guide? 

A circular saw guide is a guide rail or a track system that serves as an accessory to circular saws. You install it on your work. And you use it to guide the circular saw while cutting. A good quality saw guide helps you keep a straight line and get ultra-precise cuts. 

During operation, you want it to stay in the exact initial position, for both accuracy and safety reasons. And so, stability is an essential feature. But so is the flexibility it provides, length- and depth-wise. This flexibility will dictate what kind of materials you can use with it.

Are All Guides The Same? 

One look at your options will make it clear that not all guides are the same. You will see different designs from different manufacturers. But also new, upgraded models coming from the same manufacturers of popular brands. Differences vary from the length of the guide to how you fix it on the working material.

There are also differences in the material that the guide is made of. And variations of weight and profile design. However, it all comes down to the job you’ll use it for. Smaller and lightweight circular saw guides can be better or worse, depending on what you need them for!

What Makes a Great Circular Saw Guide? 

Judging by the entire above, you must have a clue on what makes a great circular saw guide. Now, let us point out the distinctive features and their impact on your cutting experience.

High Stability

You use the circular saw guide to guide your cuts. If the accessory moves around, your saw does the same. When it moves, chances are it won’t go where you want it.  And this can only lead to bad cuts or, even worse, to accidents. High stability is mandatory for a great guiding tool.

Durability

A high-density material will make the saw guide sturdier. Still, most manufacturers prefer aluminum. While a common option, it isn’t the most solid. Anything reinforced will be better, durability-wise.

Functionality

Precise cuts come with specific measurement requirements. So, a guide rail with a measuring scale and precision cursor would be ideal. That way, you’ll work faster, without having to make too many marks on your material.

Optimal Length & Depth

The length shows how much of the material you can cut from one end of the rail to another. Depth shows how deep the cut can be. A decent guide will give you the option to extend its rails for longer cuts. And it should facilitate rip cuts or crosscuts of up to 24-inches wide.

Review of the Best Circular Saw Guides 

Below, you’ll find a selection of the top five best circular saw guides. Based on overall features, value for the money, and popular manufacturers, these reviews will show you everything you need to know, at a glance!

Best Overall: 
E. Emerson Tool Co. C50

PROS

  • Lightweight but rigid, with tubes on sides
  • Allows taking measurements before clamping
  • Versatile enough to facilitate work on both ends
  • Designed with a flat top, for precise straight cuts
  • Features a low profile, for obstruction-free cutting

CONS

  • Includes some plastic parts
  • Clamping system comes with a small learning curve

Our Review:

The C50 All-In-One clamp from E. Emerson Tool is our best overall choice for circular saw guides. It weighs less than 1.8 pounds, and it measures 1.8 x 60 x 3.5 inches, sized for 50-inch cuts. The reinforced aluminum body gets rugged Zeytl nylon jaws. And the design lets you add story sticks by screwing them to the extra-wide jaws.

Built for heavy-duty use, it boasts a straightforward locking system. Once you get the grasp of it, you can make straight cuts effortlessly. Thanks to its flat top and extra low profile, anyone can get almost perfect cuts, with just about any circular saw.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

As a self-clamping model with integral tubes that support the entire body length, it features Emerson’s patented design. Thanks to these tubes, it is ultra-rigid, but it makes no compromise on lightness! Plus, the self-clamping straight edge will spare you from dealing with C-clamping!

Runner-up:
Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide

PROS

  • Allows a firm grip of the circular saw
  • No need to measure or mark your sheets
  • Portable and versatile, sits on any material
  • Facilitates both rip cuts & crosscuts of up to 24-inches
  • Practical design with measuring scale & precision cursor

CONS

  • Plastic base clamp assembly could be sturdier
  • Operation significantly depends on straight edge

Our Review:

This circular saw guide from Kreg weighs 2.45 pounds at 30.88 x 8.75 x 2.5 inches. It was designed with rip-cut in mind, so one can make either rip cuts or cross cuts of up to 24-inches wide. And it promises to turn any circular saw into a highly-accurate edge-guided tool.

The versatile setup allows you to cut multiple pieces at once. After you mark the size, you just keep cutting using the initial setup. And you won’t need to mark, measure, or draw layout lines at all. Whenever in need of extra precision, you have the oversized edge guide at hand.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

You can literally take it to any material, rather than having to carry the material around. Thanks to its universal sled, it works with a wide range of circular saws, left or right blades. And it features a reversible edge guide, working with left- and right-hand saws.

Best for the Money:
Bora 544006

PROS

  • Fill fit both right- and left-handed saws
  • Features low profile front clamps, for more versatility
  • Can be easily secured with a 3-contact-points system
  • Allows accurate placement of the saw, with horizontal stop
  • Designed with front fence for minimal lateral saw movements

CONS

  • Not so intuitive setup
  • Track sliding can prove a bit tricky

Our Review:

The new Bora 544006 WTX saw plate is the most lightweight and compact guide in our selection. It weighs a little over one pound and measures 8 x 2 x 14 inches. Featuring the WTX system, it was conceived for the Bora WTX Clamp edge and rip guide.

The guide relies on 3 solid connection points with the saw. The low-profile front clamps significantly improve the placement. And the precision molded center channel ensures accurate cuts even for the less experienced users. Adding its price point, it can be a very tempting choice.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

Selected as best for the money, this Bora saw guide comes with horizontal stop and front cursor. It allows right- or left-handed use and increased cutting precision thanks to the three connection points. And while it is very affordable price-wise, it is also simple to operate with, for people with different levels of experience.

Best Kreg Circular Saw Guide:
Kreg KMA3700 ACCU-Cut XL

PROS

  • Track requires no clamps
  • Facilitates splinter-free cuts
  • Designed with a generous cutting capacity
  • Portable and easy to place on any material
  • Works with either right-blade or left-blade circular saws

CONS

  • Plastic tray for the saw
  • Cutting in line isn’t always smooth

Our Review

Yet another outstanding circular saw guide from Kreg, this model weighs a whopping 11 pounds at 28 x 8 x 3.88 inches. It offers a decent guided length of 26.5 inches. The tracks are made of aluminum. And the connectors between the tracks are made of steel. For fixation, you have anti-slip guide strips. And, through it all, it facilitates long cuts of up to 100 inches.

All of a sudden, its dimensions make sense, as this is the most generously sized guide we’ve reviewed. It easily attaches to either left or right-blade circular saws, detaching just as quickly. And the track requires no clamps, sitting on the material thanks to the anti-slip guide strips.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

It features a much-coveted Kreg design, the Accu-CutTM XL, which is very simple to set up. You align the track with the cut line, without having to use clamps whatsoever. What’s more, it facilitates longer and more accurate cuts, due to the tear-out protection with anti-chip guide strips.

Best DeWalt Circular Saw Guide:
DeWalt DWS5100

PROS

  • Supports to-the-left and to-the-right cuts
  • Features easily adjustable measurements
  • Intuitive to use, requires minimal preparation
  • Portable and lightweight, easy to carry around
  • Facilitates precise cuts with laser-etched markings

CONS

  • Small saw range
  • Aluminum feels a tad flimsy

Our Review:

This DeWalt folding rip guide is a no-fuss saw attachment at only 1.2 pounds and 19 x 3 x 1 inches. Lightweight and convenient to use, it gets really compact for transportation – like only 19 x 3 inches when folded down. Otherwise, it is super easy to carry around for different works around your household.

As long as you pay attention to its aluminum tracks, making sure you don’t accidentally bend it, the experience is rewarding. After all, it is a handy tool with permanently laser-etched markings. So, cutting straight and fast should be an easy job.

What Makes This Product Stand Out?

A flexible rip guide, the DeWalt DWS5100 supports both-side cuts. If you want to use it on the left side, you’ll enjoy a 12-inch capacity for common rips. If you decide to switch sides, you’ll get an extra 2.5 inches ripping capacity on the right side.

Quick Take: Best Circular Saw Guides

In summary, here are the best circular saw guides:

  1. Best Overall: E. Emerson Tool Co. C50
  2. Runner-up: Kreg Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide
  3. Best for the Money: Bora 544006 

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying? 

When looking at your options on the market, you’ll bump into many different features, details, and technical facts. If you don’t know how to interpret it, focus on the following aspects:

Stability

The guide’s ability to remain firm, right where you’ve installed it, is design-related. It can have classic clamp screws, more modern, quick release systems, or self-adherent foam rubbers. The clamp-free systems are very tempting, but they may not be as stable as clamp-screw models!

Length

The guide rail length determines how much you can cover from your material in one cut. Hitting the end of the rail, you must unlock it, reposition it, and continue. For minimal derails, there should be minimum repositions, which you can only get with longer rails of up to 55 inches.

Depth

The depth of the cut is often referred to as the cutting capacity. You’ll want a circular saw guide that facilitates the deepest cuts on some of the thickest materials for versatility purposes. 24-inch wide cuts are frequent, but if you can get it up to 50-inch, even better!

Weight

For heavy work, you want a heavier guide rail. Weight is important not only for the stability of the guide but also for your safety. For light work, when you’re planning on moving around a lot, you want a lightweight rail. So, there is no right or wrong answer here. It’s just you giving it a good thought and picking a model that will best fit work scope.

Circular Saw Guide Tips, Tricks, and Hacks for Success

Used the wrong way, even the best circular saw guide out there would underdeliver. Make the most of your tools with the following circular saw guide tips, tricks, and success hacks: 

Guide Adjustments 

If you don’t adjust the guides properly, the circular saw will not run smoothly. You might be tempted to blame it on the saw, a common mistake among beginners. Just check the user manual for precise instructions on how to align the saw and the guides to perfection. 

Clean Rails 

If the rails are dirty, you won’t be able to make a clear and clean cut because you won’t see the guides properly. What’s more, a workplace filled with residues is not safe, either. So, always keep your rails clean for maximum visibility and safe operation. 

Fixed Guide Rails 

A rock-solid fixation of the guide rails is essential to avoid getting inaccurate cuts. You want to fix it firmly on the working material, so it won’t move around once you turn on the saw. Instructions vary from one product to another, so, again, you’ll have to follow the user manual to the T. 

Aligned Guide Rails

This one applies to making long cuts. You will need to connect more guide rails at once and to cut it in one move. But if you’re not aligning the guide rails properly, your cut will look crooked. Pay attention to align both the guide rails and the connectors! 

Well-Positioned Blade 

When the rails are in place and properly fixed, you still need to lower the saw blade. It will prevent you from cutting the material the wrong way or getting unwanted burns! So, the circular saw blade will stay upper while you test the alignment. But it always has to go down when you get to work.

Conclusion 

In the end, you have plenty of options from where to choose the best circular saw guide for your intended needs. But apart from how you choose it, how you’re using it can matter just as much. Go ahead and pick your favorite, whether from Emerson, Kreg, Bora, or DeWalt. But do your best to learn how to use it properly before you get to work with it!

People Also Ask

Is there anything else keeping you from ordering a circular saw guide? If so, you probably have a few questions on your mind. We’re going to take a guess and share with you some common questions and their answers.

Are circular saw guides universal?

Circular saw guides should work with different saw sizes and materials. Their adjustment options make them flexible enough to either attach to a working table or directly to the material you’re cutting.

However, you must always consider whether the guide will fit both right and left-handed operation!

What are circular saw guides made of?

Most guides are made of aluminum. Manufacturers prefer it because it is both lightweight and resistant to oxidation. But aluminum is quite malleable and can easily bend if you’re not paying attention.

Also, depending on the product design, some parts of the guide can be made of plastic or nylon. The latter is more reliable and more desirable if you get to choose.

How do I know when I need a new circular saw guide?

You were happy with the stability and the ease of adjustments that your guide provided in the beginning, but things are now different? You should definitely buy a new one. Maybe you see some bends in the aluminum tracks. Or the small rods started to feel flimsy. Or the locking knobs have deteriorated.

Whatever it is that makes the tool more difficult to fixate or to adjust, it is a clear sign that you should replace it ASAP.