Best Circular Saws For Beginners – 2020 Ultimate Review

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Circular saws can be intimidating – they are handheld, have spinning blades that rotate at an extremely high velocity, and are powerful enough to chew through just about anything.

But even beginners and those new to power tools can find a saw that would work for them. Read on to learn more about the best circular saws for beginners.

Comparison Chart of the Best Circular Saws for Beginners

Product

Our Rating

​Price

​Makita SP6000J

​Best Overall

​Dewalt DCS570B

​Runner-up

​Makita 5007

​Best for the Money

​Skilsaw SPT77WML-01

​Best Portable Circular Saw

​S​kilsaw S​outhpaw SPT67M8-01

​Best Left-Handed Circular Saw

When Would I Use a Circular Saw?

If you are a beginner woodworker, you might not see the appeal in investing in a circular saw. But we promise, you can do a ton of work with these bad boys! See the top options for use below:

Cutting Long Boards

You may think that cutting boards of a certain length is best handled by something more stationary such as a table saw, but you would be wrong. The issue is that once boards become super lengthy, they also become super annoying to feed into a tool like a table saw, whereas with a circular saw, you can get the job done in a much easier way.

Making Straight Cuts

Circular saws are true pros when it comes to making straight cuts. Again, you may be surprised to learn that these saws are actually your best option when it comes to making highly precise cuts, but there is in fact no better way to keep your cuts straight than to work with a circular saw.

Projects Outside of Your Workshop

You can’t exactly haul your table saw out into your living room, can you? But a circular saw can go anywhere and everywhere, particularly if it is a cordless model. If it is convenience you seek, you have really got to go with a circular saw.

How to Choose a Circular Saw

Okay, now that you understand what you can do with a circular saw, how do you narrow down your options? Here is what you should be keeping an eye out for:

Size

Are you intending to use your saw to maneuver into tight spaces and operate from strange angles? Smaller saws may work well for tighter cuts, but they can also struggle with cutting tougher materials that larger saws would be able to handle with ease.

While larger saws are great for chomping through intense projects like tile or aluminum, they can be more dangerous to operate and less easy to maneuver. Be careful to select a saw of whatever size will fit best for what you are trying to accomplish.

Motor Power

Motor power tends to go along with size, but not always. When thinking about motor power, it is most important to consider exactly what materials you are trying to cut. If you plan on sawing through extremely tough stuff such as tile, marble, or even hardwoods such as oak, or large amounts of material, you may want to invest in a more powerful motor.

Safety Features

Particularly for new entrants to the circular saw game, safety features are extremely important. Aspects such as an emergency brake or a safety start can make a big difference with novice users who may feel nervous about using a circular saw for the first time.

Quick Take: Best ​Circular Saws for Beginners

Hoping to cut right to the chase? Below are the best circular saws for beginners:

  1. Makita SP6000J
  2. D​ewalt DCS570B
  3. ​Makita 5007

Review of the Best Circular Saws for Beginners

All right, since you have a better sense of what you can do with a circular saw, let’s check out some actual products:

​Best Overall:
M​akita SP6000J​​​

PROS

  • ​Lightweight and easy to transport to the job instead of always having to bring the job to your workshop
  • ​Durable, users report this saw still runs like new even after a decade of use!
  • ​Easy to change out saw brushes on this model
  • ​Endorsed for use by professional carpenters
  • ​Arrives perfectly adjusted right out of the box

CONS

  • ​Blade is exposed a bit on the left side of the machine
  • ​Does not come with a riving knife
  • ​Collects a lot of dust

What Are People Saying?

Users greatly appreciate the added safety features on this model. It has an electronic speed control system so you will always know exactly how quickly your saw is operating. It also provides a soft start for additional security.

What We Love About It

We loved the amount of air flow this model allows for. Between its opening on its left side, and the slot for the spinning blade, you will never have to worry about this saw overheating and needing to take a break.

Who’s This Perfect For?

This model is fantastic for do it yourself projects around the house. It is tough and durable enough for professional use as well, but if you are just getting going in the world of home improvement, you will not be able to find a saw that works better.

Final Thoughts

This product stands out from the crowd as the all around best option for a circular saw. Its additional safety measures, improved air flow, and ease of use all set it apart from its competitor brands. If you want a saw that can do it all for you, this is the top choice.                

​Runner-up:
​Dewalt DCS570B​​​

PROS

  • ​Endorsed for use by professional carpenters
  • ​Has an extremely fast rotation speed
  • ​Comes with a flip out rafter hook
  • ​Has a prolonged battery life
  • ​Easy to use

CONS

  • ​Some users report it is not as strong as corded models
  • ​Cuts hardwoods at a much slower rate
  • ​Can bind up fairly easily

What Are People Saying?

People love the LED light included with this model. It illuminates the cutting line super well and makes it so that you can always make fine, precise cuts, even in lower lit conditions. If accuracy is important to you, you will greatly appreciate this feature.

What We Love About It

We appreciated how this model arrives already fully aligned, straight out of the box. Forget tedious and time consuming setup procedures – this product is already good to go right when it arrives!

Who’s This Perfect For?

If you prefer to use the more modern, ultra thin kerf blades when making cuts, you will not be able to find yourself a better product option than this model. It works better with those kinds of blades than all of its competitor brands.

Final Thoughts

We were impressed by a number of aspects present with this product option. It works well with thinner blades, it is convenient to operate, it makes incredibly precise cuts, and it even has an instantaneous blade brake as an added safety feature. You will not be disappointed if you choose to invest in this product.  

​Best for the Money:
​Makita 5007​​​

PROS

  • ​Many components are made with magnesium, which is both lightweight and durable
  • ​Can be easily used by beginners and is tough enough to be handled by experts
  • ​Bevel capacity is at fifty six degrees
  • ​Has a strong, fifteen amp motor
  • ​Settings are easy to read

CONS

  • ​Does not have a laser guide or an electric saw blade brake
  • ​Scoring function does not work super well
  • ​Not the lightest circular saw option

What Are People Saying?

Users appreciate the thoughtful design present on this model. It comes with an included blade change wrench, as well as an included depth gauge. Both of these tools have built in storage compartments on the side of the saw, so you will never have to worry about misplacing either and needing to find a replacement.

What We Love About It

We were stunned when we saw how little Makita was charging for this product. With a reputable brand name like Makita, we knew it was high quality – but we never dreamed we would be able to find it at such a low price!

Who’s This Perfect For?

If you plan on doing multiple, lengthy projects, you should invest in this model. Its handle is specifically designed to be as ergonomic as possible, so you will be able to operate it for long periods of time without your hands cramping up.

Final Thoughts

Don’t let the price scare you away from this model or convince you that it is cheaply made! From its intentional design, including tool storage and a comfortable handle, to the strength of its motor, you will not believe you can find such an awesome product at such a low price.

​Best Portable Circular Saw
​Skilsaw SPT77WML-01

PROS

  • ​Cuts through even the toughest woods as if they are made of butter
  • ​Can easily rip through long lengths of wood
  • ​Lightweight and easy to transport
  • ​Makes very clean, precise cuts
  • ​Bed is well marked

CONS

  • ​Has a tendency to torque twist in your hand when starting, so keep an eye out for safety reasons
  • ​Bevel is difficult to adjust

What Are People Saying?

Many users report that this Skilsaw is a “lifelong” tool. They purchased it years ago, have used it regularly, and were able to pass it on to their grandchildren and in some cases even their grandchildren to continue its use. How is that for durability?  

What We Love About It

It is a small detail, but it can make a big difference. This model comes with a hook on the back so that you can conveniently hang it on the side of your saw bench. We know it seems insignificant, but in a packed workshop, you need to free up all the space you can get!

Who’s This Perfect For?

Because it is so lightweight, this is an excellent option for users who may not have the upper body strength to haul a huge saw around for long periods of time. Elderly users in particular report finding great success with this model.

Final Thoughts

This is a phenomenal product option that anyone will appreciate, but will specifically work well for those who are seeking a lighter circular saw experience. With its convenient hook and intense durability, even when sawing tougher woods, you will not find much to complain about with this model.                    

​Best Left-Handed Circular Saw:
​Skilsaw Southpaw SPT67M8-01​​​

PROS

  • ​Lightweight and easy to carry
  • ​Base is strong and secure
  • ​Makes accurate cuts
  • ​Has a ton of power
  • ​Well built

CONS

  • ​Does not have a safety switch
  • ​Does not have a soft start

What Are People Saying?

Users really do appreciate how easy this saw is to adjust. Its release levers are large and easy to grab. Plus, the bevel and depth markings on this model are clearly delineated, not difficult to read as they are on so many competitor brands, so you will be able to save time and not need to bust out your magnifying glass when making depth and bevel adjustments.

What We Love About It

Again, it may seem like a small detail, but we promise it is hugely impactful: the cord on this saw is longer than on most models. Trust us, it makes a huge difference on a work site to have a few more feet of cord to play with!

Who’s This Perfect For?

Of course, this saw works great for left handed people (or “southpaws,” as they are referred to in baseball). But this model also works for right handed people, since they will not have to look over the top of the saw in order to see the cut they are making.

Final Thoughts

The Skilsaw Southpaw SPT67M8 01 is a fantastic saw model that will work well both for left handed and right handed people. It also has a number of other significant features, including a super secure base, convenience aspects such as large release levers, and a longer cord. You will not regret investing in this product!              

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Circular Saw

Nothing is more tempting than going with the cheaper model over the one you know is higher quality. But the truth is, you will get more bang for your buck with a higher quality saw, and here is why:

Blade Changing

The process of switching out blades on cheaper saw models can be laborious and intense. Go with a better quality version and save yourself some time and a whole lot of frustration.

Reliability

Do you want to work with a saw that will make the same cuts on time, every time? Or do you want to take your chances with a saw that might sputter, catch, or kick back at you? It is always better to go with the higher quality model and know what to expect each time.

Durability

What would be the point of spending money on a saw if you just have to spend the same money again in a few years? Quality models are built to last and will actually save you some cash in the long run that you will not be spending on replacement parts.

How to Use a Circular Saw

  • ​Circular saws have rear handles, which turn the saw on and off, and front handles for an added layer of stability.

  • ​Make sure you are always wearing safety glasses before operating any power tool! For prolonged jobs, ear protection is also recommended, and some users may want to wear a dust mask as well.

  • ​Place the base plate of the saw, also known as the shoe, on top of the lumber you are cutting.

  • ​If you are making a deep cut (or a “plunge cut”), manually retract the blade guard from around the blade. For all other types of cuts, the guard should retract automatically.

  • ​There is a notch on the shoe that indicates where the blade will go for bevel cuts.

  • ​You can adjust the depth of your cut using the lever – you want your blade to only extend a little bit beyond the depth of the material you are cutting through.

  • ​Allow the blade to achieve full speed before you begin cutting, and use the shoe notch to guide your cut line.

  • ​Wait for the blade to come to a complete stop between cuts.

For more details on this process, check out the video below.

People Also Ask

Here are some of the most frequent questions we hear in regards to beginners using circular saws:

How Do I Choose a Circular Saw Blade?

You have to make sure your saw blade will be compatible with your saw. For the handheld models described above on our list, you will usually want to work with a blade between four and a half to seven and a quarter inches in diameter.

How Many Teeth Should My Circular Saw Blade Have?

The answer to this question depends on what you are trying to accomplish with your saw. If you want to cut quickly and efficiently, fewer teeth would be a good option for you as they make for faster cuts. If you want a smooth, fine finish to your cut, you are going to want to work with a blade that has more teeth.

Can a Circular Saw Cut Concrete?

You can cut concrete with a circular saw, but, depending on the size of the concrete, you might not want to use your saw to cut through the whole thing. If you are working with a pretty serious slab, it may be best on your equipment to just use your saw to cut through the top inch or so of the concrete, and then use a sledgehammer to break off the rest.

Conclusion

Circular saws can be one of the most versatile tools in your workshop, and you do not want to miss out on the fun just because you are new to using them. We promise that if you go with any of our models listed above, you will not be disappointed with your choice.