Best Circular Saw For Beginners ; 2020’s Best Value Circular Saw Reviews

best circular saw for beginners

Before you break open the piggy bank for your first circular saw there are some things you need to know. Circular saws come in various sizes, and not all are ideal for beginners. So which is the best circular saw for beginners?

In this article, we have compiled a list of the seven best circular saws for beginners. Also, we have created a guide on what to look at as a first-time circular saw buyer. But first, which was our top pick among the seven?

That honor goes to the Dewalt 6-½ inch DCS391B. It proved to be an excellent option for beginners thanks to its ease of use and power. It is followed closely by the Makita XSH03Z, which was the best cordless circular saw we tested.

While the above are our top two picks, all the other options on our list are worth a look at. Some are actually better than the two in some scenarios.

Reviews of 7 best circular saw for beginners

DEWALT 20V Max Circular Saw

DEWALT 6-1/2-Inch 20V Max Circular Saw, Tool Only (DCS391B),Yellow
Key Features
  • 0-50 degrees bevel capacity
  • 6.5-inch carbide tipped blade
  • 5150 RPM no-load blade speed
  • 1-⅝ inch cutting capacity at 45 degrees
  • 2-¼ inch max cutting capacity at 90 degrees

Dewalt is one of the most popular saw makers in the country. We decided to put one of its popular saws to the test. The Dewalt DCS391B, and here is what we liked and didn’t like about it.

The first thing we liked was the design. With a rubber over-molded grip, it feels comfortable to the hand. Also, it comes with a magnesium shoe plate, which is lightweight and durable.

When it comes to power and speed, the motor delivers a no-load blade speed of 5150 RPM. Speaking of the blade, it’s a 6.2-inch carbide tooth blade. Considering its price, this is quite impressive and was something we loved.

With this power, we had no trouble cutting through 2×12 pressure treated wood. The cuts were also surprisingly accurate. Also, the saw has a bevel capacity of between 0 and 53 degrees, which is what you would expect from a pricier model.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

If you are starting on your carpentry or woodworking journey, this is a great tool to have. It is powerful enough for cutting most lumber pieces. At the same time, it is portable and easy to handle.

Makita XSH03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless Circular Saw

Makita XSH03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 6-1/2' Circular Saw, Tool Only
Key Features
  • 6.5-inch blade
  • 5000 RPM no-load speed
  • 2-¼ inch max cutting capacity at 90 degrees
  • 1-⅝ inch max cutting capacity at 45 degrees
  • 7.3 pounds in weight
  • 13-⅓ inches long

Which is better, a 7-¼ inch saw, or a 6-½ inch saw? Some people will say that the 7-¼ inch is better. However, when you are a beginner to circular, the difference between the two will be small. That being said, the Makita XSH03Z cordless circular saw is one of the best.

This is a 6-½ inch saw. At 90 degrees, this saw was able to make cross cuts on a 2x material in a single pass. This means you get the same cutting depth someone using a 7-¼ inch saw would get.

What we loved about this saw is Makita’s decision to use a brushless motor. For those not in the know, a brushless motor translates to more power and longer run time. The motor on this model can spin the blade at a no-load speed of 5000 RPM.

Impressively, it can do this while running on one 18 volt battery. One feature that was a standout was the automatic speed change. The electronically adjusts the blade speed for optimum performance.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

Overall we loved what this Makita saw brought to the table. It can perform at the same level as a 7-¼ inch blade saw. Also, thanks to its unique features, you can push it further to handle projects other similar saws will struggle with.

TACKLIFE Circular Saw with Metal Handle

TACKLIFE Circular Saw with Metal Handle, 6 Blades(4-3/4' & 4-1/2”), Laser Guide,...
Key Features
  • 5.8 amps motor
  • 8.27 pounds weight
  • Six carbide blades included
  • 3500 RPM no-load blade speed
  • 1-11/16 inches max cut depth at 90 degrees

Sometimes when you are starting out, you will want a circular saw that will not cost you a fortune. The TACKLIFE circular saw is one such saw. Priced at below $100, it is one of the best value circulars saw.

At its price and with the features it offers, this one is a bargain. The first thing we loved about this saw was the six blades it comes with. What was even better is that these blades were all designed for cutting different materials, from wood, metals to plastics.

However, saw blades alone don’t make a great circular saw. The saw is powered by a 5.8 amps motor, which doesn’t seem like much, but for the price is standard. The motor is capable of spinning the blades at speeds of up to 3500 RPM.

With this combination of power and blade speed, we tested it on plasterboards, wood, PVC, and even metal. To give it more versatility, it features a bevel capacity of 45 degrees and 90 degrees. At 90 degrees, you get a max cut depth of 1-11/16 inches.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

Most circular saws come with one default blade. Meaning you have to purchase additional blades to be able to cut different materials. The fact that this saw comes with six blades included makes it one of the best sidewinder circular saw for beginners.

WORX WORXSAW Compact Circular Saw

WORX WORXSAW 4-1/2' Compact Circular Saw – WX429L
Key Features
  • 4.0 amps motor
  • 4.5 inches blade
  • 3500 RPM no-load speed
  • 4.4 pounds in weight
  • 0 to 45 degrees bevel cutting capacity

Looking for something compact and lightweight, let’s introduce the Worx WORXSAW circular saw. This is one of the most lightweight circular saw on the market. And its price tag is pocket friendly.

With a 4.2 inch blade, this may not be suited for cutting long wood panels. What it is suited to, though, is cutting of light to medium-sized wood panels. The max cutting depth at 90 degrees stands at 1-11/16 inches.

While it is relatively smaller compared to an average saw, it has a bevel range of 0 to 45 degrees. Thus you can easily make angled cuts using this circular saw. A 4.0 amp motor powers it.

This might not seem like much, but it is essential to remember this is designed to be a compact saw. The blade spins at speeds of up to 3500, which isn’t bad for this kind of saw.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

For making overhead cuts, especially in tight spaces, this is the right circular saw for you. It does a pretty good job for such a small saw. As a beginner, you will love how lightweight it is and how easy it is to use.

Rockwell RK3441K Compact Circular Saw

Rockwell RK3441K 4-1/2” Compact Circular Saw, 5 amps, 3500 rpm with Dust Port and...
Key Features
  • 5 amp motor
  • 4.2-inch blade
  • 1-¼ inch vacuum adapter
  • 3500 RPM no-load speed
  • 0-45 degrees bevel capacity
  • 1-⅛ inch max cut at 45 degrees

A 4.5-inch blade doesn’t seem like much, so we were curious to see how the Rockwell RK3441K 4.5 inch blade saw would perform. And much to our surprise, it did pretty well for a saw of its size.

The first thing you notice about this saw is its size. It is considerably smaller than your average circular saw. However, there is an excellent side to its small size. For starters, it was easy to use it one-handed.

From its name, it’s clear that it has a small blade. At 4.5 inches, it is also narrower than your typical circular saw blade. Its maximum cut capacity stands at 1-11/16 inches, which is not all the bad.

In our tests, it was able to cut through a 2×4 in a single pass. Largely thanks to the 5 amp motor that powers it. This motor is capable of speeds of up to 3500 RPM. This is not at all bad considering what this saw is designed for.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

This is one of the most affordable circular saws on the market. At its price, it is the best 4 1/2 circular saw. You can use it one-handed, and at the same time, it is excellent for use in tight places.

SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide

SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Single Beam Laser Guide
Key Features
  • 15 amp motor
  • 7.25 inch blade
  • 5300 RPM no-load speed
  • 2-7/16 inch maximum cut depth at 90 degrees
  • 8.7 pounds of weight

From its list of features, it is hard to believe the Skil 5280-01 is one of the most affordable circular saws on the market. This model is designed to be powerful while being easy to use for beginners.

One of the things that make this ideal for beginners is the laser guide. The latter gives you a guide on where you need to place the blade to make a straight cut. This is a pretty handy tool for anyone who is inexperienced with circular saws.

In the performance department, it has a 7-¼ inch blade. This is pretty standard for a saw in its class, and so is the 5300 RPM no-load speed. However, this doesn’t take anything away from the saw’s excellent performance.

Something else that makes it suitable for beginners is the dust blower. This gets rid of dust generated as you cut wood. This means you get a clean working surface, and you can see exactly where you are cutting.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

As with any other saw in its price point, this one is not without its cons. However, when you consider the features you get, it’s an excellent option. There aren’t many saws in this price range that can match its performance.

Milwaukee M18 2630-20 18 Volt Lithium Ion 3,500 RPM Cordless Circular Saw

Milwaukee M18 2630-20 18 Volt Lithium Ion 6-1/2' 3,500 RPM Cordless Circular Saw w/...
Key Features
  • 6.5-inch blade
  • Magnesium guard
  • 18 lithium-ion battery
  • Rubber soft-grip handle
  • 45-degree bevel capacity

Milwaukee seems to have a knack of producing high-quality cordless saws. And the M18 2630-20 circular saw is no exception. This cordless powerhouse has a lot to offer in terms of performance.

Powered by a lithium-ion battery, this circular saw is a great saw to start with. The no-load blade speed of 3500 RPM is standard for such a cordless model.

Since this is designed for mobility, its motor is housed inside a magnesium housing. This does an excellent job of protecting it from the occasional knocks and bumps. It also comes with an electric brake, which is an important safety feature to have in any circular saw.

As for the bevel capacity, the blade can be tilted up to an angle of 45 degrees. This allows you to achieve angled cuts easily. The 1-½ inch maximum cut depth is still suitable for most beginners.

What we liked

Things we didn't like

our verdict

For a beginner, this is a great saw. It is not complicated and has an electric brake. Thus you do not have to wait on the saw blade to stop once you are done cutting. Overall it is a great circular saw to have.

The best circular saw for beginners buying guide.

As a first-time circular saw buyer, there are a number of things you need to know about these power tools. Key among them what features make the best circular saw for beginners. Here are the things you should consider when searching for the best circular saw for beginners.

How it feels

Depending on the task at hand, you will be holding a circular saw for a considerable amount of time. That said, one crucial factor to consider is how comfortable a saw is to hold. You may want to try out different saws before settling on one.

Some saws such as the WORX WORXSAW can be used one-handed. If you do not have a lot of work, then such a lightweight saw may be a good option. Basically, a saw should be well balanced with a good grip on the handle.

Changing the blade

Circular saws can cut almost anything plastic, wood, and metal. However, you need a different blade to cut these different materials. As such, it should be easy to swap out your default blade for another.

All the models on our list feature easy to change blades. They feature a blade wrench that makes it easy to change the blades.

What blade size?

All the saws on our list have different blade sizes. Smaller models such as the WORX WORXSAW and the Rockwell RK3441K  have a 4.2-inch blade. Others, such as the SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp  Circular Saw, have a 7-¼ inch blade.

For softwood and thinner pieces of wood, the smaller 4.2-inch blade will be sufficient. However, if you want to tackle hardwoods, then a 6.2 inch or a 7-¼ inch blade  will be necessary. Thus the blade size you select will depend on the kind of work you handle.

Bevel capacity

A circular saw can also be used to make angled cuts. This is where bevel capacity comes in handy. All the saws on our list have a bevel capacity of 45 degrees and 90 degrees. However, the Milwaukee M18 2630-20 has a max bevel capacity of 45 degrees.

For a beginner, this is sufficient for making angled cuts. This is unless you will be making more complex angled cuts. But for general works, a 45 degrees bevel capacity will be sufficient.

The saw's weight

Again depending on the kind of work you are handling, a lightweight saw may be a better option. This is especially for overhead cutting in tight spaces. However, if you plan on using a saw at a fixed position, then a heavier, more powerful saw will be a better option.

Conclusion

A circular saw is a great power tool to have. It is powerful and can cut almost anything from wood, plastic to metals. You can also swap out the blades to match what you are cutting. Overall, the best circular saw for beginners has to be easy to use and versatile.

Last update on 2020-09-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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