Whether you're on a tight budget or don't want to spend a ton of money on a circular saw, you still want one that's good. Definitely one that's not going to break after a couple of uses.
So what is the best circular saw for the money? Good question and asked quite often. So we put together this detailed buying guide to make your decision easier for you.
To begin with, if you never owned a circular saw, we'll review some the tips. Then we'll cover an overview of the top five and then get into specific details of them. At the end, you let you know which one is our favorite and why.
Best Circular Saw for the Money Guide
When you're looking for the best circular saw for the money, you need to know what features are available. Only then can you decide which features meet your needs the best, so you'll know which one is right for you.
Circular Saw Tips
Parts of a Circular Saw
The main purpose of a circular saw is to make quick, straight cuts across a board, also called a crosscut, or along the board's length, also called a rip cut. Circular saws can also be set to make bevel cuts.
The main parts of a circular saw include:
- Blade guard - Covers the blade when you are not using the saw, and it will expose the blade when you are using it.
- Foot plate or shoe - Steadies the saw while you are working against the wood.
- Depth adjustment – Lets you cut wood with different thicknesses.
- Bevel adjustment – Lets you tilt the foot plate in relation to the blade when you are making bevel cuts.
Usually, circular saw sizes are categorized by their blade diameter with 5-1/2 to 7-1/4 inches being the most common. When you are looking at circular saws, you will see many options, so you need to be careful and choose the right saw based on your particular needs.
Circular Saw Designs
- Sidewinder or inline saws – This is the most common circular saw type. This traditional circular saw has a motor found on the same axis as the blade with a shaft that runs straight from the motor to operate the blade. This is a compact and lightweight saw and works for most circular saw projects.
- Worm drive saws – In comparison to the sidewinder, worm drive saws have their motors located at a right angle to the saw blade. Torque is increased to the blade by the gears in the motor, and that makes it a saw that works well for heavy-duty projects. You will also find that worm drive saws are longer and quieter than sidewinder saws.
Circular Saw Features
- Amps versus Volts – Power is measured by amps on corded saws and volts on cordless saws. The higher the amp and volts, the more cutting power the saw will have.
- Blade capacity – The blade capacity decides what the maximum depth cut you saw can complete. Basically, the rule of thumb is the larger the blade, the deeper the cut it will make. 7 ¼” is the most common blade diameter with most saws have a blade capacities of 6 inches or more, and they can cut through 2 inches of wood at a 45-degree angle in one pass. In comparison, a 5-3/8-inch saw can cut through 2 inches of wood in a single pass at 90 degrees, but would need two passes at 45 degrees. Another rule of thumb is that the smaller the blade capacity, the easier the saw is to control.
- Electric brakes – The flow of electricity is reversed in the saw’s motor when you release the trigger. When you reverse the current, the blade is stopped quickly, in as little as two seconds. That is much faster than the blade will stop without the feature.
- Spindle or shaft locks – A spindle lock makes blade changes easy by immobilizing the blade and shaft, so you can easily reach in and change the blade.
- Bevel stops - Presets that let you make quick adjustments for bevel cuts.
- Laser guides – Improves your cutting accuracy by projecting a beam of light onto the wood you are working on.
The Best Budget Circular Saw
Here's a brief summary of the best budget circular saws on the market today. We'll follow up with detailed best circular saws for the money reviews to make your decision easier.
The Porter Cable PC15TCS 15 Amp Heavy Duty Circular Saw is a heavy-duty saw with a 15 amp motor. It is lightweight, which is great for user handling, and it has a 45-degree bevel capacity giving you the capabilities of completing a ton of different projects.
The Black and Decker CS1014 12 Amp 7 1/4 Inch Circular Saw also has a 45-degree bevel capacity, but it also comes with a calibrated depth adjustment of up to 2 3/8” at 90 degrees. Included with the Black and Decker CS1014 is an 18 tooth carbide blade and ergonomically designed front and rear assist handles.
The Craftsman Evolv 12 Amp Corded 7 1/4 Inch Circular Saw is a heavy-duty saw that can cut through wet lumber and concrete. It also comes with carbine-tipped blades, and it has a maximum cutting depth of 1 ¾” at 45 degrees and 2 7/8” at 90 degrees allowing you to make angled cuts.
The Skil 5180-01 14 Amp 7 1/4 Inch Circular Saw is an intuitive and powerful saw that is great for those that like to work on DIY or weekend projects. It is a versatile saw that gives you a variety of miter and angle cuts, and it comes with a dust blower and a 20 tooth carbine blade.
The Ryobi CSB143LZK 14 Amp 7 1/4 Inch Circular Saw with Laser is one of the most powerful saws in the Ryobi collection. It is fully loaded and features a 14 amp motor, a 24 tooth carbine-tipped blade, plus an air diverter and dust exhaust.
Top Circular Saw for the Money Reviews
What is the Best Circular Saw for the Money to Buy?
Our favorite of the Best Circular Saw for the Money Roundup is the Black and Decker CS1014 12 Amp 7 1/4 Inch Circular Saw. It has enough power to cut through any type of wood with its powerful 12 amp motor, an 18 tooth carbide blade, and it’s ergonomically designed front and rear assist handles for maximum control.
With its 45-degree bevel adjustment for precise angle cuts and a calibrated depth adjustment up to 2 3/8” at 90 degrees, the Black and Decker CS1014 is very versatile and is capable of taking on lots of different projects.