How to Choose a Circular Saw? Simple Guide

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The circular saw is an indispensable tool for any DIY amateur or professional. It has multiple uses and packs a wide variety of features

Throughout this article, we will demonstrate the most important features to look for when purchasing a circular saw and how to choose the one that suits you.

The 4 Types of Circular Saws:

  1. Worm Drive
  2. Sidewinder
  3. Cordless
  4. Trim

1. The Worm Drive

This is the heaviest and largest type of circular saws. It is more suitable for professional users and people who work in a construction site. The motor is parallel to the blade and The handle is moved a bit further to the back to increase safety.

Read also: Miter Saw vs. Circular Saw

2. The Sidewinder

This model is suitable for homeowners. It is lighter and smaller than the worm drive, and the motor is installed at a right angle to the blade.

3. Cordless

Cordless saws have a great advantage over their peers, as they do not have a cord, which can get in the way most of the time and hinder your task. Moreover, with corded units, you’ll always have to find a power output. However, since they run on batteries, cordless saws tend to be less powerful than corded ones. They also have limited battery life.

4. Trim

These are small circular saws that are very suitable for homeowners. They are perfect for finishing carpentry.


There are a lot of features that you need to consider before purchasing your saw.

Corded or Cordless

As we established before, there are corded and cordless saws. Each one has advantages and disadvantages.

Corded saws are more powerful than cordless ones since their power source is basically infinite (electricity). However, the existence of a cord is an issue for some users. Cords can sometimes get in the way while you are working. One of the most common problems that users face when operating a corded saw is that they cut the cord by mistake. A small tip to avoid this is to stretch the cord over your shoulder while working.

A cordless saw solves the issue of cord-cutting through eliminating the cord. They run on batteries. However, no matter the number of batteries or their strength, they are weaker than corded saws, and the batteries’ life always constricts you and your work. 

Power and Speed

These two features are parallel. For example, the difference between a circular saw that runs on a 1700W motor and another that runs on a 1900W one is that the former delivers 4000 RPM while the latter delivers 5000 RPM.. This means that a saw that has a higher W produces more RPM, making it faster and more powerful.

Safety Instructions

You should always wear safety goggles and a facemask to protect your face from dust and splinters, as well as gloves to protect your hands and fingers. You should always avoid wearing necklaces or bracelets as they might be stuck or get caught up in the blade, which is extremely dangerous. Moreover, a small tip is to wear a lab coat to keep your clothes clean.

Safety is crucial  when dealing with any power tool. Luckily for us, some circular saws include safety features such as the Safety Trigger in the DEWALT DCS391B. The safety trigger is a mechanism located on the handle’s top. Its function is simply to prevent your from turning a circular saw on by mistake, as you have to hold the safety trigger down before holding down the main trigger.

Changing the Blade

You should always choose the saw that has the appropriate blade for your project. You can always change your blade by removing the old one and installing a new one. You should never forget to unplug your saw before changing the blade as well as installing the blade in the right direction (match the arrows on the blade to the ones on the saw itself). You should always keep your blade sharp as a dull blade will not cut through wood; it will only grind it.

Final Thoughts

Finally, it is safe to say that choosing a circular saw is not an easy task, as it requires a lot of research before buying it. You should always determine your requirements and what tasks you will be performing to find the best type of circular saws that fits your project.

John Graham

John Graham

I am a 35-year old avid DIY-er. Ever since I was young, my father used to prompt me to help fix things around the house or even building my own cupboards and shelves.
That’s why I developed the habit of doing everything on my own. And since this is the only way to reach the unique results I really want, I don’t like depending on any services.

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