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Buying Guide – Circular Saw

Buying Guide – Circular Saw

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Circular Saws: Polyvalence and Power

Circular saws are carpenters’ all-around tool, and is amond the most versatile and widely used of all saws. You can use circular saw for crosscuts, bevels cuts and ripping materials as plywood, and softwood. Although they are generally created with a wood-cutting blade, circular saws can also be fitted with blades to cut masonry, metal, or plastic.

Take a look at our buying guide for circular saws, that will not only provide you with the information you need, but will help you choose the right circular saw for the job at hand!

Types of Circular Saws

The two main types of circular saws are sidewinder and worm-drive. Also, you have the choice of corded or cordless models, as well as trim saws. You must keep in mind what materials you plan to cut, and how much power, performance and convenience you want when evaluating which type of circular saw is right for you.


Worm-drive Saws

A worm-drive saw can easily cut through studs and plywood all day, making them a traditional favorite among carpenters. On a worm-drive circular saw, the motor is located parallel to the blade, delivering enough torque to cut through wet lumber or concrete, time and time again. However, in the case of a worm-drive circular saw, heavy-duty means heavyweight. If you don’t think you need the heavy-weight power of a worm-drive saw, you might want to consider one that is lighter and easier to carry and hold

Our recommendation: Bosch - 7-1/4" Worm Drive Circular Saw - CSW41


Sidewinder Saws

Also known as traditional or inline saws, sidewinder saws are popular on many construction sites and tend to the circular saw that is most prized by homeowners. On a sidewinder blade, the motor is perpendicular to the blade, therefore making it more of a lightweight design, and delivering enough power for most cutting tasks. Should you need a circular saw to medium-to-heavy-duty cutting, without the weight of a worm-drive saw, you may want to look for a sidewinder saw with helical gearing to supply extra torque.

Our recommendation: SKIL - 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw Kit - HD5687-01


Other Considerations


Corded or Cordless

First of all, cordless circular saws provide easy portability, eliminating the need to carry around around big extension cords, or portable generators, an important factor, if you have to travel often between jobsites. Also, they are a lot lighther than the corded models, but may have a smaller blade diameter than the standard corded size of 7-1/4", reducing the material thickness you can cut, and will have to be charged occasionally. On the other hand, the corded models generally provide more torque and offer unlimited run times.

Our recommendations: Hitachi - 15 Amp 7-1/4 -Inch Circular Saw - C7SB2 (Corded)
DeWALT 20V MAX Li-Ion 6-1/2" Circular Saw (5.0Ah) w/ 1 Battery and Kit Box - DCS391P1 (Cordless)


Steel & Carbide-tipped

Steel: The steel blades are a more economical choice, but require frequent sharpening to last longer. The teeth can dull fast, so they are best suited for occasional use.

Our recommendation: DeWALT - 7-1/4" 40T Steel Combo Saw Blade - DW3325


Carbide-tipped: With their extended lifespan compensating for their higher price tag, carbide-tipped blades are extremely durable. For metal and masonry applications, look for an abrasive wheel or diamond blade.

Our recommendation: Samona/ROK - 3 Pc Diamond Blade Sets (PowerSonic) 4-1/2" - 26800



Bevel Capability: Bevel capability allows you to tilt the base of your circular saw to make angled cuts. Keep an eye open for tool-less adjustment and positive stops for increased efficiency and accuracy, when adjusting for common angles.

Visibility: Having a clear view of the cut line is crucial. If you are right-handed, but prefer a saw with a blade to the right of the motor, look for a notch in the upper guard to enhance visibility.

Electric Brake: When you release the trigger, an electric brake stops the blade quickly, improving safety and helping you get ready for next cut quicker.

Easy-Change Blade System: Either with or without the use of a tool, some saws offer one-step blade changes.This element is especially important to minimize downtime, if you have to switch blades frequently.

Magnesium Housing: Not only does magnesium housing protects the motor, it extends the tool’s life without adding a lot of weight to the circular saw.

Dust Blower: A dust blower helps you remove the dust from the cut line, and therefore, enhances the visibility. Also, a dust port allows connection to a shop vacuum or dust bag to collect sawdust as you cut.


Check out our brands for Circular Saws


If you wish to have more information regarding our selection of band saws and table saws, contact us!

Federated Tool – Retail Store

1581 Oxford St. East

London, Ontario, N5V 2Z4

(click on the address for directions)


Toll Free: 1-800-387-0608

Phone: (519) 451-0100

Fax: (519) 451-9376



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