Circular Saws – The Most Essential and Versatile Tool in the Workshop

As a DIY enthusiast, I use a wide array of tools to work on many different projects. Some tools in my shed are more important than others, simply because they’re versatile. So if you’re just getting into the DIY hobby, or into woodworking specifically, then there’s one tool you should definitely get – the circular saw. It’s one of the most commonly used power tools in almost any workshop, for a numerous set of reasons.

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Circular saws are capable of cutting wood, ceramic tile, masonry steel and anything in between. In today’s market, there’s a wide array of models that have features that you may use every time you power the tool, or you may not use at all. A project’s success, and the time and effort spent on it will depend on getting the right circular saw design and features.

The Basics

Circular saws make straight, quick cuts along the board’s length, across the board or bevel cuts. The tool is comprised of a blade guard, a foot plate, a depth adjustment mechanism, and a bevel adjustment mechanism. You can find circular saws cheap online, and the most common sizes are 5.5 to 7.25 inches. There’s no right or wrong size, but the ideal one for you will depend on your specific needs. The two basic designs are inline and worm drive. Inline is the more traditional type, and it features a motor which is located alongside the axis of the blade. Worm drive on the other hand, have their motors on the right side of the blade.

Power Sources

Circular saws are powered by electricity, and they can either be corded or cordless. How and where you most commonly use the saw will help you determine the power source you need. The cordless models are convenient to work with in remote areas where extension cords are not available. Cordless models are also smaller in size, so you can work with them conveniently in small areas. Corded models, on the other hand, are typically more powerful, but have limited portability.


Once you’ve decided on the power source, some features to consider are: volts on cordless models and amps on corded models (more amps/volts means more power); blade capacity (cutting depth, larger depth means deeper cuts); electric brakes (stops the flow of the electricity and the blade’s momentum); spindle (make it easier to change the blade); bevel capacity (maximum bevel cut capacity), bevel stops (quick adjustment mechanism for bevel cuts).

If you’re looking for circular saws cheap, then you won’t be getting many features with it. Typically you get what you pay for, and circular saws are no exception.