Best Corded Circular Saw Reviews for 2020
Cordless tools are all the rage and there’s no doubting their incredible convenience. Cordless circular saws like Makita’s 18V X2 Rear-Handle Saw pack a lot more power than those first models did. But not everyone’s on board with the cordless craze when it comes to circular saws. In fact, you’ll probably see more corded models than cordless in many areas. Why? Reliable power and nearly infinite runtime. Choosing the best corded circular saw isn’t always easy, and there’s more to consider than just specs. With all those choices, we got together with our Pros to do the testing for you.
If you follow cordless tools, you’ll know that they rarely stay on the market for more than a year without some sort of update. But some of the corded circular saws have been out more than 15 years and are still chewing up wood reliably…provided you, you know, change the blade! While not every saw we looked at takes home a top recommendation, each has its place.
Blade Recommendation: No matter which circular saw you decide on, try swapping out the stock blade for a Spyder circular saw blade. It’s packed with premium features and a nickel-cobalt carbide blend that lasts up to 6 times longer than standard carbide.
You can find them at your local Lowe’s. Order online and pick them up at the store or have them delivered directly to your shop.
Best Corded Circular Saw Overall
Metabo HPT C7UR/C7URM RipMax Pro
Originally launched before Hitachi changed its name to Metabo HPT, the C7UR and C7URM hit the market at high-speed. Literally.
At 6800 RPM, our field testing proved this saw to be a muscular beast of a cutting tool that chews up any wood in its path. Our framing crew raved about its cutting speed.
If you’re tighter on your budget, go for the C7UR at $119.99. You can get a lighter weight option with the same cutting performance using the C7URM. Using magnesium to keep the weight down, it runs $149.99.Shop Acme Tools Shop Amazon
- Makita 5007MG
- Skilsaw SPT67M8-01
Also high on our list is the Makita 5007MG. It’s a perennial bestseller and rates highly with our Pro team. It doesn’t quite have the speed of Metabo HPT’s RipMax, but it’s plenty fast enough and its magnesium components help keep the weight down.
You can pick it up for $139.
We have a lot of love for the Skilsaw Southpaw, which is nearly perfect with the blade-left dominance in our shop. It trades off some blade speed for additional torque, is under 9 pounds, and has all the features we’re looking for… except a blade brake. And that turns out to be the only thing that holds it back.
Grab this one for $129.99.
Best Corded Worm Drive Circular Saw
Skilsaw SPT 77 WML Worm Drive Circular Saw
While we’re on the East Coast and generally prefer sidewinder circular saws, we’re not completely biased. For those of you who prefer the inline design and higher torque of a worm drive, we recommend you look at the brand that started it all: Skilsaw.
The best corded worm drive circular saw is Skilsaw’s SPT 77 WML in our opinion. Its 77-series 15-amp motor provides plenty of wood-cutting power while the magnesium motor housing, shoe, and gear housing help keep the weight down to a reasonable 11.5 pounds. That’s without the blade, but it’s still incredibly lightweight for this style of circular saw.Shop Acme Tools Shop Amazon
Best Corded Track Saw for Woodworking
Festool HK 55 Carpentry Saw
On the surface, you might wonder why we’d recommend a $460 circular saw—and it’s a fair question. The Festool HK55 (and HKC55 if you’de like a cordless version) gives you the ability to combine the functions of a circular saw, table saw, and miter saw with their innovative FSK track system. And since Festool has a system-wide approach, it connects to a dust extractor (the CT SYS is a good option when you’re on the go).
The only thing to look out for here is the odd 6 1/4-inch blade size.Shop Acme Tools Shop Amazon
- Makita SP6000J
- Festool TS 55 REQ
If you’re looking for a premium option, Festool’s TS 55 REQ is highly regarded for its incredible precision with our team. It’s more expensive, starting around $590 without a rail, but you get the kind of refinements that make a difference for fine woodworkers.
When you want precision, there’s no getting around the price of a dedicated track saw system. If you’re on a budget and have a little more room for error, or you want to try track cutting before jumping in with both feet, you can convert most circular saws to track saws with Kreg’s Accu-Cut rail system.
It’s primarily a DIY product that gives you the essentials starting under $80.
Best Corded Circular Saw for Cutting 4×4 and 4×6
Skilsaw SPT 70 WM-22 Sawsquatch 10 1/4-inch Worm Drive Circular Saw
When you’re cutting 4x material with a standard 7 1/4-inch circular saw, it’s a two-cut process. To make it in just one pass, go with the Skilsaw Sawsquatch as the best corded circular saw for cutting 4×4 and 4×6.
Its worm drive motor and 10 1/4-inch blade make short work of 4x material. We use it heavily in agricultural construction where we need to even up the tops of 4x fence posts and build a variety of structures with 4x forming major parts of the frame.Shop Acme Tools Shop Amazon
- Skilsaw Super Sawsquatch
If you want even greater cutting capacity for timber framing or other high-capacity applications, consider Skilsaw’s Super Sawsquatch. It’s a 16 5/16-inch worm drive circular saw that can cut up to 6-1/4 inches in one pass.
It comes with a plastic stand/transport case and runs $599.
Best Corded Metal Cutting Circular Saw
Milwaukee 6370 8-inch Metal Cutting Circular Saw
Very few tools that come through our shop earn a perfect 5-star rating, but the Milwaukee 6370 did, and it’s our choice as the best corded metal-cutting circular saw.
From power and accuracy to burr-free results and chip collection, this saw knocked it out of the park for our custom furniture maker. Most importantly, it solved a major problem for him when he designed a piece that required eight accurate cuts at three different angles. If any cut was off, the table design would suffer.Shop Acme Tools
- Skilsaw SPT78MMC-22
Best Corded Circular Saw for Concrete
When you need to cut through concrete, you really need a power cutter. But when the job calls for expansion joints or cutting thinner masonry products, the Skilsaw Medusaw is your ticket.
Working with a 15-amp worm drive motor and 7-inch masonry blade, the Medusaw adds a rolling shoe and water injection to help you score concrete without getting your Table 1 compliance out of check. It’s a purpose-built system that stems from field-modified designs and it simply does the job better.
While the Medusaw is excellent on its own, we prefer the SPT79A-10 model. It adds a folding handle that you can use to make it a walk-behind scoring system instead of giving your knees the brunt of the day’s punishment.Shop Acme Tools Shop Amazon
Best Corded Budget Circular Saw for Pros
Metabo HPT C7SB3
To make the list on our best budget corded circular saw, we only looked at models you can pick up for less than $100.
Metabo HPT’s C7SB3 circular saw is our pick for the best corded circular saw under $100. It boasts 6000 RPM and dust blower to go with a more durable construction than you find with DIY and Prosumer models.
While it lacks a blade brake and the lighter construction of magnesium, it has more to offer than other saws that fit our requirements. Better yet, we found it for just $99 at Acme Tools at the time we’re writing this.Shop Acme Tools Shop Amazon
- Kobalt K15CS-06AC
- Ridgid R3205
For less than $100 ($89 last time we checked), Kobalt puts together a compelling circular saw. They keep the blade speed high and even give you features like a blade brake and cutline blower. A lot of cheaper saws start to drop quickly in build quality, but Kobalt keeps it solid enough as a budget Pro model.
Ridgid is another $89 option that edges Kobalt out in the build quality department and everyone when it comes to warranty thanks to their Lifetime Service Agreement. Its overall feature set also bests Kobalt, but the lack of a blade brake makes our Pro team give the nod to Kobalt for safety in a tight race.
Best Corded Circular Saw for Homeowners and DIYers
In all honesty, we’d recommend Metabo HPT’s C7SB3 here as long as that $59 price tag sticks. But we don’t know when that might change, and we have some thoughts on several other DIY-priced models.
Deciding on the best corded circular saw for homeowners and DIYers was really tough with three quality contenders. In the end, we chose the Skil 5280-01. It’s a full 15-amp model with a laser guide, dust blower, and more. But what tipped it into the top spot was its weight – just 6.95 pounds.
Pick this one up for $59.99.Shop Acme Tools Shop Amazon
- Ryobi CSB144LZK
- Craftsman CMES510
Ryobi came in a close second with its CSB144LZK. It’s also a 15-amp circular saw with a laser, though its cutting speed is a touch lower at 5200 RPM. What we really appreciate is that it comes with an edge guide – something you normally have to buy separately.
You can get it at Home Depot for $69.00.
Finally, consider the Craftsman CMES510. It adds a magnesium shoe to help reduce weight and lifts its RPMs to 5500 with its 15-amp motor. Of our three recommendations, it’s the only one to include a rafter hook.
Pick one up at Lowe’s for $69.98.
Best Corded Circular Saw Buying Guide
Blade-Left or Blade Right?
Most Pros are pretty set in their ways when it comes to blade-left or blade-right circular saws. And it’s not simply a “righties want blade-right and lefties want blade-left” discussion.
At PTR, Clint and I are both righties—I prefer blade-left and he prefers blade-right. However, direct drive (sidewinder) circular saws are traditionally blade-right, but a few are bucking the trend. Here’s a list of the saws from our recommendations:
Blade-Left Circular Saws
Blade-Right Circular Saws
- Craftsman CMES510
- Festool HK 55
- Festool TS 55 REQ
- Kobalt K15CS-06AC
- Makita 5007MGA
- Makita SP6000J
- Metabo HPT C7SB3
- Metabo HPT C7UR/C7URM
- Milwaukee 6370
- Ridgid R3205
- Ryobi CSB144LZK
- Skil 5280-01
Sidewinder or Worm Drive?
Which style of circular saw you choose is highly regional, especially as a Pro. West Coast users tend to steer toward worm drives while those of us on the East Coast prefer sidewinders.
Sidewinders tend to be lighter and more compact while worm drives have the benefit of greater torque. For more details on the differences, check out this article.
If you’re brand-new to the trades, try both and see which one you like best. Take it a step further and ask the guys and gals around what they prefer and why. You’ll find that both styles have legitimately good reasons for choosing them.
Track Saw or Circular Saw?
Track saws are dedicated woodworking circular saws that travel on a rail to give you the straightest cut possible. They typically use a higher tooth count blade and are designed to deliver a cleaner cut. For many applications, it’s an easier tool to use than a table saw when you need long, straight cuts.
Some of the more recent flagship circular saws come rail-compatible. They give you the accuracy of using a track with the familiar feel of a standard circular saw. You can still put a high tooth count blade on it if you want a finer finish, but the design isn’t as purpose-driven for woodworking as a track saw.
You can also read up on the decision between a track saw and table saw from PTR contributor, Chris Wagoner. Check out that article here.
Features to Look For
- Rafter hook to hang the saw instead of setting it down
- Cutline blower to keep your cutline visible during the cut
- Dust port to connect a vacuum, especially if you’re cutting Hardie Board
- Magnesium components to reduce weight
- Metal upper and lower blade guards for better durability
- Blade brake to stop the blade quickly when you take your finger off of the trigger
Why a Corded Circular Saw?
You’ll find a circular saw in nearly every Pros arsenal. Corded models offer nearly infinite power as long as electricity is hooked up or there’s a generator nearby. And with most models offering a 15-amp motor, you get reliably solid power. Even the DIY models can make an effective cut with decent speed using an excellent blade. Around the country, these benefits make Pros keep choosing the cord over cordless convenience. Plus, corded tools don’t force you to stick with one brand’s battery platform – you can get the best tool in each class no matter who makes it.
Disagree With Our Choices?
That’s okay! We know personal preferences take a front seat in determining the best circular saw for you, and every Pro is different. Do Pro Tool Nation a favor and tell us what your top pick is and why you love it. Feel free to put it in the comments below or on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
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