Types of Circular Saws: Things You Should Know To Buy

The wood-working industry thrives on the use of circular saws. These saws are not only economical but also highly essential in wood-working business for their versatility and portability. 

You can use circular saws for long deep cuts as well as quick clean cuts. There is possibly no one in this business that does not have one of these fine working gems. 

Hey, don’t you have one of them? Or you’re still confused about which types of circular saw to buy? You might also be a little puzzled about whether you’re investing your bucks on the right one or not! 

But we do not blame you even a bit for this. Because selecting the right equipment always is a difficult task.

Different Types of Circular Saw At a Glance:

Types of Circular Saw Usage Best Pick
Sidewinder
Mainly used for vertical cuts, overhead cuts, rip cuts, soft lumber, plywood.
DeWalt DWE575SB
Worm Drive
Able to cut deep, longer, and mightier cuts.
SKILSAW SPT77WML-01
Hypoid
More durable saw for cutting firm, solid or wet lumber.
Makita 5477NB
Abrasive
Perfect for cutting hard materials like tile, concrete and metals.
Makita LC1230
Biscuit Joiners
Bonding wood pieces together in such a way that they are devoid of nails holes.
DeWalt DW682K
Cordwood
To cut large timber, slabs of wood, tree branches and also smaller pieces for firewood.
Cold Saw/Metal Cutting
Able to cut metals like stainless steel, brass, Aluminium, Plastics, and copper in various sizes and shapes.
DEWALT DW872 Metal Cutting Saw
Miter Saw
You’re able to deep compound cuts, bevel cuts, and crosscuts with this saw.
Evolution Rage 3

Different Types of Circular Saws: [Know Your Need Now]

There are debates among professionals about which type of circular saw to pick as their favorite one. But the fact is it varies. Because each and every type of circular saws have different specifications and usage. So, you’ve to know first which type actually you’re seeking for according to your need. 

Let’s make it easier for you. Just go through the text we’re going to present here today with all the valuable and effective features of each type of circular saws and their usage as well. 

Basically, a circular saw comes with a round blade to cut things. You may find it as a handheld or mounted on the table for more stability.  

Usually, with the sharp metal teeth, a circular saw can cut a variety of cuts that a carpenter needs. Most circular saws allow you to bevel cut and even adjust the cut’s depth and height. 

According to the types and usage, there are about eight types of circular saws we’ve found available in the market. They’re-

  1. Sidewinder circular saws
  2. Worm drive Circular saws
  3. Hypoid Circular saws
  4. Abrasive saws
  5. Biscuit Joiners
  6. Cordwood Saws
  7. Cold Saws
  8. Miter Saws

Let’s dig into deep about all these circular chainsaws to learn about their key features, pros and cons, and usage. Hope, that might assist you in picking the right circular saw for you.

1. Sidewinder Circular Saw

This type of circular saws is most commonly called in-line saws. They have a compact and unique design as the motor is mounted on a particular side of the saw. 

There is a stable platform that supports the different parts of the saw. Since it makes use of energy efficiently, the blades can work quickly.

A Lithium-ion battery or corded electricity is the main source of power for sidewinder circular saws.

Usage:

Usually you’ll find the sidewinder saws with D-shaped handle and the blade is situated on the right side of the handle. Though they’re quite similar to word drive saws, they’re less expensive and lighter than them.  You can cut soft lumber, plywood in vertical cuts, overhead cuts, rip cuts with this type of saw. As sidewinder saws are maneuverable and lightweight, it can be a good choice for you if you’re a home workshop owner.

Pros

Cons

Our recommended top pick for Sidewinder Circular Saw is: DeWalt DWE575SB circular saw. 

2. Worm Drive Circular saws

The most common type of circular saws that you will find in the market is the Worm Drive saws.

This one is a little opposite of sidewinder saws, as their motor is mounted behind the blade of the saw. You will find that the blades are slightly longer than others and also thinner. 

On another side of the saw, gears are placed at a 90-degree angle. This will help you in getting better control of the equipment and easy power transmission.

Usage:

Worm-drive saws are usually preferred for heavy-duty tasks by construction pros. They’re heavier in form and the blade is situated on the left side of the handle. This type of heavy duty circular saws are usually used for deep, longer, and mightier metal cuts.

Pros

Cons

Our recommended top pick for Worm Drive Circular saws is: SKILSAW SPT77WML

3. Hypoid Circular Saws:

The hypoid circular saw often causes a rift between worm diver saws and sidewinders as most people confuse it with the other two.

The motor is mounted behind the blade. The engine is hypoid and enclosed and hence does not require oiling.

Hypoid saws have their gear in a 90-degree fashion. This in turn, helps in producing more torque, releasing power with the help of the blade. 

Usage:

They’re quite similar to the worm-drive, as it’s blade is also located on the left side of the motor. Only the gear design differs from them. However, they are also used in cutting firm, solid metal or wet lumber.

Pros

Cons

Our recommended top pick for Hypoid Circular saw is: Makita 5477NB 7-1/4” Hypoid Saw.

4. Abrasive Saws

The abrasive saws operate mainly on friction discs. The types of discs that are used in the making of abrasive saws are composite and have a different type of formation as it can be both table saws and handheld saws.

 The blades of abrasive saws are made of cubic boron nitride or a diamond.

Usage:

They are actually for heavy duty cutting jobs. You may use them for cutting tiles, concrete, asphalt, and pipes. They’re also called chop saw or cut off saw. There is a abrasive wheel rotating under an arm. You just need to bring the arm down to the fixed workpiece to cut. 

Pros

Cons

Our recommended top pick for Abrasive saw is: Makita LC1230 12” Metal Cutting Saw. 

5. Biscuit Joiners

They are mainly used in combining two wood pieces together and have one circular jaw that helps them in this type of complex mechanism.

Though the operation is relatively easy, you need wood-working skills to get things done.

These saws are relatively uncommon, as you’ll find them only to use in only a particular type of work. 

Usage:

They are mostly used for bonding wood pieces together so that they are devoid of nails holes. Usually it uses a small circular saw blade that makes a crescent-shaped mouth (hole) or slot in two opposite edges of the wood. A wooden biscuit that is in fact an oval-shaped is inserted into the slot using glue. 

Pros

Cons

Our recommended top pick for Biscuit Joiner is: DeWalt DW682K Plate Joiner.

6. Cordwood Saws

Cordwood saws are popular as buzz saws. These have four essential parts that set them apart from others. They are- A hard frame, high power source, mandrel and cradle, and a powerful blade.

Usage:

The cordwood saws are used by most sawmills to cut large timber, slabs of wood, and also smaller pieces for firewood. You’ll find a heavy circular saw blade rotating by a high power source. You just take the logs to the blade and make them into pieces. 

Pros

Cons

There was a great use of this type of circular saw in earlier days. But gradually chainsaws are taking its place. 

7. Cold Saws/Metal Cutting Circular Saw:

For cutting metals like aluminum pipes, cold saws are available in the market with it toothache blade.  

Two features make it work with so much precision, and these are wide blade diameter, linear feed, and slow blade rotation.

Usage:

You may cut metals like stainless steel, brass, Aluminium, Plastics, and copper in various sizes and shapes with this cold saw. The toothed blade of the cold saws transfers the heat during the cutting process and keeps the material and the blade both cool. Cold saws come with a gear reduction unit, with the combination with the motor, It actually reduces the rotational speed of the blade, to ensure  constant torque. 

Pros

Cons

Our recommended top pick for Metal Cutting Circular Saw is: DEWALT DW872 Metal Cutting Saw.

7. Miter Saws

The miter saw has made way to popular applications of the circular saw blade. 

The circular saw is fixed to a swinging radial arm that gives you the option to easily raise and lower the arm once it is clamped on a workpiece. 

There are few variants of miter saws according to blades. You’ll find 10” miter saws, 12” miter saws and so on. In fact, you’ve to choose one as you need.

Usage:

These saws have the ability to deep compound cuts, bevel cuts, and crosscuts. They’re proficient in making accurate and quick crosscut on any workpiece at a certain angle that you wish for. Usually for trimming and molding they’re widely used.  

Pros

Cons

Our recommended top pick for Miter Saw is: Evolution Rage 3 Miter saw.

Things To Learn Before Working With A Circular Saw:

Visibility: This is one of the most important aspects that you should check before you start working. It is essential that you get a clear view of the cut line else you might be prone to a gruesome accident. 

You should know, there are both left and right-handed circular saws available in the market. So, pick which handed you need and that will give you the utmost smoothness during work.

Electric Brake: Once you press the trigger, the electric brake stops the blade quickly, and improves the quality of your cuts. It also enhances your safety while preparing for the next cut quicker.

Bevel Capacity: If you want to tilt the base of your circular saw blade, you have to depend on the bevel capability. Most good quality saws come with tool-less adjustments and have stopped for enhanced productivity. So, do keep this in mind.

Magnesium Housing: This feature helps in maintaining the mortar by protecting it. This further expands the tool’s life and prevents it from any malfunction.

Easy-chain blade structure: If you have to change blade frequently, few saws offer you a one-step blade changing feature. The best part is being able to follow a single step is way better than engaging in complex long time processes. 

Dust blower: Might seem a petty matter, but the dust blower is extremely important. The dust blower helps to remove all the dust generated from the cut line, which garner better visibility.

5 Essential Things to Consider Before Buying Circular Saws:

Once you invest in a good circular, you will be able to use it for almost 10-20 years. Here is a list of the five most crucial things that we think you should check before you buy any circular saw. Let’s go through each one of them:

Corded saws vs. Cordless saws: 

Both the variants of circular saws have become pretty famous over the years. 

The corded plug-in saws are preferred by those who feel these kinds of models are more sustainable and long-lasting. 

There are others who choose the cordless battery-powered models as they are more robust, easy to use, and have high performing battery life.

So, you need to see which of the two will serve your purpose.

Style and Technicality: 

There are majorly two styles of circular saws- sidewinders and Worm-drive saws that have been used overages predominantly before the new styles flooded the markets.

Sidewinders are cost-effective, lighter, and preferred for home workshops as these are maneuverable.

The Worm-drive saws are more powerful than the former and have efficient cut quality. These can handle heavy-duty work.

Hence check before buying which mechanical style will aid you in your endeavor. 

Size of the Blade:

Circular saws are most commonly known by the diameter of the blade. Usually, the saws 7 ¼ inches are most useful for cutting through materials with 3 inches thickness. 

Blades with such thickness are used to cut other heavy materials other than wood too. 

Make sure you check the blade thickness as there are lower-category blades too of 6 ½ and 8 ¼ inches for lightweight cutting.

Power Capability: 

There is no rocket science to understand that the more the power of your saw, the more is the cutting frequency and higher the speed.

For corded models, the power is expressed in Amperage, which ranges between 13-15 amp commonly. 

The cordless saws are battery-powered, and many variants of 18V, 20 V is available.

Depending on your usability, you need to make your selection.

Additional Features: 

For longevity and satisfaction, you may have a look at these added features:

  1. Presence of power brake
  2. Saw foot made of magnesium scores more than that made of steel.
  3. A spindle lock to help in changing blades easily
  4. To keep the saw aligned perfectly, laser guideline is imperative.

Final Thoughts

Circular saws are the most necessary power tool among the carpenters over the years. The most basic advantage of using such a saw is that they are simple to use, and you can master operating it in some time. 

Though all of them are a circular saw, they’re not for the same type of work. So, ask yourself about which types of work you’re gonna do with the circular saw. 

And then you can pick the right circular saw among all other types of circular saws available in the market.

The circular saws’ fine blade technology helps to cut lumber quickly as long as the motor is in motion. Moreover, the saw blades can provide angled cuts and deeper concrete cuts too. 

Keep yourself updated with all the latest features of the powerful circular saws, and we hope that our overview of the different circular saws will help you in your buying decision. 

Stay safe and keep sawing!!