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The 6 best circular saws to buy 2019

By PriceRunner Updated 02/14/2019

We have tested circular saws and name Festool HK 55 EBQ+ as best in test. This circular saw is versatile and can also act as a shadow gap saw, which gives you great flexiblity. The best battery powered saw is Ryobi R18CS, thanks to its power and ergonomics.

Vi har testat cirkelsågar och utser Festool HK 55 EBQ+ till bäst i test. Cirkelsågen är mångsidig och kan även agera sänksåg vilket ger dig stor flexibilitet.Bästa batterisåg är Ryobi R18CS tack vare dess kraft och ergonomi.

How the test was made

We carry out all of our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. Because we tested both mains and battery-operated circular saws, the tests are slightly different, although with several basic similarities. For example, we tested the saws on several different types of material of different thicknesses over a long period. We also have set performance tests where all circular saws go through the same test and are compared. Materials used for testing include fir studs, OSB sheets and façade panel. The most important factors we assessed are:

  • Performance: What can the circular saw cope with splitting? How much can it cut? What happens when it cuts out? How long is the battery life on a battery-operated circular saw without a load? How is the battery life affected by the load?

  • Ergonomics and build quality: Is the grip good? Are there any unpleasant vibrations? What materials is the machine made of?

  • Ease of use: Where are the controls and buttons? How easy is it to access them? How easy is it to change the blade? How easy is the circular saw to use?

Other factors taken into account were the accessories included, the accessories you can buy for the machine, the other functions the circular saw has and how much noise it causes in your working environment. The results from all tests were examined in relation to the price of a circular saw to determine its value for money. This is what the score reflects.

Circular saw

A circular saw is a powerful electric tool. You can use one to quickly cut and split sheets and studs both lengthwise and crosswise. A circular saw is one of the basic electrical tools often found in a homeowner's collection. Together with a screwdriver, electric jigsaw and sander, this provides an arsenal of electric tools that can cope with basic renovation tasks.

Choosing the right type of circular saw

The circular saw you should choose depends on what you intend to use it for. Will you only be cutting studs now and then or do you also want to split thicker materials lengthways? This sets different demands in terms of how powerful the circular saw must be, and therefore how it must be constructed.

Circular saws are now available in two variants: battery-operated and mains powered. The former means that you don't have to deal with extensions and cables that limit your range and get in the way. This can be a major advantage. But the latter means that you don't have to keep track of whether batteries are charged, which in itself needn't be a problem if you have a number of electric tools from the same manufacturer. This is because the majority of manufacturers today have battery systems where different products from the same manufacturer can use the same battery, so you can share batteries between a number of machines. Battery-operated circular saws are a segment that's growing quickly as the cost of powerful batteries has plummeted in recent years – and is continuing to do so. This positive development means that battery-operated circular saws are becoming increasingly affordable and powerful as time passes. However, if you want to split thick studs, our tests show that operating times still leave a lot to be desired in the majority of the battery-operated models. So you need to think carefully about your needs before deciding what to buy.

When you choose a circular saw, you also need to consider the saw depth, both on 90 degree angles and lower. The larger the saw depth, the thicker the material it can saw through. In addition, you can reduce the saw depth if you don't want the circular saw to saw right through something, but instead to simply create an incision. It's useful if the circular saw has a riving knife, because this means that the blade doesn't risk getting stuck when you cut sheet materials and studs. When the blade gets stuck, this is called pinching, and it constitutes a safety risk, but can also damage the material you're working with.

It's also useful if the circular saw has a dust extraction system, because you can connect a workshop vacuum cleaner to it. This avoids a lot of the dust that otherwise arises when you're sawing. If you're sawing indoors, this is particularly important as it provides a better work environment. Construction dust is also very difficult to remove after a renovation project – it easily gets into nooks and crannies where it's difficult to access with a vacuum cleaner.

As mentioned above, circular saws are used for cutting and splitting timber. But if you also want to be able to start sawing in the centre of a sheet, for example to make a hole for a sink, you instead need a plunge cut saw or jigsaw. Some circular saws have plunge cut saw functionality. To achieve this, you purchase a kit for the circular saw to add the function. However, as a result of the design of the circular saw, you won't be able to get as close to obstacles such as walls as if you purchased a dedicated plunge cut saw. But you will still be able to start sawing in the middle of a sheet. You can only buy this type of rail for some models, so remember to check this when you buy your circular saw.

Other practical functions are a motor brake, which protects the motor from being damaged if the circular saw is working on very heavy tasks – this will then reduce the speed of the motor or switch it off as a safety measure. The guide rails help you to keep the circular saw perfectly straight as it cuts through the material. A laser can also be helpful. A well-placed laser beam means that you can easily follow the line you've drawn on the timber. And of course you should also check the guarantee before buying.

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