Best 10 1/4 Circular Saw – Detailed Buying Guide
A best 10 1/4-inch circular saw is necessary for any skilled carpenter, contractor, or do-it-yourselfer.
A top circular saw offers a seamless and precise cutting experience thanks to its wide blade size and powerful motor.
It makes the 10 1/4-inch perfect for deeper cutting and timber building.
But with numerous options available, picking the ideal saw may take time and effort. In this article, we researched the best 10 1/4 circular saw to help you make an informed buying choice.
Table of Contents
- Motor size
- Sidewinder vs. worm gear
- Cutline visibility
- Safety add-ons
- Makita HS0600 10-1/4″ Circular Saw
- Big Foot 10-1/4-Inch Wormdrive Circular Saw
- SKILSAW Worm Drive Circular Saw
- MILWAUKEE’S Circular Saw
Is the 10 1/4 circular saw a necessity for you?
If you heavily engage in thicker or harder materials cutting, a 10 1/4-inch circular saw can be useful.
While a 7-1/4 inch saw can still make cuts, cutting thicker material may need more efficiency. It calls for a more powerful saw to make deeper cuts easily.
Is a 10 1/4 circular saw worth the investment more than a miter or table saw?
If you are setting up your first workshop, a 10 1/4-inch circular saw may be a worthwhile investment.
Firstly, the saw is more portable and affordable than a miter or table saw.
Avoid A Critical Track Saw Mistake | #Shorts
Miter saws make precise and angled cuts, ideal for molding, while table saws are stationary saws for ripping.
However, a 10 1/4-inch circular saw is your best bet if you seek versatility rather than specialized cutting.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a 10-1/4 Inch Circular Saws
The size of the motor in your saw directly affects its performance and torque. Consider a motor above 14b amps for thick material cutting power.
Sidewinder vs. worm gear
Circular saws frequently employ two main driving systems; sidewinder or worm gear.
A sidewinder drive train offers a compact, lighter, and more maneuverable saw, ideal for light-duty tasks.
A worm gear provides a more efficient but bulkier saw, suitable for tasks requiring greater cutting capacity.
A lighter saw may be the best if you intend to use your saw on lighter tasks for extended periods. However, a heavier saw provides more cutting power and efficiency.
Additionally, consider how ergonomic a saw is for enhanced maneuverability and comfortable handling.
Cutline visibility allows the user to see the cutting line when operating a circular saw. It is crucial since it lowers the possibility of errors or accidents and guarantees accuracy.
While some saws have transparent lower guards for improved cutline viewing, others have built-in LED lights for illumination.
Consider different safety features to prevent injuries and accidents. These include electric brakes, dust blowers, anti-vibration features, lock-off buttons, and blade guards.
Best 10-1/4 Inch Circular Saws
Makita HS0600 10-1/4″ Circular Saw
If you are a professional contractor or a carpenter demanding performance and durability, consider the Makita Circular Saw. It has a powerful 15 amp motor to deliver 4,300 RPM for seamlessly cutting through beams and timber.
Pros and cons
- Features conveniently located adjustment knobs for seamless adjustments
- Well-balanced design for increased comfort when in operation
- With an adjustable top guide for enhanced accuracy
- Its construction features precision gearing for smooth power transmission
- Prone to vibrations on extended use
I love how lightweight this machine is, featuring aluminum and magnesium construction.
Big Foot 10-1/4-Inch Wormdrive Circular Saw
The Big Foot Saw is suitable for cutting headers, beams, and posts because it cuts 4x materials in one pass. It’s adaptable enough to tackle various tasks thanks to its 10-inch thin kerf blade and 3-3/4 inch cutting depth.
- It’s versatile and efficient.
- Features a heavy-duty magnesium construction for longevity
- With a Wormdrive drive train design for enhanced power
- Well-balanced to enhance comfort during operation
- The saw may lack enough precision for delicate cuts
I have used other brands, but this is the most powerful saw.
SKILSAW Worm Drive Circular Saw
The SKILSAW circular saw features magnesium construction for durability and a worm drive design for enhanced performance.
With a 15 amp dual-field motor, the saw is extremely powerful to cut thick materials in one pass.
Pros and cons
- Features anti-snag lower guard for smooth operation
- Comes with a 51-degree bevel capacity to handle various tasks
- With a large blade for increased productivity
- Has a motor cooling mechanism for enhanced efficiency and durability
- Its enormous torque makes it difficult to achieve accurate cuts
This saw performs well when cutting concrete; I can only imagine how efficiently it cuts wood.
MILWAUKEE’S Circular Saw
With aircraft aluminum shoe construction that won’t bend or warp, the Milwaukee circular saw is powerful and durable. Its 15 amp, 5,200 RPM motor is ideal for extreme cutting applications.
- A versatile tool for various cutting applications
- With a tilt handle for comfort during use
- Features electric brake to stop the saw blade quickly
- Comes with a steel rip fence for added convenience
- Its aluminum shoe construction is not as sturdy as magnesium models
After trying other models, I purchased this circular saw, and it’s the best.
You can select any of the above saws because we assessed each based on its functionality, robustness, and usability.
Consider the inscribed factors coupled with your project’s requirements before buying any saw.
Best Circular Saw Reviews 2023
There was a time when choosing the best circular saw simply meant picking your favorite or most-trusted brand. Now there are so many choices it can make your head spin. Corded or cordless? Sidewinder or worm drive? Left blade or right blade?
Whether you’re looking for the best professional circular saw or budget-friendly options, we have your back!
Before we dive in too far, let’s talk about power sources. Years ago, cordless circular saws struggled in performance and it took them a while before they were effective with a 7 1/4-inch blade. Now, cordless models are capable of outperforming their corded counterparts. Between that and the convenience of not having a cord, they really are the best circular saws you can get. However, corded models are still far less expensive and are most definitely effective. The point is since we’re talking about the best, we’re leaning heavily on cordless power sources.
- Best Cordless Circular Saw
- Best Corded Circular Saw
- Best Worm Drive/Rear-Handle Circular Saw
- Best Circular Saw for Metal Cutting
- Best Compact Circular Saw
- Best Mini Circular Saw
- Best Circular Saw for the Money
- Best Circular Saw for Beginners
- Best Circular Saw Blades
- Circular Saw Buying Guide: What We Look For
- Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
Best Cordless Circular Saw Overall
Metabo HPT MultiVolt Circular Saw
The Metabo HPT MultiVolt circular saw rises above the rest of the competition as our pick for the best cordless circular saw, finishing just ahead of Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel 2732. It has remarkable power and accuracy, even compared to DeWALT, Makita, and Milwaukee.
It’s also lightweight compared to its closest competition. Using a 4.0Ah battery, the total working weight is just 9.7 pounds. Plus, it’s the only cordless sidewinder-style saw that has an AC adapter to give you the unlimited runtime of a cord.
If there’s a downside, it’s that the main and front handles are a little too close for some of our crew’s taste.
Want more cordless options? Check out our Best Cordless Circular Saw recommendations!
Best Corded Circular Saw Overall
Metabo HPT RipMax Pro Series
The RipMax line of circular saws launched before Hitachi rebranded to Metabo HPT. The C7UR and C7URM hit the market hard, bringing some of the best cutting speeds our Pros have seen in the field. At 6800 RPM, it passed our field testing with flying colors and our framing crew raved about how much faster it could cut.
Metabo HPT brackets your needs well with the RipMax line. The C7UR is the base model and is a little tougher to find. Amazon usually has some in stock, though. The CR7URM drops the weight a bit with magnesium in the build. The CR7BUR is the top of the line, adding an electric brake and making it the top choice for Pros.
First look at NEW Makita XGT 260mm (10 1/4”) slide compound mitre saw and dust blower.
Best Worm Drive/Rear-Handle Circular Saw
Flex 24V Brushless Rear-Handle Circular Saw
Flex and Milwaukee went toe-to-toe in a fight for the best worm drive/rear handle circular saw title and they are very close in the end. What pushed Flex over the top was its superior power. Both easily outstrip our top 15-amp corded model with impressive performance.
From a design standpoint, Flex put together a complete package. The ergonomics are right, the shoe glides across material easily, it tracks well, and it has a solid build. Toss in a lifetime warranty if you register your purchase by 12/31/2023, and Flex makes for a very compelling option.
Price: 249.00 bare, 399.00 kit with a 10.0Ah Stacked Lithium battery and a charger
Want a corded model instead? We recommend the Skilsaw SPT77WML Lightweight Magnesium Worm Drive (199.00 – 219.00).
Best Circular Saw for Cutting Metal
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Metal Cutting Saw
There are very few tools that earn a perfect score from our reverie team, but Milwaukee’s corded 8-inch metal cutting was one that did. So when Milwaukee launched an M18 Fuel version, we had high expectations and the saw delivered. The performance is smooth and powerful, and the design was already field-proven in the corded version. If you’re on the hunt for the best circular saw for cutting metal, look no further than Milwaukee.
Price: 429.00 bare, 549.00 with an 8.0Ah High Output battery and charger
Want the corded version instead? It’s 399 at Acme Tools.
Best Compact Circular Saw
Flex 24V Brushless 6 1/2-Inch Inline Circular Saw
It was going to take something special to displace Makita’s XSH03 as our favorite in the compact category. Taking over as the best compact circular saw, the Flex 6 1/2-inch inline model most certainly is.
Underneath the inline handle design, there’s a belt drive connecting the brushless motor to the blade, giving it the cutting depth of a 7 1/4-inch saw even though it uses a 6 1/2-inch blade. Beyond that, this model does the best job of satisfying the blade viewing preferences of both blade-left and blade-right saws.
If you still need a nudge to pull the trigger, this saw has a lifetime warranty if you register your purchase by 12/31/2023.
Price: 249.00 with a 5.0Ah battery and a charger
Need a corded recommendation? For under 50.00, it’s tough to beat Ridgid’s 6 1/2-inch compact magnesium circular saw!
Best Mini Circular Saw
Milwaukee M12 Fuel 5 3/8-Inch Circular Saw 2530
When it comes to getting even more compact than the 6 1/2-inch class, there are two distinct designs. One is to downsize a standard circular saw form factor. The other opts for an even smaller blade and an extended inline design. Between the two, we prefer the ergonomics and control of the traditional form.
The Milwaukee M12 Fuel 2530 earns our pick as the best mini circular saw thanks to its physical form, light weight (6.3 pounds with the battery), and of course, performance. Using an M12 battery for a power source, it’s significantly lighter than anything you’ll find on the M18 system and still has the capacity to cut through 2x material in a single pass.
Price: 159.00 bare, 249.00 kit with a 4.0Ah battery and charger
Want one of the inline mini circular saws instead? Skil’s PWRCore 20 4 1/2-inch model offers a lot of bang for your buck with a 129.00 price tag that includes the saw, battery, and charger.
Best Circular Saw for the Money
Skilsaw SPT67WL/SPT67WM 15-Amp Lightweight Circular Saw
To get the best circular saw for the money, we’re leaning on corded models and looking for a legit Pro-grade option that’s less than 100. Fitting the bill is Skilsaw’s SPT67WL/SPT67WM. Available with either a Skilsaw or Diablo blade, these saws use magnesium to bring the overall weight down without sacrificing strength. They have the power of a 15-amp motor turning their blades at 5300 RPM. They’re not as strong as the 77-series models and they don’t include a blade brake, but for less than 100, you’ll have a hard time finding anything better for the price.
Want a cordless model instead? Grab Skil’s PWRCore 20 XP circular saw—the kit is 169.00 and includes everything you need to get started!
Best Circular Saw for Beginners
Skilsaw SPT67WE-01 15-Amp Circular Saw
Just because you’re a beginner doesn’t mean you have to settle for a circular that’s cheaply built. You also don’t have to spend a ton to get a quality model. Sure, you may give up some top-end power and a few features, but starting with something that you think you might only need a couple of times a year may turn into a weekly passion for projects.
The Skilsaw SPT67WE-01 is a 15-amp circular saw featuring the same motor and performance as our Best for the Money pick. The big difference is that this model doesn’t use magnesium in the construction, so it’s not as light. At 10.3 pounds, it’s not exactly heavy, though.
There are less expensive circular saws you can get your hands on and they’ll cut just fine. However, it’s our opinion that beginners will get off to a better experience by bumping up the budget a little.
Best Circular Saw Blades
Crescent NailSlicer Framing Blades
There’s a lot of competition for circular saw blades with plenty of genuinely great options. Diablo, Makita, and Milwaukee all make blades we use consistently. Our favorite right now is Crescent’s NailSlicer. These circular saw blades have incredibly durable teeth that can withstand hitting any nails you might come across on your job. We even cut through #5 rebar multiple times in a torture test (yes, there’s a video). The best part is that you don’t have to pay a big premium—the 7 1/4-inch framing blade is just 10.
Best Circular Saw Buying Guide – What We Look For
RPMs are helpful but they aren’t everything when you’re making a cut. You need torque to help the blade keep its speed up in tough cuts. On the corded side, look for 15-amp motors to get the best performance. Cordless isn’t as easy to gauge, though. In general, look for a brushless motor to get the highest performance.
Either way, moving into the middle and high sections of the price range usually gets you into higher performance levels
Some saws tend to have a slight turn to the left or right as you make long cuts. This could be from a damaged arbor, but most of the time we find it’s the handle design encouraging it. Even with saws that do, once you realize it’s a characteristic, you can usually slow down a bit and keep the blade right on your cutline.
Some guard designs can hang up on the edge of your material or on shave cuts where the waste material pushes inside the guard. The best circular saw guards glide up easily over every type of cut you make.
Dust and Chip Removal
Circular saws create a lot of sawdust and chips. Look for models that clear them well (higher RPMs help) through the dust port in the cover. If you do a lot of your work inside, look for a model that includes a dust port adapter so you can easily hook up your shop vac to it.
As you’re trying different circular saws, consider how your grip feels on both the main and front handles. Overmold can help with comfort and security, and shape plays a big part. Also, consider how the handles feel together when you have both hands on the saw. Some may be too close or too far from each other for your comfort.
Weight isn’t a big consideration on circular saws. Because you cut with the weight on the saw on top of your material, it bears the brunt of it. However, lighter saws can be beneficial as you’re carrying them back and forth to where you’re cutting and as you transfer the weight to your arms at the end of each cut.
Price and Value
Once you know what your circular saw budget is, take a look at what is available at that price point. To get the best value, we recommend going with the best performance as the highest priority. Ergonomics and features still come into play, as does the warranty. If you’re shopping for a cordless model, consider what other tool work with the same battery.
Corded or Cordless?
15-amp corded circular saws have outstanding power and you can get a trusted professional brand name for 100 or less. Many of these saws can last a decade or more.
The major trade-off is that you’re going to need an extension cord and access to power.
There’s no denying the convenience of cordless circular as an easier way to make the cut. Most of the major brands now have cordless options that can meet or exceed the performance of a 15-amp corded model.
That only goes for the best cordless circular saws, though. Some compact and 12V saws are well under the 15-amp performance level. There are also DIY-focused brands that don’t have that strong of a saw in their portfolios yet.
There’s also cost to consider. Cordless tools are more expensive by the time you add the cost of a battery and charger. The batteries need to be replaced every 3 – 5 years and they’re not cheap. Corded models tend to be far less expensive, and a high-end one can cost less than a mediocre cordless saw.
Blade Left or Blade Right?
Whether you prefer the blade on the left side of the motor or the right boils down to more than just being left or right-handed. There’s what feels the most natural to you as well. See if you can give both styles a shot in the store and decide which one works best for you. Read more about those considerations here.
Sidewinder or Worm Drive?
The circular saw design preference is surprisingly regional with the West Coast trending towards rear-handle worm drives and the East Coast primarily using sidewinder direct drives.
Worm drives tend to have a more inline handle design and weigh more. The worm drive gearing that gives the saw its name produces more torque than the same motor in a direct drive. It’s enough extra power that these saws almost always require you to punch out the diamond knockout on your blade to use its more secure arbor.
Sidewinders are usually lighter than worm drives with a more compact design. The handles can be inline but are frequently offset somewhat. With less torque than worm drives, you don’t remove the knockout for their round arbors.
The most common blade sizes for circular saws are 6 1/2 inches and 7 1/4 inches. These are both capable of cutting 2x material in a single pass and are appropriate for everyday use.
Bigger blades require more power to keep RPMs high enough, so 6 1/2-inch saws nearly always have less power than a 7 1/4-inch model.
However, there are also several models that take 10 1/4-inch blades and can cut 4x material in one pass. There are even saws that take a blade over 16 inches that timber framers use!
Moving smaller and more compact, you can find models that take 5 3/8-inch blades and even 4 1/2-inch blades like the DeWALT Atomic.
The trick to finding the best circular saw blade size for you is to check the maximum depth of cut at 90º and 45º. You can find that in the specifications online or in the manual. As long as it can cut the depth you need, you’re good to go.
If you’re not sure where to start, look for something that can cut through 2x material. 2x dimensional lumber is 1 1/2 inches thick. The majority of circular saw cuts our team makes are on 2x and sheet goods. However, keep in mind that smaller saws have less power.
Why You Can Trust Pro Tool Reviews
Ever check out a “review” site and you can’t tell if they actually tested the tools or if they’re just “recommending” the Amazon top sellers?
That’s not us. We only recommend what we’d actually use, even if we don’t earn a commission from it. It’s all about giving you a legitimate recommendation and our honest opinion of each product.
We’ve been in business since 2008 covering tools, writing reviews, and reporting on industry news in the construction, automotive, and lawn care industries. Our Pro reviewers work in the trades and have the skills and experience to know whether tools can perform well in the field.
Each year, we bring in and review more than 250 individual products. Our team will put our hands on hundreds of additional tools at media events and trade shows throughout the year.
We consult with innovators in the technology and design of tools to gain a broader grasp of where these products fit and how they work.
We’ve worked with more than two dozen professional contractors around the United States who review products for us on real job sites and consult with us on testing methods, categories, and weighting.
Choosing and Using a Circular Saw
A good circular saw should have enough raw power to slice through everything from wet lumber to dense hardwood without bogging down. “When the motor slows, the blade heats up and dulls quickly,” explains Tom Silva, This Old House general contractor. This not only produces a poor cut, it’s dangerous because the blade can climb out of the kerf and push the saw back toward the user.
However, evaluating power from the motor ratings can be misleading. Amps indicate only the amount of electricity a motor draws, not the power it sends to the blade. Horsepower accounts for torque (rotational force), but not necessarily under working conditions.
In the end, the most reliable appraisal may be price. A dependable sidewinder — the more compact design, in which the motor sits alongside the blade — starts at around 100. There are many saws on the market under this price, but they’re not as powerful, nor are they built for a lifetime’s use. Professional-grade sidewinders, which run quieter and cut through dense wood better, cost between 125 and 150. TOH master carpenter Norm Abram prefers this tool, noting that buyers should choose one based on balance and maneuverability. “I’d never buy a saw I didn’t have a chance to hold first,” he says.
On the other hand, a good worm-drive saw, Tom’s choice for framing because of its high torque output (its beefy spiral gear transfers power to the blade more efficiently), will set you back at least 200. Either way, a top-of-the-line saw, if treated with care, should still be cutting well when you’re ready to hand it down.
The motor is in line with the blade, delivering enough torque to carve up wet lumber or saw through concrete, which makes a worm drive ideal for framing or major renovation jobs. With the handle farther back, a user can better resist kickback and steer the 16-pound saw through long rips. As on most full-size worm-drive saws, the blade of this Skil HD77 sits to the motor’s left — in easy view for right-handed users.
The motor sits alongside the blade, making for a lighter (11 pounds or less) saw, which is more maneuverable over a long day than a worm drive. The helical gearing on higher-end sidewinders, such as this Milwaukee 6390-20, beefs up the torque, making these models worthy competition for worm drives.
Weight, balance, and handle size are all key features to consider when choosing a saw that fits you. For a slight-bodied person, a small pro model like this 7.7-pound Makita 5740NB may be more appropriate than a full-size sidewinder.
Battery-driven models have increased in size as their power packs have gained voltage, making them convenient tools out in the field or when the electricity’s not on. This Bosch 1660K sports a 6 ½-inch blade and a 24-volt battery — the largest in its class. However, cordless models still have limited run times and generate less torque than corded saws.
For finish work or paneling, Norm Abram prefers a small trim saw; blades range from 3½ to 412 inches. This Porter-Cable 314, with a 4½-inch blade, is the one worm drive on the market — all others are sidewinders.
Ease of Adjustment
Large, smooth-cornered lever locks and full-round knobs that can be tightened down with the whole hand, like this one on the DeWALT 364, make it faster and easier to change the depth of cut and bevel settings than small, hard-to-grasp levers and wing nuts.
“No matter what you do, you will drop your saw,” warns Tom Silva. Cast-metal shoes with raised reinforcing ribs on the top surface, as seen here on a Porter-Cable 347, won’t bend like flat aluminum shoes if the saw hits the ground. On the other hand, a cast metal shoe adds weight to a saw.
Norm’s Circular Saw Basics
Circular saws can be dangerous. Always wear safety glasses and follow the safety instructions printed in your saw’s owner’s manual
Setting Blade Depth
Set the blade so that its bottommost tooth is 1/8 to ¼ inch below the work piece. Always make sure the power source is unplugged before making any adjustments to the saw.
Support the material on a bench or two strong sawhorses, overhanging enough so that the cut piece will fall. Never prop up this off-cut, or the material will buckle and bind the blade, causing a dangerous kickback.
For an accurate cut, mark the side of the material that will become waste, then line up the blade to just leave the pencil line on the keep side. To make the cut, support the front of the saw shoe on the work piece, but keep the blade about an inch from the material. Then start the saw, letting it come up to full speed before pushing it steadily through the wood.
TIP: For 90-degree cross-cuts, use a speed square to guide the saw (below).
Place large sheets of plywood on 2x4s laid across sawhorses and positioned to support both sides of the cut. Clamp a strip of plywood or other straight material to the work piece at the right distance to guide the saw shoe while cutting the line. Walk alongside the plywood as you cut, holding the cord to make sure it doesn’t get snagged.
TIP: For narrow rips, keep the saw straight by holding the shoe with your free hand and bracing your forefinger on the wood’s edge. You can also use a pair of locking pliers (below) or a rip-fence accessory.
of Norm’s Tips
As a circular saw blade cuts up through wood, the fibers on top splinter off, a condition known as tear-out (usually worse on cross-cutting). If appearances are important, put the good side down when cutting. If you must cut the board face-up or if both sides will show, score the cut line with a utility knife before cutting.
TIP: When cutting a finished piece, such as a painted door, duct-tape the bottom of the saw shoe so it can’t scratch the finish.
A saw blade sinking through the face of a board can “walk” back across the surface, so make sure that no part of your body or the cord is in line with blade. Release the lever for the depth setting and drop the shoe below the blade. Then tighten the lever slightly to keep the blade from dropping, but don’t lock it all the way. Bring the saw up to full speed, lift the guard, and slowly push the body of the saw down to start the cut.
starting the cut in the middle of a board
TIP: Make sure to start back far enough so that you only push the saw forward; never drag a spinning saw back.
Ripping Wider Lumber
If a board is too wide for the saw shoe to hang over the edge during a rip cut, hold a narrow scrap of wood between thumb and forefinger, bracing your finger along the edge of the board, and butt the saw shoe against the edge of the wood scrap as you push both along the board.
When cutting more than one piece of plywood to the same size, stack them on top of each other (or side by side in the case of dimensional lumber), clamp them together firmly, and cut the lot in one pass to save time and ensure consistency.
Blade guards have a tendency to jam on steep bevel cuts, so carefully nudge the guard lever with one finger to ease it over the edge. Once the cut has been started, let the lever go. Never remove the guard or rig it so that it stays up permanently.
Circular Saw Depth of Cut. How Deep Can I Cut?
Circular saws are some of the most common types of saws found both on job sites and in woodworking shops. The relative ease of use, versatility, and portability make the circular saw a popular device. It’s also relatively inexpensive for the number of different cutting jobs it can perform.
How Deep Can a Circular Saw Cut?
One of the most common questions about a circular saw is how deep it can cut. The answer depends on the size of the blade being used. The bigger the blade diameter, the deeper it can cut. There may be exceptions depending on the saw itself, but in most cases, if you purchase a bigger blade, it can deliver a deeper cut for your needs.
What follows are the most common size of circular saw blades and their normal depth of cut at a 90-degree angle as well as a 45-degree angle.
|Saw Size||Max. Depth at 90°||Cut Depth at 45°|
|5 ½ inch Saw||1 ¾ inch||1 3/16 inches|
|6 ½ inch Saw||2 13/32″||1 11/16″|
|7 ¼ inch Saw||2 ½ inches||1 13/16 inch|
|8 ¼ inch Saw||2 7/8″||2 ¼″|
|10 ¼ inch Saw||3 11/16″ (3.6875 inches)||2 ¾″ (2.75 inches)|
In theory, a circular blade should be able to cut to a depth equal to the radius of the blade minus the flange nut or arbor diameter, whichever is larger. However, in the case of circular saws, you should also consider the thickness of the footplate or base shoe and the safe distance. Besides, too much protrusion of the blade will result in severe kickback and is not safe.
You also consider the angle of cut in the case of bevel cuts. Obviously, a 90-degree cut provides the maximum cut capacity while the 45-degree bevel will limit the thickness you cut through.
The same is true in case of a table saw, miter saw, and other similar power tools.
7 ¼″ Saw: How Deep Can a 7 ¼ Inch Circular Saw Cut?
This is arguably the most common size for circular saw blades. The 7 ¼″ is large enough to handle most jobs while being small enough to be portable and lightweight.
- Saw Size: 7 ¼.inch
- Brand: SKIL 5280-01
- Motor: 15 APMS
- Bevel Angle: 51 degree max
- Laser beam guide, Dust Blower
- Price: Click Here to See the Price
6 ½″ Saw: How Thick Can a 6 1/2 Circular Saw Cut?
Not far behind the 7 ¼″ circular blade is the 6 ½″ saw, at least in terms of popularity. While the blade itself is smaller, it also makes the circular saw lighter and somewhat easier to handle in comparison to larger blades.
8 ¼″ Circular Saw
This is the most popular of the larger types of circular saw blades. These are usually worm drive circular saws since they offer more of the power and torque. However, it is also heavier and less nimble compared to the 7 ¼″.
5 ½″ Saw: How Deep Can a 5 1/2 Circular Saw Cut?
The smallest of the more common types of circular saw blades, the 5 ½″ is mostly used in woodworking shops and in homes because of its lightweight design. It can also be used on job sites as well, although not quite as versatile as the larger versions.
Can You Cut a 2 x 4 with a 5 ½″ Circular Saw?
Yes, but it will take more than one cut to do the job. That’s because there will still be ¼″ of the wood left after the first cut, so you will have to flip the board and cut again to go through the remaining material. All the other blades mentioned can go through the 2″ on a single cut.
8-inch and 9-inch Saws
These are not among the common sizes that you can find in your local tool store. However, they do exist and if you are buying online they are definitely an option. But before you buy any of the odd sizes check the availability of the blades.
How deep can an 8-inch circular saw cut? The 8 inch Skilsaw has a cut capacity of up to 2 ¾ inches deep at 90-degree.
The 9-inch saw can cut to a thickness of 3 ¼″ when cut straight and 2 1/8.inches at an angle of 45-degrees.
Circular Saw Depth Adjustment
Keep in mind that while circular saws are portable, they are also rather limited in terms of cuts compared to a jigsaw. A circular saw is designed to make straight cuts rather quickly, which includes both crosscuts and rip cuts. You can also make bevel cuts which is a great feature, although it may take a little practice to perfect.
As the name implies, the blade itself is in the shape of a circle with the teeth jutting outward. The top of the blade is covered with a blade guard to protect against dust and debris from flying away from the material. A shoe or footplate is set around halfway down the blade and will rest on the material itself. This allows for the cuts to be made.
Adjusting the Depth of the Cut
How to adjust circular saw depth? You can adjust the depth of the cut by moving the footplate or base shoe. Unlock the footplate lever which is usually located behind the blade guard. Then lower or raise the footplate to get the required blade depth and lock the base in position.
This allows you to work on different thicknesses of material without having to change the blades. However, the blade itself will determine the maximum thickness of the material which can be cut. There is also a bevel adjustment available on most circular saws for that type of work.
Best Circular Saws to use on 2x4s and 4x4s
Every blade that is listed in the article, save for the 5 ½″, will easily cut through a 2 x 4. You will need a second pass for the 5 ½″ circular saw to successfully cut a 2 x 4. However, a 4 x 4 is too thick for most of the blades mentioned to cut in a single pass. Plus, it cannot be cut by the 5 ½″ diameter saw blade at all since the maximum depth of the blade is less than 2″.
For cutting 2x4s, blades from 6 ½″ and up are recommended since you can cut the material in one pass. And the same size and above are recommended for cutting 4 x 4s, even if you need another pass to do the job.
For most woodworkers, the standard 7 ¼″ blade is good enough for most of the work you will face. It can cut 2 x 4s in one pass and 4 x 4s in two passes. Plus, it is versatile enough to be used in many different situations, making it the jack-of-all-trades circular saw for the type of work that it performs. If you are looking for something smaller, but not too small, then the 6 ½″ blade is probably right for your needs.
Worm Drive vs Sidewinder
The most common type of circular saw is the Sidewinder. This device has the motor on the same axis as the blade. The motor moves the blade thanks to a shaft that extends outward and makes a solid connection. The result is a powerful saw that is relatively easy to maintain and use.
The other type of circular saw is the worm drive which positions the motor at a right angle to the blade. This type of circular saw is designed for heavy-duty work as the gears used to drive the shaft which is connected to the blade add more torque. This type of circular saw tends to be longer and quieter compared to the Sidewinder and is generally used on construction or job sites.
The larger 8 ¼″ is generally reserved for the more expensive worm drive systems of circular saws. If you are doing a lot of heavy work on a job site or woodworking shop, then the larger circular saw blade makes perfect sense.
What Size Circular Saw to Cut 4×4?
The actual size of a 4″ x 4″ lumber is 3 ½″ x 3 ½-inches. If you want to cut through a 4×4 in a single pass, use a 10 ¼ inch circular saw. Although this saw is heavy, it can be very handy in situations such as cutting the top of fence posts that are already installed.
Largest Circular Saw
I am sure some of you are wondering what is the largest circular saw available in the market that offers the maximum depth of cut. Skilsaw and Makita make 16 5/16 inch circular saws that can go up to 6 ¼ inches deep. This means you can cut a 6×6 lumber in one cut which is some serious depth of cut!