How to Choose the Best Circular Saw for the Job

Do you want to add a powerful and versatile circular saw to your tool box? Struggling to choose the best circular saw for you? The SGS buyers guide is here to help.

Circular saws have been a staple in every serious DIY or carpenter’s toolbox for many years. These powerful, portable tools are essential for making simple, quick cuts in numerous materials - but knowing exactly what to look out for when you’re in the market viewfor a new saw, can be time consuming and confusing. Have a look through our handy circular saw buyers’ guide for some power tool shopping tips and inspiration.

Why buy a circular saw?

Ambitious DIY projects require serious power tools, and nothing says serious quite like a circular saw. Trades people and home users alike will find times when a hand saw, or even a jigsaw, just won’t cut it, and that’s when we look to the trusty circular saw. You won’t need a circular saw if you’re building a birdhouse or only cutting the occasional wooden board, but for those larger woodcutting projects like remodelling the home or building furniture, there really is no better alternative.

If you need to be able to cut through wood like it’s butter then you’re looking at the right tool. With the right circular saw you can make quick and accurate rip cuts, cross cuts and even bevel cuts, time after time.

See the range of SGS Ryobi Saws

What to look out for when buying a circular saw

As with many power tools, there's a lots of features and statistics banded about online - it's sometimes hard to work out what the actual important information is. We've narrowed down all the lingo and selling features into four easy to spot categories, so you'll be able to work out exactly what you should be looking out for when buying a circular saw.

Circular saw feature


Cutting capacity & cutting depth

Simply speaking, the greater the cutting capacity of your saw, the thicker the wood  you'll be able to handle, and the more tasks you’ll be able to complete. To find the cutting capacity of a circular saw you need to look out for the maximum cut at 90° (without a bevel) - this will range from anywhere between 35mm and 70mm.

Circular saw feature


Free-load speed

The speed your power tool’s motor rotates the saw blade will dictate how much control you’ll have over your tool when in use. Free-load-speed is a great indicator of raw sawing power, so the higher the revolutions per minute (RPM), the better! The free-load-speed will vary vastly from saw to saw, but typically you’ll see an RPM anywhere between 2,700 to 5,000+ RPM.

circular saw bevel capacity


Bevel capacity

A good circular saw doesn’t just make simple cuts at 90°. A modern power saw will be able to make simple bevel cuts at varying angles of up to a maximum of around 55°. This is done via the use of an adjustable base plate. Always check to see if the circular saw you’re looking at has a bevel function, and if so, what it’s maximum bevel angle is and the maximum cutting depth at 45°.

Safety Features

All power tools can be dangerous, but if you want to keep all your fingers it’s definitely worth picking a saw with some decent safety features. An electric brake is a handy addition to a circular saw. The ability to stop a blade quickly (especially one spinning at 5000 RPM+) can be a life saver. An electric brake is the fastest way to bring your tool to a complete stop. All saws should have a blade guard so your saw isn’t exposed when it’s not in use. The Ryobi 1250W Circular Saw has a live tool indicator, so you’ll always know when it’s being powered.

Corded vs Cordless

Circular saw corded cordless When choosing between a cordless or corded power tool, there’s several considerations to bear in mind. Without long cables trailing around your saw, you’ll be able to work in a more comfortable, safe and controlled way. With a cordless tool however, you are at the mercy of your battery capacity, so it’s worth investing in 4.0Ah battery or higher, depending on the amount of cuts you want to make per sitting. Alternatively, buy a couple of smaller batteries and have one on charge while you work with the other. Some Ryobi batteries charge from 0 to full in just 20 minutes - so you’ll never be waiting around for too long.

With corded power tools you can work for as long as you need to without swapping out a battery; however, you are limited to working where your electrical outlets are. If you want portability and flexibility from your circular saw, we’d suggest investing in a cordless tool and a couple high capacity batteries.

Powerful, Accurate, Comfortable & Cordless:

Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Circular Saw

Ryobi tools are all about high end features at a fantastic price point. The ONE+ Circular Saw is no different. Packed with features like a laser guide and ergonomic grip, this saw comes fully kitted out with a high performance ultra thin TCT Kerf blade to minimise power drain and keep you working for longer between charges. View it here

RWSL1801M Circular Saw

The ONE+ range of tools utilises interchangeable lithium-ion batteries so you can swap them around between all your home and garden power tools. The range is growing all the time, but at the moment there's 50+ Ryobi ONE+ tools, all with a single compatible battery. You can view the SGS range of ONE+ power tools here.

Compare the Range

Now that you know what to keep an eye out for, have a look at the range of SGS circular saws and how they compare to one another. Prices correct as of 06/05/2016 but subject to change and availability.

Ryobi 1250W 66mm Circular Saw - RWS1250-G
Ryobi ONE+ 18V Cordless Circular Saw (Body Only) - RWSL1801M
RWS1250-G--Hero_1 rwsl1801mrwsl1801m--hero_1_hires
Power 1250W 18V Lithium-ion
90 Degree Depth 66mm 45mm
45 Degree Depth 50mm 32mm
Bevel Capacity 0-45 degrees 0-50 degrees
Free Load Speed 0-5,000 RPM 0-4,700 RPM
Spindle Lock Yes Yes
Electric Brake No Yes
Laser Guide No Yes
Warranty 2 years 2 year
Suggested for Anyone who wants a high quality, feature rich circular saw but isn't interested in a cordless solution. Perfect for anyone who is serious about DIY and needs the full flexibility a cordless circular saw can offer. Ideal if you already own ONE+ tools & batteries.


Incl. VAT £91.86

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Incl. VAT £81.90

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After working through this guide you should have a pretty good idea what to look out for when selecting a circular saw, but if you want any more information or require some assistance choosing a suitable product,  our technical sales team is here to help! Here at SGS we love tools and know how important it is to choose exactly the right one. You can contact us through our online form here or simply call 01332 576 850 and select sales.