Best Circular Saw for Beginners 

By  The Saw Guy

Thanks for taking your time to read our information on the best circular saw for beginners. There are quite literally hundreds of different models to pick from, and from a wide range of brands. Most beginners are looking for a circular saw that is affordable and will do the job, without being over complicated to use.

The best circular saw for beginners is the Makita HS7601J 190 mm Circular Saw. It has a good compact design with plenty of power that can cut up to a depth of 66 mm (2.7") in wood. The brand is well known with good service support and a 190mm circular saw is a popular choice.

Important Buyer Decisions for Beginners

If you have never used a circular saw before, then there are several important buying decisions to have a think about. We have explained those below as they are really important. After those explanations we have also included a more detailed review of the Bosch circular saw, and a couple of other alternatives, depending on your budget.

Is a Circular Saw the right choice?

Circular saws are without doubt the most popular of all the power saws on the UK market. The best way to think about these is that they are an extremely fast way of using a hand saw. So essentially any job that involves using a hand saw will be completed in seconds using a circular saw.

There are lots of power saws on the market and include mitre, table, reciprocating, jigsaw etc. However, the circular saw is basically a portable table saw and is used mainly to cut through wood quickly using a spinning blade.

It's a great choice for jobs like cutting floorboards, decking boards, skirting boards and the standard UK timber sizes used for general building purposes. They can also cut different types of wood such as MDF, chipboard, plywood hard woods etc.

Timber in the UK is typically sold in lengths of 1.8 metres (6 feet), 2.4 metres (8 feet) and 3 metres (10 feet). They then have different widths and also different thicknesses. The depth is the most important when starting out using a circular saw. 

The width doesn't really matter as your saw can simply run along the breadth or the width of any board. So, the key thing you have to think about as a beginner is really the thickness of the wood that you need to cut.

Thickness of the cut

If you are using a normal hand saw to cut through wood, the blade is usually about 550 mm long (22"). That means it is able to cut through a wide range of thicknesses. However, with a circular saw, the depth that you can cut is determined by the size of the blade.

circular saw blade depth

As you can see from the image above, the actual cutting depth is slightly less than half the diameter of the blade. It is therefore the blade size that will restrict what depth you can actually cut through.

The thickness of wood varies a lot anything from 12 mm (1/2") and right up to 300 mm (12") It really depends on what wood you have to cut as to the size of the circular saw that you should buy.

Circular Saw Size Guide

Circular saws and their blades come in different sizes as shown in the table below:

Blade Size (mm)

Blade Size (inches)

Cutting Depth

85 mm


27 mm (1")

115 mm


42 mm (1.6")

136 mm


53 mm (2")

165 mm


67 mm (2.6")

185 mm


77 mm (3")

190 mm


80 mm (3.1")

210 mm


90mm (3.5")

216 mm


93 mm (3.6")

250 mm


112 mm (4.4")

355 mm


162 mm (6.3")

The most popular sizes are the 165 mm, the 190mm and the 210 mm. Smaller blades are used on mini circular saws, and the larger blades are usually for specialist cutting. For a beginner, just check on the typical depth of wood you will be cutting and pick either a 165, a 190 or a 210mm as the blades are easy to get for these in any store.

It is important. For example if you wanted to cut a fence post these can either be 75mm x 75 mm or 100mm x 100mm. So you would need a 190mm saw for the smaller post, but a 250mm for thicker posts.

If in any doubt pick a 190mm or a 210 mm and that will handle most thicknesses with ease.

Other Features to Consider When Buying Your First Circular Saw

As we have explained above, the depth of cut should be your main decision when it comes to buying a circular saw. It can be a costly mistake if you buy one that is too small. There are however some other important considerations. We have listed those below and explained why they are important to understand for a beginner.

How Your Saw is Powered?

For the typical home owner it is straight choice between an electrical circular saw or a cordless circular saw. There are petrol driven options also, but they are mainly used for real heavy duty concrete sawing, so we shall not include those here.

Electric Circular Saws

These still remain the most popular and are powered by plugging a lead into a main's socket. The main advantage of those is that you will always have a reliable power source. The disadvantage is of course that almost always you will need to use an extension lead and always have to have access to a main's power supply.

Cordless Circular Saws

These are gaining a lot in popularity and they are of course so much more portable as they don't need a main's power supply. They run off a battery, usually 18 Volts, but you will have to recharge the battery. If you already own a brand of power tool that uses a battery, then there is likely to be the option to buy a cordless circular saw of the same brand, and use the existing battery and charger.

Buying this as a tool only option does have a big difference on the price. Of course, if you don't own a cordless power tool, then you have to buy the saw, at least one battery and a charger, and that does push the price up.

Other Features to consider

Below we have captured some of the other features that may influence your decision.

Cutting Bevels

Most circular saws can be tilted and that allows you to make cuts at an angle. That's useful for things like table tops to take away sharp pointed angles. Just be aware though, that because the blade is now at an angle, the cutting depth does get reduced. For example a blade with a cutting depth of 70 mm for a 90 degree cut will reduce to 50mm if the angle is set at 45 degrees.

Dust Collection

Most circular saws will have a dust port where you can hook up something like a vacuum cleaner or a collection bag to capture as much dust as possible. It is always better to have a good dust port as a circular saw creates a heck of a lot of dust.

Other Standard Features

After those considerations, your choice as a beginner will then come down to things like the price you can afford, the brand you prefer and really how much use it will get. If you only plan on using this for a few small projects, then don't go mad with your money. If it is something that you will use a lot, we recommend going for a reliable brand such as Bosch, Dewalt of Makita and making it a sound investment.

Better brands offer much better customer service and readily have parts available. The cheaper brands don't have this type of assurance and it can be really hard to find compatible blades, accessories and be able to get in touch with them.

Top 3 Circular Saws for Beginners

Assuming that the circular job is the right one for the job, then let's have a look at our top 3 recommendations for beginners. There are lots of brands to choose from. There are also a wide range of prices. Some circular saws will have more features than others.

All of that means that picking a saw is more difficult than you would first imagine. It is always good that there is plenty of competition, as that does help keep prices under control.

On the other hand having such a wide variety also makes your final choice a lot more difficult. As such, we have picked out the top 3 circular saws, that we think are ideal for beginners. They are well rated by buyers, have all the right features, and we think are very good value for money.

Best Overall Circular Saw for a Beginner

96% based on 2,000+ online buyer reviews

The Makita HS7601J 190 mm Circular Saw comes with a carry case and is a huge best seller online. It has a great reputation and gets fantastic reviews from those many buyers.

This is a very well made and engineered saw that just will not let you down. It is very accurate and very easy to use, so ideal for any beginner.

It is effortless to use and the delivery of power is superb and cannot be beaten. The plunge and bevel locks work well and are very easy to operate along with good instructions.

The case then helps protect your tool, so all in all, definitely our recommended choice.

Good Budget Circular Saw for a Beginner

92% based on 1,600+ online buyer reviews

The Bosch PKS 55 Circular Saw is at a more affordable price point and yet it is from the very good Bosch brand. This model also sells well in the UK and comes with a solid 2 year warranty.

This is a 160 mm circular saw with a cutting depth of 0-55mm at 90 degrees and 0-38mm at 45 degrees, so a good choice for most cutting tasks.

It has 1200 watts of power that can generate up to 5,600 rpm and suitable for cutting all types of wood and plastic. Bosch also offer a good range of different types of blade types for this saw.

Blade changing is really easy and the parallel guides also make this very easy to use.

Best Cordless Circular Saw for a Beginner

We would advise that if you already have a battery and charger for an existing brand, then buy your circular saw as a tool only option as that will be a much cheaper option.

Below we have included a Makita, a Dewalt and a Bosch which are available as tool only. If you want a circular saw, battery and charger, then we have also included this popular choice from the Einhell brand.

96% buyer satisfaction based on 4,000+ online buyer reviews

96% buyer satisfaction based on 800+ online buyer reviews

92% buyer satisfaction based on 1,500+ online buyer reviews

92% buyer satisfaction based on 250+ online buyer reviews

Most of the better manufacturers have now also introduced brushless motors to their circular saw ranges. Before that all motors contained electric brushes and these wore down over time and would eventually stop the tool from working if not replaced. They were a major weakness in the design.

The Makita one shown above is a huge best seller and also has a brushless motor and that will make it last for years to come. It also makes the initial purchase more expensive so that has to be considered.

Our Summary and Opinion

Anyone knew to using a circular saw does have quite a lot of information to process. We want to offer some final advice. Think of the actual job in hand that may require a circular saw and make sure that the circular saw is actually the best choice. In some cases a jigsaw is better for cutting shapes, a mitre saw is much better for angle joints, so just be sure that a circular saw is actually the right choice.

Once you know that it is the right saw, then decide if you want a corded or cordless saw. Corded saws are cheaper than a cordless one so consider that. However, the cordless option does offer more in terms of where you can use it and there are no trailing leads to worry about.

When you have made that decision, then it is about the cutting depth that we have explained above. Go big rather than going small and regretting that decision in the years to come.

We hope that we have provided you with enough fact based information to be able to make a good buying decision.

The Saw Guy

We review the different types of powers saws on the UK market. We do a lot of research to make sure we bring you the very latest information and reviews on the full range of mitre, circular, chop, reciprocating and jigsaws.

Enda McLarnon

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