We Review The Best 5 Budget Circular Saws To Use For Your Next Woodwork Project

Power tools can be an incredibly addictive and necessary purchase of the professional or the hobbyist, and expanding your inventory of tools to a wider selection is a great feeling. Finding the right tool for the job, however – can be a little more difficult. 

Want to read more of this review, but don’t have the time to do so at the moment? Not a problem – we’ve listed the five models reviewed below, so you can come back at a later date:

This is no different when it comes to finding the perfect circular saw – what features do you choose? Do you choose a corded or cordless model? And most importantly – how much do you want to spend?

The financial aspect is very important when considering a circular saw, and can make or break the way you use the tool. But there can be many different models across the affordable range – so how do you know which is best for you?

Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you, by creating this review of the five best budget saws that you can find.

My Recommendations

It’s not easy choosing the best model of circular saw that matches exactly what you’re looking for, that also fits your budget perfectly,  which is why this review was created. There are four cordless models and one corded circular saw within this guide – and it’s up to you to decide which fits you best.

For your convenience, I’ve outlined the specs and features, as well as a favorite feature from each of the five models reviewed.

DeWalt DCS391B Cordless Circular Saw

One of the best selling circular saws that many woodworkers can also afford, it’s no wonder what the DCS391B from DeWalt finds itself on the top of our list for the best budget circular saws.

Cordless models have often received a bad rap in the past for not being as powerful or durable as their corded counterparts, yet the features and specifications of the DCS391B show that these old views have well and truly faded.

This cordless circular saw features a powerful motor that is able to reach speeds of 5250 RPMs, and is able to constantly reach these speeds even when the battery is close to draining. A full charge can last many hours, which is perfect for the worker on-site, or getting some weekend work in.

An inclusive blade brake will immediately stop the blade once the trigger is released – which allows the circular saw to enhance its lifespan. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

These aren’t the only features we love about the DCS391B from DeWalt, however. We’ve listed some of these impressive aspects of the cordless circular saw below:

  • The motor can reach speeds of up to 5250 RPMS and cut through both hard and softwoods
  • 0-50° bevel capacity 
  • Magnesium shoe which also increases cutting accuracy
  • Cut depth is 1-⅝” at 45°, 2-¼” at 90°
  • Arbor size is ⅝” 
  • Ergonomics at the front of the design, with an overmolded grip to reduce working fatigue and stress
  • Extended power time allows for more cuts per single charge when on the job
  • Overmolded grip on the handle increases grip and reduces fatigue during work
  • Works with other batteries and tools in the DeWalt 20V battery sharing platform
  • Blade brake for sudden stops, rather than slower burnouts

What’s Included?

  • 1 x DeWalt DCS391B Cordless Circular Saw
  • 1 x 6-1/2″ Carbide-tipped Blade.

My Favorite Feature: 5250 RPM Motor

  • The powerful motor doesn’t slow even when the battery is low, thanks to 5250 RPM which can tackle almost any tasks

A powerful motor is the heart of your circular saw, and to live without one would make your wood cutting very difficult. It’s for this reason why DeWalt have included this motor – to make this model perfect for everyone, regardless of your experience.

The motor’s 5250 RPM is one of the highest found in the cordless circular saw market and is higher than many other saws found in the corded market that are found within the same price range.

Paired with the included 6-½” carbide tipped blade, you’ll be ripping through many types of woods without trouble, which is exactly what you’d be looking for.

SKIL 5280-01 Cordless Circular Saw

The SKIL-5280-01 contains many features that are difficult to find in a corded circular saw that is budget-friendly. Yet, SKIL has made sure this model is affordable, but also powerful and efficient.

SKIL has always put their pride in creating models which are readily-affordable for all experience levels, and all of their models still provide a high-quality design and have great performances when used.

The SKIL 5280-01 contains many features that are impressive for its price, such as its’ lightweight design which reduced fatigue when stressed, and an anti-snag lower guard which is perfect for making narrow cut-offs – as well as a dust blower which will keep your line of sight incredibly clear.

You can read the full list of features the SKIL-5280-01 below, and figure out for yourself if this cordless circular saw would find a place in your inventory:

  • 15 amps with a motor that can attain a speed of 5,300 RPMs
  • Includes a 24 tooth, 7-¼” carbide blade
  • 51° bevel with a positive stop at 45°
  • Spindle lock allows for incredibly quick blade changes
  • Lightweight design to reduce fatigue, weighing 6.95 lbs
  • Inclusive dust blower to keep the line of sight incredibly clear when cutting
  • An anti-snag lower guard to reduce snags, perfect for making narrow cut-offs
  • The indicator light will brighten to notify you that the SKIL 5280-01 is charged and ready to go

What’s Included?

  • 1 x SKIL 5280 Circular Saw
  • 1 x 24-tooth carbide blade
  • 1 x Wrench store

My Favorite Feature: Single Beam Laser

  • Make a cut which is incredibly precise, from any angle – thanks to a projected single beam laser

Assisted features are finding their way into a majority of power tools in our modern age, and aren’t just limited to corded circular saws. Commonly found features include the dust blower, L.E.D light and laser projector light – two of which the SKIL 5280-01 claims.

The single laser beam found on 5280-01 is used to make perfectly straight cuts, whatever your angle may be. If you’re often cutting from awkward angles, or cutting woods that are shaped irregularly, then 5280-01 is perfect for your woodworking sessions.

It works best in dim conditions, where light is difficult to find – but it also works out in the sun, too. It’s important to remember, however, that whilst it may work in direct sunlight – you’ll get the best out of the single beam laser in darker conditions 

Makita XSS02Z Cordless Circular Saw

Another powerful brand in the power tools industry, the Makita XSS02Z is the second cordless circular saw reviewed on our list today. The XSS02Z is very budget-friendly when you consider the brand attached to it, as well as the high quality of the components used.

This cordless circular saw is built with durability in mind, with a blend of features that allow it to not only withstand many hours on-site but also many hours, for many years to come. A lightweight design, weighing only 6.55 lbs – you’ll find that the XSS02Z is not only designed to keep itself from burning out quickly but also yourself – with user safety and comfort heavily considered in the design.

Don’t believe us? You can see for yourself the great features the XSS02Z holds, as we’ve listed them below:

  • A maximum speed of 3,700 RPM
  • Total weight of 7.3 lbs allows for a lighter design and less stress on yourself
  • The battery is designed exclusively by Makita
  • 6-½” blade has a cutting capacity of 2-¼”
  • Compatible with 18V Lithium-ion batteries with Makita’s battery sharing platform
  • Machined base allows for precise cuts with added durability
  • The handle is rubberized, increasing comfort and reducing stress and fatigue when in use

What’s Included?

  • 1 x Makita XSS02Z Circular Saw
  • 1 x  Saw Blade 165X15.88x16T

My Favorite Feature: Star Protection Computer Controlled Battery

  • The 18V Lithium battery is protected from any over-discharging, overloading and overheating from occurring

The Star Protection Computer Controlled Battery is a great feature which Makita have included in their XSS02Z cordless circular saw, and it’s for good reason. Why is this? Well, the battery allows for your circular saw to be protected from malfunctioning – which includes overheating and overloading

The longevity of a cordless circular saw is found within its’ battery, and overloading and overheating can be two of the most common reasons for cordless designs to fail. To combat this, Makita has created the star protection computer-controlled design, which allows for constant communication within the battery to protect the battery from overheating.

When the battery is low, this feature will make sure the saw stops completely – meaning you’ll be increasing its lifespan by allowing it to work smarter, for a longer time. As well as this, this function only monitors temperature throughout the battery.

With all these features combined, we’re quite surprised to see the Makita XSS02Z at the price it’s found at – what are your thoughts on this model?

PORTER-CABLE PCC660B Cordless Circular Saw

The models we’re reviewing are becoming more affordable as the list goes on, and the PORTER-CABLE PCC660B is another example of this. Another cordless power tool found on the list, the PCC660B is built for non-traditional cutting applications.

How does the PCC660B achieve this? This is all down to its’ shoe, which has a beveling ability of up to 50° – perfect for cuts which are out of the box. 

As well as holding the ability to make cuts that many other circular saws would find impossible, the PCC660B is included within the 20V MAX system – which is the PORTER-CABLE battery sharing system, allowing you to use  this tool with other PORTER-CABLE products,

We’ve listed the specs and features of the PORTER-CABLE PCC660B below, for your convenience:

  • A 4,000 RPM motor 
  • Weighing only 6.5 lbs, one of the lightest models on the market, with a size of only 6-½”
  • Ergonomically friendly, with an overmolded handle for optimized comfort
  • The tool is quiet to use
  • Included within the 20V Max system
  • Beveling shoe up to 50°
  • Cutting capacity of 2-⅛”
  • Included within the 20V Max system

What’s Included?

  • 1 x PORTER-CABLE PCC660B Circular Saw
  • 1 x 18 tooth carbide tooth blade

My Favorite Feature: Overmolded Handle

  • Overmolded handle allows you to increase your performance when working, by reducing fatigue and stress

With safety at the front of all working conditions on the job, it’s no surprise as to why many manufacturers are including ergonomically-friendly aspects within their tools. This can be found in the most overlooked features, with the handle of your cordless circular saw being a prime example of this.

The overmolded handle on the PCC660B is contored, and will give you a firmer grip without working – resisting sweat and improving your grip, rather than releasing it, as time goes on. It also allows you to change your hands quickly – a movement which is essential in using a circular saw.

This increases the comfort when working, and with comfort, reduces stress and fatigue – which means cuts that are more precise for you, and allowing your cuts to be as perfect as they can be. Not bad when it’s put that way, is it?

BLACK+DECKER BDECS300C Cordless Circular Saw

The last budget circular saw of our review today, the Black+Decker BDECS300C is perhaps the best option for those looking for a cordless circular saw that is heavily focused on its core features, rather than the bells and whistles that many other circular saws hold.

If you’ve started out your woodworking journey and are looking for your first model, then the Black+Decker BDECS300C is a great starting point for you. Featuring the ability to make bevel adjustments from 45° to 90°, and a lightweight design weighing a maximum of 7.55 lbs – the  Black+Decker BDECS300C won’t blow its competitors out of the water, but it will definitely get the majority of your jobs done.

Importantly, the Black+Decker BDECS300C isn’t designed for heavy-duty use upon the site and would find its home inside of a home workshop, where it may be used sporadically or not as heavy as your other tools.

Let’s get into the features of the Black+Decker BDECS300C, so you can decide for yourself:

  • 5-½” High torque motor
  • Lightweight and compact design of 7.55 lbs
  • Easy depth adjustments with the tool-free depth of cut
  • Bevel adjustments of up to 45° and 90° for perfect angled cuts
  • Fast and clean cuts
  • Inclusive, two-year warranty

What’s Included?

  • 1 x BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20C Cordless Circular Saw
  • 1 x 20V max* Lithium battery
  • 1 x Charger

My Favorite Feature: The 20V Max System

  • BLACK+DECKER’s 20V Max Lithium-Ion Battery System allows you to share batteries for any tools within this platform

With the sparse additional features the BDCCS20C holds, it was difficult to choose a favorite feature – yet the ability to share batteries between tools within the same brand is one of my favorites across the entire power tool industry.

If you’ve found yourself purchasing a few of the Black+Decker power tools and often use them as part of your hobby or for household jobs, then the 20V Max sharing system should be one of your favorite features of the BDCCS20C, also.

What are your thoughts on these battery sharing platforms that many companies now include within their catalogue of tools? Let me know of your favorite in the comments at the bottom of the article.

Final Thoughts

Now that we’ve reached the end of our review, you should now easily be able to see that many budget-friendly options are jam-packed full of features if that’s what you’re looking for – and are made of high-quality components.

Depending on your experience levels, there is a budget-friendly circular saw out there for you, whether it’s a corded or cordless model. If we’re looking at everything holistically, it’s hard to go past the DeWalt DCS391B – featuring an array of features that can be easily learnt by the beginner using their first model – to the professionals with decades of experience on-site.

I’d love to hear what you think, though. Perhaps there’s a model I’ve forgotten? Or maybe there’s a feature out of this review that you really enjoy? Whatever it may be, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

James Thomas

James Thomas

Tool Enthusiast

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