The Most Basic Types of Circular Saws for Craftsmanship

Circular saws are one of the most versatile saws in the industry and are a staple for beginner handymen and professionals alike. Hence, you will find a myriad of types of circular saws, each ready to serve different craftsmanship.

The circular saw is economical, easy to use, and portable. Also, it can make most bevel cuts and the necessary long rip cuts with premium consistency. So, no woodworkers would want to leave away such a great power tool.

So, it is no wonder as to why the market is full of different types of circular saws. And in today’s article, we will cover the most varieties of circular saws to help you out with the selection. Once you read on the in-depth article, you will know the different usage of the various circular saws.

So, begin the journey.

Types of Circular Saws You Will Mostly See

With a booming circular saw market, you might be overwhelmed to pick the right one for you, especially when you don’t know the application of a particular circular saw. Hence, understanding the circular saw variations will help you choose the most appropriate one.

1. Corded Circular Saw

This isn’t basically a type; instead, it is a feature you would mostly find. In the earlier days, corded circular saws were the staple of the industry with a long cord to connect with the power outlet. The corded power saws are more powerful compared to the cordless one.

Also, its power comes handy in accomplishing heavy-duty cutting and trimming jobs. But it lacked reaching capacity due to the cord.


  • Powerful
  • Ideal for heavy-duty jobs


  • Limited reaching capacity

2. Cordless Circular Saw

This circular saw is positioned right on the other side of the corded circular saw. It runs with a battery and so, often called as a battery-powered circular saw too. Although it has limited power, you can work with intricate cuts and would love its reaching capacity.

Another benefit of the cordless circular saw is its lightweight design. As you move easily with the saw, it makes your cutting jobs enjoyable and quick too.


  • Lightweight design
  • Easy portability
  • Ideal for cutting in challenging corners
  • Reaching capacity


  • Limited power
  • Not meant for heavy-duty jobs

3. Compact and Mini Circular Saws

Just like the corded and cordless circular saws, the compact and mini circular saws are a design variation instead of a working type variation. As the name suggests, these saws are compact sized and not so big. In fact, these saws have a mini structure, and so are easily carried across the workshop and different working locations.

The mini circular saws mostly serve hobbyists and homeowners for light to medium-duty cutting jobs. These can be both corded and cordless, depending on their design. Also, these types of circular saw come in reasonable pricing.


  • Easy carrying capacity
  • Affordable pricing
  • Ideal for homeowners and DIY workers


  • Limited working capacity
  • Sometimes, can be a bit fragile

4. Worm Driven Circular Saw

Perhaps, the most common of the circular saws, the worm driven circular saw has a motor mounted right behind the blade. The back position of the circular saw enables it to come with a longer blade ideal for long rip cuts. Also, the blade is thinner.

The gears of the worm driven circular saw are located in a 90° angle. So, it delivers power with increased control. So, it is suitable for wide boards and cutting plunges. Last but not least, its extended teeth and brute strength are all set to accomplish the sturdiest and the largest cutting jobs comfortably and quickly too.


  • Longer blade and extended teeth
  • 90° gear mounting suits for controlled cuts
  • The saw features brute power for tough cuts
  • Serves for an extended period


  • Needs regular maintenance
  • Heavyweight construction limits maneuverability

5. Sidewinder Circular Saw

You will find the motor of the sidewinder circular saw located at one side of the blade. That’s the reason they got the name sidewinder circular saw. However, they are also known as an in-line circular saw.

The side mounting of the motor makes the saw a compact one. You will see the sidewinder circular saw mostly in the eastern part of the USA. Carpenters, there has a particular affinity for it. Usually, the motor is located on the right side and has a stable platform too.

The stable platform means it will vibrate less during the works, which results in a more accurate and smooth finish. Also, the saw is lightweight, and so you can carry it from one workplace to another at ease.

The compactness and lightweight design contribute to its capacity to perform overhead cuttings. Moreover, its RPM rating reaches the industrial-grade 5500-6000RPM, thanks to its in-line motor and gear placement.


  • Quick blade functioning
  • Ideal for overhead cuttings.
  • Portable and stable base
  • Needs less maintenance


  • Less potent motor
  • The rip fence isn’t included

6. Hypoid Circular Saws

Out of the different types of circular saws, the hypoid circular saws are a junction between the worm driven and sidewinder circular saws. While it has a similar rear-mounted motor likewise the worm driven ones, it matches the fast cutting capacity of the sidewinder too.

Due to the rear mounting motor, many users misplace it with the worm drive circular saw. It also has a 90° gear placement, and the engine is enclosed. The gear placement delivers more torque and power to perform the most substantial works at ease. Additionally, the enclosed motor housing won’t ask for any oiling.

So, on one side, it has brute power and on, the other side, requires less maintenance. Also, it is quieter than most circular saw types. Hence, professionals like working with the hypoid circular saw for large cutting jobs.


  • Ideal for wet and hardy lumbers
  • Potent motor for strengthened cuts
  • Quieter operation
  • No oiling is necessary


  • The motor will wear out soon.
  • Cumbersome construction

7. Cordwood Saws

You will mostly see the cordwood circular saw in sawmills. The saw is designed to work with large timbers, slabs, and logs. It cuts these larger pieces into smaller firewood. Some people, at times, call it as an ‘ad buzz’ circular saws.

The cordwood circular saw is widely used in cutting boards entirely across their grains. Earlier countryside people used it for landscaping jobs. But with the advent of the chainsaw, it has been gradually replaced with the chainsaw.

So, most modern-day users may not be familiar with a cordwood saw. It comes with a sturdy shape and capable of holding the largest pieces at ease. Also, it can perform the cuts at 20”-36” diameter that is more than impressive.

Also, the saw features brute power, which also helped us include it for the types of circular saw reviews list.


  • Large blade diameter
  • Hardy and stable frame
  • Brute power


  • Not moveable
  • Somewhat outdated

8. Cold Saw

Do you want to cut a variety of metals with pin-point accuracy? If yes, then we recommend you to own the cold saw. Once you use the cold saw to cut metals, you will be amazed at the accuracy it will provide in each cutting job.

The secret behind such phenomenal precision lies in two facts. Firstly, it has a large blade diameter and, secondly, linear feed, and slow rotation.

The blade of the saw operates slowly and lets you cut through the most rigid metals effortlessly and most accurately too. As the edge goes pass the hardiest metals, it won’t heat up quickly. So, you can continue working with the saw blade for an extended period.

The coolant system prevents the burning of the workpieces and also keeps the saw cool. Also, its stable base has lee vibration resulting in more accuracy.


  • Premium accuracy
  • Can cut the toughest metal
  • Effective coolant system


  • Not for small jobs
  • Woodcutting isn’t an option

9. Abrasive Circular Saw

Another saw that is good at cutting hard substances at ease is the abrasive circular saw. Indeed, it is used widely to cut metals, ceramics, tiles, and anything you can imagine off momentarily.

Since the teeth of the circular saw blade bounce off from the hard materials, the abrasive saw features a breakthrough technology. Instead of the toothed edge, it has a flattened blade. It works on the friction technology and resembles more like a grinder or sandpaper.

The blade is made of cubic boron nitride or diamond for the abrasiveness and durability. Also, it is the most adaptable circular saw. You can use it as the handheld circular saw, or transform quickly into a miter or table saw if need be. What’s more, the conversion is pretty easy and straightforward.


  • Superior control over each cut
  • Versatile cutting capacity
  • Adaptable and easy conversion


  • The heat generation is sometimes unbearable
  • A bit expensive

10. Biscuit Joiners

The biscuit joiners are built to join two joints of the workpiece. It has a complex mechanism that lets workers joint two different pieces without any visible nail holes.

It works with a slit board cutting capacity. Once the slits are prepared at two workpieces, these are connected with a biscuit shape wood. That’s where they get the name biscuit joiners. Also, the biscuit-shaped wood is attached using glue for durability.

However, you will need advanced sawing skills to operate the biscuit joiners accurately. Another setback of these types of circular saw is its application for the sole purpose of joining two wood pieces only.


  • It cleanly connects two wood pieces
  • The saw provides incredible accuracy


  • It can perform only the joining purpose.

11. Miter Saws

If you want to cut several lumbers and wood pieces quickly, the miter saw will be your best companion in the woodworking industry. It has a swiveling radial arm, and the circular saw is attached to you. Using the clamped feature, you can quickly bring the saw blade down or go up, whenever necessary.

The best part is that a miter saw is capable of versatile cutting works. You can use it for the compound, miter bevel, and repetitive crosscuts without any issues. Also, the miter saw is one of the safest saws available presently.

The safe and easy to use application makes it a popular choice since its first invention in 1960 and has remained the most popular since then.


  • Extremely versatile
  • Safe and easy usage
  • Ideal for fast cuts


  • Expensive
  • Heavyweight
  • Lacks portability

12. Concrete Circular Saws

If you are looking for an alternative of toothless abrasive saws to cut tough metals at ease, we highly recommend you to opt for the concrete circular saw. It is also known as a grinder or slab circular saws and work on the most high-resistance materials.

While the abrasive circular saw has almost left out the teeth, the concrete circular saw comes with a different teeth arrangement. It features a diamond or carbide teeth or anything as hard as they get to cut through metals, tiles, and ceramics.

The only drawback is that the concrete saw blade gets hot quickly. So, you need to apply high-quality coolant to keep the edge cool and let it work for a longer period.


  • Usable with different fuels
  • Cuts through the hardest materials
  • Used in metal and masonry industry


  • Overheating issue
  • Expensive and heavyweight

13. Table Saw

As the name suggests, the table saw comes with a redesigned circular saw and a sturdy table as a work base. The circular saw is effectively mounted underneath the workbench, and only a fraction of the blade is visible from upwards.

While a most circular saw blade needs pushing towards the cutting material, the table saw does the opposite. The blade is positioned fixedly, and you move the cutting workpiece towards the blade slowly. You can use a stick or fingers to push the material across the blade.

It has a cutting guide fence to ensure that the workpiece remains in the right position. It is, thus, easy to use and performs rip cuts and crosscuts with consistency. Also, it is an ideal option for beginners.


  • Ideal for novice workers
  • Large and stable workbench
  • Best for rip and crosscuts


  • Immoveable
  • Professionals use only

14. Metal Cutting Circular Saw

Although abrasive and concrete circular saw can cut metals at ease, the metal cutting circular saw is designed mainly for the job. So, you will be surprised by the cutting efficiency and precision.

It is built specially to deal with the hardest metal’s humankind use. So, it features all the safety concerns appropriately, such as protection against sparks and tiny metal projectiles. The blade is smaller in size and works slowly.

The slowness of the metal offers you the maximum accuracy possible with desired smoothness.


  • Cuts all types of metals
  • Prevents sparks


  • Slowness
  • Small blade

15. Brush-Cutter

It is one of the least known yet widely used circular saw blade these days among the different types of circular saws. Have you ever seen a cutting attachment for maintaining a lawn or garden? If yes, then you should know that the cutting blade of the brush attachment is the circular saw blade.

It is usually a fan-shaped lade with three wings and comes beneficial to cut taller grasses that a lawnmower can’t handle.


  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for lawn and garden maintenance


  • Serves one purpose only

16. Carbide Circular Saw

If you want precision in cutting works and expect minimal to no wear out during the cutting projects, the carbide circular saw is made for you. The carbide circular saw features a tipped blade and is mostly used in table and miter saws.

You will see its widespread use in furniture and cabinet making. The tip of the blade has carbide covering while the rest of the part is made of steel. That’s why the name is so.

The best part is that the carbide tip is most likely to endure 20-30 times more cutting harshness than the regular saw blades. So, it is durable too.


  • Most durable saw blades
  • Ideal for cabinetry and furniture making


  • The blade is heavyweight
  • Not for metal works

17. Flip-Over Circular Saw

The flip-over circular saw is a combo of miter saws and table saws. So, it brings the efficiency of both types of circular saws at your forefront. Also, the blending of the two saw types delivers a powerful yet compact design.

So, if space is your issue, you will love the space-saving construction of the flop-over circular saw. When necessary, raise the cutting head and then flip or turn over the saw and you are ready to go. What’s more, the flipping is made super-easy and convenient too.


  • Combo of miter and table saws
  • Suits repetitive cross and rip cuts
  • Easy flipping and blade rising capacity


  • Fixed workplace
  • Expensive


You will see many types of circular saws in the present-day market. Each of these circular saw types is capable of performing a myriad of cutting tasks. While some are more adept at handling wood, others tackle metal, tile, and ceramic materials effortlessly.

Also, you will see the difference in the cutting mechanism of the circular saw, and they require a varied level of maintenance. So, this detailed guideline on different types of circular saws reviews would facilitate you getting the best one for you at ease. Cheers!

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