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Versatile tool, the plunge circular saw cuts both at the edge and in full panel... Little known to the general public and still expensive, this saw is worth the detour.

Test bench: the criteria of choice to buy a diving circular saw

Versatile tool, the plunge circular saw cuts both at the edge and in full panel... Little known to the general public and still expensive, this saw is worth the detour.
The peculiarity of the diving circular saw is its return spring which automatically raises the blade in a closed protective case, after each use. This device makes it possible in particular to start a cut in the full panel, without having to make a preamp for the passage of the saw blade. It also offers more safety by avoiding any contact with the blade.

The circular saw for varied cuts

This type of saw, particularly suitable for edging work, is used with a guide rail to make precise cuts, straight or at an angle.
These machines can cut wood, PVC, aluminum, copper, plasterboard and tiles, depending on the blade chosen. They are used in kitchen assembly, furniture manufacturing, door fitting, parquet or interior floor installation, deck cutting, etc.
Market supply is still limited. That's why we chose machines from the professional network, well supplied in the matter. The six models tested here are equipped with a blade Ø 160 or 165 mm, mounted on an engine block with a power of 1200 to 1400 W.
The Makita is the only machine that can accommodate both blade diameters 160 and 165 mm. The depth of cut can vary from one model to another - from 1 to 59 mm at 0° - and down to 44 mm in the case of 45° cuts.

A wide range of cut settings

The saws of our test offer a wide range of settings to perform various jobs. They can make cuts from 0 to 45°, but also cuts at angles on precise angles well known to the carpenters from -1 to 48°. Only the Metabo has a limited angular adjustment from 0 to 45°. Finally, the Bosch, the Festool and the Makita make it possible to easily perform intermediate slices at an angle of 22.5°.

Handling the saw

return spring on plunge circular saw

The return spring located under the engine block is usually thin and light. On the Dewalt, it is big and robust, but it lacks flexibility and quickly makes up the blade.

lock the depth stop of circular saws

Locking the depth of cut stop differs depending on the saw.
On the Festool, the push mechanism is the simplest. On the Bosch is a pliers and on others, a pressure screw.

tilting system for angled cuts

The tilting system for angled cuts is identical on all machines. It is necessary to loosen the screw of the protractor and to tilt the block of engine. They are very visible on the Bosch.

blade marks on circular saw

On the guard, markers are used to locate the blade for cuts in full panel.

lock a circular saw on its rail

Setting up the saw on the guide rail is simple. To prevent the saw from tilting at 45°, buttons allow it to be locked on the rail.

locking a circular saw on its rail

Unfortunately, on the Triton, they are hard and hinder the establishment. The Dewalt and Festool are equipped with a divider knife useful on long lengths. It is adjusted using the Allen key provided for disassembly of the blade.

Blade change

a protective casing for blade disassembly

The protective housing complicates the disassembly of the blade. Manufacturers have therefore sought to simplify this operation.
Festool offers the simplest system with a lever that automatically locks the blade in both low and rotational positions.

lowering a plunging circular saw blade

Triton offers a selector that allows to lower the blade in front of the screwing window.

Dewalt circular saw

The Dewalt system is more complicated and requires reading the manual carefully.

Accessories and security

- The saws are delivered in a rigid transport caseexcept the Triton sold with a large cloth bag, a two-part rail and two clamps.
- Guide rails and other parallel guides practically indistinguishable from this type of saw are sold separately. The Metabo comes with a parallel guide that allows cuts up to 95 mm from the edge.
- The blades provided by the manufacturers allow to make precise cuts and a great fineness. From 42 teeth for the Metabo 60 teeth for the Triton, they are all tungsten carbide.
- On the safety side, apart from the wide blade guard, the saws are equipped with a electronic braking system which stops the blade two seconds after the power is turned off. The system is particularly effective on Festool and Makita. On Triton, the blade turns a few more seconds before stopping.

Inspection window for the cutting deck

The Bosch and Festool are equipped with a height-adjustable inspection window on the front of the mower deck. It allows to see the blade and to optimize the aspiration of the chips. On the Festool, at the location of the window, it is possible to install a splinterguard.

Test procedure for diving circular saws

- The efficiency of sawing takes into account the maximum capacities of each machine according to the data provided by the manufacturers, the grip, the precision of the sawing, straight and angled cuts with and without guide rail, but also the cleanliness of the cuts.
- The settings the practical aspects of the machine: the ease with which the various buttons can be manipulated, the readability of the graduations and their accuracy, etc.
- The blade change is a delicate operation. Indeed, the protective cover masks the blade, which implies to go down to block and loosen. The systems are more or less practical depending on the model.
- Ergonomics and comfort are determined by the sound level, the vibrations, the weight, the good glide on the rail, the safety, but also the flexibility of the buttons of start-up, the position of the variable speed drive and the cladding of the handles.

The efficiency of sawing

  • On laminated wood worktops of 1830 x 600 x 40 mm we made straight and angled cuts along the whole length and width. This test allowed to verify the endurance of the machines and their precision. The agglomerated woods are filled with glue which makes the blades and the tools suffer. The squareness of each cut has been checked.
  • Full panel windows were then opened to observe the correct position of the markings on the blade guard. They must match the diameter of the blade to determine where the cut starts and ends.
  • Finally, we used 65 mm thick pine bastaings to measure the 90 and 45° cutting depths.

circular saw electric cable

A notch allows the electrical cable to be caught on the handle during work.

The favorite saw of System D

This saw is not very accessorized and it is not the cheapest. However, it is characterized by a good quality of manufacture. It is easy to use and allows a wide variety of settings. In addition, its weight makes it comfortable to use and the cuts remain sharp and precise regardless of the length and the angle of cut. The engine is sturdy, the controls are flexible. The change of the blade is simple. Everything is designed to make life easier for the user and is suitable for beginners and experienced do-it-yourselfers alike.

Circular saws plunging into use

suction connection on circular saw

All saws are equipped with a suction connection. On Dewalt and Triton, it is fixed and impractical. The guide rail is very useful for long cuts.

guide rail for circular saw

That of the Festool offers a good glide. The sawing system usually tilts on the front.

circular saw protection shoe

Except on the Metabo where it looks more like that of a conventional circular saw. His hoof protection is annoying during cutting attacks.

cut planks with plunge-cut circular saw

The saws tested cut parquet boards up to 12 mm from the wall.

A removable plastic insert protects sawdust from the groove for the guide rail.

maintain your diving circular saw

The interview
On Makita and Triton saws, coals are very easy to access. Simply unscrew the cap on the top of the engine block. On the others, it is necessary to disassemble the crankcase. This type of saw should be cleaned regularly. In fact, sawdust can become embedded under the sawing system and the contact plate and distort the dimensions of the cuts at 90°. A compressor equipped with an air gun can do the job.

Comparative table of 6 diving circular saws

Test comparison of the six circular saws (in pdf)


Video Instruction: WORX WX530 20V CIRCULAR SAW EXACTRACK - Uk English - worx.com