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Powerful and easy to handle, the circular saw is an essential tool for carpentry work. It makes precise cuts, straight or bevelled, in all types of wooden panels and derived materials.

System D Circular Saw Test Stand

Sawing and edging boards made of wood, chipboard, paneling or rafters are the preferred fields of the circular saw.
An excellent woodworking machine, easy to use and simple to design, it consists of an electric motor, mounted on a support plate (soleplate), which drives a circular blade armed with teeth at high speed. The latter emerging by a slot under the sole.
The user simply has to push on the machine for the blade to cut the material.
The editorial team has tested 6 models of circular saws, responding to the most common needs of novice or experienced DIYers.

AEGDewaltMakitaMetaboSkillTriton
KS66-2D23651KHS7101KK5665166ACTA184CSL

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: guide

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: ManoMano

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: saws

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: Amazon

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: ManoMano

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: Amazon

7,6/107,4/107,9/107,5/107/107,8/10
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Effective circular saw blades

All saws tested come with blades covered with tungsten carbide pellet which makes them more rigid.
They (from 105 €) also have small slots at the base of the teeth, intended to prevent possible deformation in case of heating.
The more teeth there are (here 12 to 24), the more the cut is fine and precise.
The diameter of the blades varies here from 184 to 190 mm, which corresponds to the most commonly used blades. The cuts can be made at 90° or 45° with respect to the plate (or at 50°, 55° or 56° with the Makita, Dewalt and AEG), by tilting the engine block and blade assembly.

What power for a good circular saw?

A good ratio of engine power and speed of rotation of the blade allows a wide range of use of the machine: hardwood cutting, soft, thick or not.
The power of the six selected models oscillates between 1,200 and 1,800 W, and the speed of the blade between 4,200 and 5,800 rpm. This is a power largely sufficient to keep the blade in constant rotation during the cutting of hard or soft materials.

Circular saw: a wide sole, but not too much

The rectangular sole plays a key role in the precision and stability of the machine: the larger the dimensions, the more stable the saw is.
But a sole too big (as on the Dewalt) becomes bulky and makes the device difficult to handle. The settings mainly concern the depth of cut, which allows to adjust to the thickness of the room, and the inclination for cuts at an angle. They are carried out with a depth gauge placed at the back of the machine and a protractor located at the front. The maximum cutting depth varies with saws and tilting.

Important element: the lateral guide

The machines on our test bench saw pieces of wood up to 67 mm deep at 90° (Makita) and up to 51 mm at 45° (Skil). However, these figures indicated by manufacturers should be reduced by 3 to 5 mm. Indeed, to work effectively, the blade must exceed a few millimeters under the material to be cut. The side guide (provided by all manufacturers) is used to follow the edge of the workpiece when cutting. Graduated in centimeter (except on the Dewalt and Makita), it is easily fixed on the sole.

Preparation and settings

Preparation and settings

The adjustment of the depth of cut is clearly visible on the Makita. The holding in position is provided by a latch easy to access. When adjusting, be sure to increase the dimension from 3 to 5 mm for effective blade work.

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: ManoMano

The Dewalt can make skew cuts up to 55° (the AEG up to 56°). Simply loosen the screw in front of the machine and tilt it. Be careful to tighten it, otherwise beware of bad surprises!

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: Amazon

To disassemble the blade, it is necessary to lock the support shaft in order to loosen the fixing screw. On the AEG and Makita, the shaft lock button is very flexible and the locking point is easy to find.

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: saws

The divider knife prevents the cut piece of wood from closing behind the blade and blocks it. Located behind the blade, it must sometimes readjust. Only Dewalt and the Metabo are provided with it. Other manufacturers do not consider it useful.

Comfort at work

Comfort at work

For a precise cut, the parallel guide must offer enough support against the edge of the room. But you still have to steer the machine with the handles, and be careful to keep the guide against the edge.

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: ManoMano

Available as an option for all manufacturers, the guide rail is a real plus. It has two grooves for 90° and 45° cuts. On the Skil, it is composed of 4 segments of 36 cm which are clipped to modulate the size of the rail.

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: Amazon

It is possible to simply follow a cut line. On the Dewalt, two tabs and two windows on the sole allow you to follow this cutting line at 90° or 45°.

Reviews on 6 circular saws from 105 €: saws

On the Makita, the adjustment is done through a screw.

Features of the AEG circular saw

ReferenceKS 66C
Price found including VAT (in 2013)199€
Nominal power1600 W
Rotation speed5,800 rpm
Blade diameter184 mm
Depth of cut61 mm at 90°
49 mm at 45°
Dimention of the sole165 x 303 mm
Cord length380 cm
Weight4.8 kg
Sound level103.5 dN (A)
Guarantee3 years*
Accessories1 blade with 24 teeth
1 parallel guide
1 Allen wrench
1 transport bag

* 1 year + 2 years after registration on the site within 30 days after purchase.

Characteristics of the Dewalt circular saw

ReferenceD 23651 K
Price found including VAT (in 2013)280 €
Nominal power1350 W
Rotation speed5000 rpm
Blade diameter190 mm
Depth of cut62 mm at 90°
49 mm at 45°
Dimention of the sole195 x 350 mm
Cord length420 cm
Weight6 kg
Sound level108 dN (A)
Guarantee3 years *
Accessories1 blade with 18 teeth
1 parallel guide
1 flat key
1 PV case

* 1 year + 2 years after registration on the site within 30 days after purchase.

Features of the Makita circular saw

ReferenceHS 7101 K
Price found including VAT (in 2013)250 €
Nominal power1400W
Rotation speed5500 rpm
Blade diameter190 mm
Depth of cut67 mm at 90°
48.5 mm at 45°
Dimention of the sole130 x292 mm
Cord length400 cm
Weight4 kg
Sound level101 dN (A)
Guarantee1 year
Accessories1 blade with 12 teeth
1 parallel guide
1 Allen wrench
1 PVC case

Characteristics of the Metabo circular saw

ReferenceKS 66
Price found including VAT (in 2013)219€
Nominal power1400W
Rotation speed4200 rpm
Blade diameter190 mm
Depth of cut60 mm at 90°
47 mm at 45°
Dimention of the sole200 x 335 mm
Cord length370 cm
Weight5.5 Kg
Sound level108 dN (A)
Guarantee3 years*
Accessories1 blade with 14 teeth
1 parallel guide
1 Allen wrench

* 1 year + 2 years after registration on the site within 30 days after purchase.

Characteristics of the Skil circular saw

Reference5166 AC
Price found including VAT (in 2013)105 €
Nominal power1250 W
Rotation speed5000 rpm
Blade diameter190 mm
Depth of cut66 mm at 90°
51 mm at 45°
Dimention of the sole165 x 330 mm
Cord length200 cm
Weight4.5 kg
Sound level10 dN (A)
Guarantee2 years
Accessories

1 blade with 12 teeth

1 parallel guide
1 flat key
1 PVC case

Characteristics of the Triton circular saw

ReferenceTA 184 CSL
Price found including VAT (in 2013)145 €
Nominal power1800 W
Rotation speed500 rpm
Blade diameter185 mm
Depth of cut62 mm at 90°
40 mm at 45°
Dimention of the sole150 x 320 mm
Cord length300 cm
Weight5.1 kg
Sound level109.8 dN (A)
Guarantee3 years
Accessories1 blade with 24 teeth
1 parallel guide
1 flat key
1 Allen wrench

Our tests

To evaluate the cutting accuracy of the machines, their maneuverability and ease of adjustment (depth, inclination and use of the lateral guide), we first cut 20 mm thick pine parquet boards.
They were assembled to form a panel and sawed in cross-section and with the original blades: with 12, 14, 18 or 24 teeth. The former are ideal for current cuts, the latter offer an optimal cutting fineness.
To judge the speed of execution, we sawed boards of oak (hardwood) with a thickness of 30 mm.
Finally, the 70 mm thick bastaing cut allowed us to check the precision of the cutting depth displayed by the manufacturers: to the nearest 1 or 2 mm, the figures indicated are accurate.

AEG circular saw

Simple and efficient

Compact and well made, this saw allows clean cuts thanks to its 24 teeth blade. On the other hand, the depth of cut is a little fair...

ErgonomicsThe main handle is covered with rubber and the auxiliary handle slightly inclined for a better grip.
But no security on the start trigger.
7,0
settingsDepth graduation is readable at first glance (white on a black background).
The tilt adjustment is well designed. The adjustment levers are easy to maneuver.
8,5
GuidesThe lateral guide is graduated up to 18 cm. The measurements are very readable (black on a gray background).
The bearing surface lacks a bit of length, but is wide enough to provide good stability.
7,5
Comfort and performanceThe speed remains constant during the effort.
The cut is precise and of quality. Perfect for parquet flooring.
7,5
Test result7,6

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Dewalt circular saw

Stable but heavy

Designed for intensive use, the saw is heavy and bulky, but very stable thanks to its wide sole. Its 18-tooth blade ensures clean cuts.

Ergonomicsthe main handle is slip-resistant, like the wide handlebar-shaped auxiliary handle.
The grip is simple, the start trigger "falls" perfectly under the index.
8,0
settingsAdjustment of the inclination (up to 55°) is done after loosening a small knob.
At the 90° reset, we must remember to align the mark on the 0, to avoid surprises.
7,0
GuidesMaintained in place by two screws, the lateral guide is not graduated. Too bad, because its support surface is wide and long.
Cutting marks at 90° and 45° on the soleplate are legible.
6,5
Comfort and performanceHeavy, the machine quickly becomes tiring.
But it is effective for hardwoods and accurate for parquet flooring.
8,0
Test result7,4

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Makita circular saw

Compact and lightweight

Very handy thanks to its almost feather weight (4 kg), it has a power of 1400 W and intensive work does not scare him. To try it is to adopt it!

ErgonomicsThe auxiliary handle and the main handle are entirely covered with non-slip material.
The tree lock button is very flexible as well as the start command.
8,5
settingsMachine easily tilting up to 50°.
The adjustment levers are wide and non-slip.
The tilt graduations and the depth of cut are perfectly legible.
8,5
GuidesThe side guide is not graduated (the manufacturer may have found this unnecessary). But he is easily fixed in his home.
The bearing surface is reduced to its simplest expression.
5,5
Comfort and performanceVery effective, it cuts without effort.
Reassuring grip.
The user (beginner or expert) will find his account.
9,0
Test result7,9

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Metabo circular saw

Stable and precise

Stability, accuracy of settings and quality of manufacture, this machine can be used by beginners as well as by handymen confirmed.

ErgonomicsThe orders arrive ideally at hand and are done smoothly.
The auxiliary handle is tilted slightly forward for better support.
7,5
settingsDepth adjustment is easy via a large lever.
The graduation of the depth is sufficiently readable, but it is necessary a good lighting to see that of the inclination.
7,0
GuidesLong and wide, the support surface of the guide is a real highlight for stability.
Graduated up to 22.8 cm, the guide is easily adjustable. The reported cutting indicator is adjustable.
8,0
Comfort and performanceThe machine is equipped with an automatic disengagement system of the blade in case of obstacle.
The cuts are frank and clear.
7,5
Test result7,5

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Skil circular saw

Light and manageable

Good value for money, this machine, manufactured by the inventor of the circular saw, offers a good cutting depth of 90° (66 mm) and 45° (51 mm).

ErgonomicsAlthough not equipped with slip-resistant cladding, the handles offer a good grip.
Blocking the shaft for blade change is very accessible.
7,0
settingsTipping the machine is simple.
The adjustment knobs are easy to tighten and loosen.
The graduations are quite legible despite their black color.
7,0
GuidesThe lateral guide is graduated up to 20 cm.
Its maintenance in place is correct, but its support surface just sufficient: 2 to 3 cm more would have been welcome.
7,0
Comfort and performanceThe saw offers good performance, except for hardwoods, where the blade protection shoe tends to lock.7,0
Test result7,0

Triton circular saw

Powerful and robust

With a 1,800 W motor, a blade guard, a magnesium alloy soleplate and a laser liner, this saw produces a real sensation of comfort.

ErgonomicsThe main handle is perfectly sheathed.
The handlebar-shaped front handle offers a secure grip.
The laser switch comes just under the thumb.
8,0
settingsThe graduation of the inclination is clearly legible. On the other hand, that of depth is more delicate: it is placed too close to the blade guard and the figures are black on a black background!7,0
GuidesThe lateral guide is graduated up to 20 cm.
For best accuracy, the first ten centimeters are displayed in millimeters.
Another positive point, the support surface quite wide.
7,5
Comfort and performanceComfort and performance: a pity that the cutting depth at 90° and 45° is also limited, because the machine allows fast cuts without burrs.8,5
Test result7,8

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Test results

The circular saws tested are close to the performance of the professional ranges. Very tight, the classification was therefore played on the details.

If the Makita comes first, because it is the best conceived, the lightest and the most balanced; its easy handling is intended for all levels of DIY. Only downside: its side guide too small and without graduation.

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Second, the Triton is the pleasant surprise of this little-known Australian brand. With 1,800 W and 24 teeth, it is efficient and precise. Moreover, it is the only machine equipped with a laser liner.

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TheAEG takes third place for its compactness, its very readable settings and easy handling.

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It is followed closely by the metabo, powerful but a little heavy to handle.

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Fifth, the Dewalt displays a clutter that makes it difficult to manipulate.

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Finally, despite a good quality-price ratio, the Skil closes the march because of his lack of stamina.

The choice of System D

Among the six machines tested and despite fairly similar results, we selected the AEG for several reasons.

First of all, its comfort of use is excellent, thanks to a front handle that "engages" easily under the hand and a sole large enough to ensure good stability of the saw. Then, its effectiveness has never been faulted. Indeed, its engine power (1,600 W), combined with a high speed of rotation of the blade (5,800 rpm), in addition to its 24 teeth, allows an attack of cutting clean, clear and precise. The lateral guide is in place and remains stable on the edge of the pieces to be cut. In addition, its graduation is particularly legible as well as those of the inclination and depth. It tilts up to 56° maximum, with an intermediate angle of 22.5°, often used in carpentry. Finally, a carrying bag is provided and the 3 year warranty is appreciable.


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