While circular saws are an important tool for many home DIYers and professionals, not everyone needs a top-of-the-line, expensive saw. Often, a budget circular saw is all you really need if you only have the occasional project or two. Unless you plan on using your circular saw regularly, there is no reason to splurge and buy the most up-to-date model out there.
A budget saw won’t save you much money if it doesn’t work, to begin with, but still, even it should work well and be able to perform appropriately. To help you get the most bang for your buck, we put together this complete guide with the best circular saws under $100. With our guide in hand, you’ll be able to easily make the right decision for your situation.
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- Our Top Picks of 2023
- The 5 Best Budget Circular Saws under $100
- Buying Guide
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The 5 Best Budget Circular Saws under $100
#1 DEWALT DCS391B Cordless Circular Saw – Best Overall
Even though all the saws listed here are under $100 but DEWALT DCS391B is by far the best budget circular saw we reviewed. It runs off of a 20V battery to delivers the most accurate cuts with ease. The battery lasts a decently long time, though we do recommend purchasing a second one as a backup.
This saw runs smoothly; the motor is high-quality despite the price. There is quite a bit of power packed into the little Circular Saw has a no-load speed of 3700 RPM and comes with a 6.5 inch carbide blade, making it perfect for all sorts of projects. Despite the battery, we found that this saw was pretty lightweight. It didn’t fatigue us quickly and was easy to maneuver.
We loved that this saw had an electric brake, which stops the blade quickly when the trigger is released. This is a great safety feature and also helps improve cutting accuracy.
This Circular Saw also allows a direct line of sight to the blade and material. We particularly enjoyed this feature because it allowed us to cut more accurately.
- Ergonomic Handle
- Easy blade change
- Long lasting with 5AH batteries
- Sturdy and quality built
- Well placed angle and depth adjustment locks
- Battery and charger sold separately
#2 SKIL 5280-01 Corded Circular Saw – Runner Up
SKIL makes high-quality, inexpensive power tools, and their circular saw is no different. Right out of the box, we could tell this saw was well made. This saw will help you to make accurate cuts with a single laser beam guide. It is powered by a 15 Amp motor with a no-load speed of 5300 RPM.
We found that the laser really did work as advertised and is very useful. It also comes with an integrated dust blower, though this could have worked a little better. You can make a wide variety of angle and miter cuts having 51 degree bevel capacity with positive stops at 45 degrees.
As far as performance goes, this Circular Saw is quite well. We didn’t have any issues with the blade unnecessarily wobbling or parts breaking. It did what we needed it to do without complaint. Despite the small size and low price, it can cut just as well as some of the more expensive models.
This circular saw is also very comfortable to use, even for those who have hardly touched power tools before. Plus, this Circular Saw comes with a 7-1/4 inch carbide blade.
- Laser guide make it easy to use
- Anti-gang lower guard
- Lightweight with Powerful motor
- Cuts through a bunch of 2x4s in no time
- Easy blades change with spindle lock and on-tool wrench
- Motor sits very low
- Depth adjustment is difficult
#3 PORTER-CABLE PCE300 Circular Saw – Best for the Money
This saw is extremely inexpensive. It is only a fraction of what other saws cost. However, we discovered that it still cut reasonably well and performed the tasks we set before it. It boasts of a 15 AMP motor that operates at 5,500 RPM & comes with a 7-1/4 inch 18 tooth carbide-tipped blade.
It is made to withstand the test of time. It is durable and can take quite a bit of beating. We had no problem with this Circular Saw breaking or wearing down, and we doubt you will either. This saw is built very solidly.
This saw has a steel shoe (not a magnesium one), metal upper and lower guards provide durability. However, we found that the shoe is still quite durable and was enough for our needs.
If you’re a professional woodworker, you might need something with some more powerful, but for the rest of us who just need a Circular Saw in the budget, this one works great. Some cool features like Spindle lock, depth adjust, 45 degree max bevel provide you ease of use.
The magnesium shoe version of this saw which costs $10-$20 more has a much better knob for tilting the cutting angle as compared to the STEEL SHOE version.
- Quiet and cuts very smoothly
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Powerful and sturdy
- Couldn’t cut more than 3 inches into wood
- Difficult to see depth gauge
#4 BLACK+DECKER BDECS300C Cordless Circular-Saw
This saw wasn’t our favourite, but it isn’t necessarily a bad saw either. This Circular Saw is extremely inexpensive, and it shows.
While we’re all for buying a budget if that’s all you need, sometimes saws are so low-quality that it is worth spending a bit more money to get something else. We did like the laser guide, though the directions on using it were a little confusing.
We had concerns about the safety guard, which was quite flimsy. In our opinion, the guard was not as strong as it should be for safety reasons. This was a very big concern for us, and is a large reason why this Circular Saw ended up so far down on the list.
We also had some concerns because this saw has no trigger guard. This is very dangerous, especially if you have small children. Whenever you press the trigger, the Circular Saw goes off. It is like a gun without a safety.
- Great Saw with Laser Guide
- Fine for cutting 2X4’s, fence planks, and the lattice
- Cutting was very accurate
- Easy blade change with spindle lock
- Very delicate base plate
- low quality blade
- Instructions were a bit lacking/confusing
#5 Ryobi One+ P505 Budget Saw
This cordless circular saw is not the most inexpensive one on our list, and it isn’t one of the higher performing ones either. It isn’t a bad saw, just a bit unremarkable.
It has a decently long battery life, especially if you buy the juicier batteries. We could easily get a few cuts done with it before it died. It cuts quite well and is decently lightweight. Also, it has a transparent lower guard to provide maximum visibility while making cuts.
It is not a very durable saw. Most of the parts are made of plastic and seem very flimsy. Some of the knobs came off while we were using it.
While we were able to fit them back on, we could see how this could easily be a problem if you happened to lose the knob. If you are looking for a powerful circular saw this isn’t the one to buy.
- Great for small projects
- Easy to align the blade
- Affordable Price
- Separately need to buy battery and charger
- Blade is not big enough to cut 2×4
- Not any good for anything heavy duty
- Does not come with a case or a carrying bag
Should you Go for Corded circular saw vs. Cordless circular saw?
There are mainly two types of circular saws: corded and cordless circular saws. Corded Circular Saws has to be plugged into an outlet to work. It is usually a good idea to have an extension cord or two on hand just in case the cord doesn’t reach your work area. While you do have to deal with a cord, these top-rated Circular Saws are usually more powerful than cordless ones, and you don’t have to deal with charging a battery. While corded circular saws are relatively cheaper than cordless circular saws.
Cordless Circular Saws has the obvious proof of not having a cord. This means you don’t have to deal with finding an outlet when you need to use the saw. They are easier to travel with and use in the field since they take their power with them. However, cordless models will only run as long as their battery has juice. It is goo to purchase an extra battery or two in order to keep your saw running longer.
You really don’t need to spend exactly $100 for a circular saw. There are some more options available for purchase under $50. You can get Circular Saws which are more powerful but they come with a steeper price tag. If you don’t need a feature, there is no reason to dish out more money to get it. It is important to consider a budget-friendly option and what you actually need when shopping for a circular saw. Otherwise, you’re going to be spending more than you need.
It is also important to consider how often you plan on using the saw as well. If you’re just going to use it once a year, there is no reason to splurge on a fancy model.
Size of the Blade
When you’re purchasing a Circular Saw, it is important to consider what size blade it is designed to use. Saws are typically only compatible with one blade size, so it is important to consider what size blade you need before making your purchase. You will not be able to change the size later without buying a completely different Circular Saw. Most under $100 Circular saws are equipped with 5-10″ blade.
Blade size mostly affects the depth you can cut. You aren’t going to be able to cut chunks of wood if the blade doesn’t descend far enough, after all. In this case, bigger is usually better. However, bigger also comes with a higher price tag. If you’re on a budget, it might be in your better interests to purchase something smaller, especially if you aren’t planning on cutting anything thick.
Useful Features for a Circular Saw
There is a large variety of features that a circular saw can come with. Laser guides are not uncommon and can help you guide the saw more accurately while you’re cutting. We quite like laser guides, but we do know some people who don’t. It is really a matter of personal preference.
Many budget circular saws also come with a dust blower. These are meant to blow dust away from your cutting line of sight, providing you with more visibility. Truthfully though, most of the budget saws with dust blowers we’ve tested weren’t really worth much. It is very difficult to find a saw with a dust blower that actually does much. However, if you can find one, they can be moderately useful if you have a hard time with dust.
There are two most important safety features to look out for to prevent you from accidentally injuring yourself. Make sure you look out for them even if you’re buying a cheaper saw.
Blade Guard will make sure that you won’t touch the blade unknowingly. The blade guard should be made out of high-quality materials and able to actually stop something.
Trigger lock: It won’t allow the Circular saw to turn on even if you pull the trigger. This prevents the blade from turning on accidentally, which can lead to a mishap. This works much like the safety on a gun.
For many people, a circular saw is all they need. Luckily, you can find very inexpensive circular saws on the market. The DEWALT DCS391B came to the top during our testing and the best option you can buy. The motor runs smoothly with little vibration and the battery lasts quite a long time. We particularly liked that it had a blade break, which improves safety and accuracy. The PORTER-CABLE PCE300 7-1/4-Inch is best value for money circular saw. It is more durable than we expected and cuts rather accurately.
You may also be interested in reading our popular compact circular saw buying guide. These models are popular choices these last years.