10 Different Circular Saw Types and Their Uses in 2021

Types of Circular Saws
Photo: Skilsaw

Circular saw comes in use in many woodworking projects. Since there is a massive variety in these tools, you can say that any saw that has a circular blade is basically a circular saw.

These are available in different sizes and shapes and can be used on different kinds of materials.

Since not every circular saw is designed to target all the materials, based on your needs you will have to select the one that proves its potential in the target material used.

Here we will share information on different types and how are they helpful in different tasks.

1) Worm Drive

Worm Drive
Photo: Skilsaw

Worm Drive is among the most common types in circular saws.

The motor of these saws is mounted at the back which makes the overall profile of the saw long. However, these are thinner and easy to handle.

It is popularly used for cutting the wider boards because of the long blade. The blade is on the left of the saw whereas most of its heft is on the right side.

You can also enjoy better sight line as most of the saw’s part is on the cutting surface that you handle.

The saw gets the power from the gears that are located 90-degrees from each other. These saws have more torque.

As far as maintenance is concerned, the saw will not need a lot of it, but you should be careful about occasional oiling.

Recommend: Makita 5377MG

2) Inline


The Inline circular saw is just as common as the Worm Drive. The motor is mounted on side of the saw which is why it has a compact profile.

The motor is on the right side which makes it rest on the solid workpiece and not the cut-off portion.

Since the weight of this circular saw is less than other varieties, it is considered to be the best for overhead cutting.

Also, with the motor inline with the blade, the speed it can create is up to 6000 RPM.

Another benefit of inline circular saw is that it is available in cordless models which relieves you from the chore of adding oil occasionally.

3) Metal Cutting

Metal Cutting
Photo: Evolution

While it seems that cutting metal is possible with any circular saw, but there are some models that are explicitly made for the task.

Metal is rigider than wood and is difficult to cut. Also, there is a concern of sparks that occurs on metal-to-metal contact. Plus, there are metal shards that comes out while cutting metal with any saw.

The circular saw which is solely made to handle metal is designed to offer protection from sparks and shards.  

The metal saw works slower that other wood handling saws because they have smaller blades than other models. These are designed to handle the metal material in a better and more secure way.

4) Hypoid

Photo: Makita

The hypoid circular saw is often confused with a worm drive circular saw because of the placement of the motor on the rear end. The difference can be recognized from the transmission and gear alignment.

The motor of these saws is sealed and does not require oiling. The gearing system is also different as there is a bevel wheel with teeth that involves a spiral gear mounted at 90-degree angle.

Due to the alignment, the blade contact is increased and the saw becomes more efficient and powerful. The saw is used to cut substantial or wet wood pieces.

5. Abrasive Saw

Abrasive Saw

Abrasive saws are meant to handle hand metals for cutting. The teeth of the blades are standard but it is the friction disc that make these saws more progressive in handling difficult metal.

The discs are composite and the design of saw have different formation. You can find the designs similar to a table saw or a handheld saw.

Since these saws cut hard metal, more wear and tear than a standard saw is inevitable. Well, high-quality abrasive saws come with blade edges made of carbon nitride or diamond to postpone the wearing for a long time.

6. Biscuit Joiner

Biscuit Joiner
Photo: DeWalt

This is the most confusing kind of a saw as its main mechanism is to join materials while it also has a circular blade attached to it.

This tool is used to join two separate pieces of wood together without any noticeable impressions of nail holes or other joiners.

Biscuit saws are pretty useful in achieving joints like edge, miter, corner, butt, and T-joint. The blade of the saw is used to cut a right sized hole in opposite sides of the wood pieces.

Then you have to apply glue on the oval-shaped wooden biscuit and while placing them on opposing holes, both the wooden pieces are clamped together for bonding.

7. Carbide Circular Saw

Carbide Circular Saw
Photo: fcimag.com

The saw is named after the material of its blades. The teeth of these saws are constructed with cemented carbide and the saw is used to handle aggressive cutting jobs of the strongest materials.

The saw could have a vertical or horizontal slide, or it could have a pivot depending on the target cutting surface.

In the horizontal slide, the blades are on the top of the gearbox. The horizontal ones are more popular among buyers, and they are also referred to as billet saws.

The vertical saws on the other hand are taller in profile. With these, users can stack up the items and cut multiple pieces at one time. The pivot saws can be used as billet or layer saws, but they only cut smaller tubes.

8. Flip Over Circular Saw

Flip Over Circular Saw
Photo: Makita

The flip-over is basically a combination of a table saw as well as a miter saw.

With its tendency to prove as an effective miter saw, you get incredible crosscuts at precise angles.

Plus, the saw will be equally effective in handling tasks that a standard table saw does.

The blade is mounted so that it can work without any disturbance. These saws are very versatile and can handle a variety of jobs.

The profile of the saw is compact and it won’t demand a lot of workspaces.

9. Concrete Saw

Concrete Saw

Concrete saw is referred to as a slab saw is meant to handle extremely difficult materials like concrete, tile, brick, asphalt, etc.

You can find these saws in a handheld or chop-saw versions.

There is a wide range of motors used in operating the saws. It can be pressurized, electric, hydraulic, or gasoline.

Blades used in these saws is usually diamond as it is able to handle the harshest materials with utmost ease.

Since the hard materials generate a lot of heat while cutting, it is best suited to work for a little while and take a break for the blades to cool down.

This way, they will last longer.

10. Brushcutter

Photo: Makita

It is basically a garden tool also known as a brush saw or a clearing saw. The tool comes into purpose when you have to cut hard-to-handle foliage or weed.

You get various attachments with it to achieve different cutting tasks. These tools can operate on gas, cordless electric or corded electric motors.

There is a power unit that has a motor and is attached to a long pole which is used to supply power.

On the opposite side of motor is a rotary cutting head. The blade is similar to a chainsaw. To ensure safety of the user, the deflectors are attached on the cutting side.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are Circular Saw Used For?

Circular saws are extremely efficient cutting tools that are used for handling different materials for cutting. Other than wood, the saws are very effective in handling the harsh materials as well like metal, concrete, tiles, brick, etc.

More Detailed: Click here

2. Are Cordless Circular Saws Worth It?

Well, the cordless saws are not as powerful as the corded saws, but they are very helpful when you have to work on a remote location where there is no supply of power for the corded models. The cordless model is able to handle light duty jobs.

Read More: Corded vs. Cordless Circular Saw

3. Are Mini Circular Saws Any Good?

Compactness and power are two different subjects to focus. There are some mini saws that have an exceptionally powerful motor and can work on different angles for achieving the cutting jobs. The mini saws are extremely helpful, and they are handy as well. However, they are still recommended for DIYers and cutting enthusiasts.

4. Why Are Some Circular Saws Left-Handed?

The majority of worm drive and cordless circular saws are left-handed because with these saws, you get better visibility of the cut line which reduces the risk of an uncomfortable movement to discover the line and if the saw is moving on a right slide.

5. How Deep Can I Cut With A Circular Saw?

Cutting depth depends on the blade’s size. If your saw has 7-1/4-inch blade then it will allow 2-1/2-inch deep cut. For a beginner, this is the best blade size to use.

As far as professionals are concerned, they can use up to 16-5/16-inch blade for exceptionally deeper cuts. Likewise, there is a wide variety in blades with variable cutting tendencies.

6. How Dangerous Are Circular Saws?

While circular saws are quick in cutting and lightweight, but they can be extremely dangerous, especially if the cut binds. In this case, the saw is propelled one way and the board that is being cut be shooting in the other direction which can hurt the operator or the people around. Also, as the blade propels, it can hurt the user.


Since there is immense variety in circular saws, one can say that they can handle any kind of cutting job efficiently.

You just have to buy the one that solves the motive and these saws will never disappoint you.