The average home user (DIYer) does not need to spend a lot on a circular saw to meet most of their needs. There are some cheap models (under $50), which I list below, that will do what you need it to do just fine.
However, the key with any circular saw, is to use a good blade (NOT THE BLADE THAT COMES WITH THE CIRCULAR SAW).
I have spent hours reviewing and comparing different models to find that best circular saws under $50 (or about that price) so you don’t have to. If you find this helpful, please consider sharing this with others to help them too!
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The best models in the $50 price range are:
Related: Cordless vs corded circular saws
Firstly, you may be thinking, can a cheap circular saw be any good? The answer is yes, a cheap or budget circular saw can be good but don’t expect top of the range features and performance. Furthermore, you should not only pick a good model but also use a good blade. On a budget circular saw a good blade is critical. I recommend Diablo circular saw blades. Be sure to get one that is the right size for your circular saw.
Top Overall Circular Saw Pick Under ~$50
My overall choice is the PORTER-CABLE PCE300.
Here’s a little bit about the company in case you haven’t heard of it, Porter- Cable has been around for over 100 years and they provide power tools for the professional woodworker and tradesman, that are engineered to deliver high quality, professional results at a great value.
The PORTER-CABLE PCE300 has a 15 Amp motor and it’s the most powerful one out of all the corded products, it’s able to run up to 5,500 RPM providing power and speed through all applications. It’s made to get the job done fast with great finishes!
It has a steel shoe with an optimum line of sight that provides accurate cuts and durable construction. It has a spindle lock and depth adjustment that make it easier to change the saw blade. The bevel capacity can go up to 45°, which is actually one of the lowest ones but remember that nothing is perfect. It has an aux handle that provides comfort and clear line of sight.
Like all the corded products this item has a 7- ¼ inch blade, that’s great for heavy duty use. I give this product 5 stars, it has good customer reviews and all seem to be very satisfied. It even has a 3 year limited warranty!
The PORTER-CABLE PCE300 has a better features than the BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20B including a larger blade size. In addition, the PORTER-CABLE PCE300 item has a year more of warranty. The BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20B is indeed battery powered but the batteries are sold separately, which obviously increases the price. All in all I personally think the PORTER-CABLE PCE300 is the best pick in this price range!
Best Circular Saws Review – Comparison table
These circular saws are not the top of the line models but rather great models for this budget price range.
|Model||Rating||Blade size||Power||Electric brakes||Spindle or shaft lock||Warranty||Bevel capacity||Bevel stops/ presets||Laser guides|
|Black & Decker BDECS300C||4.5 stars||7-¼ inches||13 Amp Corded||No||Yes||2 years||0 to 45°||Depth adjust to 2.5″ at 90⁰.||Yes|
|Ryobi 7-1/4||3 stars||7-¼ inches||13 Amp Corded||No||Yes||3 years||0 to 51.5°||Stops at 45°
|PORTER-CABLE PCE300||5 stars||7-¼ inches||15 Amp Corded||No||Yes||3 year limited warranty||0 to 45°||Depth of cut at 90°: 2.5″||No|
|SKIL 5681-01||4 stars||7-¼ inches||13 Amp Corded||No||No||1 year||0 to 51°||Depth of Cut at 45 Degrees: 1-13/16 in||Yes|
|Ryobi One+ P505||4 stars||5-½ inches||18 Volts Lithium Ion Cordless||No||No||3 years||0 to 50°||Can be adjusted up to 50°||No|
|PORTER-CABLE PC186CS||4 stars||6-½
|Yes||Yes||1 year||0 to 50°||Allows cutting of 2-inch lumber at a 45°||No|
|BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20B||5 stars||5-½ inches||20-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless||No||Yes||2 year limited warranty||0 to 45°||Bevel adjustment with detents at 45° and 90°||No|
|Ryobi P504G||4 stars||5-½ inches||18 Volts Lithium Ion Cordless||No||No||3 years||0 to 50°||Adjustable depth from 0 – 1 9/16 inches||No|
Best Corded Circular Saws Under ~$50 (or around ~$50)
Black & Decker BDECS300C
The Black & Decker BDECS300C has a powerful 13 Amp motor that can complete a wide variety of cuts. One of the best features is its’ laser, that’s great for guidance and helps accurate cutting, and may I add that there are only 2 products in this review that have the laser feature.
It has a bevel capacity of 0 to 45° and the blade depth can be adjusted to 2.5 inches at 90°.
It has a spindle lock that makes it easier and faster to change the saw blade. It’s also a lightweight design that helps reduce fatigue. Which means you can work for long hours with this saw!
I give this product 4.5 stars, it has great customer reviews and it comes from a very reliable company with many years of experience that provides 2 years of warranty.
- 7 pounds
- Blade size: 7-¼ inches
- 13 Amp motor
- 2 years warranty
|Great Price||A bit loud|
The manufacturers specialises in making pro-featured power tools truly affordable. They have built their reputation by manufacturing power tools that increase and expand your capabilities. The Ryobi 7- ¼ has a 13 Amp motor that’s great for cutting various types of lumber. It has an air diverter and dust exhaust that keep the line of cut clear while directing particles away from the user.
It comes equipped with a contoured design and front pommel handle for added comfort and grip. The bevel can be adjusted from 0 to 51.5 degrees, with positive stops at 45 degrees and 51.5 degrees, this is the highest bevel out of all the corded products in this review.
Another great feature is the spindle lock for easier blade changes. The RYOBI circular saw has an on-board wrench storage as well as adjustable depth of cut with scale for quick reference and to improve user accuracy and convenience.
I give this item 3 stars, a great feature is their 3 years warranty that Ryobi offers for all their power tools.
- 8.81 pounds
- 3 years warranty
- Blade size: 7-¼ inches
- 13 Amp motor
|Powerful||Vibrates quite a lot|
Here’s a little bit about the company in case you haven’t heard of it, Porter- Cable has been around for over 100 years and they provide power tools for the professional woodworker and tradesman, that are engineered to deliver high quality, professional results at a great value. The PORTER-CABLE PCE300 has a 15 Amp motor and it’s the most powerful one out of all the corded products.
Obviously, in this price range this is not Porter Cable’s top of the line model BUT it is able to run up to 5,500 RPM providing power and speed through all applications. It’s made to get the job done fast with great finishes!
It has a steel shoe, which is not great but expected on a lower price saw. Aluminum or magnesium are better but expensive to make. Steel shoes sometimes can get ‘rolled edges’ (upturned or downturned edges) that can interfere with cut accuracy, and a circular saw with a steel shoe can become one with a bent shoe is dropped on the shoe.
It has a good line of sight that helps with making accurate cuts. It has a spindle lock that make it easier to change the saw blade and blade depth adjustment. The bevel capacity can go up to 45°, which is actually one of the lowest ones but remember that nothing is perfect. It has an aux handle that provides comfort.
Like all the corded products reviewed here this item has a 7- ¼ inch blade, that’s great for heavy duty use. I give this product 5 stars, it has good customer feedback and customers seem to be very satisfied especially considering that it is a budget price saw. It even has a 3 year limited warranty! Isn’t that great!
- 9.5 pounds
- Blade size: 7-¼ inches
- 3 year limited warranty
- 15 Amp motor
|Good price||Batteries not included|
|Good for heavy-duty|
Have you never heard of this company? Let me tell you a bit about it before beginning, Skilsaw has been around since 1924, it was the world’s first company to launch a portable circular saw. Because of this Skilsaw or Skillsaw is still often used to call a circular saw. Incredible, right?
Their goal is to manufacture technology serving the professional construction market. The Skilsaw 5681-01 has a 13 Amp, 2.0 HP motor constructed for twice the life.
This product is one of the few under this price range that has a cut line laser, which helps improve cutting accuracy by displaying a laser beam in front of what you’re cutting. It has an on-tool wrench storage for quick and easy blade changes, to make your long hours a bit shorter. And if you’re worried about getting tired of holding the product for too long, it has less weight to reduce user fatigue.
It has a bevel capacity of 0 to 51° which is a god range.
Again, this item has a 7- ¼ inch blade, that’s great for cutting big and strong items such as a house framing saw. I give this product 4 stars, it has some great features. It also comes with a one year warranty, which I personally find it’s too little if you compare it to the other products.
- Laser guide
- 12.6 pounds
- Blade size: 7-¼ inches
|Good price||No spindle lock|
Related: Trim saw vs framing saw
Best Cordless Circular Saws Under $50 (or around ~$50)
Ryobi One+ P505
The P505 works with Ryobi’s 18 Volt batteries which is great if you already own other battery powered Ryobi tools.
The product’s handles are lined with a rubber mold, which increases friction between your hands and the tool, improving handling in most conditions. The polyurethane blade guard is clear, which means you can get maximum visibility on your work while making your cuts. You can also adjust the foot of this cordless circular saw up to 50 degrees to cut at a variety of angles for different applications. And that’s not all!
It has an extra side handle that gives you improved control, it’s located on the left side of the tool which gives you greater visibility over your cuts while you work.
Its’ cordless power will let you take this all over your property for demolition projects or DIY construction needs. At 4,700 revolutions per minute, it boasts power similar to corded circular saws, but with the portability of a cordless one.
If you want to switch the blade out, an onboard compartment holds a wrench so you can make quick changes on the fly without having to spend time looking for tools. Great, right?
Because this Ryobi has a 5- ½ inch blade it is more suited to cutting light wood neatly rather than heavy duty cutting such as for house framing.
I give this product 4 stars, it has great customer feedback and Ryobi is a great company that offers marvelous quality. Like all Ryobi power tools, it has 3 years of warranty.
- 4.91 pounds
- 18 Volts
- Blade size: 5- ½ inches
|Very quiet||Not good for heavy duty|
|Great price||Battery not included|
|Easy to handle|
The PC186CS by PORTER-CABLE works with 18 Volt batteries, it operates at 3,700 RPM and the powering blade cuts tip at 9,950 feet per minute. It’s cordless for convenience and ease of use. It has a spindle lock that allows for single wrench bit changes.
It has a 6- ½ inch circular saw that makes it suitable for more heavy duty cutting like house framing. It has the largest blade out of all the cordless products reviewed here in this price category.
It comes with an 18 tooth carbide-tipped PORTER-CABLE blade that allows cutting of 2 inches lumber at a 45 degree bevel. The unit’s shoe can also bevel up to 50 degrees and provides a clear line of sight for difficult cuts. A depth of cut adjustment gauge helps speed cuts in shallow materials and it maximizes the number of cuts per battery charge.
This is the only saw in this price category that has an electric brake, which means it reverses the flow of electricity in the saw motor when the trigger is released. This quickly stops the blade from turning, circular saws with an electric brake can stop the blade as quickly as two seconds, while saws without an electric brake tend to keep spinning for a lot longer. This is a great time saving and safety feature of the saw.
I give this product 4 stars, it has unique features and good customer reviews. Unfortunately it only has a year of warranty.
- Blade size: 6 – ½ inches
- 3,700 RPM
- 5.6 pounds
- 18 Volts
- For left handers
|Durable||Not for heavy duty|
|Great for short cuts||Runs through batteries quick|
|Comfortable to use|
Starting off, let me tell you a little bit about the company, since 1910, BLACK+DECKER has been setting the standard for innovation and design of power tools, outdoor yard care equipment and home products.
The BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20B works with the entire BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX System, which gives you the freedom to power a range of BLACK+DECKER power tools and outdoor equipment with long-lasting, interchangeable batteries. If you already have other B&D battery tools then a B&D battery powered saw may be more convenient for you.
It has a 5-1/2- inch blade, that offers fine cutting with a variety of cuts but limits the depth of wood that it can cut. Another feature is the tool-free depth of cut that allows easy depth adjustments. The bevel can be adjusted with detents at 0 & 45 degrees. It’s also a great and comfortable design which allows you to work for hours with no problem whatsoever. This item has the highest power out of all the cordless models. Another handy feature worth mentioning is that it has a spindle lock to make changing the blade easier.
I give this product 5 stars because it has outstanding customer feedback. It has a 2 year limited warranty.
- 20 Volts Lithium Ion Cordless
- Blade size: 5 – ½ inches
- 6 pounds
- 2 years of warranty
|Light weight||Runs through batteries quick|
|Easy knobs for bevel & depth change|
Related: Circular saw vs track saw
The 9Ryobi P504G works with an 18 Volt Lithium Ion Battery. It has an easy blade replacement as it comes with an onboard wrench that makes it simple for you to swap your blades out.
It has an ergonomic grip with a rubber overmold that increases friction on your hands and makes it easy to control, even in slippery conditions. You can also adjust your bevel up to 50 degrees and your depth from 0 – 1 9/16 inches with conveniently located knobs.
The scale can measure up to 4 inches on the right side of the blade and 1 inch on the left side of the blade, which is very useful for when you’re making straight cross cuts or rip cuts. It has a 5 – ½ inch blade and weighs 5.75 pounds.
I give this product 4 stars because it has good customer feedback, it also comes from a very well-known manufacturer. As I’ve mentioned before, all Ryobi power tools have 3 years of warranty.
- 18 Volts Lithium Ion Battery
- Blade size: 5 – ½ inches
- 5.75 pounds
- 3 year warrenty
|Easy to use|
Circular Saw Buyer Guide
It’s okay if you’re a bit overwhelmed by so much information, in this section I’m going to list all the factors you should look at before making your final decision. You should already have a few models in mind or at least I hope so, but in case you don’t read below!
- Blade size: this is a very important feature to take into account because it all depends on your specific needs. If you’re going to be working with larger and stronger materials then I recommend you purchase a circular saw with a larger blade.
- Power: this is when you need to decide whether you want a corded or cordless circular saw. Cordless saws are obviously easier to work with because there’s no cord laying around which can prevent accidents. But you can work for longer hours with corded models since they don’t depend on a battery life.
- Electric brakes: most of these models don’t have an electric brake but it’s honestly a very important feature. The advantage of having an electric brake is that you can stop the blade from spinning within seconds, which can safe your time. If there’s no electricity brake then you’re going to have to wait a good few minutes in order to change the blade without risking your safety.
- Spindle or shaft lock: these locks make it easier to change the saw blade, which can save a lot of time. The shaft lock stops the shaft and blade from turning, making it much easier to change the saw blade. This a feature that’s mostly for taking less of your time so you can have full attention on your task. See more about spindle locks on circular saws here.
- Warranty: this is prime factor to consider when buying power tools, some of these products can be damaged when they arrive at your house, it’s important you look at the years of warranty before making the purchase. You should look for longer years of warranty in any product you buy!
- Bevel capacity: this indicates the maximum bevel cut the circular saw can make. If you’re planning on cutting wood with your saw, the ability to adjust the bevels is essential. Look at the different adjustments your saw offers you, they’re usually 45° and 90°. Read more about circular saw bevels here.
- Bevel stops / presets: these allow quick adjustments for set bevel levels. Each model has different angles in which it can be modified to cut, this is a quality for time-saving function as you can quickly change to common bevel angles. Some models have more adjustments than others and most have under specifications their respective size of cuts.
- Laser guides: this feature helps improve cutting accuracy by displaying a laser beam in front of what you are cutting. If you’re looking for great finishes then this is something you should highly consider, this guides you through all of your cuts making sure they’re all straight.
- Sidewinder or worm drive or hypoid drive: there are different motor and gear configurations each have their pros and cons. All the circular saws in this review are sidewinder saws due to the price range. You can find out more about the differences between sidewinder or worm drive or hypoid drive circular saws here.
After reading all these elements to consider, you should have a final decision. I know it’s hard to choose from such a variety of models but you should always take your time when making such an important purchase.
Summing it all up
If you can’t remember, let me refresh you. The best corded model to get is the PORTER-CABLE PCE300, it has the most powerful motor out of all the corded products. As in for the best cordless one, I suggest you get the BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20B, this model comes from a great brand and is a good saw for this price range. If you really can’t decide between those two, my overall recommendation is the PORTER-CABLE PCE300, this item has better features than the BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20B.
I hope I have completed my goal on helping you make the best decision, remember all the factors above, which can honestly be used when purchasing any power tool. These are what I believe to be the finest models on the market under this price range. Happy sawing.
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