The Best Harbor Freight Circular Saws in 2020

Best Harbor Freight Circular Saws

For those who enjoy woodworking, one of the essential tools for the workshop is a circular saw. A circular saw is a highly versatile tool that allows you to work on-site and break down larger boards that would be difficult to cut on a fixed saw with a table thats too small. So, whether you’re building a fence or a cabinet, you’re likely going to need a circular saw. Keep reading to find the best Harbor Freight circular saws in 2020. 

We’re going to take a look specifically at the circular saws sold at Harbor Freight and give you a better idea of what you’re getting with each product.

Are you looking for some general information on circular saws or other tools? Check out our complete resource guides on Miter Saws, Table Saws, Chainsaws, Band Saws and Circular Saws. These guides have all the information you need. You will be able to find history, the different types of the tool, top brand sold, and more!  

Best Cordless Model Bauer 20V Hypermax™ Lithium 6½ In. Cordless Circular Saw

This Drill Master Circular Saw is slightly less powerful than the Chicago Electric ones. However, it’s still a great option for small projects. The dual-grip on this one is a little more comfortable, and it comes with a built-in laser guide.

We thought that this was a great little circular saw for someone who plans on doing one woodworking project but doesn’t foresee needing a good investment piece. It’s less expensive than renting one and does the job well.

THINGS WE LIKE:

  • This is the lightest model at a little under 5½ pounds.
  • No cord means we could use this out in the yard without worrying about an extension cord.
  • The handles have a nice texture to them, so they feel comfortable in your hand as well as helping you maintain control.
  • It felt really powerful and handled harder woods the best.

THINGS WE DON’T:

  • We would have preferred for this to come with a battery and charger, but those are sold separately.
  • Same thing with the blade, but Harbor Freight sells all saws and blades separately.

Best for Beginners: Chicago Electric 7¼ In. 12 Amp Heavy Duty Circular Saw with Laser Guide System

Chicago Electric’s Heavy-Duty Circular Saw feels more like a contractor’s tool than most circular saws on the market. It’s sturdy with a cast aluminum body but remains lightweight. The footplate is easy to adjust for exact beveled cuts.

We like this Harbor Freight Circular Saw because it’s well-built and simple to use. The laser guide made me feel more confident in my cuts.

THINGS WE LIKE:

  • The built-in laser guide helps everyone from a novice to a pro get accurate straight cuts every time.
  • The durable cast aluminum blade guard is secure and sturdy.
  • The 11⅜ x 9-inch base plate is very sturdy.

THINGS WE DON’T:

  • You have to buy the blade separately (which you’ll find is the case on most of these circular saws).
  • There’s a cord, so we had to be near an outlet or use an extension cord when away from the shop.

Best for One Time Use: Drill Master 7¼ In. 10 Amp Circular Saw

This Drill Master Circular Saw is slightly less powerful than the Chicago Electric ones. However, it still works great for small projects. The dual-grip on this one is a little more comfortable, and it comes with a built-in laser guide.

We thought that this was a great little circular saw for someone who plans on doing one woodworking project but doesn’t foresee needing a good investment piece. It’s less expensive than renting one and does the job well.

THINGS WE LIKE:

  • This is one of the more inexpensive models we’ve found.
  • The infrared laser guide was pretty accurate right out of the box.
  • The 10 ⅝ x 5-inch base plate was good quality and maintained balance during use.
  • The auto-return blade cover is clear so you can see your blades.

THINGS WE DON’T:

  • As we mentioned before, the cord is not particularly convenient.
  • It didn’t feel as sturdy as other models we tested.

What Else Do You Need to Know About a Circular Saw?

Before you make any purchases, you need to decide a couple of things first.

  • Corded vs. Uncorded. We mentioned that cordless is our preference. However, if you’re specifically looking to use your circular saw in the shop or close to an outlet, corded versions may be perfect for you. Corded models are great because you don’t have to worry about whether or not your battery is charged before you work.
  • Blade Housings and Guards. Look for a blade housing made of a solid material that is securely grounded to the body. Also, the pivoting blade guard is sometimes clear, but it may not be. Decide if that is important to you. Clear guards allow you to check the blade when it’s off.
  • Tilt Scale and Clamp. You want a quality tilt scale that is easy-to-read and holds an accurate angle. This is important for making proper beveled cuts.
  • Exhaust Ports. Any time you’re using a saw, you’re making sawdust. However, it’s unsafe to breathe in and makes a shop floor slippery. The best thing you can do is find a circular saw with an exhaust port than can support a bag attachment or a vacuum hose attachment.

Just a Couple Safety Tips

We think it’s important to note the importance of safety.

Here are a few notes:

  • Always use in-tact saw blades and replace cracked or worn ones to avoid an accident.
  • Never attempt to touch a still-moving blade, even on the side.
  • Before changing the blade, turn it off, set the safety, and unplug the power source.
  • Never remove the pivot blade guard.
  • Always wear safety goggles.
  • Sweep up sawdust for a safe workspace.

Harbor Freight’s Background

Harbor Freight has been around since 1977, and they are committed to providing quality tools that you can’t find anywhere else at competitive prices. They have over 1000 stores in the United States and test all their products in state-of-the-art quality control labs.

Harbor Freight has also made it their mission to serve their communities through charity support of veterans, public education, and fire and police departments.

Wrapping Up

There is a great saw choice for every experience level. Our favorite is Bauer 20V Hypermax™ Lithium 6½ In. Cordless Circular Saw for its lightweight body, powerful cuts, and convenient lack-of cord. However, we really liked all of the saws we reviewed for the reasons we already noted.

Depending on your comfort level in the workshop, we hope that this article has offered you some help in selecting the tool that will best work for you.

Are you looking for more guides on circular saws? Check out some of our most popular guides, Best Circular Saw Blades – Buyer’s GuideLowe’s Circular Saw Buying Guide, ROTORAZER Compact Circular Saw Review, and Best Cordless Circular Saw: Which Saw Should You Buy?

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