Last updated: August 10, 2021

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The hand-held circular saw is an all-round saw that can be used flexibly everywhere. With the hand-held circular saw, every do-it-yourselfer can easily cut different materials into precise workpieces, which is why this tool enjoys great popularity among hand and do-it-yourselfers. Basically, the hand-held circular saw is designed for woodworking. With the right saw blade, however, the hand-held circular saw can also cut materials such as aluminium and metal. One of the best-known manufacturers of these tools is the Japanese company Makita.

In our Makita circular saw test 2021, we would like to introduce this tool and the different models offered by the manufacturer. No matter if you are a hobby DIYer or a professional and no matter if you find the cable annoying, Makita can satisfy your desire. Since Makita offers a wide range of circular saws, we would like to explain some background information and important buying factors in the following article, which will make your purchase decision easier.




Summary

  • The Makita company offers a wide range of circular saws, which are mainly differentiated according to the type of operation - classic electric and cordless circular saws.
  • The circular hand saws from Makita are basically used for woodworking. With the right saw blade, the devices are also suitable for different materials such as metal and aluminium.
  • The circular hand saws from Makita usually differ in terms of their power, idle speed and cutting performance. Therefore, the different tools are suitable for different types of work.

The best Makita circular saw: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Makita hand-held circular saw

What makes Makita's hand-held circular saw different from other manufacturers?

Founded in 1915, the Anchor Winding and Engine Repair Shop in Anjo, Japan laid the foundation for today's Makita company. With more than 100 years of experience, the company is one of the world's leading manufacturers of hand-held power tools.

Today, Makita has an extensive range of premium tools for both craftsmen and industry. This assortment was already expanded in 1962 with the hand-held circular saw. Since then, the company has always strived to bring the best products to the market through constant research and innovation.

Makita Handkreissäge-1

Makita circular saws are designed for professional use. Thanks to many years of experience, the premium manufacturer nowadays offers tools that are of high quality and always create first-class results.
(Image source: pixabey.com / 15299)

Makita is particularly active in the field of cordless tools and constantly invests in new technologies that improve its cordless products. The company stands out with its range of 18 V cordless machines. With over 320 machines in the system, the company has the most extensive range of its kind in the world.

In addition, the battery charging times are particularly short thanks to the intelligent charging technology. Regardless of whether you buy a cordless or an electric circular saw from Makita, all products convince with a high quality standard that is constantly being improved through innovations.

What is the price range of Makita hand-held circular saws?

If you have already searched and looked for Makita circular saws on the internet, you may have noticed that the price range between the different models is wide. Basically, the price of Makita circular saws varies between about 70 and 600 euros. This is due to the fact that Makita offers tools for both DIY enthusiasts and professionals.

The price of the hand-held circular saw depends on the project and the intended use. If you only need the tool for occasional work, a Makita circular saw will cost you between 70 and 150 euros. In this case, you don't need perfect results, so you can compromise on power and cutting depth. However, if you work with the tool every day and have professional requirements, you will have to choose a hand-held circular saw in the upper price segment.

What are the advantages of Makita circular saws?

The Makita company has an extensive range of circular hand saws. Although the machines are available in different sizes and therefore have different characteristics, there is little difference in the essential features.
With the help of constant research, Makita stands out especially with safety, stability and user-friendliness.

All tools are manufactured and processed to a high standard. In this way, they guarantee the user safety and stability so that he can complete the most demanding projects. Furthermore, the Makita tools are manufactured with a lot of technical know-how, with a special focus on safety and user-friendliness.

The Super Joint System technology ensures that the machine's motor is immediately disengaged if the cutting disc jams or pinches. This guarantees a smooth start-up and maximum protection of the machine and the user. The electronic motor brake stops the machine in a flash, without hesitation, so that no further damage occurs in the event of an accident. Husqvarna chainsaws are practical, powerful and always deliver precise results. You can use the cordless hand circular saws quickly and conveniently anywhere thanks to the longevity of the battery.

What are the alternatives to Makita circular saws?

Makita circular saws are small, practical and always deliver precise results. However, if you are not sure whether the hand-held circular saw is the right saw for you, we will introduce you to other alternatives that are still available on the saw market.

Table saw

In contrast to the hand-held circular saw, the circular saw is mounted in a special plate so that it does not have to be guided by hand. Since the table saw is stationary and therefore robust, you have more stability and safety when working. The larger diameter of the table saw blades allows you to be more flexible when sawing and to cut larger workpieces without any problems.

If you need to cut several identical pieces, it is better to use the table saw. It is very time-consuming to adjust the guide rail of the hand-held circular saw several times so that exactly the same pieces are produced.

Chop saw

The cross-cut saw belongs to the family of circular saws, but unlike the hand-held and table saw, it is electrically powered. The machine is particularly suitable for shortening wood, whereby the cross-cutting is always clean and precise. You can also cut different angles with the cross-cut saw. In addition, you can adjust the angle of inclination by moving the turntable to the position you need. In this way, a particularly high level of precision is achieved.

Sizing saw

The sliding table saw and the table saw look quite similar at first glance, but they differ in some essential points. In contrast to the table saw, the material is not guided freehand to the saw blade with the sliding table saw. This is fixed on the sliding table and then automatically guided to the saw blade. In this way, particularly precise longitudinal and cross cuts can be achieved. The sliding table saw is mostly used in larger craft workshops for processing larger pieces of furniture. The disadvantage here is the expensive purchase price and the large amount of space required for the machine.

Decision: What types of Makita circular hand saws are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, Makita circular hand saws can be differentiated according to the type of operation. This results in two different product categories:

  • Electric hand-held circular saws
  • Battery-powered circular saws

Each of these types of circular saws have different advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your intended use, one type of Makita circular saw is best suited for you. In the next section, we will discuss the different types and explain their advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the right Makita circular saw for you.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Makita's classic circular saws?

Makita's classic circular hand saws are compactly built and have an electric motor. Since they are powered by mains electricity, such types of circular saws allow continuous use without any losses. Depending on the model, the motor power of classic hand-held circular saws varies between 1 050 W and 2 200 W. As a rule, these tools are designed for woodworking. But thanks to the high motor power, they can also cut other materials with the right saw blade.

The classic hand-held circular saws are generally recommended if you want to cut wood rather roughly. For finer cuts, the mini circular hand saws are more suitable.

All classic Makita circular saws have enough cutting power to give you precise results every time. In addition to transverse and longitudinal cuts, it is also possible to make mitre cuts with the Makita circular hand saws. All models are supplied with a rip fence. This helps you to cut several precisely fitting workpieces without having to constantly mark the saw cut.

Advantages
  • Higher performance
  • Continuous use without losses
  • Well suited for professional applications
Disadvantages
  • Dependent on mains power
  • Disturbing cable
  • Usually more difficult

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Makita cordless circular saws?

Makita's cordless hand-held circular saws are lightweight, portable and practical thanks to the innovative 18 V lithium-ion battery. Most models run on just one 18V Li-ion battery, while the more powerful models need two such batteries. With Makita's battery system, it is possible to operate all 320+ tools and garden equipment with the same 18 V Li-Ion battery.

Since the SystemKit products are supplied without battery and charger, you save money and storage space. Having several batteries at hand can only be an advantage. This way you can work for longer periods without annoying interruptions for battery charging. If you don't have them, it's not too bad - an 18 V 5.0 Ah battery is ready for use again in less than 45 minutes.

Advantages
  • High flexibility
  • Mobile use
  • Handy and compact
Disadvantages
  • Limited battery life
  • Low power

The cutting capacity of the cordless models is between 57 and 66 mm. As with classic hand-held circular saws, the angle can be adjusted individually. In this way, mitre cuts can be made.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate a Makita hand-held circular saw

The manufacturer Makita offers a wide range of corded and battery-powered circular saws that can make your workday much easier and your projects more enjoyable. To help you choose the right Makita circular saw, the next section presents the most important factors you need to consider before buying. In summary, these are:

We will go into the individual criteria below.

Weight

You should pay particular attention to the weight, as it has a great influence on the handling of the circular saw. A lighter weight allows you to work longer without getting tired. Lighter tools are therefore easier on the user. A heavy weight, on the other hand, means shorter operations and several breaks. A difficult machine can hinder your work considerably and can cost you a lot of time and effort. However, it is also important to mention that power and weight are usually linked.

The more powerful the machine, the more difficult it is. Basically, the classic Makita hand-held circular saws are more difficult than the battery-powered ones. Nevertheless, the range can be considerably large. Depending on the model and power, Makita electric circular hand saws weigh between 3.5 and 13 kilograms. The battery-operated models, which are powered by an 18 Li-Ion battery, usually weigh about 3.5 kilograms, while those with two batteries- about 5 kilograms.

Makita Handkreissäge-2

Makita's hand-held circular saws are basically suitable for woodworking, but with the right saw blade they can also cut materials such as metal and aluminium.
(Image source: pixabey.com / annawaldl)

Performance

Power is an important purchase criterion, as it determines how fast you can work with the circular saw. A high idle speed gives you high speed, but without high power it is useless. Without good power, however, the saw blade will stop when it hits a harder material. Makita circular hand saws have a motor power of between 1 050 W and 2 200 W. For lighter work and sawing softer wood, the less powerful models will be perfectly adequate. For more robust woods and materials, you should go for the more powerful tools.

Idle speed

In addition to the power, it is also important to consider the idle speed before buying. Both values indicate how quickly the respective circular saw can work powerfully.

Power and idle speed determine how quickly and powerfully the circular saw can work.

As a rule, manufacturers indicate the speed in revolutions per minute. Makita has chosen the same representation. Thus, this value shows how many revolutions the circular saw blade can achieve within one minute. Depending on your requirements, Makita offers models with a high or low idle speed.

However, it is always important to consider the power and the idle speed together, as high speed is meaningless with low power. Makita cordless circular saws can reach an idle speed between 3 100 min-1 and 6 000 min-1. It is essential to mention that the cordless hand-held circular saws, despite the high speed, are significantly more powerful compared to the classic models.

Cutting depth 90

The depth of cut determines how deep you can cut into the material and therefore how cleanly you can cut through it. The decisive factor here is again what you will use the machine for. The Makita circular saws, which are equipped with up to 1,500 W, have a maximum cutting depth of 50 mm to 60 mm. Such a device is completely sufficient for cutting boards and battens. But if you have demanding requirements, such as cutting beams and pillars, then you definitely need a greater cutting depth. The more powerful Makita models offer the perfect solution in this case. The following table shows the different cutting sizes better.

Power Cut size
1 050 W - 1 600 W Between 54.5 mm and 67 mm
More than 2000 W Between 85 mm and 130 mm

Saw blade diameter

The saw blade diameter is decisive for the depth of cut that your hand-held circular saw can achieve. As a rule, the larger the saw blade diameter, the deeper the machine can cut into the workpiece. For more demanding tasks, we recommend a Makita circular saw with a blade diameter of 270 mm or more. For do-it-yourselfers who do not need to saw such large and thick workpieces, a saw blade diameter of 190 mm will also do.

Angle adjustment

To be able to make mitre cuts, e.g. to assemble doors or windows, you need a hand-held circular saw with an adjustable cutting angle. All Makita hand-held circular saws, both classic and battery-powered, have angle adjustment from 0° to 45°. In addition, the tools can achieve a maximum cutting capacity of about 64 mm with a mitre of 45°. Some more powerful models have a 60° tilt function. In this case, they achieve a cutting depth of about 54 mm.

The maximum cutting depth of the hand-held circular saw is always achieved at an angle of inclination of 0 degrees.

Guide rail

A hand-held circular saw with a guide rail is particularly recommended if you want to make accurate and/or long cuts. It increases safety and ensures precise results. The guide rail allows you to fix the workpiece. This way, it is not necessary to fix the workpiece by hand during the sawing process. All Makita circular saws can be used with a guide rail from the manufacturer, which is not included in the delivery. However, this can easily be ordered online as well as in specialist shops.

Facts worth knowing about the topic of Makita circular hand saws

Are spare parts and accessories available for Makita circular saws?

If you need spare parts or accessories for your circular saw, you can easily find them at one of Makita's qualified dealers or order them directly from the manufacturer's online shop. For your convenience, the company produces a catalogue every year that shows the current accessories for all Makita tools. The catalogue is divided into categories and offers the user the possibility to easily find the perfect accessories for his circular saw.

How can I change a saw blade in the Makita circular saw?

Makita saw blades are durable and robust, but unfortunately they cannot last forever. A blunt or even defective saw blade not only means imprecise cuts, it can also pose a significant safety risk for you. It is important to change your worn saw blade. However, the process is different for every machine and it is essential to read the instruction manual carefully to be able to replace the saw blade of your Makita circular saw.

If you do not have these instructions at the moment, you can also find digital instructions for your model on the internet. In the following, we will give you a few tips on what you should pay particular attention to when replacing the saw blade:

  • Fixing the saw blade- First you have to make sure that the saw blade is fixed. If not, the saw blade can turn when you loosen the screw. The best way to do this is to glue the saw blade with a piece of wood.
  • Left-hand thread - Most Makita circular saws have a left-hand thread. As a rule, if the saw blade runs to the left, the nut or Allen screw should also open to the left.
  • Safety precautions- If you are using a classic Makita hand-held circular saw, you should always disconnect it from the mains. If you are using a battery-operated circular saw, you should remove the batteries first. Only then can you continue with the replacement of the saw blade.

Which circular saw blade is suitable for what?

Makita has developed the so-called TCT saw blade programme so that you can always get professional saw blades of the best quality. The manufacturer aims to offer a comprehensive range of first-class saw blades for Makita saws. In the following table, we would like to show you a pair of TCT saw blades.

Type Description Purpose
ATB (Alternating Top Bevel) By far the most common tooth shape Hard hardwood and softwood, plywood, chipboard
ATAF (Alternating Top Alternating Face) Finer cross-sections are possible with this blade Coated and veneered chipboard, plastic sheets, Hardwood and softwood
TCG (Triple Chip Grind) A robust tooth shape with the main purpose of cutting hard materials aluminium, laminate, hardwood, wood aluminium, laminate, hardwoods and composites

We have selected the following blades as we feel they have the widest range of applications. For more saw blades for your Makita circular saw, check out the Makita accessories catalogue.

Image source: photovs/ 123rf.com

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