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How to choose a portable saw

Whether you’re tackling a home renovation or just taking on some DIY projects, chances are that you need a portable saw.

How to choose a table saw 1280x522 How to choose a table saw 1280x522

Circular saw

If you want to do straight rip and cross cuts, you need a circular saw. These are ideal for work that doesn’t require a lot of detail, such as cutting deck boards or doing small fixes around your home.

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For curved cuts and detailed interior cuts, you’ll need a jigsaw. Use this to cut out a spot for a sink in a countertop or create new house numbers for your front porch.

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Reciprocating saw

If you need to do demolition work, a reciprocating saw will help you tear down walls and cut out boards.

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Corded or cordless

All portable saws are available in corded or cordless models. While corded versions are convenient for their constant runtime, which is ideal if you’re using them for extended periods of time, cordless versions give you portability and the versatility to use them away from a power source.

Laser guides

Laser guides, generally found on premium models, help you make accurate cuts without having to mark the material in advance.

Bevel capacity

The bevel capacity shows you the range of angles that the saw is capable of making. The larger the capacity, the more versatile the tool.

LED lights

Models that include LED lights to illuminate your cutting surface are very handy when working in dark spaces.

Orbital action

A saw that includes an orbital action setting is useful for making aggressive cuts, helping you easily chew through boards

Variable speed settings

A variable speed option lets you regulate the speed based on the task at hand. For example, if you are cutting very dense materials, a lower speed will make the job easier.

Weight and design

Don’t forget to consider the ergonomics of the tool, or how it feels in your hands, and the weight. If you’ll be using it frequently or for extended periods of time, a lightweight model with a comfortable design will make a big difference.

Tool-free blade change

If your work requires you to switch blades often, a tool-free blade change can save you time and hassle.


An E-Brake is a handy safety feature that allows you to stop the saw almost instantly, rather than having to wait for it to spin to a stop.

The right blade for the job

Once you’ve got the portable tool that you need, don’t forget to choose an appropriate blade based on the material you’ll be cutting. Wood, metal, plastic, composite and more all require specific blades to get the job done right.

How to choose a saw blade >