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Plunge Saw vs Circular Saw: Which One Should I Choose?

Plunge Saw vs Circular Saw cover image

Are you in the market for a saw that can help you easily cut through wood and other materials? And trying to chose between a Plunge Saw vs Circular Saw?

With so many options available, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. Two popular choices are plunge saws and circular saws, but for new buyers, they can be confusing as they look similar and perform similar tasks.

But fear not! In this article I will put an end to this debate and help you decide which saw is the best fit for your needs.

So, sit tight and get ready to make an informed decision about your next power saw purchase.

Circular Saw

BOSCH CS5 120-Volt 7.25-Inch Circular Saw

Circular saws are the most popular power saw in any carpeting shop. They rock a simple design including a motor, circular blade, blade guard and a base. The fundamental and simplistic design makes circular saws flexible and easy to use. All you need to do is to power the motor and lower the base to the depth of your cut. The blade guard retracts out, and you can follow the saw to make a cut. Sounds easy, right? But the circular saw is relatively unsafe to use as the blade is not covered.

Features and Examples of Circular Saw

Circular saws mostly come in corded and battery-powered styles, though some gas circular saws are also available. You must look out for the following features before buying any circular saw:

  • Weight and ergonomic design
  • Amperage and power
  • Cutting speed
  • Blade length
  • Trigger lock

Some popular circular saws on the market are:

DeWalt Circular Saw Bevel Capacity

Different styles Available of Circular Saw

Different styles of circular saws are available in the market based on their design and use. Some popular circular saw styles include cold, abrasive, carbide, concrete and table saws.

Pros of Circular Saw

  • Highly versatile in terms of material and application
  • Useful for quick cuts that do not require a smooth finish
  • Blade is easily replaceable
  • Circular saws are inexpensive

Cons of Circular Saw

  • Unsafe to use as the blade is not fully covered
  • Impossible to get cuts without splintering
  • Cuts only from the edge of the material
  • Needs maintenance as dust can enter the motor

Plunge Saw

Makita SP6000J 6.5-Inch Plunge Circular Saw

On the other hand, the plunge saw results in a more accurate and smooth finish cut than a circular saw. The tool is also known as a track saw, as it follows a guided track to make a cut. Not only this, you can plunge the tool from anywhere on the material to make a cut. This makes it a handy tool to cut through vents and kitchen tops where a circular saw is useless.

Features and Examples of Plunge Saw

Plunge saw also comes in gas, corded and battery power sources. Corded and battery-powered plunge saws are more common than gas plunge saws. Some popular plunge saws on the market are:

Different styles of Plunge Saw

Despite the apparent benefits of an enclosed-based design, a plunge saw depends on the length of a track. However, you can buy an extended track or join two medium-sized tracks to get the job done.

Pros of Plunge Saw

  • Safer power saw as the blade is covered by casing
  • Improved dust management of tool
  • The smooth finish of the cut
  • The tool can be plunged in anywhere on the material

Cons of Plunge Saw

  • Plunge saws are expensive
  • Highly dependent on the track

Key Differences between Plunge and Circular Saws

Makita Plunge Saw Features

Plunge and circular saws have some characteristic differences that make them viable for different purposes.

Design and Maneuverability

Circular saws have a relatively simple design, making them super easy to handle and manoeuvre. Plunge saws have a slightly sophisticated design, making them difficult to manage.

Safety and Maintenance

In terms of safety, plunge saws are the clear winner. A blade guard encapsulates the rotating blade in the casing, which protects the user from hazards. The rotating blade in circular saws is exposed. Similarly, plunge saws are easier to maintain as the design prevents sawdust from getting into the motor.

Cut Finish and Length

Besides safety, plunge saws are better at generating smooth cuts with no splintering. Getting a smooth finish cut with no splinters from circular saws is difficult. However, you can easily cut any long material without much hassle from a circular saw. For a plunge saw, you might need to invest in a long track or join two or more tracks to cut a material in a single slide.

Cost

A circular saw is cheaper than a plunge saw with the same blade size and powering mechanism. A plunge saw’s design and additional components make it an expensive option. You may also find battery-powered plunge saws with brushless motors on the higher spectrum of prices.

Settling Plunge Saw vs Circular Saw Debate

Now it’s time to settle the plunge saw vs circular saw debate. Both are useful when used for specific purposes. A plunge saw is the perfect option to get an accurate cut anywhere on the material. As a result, they are ideal for cutting off kitchen sinks and vents. While a circular saw is all you need if cutting from edges is your priority. For example, reducing the width of a plank. But if budget is your primary concern, then a circular power saw is your best bet for most cutting jobs.

Endnote

A powered saw is an investment that can help you complete your construction projects with ease. However, it is vital to choose the right one for the best results. This article is a handy guide to compare key features, differences, pros and cons of circular and plunge power saws. By the end of this article, you have all the knowledge to choose the best power saw based on your needs.