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Best Sidewinder Circular Saw Reviews

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R

Good for

Sidewinder circular saws are good for a variety of things. For example, if you’re a devoted enthusiast who tackles an occasional home project on weekends, this particular type of saws might be the thing you need. In-line units are well-known for being fairly easy to use, set up, and maintain in good condition. Therefore, if you’re not a fan of highly demanding machines maintenance-wise, think about checking out some of these models. When it comes to maintenance, all you have to do in order for these machines to work properly is keep them clean and residue-free.

Compactness and light weight are probably the two main advantages of these saws in comparison to other types. On top of that, the price is also much more acceptable for people on a tight budget. Therefore, one can say that sidewinder saws are the most affordable ones of all types.

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Not recommended for

These machines don’t do as well as other types when it comes to demanding and large projects. For example, if you want to stack wood in order to cut it, an inline model usually isn’t powerful enough to cut through numerous layers of lumber. Therefore, if you’re concerned about downtime, you might want to look for machines with worm gears. As far as the design goes, the most noticeable thing about it in comparison to other types is lack of stability. It is usually caused by the lack of weight, which is a double-edged sword. It does help eliminate some fatigue, but it’s for the price of stability.

In-line saws aren’t recommended for extended projects due to several reasons. However, that doesn’t mean one won’t manage to finish a large project with a conventional Sidewinder unit. The question is – How long will it take?

Top Rated Sidewinder Circular Saws


Makita 5007MG


Our Rating: 4.6

When it comes to absolute weight reduction, the Makita 5007MG model is near the top thanks to its magnesium components. This particular unit weighs only around 10 pounds meaning it’s at least a few pounds lighter than 90% of other models within the same category. Its 15-amp motor is able to deliver up to 5800 RPM which is obviously more than enough power for any kind of application you want to perform.

The safety is at a satisfactory level, as it is with most other Makita products. The two built-in LED lights illuminate the cut path so that can be aware of the blade’s position at all times. However, the biggest drawback of this system is that the motor is on the left side of the machine which makes it hard to supervise the cut line at all times. On the other hand, it’s also an advantage because the whole weight of the machine is put against the inner side of the cut (left) instead of directly above it.

The cutting capacity of this unit is pretty good. Furthermore, the bevel capacity is 0-56 degrees with positive stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees. As you can tell, you won’t need any tools to fine-tune and adjust the bevel thanks to the innovative levers that are a part of the design itself. When durability is in question, magnesium components are the way to go due to their superior integrity in comparison to plastic elements. In other words, you can rest assured that this particular unit is designed to last for years as long as you maintain it in good condition. The price is more than acceptable, even for people who are on a limited budget. As far as we are concerned, this is an investment-worthy unit for devoted DIY-ers, but it might lack some auxiliary features that some professionals require.

DEWALT DW364K


Our Rating: 4.3

If you’re familiar with the market, then you probably heard about Dewalt at some point. They produce great machines that are safe, affordable, and most importantly – worth investing in. Needless to say, this particular model isn’t an exception either, it’s designed to alleviate the hassle of cutting countless numbers of planks and sheets for a very affordable price.

When it comes to the ease of use, one cannot say this model is the easiest to operate on the market. Therefore, if you’re an absolute beginner, make sure you read the user manual and comprehend the basic principles of inline saws to avoid potential injuries. On the other hand, if you’re a professional – this model might be the one you’re looking for. The 15-amp 2075 Watts motor delivers around 5800 RPM on no-load speeds. In simpler words, you don’t have to worry about the general capabilities of this unit because it will most definitely cut through any type of wood as long as you use it properly and keep a regular maintenance schedule. Speaking of maintenance, it’s a pretty easy process. Because these machines don’t require any lubrication, all you have to do in order to keep it in good condition is to clean it after use, preferably with an air compressor.

One of the things that make this particular model different from the others is the electric brake which is responsible for stopping the blade immediately after use. It’s a great safety feature, especially if you consider the overall affordability of DW364K. As you can tell, the safety is at a high level, and you shouldn’t be worried too much about it. However, don’t lose focus or get too relaxed because those are the moments when most accidents happen. The weight of this unit is around 7-8 pounds meaning it’s as lightweight as it can be.

DEWALT DW364K


Our Rating: 4.3

If you’re familiar with the market, then you probably heard about Dewalt at some point. They produce great machines that are safe, affordable, and most importantly – worth investing in. Needless to say, this particular model isn’t an exception either, it’s designed to alleviate the hassle of cutting countless numbers of planks and sheets for a very affordable price.

When it comes to the ease of use, one cannot say this model is the easiest to operate on the market. Therefore, if you’re an absolute beginner, make sure you read the user manual and comprehend the basic principles of inline saws to avoid potential injuries. On the other hand, if you’re a professional – this model might be the one you’re looking for. The 15-amp 2075 Watts motor delivers around 5800 RPM on no-load speeds. In simpler words, you don’t have to worry about the general capabilities of this unit because it will most definitely cut through any type of wood as long as you use it properly and keep a regular maintenance schedule. Speaking of maintenance, it’s a pretty easy process. Because these machines don’t require any lubrication, all you have to do in order to keep it in good condition is to clean it after use, preferably with an air compressor.

One of the things that make this particular model different from the others is the electric brake which is responsible for stopping the blade immediately after use. It’s a great safety feature, especially if you consider the overall affordability of DW364K. As you can tell, the safety is at a high level, and you shouldn’t be worried too much about it. However, don’t lose focus or get too relaxed because those are the moments when most accidents happen. The weight of this unit is around 7-8 pounds meaning it’s as lightweight as it can be.

Milwaukee 6390-21


Our Rating: 4.5

As far as the ease of use goes, this model is probably among the simplest ones on the market. It’s a great entry-level product for devoted enthusiasts because it offers useful features for a more than acceptable price. When it comes to the professionals, they might not like some parts of this unit, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable of coping with demanding tasks.

The design is pretty conventional and quite functional. The 15-amp motor delivers 5800 RPM at no-load speeds meaning it will cut through pretty dense wood without breaking a sweat. The build quality is okay, but far from impressive. The main elements are aircraft aluminum and hard plastic. Even though these components don’t affect the integrity too much, they increase the amount of vibrations. The handle isn’t cushioned; therefore, the use of work gloves is recommended at all times.

The great thing about this particular model is that it has enough power to cut through various materials with ease. However, the important thing to do is to use proper blades. Many people make a common mistake and use blades that are foreseen for processing wood to cut aluminum or other metals. Needless to say, that is extremely dangerous and potentially fatal. Make sure that you always use the proper blades for different applications.

The most notable downside of this model is the absence of an automatic brake. While it seems pretty irrelevant to most people, an automatic brake can sometimes make a difference between life and death. Albeit, there is no need to worry about it too much, they could have at least integrated some type of an emergency brake. If you’re looking to replace your 40-year old circular saw, this one might be a worthy substitution. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a professional model, try skipping this particular one.

Makita 5402NA


Our Rating: 4.4

Most circular saws nowadays have a pretty complex design. If you’re looking for simplistic and yet efficient power tool, the 5402NA model might be a perfect choice. It’s a 16-5/16-inch model featuring an electric brake, large cutting capacity, and low noise levels or around 90dB. Apart from the basic functions, it also features a blade stabilizer which comes in handy for prolonged use.

It’s safe to say that this machine works great both for professionals and DIY-ers. It’s more of a professional unit though, especially if you compare its somewhat premium price to the other models from our list. One cannot say it’s a particularly cheap piece of equipment (because it isn’t), but it’s a worthy investment for people who are planning on using its full potential. The cut capacity is big thanks to the peculiar diameter of the blade. It’s not a lightweight machine per se, but its 32 pounds aren’t a burden to carry around.

The safety is okay, but they could have done some things better. For example, even though the hand grip is unusually large to alleviate the use, it’s still not cushioned meaning the machine is prone to vibrations, especially at high loads. On the other hand, truth be told – it’s not an unbearable amount of vibrations in the first place. The electric brake is definitely a nice touch to an already versatile machine. It’s a neat mechanism that stops the blade immediately after use.

People seem to like this unit due to its versatility, efficiency, and simplistic design. It’s a great addition to one’s tool cupboard, especially if you seek for professional features. However, it all comes with a price, and it’s a hefty one. Is it worth investing so much in a tool? The answer is – Yes, it definitely is, as long as you are able to use the full potential of it.

Makita 5402NA


Our Rating: 4.4

Most circular saws nowadays have a pretty complex design. If you’re looking for simplistic and yet efficient power tool, the 5402NA model might be a perfect choice. It’s a 16-5/16-inch model featuring an electric brake, large cutting capacity, and low noise levels or around 90dB. Apart from the basic functions, it also features a blade stabilizer which comes in handy for prolonged use.

It’s safe to say that this machine works great both for professionals and DIY-ers. It’s more of a professional unit though, especially if you compare its somewhat premium price to the other models from our list. One cannot say it’s a particularly cheap piece of equipment (because it isn’t), but it’s a worthy investment for people who are planning on using its full potential. The cut capacity is big thanks to the peculiar diameter of the blade. It’s not a lightweight machine per se, but its 32 pounds aren’t a burden to carry around.

The safety is okay, but they could have done some things better. For example, even though the hand grip is unusually large to alleviate the use, it’s still not cushioned meaning the machine is prone to vibrations, especially at high loads. On the other hand, truth be told – it’s not an unbearable amount of vibrations in the first place. The electric brake is definitely a nice touch to an already versatile machine. It’s a neat mechanism that stops the blade immediately after use.

People seem to like this unit due to its versatility, efficiency, and simplistic design. It’s a great addition to one’s tool cupboard, especially if you seek for professional features. However, it all comes with a price, and it’s a hefty one. Is it worth investing so much in a tool? The answer is – Yes, it definitely is, as long as you are able to use the full potential of it.

SKIL 5280-01


Our Rating: 4.6

There are plenty of affordable models on the market, but most of them lack some of the crucial features needed for accurate and smooth cuts. However, the 5280-01 model comes with a set of basic features which are more than enough for simple projects such as cutting laminate, beams, and other. Therefore, you shouldn’t expect this model to perform any miracles, but it does its job quite well.

The thing that separates this unit from the others is its weight. It weighs only around 9 pounds which is 15% less than the ones issued only a generation ago. While it does reduce user’s fatigue, it also takes some stability away. The stability trade-off might seem a bit concerning, but it’s not a big deal because the machine isn’t foreseen for 24/7 use in the first place. Even though the manufacturer didn’t state the number of RPM, given the fact that it features a standard 15-amp motor, you can expect at least five to six thousand RPM in idle.

The integrated laser came as a surprise to many people because it’s not a feature that can be found in the affordable category. The laser helps a lot when it comes to the accuracy of cuts. Another surprising element is the integrated dust blower designed to extract as much dust as possible. While it’s a great feature for right-handed artisans, it tends to be a burden for left-handed individuals for a simple reason – it blows sawdust straight to your face. It might be an annoying thing to deal with, but a pair of safety glasses solves the problem right away.

The price is what makes people decide to purchase this model. It’s significantly cheaper than most other models, but it also comes with more shortcomings. It’s up to you to determine whether it offers enough performance for the things you have planned. As far as we are concerned, it isn’t a bad investment, to say the least.

Quick Product Comparison


 POWER SOURCEVOLTAGEWEIGHTPRICE 
makita 5007mg

Makita 5007MG

Corded120V10 pounds$$Check Price
dewalt dw364k

DEWALT DW364K

Corded120V19 pounds$$Check Price
milwaukee 6390-21

Milwaukee 6390-21

Corded120V17 pounds$$Check Price
makita 5402na

Makita 5402NA

Corded120V29 pounds$$$Check Price
Skil 5280-01

SKIL 5280-01

Corded120V9 pounds$Check Price

Before You Buy: How a Sidewinder Circular Saw Works?


Before you opt for a particular unit, it’s a good idea that you research its working principles so that you know what to expect. Many people decide to skip this step and go straight into investing, which later on turns out being a huge mistake. The main reason why we usually recommend researching is quite simple – you’ll save money.

Motor


When it comes to Sidewinder models, the motor sits on the left side of the unit. This principle allows the user to cut without using too much force. The downside of this particular principle is that you won’t be able to supervise the cut as you’re doing it. It isn’t a game-changing problem, but it’s good to be aware of that.

The weight transfer is also quite favorable in Sidewinder models. As we said, due to the position of the motor, the user doesn’t have to hold nor push the saw in order to speed up the process. The helical gearing found in some high-end models increases the torque which then affects the general smoothness and speed of the blade.

Power


A vast majority of available models use electricity as a source of power, but there are some that use batteries and are cordless. However, the battery-powered ones aren’t nearly as powerful as their corded cousins. When it comes to specific values, the most common motor type in these saws is a 15-amp one. Some models have weaker, while others have stronger outputs, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of difference in the first place. In simpler words, you’ll be fine with a 15-amp motor and at least 5000 RPM.

Safety


As with most power tools, safety measures are quite important. One of the biggest ones found in circular saws is the electric brake. It’s a convenient and affordable system meaning you can expect it in almost every model. The ones that don’t have this feature should be picked with care.

Best Sidewinder Circular Saw – Buyer’s Guide


People who rush their purchase usually end up with a machine that either doesn’t meet their expectations or is overpriced. The only advice we can give is to take it easy and conduct thorough research when buying a power tool, especially if you’re on a tight budget. In fact, one more advice that can be quite useful for absolute beginners is to avoid cheap models because they often do more harm than good. In case of power tools, that situation can sometimes even be deadly.

Look for power


The motor is a crucial part of every sidewinder saw. There are plenty of variations available on the market, but the 15-amp ones are your safest bet. You could go with weaker or stronger motors, but it’s not worth the effort. The weaker ones usually can’t cope with demanding projects, while the stronger ones tend to cost a lot. When it comes to RPM, the standard value is around 5000 RPM. Therefore, we strongly advise that you don’t go below 5000 RPM if these numbers don’t mean much to you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for specific low-rpm models, make sure they are worth the effort and investment because they usually aren’t.

Safety features


As we already said, one of the important safety features is the electronic brake. It eliminates the possibility of accidental cuts and severe injuries. Also, it works on a pretty simple principle – once you turn the machine off, the blade will stop spinning right away.

The other thing you should look for is a big and comfortable hand grip. While it isn’t necessarily a safety concern, some people have had serious problems because of small and unprotected hand grips. Look for the ones that are cushioned and protected because those reduce the amount of vibrations by a lot. Aim for the big hand grips because the small ones are uncomfortable and often a burden to use.

sidewinder

Budget


You cannot find a cheap and highly functional machine. It’s either one or another; you’ll rarely find a golden middle. Therefore, be prepared to invest a bit of money before you even start planning a purchase. People who spare money and aim for cheap units usually end up spending more money on repairs, adjustments, and downtime. Bear in mind; cheap products often cost a lot more than the expensive ones because of the hassle that comes with the lack of quality.

sidewinder-circular

Ease of use, design, and build quality


Even though the design is more a matter of personal preference, there are some things you should avoid. For example, try avoiding all-plastic units because they tend to malfunction often, even if it’s hard plastic. Metal parts are a bit better than the plastic ones, but magnesium is the optimal solution thanks to its integrity and durability.

Someone once said – “No matter what you do, you’ll drop your saw at some point,” and they were right. Keep an eye on the specifications and look for the part which describes the materials used in production. If you don’t see any metal or magnesium components on the list, it’s probably a good idea to skip on buying that model.

Weight


Weight is a big part of the overall experience. If you buy a heavy unit, it might help on certain occasions, but it causes fatigue. On the other hand, if you purchase a lightweight one, it might lack stability. The key is in finding a solution that suits your preferences and requirements.

The conclusion


All of the models that we have covered are here for a reason. Some are great for DIY enthusiasts, while the others are perfect for professional use. Most of them are quite affordable, and even accessible to people on a strict budget. Therefore, whether you’re an absolute beginner or an experienced professional, you’ll find something of interest on our page. If you want more information about a particular model, feel free to read our full reviews in which we describe the products with more in-depth information and details.

In case you are in a dilemma regarding what to look for and how much to invest, take a moment and check our Buyer’s Guide. We’ve covered some of the crucial elements you should pay attention to before investing so that you don’t end up with a worthless machine that costs a ton of money.

As far as we are concerned, all of these models are a worthy investment. It’s up to you to find the appropriate one for your plans. As you can tell, the dominating brands on this particular market are Dewalt and Makita. Both of these brands offer great warranty conditions, good quality control, and most importantly – favorable prices. You don’t need to stroll around the Internet and search for valuable information in various places. Instead, you can find all the info in one place – here.

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