Circular saw vs Plunge saw

Both saws have their pros and cons, but which one is the right fit for you? In this article, we’ll compare the two types of saws so you can make an informed decision.

Ultimately, the best way to choose between a circular saw vs plunge saw is to think about what type of projects you’ll be using it for. If you need a versatile tool that can do both straight and curved cuts, then a circular saw is your best bet. But if you need more precision when making cuts, then a plunge saw might be the better option for you. For more information Stay tuned!

Circular saw vs Plunge saw – Which is better?

Carpenters must choose the right saw for the job in order to get the results they need. In some cases, a circular saw is a right choice, but in others, a plunge saw is better.

We will compare these two saws and help you decide which one is best for your needs.

1: Circular saw

A circular saw can cut through wood, metal, and other materials. They are versatile, so they can be used for straight cuts as well as curved ones.

A circular saw consists of a base, which has a motor inside it. A long blade protrudes from the front of the base with teeth on one side. The blade slides perpendicularly through a slot in the base to make cuts. A circular saw does not need to be guided precisely by hand because it follows an arc or curve automatically thanks to gravity and fixed angles.


Can make straight as well as curved cuts

Good for ripping boards and other materials

Easy to use and maneuver


Doesn’t provide as much accuracy as a plunge saw

Requires manual guidance of saw through the cut

Cannot be used at an angle or on staircases and roofs because of its limited range of motion.

2: Plunge Saw 

Plunge saws have round blades that are contained within a protective metal covering until you’re ready to use them. When you push down on the front of the saw, its covering flows back and exposes the blade.

The covering then flows back up over the tip of the blade once you’re finished using it. In order to use a plunge saw for cutting, you need to guide it along a material as it moves through it. This requires more attention because there is no automated guidance like there is with circular saws.


A plunge saw is cheaper than a circular saw.

A plunge saw is smaller and lighter than a circular saw.

Circular saw only cuts on forwarding motion but a plunge cut can go both ways.

Can be used for vertical cutting up to 4″ deep *Cons: 

Smaller plunge saws have a maximum depth of 2-3 inches that won’t work well with larger boards.

A plunge cut is less protected from kickback from the board being cut since it starts at an angle instead of straight down like a circular saw blade.

When cutting upwards, you have to support the weight of the saw from underneath so you need a firm surface to work from, unlike a circular which can be clamped to a table or chair or held by someone else.

A plunge cut has less reach than a circular saw as well.  

A 10-inch blade won’t give you as deep a cut as a 14-16 inch saw will and it also limits what boards you’ll be able to fit into the cut area.


The plunge cut only works on wood and not as well if the material is too dense or hard.

You need to be careful that you don’t chip or splinter the bottom of what you’re cutting because it’ll stop your saw from going all the way through.

A lower power saw like a 4 1/2 inch circular, jig saw, saber saw or reciprocating saw will do almost everything a plunge cut can do without as many drawbacks.


Which saw do you prefer and why?

I prefer using the plunge saw because it gives me more flexibility. If you have a circular saw then that is great too, just know that it will be limited in some areas.

Which saw is best for beginners?

Both saws can be used by beginners and each has pros and cons. Plunge saw is safer because it starts from a lower position so it’s less likely the user will have the saw kicked back at them.

Which is the best handheld cutter for cutting out large openings in drywall?

The best cutter would definitely be a drywall saw because they are designed to be able to make straight-line cuts in drywall without any problems. As far as single-use tools go, this would be the one to go with.


We’ve shown you the difference between a circular saw and a plunge saw. Now it’s up to you to decide which one is best for your needs. Both have their pros and cons, so make sure to weigh those carefully before making your purchase. Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions please comment below.