Circular saw or plunge-cut saw?

When it comes to purchasing tools for woodworking, many do-it-yourselfers are faced with the question: hand-held circular saw or plunge-cut saw? In this article you can read in detail which saw is suitable for which work, and when one and when the other is the cheaper alternative.

Constructive differences between hand-held circular saws and plunge-cut saws

The most important difference between the two saws lies in the design: A classic hand-held circular saw (€ 108.00 at Amazon *) can only be pushed through the workpiece, while a plunge-cut saw practically and figuratively speaking "dips" into the workpiece from above.

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The classic circular saw relies on a fixed connection between the motor and the saw blade. The pendulum hood (therefore also: pendulum hood saw) folds back during the sawing process. With the plunge-cut saw, on the other hand, the motor and saw blade can move freely downwards.


Basically, one can say that hand-held circular saws are made for "rough " cutting work, whereas plunge-cut saws are made for fine work when cutting. In the commercial sector, therefore, the "pendulum hood saws" are more likely to be used for cutting roof battens to length and cutting coarse wooden panels - for all other work that must be carried out with millimeter precision, however, plunge-cut saws are used exclusively.

In connection with a guide rail, a high-quality plunge-cut saw is quite able to keep up with the precision of a (significantly more expensive) table saw (€ 159.00 at Amazon *). It can also be used much more flexibly. For such fine work, however, it is always important to have a splinter guard that effectively helps prevent the cut edge from fraying.


In contrast to the classic pendulum hood saw, the plunge-cut saw is significantly less powerful and often also less robust. This will be in the area of home improvement but in most cases only a small drawback.

Further advantages of the immersion saw

The constructive peculiarities of the immersible saw also allow an elevated start to arbitrary points of the workpiece (by the "immersion " of the saw) - with a hand circular saw can be started only on an outer edge of the workpiece with the sawing. An additional proposed jigsaw could sometimes compensate for this disadvantage of the circular saw - but with the immersible saw is still more accurate and faster, especially the cuts become clearly cleaner than with a guided jigsaw, especially with larger cutting depths.

Price differences

The price difference between a classic pendulum hood saw and a diving saw is not as big as you could first accept. Good hand circular saws for the home improvement area are price between around 100 and 200 EUR, from 200 EUR you usually get professional devices with high performance.

The immersible saw is priced at about 200 EUR for relatively good devices, in which in many cases a guide rail is already integrated. High-quality devices then cost between 300 and 400 EUR, but often are already suitable for professional use or bringing at least extensive accessories for all sorts of angular and miter cuts.

Tips & Tricks If you often have to cut very exact mitters, the immersible saw is in any case the tool of choice. Exact miter cuts are always in big problem with the hand circular saw, mostly only with specimens and multiple readjustment. With the diving saw you cut exactly from the outset.