Written By Teodora Spirovska
Published Dec. 16, 2020

Your circular saw is the real workhorse of your power tools and woodworking equipment. You can tackle and accomplish a lot with a simple circular saw — it can cut different materials, be handheld or mounted, and tackle straight cuts, crosscuts, and rip cuts. However, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced circular saw user, you can benefit from pairing your saw with a circular saw guide. 

A circular saw guide helps you guide and control your saw to achieve perfectly straight and smooth cuts. And who doesn’t want to get better results with every movement of your saw? Add a circular saw guide to your tool kit, and you can see a difference from the first use. We’ve compiled some of the best circular saw guides available on the market.

The Best Circular Saw Guides

This saw guide simplifies making rip cuts and crosscuts, and it’s easy to use as you cut multiple pieces to the same size, giving you consistent results. It can make rip cuts and crosscuts up to 24 inches wide, and the guide measures 30.88 x 8.75 x 2.5 inches overall.  It’s made out of metal, and it features an oversized edge guide that offers precise control throughout the entire cutting process. The guide is reversible too, so you can use it left handed or right handed. You can skip the extra steps of marking, measuring, and laying out lines. With this circular saw guide, you’ll work efficiently and easily. 

Some of this saw guide’s components are made out of plastic, making it a little less durable. Its ruler measurements may not be exact, which can result in inaccurate or curved cuts.

Key Features
  • Can make cuts up to 24 inches wide
  • Efficiently cuts pieces into the same sizes
  • Reversible for left- or right-handed use
  • Has a built-in measuring scale
Specification
  • Brand Kreg
  • Model KMA2685
  • Weight 2.45 pounds
PROS

Delivers consistent, repeatable cuts 

Can tackle plywood, MDF, and other large sheets of material 

Eliminates the need for marking and measuring

CONS

Some components are made out of plastic

Ruler measurements may not be exact, resulting in inaccurate or curved cuts

This circular saw guide is affordable, and it’s a strong value thanks to its versatility and extendable nature. The guide measures 1.3 x 7.3 x 16.3 inches, and it can extend a circular saw blade up to six inches from the edge of your workpiece. It’ll help you cut perfect, smooth circles ranging from 4 to 19 inches in diameter. If you’re worried about perfection, you can make incremental tool-free adjustments by 1/16 of an inch. It snaps into place onto most circular saws with four metal bars and specialized clips. You’ll find it easy to make straight angled, beveled, or rip cuts with your circular saw.

While this saw guide is a reliable option, it can struggle with thicker material and may not accurately or securely fit some brands of circular saws. It also is a little difficult to cut small circles with this saw guide.

Key Features
  • Helps with straight angle, beveled, and rip cuts
  • Fits with most circular saws
  • Cuts circles in a range of sizes from 4 to 19 inches in diameter
  • Adjusts by 1/16 inch
Specification
  • Brand Milestar
  • Model 14000713
  • Weight 1 pound
PROS

Makes it easy to achieve controlled, clean cuts

Works on jigsaws for extra value

Delivers accuracy with every type of cut

CONS

Makes cutting small circles difficult

Struggles with thick material

May not accurately or securely fit some brands of circular saws

Designed to suit certain Makita circular saws, this guide is a great option if you’re ripping sheet material and large workpieces. It measures 55 inches long, and it attaches to the saw base to help you achieve smooth, perfectly straight, or beveled cuts. Although it’s a brand-specific product, this guide can also suit some other circular saws — just make sure to double check the sizing before buy it. You can also get a bit more versatility out of this circular saw guide by using it with select routers and adapters.

While this saw guide can sometimes fit other circular saws, it generally only fits certain Makita saws. Its tracks can also be bowed, resulting in inaccurate cuts. This saw guide doesn’t always line up when used with additional guides or rails.

Key Features
  • 55 inches long
  • Works with Makita Plunge Saws as well as some other circular saws
  • Creates straight or bevel cuts
  • Attaches right to saw base
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model 194368-5
  • Weight 6.6 pounds
PROS

Offers a long length of guidance for even cutting in large pieces

Very helpful for large materials

Made out of high-quality metal

CONS

Only fits certain Makita saws

Tracks can be bowed, which results in inaccurate cuts

Don’t line up when used with additional guides or rails

If you don’t need a long circular saw guide, the Makita Rip Fence for Circular Saws is a good choice. It’s a bit smaller than many other guides or fences, but it can be a great option if you aren’t working with large pieces of wood or other material. This guide measures 12 x 5 x 2 inches, and it’s designed to fit Makita saw models 5005BA, 5007NB, 5057KB, 5046DWB, and 5621DWA. You get precision and reliable, consistent straight cuts with every use. 

Keep in mind, though, that there’s one flaw with this circular saw guide: it doesn’t come with a fastening screw. That means you have to purchase one separately to attach the guide to your saw. It can also be too tight on some Makita saws—it is best for small or compact saws.

Key Features
  • Measures 12 x 5 x 2 inches
  • Fits certain Makita circular saws
  • Finer, intricate cutting can be smooth and accurate
  • Very lightweight
Specification
  • Brand Makita
  • Model 164095-8
  • Weight 3.52 ounces
PROS

Ideal for working with a small saw or small pieces of wood

Makes small straight rip cuts very easy

Enhances accuracy and saw control

CONS

Lacks a screw needed to attach the fence to your circular saw

Can be extremely tight on some Makita saws

Best used on small or compact saws

Made out of heavy-gauge extruded aluminum, this circular saw guide stretches 24 inches long. It has a modular design, which means you can add more guides to expand it to as long as 100 inches. It features an adjustable clamp that slides up and down to fit any material you’re working with, and it can be especially handy for sheets of plywood or MDF. A locking handle grabs your work surface to keep cuts precise. This guide can help you save time and prevent waste as well as crooked, uneven cuts. You can pair it with most circular saws, routers, and even other power tools to get even more use.

One thing to consider before purchasing this saw guide is that its locking mechanism requires a lot of strength to lock and unlock. There have also been reports about its measurements and guide rail not being entirely accurate.

Key Features
  • Measures 24 inches long
  • Made out of aluminum
  • Ideal for large workpieces like plywood and MDF
  • Can be customized and lengthened up to 100 inches
Specification
  • Brand Bora
  • Model 543024
  • Weight 1 pound
PROS

Strong aluminum ensures the guide can last

Adjustable clamp and secure lock keep your material stable as you saw

Easy to use and easy to achieve precision

CONS

Has quite a bit of flex

Locking mechanism requires a lot of strength to lock and unlock

Measurements and guide rail may not be perfectly accurate

This circular saw guide is long enough to make rip cuts of various lengths and widths, but it can also fold down and become perfectly compact. This circular saw guide gives you a 12-inch ripping capacity on the left side for common rip cuts like stair treads and risers and a 14.5-inch ripping capacity on the right side for wide rip cuts. It’s lightweight and made out of durable aluminum, and it won’t add much weight at all to your tool kit. You can fold this guide down to 19 x 3 x 1  inches in size when not in use. Laser-etched markings along the guide make it quick and easy to achieve accurate settings in no time.

While this is a quality circular saw guide, it can still move when locked in place. Also, it’s not built with the highest quality in mind since its lock nuts are plastic.

Key Features
  • Makes common rip cuts with 12 or 14.5 inch capacity on either side
  • Made out of lightweight aluminum
  • Laser-etched markings for accuracy
  • Folds down to 19 x 3 inches
Specification
  • Brand DeWalt
  • Model DWS5100
  • Weight 1.25 pounds
PROS

Lightweight and conveniently portable

Gives the option of different, accurate cuts on either side of the guide

Fits with most DeWalt circular saws

CONS

Can still move when locked in place

Lock nuts are plastic

Not built with the highest quality

This guide will help you achieve straight lines with two pieces of 2.25 feet of guide rail with connectors. It measures 55 inches long and is ideal for cutting sheets of 4-foot material — like plywood or sheets of metal. Made out of tough T5 aluminum alloy, this guide won’t bend or break with use. It even includes low friction guide strips that help your circular saw glide smoothly when you’re using the guide rail. It comes with specially-designed clamps that tighten and secure your cutting line for perfect precision every time. This guide will fit most circular saws, including Evolution Power Tools saws.

While it does fit most circular saws, it is not compatible with all circular brands and models, so check that it fits your particular saw before purchasing. Another thing to consider is that it might not line up perfectly straight.

Key Features
  • Made out of T5 aluminum alloy
  • Includes carrying bag
  • Compatible with Evolution Power Tools and some other brands of circular saws
Specification
  • Brand Evolution
  • Model ST1400
  • Weight 8.6 pounds
PROS

Helps you achieve straight lines without movement or mistakes

Specially designed clamps keep the grip on your materials for precision

Guide rail breaks down into two pieces

CONS

Not compatible with all circular saw brands and models

May not line up perfectly straight

This is a uniquely designed circular saw guide that uses a different kind of clamp to secure your work material. Instead of a C-clamp, this guide features a clamp with one adjustable jaw and one fixed jaw that locks in three positions with a convenient lever. The circular saw guide itself gives you a low-profile straight edge that’s ideal for large and small wood panels. Made out of aluminum, the guide can cut true straight lines with a circular saw or other types of saws. It is built with contractor-grade materials and construction, so it’ll stand up to the toughest use cases. The guide is easy to align, easy to clamp in place, and easy to use for a long time to come.

One thing to note about this particular circular saw guide is that it can be difficult to use with thinner wood.

Key Features
  • Guide measures 50 x 2 3/16 inches
  • Made out of extruded aluminum
  • Clamps lock in three positions so you can choose your pressure
  • Built for everyday use
Specification
  • Brand ProGrip
  • Model B07ZKS7Y3W
  • Weight 4.04 pounds
PROS

Ideal for cutting large panels down

Offers proper, secure alignment for the straightest cuts

Guide is extra wide to offer more rigidity and stability

CONS

Can be difficult to use with thinner wood

This circular saw guide will help save you time and effort by eliminating the need to measure and mark all of your workpieces over and over again. The guide is a genuine Bosch part meant to fit perfectly on Bosch worm drive circular saws and sidewinder circular saws. It delivers consistent and accurate rip cuts. Made out of steel, it’s designed to last a long time. This circular saw guide excels because it’s so easy to use on projects where you need to cut over and over again. It’ll help you achieve accuracy without spending time with rulers and pencil marks. 

While this guide is easy to use, it still takes some practice and adjustment to get used to it. Other things to consider before buying this guide is that it can bend easily, and some circular saws may affect its screws.

Key Features
  • Measures 14 x 5 x 2 inches
  • Works with Bosch corded circular saws
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Constructed from steel
Specification
  • Brand Bosch
  • Model WD7RIP
  • Weight 8 ounces
PROS

Simplifies your process and saves time

Works with Bosch saws as well as other brands of saws

Steel can last you for a long time to come

CONS

Takes some practice and adjustment

Can bend easily

Some circular saws may affect its screws

Best Circular Saw Guide Buying Guide & FAQ

A circular saw is pretty impressive all on its own. However, whether you’re a first-time user or an experienced craftsman, you’ve likely wished you could have a bit more control and accuracy when you work. Sure, time — and a lot of practice — can help you achieve perfectly straight cuts over many uses. But with a circular saw guide, you can get results that are consistent and pretty close to perfect every single time you cut material. Simple and easy to install onto your saw or clamp onto your material, a circular saw guide can enhance any project.

But there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a circular saw guide. From different lengths to different clamps to different styles and materials, every guide is a bit unique. If you’re wondering where to begin, our circular saw guide buying guide can help.

Benefits of Circular Saw Guides

Even if you’re the most experienced woodworker, you can benefit from using a circular saw guide. This single accessory can help you out every time you use your saw. If you’ve been feeling like your cuts aren’t perfectly straight or as precise as you’d hoped, you aren’t alone. And the best way to remedy this is with a guide rail. This attachment can be especially helpful when you’re doing long rips or working with large-size panels. 

Above all else, a circular saw guide can offer more accuracy. All you have to do is follow the guide’s straight line with your saw, and you’ll have a perfect — and straight — line in mere minutes. You can prevent frustrating mistakes and eliminate the need to toss out material when your cuts don’t turn out right. With a guide rail, you can tackle professional cuts and see fantastic results. But that’s not the only reason to add a guide to your saw.

  • A guide helps you consistently achieve flawless saw cuts without mistakes.
  • Using a guide rail can prevent material from splintering and tearing.
  • A guide can prevent flaws or damage like scratches on your work material.
  • You can choose a guide that’s long or short based on the length of what you’re cutting.
  • Guides can make various cuts easier, including rip cuts, crosscuts, and more.

Different Kinds of Circular Saw Guides

Circular saw guides are pretty simple, and they all share the same goal: to keep a saw in a perfectly straight line while you’re cutting material. Because of this, there really isn’t much difference when it comes to types of circular saw guides. They’re typically constructed and designed in similar ways, and they all enable you to tackle various kinds of cuts that require straight precision. However, there are two primary types of circular saw guides that you can choose — or even DIY.

Wood Circular Saw Guide

A wood circular saw guide is a guide rail that you can DIY in your workshop. All you need are the right materials — including wood — as well as the right tools and knowledge. There are plenty of guides that can walk you through creating a customized guide rail for your circular saw that’ll provide you with the straight edge you need.

However, it’s important to note that you’ll need to be extra careful if you’re opting to build your own wood circular saw guide. To achieve a flawlessly straight edge to get a perfectly straight cut with each use, you’ll need to make sure the guide itself is straight and well-constructed.

Metal Circular Saw Guide

A metal circular saw guide is the most common type of guide rail. You’ll find these in all different lengths and widths, and many popular power tool brands make them. Many are universal and can fit with any circular saw. Others are more specialized and may work only with specific brands or models of circular saws. 

The significant advantage of choosing a metal circular saw guide is that you’re almost guaranteed to get a straight edge. As long as the guide rail has been correctly designed and manufactured, you’ll be able to trust that it’s perfectly straight. These circular saw guides can also be more durable and long-lasting, as metal can survive many uses. 

What to Consider When Buying Circular Saw Guides 

To do its job correctly, you need a circular saw guide to be straight and sturdy. It needs to stand up against your saw and guide it along a straight, smooth surface to achieve consistent, flawless cuts. And that means you have to look closely at the quality of any circular saw guide rail. A metal guide will offer sharp accuracy — but it’s important to make sure the metal is sturdy enough to stay level and avoid flexing or moving.

It’s also important to find guides with long-term durability. Whether you use your circular saw every day or just for occasional projects and hobbies, you want a guide rail that’ll last over many uses. Sturdier materials make a circular saw guide rail more likely to last for the long-term. Other features like metal fasteners and components can also help make a particular guide a great choice for durability and consistency, even with wear and tear.

The Most Important Features of Circular Saw Guides

If you’re looking for the best circular saw guide available, you’re going to want to look at the various features of different guide rail options. While circular saw guides are pretty simple in their construction, a few important features can take a guide from basic to incredibly helpful.

Size

The size of a circular saw guide will directly affect what you’re able to cut and how versatile the guide rail is. Guides can come in all different sizes, but the length and width matter most. You’ll want to choose a length that’ll suit your most common projects. For example, if you frequently need to cut large panels or sheets of material, you’ll want a longer guide rail. However, if you’re working with smaller pieces and cuts, a shorter guide will be ideal.

You’ll also want to consider a guide’s width and profile. Can you cut on either side of the guide or just in one place? Does your circular saw require a lower profile guide to work smoothly? These details are something to consider.

Material

Material is another important consideration. Like we mentioned above, there are just two types of circular saw guides: DIY options made out of wood and manufactured metal. The material can make a difference in how straight your saw’s cuts are, and it can also make a difference in long-term durability.

Metal circular saw guides are the most common, and they are the most durable. These guides also tend to have extras, like etched measurements and markings that save you time while working. You can also look for sturdier metals if you want durability — aluminum is light in weight but potentially more prone to bowing or flexing. Steel is a relatively solid choice.

Clamp or Grip

Another important — and beneficial — feature of a circular saw guide is the clamp or grip. To help you achieve perfectly straight lines, the guide needs to stay firmly in place to guide your saw while working. And that makes the clamps or grips on a guide quite important. 

Some guides will use fastening screws to tighten onto any surface, while others will use different clamps. Make sure to take a look at these details and features, as you’ll want to make sure the guides you’re considering are sturdy and able to easily be secured or moved during any project.

Care and Maintenance for Circular Saw Guides

Like any tool or accessory, your circular saw guide needs to be carefully maintained over time. It’s the best way to ensure your guide keeps delivering those smooth, accurate cuts no matter what you’re working on with your circular saw. Luckily, because a guide rail is such a simple saw accessory, you don’t have to perform any in-depth maintenance or care to achieve this. 

Maintaining your circular saw guide is as simple as giving it a once over before and after each use. Because accuracy is the primary goal when you use a guide, you’ll want to make sure there’s nothing that might inhibit your saw or result in a crooked, flawed cut final result. Debris, dust, and even material build-up left behind from previous jobs can cause problems. Keeping your guide clean is the best course of action.

  • Take time to carefully adjust the guide rail and your saw before diving into any project to get the best accuracy and precision for each cut.
  • Clean your guide rail after use to keep it working efficiently and smoothly.
  • Always double-check your saw positioning to prevent misaligned cuts or potential damage.
  • For longer cuts, alignment may need to be adjusted.

Best Circular Saw Guides FAQ:

Have a few questions about working with a circular saw guide? Adding one of these handy accessories to your workspace can be a little complicated at first, and it can take some getting used to. We’re answering some of the most frequently asked questions about circular saws paired with guide rails below.

Q: What is the best circular saw guide for home use?

There are many excellent circular saw guides that home woodworkers and circular saw owners could try. We like the Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide because it’s simple, straightforward, and quite reliable.

Q: How do I make an accurate cut with a circular saw?

A circular saw guide can help you achieve the most accurate cuts. With a guide, you’ll have a straight line that keeps your saw’s blade right in line, whether you’re cutting large or small pieces.

Q: How do you rip a 2×4 with a circular saw?

To rip a 2×4, you’ll want to attach a circular saw guide to your circular saw. Make sure your wood is clamped down, and then attach the guide as needed. Make the necessary marks on your wood, set the depth of your circular saw’s blade, and cut through the guide to get a perfectly straight rip.

Our Top Pick

Our choice for the best circular saw guide is the Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide. This saw accessory is a capable and quality addition to any circular saw, with consistent results and a straight edge you can use to achieve the same perfect cuts each time. Made out of metal, this guide can be used left- or right-handed for extra versatility. 

Final Thoughts

The Kreg KMA2685 Rip-Cut Circular Saw Guide will make rip cuts and crosscuts easily and perfectly straight, with precision and control. The Milescraft Saw Guide for Circular and Jig Saws is another great option, and its affordable price combines value and versatility in one extendable circular saw guide.

Sources:

  1. Circular Saw – Wikipedia

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