a Milwaukee circular saw
Photo: Brian Henn/Time Inc. Digital Studio
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Milwaukee 2630-22 Circular Saw

Price: About $349; Milwaukee

Weight: 8.5 pounds

The verdict: Featuring all-metal blade guards and a tight build quality, this saw is ready to take a beating. We love its big, easy-to-read rulers on both sides of the shoe—perfect for cutting notches. The depth and bevel guides stay put when loosened for one-handed adjustment, and they return spot-on cuts. This well-balanced beast is surprisingly easy to wield, though it's a tad portly for overhead work. Beware the pain of a paddle switch, which must remain depressed to operate the blade; designed for safety, it seems engineered for discomfort.

Fine print: Aluminum shoe. Magnesium blade housing and guard. Charger and two batteries.
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