5 1/2 Vs 6 1/2 Circular Saw: Which One To Buy?

5 1/2 Vs 6 1/2 Circular Saw: Which One To Buy?

In the realm of power tools, circular saws are essential for a wide range of cutting tasks. When it comes to choosing the right circular saw, two common options are the 5 1/2-inch and 6 1/2-inch models. While both offer similar functionality, there are key differences to consider. 

The main difference between 5 ½ vs 6 ⅕ circular saws lies in their cutting capacity. The 6 1/2 saw can make deeper cuts, while the 5 1/2 saw offers greater maneuverability. Choose based on your project needs and desired balance between depth and versatility.

In this article, we will explore the features, benefits, and limitations of these two sizes, helping you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences. Let’s start. 

Key Differences Between 5 ½ Vs 6 ½ Circular Saw: Know The Basics

Before we decide which circular saw to buy, you must know the basic differences between these two tools. Here is a table defining the key differences with an explanation in the later part. 

Key Differences5 1/2 Circular Saw6 1/2 Circular Saw
Cutting CapacityShallower cutsDeeper cuts
ManeuverabilityGreater mobilitySlightly less
Blade CostLowerHigher
Material VersatilityLimitedWider range

Cutting Capacity:

  • 5 1/2 Circular Saw: Offers shallower cuts, suitable for thinner materials or precise cuts.
  • 6 1/2 Circular Saw: Provides deeper cuts, ideal for thicker materials or projects requiring greater depth.


  • 5 1/2 Circular Saw: Offers greater mobility due to its smaller size and lighter weight, allowing for enhanced maneuvering and control.
  • 6 1/2 Circular Saw: Slightly less maneuverable compared to the 5 1/2 saw due to its larger size and weight.


  • 5 1/2 Circular Saw: Generally lighter, making it easier to handle and operate for extended periods without fatigue.
  • 6 1/2 Circular Saw: Heavier than the 5 1/2 saw, which may impact user comfort and maneuverability during prolonged use.

Blade Cost:

  • 5 1/2 Circular Saw: Typically lower in cost compared to the 6 1/2 saw blades, offering potential savings on blade replacements.
  • 6 1/2 Circular Saw: Usually higher in cost than the 5 1/2 saw blades, resulting in higher expenses for blade replacements.

Material Versatility:

  • 5 1/2 Circular Saw: Limited in its ability to cut through thicker or denser materials, making it more suitable for lighter projects.
  • 6 1/2 Circular Saw: Provides wider material versatility, capable of cutting through thicker and denser materials with ease.

Choose As Per Project Requirement: 5 ½ Vs 6 ½ Circular Saw

When deciding between a 5 1/2 circular saw and a 6 1/2 circular saw, consider the following project needs:

Choose a 5 1/2 Circular Saw:

  • For projects that require maneuverability in tight spaces or intricate cuts.
  • When working with thinner materials that don’t require deep cuts.
  • When budget is a concern, as 5 1/2 circular saw blades tend to be lower in cost.
  • For projects where a lighter saw is preferred to minimize fatigue during extended use.

Choose a 6 1/2 Circular Saw:

  • When dealing with thicker materials that require deeper cuts, such as hardwood or thicker lumber.
  • For projects that prioritize cutting capacity over maneuverability.
  • When working in situations where versatility to handle a wider range of materials is necessary.
  • If the slightly increased weight of the saw is not a significant concern.

5 ½ Vs 6 ½ Circular Saw: Which Is The Best For Beginners? 

If you are planning a DIY project and are very new to a circular saw, you must go for the beginner tool. For beginners, the 5 1/2 circular saw may be a better choice due to its advantages in maneuverability and lighter weight. Here’s why:

  • Easy to Handle: The 5 1/2 circular saw’s smaller size and lighter weight make it easier to handle and control, especially for those who are new to using power tools. It allows beginners to navigate tight spaces and make precise cuts with greater ease.
  • Versatility: While the 6 1/2 circular saw offers deeper cuts and wider material versatility, beginners often start with simpler projects that don’t require cutting through thick or dense materials. The 5 1/2 circular saw is more than capable of handling these tasks effectively.
  • Cost: The 5 1/2 circular saw blades are generally more affordable than their 6 1/2 counterparts. This can be advantageous for beginners who may be on a tighter budget and want to minimize initial investment costs.


What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing Between A 5 1/2 And 6 1/2 Circular Saw?

Key factors to consider include cutting capacity needed for your projects, maneuverability requirements, weight preferences, material versatility, and budget considerations.

Are 5 1/2 Circular Saw Blades Cheaper Than 6 1/2 Circular Saw Blades?

Yes, typically 5 1/2 circular saw blades are more affordable compared to 6 1/2 circular saw blades. This price difference can be a significant consideration when it comes to blade replacements or building a tool collection on a limited budget.

Can A 6 1/2 Circular Saw Perform Tasks That A 5 1/2 Circular Saw Can’t?

Yes, the 6 1/2 circular saw’s larger blade size enables it to make deeper cuts and handle thicker materials more effectively. It offers greater versatility and cutting capacity compared to the 5 1/2 circular saw.

Can I Use The Same Blades For Both The 5 1/2 And 6 1/2 Circular Saws?

No, the blades for these two saws are not interchangeable due to the difference in their sizes. Each saw requires specific blade sizes designed to fit and function properly. Make sure to use the correct blade size for your specific circular saw model.

Can I Upgrade From A 5 1/2 Circular Saw To A 6 1/2 Circular Saw Later On?

Yes, you can upgrade to a 6 1/2 circular saw in the future if your projects require it. It’s common for woodworkers to expand their tool collection as their skills and project complexity grow. Just make sure to choose a saw that aligns with your evolving needs and consider any additional accessories or blades that may be required.


In conclusion, when comparing the 5 1/2 and 6 1/2 circular saws, the choice depends on factors such as cutting capacity, usability, weight, material versatility, and budget. The 5 1/2 circular saw is often favored by beginners due to its greater maneuverability and lighter weight. 

However, the 6 1/2 circular saw offers deeper cuts and wider material versatility. Consider your specific needs and skill level to determine the best option for your woodworking or DIY projects.

Md Meraj

This is Meraj. I’m the main publisher of this blog. Wood Working Advisor is a blog where I share wood working tips and tricks, reviews, and guides. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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