Want a quick answer? We believe that DEWALT DC390B is the best cordless circular saw you can buy. Read on to find out why.
Today’s lifestyle demands speed and efficiency. Those demands find a way to creep into the workshop as well and that is why battery-powered tools are such a nice addition to your kit.
Circular saws are a critical power tool for woodworkers and the best cordless circular saw products offer you convenience and productivity.
Top-Rated battery-powered circular Saws compared
Who Needs a small Cordless Circular Saw?
If my late grandfather were around today he would say everyone needs one of these power tools. I recall his corded circular saw being brought out for almost every project he made in his shop, and a circular saw was one of the first purchases I made when I started on my woodworking journey.
A battery-powered circular saw would be one of my first purchases today if I was just starting out. There are times that a DIY homeowner, construction worker, or even a woodworker needs to take their tool to the work instead of the work to the tool. Battery power offers even more range as you are not limited by an outlet location or the length of the power cord that you have.
Construction workers will find cuts that they need to make that can not be brought to a miter or table saw. Homeowners could find themselves needing a power tool to cut through the wood planks on the backyard deck they are building.
In the shop, woodworkers may need to cut larger pieces for furniture that are too large to control on a table saw. A circular saw is also great for breaking down panels into a more manageable size.
Battery Powered Cutting
The stand out feature, for both the good as well as the not-so-good, on a battery-powered circular saw will be the battery system.
Today’s battery of choice in the market is the lithium-ion battery. These batteries are able to generate the most power with less material.
Those who have worked with cordless power tools for years can attest to how much smaller and lighter the batteries are as well as how much more power they provide over other platforms used in the last part of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st.
Lithium-ion battery packs can also handle being charged over and over without degrading. Modern battery pack designs are able to be charged quickly and they can provide power for longer periods of time.
A note about voltage
Most rechargeable circular saws run on battery platforms in the 18 to the 20-volt range. You should note that the 20-volt batteries usually indicate the number as its maximum rating.
Those batteries actually run nominally at 18-volts. Most 18-volt products simply list the nominal rating and are, therefore, running nominally at 18-volts.
Kit vs Tool Only
Another thing to keep in mind when you are researching battery operated circular saws is how they are packaged.
Products that come as a kit will include at least one battery (if not two) and a charger. They are fit into a hard case or tote bag and may include extra accessories with the purchase.
Items sold as “tool only” do not include accessories of carrying cases. In fact, they do not include a battery or charger (which needs to be purchased separately).
Many manufacturers sell tools this way as they offer various cordless power tools that share the same battery platform. This allows customers to share batteries between their cordless tools, which can actually save them money if they buy other power tools from the manufacturer with the same voltage requirements.
Consider this when buying a cordless circular saw
- Blade capacity is something to keep in mind. The most common blade size found on circular saws is 7.25-inches. Many cordless circular saws on the market are sold with a blade capacity of 6.50-inches. That will still cut two-inch lumber with one pass but anything smaller than this may require two cuts to get through a 2 x 4.
- Another cutting feature you should consider is beveling adjustments. Most cordless circular saws have a base plate that can be adjusted to various angles to make a bevel cut. You will have more versatility with greater angle adjustments, and positive stops on the gauge make adjustments quick.
- If you plan on making repeated cuts or will be cutting throughout the day, then ergonomic additions are a must. Proper angles on the handles make holding the saw natural and should prevent cramps or fatigue. Cushioning makes holding the saw easy and can help to reduce the vibration transferred from the saw to your hands and arms.
- Safety features are always important but they are a must for the circular saw. The large blade in this power tool can severe a hand in an accident. Safety features like an electric brake will help stop the blade from spinning once the trigger is released.
- Finally, your budget should be a consideration. A cordless circular saw with all of the best features and power will cost more than a product that has few built-in features. Finding a balance between your needs and your wallet is something that only you can decide on.
Best Cordless Circular Saw Reviews
- 3,700 RPM for fast rip cuts and cross cuts
- High strength magnesium shoe and upper guard provides increased durability
- Fan-cooled motor with replaceable brushes for maximum power and durability; tool only, no battery
Those who know me are aware of how much I like good customer service, and DeWALT offers some of the best in the business. They provide clear paperwork with the purchase. You are provided with one of the better warranties on power tools and can register online or through the mail.
The company has a strong presence online with additional phone support as well as certified dealers and repair shops across North America.
- It generates good blade speed. The maximum rating for the saw is 3,700 RPMs, a top speed that is sufficient for most jobs a beginning of intermediate woodworker would need;
- This product is built well. I like the extra durability offered by the use of magnesium for the shoe and the blade guard;
- As a tool only purchase, it has a nice price point. If you already have other DeWALT power tools that use 18-volt batteries, you will save a bundle here.
- This is a tool only offering on this product. That means that the real savings from the lower price point will only be good for those who already have other 18-volt DeWALT tools they can swap batteries from. Otherwise, you need to buy a battery and charger;
- This is a 6.5-inch circular saw. You can still cut through a 2 x 4 with one cut at 45-degrees, but it might take two passes if you are cutting at the 50-degree bevel the adjustments provide you.
- Makita built motor delivers 3, 700 RPM for faster cutting and ripping through wood
- Heavy gauge, precision machined base for smooth, accurate cutting and added durability
- 50 degree maximum bevel cutting capacity
This 6.5-inch cordless circular saw offers plenty of control for the operator. That control starts with the compact design and blade that is located to the left of the housing. Right-handed users will be able to see the cutline clearly.
It weighs only 7.3 pounds, a feature that will be appreciated if the saw is used for long periods of time to make repeated cuts.
It has an extremely smooth base plate. That will allow for very accurate registration between the saw and the wood’s surface. It also lets the plate move with less friction than a rougher casting can glide
- Its front gauge is easy to read. The black background allows the numbers and lines to stand out, making it easy to read when you are operating the saw;
- A front bevel control lever is easy to use. Unlike some products, this saw uses a small level that is easy to move and will hold once it is set;
- Smooth base plate reduces friction during cutting.
- The cushioning on the handle does not cover it completely. The rubberized grip is located only on the front half of the handle, leaving the portion that makes contact with the palm unprotected;
- Its secondary handle is too small. It is almost in the shape of a knob, and will not feel comfortable for users unless they have smaller hands.
Milwaukee M18 2630-20
- ELECTRONIC BRAKES will stop your blade quickly when you’re finished with your cut. You won’t need to waste time waiting around for the blade to slow down, so you can get back to work quickly
- SOFT GRIP HANDLE provides maximum comfort so you can work with precision in slippery environments
- BEVEL AND DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: You can adjust the depth up to 1 1/2" and the bevel up to 45 degrees, giving you a huge degree of versatility in your cuts
The design of this circular saw’s handle helps to provide both comfort and control. It is angled above the housing at a position that will allow you to naturally grip the handle in a working position. That will help reduce wear on your joints and help prevent your hand from cramping if you plan on making lots of cuts.
The soft-grip handle makes this circular saw easy to hold. The padding covers the majority of the handle, leaving only the trigger area uncovered. That padding also helps to reduce the transmission of vibrations generated by the motor as well as from the blade during cuts;
- It has electronic braking for the blade. This not only adds a safety element to this tool, but it will also make operations quicker as you don’t have to wait as long for the blade to stop before setting the tool down;
- This product includes a five-year or 2,000 charges warranty. This should provide some consumer confidence as Milwaukee Tools is an established company that is willing to back extended coverage like this;
- A soft-grip handle makes it easy to use the tool.
- The higher price for this “tool only” purchase seems a bit steep. I would expect this price on a 7.25-inch model but not on a circular saw that is only 6.5-inches;
- It weighs more than other models on this list. This was a bit surprising, considering the use of aircraft aluminum in the build.
- High torque motor 5-1/2-inch. Fast cutting blade for a variety of cuts
- Tool-free depth of cut allows for easy depth adjustments
- Bevel adjustment with detents at 45 and 90 degrees
This 5.5-inch circular saw is powered by a high torque motor. The higher torque ratio means that you will get more power through the cut than you would for a similar-sized product. The higher torque also means less spin, which usually helps to extend the life of your power tools.
- This product can be adjusted for depth without the use of tools. The tool-free adjustment setup allows for a faster workflow between cuts that you make;
- It has positive stops, or detents, at both 45 and 90-degrees. These are two of the most popular angles and the detents let you move to them quickly, saving you time as you switch to or from these angles;
- It has a handle design to complement the battery position. The smaller housing is not thrown off balance with the battery due to how the handle is elongated for balance.
- The blade capacity is a bit small. This product is rated at 5.5-inches for blade size, which limits the thickness of material that it can cut through with one pass. It will be even more limiting once you consider it is even thinner when making beveled cuts with this saw;
- The 12 T carbide blade is not the best choice for crosscuts. A lower tooth count is great for rip cuts, but this blade will not produce clean results on cuts across the grain.
- High-Performance Motor delivers 4000 RPM's for aggressive cutting
- 6-1/2" Carbide Tooth Blade delivers a 2-1/8' cutting capacity
- Beveling Shoe pivots up to 50 degrees
PORTER-CABLE has designed this cordless saw to be operated from almost directly overhead. This is due to the handle position that is placed higher on the housing than what is seen on other circular saws. This position can help you to use your body to keep the saw moving correctly with longer cuts through things like plywood sheets.
- It has a maximum RPM rating of 4,000 with no load. That is faster than most products reviewed here and will give plenty of speed to the blades you use for most materials;
- An over-molded handle provides complete coverage. In fact, this material extends to the peak of the handle and surrounds the safety switch as well;
- This product is lightweight. At 6.5-pound, this cordless circular saw is one of the lightest on the list and that is something you would notice after a day-long cutting session.
- The plastic knob used to adjust the bevel angle has a bit to be desired. It is not made from the most durable materials and is not as easy to loosen or tighten as other designs are;
- The handle is at an awkward angle if you cut from behind the saw. If you are used to working farther back from the saw as you cut, this handle may take some getting used to.
Ryobi One P505
- GRIPZONE OVERMOLD: The handles of this power tool are lined with a rubber mold. This increases friction between your hands and the tool, improving handling in most conditions
- TRANSPARENT LOWER GUARD: The polyurethane blade guard is clear, so you can get maximum visibility on your work while you make your cuts
- ADJUSTABLE BEVEL: You can adjust the foot of this cordless circular saw up to 50 degrees to cut at a variety of angles for different applications
This is a circular saw designed for light-duty and smaller projects, including molding and panel work. Its 5.5-inch blade can move at 4,700 RPMs maximum without load. A weight of fewer than five pounds makes it easy to control as you make cuts anywhere that the saw will fit.
- The battery placement keeps it out of the way while you cut. By mounting the battery on the side, Ryobi has made a design that keeps the battery away from the surface of the wood being cut;
- It has a lower blade guard that is clear. This allows you the best possible view of your, unlike lower guards that are impossible to see through;
- White lines and numbers are used on black metal. This allows you to see the bevel readings and width gauge readings even under lower light conditions, unlike markings that do not contrast on the gauges.
- The materials used in the housing feel thin. They are used to balance weight with protection, but these parts will likely not last as long as other composites might;
- There is not a lot of clearance between the handle and the top blade guard. That could be difficult for users with larger hands or fingers as they may rub against the guard while holding the saw.
Which Saw Ran Circles Around The Others?
All of the tools reviewed here came without batteries, so the comparisons, for the most part, can be based on the tool and not the power platform. With that being said, the DEWALT DC390B Cordless Circular Saw represents the best cordless circular saw on the list.
3,700 RPMs is not the fastest blade speed on the list, but it is a top range that will fit most users’ needs. It is a 6.5-inch blade, but you should still be able to cut through a 2 x piece of lumber at a 45-degree angle. Speaking of angles, this saw is able to adjust to 50-degrees, a range that most novice and experienced hobbyists will appreciate.
It has plenty of ergonomic comforts as the handle has a proper angle on it and is adequately covered with rubberized gripping material.
Finally, you can have the saw a great price, especially if you already own other DeWALT tools that run on the 18-volt platform!
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