Best 20V Circular Saw

Circular saws have a place in every tool belt, whether you are a professional or a weekend warrior. However, not every job allows the convenience of an outlet powered tool.

In this instance you need a an electric saw. Unfortunately, electric power tools are not known as being top performer, though some are better than others.

Figuring out which are suited for the job can be difficult. That is why we have put together a buyer’s guide and a list of the best 20v circular saws.

Uses of 20V Circular Saws

There are several benefits for a 20-volt cordless circular saw including remote job sites, lack of electricity locations, and the freedom of not having a cord restrict you.  These saws have the same uses as a regular circular saw. 

The following are the standard features that will help you in deciding what is the best circular saw for woodworking.

20-Volt Circular Saw Features

All power tools have a dizzying array of qualities and features that can make distinguishing the best one difficult. Moreover, even for the factors that are most important, like cutting power and safety, numerous qualities often work in conjunction to determine the effectiveness, but different manufacturers provide different degrees of each.

This can make figuring out which cordless circular saw is actually better than the other a nightmare. That is why we have put together this best 20-volt circular saw buying guide to walk you through the most important factors and identify which are more meaningful and what you should look for.

1

Power

The power of a circular is traditionally represented by volts, however that is only half of the story. While the voltage rating will tell you the maximum power of the motor, it does not inherently provide the torque the motor will generate which ultimately determines cutting power.

If the circular saw is powered by an outlet, amps will also play an important factor in determining power. Regardless, one shorthand specification that can also shed light on a saws relative power is rotations per minute (rpms).

The fast the blade spins, the easier it is to start and maintain a cut. This is not a definite tell either as many motors will have high rpms, but due to low amps or volts, not be able to maintain that speed during the actual cut.

Still, 3,500 rpms is the floor in what you are looking for, with around 4,500 being a good middle ground. Ultimately, it is a combination of volts, amps, and rpms that determine the cutting power.

2

Ease of Use

The factors that determine ease of use will also often impact comfort. However, some qualities that impact ease of use are limited strictly to the function of the saw.

For example, the process of changing a saw blade will not greatly impact the comfort level of using the saw but will save you a headache if well-designed. This is often dependent on when the saw was made.

Older saws will often require you to use other tools to loosen bolts and take apart the saw to change the blade. However, more recent saws will often come with latches or some other fastening mechanism to allow tool less blade changing.

3

Comfort

This has a couple qualities which will heavily determine this factor. The first is the easiest to gauge: weight.

All you have to do is pick the saw up to get a sense whether or not that weight will be something you could use for hours on end or not. However, you should keep in mind that you will not actually be carrying the saw’s full weight when in use as it will generally be somewhat supported by the material being cut.

Another factor that influences the comfort is the trigger. Some tools use a two-point trigger which requires you to hold down a trigger and another button or other part simultaneously for the tool to function. While this increases safety, it can make wielding the tool for extended periods tiresome.

Finally, the shape of the handle itself will factor into the overall comfort of the saw. Fundamentally, a handle with an ergonomical design will often improve long-term comfort, but generally, your hand size compared to the handle’s size will be more important.

4

Safety Features

This is often seen as a bit of a give and take to those who use power tools professionally. Of course, you want the adequate amount and type of safety features to prevent injury. However, overloading a tool with safety features can make using it for extended periods a frustrating experience.

The ideal safety feature for professionals is the electric blade brake. The blade brake brings the blade to an immediate halt once you release the trigger. With the brake, the blade will continue spinning until its momentum runs out.

Another solid safety feature that does not impede extended use is a safety interlock. Similar in effect as a gun’s safety, it is usually a switch or button that prevents the trigger from starting the saw until deactivated.

5

Blade Qualities

This does not refer to the cutting quality of the blade, which is its own separate product, as much as it relates to the different types of blades that the saw can employ and the functions it can perform with them. The most important factor of the saw’s blade will be its size.

Most saws are designed to use a specific sized blade, however many saws provide a bit of wiggle room. The more blade sizes the saw can accommodate, the more versatility the blade has. Moreover, this also makes purchasing new blades easier as you have more options to choose from.

6

Extra Features

There are a slew of extra features to choose from, and many of them can make your saw more convenient. However, few of them improve the overall quality of your cutting experience. As such, while these features may break a tie between two equally good products, they should not be the determining factor in and of themselves.

Still, some notable features can include a dust port which prevents the sawdust from impeding your line of sight or gunking up the blade and motor. Another set of features that will make life much easier when cutting are various scales and guides.

A depth scale allows you to see how deep the blade is cutting. This is especially useful if you are making plunge cuts though loses its purpose for straight rip cuts.

what is the best 20v circular saw

The Best 20V Circular Saw

Here's a brief summary of the best cordless circular saw 20V on the market today. We'll follow up with detailed 20V circular saw reviews to make your decision easier.

  • 5,250 RPM's
  • 90 degree cut depth of 2 1/4"
  • 7 pounds with battery
  • 50 degree bevel
  • 6 1/2" blade
  • 4,000 RPM's
  • 90 degree cut depth of 2 1/8"
  • 6.5 pounds with battery
  • 6 1/2" blade
  • 5,000 RPM's
  • 90 degree cut depth of 2 1/2"
  • 9 pounds with battery
  • 7 1/4" blade
  • 3,700 RPM's
  • 90 degree cut depth of 1 7/8"
  • 6 pounds with battery
  • 45 degree bevel
  • 5 1/2" blade

Top 20V Circular Saw Reviews

DeWalt DCS391B 20 Volt Max Li-Ion Circular Saw

dewalt cordless circular saw review

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The DeWalt 20V circular saw is a heavy hitter in the professional power tool market regularly noted for producing some of the best tools along with Makita, Milwaukee, and to a lesser degree Bosch. In the 20V circular saw market, the DeWalt brings its “A” game.

First, and most importantly, the DeWalt delivers where it matters most: power. With a blistering 5,250 rpms, the DeWalt can slice through 2x4’s quicker than the competition.

Keep in mind, there is yet to be a battery operated circular saw that can perform as well as a corded saw. Still, with 420 maximum watts out, the DeWalt does a fairly solid job in comparison.

Unfortunately, all of this cutting power has to come somewhere, and that source is finite for battery powered saws. This leads to a situation where the DeWalt cordless circular saw will regularly drain its battery quicker than most of its competitors, so it is advised to bring a charging station and a spare battery if your job will require extended use.

One of the best features of the DeWalt is that the parts housing and guiding the blade are metal. The shoe is made from magnesium which provides protective strength in case the tool is dropped without sacrificing weight.

Unfortunately, the DeWalt DCS391B is not one of the lighter models on the market, coming in at 7 pounds, though it is not excessively heavy either. One surprising omission is the absence of a brushless motor.

Pros

  • Powerful 460 MWO, 5250 RPM motor
  • High strength and lightweight magnesium shoe
  • Only 7 pounds with battery

Cons

  • The batteries drain fairly quickly
  • The motor isn't brushless which impacts durability

20v circular saw reviews

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Porter Cable 20V circular saw skirts the line between professional and consumer, but ultimately, it is not yet able to make the transition from the minor to the big leagues. Still, this does not mean it is a poor circular saw.

For the consumer market and weekend warriors, the Porter Cable is a solid addition providing everything you need without going above and beyond. For example, the 4,000 rpms is better than the bare minimum, but it still leaves you without enough power to tackle truly professional jobs.

The same could be said about its maximum blade depth of 2 ⅛” at 90 degrees which will just barely cut through 2x4s--one of the most common and basic units of lumber used. This means you will have to take your time is you plan on using the Porter Cable to build that deck you have been wanting.

Another clue to its consumer market appeal is its focus on comfort. In this respect, the Porter Cable PCC660B is excellent, and this should not been seen as a knock against it. However, at 6.5 pounds with a battery and an exceptionally well-designed grip and over handle, it seems clear that Porter Cable expected the user to either take their time, necessitating the need of a more comfortable than most design, or be unaccustomed to heavier tools that perform better.

Pros

  • Good value for weekend warriors
  • The handle and over handle are comfortable
  • 6.5 pounds with a battery is pretty light

Cons

  • 4,000 RPM's is adequate, but not as good as we like
  • The safety lever is awkward to use

best 20v cordless circular saw

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Milwaukee 20V circular saw is known as one of the best producers of power tools for professionals in the industry. However, most professional power tools are corded to ensure maximum power and hassle-free extended use.

It seems that Milwaukee has decided to focus exclusively in that realm as their electric circular saw is an okay product but not a great value. As the most expensive product on the list, you would expect the Milwaukee to perform the best as well.

Unfortunately, this saw does not even push 18 volts which ultimately affects its cutting power. Granted, the blade spins at an excellent 5,000 rpms, but the torque when under load will leave a bit to be desired.

However, this reduced voltage does at least allow the Milwaukee to provide a solid battery life for extended use. The only problem is that at 9 pounds with the battery, the Milwaukee feels like a hulking beast in your hands.

That being said, the Milwaukee 2731-20 does provide a few advantages to professionals over the DeWalt. First, the motor is brushless which not only extends the lifespan of the saw--something vital to professionals--but ensures that motor failure due to dust contamination is at a minimum.

Moreover, the Milwaukee uses the largest blade out of any saw on the list at 7 ¼”. This allows you to cut deeper than the other options and provides versatility while on the jobsite.

Pros

  • 7 1/4" blade diameter provides a greater maximum depth cut
  • 5,000 RPM's without load is great
  • Brushless motor increases the durability

Cons

  • Is actually only 18 volts which impacts the torque
  • No overmold grip for added control and comfort

cordless circular saws

Quality

Price

Our Rating

The Black & Decker 20V circular saw has developed a bit of a rocky reputation over the years, and this entry does nothing to alleviate that trend. AS such, this saw is limited exclusively to the consumer market and professionals need not apply.

First, in terms of raw cutting power, the Black & Decker produces the least rpms at 3,700. While this technically passes the grade and even inches beyond the 3,500 minimum, it is not a comforting thought.

As if the absence of solid cutting power was not enough, the paltry 5 ½” blade’s maximum cutting depth of 1 ⅞” is simply insufficient for bigger jobs. If you want to build a bookshelf or birdhouse, then this saw is more than adequate. If you have plans to remodel your home, this tool cannot even cut many of the basic building supplies required.

That being said, if you simply need a quick and easy tool for smaller jobs, the Black & Decker BDCCS20B is a solid value. At 6 pounds with a battery and an ergonomic handle with sizable over handle, the Black & Decker can be used for hours on end without discomfort. The fact that it is the cheapest option only increases its value for its niche.

Pros

  • Lightest saw on the list at 6 pounds with battery
  • Least expensive on our list
  • Most comfortable to use for extended periods

Cons

  • 3,700 RPM's without load is just barely adequate
  • 5 1/2" blade is the smallest on our list

What is the Best 20V Circular Saw to Buy?

When choosing any circular saw, but especially an electric one, a single specification will generally stand out above the rest: cutting power. The purpose of the saw is to cut, so the saw with the best cutting power is often more effective overall.

In this regard, it is difficult to top the DeWalt. Since we have restricted our saw voltage to 20V, the next factor to incorporate is rpms. While the Milwaukee performs admirably, the DeWalt just edges it out with 250 more rpms without load.

Moreover, the Milwaukee is about 50 percent more expensive than the DeWalt. Ultimately, the DeWalt DCS391B is our favorite for the best 20V circular saw roundup due to the better overall value.


About the Author

Founder of Woodworking Fuel, proud father of two, happily married to a wonderful wife, and passionate about woodworking for a fulfilling hobby!

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