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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.