If you're a professional carpenter, or even a DIY-er, one tool that you need to have in your tool box is a cordless circular saw. It's one of the most common power tools, and if you have the right blades, you can cut wood, masonry, ceramic, and even steel.
There are lots of them on the market today with tons of features to make your projects easier, so it's important to know what features you prefer while you're working. Here are a few tips in what to look for in the best cordless circular saw, and a few reviews to help you start shopping.
Best Cordless Circular Saw Guide
When you're looking for the best cordless circular saw for the money, you need to know what features are available. Only then can you decide which features meet your needs the best, so you'll know which one is for you.
Important Circular Saw Fundamentals
Circular Saw Designs
- Sidewinder saws are the traditional circular saws that are the most commonly used. The motor on a sidewinder saw is found on the same axis as the blade, and blade is driven by the shaft that runs straight to the motor. In comparison to worm drive saws, the sidewinders are more compact and lightweight, and they can be used for most circular saw projects.
- Inline Saws, or worm drive saws, place their motors next to the saw blade at a right angle. Gears are used by the motor to increase the torque that is conveyed to the blade. Worm drive saws are usually quieter and longer, and they're a good saw for heavy duty use.
Circular Saw Power Sources
- Cordless circular saws are super convenient on the worksite, especially when having an extension cord can cause safety issues. They're usually smaller than a corded saw, so they work well in small spaces. These are great for cutting wood due to their battery power limits, although they can cut tougher materials, but that takes up a lot of power and kills the battery fast. Normal cordless saw sizes range from 5-3/8 to 6-1/2 inches.
- Corded circular saws are better for tougher jobs as they don’t have batteries that'll die quickly. A normal size for a corded saw is 7-1/4 inches, and they normally require an appropriate extension cord.
Circular Saw Features
The function of a circular saw is to make fast and straight crosscuts across a board or along the length of a board. Circular saws can also be used for bevel cuts. Basic features include the following...
- Blade Guard – When the saw is not in use, the blade guard covers the blade for safety, and it retracts to reveal the blade when you are ready to use it.
- Foot Plate – This is also called a shoe, and it keeps the saw steady up against the wood.
- Bevel Adjustment - This lets your foot plate move relative to the blade, and it is used to make bevel cuts.
- Bevel Capacity – This tells you the maximum bevel cut that your saw can make.
- Bevel Stops – These are presets that let you make fast adjustments for bevel cuts.
- Size - Diameters are used to classify circular saw sizes with 5-1/2 to 7-1/4 as the most common sizes.
- Blade Capacity – This is the capacity or maximum depth of cut that a saw can make. Basically, the larger your blade is, the deeper the cut you can make. Also, saws that have a smaller hold capacity are more lightweight and are easier to control.
- Electric Brakes – The brakes on a saw will reverse the electrical flow in the saw motor when you push the trigger release. When you reverse the electrical flow, you quickly stop the blade’s momentum in as much as two seconds. This feature stops the blade a lot faster than a saw that does not have this feature.
- Spindle or Shaft Lock – This makes blade changes a lot easier by immobilizing the blade and shaft.
- Laser Guides - Guides help increase your cutting accuracy by aiming a light beam onto your work area.
Circular Saw Blades
Different blades are used for different projects. Always make sure the blade you're purchasing is compatible with your saw when you're buying one. Here are a few tips on buying blades.
High-speed steel blades - These blades are stronger than a steel blade and also stays sharper longer.
Carbide-tipped blades – These have carbide tips that are attached to their teeth. They stay sharper longer than high-speed or steel, but they are more expensive.
Tile-cutting blades - These blades are specially designed tile-cutting blades used for cutting ceramic tile, and some of the better quality tile-cutting blades come with diamond-tipped blades.
Masonry blades - These are used on abrasive material like brick, concrete, cinder block and other masonry materials.
The Best Cordless Circular Saw
Here's a brief summary of the top cordless circular saws on the market today. We'll follow up with detailed cordless circular saw reviews to make your decision easier.
The Milwaukee 2630-20 Bare-Tool 18-Volt 6 1/2-Inch Circular Saw is very versatile, and it is ideal if you work on a wide variety of projects. It is an easy to use saw that gives you the power and durability of a corded saw.
The Porter Cable PCC660B 20V Max Lithium Bare 6 1/2-Inch Circular Saw has a lightweight and comfortable design that lessens worksite fatigue. It also comes with a 6 ½” carbine tooth blade that gives you 2 1/8” cutting capacity making the saw extremely versatile.
The Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 6-1/2" Circular Saw is a high performance cordless saw with a high-torque Makita built motor. It has a precise, heavy gauge machined base that makes accurate cuts at the worksite.
The Dewalt DCS391B 20V MAX 6-1/2" Circular Saw is another lightweight and durable saw with a high strength magnesium shoe. It also has a 6 1/2” carbide tipped blade that lets you cut two times the amount of material as its competitors.
The Ryobi ZRP506 ONE Plus 18V G4 Cordless Circular Saw was upgraded from earlier models, and it comes with a 24 Tooth Ultra-Thin kerf carbide-tipped blade to make fast, clean cuts. It also has a compact design for better handling, and it features Exactline Laser Technologies that automatically activates during use for improved cutting accuracy.
Top Cordless Circular Saw Reviews
What is the Best Cordless Circular Saw to Buy?
The winner of the Best Cordless Circular Saw Round Up is the Milwaukee 2630-20 Bare-Tool 18-Volt 6 1/2-Inch Circular Saw. It is very versatile, and it works well with a variety of projects including framing, finishing, electrical, plumbing, and carpentry.
It has a 3,500 RPM motor that is powerful enough to quickly cut through difficult materials, and magnesium upper and lower guards giving you increased durability by protecting the blade in case you drop it. The ergonomically designed, soft-grip handle gives you great balance and comfort while you cut.
The definite winner of the Best Cordless Circular Saw Round Up is the Milwaukee 2630-20 Bare-Tool 18-Volt 6 1/2-Inch Circular Saw.