Cordless Circular Saw Reviews: Best Portable, Skill and Others
A cordless circular saw is a wonderful thing…
Being able to make cuts without having to manage a messy cord that can get tangled or twisted is a huge benefit. No more worrying about the darn cord – you can just focus on getting the perfect cut.
These days, there’s a ton of great options when it comes to choosing the best cordless circular saw. Technology improvements mean battery life is getting longer, and power production is increasing.
Some of the options are truly impressive – the Dewalt DCS575B, for example, blows other saws out of the water with its massive battery life. This one really is like using a corded saw. Except, of course, you have the freedom that only portable circular saws can give you.
There’s also plenty of choice for mid-tier and budget saws – so no matter what your need, our guide will help you choose the best cordless circular saw for you!
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Considerations before buying
The considerations when choosing a cordless circular saw are much the same as when you’re choosing a corded one, except for in a few areas.
The common points of consideration are the size, power, ergonomics, durability, accuracy, and safety.
Some of these can be ticked off fairly quickly – size, power, and safety should be easy to see at a glance.
The size and power will be listed in the product details, and you can generally just take those at face value.
Likewise with safety – circular saws are required by law to meet certain safety standards (such as having a blade guard), so you can generally be sure that whatever you choose will have the necessary circular saw safety features. Although, some do come with extra bells and whistles in this department.
These other considerations for ergonomics, durability, and accuracy are discussed fully in our main best circular saw buying guide – so be sure to check that out for more details.
In this article, we’ll just discuss the considerations that are specific to a cordless circular saw.
Why buy a cordless circular saw?
If you’re even considering a cordless circular saw, then you probably already know that the main benefits are flexibility and convenience.
With a cordless saw, you, of course, are not restrained to only using it within a certain distance of a power outlet.
Gone are the days of messy extension cables and awkward positionings with plain old corded circular saws.
Having no cord is arguably safer too, since there’s no chance of it getting in the way of your cutting, or getting tangled in something.
But having no cord also comes with tradeoffs, and these are important to consider before choosing.
You have probably at some point experienced the discomfort of lack of power in a cordless saw.
It’s really frustrating… trying to make a cut, but the darn thing just feels like it lacks the welly to get the job done.
This is one of the main concerns when buying a cordless circular saw – will it have enough power?
Running on a battery, it’s easy to see how there might be a lack of power. Or perhaps a “fall off” of power, as the battery’s charge gets lower.
Thankfully, battery technology has come on a long way in the past decade or two.
These days you’ll find that most batteries in cordless saws from the reputable manufacturers will produce plenty of power.
So, let’s assume the battery can produce adequate power…
The next thing to consider is for how long it can provide that power.
You don’t want a saw with a battery that’s going to be running dead every 20 minutes – what a nightmare.
This varies a lot from saw to saw, but the top of the line cordless saws like the Dewalt DCS575b Flexvolt give you a ton of cutting time on each charge.
As an example, the Flexvolt averages 320 2×4 cuts on a single charge. That’s a lot of cutting!
Cheaper cordless saws won’t give you this much on each charge, so that’s worth keeping in mind.
And of course, it’s always worth remembering that if you don’t have more than one battery, there’s going to eventually be some waiting time between your cuts no matter how long the battery charge lasts.
That’s a downside of a cordless circular saw – the fact that eventually, you’re going to have to stop working and give the battery time to charge.
Easily solved by having more than one battery, of course.
Cordless circular saws are more expensive than corded.
That’s just the way it is.. They’re more complex tools, and there’s more research & development required to make a really great cordless saw, with battery tech being crucially important.
If you’re on a tight budget, it’s probably better than you stick to a corded circular saw unless you have some specific need for cordless (like having to make cuts in out-of-the-way places).
With that said, there are also budget options available for cordless circular saws that will serve you quite well!
To conclude our considerations…
Go check out the considerations section of our main best circular saw guide to get a general overview of what you need to know when buying a circular saw.
Aside from that, you should know that cordless saws are much more convenient, but that there are some tradeoffs with potentially less power than corded, and also having to recharge the battery.
Now let’s move on to our specific product suggestions.
Cordless Circular Saws – Buying Guide
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Our choices are designed to include a few different types of cordless circular saws, each of which are great choices for different reasons.
The fantastic Flexvolt from Dewalt comes out on top, and with good reason – Their slogan for the saw is “power of corded, freedom of cordless” and that is indeed what’s delivered.
This is the ultimate aspiration of every cordless circular saw – but, many fail to deliver in some way. Either through lack of power, lacking battery life, or some other fault.
The Dewalt DCS575b Flexvolt however, does everything right – But, it also comes with a hefty price tag worthy of its amazing quality.
If you don’t need the absolute best cordless circular saw (or simply aren’t willing to pay for it), then some of the other options on the list will be more suitable.
The Milwaukee and Makita are also both excellent options, and come in at a more mid-tier price point. There will of course be some tradeoff compared to the Flexvolt, but that’s to be expected when there’s such a huge price gap.
The last two options on our list (the Porter-Cable and Black + Decker) are our budget entries.
These will have significant drawbacks in terms of features and qualities, but they’re also much cheaper than all the other options.
The Black + Decker is usually the cheapest option by far – but, it’s also worth noting that it’s only a 5.5 inch saw, which is smaller than the rest on the list. There will of course also be other drawbacks, as compared to other options.
Now, let’s get into the details….
Why we chose the Dewalt DCS575B Flexvolt
This saw from Dewalt is pretty new, only being released during the middle of 2016.
What that means is that it has the latest technology and developments from the crack team in the Dewalt research and development labs – and it certainly shines through.
The reason this cordless saw clenched the top spot on our list is simply because it does everything you could possibly want from a cordless saw, and does it better than all of the other options.
As mentioned above, adequate power output should be one of your main concerns when considering any cordless circular saw.
Thankfully, Dewalt has nailed the power output with their Flexvolt technology.
The Flexvolt batteries can be used on many cordless Dewalt tools, and they automatically swap voltages depending on the requirements of the tool you’re using – they can run at either 60v or 120v.
The output is great, running at 5,250 rpm and with plenty of power give you smooth and clean cuts every time.
In terms of power output, you won’t be able to tell the difference between using the DCS575B or a corded alternative.
Of course, it takes more than adequate power to make for a great circular saw.
This is a full sized 7-¼ inch saw which comes with a fairly standard set of specs in terms of it’s cutting capabilities.
It’s got a 90-degree cutting depth of 2-¼ inches, and an option to bevel between 90 and 45 degrees. The max cutting depth at 45 degrees is 1-⅝ inches.
Ease of use
Being from Dewalt, you can be certain the Dewalt DCS575b is both easy and comfortable to use day in and day out.
As this is a cordless circular saw, you of course get the first big ease of use upgrade in that you won’t have to be messing around with cords and outlets while making cuts.
Dewalt goes above and beyond to make your life even easier though.
The grip handles have a wonderful design, and fit very comfortably in your hands while pushing the saw through cuts. The molded rubber feels great in your hand.
It’s also easy to make cutting depth and bevel adjustments – small but sturdy adjustment levers make both a breeze.
A circular isn’t going to be much good if it can’t produce accurate cuts – but of course, the Dewalt does produce accurate cuts, and it makes it easy.
The ease of use features mentioned above are the first things that make it easy to achieve accurate cuts consistently.
Beyond that, the line of sight to your cutting line is great – this is not the case with all circular saws, and it can be really frustrating.
Dewalt takes this sightline visibility further by adding an LED light to provide an even more clear view.
The bevel and height adjustment locking mechanisms are also very important when it comes to accuracy – but again, Dewalt is well known for doing this stuff right. They always nail these details and it’s the same story this time with the DCS575B.
The shoe is made of high-grade aluminum – both for durability and accuracy.
Finally, the fantastic power output helps to keep your cuts clean and accurate every single time.
Pair this with a great circular saw blade, and the DCS575B will make it easy to produce professional-grade accurate every time!
Dewalt uses an example of 2×4 cutting, and says that batteries on average will let you make 340 2×4 cuts before having to recharge.
You’ll have to use that example to estimate how much cutting you can do of other tasks.
But, whatever the case – you get a lot of cutting out of each battery charge.
Certainly a lot more than most (if not all) of the other option available.
A strong and sturdy tool comes from both the materials used and the build quality.
Dewalt has been making quality power tools for a long time, and they know what they’re doing in this department.
The DCS575B is designed to take all the knocks and bumps that come from daily use on a jobsite.
Who’s It For
The Dewalt DCS575B is a great choice for professionals, homeowners, and hobbyists alike.
For certain hobbyists and homeowners it may be overkill – if you’re only doing small jobs, you probably don’t need to spend this much on a cordless circular saw.
But if you’re tackling big job like decking, cutting 2×4’s or other large pieces of stock, and so on, then this will be a great option.
The usefulness of this being a battery circular saw is worth mentioning yet again. Both professionals and other users will know the inconvenience and safety hazard of using a corded circular saw, and having to manage the cord during your cut.
If you’re on a tight budget, this isn’t the circular saw for you. In that case, you should check out some of the budget options on our list.
A significant downside is the price – not only is the saw itself pretty expensive as compared to other cordless circular saws, but the batteries are also sold separately and are pretty pricey too.
Of course, you get what you pay for… and these are top of this is a stop of the line cordless circular saw, so the steep price is to be expected.
Heavy users will absolutely get their money’s worth – but if this is too steep for you, definitely consider some of the other great options on our list.
Overall, the Dewalt DCS575B is a great cordless circular saw that will serve you well with clean and precise cuts for years to come.
A truly wonderful investment that you’ll feel paying off every time you have the pleasure of using this great saw.
The mid-tier options
If you’re looking for a good mix of quality and affordability, you would do well to take a slight step down from the DCS575B and consider some of the mid tier options.
Both of these are great saws – they’re powerful, accurate, and durable just like the Dewalt.
However, the major difference between the Dewalt and these is the battery.
The Dewalt features the Flexvolt battery technology, which really sets it apart from these mid tier options.
As compared to the Dewalt, you’ll notice the Milwaukee and Makita go through battery life very quickly. This is generally to be expected from cordless circular saws – in fact, short battery life is actually the norm with these saws.
So, these aren’t bad saws. They just don’t have all the bells and whistles sported by the Dewalt.
They are both significantly cheaper, however – Either is an option worth considering for professionals, homeowners, and hobbyists who don’t mind a shorter battery life in return for a cheaper price.
The budget options
The most important thing to note about the two budget options on our list is that they’re smaller than the other higher-ranked saws.
This might be fine for your needs, just keep in mind that a smaller blade also means a smaller cutting capacity.
Both of these come from lower quality manufacturers, so don’t expect too much from them.
You can generally assume that they’ll be slightly worse than the mid tier and high tier options in most ways.
The handles won’t be as comfortable and easy to use, there’ll be less power, the battery won’t last as long, and the overall build quality won’t be anywhere near the same level as the other options.
The upside of course, is that these saws are much cheaper than both the mid and high tier options.
These probably won’t be a good choice for professionals.
But, for homeowners and hobbyists who perhaps use a circular saw infrequently or only for small jobs, it’s worth considering a budget option.
And of course as always, the main benefit of a budget option is keeping that price down.
So, there you have it – all you need to know when it comes to choosing the best cordless circular saw for you.
The Dewalt DCS575B in undoubtedly the best choice. It features a lot of new technology as it was only released in 2016 – and, it’ll be interesting to see if some of the other manufacturers can catch up as they roll out new saws in the coming years.
For a mix of quality and price, the mid tier options will serve you very well.
And if price is your absolute main concern, then check out the last two budget options on our list. Do keep in mind that the abilities of these saws are much less than the mid and high tier options – but that’s the price you pay for keeping the actual price down.
Whatever the case, I hope this guide has helped you choose the best cordless skill saw for your needs!