2018 Best in DIY – Cordless Circular Saws
We’ve used cordless circular saws for years and love them. With battery and motor technology improving rapidly, we wondered if the latest generation of saws was approaching the performance of corded models. So we put them to the test. Here’s what we learned.
Weighing only 6.5 lbs., this is one of the lightest cordless circular saws we tried. It was easy to control with either hand and easy to handle on a vertical surface. Its shoe isn’t very large, but that’s what you’d expect from such a super-compact saw.
*Editors’ Choice 2018 — Best Value
NOTE: Prices shown for cordless circular saws do not include battery and charger.
This saw has all the features we like plus the extra capacity of a 7-1/4-in. blade. And if you’re used to a corded saw, the blade is on the usual side—the right.
* Editors’ Choice 2018 — Best Overall
This saw has plenty of power. Equipped with a 60/20V battery, it also has a long run-time—which you may need, because this saw will perform well on virtually any job. The blade is on the right, the same side as on most corded saws, so you’ll feel right at home when you use it.
*Editors’ Choice 2018 — Best Overall
This saw differs from the others in several ways: It takes two 18V batteries and delivers awesome power and exceptional run-time. Of all the cordless circular saws we tried, it performed most like a corded saw. It’s also large and heavy. It’s a great tool for big, tough jobs, but maybe not your best choice for standard duty.
* Editors’ Choice 2018 — In a class by itself
This saw is light in weight, so it’s easy to maneuver, and it has a relatively large shoe. The battery we used has a short run-time, though, and the motor is on the slow side.
Featuring a heavy-duty aluminum shoe and a dust blower, this saw performs well in cutting 3/4-in. plywood and miters. You have to remove the battery to check its charge, however.
This was the least expensive saw we tried, but it still did a decent job of cutting through 2x4s and ripping plywood. We did have trouble installing the blade, though.
Rigid R8652, R8653
The 52 has a brush motor and weighs 1-1/2 lbs. more than the brushless 53. These are the least expensive 7-1/4-in. saws that have a fuel gauge, a work light and an easy-to-read depth scale. Both cordless circular saw models have plenty of power. Their two handles are offset, which can feel awkward if you’re a lefty.
This cordless circular saw is 1 lb. lighter than 7-1/4-in. cordless circular saws with the same power and features—brushless motor, fuel gauge, work light and nice depth scale. It’s the best 6-1/2-in. model we tested. The blade is on the left side, like on all the other 6-1/2-in. saws.
Equipped with a fast motor and an extra-large 20V battery, this saw cruised through our 3/4-in. plywood and 45-degree miter tests. The cordless saw’s battery has an extra-long run-time, but the larger size makes the tool heavier than most other 6-1/2-in. saws.
This lightweight, compact saw is great for 3/4-in. material, but it packs only 12 volts and tends to bog down in thicker stuff. You can’t beat this cordless circular saw for one-handed sawing in awkward places, however. Its run-time is short, but this saw has a nice set of features: a brushless motor, a fuel gauge and a work light.
The Cordless Circular Saws Test
We crosscut a 2×8 and ripped 3/4-in. fir plywood, tracking cutting speed and run-time for each saw. For the toughest test, we tilted the blade of each saw to 45 degrees and crosscut bevels on 2x10s.