7 Best Cordless Circular Saws 2019 – Battery Circular Saw Reviews

Circular saws are an invaluable tool in any serious woodworker’s collection, and choosing the right one for the job is essential.

Cordless circular saws are more mobile than corded versions and are often lighter and easier to manage – for smaller jobs, they can excel.

If you are interested in buying a cordless model but are a little confused by the range of available options, here is our guide to help you choose the best cordless circular saw for you.

The Best Cordless Circular Saw reviews of 2019

1. DEWALT DCS391B 20V MAX Li-Ion Cordless Circular Saw (Our Top Recommended)

 

DeWalt is among the most trusted brands in the world of North American power tools, and this 20V circular saw lives up to this reputation.

It offers an impressive 5,150 RPM, plenty of power and speed for almost any regular cutting jobs you might need it for. It also offers the ability to cut bevels of up to 50°, more than many comparable saws on the market. It features a 6 ½” carbide-tipped blade.

It has a strong magnesium shoe – this is a material that offers one of the best combinations of weight and durability, ensuring this tool will last a long time but is still not too heavy to use.

We particularly like the rubber over-molded comfort grip handle. This provides a high level of balance and control while also being very easy to use.

On the downside, the battery takes quite a while to recharge – if you need to work for longer periods without stopping, you might be better off buying a spare.

Another slight issue is with the safety switch. Although it is designed to prevent accidental starts, we are slightly worried that it is still possible to hit the safety and the “on” switch as you are carrying it – but you can remove all risk by taking out the battery when not in use.

All in all, a recommended tool from an established company and with a price tag that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Another great option.

What We Like

  • 5,150 RPM – plenty of power and speed for regular cutting jobs
  • Magnesium shoe – gives good combination of low weight and high strength
  • Can cut a 50° bevel – more than some competitors can offer
  • Rubber over-molded comfort grip – for increased balance and control
  • Low price point – a very reasonable price tag for a solid piece of kit

What We Don't Like

  • Takes time to charge – need to have a spare battery when working for longer periods
  • Safety and “on” switch can be flipped by mistake – better to carry with no battery

2. Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Circular Saw

 

This 18V cordless circular saw from Makita is powered by a Makita-made motor, producing 3,700 RPM. The blade measures 6 ½” and can be used to cut bevels of up to 50°. It’s cutting capacity is 2 ½”.

One of the big selling points with this unit is its weight – at only 7.3lbs, it is light and easy enough to manage for just about anyone. Despite this, it features a heavy gauge precision-machined base that is designed for smooth, accurate cutting and increased durability.

We like the ergonomic design with the rubberized soft grip handle, making it comfortable to use. Another positive is the short time it takes to charge the battery, minimizing the wait time between charges.

Having said that, it does tend to use the battery up quite quickly – if you need to work for longer periods, you will benefit from having a spare. It also lacks an electric brake, something that would have made a good addition to this saw.

Overall, this is a useful, practical and mobile tool from a well-respected brand. If you are looking for a cordless circular saw – and you also want great bang for your buck – this model from Makita should be high on your list of possibilities.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and easy to handle – weighs only 7.3lbs with the battery
  • Fast charge time – minimizes waiting between charges
  • Ergonomic design – rubberized soft grip handle for comfort
  • Heavy gauge precision-machined base – increases durability
  • Extremely reasonable price – represents great value for money

What We Don't Like

  • Short battery life – limited amount of use per charge
  • No electric brake – a feature that would have improved this saw

3. Ryobi P506 One+ Lithium Ion 18V Cordless Circular Saw

Ryobi P506 Cordless Circular Saw

Image: ryobitools

If you are looking for a reliable cordless circular saw at the budget end of the spectrum, this model from Ryobi should be of interest. It is powered by an 18V battery and features a 5 ½” carbide tipped blade that spins at 4,700 RPM, ideal for cutting almost any kinds of wood.

It has a comfortable over-molded handle that is easy to grip, giving you excellent balance and control, even in challenging conditions. It also boasts a laser guidance system that helps ensure you can achieve the straightest, cleanest cuts every time.

We particularly like the easy-access oversized knobs that make it easy to adjust the saw’s settings. It can cut a bevel of up to 50° and has a maximum depth of 1 9/16”.

At this low price point, there’s very little to complain about. We might mention that the blade guard seems to be made of relatively flimsy plastic – this will probably be the first part to get damaged. Also, it tends to throw up sawdust in the direction of the operator.

However, other than these minor issues, this is a dependable and extremely affordable tool. If you want a budget-friendly cordless circular saw mainly for home use, this could be worth checking out.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly option – one of the least expensive options available
  • Easy to grip – ergonomically-designed handle
  • Easy-access adjustment knobs – makes it quick and easy to change the configuration
  • Laser guidance system – helps ensure the most accurate cut possible
  • Can cut a 50° bevel – more than some other circular saws can offer

What We Don't Like

  • Flimsy guard – made of plastic and looks like the first part that might break
  • Throws up sawdust – can blow up debris into your face

4. BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Circular Saw (BDCCS20C)

 

This light and compact circular saw from Black+Decker is ideal for any of the smaller jobs you might need to take care of around your home. It includes a 5 ½” 12-tooth carbide blade and can cut anything from a 90° to a 45° angle.

We like the tool-free depth adjust that makes it quick and easy to adapt to the job in hand. It also offers very respectable battery life on each charge.

Having said that, once the battery runs down, it does take some time to charge up again – so if you need to work for longer periods, you might be better off purchasing a backup to allow you to continue working.

Also, bear in mind that this is not a heavy-duty tool. While it will slice through sheets of plywood with no problems, if you need something for bigger, tougher jobs, this is probably not the best option.

To summarize, if you are looking for an inexpensive tool for smaller home projects, this could be a wise pick – and with such a reasonable price tag, you can hardly go wrong.

What We Like

  • Lightweight and easy to use – very manageable for just about everyone
  • Tool-free depth adjustment – quick and easy to change
  • Includes battery and charger – everything you need to start working
  • Good power for a small unit – will allow you to tackle any light-duty jobs
  • Low price point – exceptionally good value for money

What We Don't Like

  • Not designed for larger jobs – will struggle with anything more than light-duty work
  • Battery takes some time to charge fully – better off buying a second

5. Milwaukee M18 2630-20 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Circular Saw

Milwaukee M18 Cordless Circular Saw

Image: Milwaukee

If you prefer no-frills, no-nonsense tools that get the job done with a minimum of fuss, this powerful cordless circular saw from Milwaukee should be worth checking out.

It features a comfortable soft grip that makes it easy to hold and control, while the electric brake brings the blade to a stop quickly after each use, making it safer to use as well as saving you valuable seconds.

The guard is made of strong magnesium, giving the blade more protection than with models incorporating only a plastic guard.

One slight complaint that we have is that it lacks built-in lighting to illuminate your work. While this is hardly a fatal flaw, it would have made this saw even better.

Another slight problem is that the blade is not a standard size, making it more difficult when it comes to finding replacements.

However, despite these minor issues, this is an excellent tool that should last you for a good time to come. A top option if you want a no-nonsense unit that will allow you to make your cuts with ease.

What We Like

  • Comfortable soft grip – ergonomic and easy to hold
  • Magnesium blade guard – sturdier than saws with plastic versions
  • Electric brake – stops the blade quickly after each use
  • Impressive power for a cordless – suitable for a wide range of applications
  • No-frill design – focusses on getting the job done well

What We Don't Like

  • No light to illuminate work – would have been a welcome addition
  • Blade not a regular size – more difficult to find replacements

6. PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Cordless Circular Saw

 

Here’s another cordless circular saw positioned at the lower end of the price range. It features a 6 ½” carbide blade that can cut to a maximum depth of 2 1/8”. It can also cut a bevel at up to 50°, more than some other saws can manage.

We like the ergonomically-designed over-molded handle that makes it comfortable to hold. This saw weighs only 6.5lbs, also making it easy for anyone to use. It also delivers 4,000 RPM, giving it a good amount of cutting power for just about any home sawing application.

To throw in a couple of negatives, like many cordless circular saws, this one does tend to use up the battery quite quickly, and buying a backup would be a good idea if you need to work for longer periods.

Also, the position of the safety switch and the trigger are slightly awkward – you need to hold them both down for it to function, and this takes a little getting used to.

As a budget option for the home user who needs to tackle smaller scale projects, this could be a great option. However, for anyone needing more power and functionality, there are probably better options to investigate.

What We Like

  • 4,000 RPM – gives a good amount of cutting capacity
  • Cuts a bevel at up to 50° – better than many competitors
  • Lightweight design – weighs in at only 6.5lbs
  • Ergonomic over-molded handles – makes it comfortable and easy to control
  • Good cutting depth – maximum of 2 1/8”

What We Don't Like

  • Trigger and power switch a little awkward – slightly difficult positioning
  • Battery life lacking – eats through battery quickly

7. VonHaus 20V MAX Cordless Circular Saw

 

This circular saw from lesser-known brand VonHaus is a 20V model that delivers 3,800 RPM. It is a surprisingly rugged and durable tool for the price and will withstand a lot of rough treatment.

It has a 6 ½” tungsten carbide-tipped blade and can cut at an angle between 90° and 45°.

We like the comfortable rubber handle that makes it easy to hold and use. Another big positive is the battery, which is fast to charge – taking only 75 minutes from empty – and giving you a good amount of work time for each charge.

We have relatively few complaints with this tool. One might be that there is no proper notch on the glide plate to help you line up the cut. The only other negative is that this is a less famous brand, and some people might prefer to buy from companies they know.

Otherwise, if this doesn’t bother you, this is a tool that gives high levels of performance for the price and that represents excellent value for money. If you’re willing to go for a brand you might not be familiar with, this would be an excellent option.

What We Like

  • Good battery life per charge – will let you keep working for longer
  • Quick-charge battery – charges fully in only about 75 minutes
  • Ergonomic design – comfortable to use and well-balanced
  • Blade brake – stops blade spinning quickly when you release the trigger
  • Sturdy and tough – built to last

What We Don't Like

  • Glide plate lacks proper notch – makes it harder to follow where you’re cutting
  • Less known brand – some people prefer to buy from companies they trust

 

Buyers guide

Let’s quickly take a look at the differences between corded and cordless circular saws to think about why you might think about going cordless. After that, we can look at the most important features you should look at when choosing the best cordless circular saw for you.

Corded vs cordless circular saw

Corded Vs Cordless Circular Saw

The main advantages and disadvantages of cordless vs corded circular saws are similar to those with any other kind of power tools.

Corded circular saws tend to be bigger and more powerful. They usually incorporate standard full-sized circular saw blades measuring 7 ¼” and can offer more cutting capacity. Since they run off mains power, you obviously never need to worry about the battery running out either.

However, the major disadvantage is the cord itself. With a corded saw, you are restricted to only being able to work within range of a power outlet. You can increase this range by using an extension, but there is still a limit.

Also, working with a cord dangling in your way can be a pain. You always need to be aware of where the cord is and make sure it doesn’t get in the way of what you are cutting.

Cordless saws don’t have this issue. With a cordless model, you can work wherever you want, either in a workshop or outside, with no restrictions. You also don’t have to worry about the cord interfering with your work. They also tend to be lighter and easier to manage.

However, the downside is you have to rely on batteries, and these run out and need recharging as you work.

This all means if you value the ability to work for longer periods and need more power for more intense or tough jobs, a corded version is probably your best option.

However, for smaller jobs and jobs where access to a power outlet is more problematic, a cordless circular saw can be a useful addition to your tool collection.

What to look for when buying cordless circular saws

Cordless Circular Saw

Here are the major points to look for when buying a cordless saw.

  • Battery life

Since the biggest disadvantage with cordless saws is the limited battery life they offer, possibly one of the most important considerations is how long the battery will last before it dies.

Think carefully about the kinds of job you will need to do and choose a saw accordingly. If you need to cut for longer periods, you should choose one with the best possible battery life.

However, if you only need to make one or two cuts each time you work, this might not be such an important feature.

  • Charge time

Related to battery life is how long it takes to charge the battery once it runs out. A quick charge time can minimize the amount of time you have to spend waiting to start work again when the battery is empty.

Some batteries can take up to four hours to charge while others are ready to go again in under 90 minutes.

You can also mitigate this issue by buying a spare, allowing you to switch over when one runs out to allow you to continue working.

  • Cutting power

The cutting power is related to the Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) the blade makes, so look for one with a high enough rating. Most cordless models will be in the range of 3,000 to 4,000 RPM, with anything at the upper end of this scale being preferable.

  • Blade size

Most cordless saws have blades that are less than the standard full-size 7 ¼”, so check how big it is to make sure you will be able to carry out the work you need to do.

Also, look at the maximum cutting depth to see if this is sufficient for your needs.

  • Bevel angle

Most circular saws allow you to cut bevels at angles of up to 45° but some offer 50° angles or more. If this is important for the kind of work you need to do, make sure you pick one that is capable of cutting the angle you require.

  • Weight

The overall weight of the tool is a vital factor to consider. If a saw is too heavy for you to handle, you will quickly suffer from fatigue and will have to stop working. Being lightweight is one of the advantages of cordless saws, so you should be able to find one that is suitable.

  • Durability

Make sure you choose a saw that is tough and built to last. You might think that you can save money by opting for the cheapest one available, but this can be a false economy since it might break after a single season.

Consider spending more money to invest in a tool that you will be able to use for many years to come.

Plenty of choice – pick the right one for your needs

The key to choosing the right circular saw – as with any power tool – is to weight up your needs carefully and then to decide accordingly. Once you know exactly what you want to do with the tool, it should be much easier to pick.

For anyone who has made up their mind to invest in a cordless circular saw but is still undecided over which model to opt for, any of the circular saws in our review would be a great place to start looking.