To test the saw, we assembled five staff members with about 80 years of combined carpentry experience, gave them a big pile of lumber and proceeded to turn the boards into kindling. We crosscut, ripped, and then tried the ultimate torture test: a 45-degree by 45-degree compound angle cut across a 2×10.
DEWALT DCS391B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Circular Saw
We got our hands on the DeWalt DCS391 20V Max Circular Saw to see how it stacked up in the 6-1/2 inch cordless circular saw class. As one of the most popular brands in the country, it’s always exciting to open up the black and yellow package of a new DeWalt tool and this was no exception. While more details of the specs are below, the important statistics are that the DCS391 runs off the 20V Max battery packs, has a no load speed of 3700 RPM, and runs a 6-1/2 inch blade. While there are a few manufacturers out there running 7-1/4 inch blades, the 6-1/2 inch is still the standard, making it through 2x material with room to spare.
On paper, The DeWalt DCS391 Circular Saw stacks up right in the middle of the class. At the $99 – $149 price point, it’s dead on in terms of speed and is priced reasonably at $109 for the bare tool. Of course, torque is also a factor to compare with speed, but we’ll take a look at real world performance in a moment. One thing that I did notice is that this circular saw is a little bit heavier than other in the class. It weighs about a pound more than the saws it competes with and is something you may want to consider if you’ll be using it all day.
DeWalt has plenty to say about the features of the DCS391. They tell us that the magnesium shoe offers both durability and light weight. Comfort is improved with a rubber overmolded grip. The stock blade is a 6-1/2″ carbide tipped blade that will still cut through 2x material at both 90 and 45 degrees. Bevel angles between 0 and 50 degrees allows for plenty of flexibility for angled cutting. The kit is packaged with Dewalt’s 20V Max 4.0 amp hour battery to get the most run time available.
BLACK+DECKER BDCCS20B 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion
The Black & Decker BDCCS20B Circular Saw is designed with a powerful high torque motor. It features a tool free Depth of Cut and an easy to use bevel adjustment that allows for accurate angled cuts. It also has an included 5-1/2″ blade which provides smooth and fast cutting that is ideal for tough, everyday jobs.
The compact design of the Black & Decker BDCCS20B Circular Saw is great for ease of use. It works with the entire crcular saw system. It is a bare tool package which means it is sold with the tool only; the battery is sold separately.
Another customer bought the tool and was a little concerned about some of the negative views he read. However, he used it to cut 2x4s. He states that it has enough power and suggested that if you let the circular saw do its job and keep it straight, you will have no issues.
Ryobi P506 One+ Lithium Ion 18V 5 1/2 Inch
No one wants to lug a cord around unless they absolutely have to. Ryobi’s One+ 18V line puts those tools in our hands that are easily affordable whether you’re a DIYer, tradesman, or pro. One of the most popular products for 2015 is going to be the Ryobi P507 Circular Saw. It’s got some significant upgrades from the previous model and we’re excited to take a closer look.
The most significant changes over the previous Ryobi P506 Circular Saw start with upsizing to a 6-1/2″ blade from the 5-1/2″. Product managers also ditched the laser from the older model. They claim that the Ryobi P507 6-1/2″ One+ Circular Saw has increased in power some 40% over the P506 as well.
There are slight changes to the front pommel design and the aforementioned rubber overmold. Bevel capacity us up to 56 degrees, weight is down to 5 pounds, and the no load speed remains at 4700 RPM.
Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Circular Saw
This is due to many factors, one of which is the fact that a drill is used more often for more varied tasks, but it is also because the early cordless saws just could not keep pace with the corded models.
That is changing, and Makita, as always, is right there leading the way. The not-so-greatly named Makita XSS02Z is a shining example of this new breed.
For anyone who needs a good and portable circular saw, from professional contractors to the homeowner who needs to add a new room, the Makita XSS02Z 18V lithium-ion cordless 6.5 inch circular saw is an excellent choice and a decision well-made.
DEWALT Bare-Tool DC390B 6-1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless
The DeWalt Bare-Tool DC390B 6-1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Circular Saw is a general purpose product that’s ideal for homeowners. Perfect for basic projects around the house, it can handle anything from ripping wood to framing bathrooms with ease.
The tool is also a favorite for people who need to create fast cuts or produce finished cuts in tight spaces.
Thanks to a fan-cooled motor, you won’t have to worry about this circular saw overheating, even with extended use. The saw also comes with replaceable brushes that allow you to extend the lifespan of the tool. To prevent downtime, you should consider ordering replaceable brushes when you purchase the saw.
PORTER-CABLE PCC660B 20V Max
The new 20v Circular Saw from Porter Cable is light. Weighing in at only 6.5 pounds, it’s an entire pound lighter than the Makita equivalent and 1.5 pounds lighter than the Milwaukee brand 6-1/2” saws in its category. Even when pairing the saw with the 20v Max Pack, the weight was extremely manageable. The tool is well balanced and with the overmolded rubber grips the tool feels comfortable to use.
This 6-1/2” circular saw fits perfectly into the light duty category for circular saws. With the 4.0ah battery, 50 degree bevel, and 4000 rpm saw speed this model delivers performance comparable to many of the heavy duty saws on the market while still keeping a very reasonable price point.
If you’re one of the guys that runs a saw day in and day out, I would look to spend a few more dollars, but if you are like me and have the occasional project or random day on the job site that a circular saw is needed, this is the one to pick up.
Milwaukee 2731-20 M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ Circular Saw
The new Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw features a single 18V battery system that runs a 7-1/4″ blade. This entry into the full size cordless circular saw arena made waves because of the fact that it only uses that one M18 RedLithium battery. Questions were certainly raised as to whether it would be able to perform with the LXT 18V X2 dual battery system from Makita or the 36V platform from Hilti.
On paper, it specs out well with a no load speed of 5,000 RPM. While the kit includes 4.0 XC Redlithium batteries, the introduction of the 5.0 amp hour RedLithium batteries can only help.
I had all three saws sitting in my house with my choice of which one or ones to keep. I found good homes for the other two where they will be put to good use, but for the kind of work that I am typically doing, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Circular Saw is the one that is staying with me.
Hitachi C18DGLP4 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion
Cordless circular saws have come a long way since they first came into the construction field. Currently, and understandably, the demand for high quality cordless tools has been significantly recognizable. The days of extension cords wrapping your feet have been minimized dramatically. Today’s cordless circular saws are able to cut longer with enough speed, power, and precision that any end-user would be happy to brag about.
Hitachi sent us their Hitachi 18V 6 ½ inch cordless circular saw C18DSL with 3.0 ah batteries and charger to evaluate and review. Back at the workshop not only did we assess the C18DSL in solo testing, but the Concord Carpenter crew, performed a head-to-head comparison against five other competitor’s models. READ the Head-To-Head Comparison coming soon.
Our wrists appreciated the 6.2 pound weight of the Hitachi C18DSL. When tested with its competitors, it kept up as best it could. There was a decent amount of run time with two batteries, allowing work to be done while one is charging.