How to Choose a Cordless Circular Saw - a Toolstop Buying Guide

A circular saw is the perfect power tool for cutting straight, clean and true. Use one on heavy timber, sheet materials or man-made boards like MDF and you'll see how quickly and easily you can make cuts that are perhaps messy or cumbersome with other saws.
cordless circular saw buying guide

And now slap a lithium-ion battery onto it. Going cordless for your circular saw will open up a whole new world of cutting opportunities!

However, how tochoose the best cordless circular saw for you, based on the power you need for the applications you typically undertake, can be daunting.

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That's why we've compiled this guide to buying the right cordless circular saw.

In it we'll cover:

  • Cutting Capacity, Cutting Depth and Bevels
  • Speed and Control
  • Extra Features
  • Batteries

We've included a few comparisons in each section and a table where you can, at a glance, easily compare the functionality of the cordless circular saws in our guide.


Cutting Capacity, Cutting Depth and Bevels

The capacity and depth of your cut with a circular saw is based around the size of the saw's blade. In the case of our cordless circular saws the blade is a standard 165mm.


Pay close attention to the type of blade supplied with - or available for - your cordless circular saw. Using the correct type of blade for the application you're undertaking is essential if you want to get the most out of your circular saw. It's also essential for your health and safety.

Click to see our range of circulaw saw blades.


Take a few moments to look over our circular saw blade buying guide.

The depth of cut achievable from your cordless circular saw varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so look out for the maximum cutting depth at 0. That's how deep you'll be able to cut when the saw isn't being used to cut a bevel, which is achievable if the saw has an adjustable base plate.

circular saw depth of cut

Our table below presents the 0 cutting depth along with the 45 depth.

Not all circular saws are created equal in this regard.

For example, one saw may not cut as deep as another at 0, but will cut deeper when at a 45 bevel.
So, what sort of cut matters more to you; cutting straight into the material, or at an angle? Choose your circular saw accordingly.

Speed and Control

The faster the motor can turn the blade, the more control you have over the cut. That's about all we can say about this! Look out for the revolutions per minute (RPM) of the cordless circular saw you're interested in.
cordless circular saw features

Extra Features

Most of us like some nice extra feature and benefits to our power tools, little "toys" the manufacturer has built in to help us get the job done safer, etc.

The motor on a circular saw is liable to be placed under extreme stress if you're cutting long pieces of hard timber. So look out for safety features built into the motor, such as protection against burning the motor out, fans to keep the motor cool, or advanced  braking systems that immediately kill the motor and stop the blade in an emergency.

Other features like LED job lights are useful, as is the exclusion of a riving knife, the absence of which makes plunge cuts easier.

Look out, too, for ergonomic handles and the overall weight of the saw. These are key ways to determine how long you'll be able to use the saw before your hands and arms get tired. We've listed the weight of each saw for when the battery is fitted.

Batteries

It goes without saying that cordless circular saws can't match up to the run times achievable by their corded cousins. However, a circular saw supplied with an 18v lithium-ion battery and a fast charger will be more than enough for lighter or more occassional use, while still packing plenty of cutting power.

The obvious advantage to running a circular saw from an 18v battery is portability; work wherever you need to without being tethered to a power supply.

When choosing your cordless circular saw, consider the 18v lithium-ion battery platforms you've already invested in; having a spare 18v battery on charge while you work is an obvious bonus.
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What's the Best Circular Saw on the Market?

Dewalt DCS391N Circular Saw

Dewalt DCS391N Circular Saw - Body Only. Click to Shop

SEE ALL THE DEWALT CORDLESS CIRCULAR SAWS IN STOCK HERE

This latest generation premium Circular Saw has a powerful and highly efficeint PM58 DEWALT fan cooled motor with replaceable brushes which delivers up to 3700rpm for high speed cutting action.

Features:
Keyless bevel angle and depth of cut adjustment with easy to read scale for maximum cordless versatility.

Ultra thin kerf 165 mm, 24 tooth carbide-tipped blade allows for efficient run time and fast, smooth cut finish at maximum 55 mm depth of cut.

LEARN MORE HERE



  • Bevel Capacity: 50
  • Max. Depth of Cut at 90: 55 mm
  • Max. Depth of Cut at 45: 42.1 mm
  • Weight: 3.2kg
  • NO BATTERIES SUPPLIED

Bosch GKS18V-LI 18V

Bosch GKS18V-LI 18V Cordless Circular Saw - Body Only. Click to Shop


SEE ALL THE BOSCH CORDLESS CIRCULAR SAWS IN STOCK HERE

The GKS18VLI is powered by Bosch's premium lithium-ion batteries, including the new 5Ah CoolPacks, which are available separately.

It benefits from Bosch Electronic Cell Protection (ECP): protects the battery against overload, overheating and total discharge and Electronic Motor Protection (EMP) protects the motor against overload and ensures a long lifetime.

The motor outputs 3,900rpm.

LEARN MORE HERE




  • Bevel Capacity: 45
  • Cutting depth (90) 51 mm
  • Cutting depth (45) 40 mm
  • Weight: 4.1kg
  • NO BATTERIES SUPPLIED

Hitachi C 18DBAL Circular Saw

Hitachi C 18DBAL BRUSHLESS Circular Saw - Body Only. Click to Shop


SEE ALL THE HITACHI CORDLESS CIRCULAR SAWS IN STOCK HERE

The C 18DBAL from Hitachi has the next generation of brushless motor developed from user needs and Hitachi's original technology.

The motor features large FETs and highly durable electronic circuitry and also improved dust and water resistance. The maintenence free motor has up to 50% longer runtime per charge and is compatible with all HitachI 18V batteries.

The motor outputs 4100rpm in power mode and 2500rpm in silent mode.

LEARN MORE HERE

  • Bevel Capacity: 45
  • Cutting Capacity: 90: 66mm
  • Cutting Capacity: 45: 45mm
  • Weight: 3kg
  • NO BATTERIES SUPPLIED

Makita HS301DWAE Circular Saw

Makita HS301DWAE Circular Saw with Two 2Ah 10.8v CXT Batteries. Click to Shop


SEE ALL THE MAKITA CORDLESS CIRCULAR SAWS IN STOCK HERE

This features an 85mm blade capacity for working in tight, confined areas.

Model HS301D is one of the first new 10.8V platform models. This is the upgraded model from the very reliable HS300D which now features slide on Compact eXtreme Technology Batteries.

READ MORE ABOUT THE BATTERIES

The motor outputs 1500rpm.

It has an easy to trace cutting line due to the blower function which blows sawdust away from cutting line.

LEARN MORE HERE



  • Bevel Capacity 0 - 45
  • Cutting Capacity @ 0 25.5mm
  • Cutting Capacity @ 45 16.5mm
  • Weight: 1.8kg
  • Supplied with the DC10WC charger, TCT blade, dust nozzle and two 2Ah 10.8v slide-on CXT batteries

Metabo KSA18LTX 18V Cordless li-ion Circular Saw

Metabo KSA18LTX 18V Cordless li-ion Circular Saw - Body Only. Click to Shop


SEE ALL THE METABO CORDLESS CIRCULAR SAWS IN STOCK HERE

Supplied in a Metaloc case, the KSA18LTX will run off Metabo's range of 18v batteries. The higher the capacity of battery used, the longer the runtime from the saw.

It benefits from an integrated LED light and will bevel over to 50 to allow for a huge range of cuts.

Part of Metabo's Ultra-M technology cordless range.

It outputs 2,700rpm.

LEARN MORE HERE



  • Bevel Capacity: 50
  • Maximum cutting depth at 90: 53.5 mm
  • Maximum cutting depth at 45: 42 mm
  • Weight: 43.kg
  • NO BATTERIES SUPPLIED

Makita DCS551ZJ Metal Saw

Makita DCS551ZJ Metal Saw with Brushless Motor - Body Only. Click to Shop


SEE ALL THE MAKITA CORDLESS CIRCULAR SAWS IN STOCK HERE

The DCS551ZJ is a cordless circular saw designed specifically for cutting a variety of metal objectsincluding pipe, tubing, C-stud, rod, unistrut, aluminium and metal sheet.

The benefits hugely from the BRUSHLESS motor which keeps the size of the saw down, but allows for longer runtimes per fully charged 18v LXT battery.

It has an electric brake and soft start motor, outputting 3,900rpm, along with an electric current limiter to prevent damage to the motor or battery.

LEARN MORE HERE

NOTE:
As this is a metal cutting circular saw it requires a 150mm blade with a 20mm bore.

It does not have a bevel function.

  • Max Cutting Capacity @ 0: 57.5mm

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If you have any questions about the cordless circulaw saws in this buying guide - or any others we stock - please use the comment section below to ask.


Comments

Toolstop on Thu, 08 Jan 2015 11:57:05 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Again, as long as it is an XR charger, yes it will change any XR battery. XR chargers are multi voltage so will charge 10.8v up to 18v


Sam Sampson on Wed, 07 Jan 2015 21:47:52 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Ok thanks for advice . . also if I do need in future to 'up' to a bigger amp battery will my current charger be ok ?


Toolstop on Wed, 07 Jan 2015 07:49:55 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Hi Sam,

as long as they are Dewalt li-ion XR batteries they will be OK


Sam Sampson on Tue, 06 Jan 2015 18:38:23 +0000 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

I'm thinkin of buying a 'naked body' Dewalt cordless circular saw either the DCS391 or DCS 373N. Would the batterries (1.5 amp) and charger I already have for my Dewalt drill fit and be good enough to power the saw ?


postable_mark on Thu, 29 Aug 2013 11:06:29 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

He probably meant 2-4mm thick.


Robert Thomas on Wed, 28 Aug 2013 23:40:46 +0100 (Likes: 0 / Dislikes: 0

Cutting 40mm thick metal? There's not a saw made that can do that. You need oxy gear for that type of thickness!


Toolstop on Wed, 07 Nov 2012 08:46:51 +0000 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

Hi Darren, there are plenty of blades around which will cut metal for you, try the Bosch "Construct Metal" range or you could try a multi material blade


Darren Lines on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 18:49:57 +0000 (Likes: 1 / Dislikes: 0

im trying to find out whether the bosch circular saw can be used to cut metal. il be cutting metal at about 20-40mm thick. i want the bosch saw as i already have the batteries so will only have to buy the body. which also mean one less charger to carry around! thanks


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