Choosing cordless circular saw
DIY is a popular hobby. In many basement craft rooms, people are tinkering away for all they’re worth. With the help of saws and other tools, craft activities can be carried out around the house and garden.
Cordless circular saw saws are especially suitable for DIY enthusiasts. Battery handheld circular saws facilitate the sawing of various materials such as wood or metal.
Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page, that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a cordless circular saw.
What do you need a cordless circular saw for?
Circular saws are ideal for making long, straight cuts that would only succeed crookedly with a cordless jigsaw. For this purpose, almost every manufacturer of circular saws also offers suitable guide rails. Cutting wood, planks, and boards to length is also one of the typical applications of hand-held circular saws – miter cuts are also possible. The do-it-yourselfer usually reaches for the hand-held circular saw if, for example, he wants to re-plank the wooden terrace. This type of saw is suitable for both light touch-up work around the house and garden, and for large-scale renovation work.
How good are cordless circular saws?
The advantage of a cordless circular saw is clearly the freedom of movement gained by the absence of the cable that drives the motor and that quickly inhibits the user of conventional hand-held circular saws in the work process. Until now, however, the performance of cordless hand-held circular saws lagged behind corded circular saws. In the meantime, however, most cordless hand-held circular saws offer a considerable storage capacity of the lithium-ion batteries: 4 to 8-ampere hours at a typical operating voltage of 18 volts are no longer a rarity – as our current test of cordless circular saws shows.
Saws with battery
Many cordless hand-held circular saws are also offered without battery and charger, in the set with the accessories significantly higher purchase prices are due. But not everyone needs a battery and charger because virtually all brand manufacturers now use system batteries. The advantage lies in their interchangeability between different devices of a manufacturer. This means that the same battery that just powered the cordless screwdriver can also be used to power the hand-held circular saw – and save a lot of money because batteries are expensive.
System batteries are good for customers, the environment – and the manufacturers
But as compatible as system batteries may be within their ecosystem, they are incompatible with other manufacturers’ products. The concept therefore not only helps customers and the environment by eliminating the need for many rechargeable batteries that spend most of their time lying around unused in the workshop, but it also serves above all to promote long-term customer loyalty for the manufacturers. Before deciding on a cordless tool, you should therefore consider whether you would also like to stay with this manufacturer when buying further cordless tools.
Types of cordless circular saws
If you decide to get a cordless handheld circular saw, there are generally two different types you can choose between.
- Pendulum hood saw
- Immersion circular saw
All types of handheld circular saws have advantages as well as disadvantages, which you will find more detailed information about in the next sections to help you make up your own mind.
Cordless circular saw with a pendulum hood
The “classic” hand-held circular saw is often associated with the pendulum hood saw. In this type of hand-held circular saw, the saw blade is fixed to the cutting depth and covered by a pendulum hood to protect the user. This hood is automatically pushed back by the workpiece during sawing, exposing the saw blade. When sawing is complete, the pendulum hood is swung back over the saw blade by a spring.
|Wide range of applications||Not very precise|
|Very robust and powerful||Not as flexible as a plunge cut saw|
|High cutting depth||The protective hood does not close when chips get stuck in the saw blade|
|A good view of the saw blade as well as the crack marking||Despite not being used, the protective hood sometimes does not cover everything|
A battery plunge saw
Even though the pendulum hood saw and the plunge-cut circular saw look very similar, they differ greatly in their use. The saw blade of the plunge saw is stowed in housing. The saw blade and motor are fixed together so that the saw blade is not exposed and “dives” until the motor is lowered from the housing. When finished, the saw blade is swung back into the housing.
|Precise and accurate to the millimeter||Not as powerful as the pendulum hood saw|
|Can be placed at any point on the workpiece||Preferably suitable for workpieces with a smaller cutting depth|
|Plunge cuts as well as panel cuts||Usually more expensive (due to the plunge cut function)|
As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for both types.
It is also interesting to know that the hand-held circular saw is also available in a mini format to master smaller projects. Of course, the mini hand circular saw is cheaper and more compact than the conventional hand circular saws. However, on the other hand, it is limited in its operation.
Important purchase criteria for a cordless circular saw
Cordless circular saws are useful auxiliary tools on the one hand, but on the other hand, they are real sources of danger if a saw has an incorrect design or too weak a performance. In order for the do-it-yourselfer to choose the right cordless circular saw, they should pay attention to the following purchase criteria:
- Cutting capacity & inclination angle
- Idle speed & power
- Battery capacity
You should make sure that the device has a good quality because quality is the be-all and end-all. No one wants to use a cordless circular saw and at the same time find that components were poorly processed so that the final result is distorted.
Cutting capacity & inclination angle
Even before making a purchase, it’s important to consider what workpieces you’ll want to saw later. Since there are different saw blades, the cutting depths – how deep you can saw with the cordless hand-held circular saw – thus also differ.
Depending on the price range and model, cordless circular saws have a cutting depth of 40-70 millimeters. The higher the cutting depth, the more diverse the range of applications for the cordless hand-held circular saw. At the same time, there are still various saw blades with different numbers of saw teeth. The number of teeth determines how cleanly the cuts of the various workpieces turn out. When buying a cordless hand-held circular saw, it is also important to know how easy it is to replace the saw blades.
However, the depth of cut depends not only on the diameter of the saw blade and the number of saw teeth, but also on the angle of inclination.
The highest cutting depth is achieved through the combination of a large saw blade and a tilt angle of 90°. However, the angle of inclination, respectively, is between 0-45° for normal cordless circular saws. There are also some cordless circular saws on the market that are equipped with a scale for the tilt angle to be able to set it exactly.
So it’s best to check before you buy whether you can adjust the cutting depth and the angle of inclination of your cordless hand-held circular saw so that you have more options for use.
Idle speed & power
The idle speed indicates the revolutions of a cordless hand-held circular saw that are made in idle mode within one minute (in rpm). The power is again given in watts. For more robust material, you will also have to resort to a cordless hand saw with a higher wattage.
The following applies: The higher the idle speed, the power, and the saw blade, the more perfect your end result will be.
Because of high power in combination with the right saw blade and a high idle speed, a clean cut is generated in the end.
With a cordless hand-held circular saw, a key point is, of course, the battery capacity. It determines the useful life. Because there is nothing more annoying than interrupting your work because the battery is empty, and you have to bridge the charging time in some other way to be able to continue working afterward.
Two points are decisive: the battery charge (in Ah) and the battery strength (in V). The battery charge indicates how long you can work with the cordless hand-held circular saw. For example, with a battery charge of 5Ah, this would be one hour. The battery strength is 18V for the most common models. Overall, it can be said that the stronger the battery, the longer it lasts.
Depending on the application, the weight of the cordless circular saw also plays an important role. If your tool is too heavy, you’ll have to take breaks more often and won’t be as productive as you’d like to be. Besides, crafting is more fun when it’s easier to do, right?
Depending on the cordless circular saw, the weight ranges from 11-15 pounds. A mini version here comes to about 6 pounds. You have to decide for yourself how strong you are and which cordless circular saw offers you more added value.
What else should a good cordless circular saw do?
When selecting a cordless circular saw, you can choose from various models from well-known manufacturers. In addition to the battery power, you should pay attention to the speed in rpm, the max. cutting depth in mm and the max. the angle of inclination in ° according to cordless circular saw tests.
Pay attention to speed, cutting depth, and angle of inclination
The speed of an electric or battery-powered device such as a saw indicates how fast the saw blade rotates per minute when idling. The higher this value is, the finer the cuts are made with the cordless hand-held circular saw. Here, the measured speed of the individual models varies between 3500 and 5000 revolutions per minute. In general, it is advisable to reach for a device with the highest possible speed in rpm.
The cutting depth, on the other hand, depends on the size of the saw blade or its diameter in mm. This means that the larger the saw blade, the greater the depth of cut in mm.
With a high cutting depth, you can cut correspondingly thick materials.
The max. cutting depth is always measured at an angle of inclination of 90°, i.e. in the most vertical position possible. In order to still be able to comfortably saw thicker workpieces, a cutting depth of at least 55 mm is recommended.
The tilt angle refers to the setting on the saw that is necessary to miter-saw a workpiece. In this case, the angle of inclination can usually be set precisely so that you can cut strips to fit, for example. The maximum tilt angle is usually between 45° and 50°, and even reaches up to 65° on some models.
A motor brake, as well as a two-hand grip, are an advantage
The motor brake is primarily used to stop the rotating saw blade as quickly as possible. To avoid the risk of injury from a trailing saw blade, a motor brake brings the saw blade to a standstill within approximately ten seconds. A two-handed handle also provides additional safety by often being equipped with a special soft grip. This prevents slipping when working with the cordless circular saw. This is especially important when the work needs to be done quickly.
In principle, most manufacturers recommend operating a (cordless) circular saw with the necessary calm and concentration. A cordless circular saw with a guide rail, for example, is helpful here.
LED work light and a vacuum cleaner connection
The manufacturers of circular saws or cordless circular saws and cordless handheld circular saws have also thought about the comfort of DIY. Thus, many devices are equipped with an LED light as a working light. The light falls exactly on the part of the workpiece that you want to work on. This way, even in poorly lit rooms, you can still see exactly where you need to saw.
A vacuum cleaner connection ensures cleanliness at the workplace. If dust and sawdust fly through the air when you’re sawing, a vacuum cleaner can help. In this case, the vacuum cleaner connection sucks up the loose particles while the work is still in progress.
In addition to a mouthguard and protective goggles for the eyes, this function also makes it easier for you to clean the workplace.
By studying the basic functions available and highlighting those that are useful to you in the home, you can choose the circular saw that will fit your level and your needs.
The cost of the unit depends on the manufacturer and the set of features available in it. The more complex and professional the model, the more famous the brand manufacturer, the more expensive the saw will cost.
Of course, when choosing a circular saw, it is worth considering the peculiarities of its operation. For intermittent work with materials of small thickness, simple and inexpensive models, which are enough for alternating 15 minutes of work and rest, will do. They will be an excellent choice for domestic use. When choosing a circular saw, start with what kind of work you need it for and how often you will use it.
FAQ - Cordless Circular Saw
A cordless circular saw has one main advantage than that of a cord version, and that is its portability. Being cordless, these models can provide you with work almost anywhere – not limiting you to an area where a power outlet must be
The placement of the cordless saw blade, on the left side, gives you a clearer line of sight when you cut. The reason for this is that the main bulk of your circular saw is not blocking your view. Cordless circular left-handed saws provide you better movability.
Unfortunately, the chain will go on either way, but if you put it on backward, it will not cut. Remember, when holding the chainsaw, the cutting portion of the blade should be facing away from you, traveling from the back of the chainsaw to the front tip of the chainsaw.