Circular saws are a terrific investment for portable projects- like building a tree house or deck- and will still find uses in your home- breaking down large sheet goods (plywood, MDF, hardboard), cutting through drywall and studs,  or laying a subfloor. I’ve used quite a few cordless circular saws these past few years, and tried out even more. I should point out that I only considered wood-cutting circular saws for this roundup, and not metal-cutting saws.
Milwaukee engineered the M18 Fuel 2730 circular saw with a brushless motor and a very robust housing. However, the saw is also a little bigger, heavier, and it’s right-facing which some users might not like.
The Dewalt DCS391 offers a good balance between power, performance, runtime, and user comfort, and it’s not terribly expensive either. Milwaukee took all of the things users like about their M18 Fuel circular saws, and put them into an M12 Fuel saw, model 2530. If you need portable cutting convenience but can do without the greater power and cutting capacity of the M18 Fuel saw, the M12 model is smaller, lighter, and less expensive too.
The Festool TSC 55 brushless tracksaw is the second-ever cordless plunge-cutting tracksaw, and the only one currently available.
Right now, it looks like Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel brushless circular saws are leading the competition with a pretty sizable head start. I would really like to get the Milwaukee M12, but I can’t justify purchasing a new saw until my current one is out of commission. Other than the capacity, blade-side and weight I dont think there are any differences between the saws…are there?
At Festool Connect 2015, Festool announced the TSC55 would be here in the US sometime this year (but no exact date or anything like that). Is there a comparison between the 18 volt models and the (few) 36 volt circular saws available anywhere? I too have that 36V saw, and while I love my 18V tools, when it comes to a circ saw, you just want that extra power for 4x4s, concrete, lots of 2x6s, whatever.
Cordless comes in handy for DIY work, such as breaking down 8′ limber in the home center parking lot to bring home.
For the same money you can get a pro-grade cordless saw, or pro-grade corded saw AND a homeowner-grade cordless. So you wouldn’t recommend just going all out and getting an M18 set, but rather a good corded and a lower-grade cordless? It depends on how often you would take advantage of the cordless saw’s cord-free freedom. I gave up waiting for a Dewalt brushless and replaced my older 18v dewalt with the new 20v model. Anti-snag Ball bearing lower guard provides smooth guard operation and long life in harsh environments.
Long before the Dremel Saw-Max and Rockwell Versacut mini multipurpose circular saws hit the market, Craftsman had a mini circular saw of their own.


The new saw is suitable for plywood and other sheet materials, plastic, light metal, wood boards, cutting tiles and flooring material, and it can help with grout removal.
Anyway from what I read it seems Craftsman is introducing the most powerful mini-saw in the market yet with some unique features and a guide system which I had never seen before!
I hate to eat my words, but I talked with the local Sears tool dept Mgr and he said the redesigned tool was fairly new and blades are available. Needed to replace some bad board on the back of my garage and wanted something light so I could cut while boards were still attached to garage, this saw worked great! At home, provided it you use it safely, it makes an ideal first power saw, as it can do both rip cuts and cross cuts, and will continue to find uses in woodworking and DIY applications. As always, safety is key, so always were safety glasses, ear protection, and gloves (dust mask recommended). That’s a tough question to answer, but what I can tell you is which models I think are the best in certain categories. There are very many good circular saws, and some great ones, and a few fantastic standouts. But the best? That sometimes depends a lot more upon personal preferences than other types of tools. Makita was supposed to come out with a brushless circular saw of their own in early 2015, but I haven’t seen it in any stores yet. There’s a lesser model, DCS393, but it lacks the fantastic magnesium shoe of the DCS391. Inexpensive saws often have flimsy shoes and awkward knobs, and sometimes deliver lousy performance on top of all that. Less expensive cordless circular saws, especially those at the lower end of the pricing spectrum, also often have small blade sizes. Users have been asking for an M12 circular saw for quite some time, and Milwaukee didn’t disappoint them with their latest brushless tool. The roundup started off looking at corded and cordless saws, but things got a little out of hand so I narrowed it down to focus only on cordless saws. I couldn’t find anyone that had this in stock when I last checked, but it looks like some dealers are still selling it now.
As mentioned, except for the cordless Festool, my recommendations are based on saws I have used and tested. I’m torn between the M18 (which I would have to buy battery, charger, etc) or the Makita XSS02Z , OR a corded.
The last time I was at Home Depot, it took at least 30 minutes to find someone to make a single cut. The guide appears to be optimized for flooring and other materials that approach its maximum cutting capacity, but it works just fine with thinner workpieces. The kit will include 3 blades for cutting laminate, ceramic, and metal materials, and additional blade types will be available separately. And, to be satisfied with performance of a tool, the user needs to be aware of the tools comfort range and have more general purpose tools available to do different scopes of projects.
I have found that local Sears stores do occasionally carry products that the online store has run out of or doesn’t stock.
I know that the shoe shouldn’t be the first thing I look at in a circular saw, but it often is.


Other 12V-class circular saws that are on the market are really small trim saws and don’t match up at all. When I was working we tried out Makita 18V (brushed model) saws and found them lacking for our intended use on roof decks. Makita wanted to send out their new brushless saw for testing, but I haven’t seen anything yet. I use the Dewalt having always thought they were a bit weak and weedy but the Dewalt has been a revelation. But for infrequent use, you’re going to have to spend money in a couple of years on replacement batteries. This saw has bevel detents at 22.5 and 45 for fast and accurate setting to common angles and comes with a 3 year limited warranty.
Craftsman has released a new multi-material-cutting version of the mini circular saw, and it comes complete with a convenient miter track. A solid shoe tells you that a brand put their best effort into making the best circular saw possible. Hopefully I’ll be able to test one out in time to be considered for the next post update. If you already bought into a cordless platform, then it’s a tough decision to make because you already have batteries and just need to buy the bare tool. There are two basic models of circular saws: helical drive- with the motor parallel to the blade, and worm drive- with the motor perpendicular and behind the blade. Look for bevel adjustment via a lever rather than a bolt or screw, with an easy-to-read scale.Cutting Depth.
I’d say that $85 and up gets you a fantastic corded saw, but less expensive ones can be decent too.
Helical drive models are by far the most popular, but the slower speeds of a worm drive means more torque. If I had to come up with a corded saw shortlist right now, Milwaukee, Dewalt, and Bosch would be my top 3 choices.
This feature is useful on contractor-grade tools, but doesn’t justify to price for the average homeowner or occasional user.    Look for a circular saw that draws 13 to 15 amps and has at least 1 horsepower. Check for a heavy duty cord that at least 8 feet, and use heavy duty extension cord that’s no longer than necessary. Look for a saw with a good sight to viewing the cutline from above – both the pencil line and the saw’s kerf. Unless you have a freakish ability to cut perfectly straight with a circular saw (if you do, don’t tell your friends or co-workers, cause you’ll be doing it all day long), it’s important to use a straightedge or fence to guarantee the best quality of cut.



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