Are Cordless Circular Saws Any Good?

The existence of cordless circular saws has brought a huge difference, especially in woodworking. Portability is its most significant advantage, but the real question here is if Cordless Circular Saws Any Good? Performance-wise can it have almost the same level of performance compared to a regular corded saw?

Overall, a Cordless Circular Saw can do the same actions that a regular model can do. 20-volt lithium-ion battery rechargeable batteries usually run them, and it’s still primarily for cutting 3-inch dimensional wood given that the blade is 7 ¼ inches in diameter. There may be some limitations to the amount of material they can cut, but they have robust features and portability that makes them a good investment.

Find out if Cordless Circular Saws are better and reasons why you should have one. Understand more about this type of saw, and why more and more people are getting hooked with it.

Corded Vs. Cordless Circular Saws

Are you torn choosing between a corded and cordless circular saw? Well, don’t worry because we’ll give you an in-depth comparison of the two different saws.

Generally, cordless saws offer maneuverability, while corded saws trade mobility for maximum consistent power. Understand the pros and cons, and which one is appropriate for your projects.

  • Mobility. Without a doubt, cordless saws offer greater mobility because you don’t have to plug it into a wall outlet to operate it. You can carry and use it anywhere you need to work, instead of going back and forth to your workshop.

WINNER: Cordless Circular Saw

  • Maximum Strength. Both saws are powerful, but cordless saw can never beat the kind of energy that a wall current provides. Hence, maximum power is the most significant advantage of corded circular saws regardless of the material. No matter how much time you use it, the power remains the same for as long as there’s a continuous transfer of electricity.

WINNER: Corded Circular Saw

  • Price. Some would say that Cordless Saw is more expensive because of the convenient, while others say that Corded Saw is more costly because of its power. However, there’s no considerable difference when it comes to price. You can find a corded saw with prices starting from $60, while a cordless saws go from $80.

WINNER: Cordless Circular Saw

  1. Size, Weight, and Handling. You might think that the battery in cordless saws will add a little extra weight. It is essential to get the right size and weight that you can carry while using a Circular Saw. Otherwise, it will exhaust your energy. Surprisingly, most of Cordless Circular Saws are not too heavy and too big to carry or fit in your tool bag. More often, they are smaller than corded saws, which makes it is easy for handling.

WINNER: Cordless Circular Saw

  • Power Source. Corded Circular Saw has, obviously, more capacity because you run it from 220-volt electricity. This energy is enough to cut hardwood easily. For as long as there’s current, it will ever stop working. On the other hand, most Cordless Saws rely on a 20-volt lithium-ion battery to power up that you only have to connect to electricity when you have to charge.

WINNER: Corded Circular Saw

How does a Cordless Circular Saw Works?

Cordless Circular Saw gets its power from its lithium-ion rechargeable battery, which means you don’t need to plug it into the power socket while operating it.

Using a Cordless Circular Saw is just the same with the corded model, except that it’s portable and more convenient to use.

Usually, Cordless Circular Saw measures from 5 ⅜ to 6 ½  inches. It has on and off switches and an arbor nut that holds the blade tightly in place. Additionally, it also has a blade shield to protect the user from accidentally touching the edge.

How Well Do Cordless Circular Saws Work?

Cordless Circular Saws are ideal if your working at an area where extension cords are hard to use. Plus, they work well in confined spaces since they are smaller than corded saws. However, its limitations come from its batteries.

Cordless Circular Saws can cut through sturdy materials, but it requires more power causing it to drain the battery fast. It means that although cordless circular saws can work well on huge stuff, you may want to limit it to smaller and thinner wood like plywood. 

Cordless Saw VS Corded Saw – A List of Pros and Cons

As they say, everything has advantages and disadvantages. While it’s wise to have both Cordless and Corded saws, it may not be reasonable to purchase both, especially if you’re a beginner. So, in the question of which kind of Circular Saw to buy, here’s a table of their pros and cons to help you decide. 

Corded Pros Corded Cons Cordless Pros Cordless Cons
It has extraordinary cutting power that it can cut hardwood comfortably.You can’t use it if the electricity is out.It’s safer to use, and an excellent investment in cutting softwood.It may not have much power to cut hardwood
It can accommodate larger blades of at least 7.25 inches to produce superior cutting power.Its cord may be annoying at times when cutting.It is more convenient to use and operate the saw whenever needed.Charging the battery may take a couple of hours.

It has no cord that may tangle with the blade.Most corded saws can only accommodate blades with 6.5 inches size.

How Long Does a Cordless Circular Saw Last?

Cordless Circular Saws are durable and have a long lifespan with proper maintenance and regular cleaning. However, the battery charge depends on how often you use your saw, and the materials that you’re going to cut. So, if you’re going to use cordless saws regularly for heavy-duty jobs, the lifespan of the battery may reduce. 

Circular Saws Parts And Features

Whether it’s a corded or cordless circular saw, both have the same parts. However, sometimes, they differ when it comes to features and what it can do for you. Nevertheless, it is essential to understand some highlights for each part to help you in choosing.

  1. Depth Adjustment. Usually, it is at the back of the saw. It has indicators that tell the depth of the cut. These may range from 0 to 2.75 inches deep. Its mechanism is either a flange type or a threaded type of bolt for most cordless models.
  2. Bevel Adjustment. It is for making the saw tilt from 0 up to 57 degrees. These adjustments are generally on the front of the saw with a locking and unlocking mechanism. Some models have a dial that records the degree, and an indicator that shows the angle.
  3. Shoe. It is the baseplate of the saw, which is a flat piece of metal where the saw rests. They are from steel, aluminum, magnesium, or durable plastic material for extra toughness. Sometimes, the shoe has guides measured in inches to make rip cuts.
  4. Blade Guard. It has a fixed upper section to protect the blade, while the lower part retracts while cutting. Typically, it has a lever that manually controls the retraction.
  5. ​Blade Lock Mechanism. It’s for locking unlocking the blade in place so that you can remove or install a new one. It may look different in some models, but the purpose always remains the same.
  6. Blade Nut. It measures half-inch nut to lock the place and attached it to the body tightly, which connects the blade to the arbor of the circular saw.
  7. Handles. Circulars saws usually have two handles – one at the back of its body and another on the middle-top of its collection. The first handle (one at the end) has a trigger mounted for controlling and switching it on or off. The secondary handle is sometimes optional, and for stabilizing the saw while cutting. 

Other Circular Saw Metrics That You Should Understand

  • Amps. It is the amount of power that a motor requires to function. For example, a 15 amp motor needs more power from the electricity to produce or operate well. The higher amp also consumers higher energy.
  • ​Horsepower. It is the amount of energy that the saw can produce. The standard strength for most circular saws is one hp. More than that is for professional industrial purposes.
  • ​Arbor Size. The arbor is the threaded bolt where the blade sits and spins. Its size varies depending on the diameter of the sharp edge and the saw, but the standard is  ⅝ inches on corded circular saws and an inch lower for a cordless saw.
  • ​Blade Diameter. The standard diameter for the corded saw is 7.25 inches and 6.25 inches for cordless circular saws. However, smaller blades are less harder and have less strength in cutting hardwood.

What are the Types of Circular Saws

Circular saws come in different types, but they all have the same function. Usually, they only differ in size, shape, style, power, strength, and other special features. To help you pick which type to use, here’s a thorough explanation of their particular purposes.

  • Worm Drive

A Worm Drive Circular Saw has a small motor at the back of the saw, while the handle is behind the blade. It features just the right amount of torque, and operates a bit slower, approximately 4,500 rounds per minute (RPM), compared to other types. 

It uses oil to lubricate the gears that transfer power from the motor to the blade. So, it requires more maintenance than different models. It is ideal for right-handed users since the sharp edge is at the left side of the handle.

  • Sidewinder

A Sidewinder Circular Saw or Inline Saw is the most lightweight. It has sealed motors, which means no need to use oil, making it less hassle to maintain. The engines are either on the left or right side, and the handle is over the blade.

Usually, most cordless saws are of this type. Sidewinder operates at high-speed at approximately 6,000 RPM and a little less expensive compared to the other two types. Hence, it is the best choice for home use.

  • Hypnoid

It is the combination of the two types mentioned above. It has the power and strength of a Worm Drive and the low maintenance feature of the Sidewinder type. Its motor is at the back of the saw, but it uses a sealed motor system. However, even it has a sealed mechanism, it still uses a beveled spiral type of ​gear that makes it run more efficiently and less noisy than the two models.

What are the Criteria to Look for a Circular Saw?

The key is to get a circular saw that performs excellently in any material. Even if you’re into woodworking, there are times wherein you’d have to cut pieces of metal and plastic to go along with your design.

The point is, you want the best all-around saw that would fit your needs at a price that you can pay without breaking your bank.

  • Blade Size. Consider the size of the blade that you want to use. The most common and useful diameter for a circular saw, both corded and cordless, is 7 ¼ inches. It is enough to cut through any material that is 3 inches thick. 
  • Blades. Most saws have a carbide-tipped blade for all-around use. It is the best and only option that you need thus far. However, depending on how intricate is the cut that you need, you might have to buy particular types of blades. Also, remember that cleanest cuts require a higher number of blade teeth. 
  • Style. Which type of circular saw would you prefer? Do you want something that has short and long handles or holders over the blade? You can choose between different types of knives, and choose which of their characteristics fits your needs.
  • Power. 15-amp circular saws are the standard if you need to use it regularly. If you need it less often, 10 to 12 amps are enough. It is essential because there’s a vast price difference whenever you purchase based on power.
  • Ergonomics. It is all about the comfortability of the handle, the easiness of use, the right combination of weight and height, the visibility of the blade, and other adjustments for the circular saw.


What Should I Buy? A Corded or Cordless Circular Saw?

Both types of saws are useful, and it all depends on what you need for your project. If you’re a hard-core woodworker who works on various heavy-duty projects, then a corded saw is your best option because of its unlimited power. However, if you’re a hobbyist woodworker of small projects with no intention of producing massive workpieces, then the cordless version will work just fine.

Are Cordless Circular Saws Worth It?

It is worth it for small projects that don’t require frequent cutting. With its mobility and strength, it is perfect for DIY enthusiasts because they use it with no problem. Cordless Circular Saws are also sturdy and can cut anytime and anywhere.

How Big of a Circular Saw Do I Need?

7 ¼ inches is the most common blade for both cordless and corded circular saws nowadays. It is enough to cut a 3-inch dimensional wood at a 45-degree angle in a single pass.

Final Words 

Overall, a Cordless Circular Saw is worth every penny in your pocket. It is a combination of power and mobility. It’s much better if you could understand every feature, and the role it plays so you can get the best out of it. Generally, it’s a battle between mobility and maximum power against a corded saw.

If you are a hobbyist woodworker, and if you like tools that will let you move around, a cordless power saw is an excellent choice. However, if you’re into heavy-duty projects that require consistent power, and continuous use of the Circular Saw – a corded type is ideal for you.

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