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Advice for Selecting the Right Cordless Circular Saw

Updated on January 5, 2017
Hitachi 18-Volt Lithium Ion Circular Saw
Hitachi 18-Volt Lithium Ion Circular Saw | Source

What are the Differences Between Corded and Cordless Circular Saws?

Due to the wide array of selections available in the power tool market today, picking out the best cordless circular saw among all the brands and models can get confusing.

Many people ask how a cordless circular saw differs from a regular circular saw, and what the difference is between cordless and corded circular saw blades.

Even though the distinctions tend to be only a few, there are a few things you might want to take into consideration before determining which one to shop for.

Man Using a Circular Saw
Man Using a Circular Saw | Source

The Pros and Cons of Cordless Circular Saw Ownership

PROS - The cordless circular saw is lightweight, hassle-free and easily transportable, removing the necessity for packing never-ending, twisted ropes of power cord around, not to mention having an electric outlet to plug it in to. The higher quality models make use of lithium ion technology to deliver longer battery run-time and an enhanced overall life expectancy.

Though a cordless circular saw will not be suitable for each and every scenario out there, they make an ideal tool for scaled-down projects. These types of assignments are the ones that you don't wish to chance slicing your power cord on a small project. For anyone who is not necessarily in a big rush to get that shed constructed, this may be the saw to work with.

A cordless circular saw has earned its place on the job site, and with a modest amount of caution, it is possible to make use of one for most of the jobs you'll want to perform.

CONS- There is certainly one very noticeable distinction that you will experience when working with any cordless circular saw.

This distinction is simply a matter of less power. As soon as you reference the words cordless circular saw many people will be quick to look at you like you have misplaced your mind; the two simply don't mesh very well because of the fact that a cordless product does not have adequate power and everybody understands that to be true. 18 to 24 volts is really a far cry from the standard 120 volts you get from a power outlet.

We'll be realistic here; until there exists a method to put the entire 120 volts of a corded circular saw into the size of an 18-volt battery pack, a cordless circular saw will likely be at a disadvantage in the way of power. No one has been capable of making a battery bank which is in a position to compete with the capability that you will get coming from a corded circular saw.

On a final note, working with a cordless circular saw may, on occasion, be a little troublesome as there may be a bit of variation in the way that the saw performs as a consequence of battery life. It's for that reason that most folks keep a charged spare battery handy.

What to Look for in Cordless Circular Saws

There are 2 main considerations when choosing a cordless circular saw:

Features and comfort versus power and speed.

The top of the line models will combine both features.

Some of the more popular features available on today's cordless saws range from rip fences and laser guides for improvements in accuracy to electric brakes for quick stops and spindle locks to make blade changing faster and easier.

To enhance your comfort level during work, seek out models that have soft comfy grip handles.

Look for basic safety features, including a trigger lock and the ability to lock the blade when changing it.

Saving Money

Price is another important consideration when choosing a cordless circular saw. Cordless circular saws can be bought for a very low price. You can get by with paying less than $40, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. On the other hand, there are some relatively expensive models selling for several hundred dollars.

Make certain that you buy from a reputable dealer. Getting a less costly cordless circular saw from an unknown business will cost you extra in terms of reliability, and you may be faced with having no warranty to fall back on.

Buying a used or reconditioned cordless circular saw is also an option for saving money, but try to get one with at least some type of limited warranty on it.

Narrowing Your Choices

When buying a cordless circular saw, consider the materials you're cutting and the area you're working in. The saw should be adequate for the projects that you have in mind.

There are 12v circular saws that are perfect for tinkering around the house. They lack the power of high voltage models, but they allow you to perform smaller jobs effectively.

Keep in mind we are talking about cordless circular saws. Don't buy one expecting it to cut through a house full of lumber in an afternoon without recharging. It's probably not going to happen.

Likewise, if you choose one that is overmatched for the job, you could be sinking money into something which might be handled with a smaller saw.

Saw Blades are Dangerous
Saw Blades are Dangerous | Source

Using Your Cordless Saw Safely

So you've gone out and bought the cordless circular saw you want and are ready to start using it on some projects that have been piling up. First thing first, though. There are several safety issues that need your attention before jumping in without knowing what you may be getting yourself into.

Cordless circular saws are potentially dangerous. Due to how relatively simple they are to use and control, it's real easy to forget you've got a highly powered sharp spinning blade in your hands.

Here are several safety guidelines for working with a cordless circular saw while minimizing the danger to yourself and others.

* If you are at all like me and wish to get started on a new project quickly, you may be tempted to pull your new circular saw out of the box and begin straight away. This is probably not a good idea. It is best to read the instruction manual so that you know how the unit operates and exactly what safety features may or may not be included.

* Clear the area of any unnecessary items laying around the work area to further reduce accidents. Tripping over something with a spinning blade in your hands is not in your best interest.

* Always remember that when the battery is in your saw it's just like having a corded tool plugged in. The potential for danger is always there.

* It is strongly advised that you have proper eye and hearing protection.

* Keep the blades sharp. You'll find nothing worse than having a dull blade on a saw. The strain on the saw is much greater, and you have the potential for a nasty kickback.

* Cordless circular saws feature a blade guard which provides coverage for and protects the user from, the spinning blades. DON'T REMOVE IT!

* Circular saws are ideal for cutting through a number of various materials, but you must use the correct blade for the job. You don't want to use a metal cutting blade to work on concrete or wood, and the opposite is true as well.

* Cordless circular saws need to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep sawdust from accumulating, which can impact both the overall performance and safety of your saw.

The majority of cordless circular saws have added safety features such as trigger and blade locks, however, don't be misled into thinking they are going to always work. It's like relying on the oil light in your vehicle to always function. Sometimes they don't!

Safety Features To Look For In A Cordless Circular Saw

Lockout trigger switches and top blade guards are critical safety features on modern cordless circular saws. The top blade guard must move freely, and snap right back into place after a cut is completed. Make sure the lockout button is in working order and doesn't stick.

The better-designed models will place the button above the trigger to help you hold it down while squeezing. Contemporary saws also provide finger tabs on the blade guard to help you to manually move the guard without getting your fingers near the spinning blade. This is great for the occasional time you may get the saw blade stuck in the material you are cutting.

Handling Cordless Circular Saw Blades

Having a sharp blade in your cordless circular saw is essential for safe operation. This means replacing blades from time to time, whether for sharpening or for swapping out the saw blade with one that is correct the job at hand. Prior to changing out blades on your cordless circular saw, make sure you have donned a pair of safety gloves and removed the battery pack from the saw. It is also a good idea to cycle the saw once or twice to discharge any leftover energy that may still be in the saw.

Cordless Circular Saw Battery Safety

Always remove the battery pack when changing blades, performing maintenance, or storing your circular saw between uses. Leaving a battery in when not needed can result in avoidable trips to the emergency room. Keep in mind that handling a cordless circular is equivalent to using a plugged in corded model. The one big difference is how easy it is to forget you have a live tool in your hands without the cord trailing behind as a reminder.

These important cordless circular safety tips by no means cover each and every possible circumstance you might find yourself in. The main thing is always to operate your cordless circular saw in a sober state of mind, wear the appropriate safety gear, and remember that goofing off with a live spinning saw blade in your hands just isn't a good thing to be doing.

I hope you enjoy many years of safely operating your cordless circular saw.

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© 2013 Hal Gall

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      giftideasforyourboyfriend 4 years ago

      I saw once my grandfather cutting trough a cable with his sabre saw because he didn't pay attention.

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