Cordless vs Corded Circular Saw: What to Buy & Why?

The debate between corded and cordless tools is a classic one. It is easy to just come to the conclusion that each type is perfect for unique situations, but it is deeper than that.

To address the topic, we need to carefully study both models and compare them. The study must be detailed, and the juxtaposition should contain every significant factor that can influence one’s choice over the other.

corded vs cordless circular saw compared

Both the corded models and the cordless models are still in the garden of circular saws. Before addressing the cordless vs. corded circular saw, we need to start by defining what circular saws are, what they do, and how they do what they do.

What Are Circular Saws?

A circular saw is one of the types of power saws that cut specific materials by using rotational motion as the cutting agent spins within the arbor. The cutting agent can be a blade or disc, and discs can be abrasive or toothed. 

Circular saws are not the only type that uses rotary motion to operate. Ring saws and hole saws also work with rotary motion principles. Circular saws can serve as a blade by themselves. A circular saw can cut materials like metals, wood, plastic, and masonry. The saws can be mounted on a machine or operated by hand. 

Normally, each circular saw is made for a specific material. When designed to cut woods, they can perform cross cuts or rip cuts, or both.

Electrically powered type is common, but hydraulic motors and gasoline engines also exist. They are suitable for situations when the saw is attached to another heavy machine.

Commonly, the workpiece is tightly held with a vice or clamp while the saw approaches and cuts gradually. For a table saw variant, the saw is fixed while the workpiece approaches it slowly and gets cut.

Key Features of A Circular Saw

Your circular saw may be corded or cordless, but it needs to have significant features that make it worthwhile. These features are based on operation and performance. A decent circular saw should have quite a combination of these features; let’s discuss the important ones.

Trigger safety buttons

The button for trigger safety should be within the span of your thumb and should not be hard to punch. You should not have to remove your trigger fire to access the safety, only to return it all while running. The push-in style of engagement is typically harder than the push-down type.

Grip

This is the first feature you experience when you use a circular saw. The grip is a combination of factors like adjustment ease, balance, weight, handle design, and feel. The pommels (knobs in front) and real handles are mostly made of rubber, which generally has an acceptable level of grip.

Adjustment of depth

The scale of depth should be accurate. If not, draw out your own marks that are properly calibrated. Levers for locking depth easy to access when they are outside the saw, but they can get loose when the saw hits the working surface. That problem is more common when locking levels are close to the shoe level.

Weight of saw

Lightweight saws are easier to operate, but heavyweight saw usually has more power, a good balance can be comforting. Battery-powered circularly saws are relatively heavier than their counterparts.

Saw’s bevel angle

The scale for setting a bevel angle should be very precise and easy to see. That way, you won’t have to go through the stress of having to mark out points by yourself, points that can get faded with time.

Blade visibility

The physical structure of circular saws should be in a way that allows you to see the while cutting materials; such a feature will enable you to monitor your work well. Your hand, retracting the lower guard’s level and housing, should not always obstruct your view. Keep cutting depth at the maximum when you can also provide more blade visibility.

Accuracy and precision

This feature is a function of multiple factors, including alignment of the shoe set to blade, clearly marked cutline, good guard retraction, and blade visibility. Cutting to expect mark is the aim, make sure the kerf is not too wide, and the markers have a precise notch.

Shoe properties

Having a considerable shoe part parted away from the center allows you to make lower bevel angles but saw losses some steadiness due to small support from the surface of bearing. Saw binding and tilting is determined by the flatness of the shoe, to some extent. Blade angle gets alter when the shoe is in contact with the material, resulting in dips or bends.

The lower guard

Irrespective of the blade’s cutting angle or depth, the saw’s lower guard should always withdraw freely during cuts. Lower edges should be angled, and lobes should be round with a smooth ride on the cut material, which will earn you a free hand. The hanging of the guard can be reduced by using the minimum depth that can do the work.

Extra features

You can choose your circular saw based on the extras you get; you might not even mind adding some extra cash to your budget for that. Efficient dust ports and Headlights for indoor works or night time jobs are some of the good extras to look out for.

Choosing Between Cordless vs Corded Circular Saw

Corded circular saws work with a cord that is connected to the electric source. The cord is always in the form of a wire or cable, and the electric source is usually a socket. Cordless circular saws use batteries as the power source; a cord is absent. Let us consider some important factors to consider when choosing between corded and cordless options.

Convenience of use

Convenience is dependent on weight, design, grip, and other factors. In general, cordless saws are easier to use because of the lightweight they have. Also, your working freedom is not restricted by the length of a cord. Corded saws can easily limit movement if the cord is short. They can clog up your working space if cord is too long.

Tool replacement stress

The stress of replacing tools and parts is something to consider too. Corded saw options don’t require you to change or assemble parts. The device is all set and ready to go. On the other hand, cordless saws require some assembling. The batteries also have to fix and constantly replaced, especially when you have multiple batteries.

Safety factor

Both options should be very safe for the operator, but design comes into play too. Cordless saws generally have smaller teeth that can do less harm in case an accident happens. The corded circular saws have stronger and bigger teeth that are more dangerous, over 7 inches of blade size. This factor should not reign supreme when you are a cautious user.

Working strength

Working with direct electricity makes corded saws more powerful and rugged, strong enough to tackle heavyweight jobs. The extreme power generates also stays constant through the process of cutting materials. The cordless option can’t handle jobs that require an extreme level of device inputs, and the batteries are not stable with the rate of electricity supplied.

Power supply considerations

If you have a steady supply of electricity, the corded circular saw might be the perfect option for you. You can run heavy-duty tasks more conveniently, and you want to stop work because a battery is dead.

If you don’t have access to constant electricity, the cordless option is best for you. Batteries can serve you when there is no electric supply, and you can recharge them when you have electricity. Also, you have the option of having multiples batteries so that one can take over when the other is dead.

Versatility and Portability

The cordless saw wins here. It is easier to work in tight space, and you can easily move your circular from place to place without bothering about electricity. Also, out jobs where there are no sockets to plug to won’t be a challenge. All you need is to have the saw and some charged batteries.

Our Favorite Cordless Circular Saw: DEWALT 20V MAX 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

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This is a great cordless circular saw from DEWALT with over 7 inches of blade length and over 5000 rpm of speed. The length is 11 inches; width is 8 inches, and height is 10 inches. The physical dimension of the electric powered device is not hard to handle during operation.

The brushless motor can supply a speed of 5200 rpm, and it is steady, even when under load. The bevel capacity is well over 50 degrees, giving more room for ease while using the device.

Though the charger and battery are sold separately, these tools are worth every penny. The battery for it normally has 20 volts of initial voltages and 18 volts of nominal voltage.

Runtime is also decent, with an average of 100 crosscuts, with reference to a two by four pine. Depth of cut can be up to 2-9/16 inch, and adjustment of depth is convenient. The capacity of the DEWALT 20V MAX 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw is very consistent.

Our Favorite Corded Circular Saw: CRAFTSMAN 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw

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Talking about cordless circular saws, this one is surely a favorite. The CRAFTSMAN 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw has an amazing speed of 5500 rpm and a weight that is less than 12 pounds. The tool made by Craftsman has compact dimensions; 13.96 length x 9.2 width x 7.9 height.

Beveling does not require an extra part, and the shoe pivot can run up to 55 degrees. The shoe is made from magnesium, making it very durable while having lightweight. The lower guard and upper metal are also very rugged, strong, and durable.

The power requirements and operational capacity as also very consistent, making it a go-to for me. The cord is not necessarily a disadvantage for me. The cutting speed is maintained to a respectable degree when you are working on workpieces.

The blade has a carbide tip, and the length is 7.25 inches. The device normally has 15 teeth, and the rafter hook makes it convenient to use. The handle is very optimal, and you also get a 3-year warranty.

Should I Pick Corded or Cordless Circular Saw?

You are in the best position to answer that. If you have a constant electricity supply and are involved in strength demanding jobs, the corded saw is the right tool for you.

If you are more involved in lightweight works and constantly need to move around, a cordless saw will serve you well.

If you don’t perfectly fit into any of the two categories, it all comes down to considering all factors and knowing the functions you can sacrifice and the ones you can’t do without.

Conclusion

Cordless vs. Corded circular saw should not be a debate if you can have the two.

It is definitely worth the spending if you are into the workshop and outdoor tasks. You should also bear in mind that cordless circular saws can also serve some heavy-duty purposes. If you are very careful and extremely skilled, the experience will definitely count.

Before finally making your choice, make sure the credibility of the manufacturer or distributor is certified.

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