You can now shake off electrical cords on circular saws, but is it worth the gamble? With so many options and price points available, there is an increased chance of buying a model that fails to perform. Don’t waste your resources on the wrong product — our experts rounded up the best cordless circular saws available. Learn their strengths and limitations below.
Reviews of the Best Cordless Circular Saws
1. Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Circular Saw
Our experts deem the Makita XSS02Z as our best cordless circular saw because it combines power, precision, and versatility into one. The 6.5-inch TCT blade can cut between 0.25 inches to 2 inches deep with a depth scaling feature to monitor the depth.
It has a brushless motor that reduces friction and allows longer run times before charging is needed. This motor allows a maximum of 3700 rotations/minute.
This machine gives you a bevel capacity of 50° which facilitates different types of cuts. It also comes with Protection technology that helps safeguard against overheating, over-discharging, and overloading.
2. DeWalt 20v Max 7-1/4 Circular Saw with Brake
Our experts’ best value saw is the larger version of another circular saw, the DeWalt DCS391B. This version comes with a longer 7-1/4-inch blade and a 5200 RPM motor, which is fifty more rotations than the DeWalt DCS391B.
This machine’s brushless motor maintains its speed under load and offers a 2-9/16-inch depth of cut at 90 degrees and 1-5/8-inches at 45 degrees. This circular saw also has a bevel capacity of 57°, which is more than many other cordless circular saws.
This model also comes with an electric brake, a rear pivot, and a blade-changing wrench.
For other portable power tools, you can check our comparison of Rockwell Versacut vs Rotorazer here.
3. Milwaukee 2730-20 M18 Fuel 6-1/2 Circular Saw
As far as our team is concerned, this Milwaukee 2730-20 M18 might just be the best 6-1/2-inch circular saw available today.
The Milwaukee features an 18V, 5000 RPM brushless Power state motor that allows you to work on projects that other cordless circular saws can’t handle. This tool comes with electronic intelligence called REDLINK PLUS, which optimizes performance and protects against overloading, over-discharging, and overheating.
The saw guards and shoe are made of cast magnesium to ensure a lightweight but durable design. This tool also comes with an integrated LED light, a wrench, and a rafter hook for easy storage.
4. DeWalt FlexVolt 60V Max Circular Saw with Brake Kit (DCS575T2)
This machine gives you the power of corded circular saws and mobility of cordless saws in one. The FlexVolt uses a 60V battery and a 5800 RPM motor. It has absolutely no problem splitting most materials.
This is not a bare tool. With your FlexVolt purchase, you’ll get this tool, a replacement 7-1/4-inch blade, a blade wrench, two battery packs, and a fast charger. Its capacity for bevel cuts is up to 57° with two stops at 22.5° and 45°.
The FlexVolt battery is backward compatible with other DeWalt FlexVolt tools even if your tool uses a 20V MAX battery.
5. Makita XSR01PT 18V x2 LXT Brushless Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw Kit
The Makita XSR01PT is the larger version of the Makita XSR01Z. This tool is the best circular saw on this list if you’re looking at work drive power alone.
This machine is powered by a 18Vx2 Lithium-Ion battery and a brushless motor with electronic controls to match torque and RPM to the current project to ensure maximum performance and no wastage.
This powerful battery set can spin the 7-1/4-inch blade at 5,100 rotations/minute, which is enough for 558 cuts on 2×4 lumber and can work on other materials such as MDF pegboard, plywood, and drywall.
6. SKIL 48V 7-1/4" TRUEHVL Cordless Worm Drive Circular Saw
This SKIL 48V 7-1/4″ Circular Saw from Skilsaw is the only cordless worm drive saw on this list and the one from the company.
Skilsaw calls their 48V battery system True High Voltage Lithium or TRUEHVL. It has a 7-1/4-inch blade and a motor that can spin it at 5800 RPM. It has a 2-3/8-inch cutting capacity at 90°, 1-15/16-inch at 45° and 1-11/16-inch at its full tilting capacity of 53°.
The TRUEHVL Worm Drive helps keep the saw very stable while cutting, which increases accuracy. This tool can perform cross, bevel, compound, and miter cuts without a hitch.
(If you are looking for the perfect accessory for your power tool, here are the top circular 7 1/4 circular saw blades listed for you)
7. Bosch Bare-Tool CCS180B
The Bosch Bare-Toolzg CCS180B is the best cordless saw on this list when it comes to portability. It only weighs 6.6 pounds, but its 18V motor still packs a punch by offering 3900 no-load RPM.
This machine comes with an anti-snag lower guard to ease the blade into the material smoothly. There’s also an electronic brake and an adjustable easy-to-read and depth of cut gauge, which all serve to improve locking and accuracy.
As a must-have woodworking tool, the 6-1/2 blade can cut through materials up to 2 inches deep at 90° and 1-9/16-inch deep at 50°. Its Protection technology prevents overloading and overheating.
8. Porter-Cable PCC660B Cordless Circular Saw
The Porter-Cable PCC660B is our team’s best cordless saw for tight budgets. This saw’s asking price is really low compared to its quality.
This cordless saw comes with a 20V battery that spins the 6-1/2-inch carbide tooth blade at 4000 RPM. The blade delivers a 2-1/8 cutting depth and bevel capacity of up to 50°, which means it can deliver all types of accurate cuts.
Also, it’s extremely light at only 6.5 pounds and quiet when in operation. It is perfect for those who need a cordless circular saw for light to medium-duty tasks.
Cordless Circular Saws Buyer’s Guide
Although we’ve given you the best cordless circular saw reviews, we’re not done yet. Here is a list of the factors you need to consider when looking for your own saw.
Battery and Power
On average, most cordless circular saws can offer at least 3500 RPM. Better versions offer 4000 to 4800, and if you want a high-end cordless circular saw, you can find some with over 5000 RPM. Though higher RPMs represent better cutting performance, they’re not a good indicator of torque. However, some models like the Worm Drive offer high torque as a feature.
The “V” in 18V, 36V, or 48V stands for “Voltage”. Voltage is the unit of measurement for power in a battery. Most cordless circular saws use a Lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery. These batteries are preferred because they’re fast-charging, lighter, and don’t have a memory effect. Several cordless circular saws use 18-volt or 20-volt Li-ion batteries, which normally provide enough power for a 2-inch cut.
Ampere-hour (Ah) is used to measure how long the battery can last before it needs to recharge. This usually ranges between 3 to 5 Ah. Some cordless circular saws use nickel-cadmium (Ni-cd) batteries, but these lose efficiency as they continue to discharge.
Brushed or Brushless Motor?
You may not have come across the latter if you were using topnotch corded circular saws. The reason for this is that this term doesn’t really matter to motors with an unlimited supply of power.
The difference between brushed and brushless motors has to do with the relationship between friction, energy, and efficiency. What you need to know is that brushless motors produce less friction. Because less friction is produced, they’re able to use energy more efficiently. They usually get efficiency ratings between 85 percent and 90 percent. Brushed motors average around 75 to 80 percent because a lot of energy is lost to the continuous friction between parts.
In a cordless circular saw, power is generated by a battery. This is a very limited supply, and that extra 10 percent of wasted energy can be the difference between completing your work or the saw petering out before you’re done.
Another advantage of brushless motors is the reduced production of heat. All machines produce heat, but since friction is reduced in these models, heat is also diminished.
Higher energy efficiency also means your battery can allot more power to spinning the blade, thereby producing a higher RPM and more torque. Most powerful cordless circular saws use brushless motors, from 7-1/4-inch ones like the DeWalt DCS391B to smaller ones like the Black+Decker Max 5-1/2-inch saw.
Blade & Cutting Capacity
The larger the blade size, the more power is needed to rotate it. Because cordless circular saws have a limited supply of power, most cannot handle large blades. The longest is 7-1/4, which is fairly rare and needs a strong motor to generate sufficient rotations/minute to make cuts.
Smaller blades produce more torque and can generate higher RPMs because they don’t need a lot of power to turn, but they’re limited in cutting depth. A lot of cordless circular saws have 6-1/2-inch blades, which are a good mid-point. There are even 5-1/2 and 4-1/2-inch blades.
Some brands have cordless saws with small blades and a longer 7-1/4-inch blade as their high-end version.
If you want to achieve an accurate straight cut, you can also check our list of the best track saw here.
Most cordless circular saws have handles on the left-side to provide a clear view of the machine and material during use.
The best cordless circular saw should have an ergonomic handle like the Rockwell Versacut circular saw shaped to enhance grip. You’ll need a firm grip to push the saw into the material to create a clean cut.
There is also the handle position. The most common are the rear handles and sidewinder. Rear handle saws stay at the back of the machine. Rear saws are usually on the heavier side. Sidewinder handles are located right beside the blade. The saws are smaller and lighter and can easily cut materials from that angle.
Ease of Use
How user-friendly a saw is depends on several features like handle position, blade position, power, cutting depth, maneuverability, and adjustability. If a saw is powerful, light, and also has features that allow it to be easily adjusted for greater accuracy, it will be easy to use.
For easier and precise cutting, you can always rely on the top-performing circular saw guides we reviewed here.
Thousands of worksite accidents happen every year. To reduce the chances of a workplace injury or being cut by powerful circular saw blade, you should include safety features as a non-negotiable criterion in your search for your best cordless circular saw.
Some safety features common in circular saws include blade locks that automatically stop the blade when the user releases the trigger switch. There are also blade guards that are retractable, molded, rubber handles that prevent the machine from slipping out of your grip, and trigger safeties that guard against accidental starts.
Sawdust is carcinogenic , so a dust collection device or dust port is extremely important when you’re working with wood pieces. Some saws come with this feature, but you may have to purchase a dust port separately, especially for those that saws that come as bare tools.
Other Additional Features
Depending on the cordless circular saw and manufacturer, many saws have extra features that make them more impressive. Some have technology designed to prevent overheating, overloading, and over-discharging, and prolong the saw’s use.
There is also technology that protects these cordless circular saws from water & dust and provides bevel adjustments or torque & speed adjustments based on the material.
(Looking for an ideal circular saw for your small woodworking projects? Why not try checking our review of Rotorazer circular saw here)
What is the best cordless circular saw on the market?
The best cordless circular saw on the market is the Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Circular Saw. It’s a lightweight saw that’s still able to make deep cuts. It is versatile and comes with features to protect both you and the machine. Its battery is also long-lasting.
Are battery-powered circular saws any good?
Yes, battery-powered circular saws work great, especially on job sites where it’s too busy to drag a cord all over the place. Many cordless saws can now compete in power with corded ones especially ones specifically made for power like the DeWalt FlexVolt 60V Max Circular Saw. Even smaller sidewinder models like the Black+Decker 5-1/2-inch pack a fair punch.
Are cordless circular saws worth it?
Cordless circular saws are worth your money. All you have to do is make sure you’re getting one that fits your needs, and you’ll be able to get enough power and portability to handle all your projects.
Our Top Pick for a Cordless Circular Saw: Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Circular Saw
After a series of tests, our team crowns the Makita XSS02Z saw as our top pick because of its features that provide accuracy and versatility. This saw is light and provides a tilting capacity of 50° and a motor that offers 3700 RPM. For enhanced accuracy, there’s a depth scaling feature to guide you. It even includes a protection feature to ensure that it maintains its durability and doesn’t overload.