Can battery powered circ saws really cut it?

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Forum topic by dawsonbob posted 07-27-2015 08:50 PM 2044 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3376 posts in 2204 days

07-27-2015 08:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: cordless circular saw question

I’ve been using the same old Skil saw for a long time now, but lately I’ve had my eye on a nice little Bosch 18v circular saw. I’m staying with Bosch on this for battery compatibility, but I’d sure like to hear from anyone who has a 18v cordless circular saw of any brand. How do you like it? How’s the power? How’s the cut?


-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

20 replies so far

View DBordello's profile


132 posts in 1675 days

#1 posted 07-27-2015 09:43 PM

I have a Dewalt 20v (but really 18v). It is my only circular saw. However, it comes through every time I need it. The battery life is great, I have two batteries, but have only needed to switch once. I doubt with two batteries you would ever be out of juice.

View canadianchips's profile


2627 posts in 3446 days

#2 posted 07-27-2015 10:00 PM

Depends on what you are cutting.
If you want to RIP long planks I am not sure how long the batteries would last.
I had skil 18v…......batteries lasted couple years. Never did heavy cutting.
I hAVE A 18v dewalt…...battery better than skil, saw has little more power than skil.
My last one is a 20v lithium. This saw is 6 1/2 blade, lots of power. When battery goes dead it doesn’t slow down like 18v did, the battery just quits.
I think its like any tool….overload it and it wont last, use it for job intended it will last long time.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View JayT's profile


6237 posts in 2660 days

#3 posted 07-27-2015 10:08 PM

I have a DeWalt 18v. Satisfaction level will depend on how you use it. Love it for breaking down sheet goods and quick cuts of construction-type material (pine, 2x, redwood, etc). Used it last weekend for breaking down a 5/4 walnut slab into usable pieces and didn’t love it so much. That was quite a bit more than the saw was happy with and the battery drained fast.

Cordless circular saws are power hogs, so you don’t get a lot of run time per charge, but if not using for long periods, the convenience is well worth it, IMHO. Added plus is that with a left side blade, it’s much easier to cut to a line for a right handed person than with a standard side-winder corded saw.

Cut is OK with an 18 or 24 tooth blade, not great. (They were designed as construction tools, not finish carpentry and the blade selection reflects that) Probably not going to be ready to assemble right off the saw. I use the cordless saw to break things down a bit oversize and then do a finish cut with a more powerful tool on the now much smaller, easier to handle piece.

On the final balance, the ease of use far outweighs the negatives for me. I haven’t used the corded circ saw in probably two years.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View dawsonbob's profile


3376 posts in 2204 days

#4 posted 07-27-2015 10:12 PM

As I mentioned in the opening, I’ll be sticking with Bosch since I already have matching batteries.

I’m just looking at making fairly common cuts like knock-down the occasional sheet goods, trim doors to size, quick cuts on a number of things so I don’t have to fire up the table saw or miter saw. I take care of an apartment building, so the saw would get a lot of use.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3436 days

#5 posted 07-27-2015 10:15 PM

I love my Milwaukee circ saw.
Over 200 crosscuts on pine 2×4s with one battery.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View dawsonbob's profile


3376 posts in 2204 days

#6 posted 07-27-2015 10:16 PM

Thanks, guys.

JT, that is exactly the kind of info I am looking for.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View JeffP's profile


573 posts in 1840 days

#7 posted 07-27-2015 11:12 PM

I have the DeWalt 18V and fully agree with JayT.

You have to adjust your expectations. If you are just breaking down some plywood or mdf on sawhorses before you bring it inside…it gets the job done without the hassle of getting out the extension cord.

OTOH, it is very easy to find jobs that it is NOT up to. Anything where you need either more power, a thick blade, or long running time…forget about it.

Example…I have been working on putting in a new HVAC system on my brick house. I had to put in two new access ports into the crawlspace ( one for people and one for the big air conduits for the package HVAC unit). The cordless would have been really convenient…but I knew better. Put the diamond blade in my old plug-in circular saw and “git ‘er done”.

By comparison, the whole job also involved cutting down some 1/4” mdf, and also cutting in half some 4X8 sheets of 2 inch thick foam insulation. The deWalt was absolutely the right tool for those jobs.

So, for the cordless, use the very thin kerf blade it comes with, and keep that sharp.

If you are doing something heavy duty or a lot of it…use a “real” saw.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3419 days

#8 posted 07-28-2015 01:08 AM

Mine is a Milwaukee.
I already had a drill and impact driver in Milwaukee with 2 batteries so I just bought the bare tool for the saw.
Guess what. The saw only runs on the 3.5 amp hour tall battery. So, had to go and find a deal on a big battery. Took a couple of months but I finally got one for $80.

Still like the saw though. have ripped a couple sheets of 3/4” plywood into 12” wide strips on one charge. Battery charges in about 45 minutes.

View dawsonbob's profile


3376 posts in 2204 days

#9 posted 07-28-2015 02:24 AM

You had me scared for a minute. Had to go check whether the saw I wanted required a larger battery than I have. Nope. It’ll work just fine with my existing batteries.

I went ahead and pulled the pin: it could get here as early as Wednesday.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View RobS888's profile


2606 posts in 2293 days

#10 posted 07-28-2015 03:15 AM

Get a Freud/diablo blade. It will make cuts much easier.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View dawsonbob's profile


3376 posts in 2204 days

#11 posted 07-28-2015 03:19 AM

Rob, I was planning on that, but I also read that the Bosch blade that comes with the saw is pretty good. Going to test it when it comes in.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View rick1955's profile


264 posts in 1879 days

#12 posted 08-12-2015 02:22 AM
This saw takes two 18 volt batteries (36 volts)

-- Working smarter with less tools is a true crafts person...

View dawsonbob's profile


3376 posts in 2204 days

#13 posted 08-12-2015 02:29 AM

Actually, I got the saw (Bosch CCS180BN) in a few days ago. I haven’t had a chance to use it much yet, but I can say that it’s much, much better than the old Skilsaw ever thought of being. I’m a happy camper…er, cutter…now.

-- Mistakes are what pave the road to perfection

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

110 posts in 2418 days

#14 posted 08-17-2015 01:56 AM

I just got a new Ridgid GenX5 cordless circ saw and I initially thought that the larger 7 1/4” blade would stall due to higher torque on the larger blade. However, it functions quite well and is certainly handy for breaking down a sheet of plywood or cutting a straight edge on a large panel glue-up wider or longer than can fit in the sliding miter saw or table saw. It is much more powerful than my previous Ridgid cordless circ saw.
It does eat batteries, but I have so many since I started with a set of Ridgid cordless tools back in 2006 and they have been replacing the batteries for free all this time under their Lifetime Service Agreement. So by now I have two sets of tools and 7 batteries plus 4 chargers, so I don’t mind any of the tools eating batteries or abusing the batteries as they are just replaced free of charge.

They are no replacement for a corded saw, but they are also much safer as the cordless has an electronic brake so the blade stops instantly when the trigger is released and the power is just weak enough that any kick back is controllable so that you don’t go cutting your leg, fingers, or body in the case of a shifting board or bound blade. Plus Ridgid just put lights on all of their tools so that new saw has an LED light.

I don’t work for them, but have taken many of the tools back to them for repair or replacement and had only limited trouble (best you can hope for). I got the new set because I have a big construction project and had my main drill out for repair and heard the dreaded words “backordered parts”.

-- Matt Rogers, and

View rustfever's profile


771 posts in 3759 days

#15 posted 08-17-2015 03:13 AM

Have been using the Milwaukee 18v line of tools in my construction business for years. Employees are rough on them, but the tools take the beating. The employees are very happy with the lack of power cords running around that they always tripped over.
BYW, we only do ‘Heavy’ construction, not just wood shop stuff.
But I use the Milwaukee in my wood shop and love the convenience of no chord, power to get the job done, and reasonable battery life.
Would I buy Milwaukee 18v if I had it to do over….........IN A HEART BEAT I WOULD REPURCHASE.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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