A few years ago, I would have laughed if somebody offered me a cordless circular saw. Growing up using full-size power tools, I would never have been able to imagine an effective circular saw powered by no more than a small battery. Yet here we are – I am now the proud owner of a powerful 18 V Ryobe cordless circular saw, which cuts everything from plywood to MDF and floorboards.
A cordless circular saw is a fantastic addition to any handyman’s arsenal of tools. Circular saws have several advantages over reciprocating saws and jigsaws: because you are cutting with a relatively large diameter, spinning blade, it is easy to make very straight and accurate cuts. A circular saw also makes relatively clean cuts, and is fast and efficient.
So why should you buy a cordless circular saw? There are plenty of reasons, and basically they are the same reasons for why you would buy a cordless drill.
For a start, once you use a cordless circular saw, you will wonder how you ever were able to cope with having a power cord trailing behind you. As I said before, power cords are simply amazing things when it comes to knocking expensive tools and other possessions of benches, tables and work stools. Plus, power cords are great for tripping over. One time I even chopped straight through the power cord while in the middle of the job …
And other great reason to have cordless circular saw is that you can use it when the power is off, as can happen if you are doing renovations and repairs. Sometimes when you do jobs around the house, or somebody else’s house, the power needs to be turned off for safety reasons. The traditional solution used to be to approach a neighbour and runs an extension lead over from their property, but with a cordless power tool you don’t need to do this. Of course you need to make sure your battery packs are charged, but a cordless circular saw can save you a lot of hassles.
Safety is another major consideration, and because a cordless circular saw runs of a relatively low voltage, there is no chance of getting electrocuted if you have to work in a wet environment or outdoors. Although it is not advisable to take any cordless power to outside, especially when it is raining, at least it’s not going to prove lethal – as can easily happen if you start dragging mains power cables outside.
There are many different brands of cordless circular saws that would make a fantastic choice really handyman, some of the best are Makita, Ryobi, and Bosch. These manufacturers make fantastic cordless circular saws in 18 V and now 24 V ranges, and these tools are tough enough for light commercial use.
From personal experience, I have found the best thing to use your cordless circular saw for is to cut relatively thin pieces of timber. Although you can cut wood to a thickness of 4 x 2″, this does use up a lot of power and makes the saw work very hard. I found the best application is in cutting plywood, and usually in thicknesses of no more than half an inch. It’s not that these tools can’t handle more, it’s just that anything much thicker takes a long time to cut, and realistically you are better off using a larger more powerful mains tools to do the job.
Always remember that using a cordless circular saw should be approached with the same kind of caution as using a mains powered one. These things are not toys, and you should still wear gloves, and eye protection when using them.