Cordless Circular Saws

The latest lithium-ion battery technology transforms 18-volt circular saws from timid trim toys to full-bore 6.5-inch multitaskers. These go-anywhere saws pack the power of their corded cousins—just not the daylong stamina. Limited run-times rule out big rip-cut projects. Here's what you should be looking for:

A comfy front handle helps to steady cuts.
Side-to-side safety switches, unlike this paddle type, allow for the most natural grip.
A magnesium shoe, lighter and stiffer than steel, won't bend—but it can break. Aluminum strikes a balance.
Relief markings should clearly label cut lines (0 degrees and 45 degrees) and depth settings.
Metal blade guards, unlike plastic ones, are built to last.

And, here are five 18-volt circular saws that make the grade, along with what you need to know about upgrading your blade, cutting techniques, and battery life.
Ask TOH users about Power Tools

Contribute to This Story Below