The Best Cordless Circular Saw

Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Circular Saw

Our Top Pick for 2016: Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Circular Saw
Read our full review.

See it on Amazon for $117.35*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.
Too expensive? See our budget pick.

Whether you do woodworking as a hobby to enjoy your spare time or carpentry is your profession, you will need a circular saw in your tool arsenal. Today, it is ideal to purchase a cordless version, so you do not have to worry about finding an outlet on the job site. You can purchase any circular saw by itself, but sometimes they are also sold in a kit, which gives you batteries, a charger, and a case. How you buy your circular saw is up to you, but before deciding on a purchase, how will you know exactly which saw is right for you? We have done the research for you, and after considering details like the handles, the safety switches, and the reflex markings, here are the best cordless circular saws that we discovered.

Table of contents

6-1/2″ Carbide Tipped Blade
2-1/4″ Maximum Cutting Capacity
Brushless Motor
5250 RPM Motor
Delivers 3,700 RPM
Arbor Size 5/8″
Lightweight Magnesium Shoe
Precision Machined Base
LED Light
Powerful 460 MWO
Smooth Accurate Cutting
5,000 RPM
3 Year Limited Warranty
Weighs Only 7.3 Lbs With Battery
Tool Warranty: 5 Years

*Price at time of publishing and may not reflect current pricing.

#1 Gold pick (Winner): Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Circular Saw

Makita XSS02Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Circular Saw Gold Pick

View it on Amazon for $117.35*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-gold-winnerMakita is known for providing power, performance, and durability in their products. They bring new and innovative technologies to the playing field with power tools that are used around the world. The Makita XSS02Z is a cordless 6.5 inch circular saw that is designed to be a powerful cutting force on any project. When it comes to the power of this circular saw, Makita fitted it with a great motor that packs 3,700 RPMs of power, which is more than powerful enough to quickly cut though most pieces of wood.

This saw is built with a heavy gauged machine base that is designed to provide you with smooth, accurate cuts for years. Even with all of the power and durability that comes with this saw, you can expect to find that the tool is lightweight and easy to use. In fact, it is actually only about 7.3 pounds with the battery, which means that using the device will not cause operator fatigue, and as a result, fewer accidents will occur.

Unfortunately, the battery for this circular saw as well as the charger is sold separately. The Makita XSS02Z is a model that is compatible with any Makita 18 volt lithium-ion battery that has a Star symbol. These batteries work in conjunction with the Star Protection Computer controls that are built into the design of this circular saw to protect against over-heating, over-discharging, and overloading. This type of battery works together with the Rapid Optimum Charger to optimize the life of the battery. It does this by communicating between the two devices and actively controlling the current, the voltage, and the temperature of the battery. In addition, the Rapid Optimum Charger has a built in fan that is designed to cool the battery faster and charge the battery in a more efficient manner.

The blade delivers a two and one fourth inch cutting capacity to accommodate many different cutting applications. It also will cut two times the material at 45 degrees. This circular saw has the ability to create a beveled edge at up to a 50 degree angle, and on this particular model, a bevel made at 90 degrees can be up to 2.25 inches thick. In addition, a bevel made at 50 degrees produces a cut that is 1.44 inches thick.

When it comes to the comfort and control of this model, the Makita XSS02Z circular saw is complete with an ergonomic design that is made to contour to the curve of your hand. This design is the perfect shape for creating an even pressured cut that is easy to control. To add to your comfort level while using this power tool, the front and rear handles are covered with rubber soft grips. This circular saw also has a few bonus features that may interest someone who works with wood a lot. An LED work light comes standard on this model as well as a dust blower, which assures that you can see exactly where the cut needs to be made any time you are using the saw.

Many who have purchased the Makita XSS02Z circular saw are extremely happy with their purchase; in fact, one reviewer on CPO Industrial Power Tools gave it a stellar review saying “For someone who just likes to build in his garage its perfect. Cuts cleanly and quickly, and it’s very light so it’s easy to control. I haven’t really used it for any serious construction jobs since I mostly just like to build stuff on my spare time, but for DIYers it’s a solid saw.” In addition, many others on Amazon reviewers also agreed that the Makita XSS02Z is a great option for someone who is looking for a cordless circular saw; in fact, 87 percent of all Amazon reviewers gave this saw a five star rating.

The Makita XSS02Z circular saw is a stunning blue green color that looks professional, but it is still appealing to the eye. In addition, the purchase of this saw comes with a full three year warranty. You can purchase the Makita XSS02Z circular saw on Amazon for about $120.

#2 Silver pick (Runner-up): DEWALT DCS391B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Circular Saw

DEWALT DCS391B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Circular Saw

View it on Amazon for $118.25*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-silver-winnerDeWALT is a brand that is known for manufacturing power tools, and they have produced quality products for decades. The DeWALT DCS391B circular saw stands up to the standard of DeWALT products, so it comes as no surprise that it comes in as the silver pick on our list. When you purchase a circular saw, you will want one with a lot of power that will perform all of the tasks that you need. This model has an extremely powerful 460 MWO (max watts out), 5,250 RPM motor, which is designed to cut through most cuts of wood without much difficulty. With this type of power, you can easily cut through 2×4, 6×4, and similar wood thicknesses with ease.

The DeWALT DCS391B circular saw is designed to be a lightweight tool that is easy to maneuver on the job. In fact, the circular saw itself is only seven pounds, so with the weight of the battery, it would only weigh in at a little over eight pounds. It also features a lightweight magnesium shoe that is designed to be durable for years, even with daily worksite wear and tear.

Any cordless power saw that is worth your time will need to have a great battery to keep it running. This particular circular saw requires a 20 volt MAX Lithium-Ion battery, so if you have other DeWALT power tools that operate on the same type of battery, then the batteries will be interchangeable as one loses its charge. It may be advisable to keep a few spare batteries on hand, because some users have implied that the life of these batteries is not maintained well by saying: “Works great, but I definitely burns through the battery quite rapidly. I have three 20vt drill batteries and I am able to have one constantly charging. I would say that after about 30-45min of constant use on this saw you will need to switch out the batteries.”

The blade of the DeWALT DCS391B circular saw is a great tool to have in any carpentry arsenal. It comes with a six and a half inch carbide blade that has 16 teeth to help you tear through wood and make the cuts you need. This saw uses a standard 5/8 inch arbor to make changing the blade a simple task. It is capable of cutting to a depth of 2 ¼ inches at a 90 degree angle and 1 5/8 inches at a 45 degree angle, which means that the saw is capable of cutting two times if the wood is 1.5 inches thick. In addition, this saw can create a beveled edge that is anywhere from 0 degrees to 50 degrees.

To provide you with additional control and comfort, this circular saw is fitted with a durable comfort grip that is molded over the saw itself. It provides both back and front hand grips to assure that cuts can be made without causing extra strain. Since the DeWALT DCS391B circular saw is designed to be a durable power tool that will last for years, the manufacturer has included a three year warranty with the purchase of this product.

As with many DeWALT power tools, you will find that this circular saw is a professional looking black and yellow combination that will look great on any job site. The DeWALT DCS391B circular saw can be purchased on Amazon for about $100, which is a great price point for such a powerful cordless circular saw. In addition, 80 percent of all of the reviewers who have purchased this circular saw on Amazon have given it a five star rating, and another 15 percent ranked it at four star rating. Those ratings indicate that at least 95 percent of the reviewers on Amazon were happy with their purchase.

#3 Bronze pick (3rd place): Milwaukee 18 Volt Li-Ion Cordless Circular Saw

Milwaukee 18 Volt Li-Ion Cordless Circular Saw

View it on Amazon for $257.86*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-bronze-awardFor years, Milwaukee has been a leading manufacturer when it comes to power tools, and they always display the newest technology and advances in their products. The same is true for this Milwaukee cordless circular saw. The M18 is a part of Milwaukee’s new FUEL line of power tools. All of these tools have new technologies that are designed to maximize motor efficiency and battery output to provide you with a better overall power tool.

Starting with the motor of the M18 circular saw, you will notice that it tends to out power many other cordless circular saws. That is because this saw has a brushless 3,500 RPM motor that features new POWERSTATE technology, which is designed to push through cut after cut without bogging down. In fact, this new technology is designed to give your power tool a life that is three times longer than other circular saws. The M18 circular saw also has REDLINK PLUS intelligence, which is a new advanced electronic feature that is designed to increase the performance of the saw and give you the maximum power output possible.

The new technology of this circular saw also extends to the battery, which is a REDLITHIUM XC 4.0 battery pack. This battery is designed to give you four times the life of most other batteries as well as an additional 20 percent more power. It even has a power gauge to inform you when the power level is diminishing and needs to be charged. In addition, it also recharges two times faster than many competitor batteries. Even with all of this extra power, the M18 is a lightweight power tool that is only about eight pounds.

The W18 features a 6 ½ inch blade that is designed to power through framing carpentry, and plumbing needs. It is capable of creating a beveled edge that is up to 50 degrees. To make changing the blade a simple task, this saw is equipped with a 5/8 inch arbor size. It also has features like an easy to read bevel guide, a parallel cutting guide, and a lever to control the depth of the blade. It also features a LED light to make it easier to see where cuts need to be made, and there is a rafter hook on the saw to make it easy to store while on a job.

Comfort is an important aspect of any circular saw, if you are not able to maneuver and turn the saw when needed, then it becomes a safety issue. To assure that this saw is safe and comfortable for the operator, it sports an ergonomic soft grip handle. It also has electronic brakes to make sure that the blade can stop quickly and efficiently. As an added bonus, the M18 comes with a five year warranty.

Amazon users have given this saw an outstanding review; in fact, one reviewer said “Love this saw, great power, long running time, handles well. 6 1/2″ blade cuts deeper than the smaller saws. I bought this after we built a pole barn and one of my crew members just bought this saw, the rest of us didn’t ever get our old cordless saws out after using this one.” 87 percent of all Amazon users who purchased this saw gave it a five star rating, and the other 13 percent rated it at four stars. It seems that the overwhelming majority were happy with their purchase of this circular saw, which can be bought on Amazon for about $300.

#4 Budget pick (Best cheap): Black & Decker BDCCS20B 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Circular Saw

Black & Decker BDCCS20B 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Circular Saw

View it on Amazon for $43.96*
*Price typically updated every 24 hours. Current price may be different.

2016-cheap-budget-pickBlack and Decker has been a known name for household power tools for over a century, and when it comes to quality, you know that they will manufacture tools that will get the job done. The BDCCS20CB circular saw stays true to the name that we have come to trust over the years. This lightweight model comes in at only about six pounds, and the compact design of this circular saw makes it easy to use. Even though this circular saw is a cordless model, it features a high torque motor that is powerful enough to complete the most difficult cuts.

This circular saw utilizes a 20 volt Lithium-ion battery that is designed to push the tool to the power level you require with the motor becoming bogged down. The 5 ½ inch blade is designed to make clean cuts without much effort, so it is of little surprise that it features a tool free depth of cut option that allows you to adjust each cut with ease. This circular saw also has a bevel that can be adjusted without the use of tools to and angle of both 45 degrees and 90 degrees. For your convenience, there are even indents to allow you to easily spot the angles.

Comfort can be a concern when you are working with a budget, some power tools sacrifice comfort and safety for a lower price point, but Black and Decker makes sure to give you top of the line features on all of their products. This saw features black comfort grips on the front and the rear of the saw, which look great against the traditional Black and Decker orange handle we have all come to know.

When you are ballin’ on a budget your options for purchasing a great cordless power saw may seem limited, but this Black and Decker circular saw is a great option. As an added bonus, this saw even comes with a two year warranty. On Amazon, 67 percent of all reviewers gave the circular saw a five star rating, and another 17 percent ranked it at four stars. Overall, the majority of Amazon users were happy with the purchase of this circular saw; giving raving reviews like “Awesome saw, way more convenient than a full size circular saw and no cords in the way. Used it to cut full size sheets of wafer board, 2 X 4’s, and even a wood pallet. The saw does struggle towards the middle of a large sheet of wood but still powers through. Used it to build a dog house and the battery never ran out of juice. Well made construction for around the house projects. Would definitely buy again.” Our ballin’ on a budget option can be purchased on Amazon for about $40.

Pre-purchase considerations

Cutting Power

The whole reason for buying a circular saw is to cut through wood in an effective, yet effortless manner. That being said, one of the most important considerations to make before purchasing a new circular saw should be concerning the power. Does it have a motor that is strong enough to rip through the pieces of wood you need to be cut without bogging down and having issues in the middle of the cut? Make sure to review the wattage and the volts of the saw you wish to buy, and verify that it is a power option that is right for you.

Blade Guard and Safety Features

A blade guard is an important feature on a circular saw that not only protects you from unwanted cuts; it also protects the blade from unwanted damage. Make sure that the blade guard is adequate when it comes to protection, but it doesn’t cause additional annoyance by getting caught on the wood you are cutting. Aside from a blade guard, other features may be imperative to have on your circular saw. One example that is nice to have is a blade brake, which will allow you to stop the blade at a moment’s notice to prevent an injury from occurring. A spindle lock could also be a great safety measure to have when changing saw blades.

Bevel and Depth Adjustments

Bevel cuts are important for framework and other aspects of woodworking, so it is important to make sure the saw you are purchasing is capable of making the cuts at the angles you need. It is also a good idea to check and see if the saw has bevel stops to make adjusting cuts a simpler process. Also, it is imperative to make sure the circular saw you are purchasing is capable of making cuts at the depth that you need. It would not be beneficial to have a saw that only cuts to a depth of two inches when you typically need more than that.

Battery Life

Choosing a cordless circular saw has its benefits, but make sure that your new saw will not lose power in the middle of a job. Not all batteries are designed the same, and not all charge at the same rate. If you do buy a circular saw with a less than optimum battery life, then it is important to have a spare one on hand.

Right or Left Bladed

Most cordless circular saws have the blade positioned on the left side of the saw, which means that you will have a clearer view of the cut. On the other hand, it may also mean that more dust is in your line of sight, so decide where you like the blade to be located and choose a saw that is right for you. Left- handed individuals will have the same issues, but they will be reversed.

Additional Features

Some circular saws may have features that are nice to have. They are not crucial features by any means, but you may prefer to have a saw that has one of these features. Some of the more common ones are a LED light to help you make more accurate cuts, a battery gauge to know how much power you have left, and a rafter hook that lets you store your saw on the job site. Consider which features will make your circular saw usage less of a chore before deciding if they are needed or not.

Conclusion (Wrapping it up)

Circular saws are an important part of anyone’s toolbox who works with wood, but it can also be used by individuals who dabble in woodworking as a hobby. There are a lot of different models each with their own specific feature set on the market, so finding one that is perfect for you may be a challenge. Consider the size of the blade you need and all of the features you desire before deciding which is up your alley. Take a look at our pre-purchase considerations as well as the options we consider to be the best on the market before doing your own research. If you don’t agree with our top picks, then at least you have a place to start when you are deciding which circular saw is best for you.

Discussion and comments

We want to know what you think. Do you own any of the products we discussed? Which did you buy and how did it work out for you?

Do you know of an even better product?

Comment below and help your fellow consumers make the right choice. Over to you!


  1. Black and Decker, 20V MAX 5-1/2 in. Circular Saw – Battery and Charger Not Included, Black and Decker, 2016
  2. Black & Decker BDCCS20B 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion Circular Saw Bare Tool, 5-1/2-Inch, Amazon
  3. Todd Fratzel, Milwaukee M18 FUEL 6-1/2″ Circular Saw Review, Toolbox Buzz, 2010
  4. M18 Cordless LITHIUM-ION 6 ½” Circular Saw, Milwaukee Tools
  5. Tim (Amazon User), 2730-21 18 Volt Li-Ion Cordless Circular Saw Kit, Amazon, March 19, 2015
  6. Yan Gilbert, Dewalt DCS391B Circular Saw Review, Woodworking Advice, 2016
  7. Amazon User, DEWALT DCS391B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Circular Saw, Tool Only, Amazon, November 16, 2015
  8. 18V LXT Li-Ion 6-1/2″ Cordless Circular Saw, Tool Barn, 2016
  9. Rick Coops, Makita XSS02Z 18V Cordless LXT Lithium-Ion 6-1/2 in. Circular Saw (Bare Tool), CPO Industrial Power Tools, October 23, 2015

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