Choosing between a corded vs. cordless circular saw is always a dilemma. This is true for most tool enthusiasts, be it professionals, DIYers, or even amateurs. While some will prefer a cordless one (battery-, gasoline-, or hydraulic-powered), others may prefer a corded one if they have continuous electricity supply.
A circular saw is a must-have power tool that is designed to use a toothed or abrasive blade or disc for cutting different materials. It is used on materials such as wood, metal, plastic, and masonry materials and uses a rotary motion where it spins around an arbor. Invented in the late 18th Century, the circular saw has today found itself in most workshops and as a preferred tool in its line of operations.
Here, we categorize the circular saws based on the power source. They are commonly powered by either electricity (corded) while some types are powered by hydraulic motor, gasoline engine, and batteries (cordless). If you are looking at eliminating the dilemma of what is the difference between a corded and cordless circular saw, read through for more insights on what makes them dissimilar from each other.
What is A Corded Circular Saw?
A corded circular saw is a power saw that uses an abrasive disc or blade to cut materials using a rotary motion to spin around an arbor. The corded type means that it has a power cord that helps it to draw power from an electric socket.
Our Top Picks
1. Editor's Pick
- Lightest magnesium construction reduces user fatigue for less down time
- Cut-ready depth of cut system helps with quick, accurate depth measurements
- 53° bevel allows users to complete a wider variety of cuts
- 15 Amp of power gives users the power to rip through more lumber in less time
- The anti-snag lower guard provides smooth operation for small cut-off pieces
2. Budget Pick
- Powerful 15 Amp motor and durable worm drive gears for pro performance and long life.
- Cut-ready depth-of-cut system helps with quick accurate depth adjustments.
- Multi-function wrench for a variety of uses on the jobsite and conveniently stores in the foot.
- 51 degree bevel allows users to complete a wide variety of cuts.
3. Upgrade Pick
- 6-1/4 inch cutting capacity for one-and-donE, clean cuts through 6x and lumber up to 6-1/4 inch thick
- Largest capacity worm drive circular saw that delivers relentless power for the biggest jobs
- Tough, durable magnesium die-cast footplate ensures accurate cuts every time; All magnesium construction for durability and reduced weight
- 15 AMP Dual-Field motor keeps the motor cooler to provide increased power
- 16-5/16 In. SKIL blade to make perfect cuts right out of the box
4. Good choice
- 20 amp switch and heavy gauge cord
- Anti-Snag Lower Guard reduces snags
- Die-cast aluminum motor and gear housings for durability
- Push button blade lock for easy blade changes
- Two position saw hook for safe rafter placement
5. Also great
- Magnesium housing, guards and footplate for light weight and high performance
- Dual-Field motor for cool operation and longevity
- 53° precision beveling with stops at 45° and 22.5°
- Depth of cut at 90° is 2 3/8in.
- Depth of cut at 45° is 1 31/32in.
This type of circular saw requires the user to work in areas with electric power supply and does not require batteries for power. As such, this makes it better equipped to handle larger sawing jobs and cut through tougher materials.
The saw comes in various sizes of blades, but the most common is the 7 – 1/4-inch one. If you want to use the saw efficiently, make sure that you use a compatible power extension cable as per the manufacturer’s guidelines.
What is A Cordless Circular Saw?
A cordless circular saw is also used for cutting through materials such as metal, masonry materials, wood, and plastic using a rotary motion. The difference between it and the corded one is that this type is powered by batteries, gasoline, or hydraulic power. The most common saws of this type are battery-powered though and are usually preferred for light-duty cutting needs.
Our Top Picks
1. Editor's Pick
- PRECISION: The Bosch CCS180B Circular Saw Bare Tool has a 6-1 2-inch saw blade capacity and provides the ability to cut through 2-inch thick material at 90 degrees and 1-9 16-inch thick material at 50 degrees.
- POWER: The cordless saw is balanced and compact with 3,900 no-load rpm and weighing only 6.6 lbs. for an outstanding power-to-weight ratio.
- CONVENIENT: Featuring a left-blade design for a clear view of cut line when saw's main handle is held in right hand. The cordless saw also provides an adjustable, easy-to-read bevel and a depth-of-cut gauge for consistent locking and improved accuracy.
- ACCURACY: The saw features the Bosch-exclusive anti-snag lower guard for easing the blade into the work piece and an electronic brake to quickly stop the blade for quick and easy use.
- DURABLE: The Bosch CCS180B Circular Saw Bare Tool was built to withstand years of the toughest jobs with a heavy-duty aluminum foot and upper guard. It also includes Bosch’s Motor and Cell protection to prevent overload and overheating.
2. Budget Pick
No products found.
3. Upgrade Pick
- Hitachi Power Tools has renamed to Metabo HPT. Same great tools, with only a new name.
- Deep Cut Design allows for cutting at a 7 1/4 inches saw capacity
- Features Brushless Motor Technology for more run time, increased power and extended durability with essentially no maintenance
- -5 Degree to 45 Degree Bevel for back cutting and cutting at an angle
- Right mounted 6 1/2 inches blade for accessibility and convenient blade changes
4. Good choice
- Powerful Makita-built electronically controlled BL Motor delivers 5,000 RPM for faster cutting and ripping
- Automatic Speed Change technology adjusts cutting speed and torque during cut for optimum performance
- The BL Brushless Motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL Motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
- Efficient BL Brushless motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50% longer run time per charge
- The electronically-controlled BL Brushless Motor efficiently uses energy to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application
5. Also great
- EASY GRIP: Rubber overmold makes it easy for you to grip and control this tool, even in slippery conditions
- LASER GUIDE: The tool generates a red line on the work surface in front of the saw upon the tool’s activation, letting you see where you’re working
- ADJUSTMENT: Easy-access knobs let you adjust your depth up to 1 9/16 inches and your beveling angle from 0 to 50 degrees
- ONE+ COMPATIBLE: This tool is compatible with many Ryobi battery, including the P100, P101, P102, P103, P104, P105, P107, and P108
- INCLUDED BLADE AND BLADE WRENCH: A 5 1/2 inch blade, tipped with carbide to reduce corrosion and wear, is included. The wrench used to remove the blade is included in a slot on the tool
A cordless circular saw gives the user the freedom of using it anywhere their workplace is and whenever they need it. It is also a great choice for minimizing hazards such as tripping or trailing leads on site.
Difference Between A Corded Vs. Cordless Circular Saw
If you want a straightforward distinction between the two saw types, a corded circular saw exudes insane power while the cordless counterpart promises mobility.
A corded circular saw gets its power from an electric port while a cordless circular saw can be powered by batteries, gasoline, or hydraulic power.
The corded circular saw option has its power measured in amperages while a cordless circular saw’s power is given in terms of voltages.
A corded circular saw has a higher power consumption while the cordless option requires less power which makes them fit for heavy-duty and light-duty tasks respectively.
Blade Size and Cutting Power:
A cordless circular saw is designed with a smaller blade while the blade is larger on the corded type. The corded type usually has most common blades of 7.25 inches while the cordless options are mostly with 6.5-inch blades.
The smaller the blade, the lighter and thinner the material it will cut while the larger blade makes it the best bet for cutting thicker boards or materials.
Presence of power cord:
The corded circular saw has a power cable attached to it while the cordless one does not need a power cable.
A cordless circular saw is considerably expensive while the corded circular saw is a bit cheaper. This is because the cordless one comes with additional accessories including battery packs and chargers in a carrier case or the toolset kit.
Since the cordless circular saw has to have batteries attached to it, it means added weight. The corded saw, on the other hand, is lighter than the former since it does not need additional tools or accessories apart from the power cable.
Pros and Cons
It is much safer to use a cordless circular saw since you will not have cables that you may trip over. The corded one may need one to be more cautious since the power cable can interfere with your free movement around the workshop.
A corded circular saw is more convenient when it comes to power compared to its cordless counterpart. This is because you can use the saw plugged in for the longest time without worry about power loss. The cordless one, on the other hand, can mean some inconveniences since the batteries keep on getting drained off and need recharging often.
Cordless circular saws, due to their low power needs are used for cutting lighter materials such as wood or wood products and plastics. These are materials that drain less power. A corded circular saw, on the other hand, is used for tougher jobs like cutting masonry materials, metal, and steel. These are materials that drain excessive energy.
Corded Vs. Cordless Circular Saw: Which Is Better?
The differences between a corded vs. cordless circular saw are a handful and range from the power source to power consumption, accessories, blade size, and the materials each cuts. The weight of each tool, the pricing, as well as convenience, may also be among the considerations that one may want to have in mind when selecting which saw to go for. With the differences laid out, you can now make the key distinction and choose the circular saw type that will call the shots in your workshop.
Resources & Further Reading
- Circular Saw – www.dictionary.com
- Circular Saw - Wikipedia
- Which Circular Saw Should I Buy? – Ask The Builder
- Cordless vs. Corded Tools – DIY Network
Last update on 2023-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API