One tool that everybody needs for any form of woodworking or construction work is a circular saw. When browsing through the saws available, the variety on offer could overwhelm you.
The key choice you need to make is whether to buy a corded or cordless circular saw. Both have advantages and disadvantages, and understanding the differences between them will help you make the right choice.
This guide will arm you with the knowledge you need to choose the correct tool for the job.
Differences Between Corded and Cordless Circular Saws
|Feature||Corded Circular Saw||Cordless Circular Saw|
|Price||Cheaper, starting at $40.||Can be double the price.|
|Running costs||None.||Replacement batteries.|
|Design||Uses a power cord.||Cordless, battery-operated.|
|When to use||Heavy-duty use.||When freedom matters.|
|Portability||Portability limited by power cord.||High portability.|
|Power||Very powerful.||Less powerful.|
|Materials||All materials with the right blade.||Hard materials can drain the battery.|
|Ease of use||The cord gets in the way and limits mobility.||Very easy to use if you remember to charge.|
|Safety||Danger of cutting through power cord.||Safer than corded.|
How It Works
Circular saws are portable power tools with a circular saw blade or cutting disc. Corded and cordless versions function in basically the same way.
The major difference between corded and cordless models is how they are powered. As the name suggests, corded models plug into an outlet. Corded designs have been around for significantly longer than cordless designs.
Cordless versions are battery powered. To charge the battery you remove it from the saw and attach it to a dedicated charger. Depending on the battery you get, a single charge may last up to 8 hours.
When To Use
Cordless circular saws are perfect for times when you need to work away from power outlets. They negate the need to run extension cords all over a worksite if all you need to do is make a few cuts.
If you are staying in the same place all day, you might be better off with a corded circular saw. With a cordless saw, you will always be worrying about whether or not you have enough charge, which is not a concern with a corded saw.
Corded models let you work all day without losing power or stopping to recharge.
With a good supply of ready-charged backup batteries, you can gain the advantages of a corded saw, but batteries are expensive and require pre-planning to ensure they are ready to go when you need them.
Cordless circular saws are generally more expensive than corded models. Cordless saws can cost twice as much as their corded counterparts.
Not only are they more expensive upfront, but they also have higher running costs. Batteries will degrade over time and require replacement. High-quality replacement batteries can be quite costly, especially if you need several of them.
Cordless circular saws are undoubtedly more portable than corded circular saws.
A cordless saw will allow you to work anywhere, regardless of whether there is a power outlet nearby, which negates the need for lengthy extension cords.
Nevertheless, you may need access to a power outlet to charge batteries if you did not charge enough of them for a full day of work.
If you do not mind being tethered to a power outlet while onsite, the corded models do have a weight advantage. Being lighter, they are easier to transport and do not require you to pack any battery packs and chargers.
You can fit a circular saw with blades that can cut through even the hardest materials.
Hard materials require more power to cut through, which will run down a cordless saw’s battery much quicker.
Cordless saws are better suited to cutting wood and other soft materials due to their limited battery life, which is not a problem with corded circular saws.
Ease of Use
Cordless circular saws are weightier due to the battery pack. Weightier tools are more difficult to control and can cause fatigue over a long day.
On the other hand, going cordless means not having to think about the position of power outlets. You also avoid problems with working around the cord, which can sometimes get in the way if you are not careful.
However, it can be inconvenient if you forget to bring a battery or enough backups.
Cordless circular saws are not as powerful as their corded counterparts.
Power becomes a bigger problem when cutting through materials like metal and masonry. Hard materials require more power to cut through, which will quickly drain the battery on a cordless saw.
At full charge, a cordless saw matches the power of a corded saw. When the battery runs low, a cordless saw loses some of its cutting power and may struggle to cut through hard materials.
Corded saws can operate at full power all day, no matter what materials you are cutting.
Cordless circular saws are moderately safer than corded saws.
The main issue is the power cord. With a cordless saw, you do not have to think about the positioning of the power cord while operating it.
With a corded saw, you run the risk of cutting through the power cord. Not only does this damage the tool, but you risk serious injury if you have not taken the proper precautions.
Corded saws are also prone to damage if there is a power surge.
What Is A Corded Circular Saw?
A corded circular saw is a handheld portable saw that attaches to a power outlet. You can fit it with a variety of different blades that allow it to cut through almost any material.
They are among the most common power tools in workshops and on construction sites due to their versatility, portability, and affordability.
Corded versions are cheaper, lighter, and more powerful than their cordless counterparts. On the other hand, they are less portable, moderately more dangerous, and harder to use.
What Is A Cordless Circular Saw?
A cordless circular saw is identical to a corded circular saw except that it does not have a power cord. Instead, it runs off of a battery pack.
The batteries can hold up to 8 hours of charge but will degrade over time. You will have to buy replacement batteries eventually, which can prove to be expensive.
Cordless versions are more portable, safer, and easier to use. However, they are more expensive, weightier, and lack the power of corded versions.
Now that you know the advantages and disadvantages of corded and cordless circular saws, it should be easier for you to decide which one you need. You can now buy your next power tool with confidence.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the section below.