DeWalt 20V Circular Saw Review: What to Know Before You Buy

Circular saws are the jeeps of the tool world. They can go almost anywhere and cut almost anything. Standard circular saws do have some limits, though. Since they have a cord, these saws are limited to working in places where there is electricity. They are also on the heavy side if you need to carry one around a jobsite. Enter the DeWalt 20v circular saw! But are these saws still able to cut like a heavyweight? For general information on circular saws, check out Circular Saws

At a glance our Top Picks for DeWalt 20V Circular Saw:

DEWALT 20V Circular Saw Lithium Ion Kit

The DeWalt 20V 6 ½ inch cordless circular saw is one saw that can match up to corded saws. DeWalt tools are made for contractors, and this saw is no exception. It uses a 6 ½ inch blade running at 5,250 RPM. It cuts 2 ¼ inches deep on 90 degree cuts and 1 5/8 inch for bevels.

Things we like:

  • Just as powerful as a corded saw
  • Users report battery life is excellent
  • Has the cutting capacity and power to handle 2x lumber all day long
  • Sold as a kit with battery and charger

Things we don’t like:

  • Comes with a 16 tooth blade. This blade is great for framing, but not so good for all-around work
  • Weighs in at 8.3 pounds, more than any other saw reviewed
  • Blade is to the left of the handle. Long-time users of traditional circular saws with the blade to the right have may have trouble adjusting to the change.

DeWalt 20V Circular Saw 6 ½ Inch Cordless

If you need a lighter saw, check out the DeWalt 6 ½ inch 18 volt cordless saw. At only 6.3 pounds, it is the lightest saw reviewed. It has the same 2 ¼ inch straight and 1 5/8 bevel cutting ability as the 20V DeWalt saw. The motor only makes 3,700 RPM.

dewalt 20v circular saw

Things we like:

  • Lightweight saw is easy to take anywhere
  • Has enough power to cut 2x lumber

Thinks we don’t like:

  • Battery life is limited
  • Doesn’t come as a kit, just as a bare saw
  • Not as powerful as the 20V DeWalt saw
  • 5 ½ inch blade can’t handle materials as thick as the 6 ½ inch saws

Ryobi One+ Lithium Ion 18V 5 1/2 Inch Cordless Circular Saw with Laser Guide 

Ryobi makes entry-level tools for DIYers and homeowners. The Ryobi One+ 18V cordless saw is an excellent choice for a light-duty portable saw. The batteries are compatible with other Ryobi cordless tools. It will make 90 degree cuts in material up to 1 9/16 inches thick. The motor operates at 4,700 RPM. It will cut 2x dimensional lumber straight up, but not with a bevel.

dewalt 20v circular saw

Things we like:

  • Lowest priced saw reviewed
  • Plenty of power for an 18v saw
  • Laser guide lets you see where the cut will go

Things we don’t like:

  • Uses 5 ½ inch blades with at 10MM arbor. These blades are uncommon in America.
  • No kits with batteries are available; components all sold separately
  • Lacks the cutting power of bigger saws

Makita 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 6 ½ Circular Saw

Another lightweight saw is the 18v 6 ½ inch cordless LXT circular saw from Makita. This saw operates at 3,700 RPM and cuts material up to 2 ¼ inch thick. At just 6.5 pounds, it is only slightly heavier than the DeWalt 18V saw.

dewalt 20v circular saw

Things we like:

  • Cuts thick material well without getting bogged down
  • Machined shoe for making precise cuts
  • Comes with a rip guide

Things we don’t like:

  • As with other 18v saws, battery life and power are limited
  • Doesn’t come as a kit with battery and charger
  • More expensive than similar saws

Milwaukee M18 Fuel 6 1/2″ Circular Saw, Brushless

If you want a long-lasting cordless circular saw, look into the Milwaukee M18 6 ½ inch cordless circular saw. Milwaukee is another manufacturer of durable, high-quality tools for professional contractors. The motor runs at 5,000 RPM. Its maximum cutting depth is 2 ¼ inches.

dewalt 20v circular saw

Things we like:

  • Brushless motor for durability
  • Good battery life and lots of power for big jobs
  • Saw comes as a kit with batteries and chargers

Things we don’t like:

  • Blade wrench tends to work its way out of storage slot
  • Expensive
  • Like other 18v saws, lacks the power of a corded saw

Advanced Circular Saw Skills

Circular saws are popular because they can make all of the basic cuts needed for woodworking. In the right hands, circular saws are capable of a lot more. With a little practice, you can do advanced joinery work using only a circular saw. Are you looking for a compact circular saw? Check out, the Best Compact Circular Saw 2019

Cutting Dadoes

One joint you can cut with a circular saw is the dado joint. A dado is a groove cut into a piece of wood that is exactly the width of the board that fits into it. These joints are stronger because they have more surface for glue contact and because the edges of the groove help hold the piece in place. Special dado blades are available to help open the groove.

To cut a dado, carefully mark the two edges of the joint. Set up straight edges along both sides of the cut so that the shoe of the saw will run along the edge and keep the blade between the marks. Set your blade to the depth called for in the plans. The blade depth should be no more than half of the thickness of the lumber. Start sawing and guide your saw back and forth down the groove to chip out all the material.

Our Pick

If you are ready to grab a saw and get cutting, our pick is the DeWalt 20V 6 ½ inch cordless circular saw. This saw has all the power of a 7 ¼ inch corded saw in a little package. Unless you frame houses every day, it is the only circular saw you will ever need. If you are on a budget, the Ryobi One+ 18V cordless saw is a great choice. It is a good saw at a great price. Are you looking for a cordless DeWalt circular saw? Check out, Best DeWalt Cordless Circular Saw: Our Top Picks.

About Russ Thompson

Hey I'm Russ and I have been a contractor for over 20 years. I know what the cost of having the right tools and materials for the job. My passion for woodworking and helping others by workshops in my wood shop. I have beginner classes all the way up expert trade classes. Check out my bio for more.

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