Corded Vs. Cordless Circular Saw (How Do You Choose One?)

Last Updated on August 29, 2022 by James Thomas

You’re browsing through the aisles of the hardware store because it’s come to your attention that you’re missing a staple of the tradesman’s inventory – the circular saw. There are many circular saws out there – so how do you know which is best for your needs?

To make it even more difficult for you to make a decision, the circular saw comes in both corded and cordless models, and for you to find a perfect fit for your job, you need to know which of these circular saw models is best for your needs.

That’s why I’ve created this article – so you can take the guesswork out of choosing between corded and cordless circular saw.

Do you want to read the entire article but don’t have enough time to do so now? I’ve created a quick overview in the below list form for you to skim through and come back at a time you’re free:

  • Circular saws originated back in 1777 after a patent was filed in England by Samuel Miller
  • The cordless circular saw was first designed in 1928
  • Corded circular saws are powered directly through an outlet, whereas cordless versions are powered by a battery
  • Both corded and cordless circular saws are powerful and can almost tackle the same jobs
  • Models of corded and cordless classes are available at prices suitable for all budgets

Advantages Of A Corded Circular Saw

The first advantage to note when it comes to the corded circular saw is its power. Powered by electricity directly plugged into an outlet, a constant supply of power allows the corded variety to remain constant throughout use, allowing them to be best suited for incredibly tough applications.

Corded circular saws also do not require replacement components, which is something many cordless varieties need throughout their lifespan.

Advantages Of A Cordless Circular Saw

A cordless circular saw has one main advantage over that of a cordless version: its portability. Being cordless, these models can provide you with work almost anywhere – not limiting you to an area where a power outlet must be.

This isn’t only convenient but also a safer alternative – as there’s no cord at risk of damage, and you don’t have to worry about a power surge damaging your saw or even injuring yourself.

Corded and Cordless Circular Saws

with a circular saw

The circular saw is considered an absolute necessity in the inventory of any tradesperson – whether you’re on-site most days of the week or working on a DIY project at home. 

It’s one of the most commonly used models of a saw in our modern world and can cut through not only wood but also materials such as cement, metal, glass, and plastics – just to name some examples.

The circular saw traces its origin back to 1777 when a patent was filed by Samuel Miller. Although the true origins of this impressive tool have been discussed for quite someday, Samuel is one of the first engineers of the tool we see today.

Fast forward to the current day, and the modern circular saw has seen some changes since its cloudy origins, however, the core idea remains – cut powerfully through materials and at ease.

The modern-day circular saw comes in two versions, corded and cordless. Depending on your use for the saw, it can be difficult to decipher if either the corded or cordless circular saw is best for your needs. To give you more clarity, we’ve broken down both types of circular saws, so you can decide which is better suited for you.

Corded Circular Saw

corded circular saw

The corded circular saw is the original circular saw, and the main difference between this version of a circular saw and the cordless – is the power source.

The corded circular saw is powered by an electrical outlet – and it can provide more power than a cordless model, however, it is limited by its cord. Corded circular saws are most known for their performance, which will allow even the toughest of applications to be tackled.

What features would you find on a corded circular saw? I’ve listed these in the next paragraph.

Features 

There are two main features you’ll find when comparing corded circular saws: the motor and the blade. Additional features can be found on the corded circular saw, which also enhances performance and accuracy.

But first, the motor. The motor of a corded circular saw can pack an impressive punch, with up to 15-amps, and high RPM speeds of 5,200 RPM. 

The power corded circular saws provide allows it to make cuts on incredibly tough materials, making it a heavy-duty model for almost any task. As well as being incredibly powerful, many corded circular saws are also quite lightweight, weighing anywhere from 7 – 12 lbs on average. 

The blade of the corded circular saw is its next very important component. The teeth on a blade can range from 32 to 80 – which will suit a wide range of tasks, so what would you be using a circular saw to tackle?

Many corded circular saws will boast impressive cut depths and bevel stops, which can also be found in most corded circular models across the market.

Cordless Circular Saw

cordless circular saw

Cordless saws have come into production more recently than their corded counterparts, but not by too long – with the first portable electric saw created in 1928, nicknamed the ‘Model E’.

The Model E paved the way for the cordless circular saws of today, and there has been much improvement in longevity, use, and also power over these 92 years.

Cordless circular saws are named after their lack of a cord (who’d have guessed?) and are powered directly by batteries that are found within the model itself.

What features would you find in a cordless circular saw? We’ve listed some of these in the paragraph below.

Features 

Firstly, it’s important to note that the corded and cordless circular saw share some similarities in their components, such as a motor and blade, as well as additional features in bevel stops, dust blowers, and lasers for cutting accuracy.

However, the most noticeable inclusion in the cordless variety is the battery.

Batteries on cordless circular saws have an impressive lifespan, with hours of charge available per session, and contain overloading and overcharging computer technology to add years to your circular saw, as well as increase the quality of your cuts.

Many people still consider cordless circular saws inferior to the corded class, as they believe power is compromised for portability.

This is far from true, however.

Cordless circular saws feature powerful motors, many of them brushless, so they’ll remain active for many years. RPM speeds of up to 5,200 are found in some cordless models – and some of them are incredibly light, with the lightest design weighing 6.8 lbs.

As well as their impressive power and battery longevity, some corded circular saw models feature additional components that enhance your work’s precision.

Examples include integrated dust blowers to keep your line of sight clear, laser sights for precision when cutting, and LED lights for illuminating dim working spaces.

Which is more expensive, the corded or cordless circular saw?

There is no clear-cut answer for this, as both versions of saws have models which fall into both the high and low-cost ends of the pricing spectrum. 

Of course, it all depends on what you need in a circular saw – for example, if you’re just starting out, perhaps forget all the added accessories and stick to a functional saw which will help you get the job done.

The Final Say

So now we’ve reached the end of the article, and you should have a clear idea of which is best for your needs.

Both corded and cordless circular saws are powerful and versatile tools; at the end of it all, you won’t go wrong in choosing either model. A lot of this decision will fall purely upon your use of the circular saw, your budget – and your overall preference.

Corded circular saws provide a little more power, and cordless models offer portability – so what are you after in your circular saw?

I’d love to know what you think, perhaps there may have been something I’ve missed? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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James Thomas

Hi, I’m James. I created The Tool Square to help as many understand and know how to use Table Saws, and many other tool-related products.

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