Whether you are working on simple home improvements or heavy-duty projects, choosing the correct circular saw ensures that you have the best tool possible for the job.
Common features between some models of corded and cordless circular saws include ergonomic handles to prevent dropping the saw, powerful motors, and an automatic braking feature. While these two types of saws appear similar, the key difference is the power source, which affects several other aspects of the corded and cordless circular saw’s functionality.
As stated in the name, these saws require outlet access to generate power. For that reason, these saws are more powerful, but the superior performance and power can make them more challenging to use compared to battery powered saws.
On the other hand, battery-operated saws do not require an outlet, making them much more portable than a corded saw. However, the power generated by a cordless saw is not at the same level as a wired saw, so what you gain in portability is slightly lost in performance.
While both saws have their pros and cons, certain features make one type of saw a better option for specific projects. Read on to learn more about the differences between these saws and what type of circular saw is right for you.
Corded vs. Cordless: Versatility
One of the core differences in a corded circular vs. cordless circular saw is the ease of use. Overall, the versatility of cordless circular saws outdoes corded saws, but it might be right for you, depending on your environment.
Corded Circular Saw Versatility
Corded circular saws tend to be less versatile, but they deliver superior cutting power.
Corded cutting tools are less versatile than cordless because they require electrical power. However, cords can be several feet long, which may be long enough to allow you space to move around in your work area.
Working outside with a corded circular saw may present some difficulty, but it is possible with an extension cord. On the other hand, if you primarily work indoors or in a large facility, it will be sufficient.
Corded saws are lighter than cordless battery powered saws because they do not have a battery.
The length of blade size on a saw helps determine the smoothness of the cut. Compared to cordless, corded saws usually have larger blades capable of slicing thicker pieces of wood and handling large workloads. Higher-end models of these types of saw cut through metal as well.
Bigger blades are not as easy to maneuver as smaller ones, but the added power ensures cutting that takes less time.
Cordless Circular Saw Versatility
The versatility of a corded circular saw vs cordless circular saw depends on how easy it is to transport and the type of blades the saw can use.
Since you don’t have to plug in cordless circular saws to an outlet, there is significant room for movement and greater ease of use than a corded alternative. While corded cutting tools do not work without an outlet, battery powered saws are free from this restraint and convenient for outdoor settings.
Beyond the lack of a cord, these saws tend to be a bit smaller in general, which aids in moving them around the room or to different workstations or locations.
Because these cutting tools require a battery, they weigh slightly more than a corded model.
The blades of cordless circular cutting tools are usually smaller and produce a stable amount of power compared to blades on a corded model. The consequence is that the blades are not as powerful, meaning this type of saw is better suited to less intense projects.
Something to note is that newer models of battery powered saws can use blades around 7 ¼ inches in diameter, the same size as the blades of a standard corded saw.
The durability of a saw is an important consideration due to the upfront cost of these tools. The right type of circular saw for your needs depends on the listed warranty, battery life, and the frequency of use.
Corded Circular Saw Durability
Corded saws are a durable investment for your DIY projects.
Corded saws typically come with a warranty ranging from 2-5 years. The corded design makes these saws durable since it eliminates the risk of the battery dock connectors corroding.
Cordless Circular Saw Durability
The durability of a corded vs corded circular saw is another consideration to take into account when choosing between the two.
The lifespan of a corded vs cordless saw depends on the batteries the saw requires. The battery life of these saws can vary, with some models having long-lasting batteries and others running low on battery quickly.
Cordless circular cutting tool typically come with an included charger and rechargeable batteries, but some models require a separate battery purchase, impacting the overall price of the circular saw. Batteries can also corrode over time, destroying the interior of the saw if left unchecked.
Another consideration with batteries is the type of battery. Some saws require a replacement battery, while others have reusable batteries with chargers. Also, some companies developing batteries have rights reserved on new battery technology, which will hopefully improve battery life going forward.
Which One Is Safer?
Beyond the technical aspects of these cordless circular saws, safety is a crucial factor to consider when purchasing one of these saws. The user experience level and comfort also play a part in which type of saw to choose.
Corded Circular Saw Safety
Because they rely on a power outlet, there is an increased risk with using these saws compared to cordless tools. You could cut through the cord while cutting the wood, a risk that does not exist in cordless models.
Cordless Circular Saw Safety
Without the addition of electricity, circular saws are slightly safer to use than corded saws. There is no risk of tripping over the cord or cutting it, which makes this saw a more convenient choice and significantly improves workplace safety.
Corded vs. Cordless: Price Considerations
Price is another vital factor in deciding which saw to choose. For both options, there is a wide range of prices available, but more elaborate corded saws can cost significantly more.
Read our comparison guide on circular saw: Things To Consider Before Buying A Circular Saw
Corded Circular Saw Price
With the added power of corded saws comes an added cost. These saws tend to be more expensive because they are more powerful. Higher-end corded saws can reach prices into the hundreds of dollars.
Cordless Circular Saw Price
Price varies for cordless cutting tools from around $60-$120, but these saws are generally less expensive than corded saws because of their smaller size and power. Keep in mind that purchasing spare batteries can increase the cost of these tools.
When to Choose a Corded Saw?
Corded circular saws are ideal for larger, more intensive projects that require a lot of cutting power. Those doing industrial work or more experience using electrical tools should use a corded power tool.
Corded circular saws also work best in large, indoor environments with easy access to electrical outlets, so people working in these kinds of places would benefit from a more powerful tool.
When to Choose a Cordless Saw?
Cordless saws fit best with smaller, at-home projects that don’t require a great deal of power output. Beginners or those who do minor projects or home-based work would benefit from a cordless saw.
Since you do not need to plug it in, these saws are great for those doing work outdoors or in a place where extension cords are inconvenient.
Corded vs. Cordless: The Bottom Line
With a critical difference in operation styles, corded circular and cordless circular saws offer different features that appeal to various skill levels and projects.
Longer blades that can cut through a greater variety of materials are characteristics of a corded circular saw. Still, the necessity of a power source and the higher price tag can detract from its appeal.
On the other hand, cordless saws are smaller, lighter, and easier to use overall, but the demands of battery replacement can result in additional costs over time.