If you’ve done woodworking, you should know what a circular saw is. It’s a primary feature in many workshops to cut wood. It doesn’t just cut wood as a hand-held power tool, but plastic and metal, too. Through different blades and models, circular saws become the go-to powerful and accurate tool.
However, before you make a purchase, you’re faced with the first decision: should you go corded or cordless? A type of circular saw comes first before what brand, blade, and model you should choose. Like all other main decisions for your tools, your choice depends on your needs.
We’re here to help. Today, we’ll compare how corded and cordless circular saws perform. To find out their differences, advantages, and uses, read out the full article below!
Corded Circular Saw
A corded circular saw is easy enough to grasp just by its name. Basically, it’s a circular saw that requires a power cord and outlet to work. Otherwise, it’s basically useless!
Corded circular saws are the “traditional” way to go. They can handle heavy-duty jobs. Whether you need to cut steel, big pieces of hardwood, or do masonry work, this tool is reliable.
You don’t have to worry about power. Due to its power relying on an electrical outlet, power is directly supplied to the tool. Long hours of work in your workshop is no sweat. It won’t even disturb you in your work mood – unless load shedding happens.
Corded circular saws are widely available in many sizes. Depending on your usual workload, you can choose something unique.
Advantages of a Corded Saw
We’ve highlighted some key features of the corded saw above, but we’ll go more in-depth here. Come along for the journey!
Higher Power and Strength
We mentioned that power is the least of your worries with corded saws, and we want to emphasize that.
When you’re connected to a power outlet, the power is continuous and the same. It doesn’t have peaks and valleys, so you can continue working long into the night. Of course, this best-case-scenario is provided that you have access to electricity at all times.
Due to this constant power supply, corded circular saws are great for heavy-duty work. The functional strength is much more than you expect as you cut up materials. No matter how demanding your workload is, you can do it with convenience and efficiency!
Save Money By Retaining The Same Tools
No replacement will ever be needed with a corded circular saw. This goes for the tool itself and its accessories! Corded saws don’t rely on batteries, which is the cordless version’s ultimate failure.
Batteries get maxed out or damaged. To continue with heavy-duty work, you need to have constant replacements. If you don’t like going out every time you need new batteries, you have to buy batteries in bulk. It’s a lot of money for a circular saw!
Tough, Large Blades – But Still Lightweight
Corded circular saws are known for large blades! These blades measure around 7.25 inches, which reaches far into the wood. It moves fast, so large timbers are cut through easily.
You can even choose blades that don’t just cut through wood. If you need to cut through metal and plastic, you can!
But don’t think that a big blade and powerful tool creates a heavy device. The lack of batteries actually makes it more lightweight! Though it isn’t portable, you can carry a corded circular saw with ease.
No matter where you go, corded machines are much cheaper than their cordless counterparts.
So, you’re getting something much cheaper that you don’t have to replace every now and then. They perform well with enough power. What more can you ask for?
The Disadvantages Of Corded Saws
As much as we love corded saws, they have their own flaws, too. Consider both sides of the story before you invest in a power tool.
Cords Clutter Your Space and Can Interfere with Processes
Cords can get in the way. Depending on your set-up, you can easily trip over the cables or knock over tools!
Aside from the injuries and hospital bills, you can also damage or cut these cords in the process. In some of the saws’ cases, you might have to replace the tool entirely.
You also have to be careful when doing your projects. Cords can interfere with that, too!
Cords Have Limited Reach
Cord lengths vary for each saw. Whatever the case, you need to connect them to an electrical source for the saw to work. If the cord is smaller than usual, your movement is going to be limited.
You won’t be able to move or do your projects freely. While it’s tolerable, it can lessen the efficiency of your projects.
Cords Render Your Saws Useless Without Electricity
Aside from limited movement, your project also stops if the cord disconnects. One wrong move, and you’ll have to plug it in again or find another suitable spot.
Another case that may happen is if you lose electricity. With that, there are no other solutions. You have to wait for the power to come back! If your project is under a time constraint, this can be more than a minor inconvenience.
Cordless Circular Saw
Cordless circular saws are popular in many workshops. Unlike corded circular saws, they don’t run on electricity. Instead, they use rechargeable batteries.
While cordless circular saws aren’t ideal for heavy-duty projects, they work best for short, light ones. If you want to save on electricity, this is your best bet, too! Confined areas with little to no power outlets – your workshop may be in progress, for instance – benefit from these tools.
They can be shorter than corded circular saws. Corded circular saws are around the 7-inch range, but cordless circular saws are around five to six inches.
Advantages Of Cordless Circular Saw
Just because it can take on light work doesn’t mean that’s its only good feature. Cordless circular saws have other benefits, too! Let’s get into them below.
Convenient and Portable Use
There’s a level of convenience cordless saws offer that corded saws can’t reach. For one thing, you can use cordless saws anywhere – whether there’s a power outlet or not.
If there’s no electricity, you can still go forward with your project. Rechargeable batteries make it possible to do work whenever possible.
If you have them, you can have replacement batteries around. If you run out, you don’t have to charge right away – especially if no electricity is available. You can just continue working!
Cordless operations mean fewer injuries. You don’t have anything to trip over or interfere with your equipment. It won’t tangle up with anything, and you’re freer to move!
Aside from the convenience that comes with cordless projects, cordless circular saws also come with small teeth. Even if you make mistakes or mishandle the saw, you won’t harm yourself that much.
Buying a cordless circular saw comes with other tools and accessories. You’re sure to get extra batteries with most models! With this in hand, you can save time while working. Turn on the tool, kick off the project, and replace the batteries if needed.
Disadvantages Of Cordless Circular Saws
While convenient and portable, all tools have their own flaws. Read on for the cordless circular saws’ disadvantages!
Requires A Battery
As much as batteries allow for better portability and convenient work, it still limits the cordless saw. They still require time to charge, which still calls for a power outlet. If you have maxed out batteries or damaged ones, you’ll still need to recharge them before moving on with the project.
Requires Constant Replacements
If batteries are damaged, it’ll cost you extra money to replace them. While it may not cost much, the prices will start stacking up. Eventually, you’ll find that the replacement cost is quite effective.
Aside from needing to replace batteries when they get damaged, they also age. That’s another pricey replacement for you. It’s not as cost-effective as other saws at all.
Has Limited Operational Time With a Heavier Saw
Due to cordless circular saws requiring batteries, they won’t last as long as corded saws. Cordless saws’ batteries can only last for a few hours. You have to be sure to make each working minute count.
Aside from the limited operational time, you also have the weight of a heavier saw. The battery weighs the entire tool down and maybe too much for exceptional people.
Lacks Enough Power and Strength
Batteries also mean there’s limited power. We don’t just mean there’s a time constraint, but it can’t generate as much energy in general. Hard metals, thick wood, and large projects aren’t advisable for cordless circular saws.
Cordless VS Corded Saws: Face-Off Features
Want to know which saw is right for your needs? We face off each feature you might want to consider. It won’t be challenging to figure out after this!
1) Portability and Convenience
Winner: Cordless Circular Saws
A cordless circular saw is best if you’re going to move from one place to another. You don’t need an outlet for it to work, so they’re easier to carry around.
Corded circular saws, in comparison, need extensions and power outlets to work. Sometimes, places just don’t have those.
2) Power and Strength
Winner: Corded Circular Saws
Corded circular saws may rely on electricity, but this means they have constant, steady power to run on all day. If you have large projects you need to work on for a long time, corded circular saws are your best bet. You don’t have to stop or recharge, either.
Winner: Corded Circular Saws
Corded circular saws require fewer accessories. Cordless counterparts require several batteries and replacements, which end up being pricey. It sinks whatever investment you put into buying the tool.
Winner: Corded Circular Saws
Cordless saws are much heavier due to the battery. It’s harder to use as a result. Fatigue quickly sets in when you’re working on large projects and heavy tools.
Winner: Corded Circular Saws
The size directly correlates with weight. Corded circular saws are around seven to ten pounds, but cordless circular saws are much heavier. With the battery in, they’re also bulkier!
Corded circular saws win this round by not having to have that space and weight. You can have it as is, and it won’t be as bulky.
6) Ease of Handling
Honestly, both have equal amounts of advantages and disadvantages. Cordless circular saws are heavier and more extensive, so you can’t handle them as well for long.
However, you won’t have to adjust as much with cordless circular saws. Corded saws come with a lot of tangling and tripping!
Corded saws do have the advantage of fitting better in tight spaces. They’re not as bulky, so they’re easier to use and maneuver. You can arrange the cords or have cable hooks set in place. If you don’t, make sure to watch it! You might cut right through the cable.
Professionals who need to move from one place to another benefit from cordless circular saws. After all, not every site will have power outlets. You can go for a high-end one that comes with a long-lasting battery and several replacements.
Homeworkers also benefit from this, but it may not be as necessary. If you work at home, then power outlets are readily available. There’s a broader range of projects you can do with corded circular saws, so you can do more jobs, too!
Don’t think we’re imposing a decision on you. If you feel like another saw is right for you, decide on that one! Just make sure you carefully consider all factors before making a commitment.
Both corded and cordless saws have their own advantages and disadvantages. While different, they have their own use and purpose. You can consider your own circumstances and how you would like to work. After all, it’s all about what you can tolerate. Do you mind having to clean up cords, or can you handle a bulkier saw?
Make sure all your tools are the right match for you and your needs. In the end, we hope this guide helped you towards a decision!
Did we help? Which saw are you going for? Tell us in the comments!
Jason is a 40-year-old woodworker, carpenter and author who have been involved in the woodworking and woodcraft industry with 17 years of experience. He is expertise in technical aspects, woodcraft and furniture building projects.