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I last tested cordless circular saws for Tools of the Trade five years ago. The story back then was that the introduction of lithium-ion technology had helped battery-operated saws become more useful on the job site, but there were not many standout tools in the 18-volt class. The higher voltage (28- and 36-volt) saws were the way to go when cutting framing material; the smaller tools seemed better-suited to trimwork and other light duties.
Today, the category as a whole has improved greatly. Except for our favorite 18-volt model in the last test (Makita BSS610), the saws tested here are new designs.
Michael Springer became a tool user at an early age—rehabbing houses with his family in Milwaukee. He attended architecture school at the University of Colorado and then later operated a high-end remodeling company. Bit by the writing bug, he became a tool tester and technology writer, working as the Product Editor of JLC and Executive Editor of Tools of the Trade. Michael is currently self-employed, working from his office and shop in Boulder County, Colorado. He specializes in tool testing and industry coverage for professional construction, woodworking, and DIY publications. While not wielding a chain saw, axe, or drawknife for rustic woodworking projects, Michael seeks out and restores antique hand tools to add to his extensive “user tool” collection. Outside of the shop, Michael is a passionate rock drummer and pipe band drummer who enjoys both performing and teaching.