David Frane

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.

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