Tips on Buying a Circular Skill Saw

Should you Buy a Corded or Cordless Circular Saw

By Mark J. Donovan

If you are planning a home remodeling project, such as framing a home addition or installing wood paneling in a basement, you are going to need a good quality circular skill saw. A circular saw is an ideal tool for either project. It is great for ripping plywood and for cutting framing studs. However before you run out to your local home improvement store there are a few things you first should consider.

One of the most important questions to ask yourself is what type of work do you plan to do with your circular skill saw. If you are an occasional weekend do-it-yourselfer then chances are you do not need a heavy duty circular saw.

If, however you have big plans, such as framing a home addition or basement then you are more likely going to need a more powerful one. The metric for determining if a circular saw can handle the big jobs is the “current draw”. A saw that draws 10-13 amps, will be able to handle the big framing projects.

However, just remember that if you are plugging a 13 amp skill saw into a 15 amp rated electrical outlet, you will most likely pop the circuit breaker if you run another electrical appliance while operating the saw. This said there are two key types of circular skill saws to consider: the corded and cordless varieties.

If you are more of a weekend do-it-yourselfer then you can probably get away with a cordless type. They are extremely handy, due to the lack of cord, are light weight and can tackle most small to medium size sawing applications.

Buying circular saw tips

If on the other hand, you are going to do some serious framing then you will probably want to stick with the more traditional corded circular skill saw.

If you decide upon the cordless path, consider purchasing a circular skill saw that uses a lithium ion battery as they can hold a charge much longer, even in colder weather. Lithium batteries also weigh less than traditional battery powered cordless saws.

The next most important item to consider is the size of the blade. There are 6 1/2” blades; however I prefer the circular saw with a 7 ¼” blade, such as the Black & Decker CS1030L 7-1/4-Inch 13 amp Laser Circular Saw with Soft Grips. It is also important to make sure the saw can be adjusted to different depths and can make bevel cuts.

Room Addition Bid Sheet

If you are concerned about making neat accurate cuts, some of the latest models have a laser guide to aid in making straight cuts.

For more help on building a home addition, see’s Home Addition Bid Sheets. Our Home Addition Bid Sheets provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. They also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating your own new home construction building costs.

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