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Old 12-04-2019, 06:47 AM   #31
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


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Originally Posted by iamrfixit View Post

Got my first professional cordless in the mid 80's, the old Makita 9.6 with the long handle and slide in battery, I was hooked. It was useless by today's standard but impressive to us all back then. Had Dewalts 12v, 14.4v, 18v, several different model drills and other tools but none compares well to these newest Lithium power, brushless tools. This technology has taken cordless to a new level. In most cases equal to corded and for some tools they're even better.
Ahh I forgot about the cordless makita. Used one way back then but didn't like it even though it was amazing at the time. My milwaukee screw gun fit nicely in my tool belt when using it. The makita not so much due to the long handle and much of the weight in the handle and not the motor. The darn thing wanted to fall out of my tool belt all the time. Even my long milwaukee hammer drill was more balanced than that makita.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:52 AM   #32
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


Re: Batteries self-discharging:

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Originally Posted by NotYerUncleBob2 View Post
That's really just a problem with the old NiCad batteries and not an issue with the modern LiIon batteries.
Not true. While modern Li-Ion batteries have a slower self-discharge rate, they do self-discharge. And, as with their NiCad and NiMH predecessors: An overly-discharged Li-Ion battery can become non-rechargeable if allowed to discharge too far.

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Originally Posted by iamrfixit View Post
My batteries all have charge indicators on them, very easy to push the button and verify how much charge they have left.
Except, due to the discharge characteristics of Li-Ion batteries, that indicator is only a guess. It might be a reasonably accurate guess and it might not. Too many variables to say.

To the OP: I've fallen out of love with cordless tools. Particularly cordless tools that don't get used often. As I noted, above: The batteries will self-discharge. And, while modern Li-Ion batteries, aided by the computer control they put in many modern battery-powered tools make more efficient use of the batteries and help them live longer, they will die on you in the middle of a project. Lastly: While modern Li-Ion batteries will live longer than their NiCad and NiMH predecessors, they do have a lifetime. I got tired of finding replacement batteries costing darn near what a new tool would.

I have a vintage Black & Decker 3/8" chuck, variable speed, corded drill motor that's better than 45 years old. Still going strong.

So, other than a Hitachi drill/driver set and a Milwaukee 12V Fuel drill, my power tools are corded, air- or gas-powered.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:23 PM   #33
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


Well, I've been using the 20v max batteries for almost 9 years now and I find the gauges have always seemed pretty much right on. I use them all the time and run the tools every day. I have a pretty good expectation of how long a fully charged battery should last, can't recall ever having a battery run down unexpectedly. Usually the other way, I'm often amazed how long they last.

I've had the charge indicator on my phone get a little out of whack once or twice. A simple battery calibration always fixed that right up, but I've never had that happen with the Dewalt batteries. My original, nearly 9 year old batteries are still in use.

Discharge rate for Li-Ion is very low, about 1-2% per month, while the discharge rate for nicad batteries is much higher at about 15%/month. Honestly, my old nicad packs seemed like they went way faster than that. If I didn't use one for a couple weeks it would be completely flat.

I have a bunch of batteries so I'm sure they don't all see regular use. Keep all my charged packs fit on these nice little wooden card trays I salvaged during a commercial tear-out of a bank. Each one holds about a dozen batteries and the packs fit in the trays perfectly. Any batteries I've used always gets charged up before being loaded back on the trays. I've never grabbed a battery from one of those trays that seemed run down.
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Old 12-04-2019, 02:51 PM   #34
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


Cordless saws are much easier to use but require special blades to perform well. I have a DeWalt 6.5" cordless and the DeWalt blade that came with it drained the battery quickly. I replaced it with a Diablo blade and can cut 3x as long on a battery charge.

For general use a 6.5" cordless using 20 volt lithium-ion batteries will work for boards and 2x4 and 4x4 material. I have and use a 7.25" corded worm drive Skilsaw for the tough jobs but 95% of the time I grab the cordless DeWalt as it is all I need.

The big advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they will lose their charge very slowly. I like that I can grab a tool and clip on a battery that has sat in the cabinet for a month or two and do the job and not have to first charge the battery before I begin.

DeWalt and others are selling bare tools for $100 so you can use the same charger and batteries with multiple tools and save a good deal of money.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:18 PM   #35
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Certain tools I prefer corded, a circular saw being one of them. I have a Milwaukee (not sure of the model) that's been worked hard for about six years now with no problems.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:54 PM   #36
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


Some tools I appreciate having cordless, and others I always want to make sure I have full power without worrying about running low and recharging. A concrete hammer drill, a paddle mixer, and a circular saw are three that I can think of off the top of my head that I would always want corded. I can see the use of a cordless saw, but I would never be without a corded one. I'd buy the corded one first, and if I had situations where I wanted the cordless, I'd add the cordless later.
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Old 12-04-2019, 06:59 PM   #37
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


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Some tools I appreciate having cordless, and others I always want to make sure I have full power without worrying about running low and recharging. A concrete hammer drill, a paddle mixer, and a circular saw are three that I can think of off the top of my head that I would always want corded. I can see the use of a cordless saw, but I would never be without a corded one. I'd buy the corded one first, and if I had situations where I wanted the cordless, I'd add the cordless later.
With a cordless circ or recip saw, you need the biggest ah battery you can find. 5 ah, minimum. I got two 6 ah batteries just for the circ saw and the jobsite blower. Plenty of power, plenty of run time.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:14 PM   #38
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


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With a cordless circ or recip saw, you need the biggest ah battery you can find. 5 ah, minimum. I got two 6 ah batteries just for the circ saw and the jobsite blower. Plenty of power, plenty of run time.

I normally use corded recip saw. You pretty much have to stick with one company once you buy batteries. I went with Makita. They make a large and small recip saw. I didn't bother with the large because I would just use my corded. I finally bought a small recip which I keep in my truck. I don't use it for big jobs, but it's great for little jobs especially in small spaces. Then the smaller 3 ah is fine. Similar story to what I was saying about the OP's question. I bought the corded first and if I only had one, that would be it. I added the cordless later once I had a need for it.
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Old 12-04-2019, 11:26 PM   #39
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


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Cordless saws are much easier to use but require special blades to perform well. I have a DeWalt 6.5" cordless and the DeWalt blade that came with it drained the battery quickly. I replaced it with a Diablo blade and can cut 3x as long on a battery charge.

For general use a 6.5" cordless using 20 volt lithium-ion batteries will work for boards and 2x4 and 4x4 material. I have and use a 7.25" corded worm drive Skilsaw for the tough jobs but 95% of the time I grab the cordless DeWalt as it is all I need.

The big advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they will lose their charge very slowly. I like that I can grab a tool and clip on a battery that has sat in the cabinet for a month or two and do the job and not have to first charge the battery before I begin.

DeWalt and others are selling bare tools for $100 so you can use the same charger and batteries with multiple tools and save a good deal of money.
I threw a lennox metal cutting blade in my milwaukee and chopped up a steel clad door on one battery.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:31 AM   #40
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


I have not re-read the whole thread, so forgive me if I am repeating what someone else posted.

NiCd batteries and NIMH batteries are last years old underwear. So to speak. They are tired, worn, but they are comfortable. And while they still fit, they are full of holes. Time to replace them. Besides, the new underwear they have now, fits better, helps you breathe, and has fancy new colors. Just like the new L-Ion batteries.

L-Ion batteries, like all batteries, will lose their charge, but over a much longer period. That is why Smoke and CO detectors can come with a battery that never needs replacing. Once the battery dies, replace the unit. Which is about the life of the unit anyways.

The other nice thing about L-Ion batteries is that they usually can't be overcharged. You can leave it on the charger and if you forget it, the batter won't be damaged. And you can get them in increasingly longer amp-hour ratings.

On the subject of cord vs cordless, I feel that owning a good drill, a high torque low speed mixing drill (for thin set, mud and the like), sawzall and circular saw that is corded needs to be on everyone's list. Start with the circ saw and if you do a lot of tile work or drywall work, get the mixing drill. Until recently, no cordless drill was designed to mix concrete, thinset, etc on a regular basis. DeWalt now has a Flexvolt tool (Model #DCD130B) $219 bare and Milwaukee has an M18 18V tool (Model #2910-20) $143.10 bare that are both designed for mixing mud, concrete, thinset, grout, etc.. on a continuous basis.

One of the best corded mixer drills is Rigid's 9 amp Spade handle mud mixer.

As for cordless tools, wait until there are buy this, get that free type sale. Which is of course right now. I like Rigid, if you register them right away, including batteries, they are covered for life.

DeWalt, Makita/Metabo, Porter Cable, Bosch are all good brands. Ask 20 people, your will get 20 or more different answers.

I like buying a kit, that way you share batteries. Then again, I have Kobalt, (Got it on special), a couple of skill drills (cheap bastards that cost me almost nothing) and then my Rigid stuff, some old, some new, but most of it started out as a kit. And I sill look at kits because you can get batteries that way and for some reason, my wife likes to hide them on me. When she tidies up.

The main thing is, go to the store, pick them up, see how they feel in your hand. What fits my hand, may not fit yours.

And buy good blades for your saws. Cheap ones wear out too quick and never cut that well to begin with. Diablo are great blades. Lenox are to. They may cost a bit more, but they will cut better longer.

Same for driver bits. I really like Milwaukee ones. Get the ones that say 50x. They really do last longer than others. And for not much more money. And the cases are easy to modify to your liking.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:03 AM   #41
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


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a good drill, a high torque low speed mixing drill (for thin set, mud and the like)

I've seen quite a few corded electric drills blow smoke when used for mixing thinset. Low speed, high torque is the key, the opposite of drilling and driving drills.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:07 AM   #42
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


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I've seen quite a few corded electric drills blow smoke when used for mixing thinset.
I've done that. Thought the drill was heavy duty. It survived though.
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Old 12-05-2019, 09:07 AM   #43
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


My totally unscientific experience with lithium ion batteries is they don't self discharge over years of storage. Here is one still full after 4 years.

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Old 12-05-2019, 11:39 AM   #44
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


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My totally unscientific experience with lithium ion batteries is they don't self discharge over years of storage.
Then you have miracle batteries that defy the laws of physics as we currently know them. It can be very low--depending upon battery chemistry and storage temperature, but, regardless, there will be self discharge.

All batteries have a degree of self discharge--even lithium primary cells.
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Old 12-05-2019, 11:41 AM   #45
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Re: Circular saw, corded or cordless?


I still have one of those Makita 9.6V cordless drill/driver tools myself. I can't bring myself to toss it even though I have big collection of Makita 18v LXT tools. And BTW, the LXT cordless circular saw works great for most jobs. I don't even recall the last time I needed to pull out the old plug in Skill Saw.

Quote:

Got my first professional cordless in the mid 80's, the old Makita 9.6 with the long handle and slide in battery, I was hooked. It was useless by today's standard but impressive to us all back then. Had Dewalts 12v, 14.4v, 18v, several different model drills and other tools but none compares well to these newest Lithium power, brushless tools. This technology has taken cordless to a new level. In most cases equal to corded and for some tools they're even better.
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Last edited by raylo32; 12-05-2019 at 11:45 AM.
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