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Sometimes you don’t need a massive power tool to get your woodworking chores finished. A portable tool with the right amount of power can often be just as useful as the best heavy-duty circular saws. This is how we viewed the Black and Decker Lithium-Ion circular saw.
At 20 volts, it isn’t going to outperform a corded model. On the other hand, you can take this saw virtually anywhere and get a straight, clean cut in return.
There are some key points that you’ll want to look at before deciding on this saw.
- This circular saw features a 5.5-inch cutting blade instead of the standard 7.25-inch blade. This gives you a fast cutting blade that can handle different cuts and materials, but may be difficult for some to find a replacement.
- Depth adjustments are easy to make because the tool to control depth is right on the frame of the saw and requires no tools to make an alteration.
- You’re still given bevel adjustment options with detents at 45 and 90 degrees, while being able to have a more compact design that allows you to take this saw in different places.
- This saw is a left-handed design option, so your cuts will require you to support the full weight of the saw as you push it through your working materials.
- It requires the 20V MAX lithium-ion battery that is produced by Black and Decker. The battery comes separately from the saw, as does the charger that you’ll need.
We could get about 45 minutes of continuous use out of a full charge of this battery. With that being said, the amount of power that we received over the last 5 to 10 minutes was much lower than the amount of power when first getting started. If cutting continuously, we’d recommend using this saw for about 30 minutes before sending the battery for a new charge to avoid consistency issues.
When using the saw on and off for various cuts, we could get about 4 hours of total work in before the battery needed a charge. If you’re looking at this portable circular saw, we’d recommend the purchase of two batteries if you’re trying to get through a full day of work.
What Could Be Improved with the Black and Decker Lithium-Ion Circular Saw?
We had some problems with this saw binding up about halfway through a cut on boards that were 1/2-inch thick or greater. You could still complete the cut, but you’d have to back it out a little bit to restart the cut again. This can create an inconsistency in the straightness of the cut if you don’t get the restart right.
It will cut through wood that is about 1.5-inch thick at most. It’s rated for 2 inches, but the amount of binding at the maximum thickness was pretty bad. The only exception was in the cutting of the 2by boards, which could be done pretty quickly so binding wouldn’t occur.
We found the Black and Decker lithium-ion circular saw to be a handy tool that is appropriate for most general needs, some woodworking projects, and perhaps some light construction work. It won’t replace a full-powered saw such as this Porter Cable model, but it’s lightweight and it gets the job done.