The Cordless Backhandle Circular Saw Competition Is Becoming More Competitive…and That’s a Positive Development
What’s better than having a great cordless circular saw? Having the BEST Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw! Whether you prefer the ergonomic design or the extra torque for cutting through lumber, a cordless worm drive circular saw can be a valuable addition to your toolkit.
Cordless rear-handle circular saws are in high demand among professionals who want to eliminate the hassle of dealing with cords. This year, the market for these powerful saws has become even more crowded. However, we’re not disappointed by the increased competition. In fact, we’re thrilled that more brands than ever are stepping up their game and offering top-notch options to consumers.
Flex 24V Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw
Flex has introduced a cordless rear handle circular saw that makes some bold claims. With a 24V max power supply (21.6V nominal) and an impressive 6200 RPM, this saw outperforms its competitors, including Milwaukee and DeWalt, in terms of cutting speed and power.
But it’s not just about the speed and power. The design of the Flex saw is well thought out and meets all the criteria we were looking for. It is also comparable in weight to models from other top-performing brands like Milwaukee and DeWalt.
After putting it through its paces, we have no major complaints. And if you need another reason to consider the Flex, the stackable pouch lithium batteries give it an edge over traditional batteries. Plus, if you register your purchase before December 31, 2023, you can enjoy the benefits of Flex’s lifetime warranty.
Price: $249.00 (bare metal), $399.00 (with 10.0Ah stacked lithium battery and fast charger)
Best Lightweight Cordless Rear Handle/Worm Drive Circular Saw
Metabo HPT 36V MultiVolt Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw
If having the lightest cordless worm drive circular saw is your priority, then the Metabo HPT is the perfect choice for you. Powered by a single 36V MultiVolt battery, it delivers the same cutting performance as Makita’s 18V X2 while offering a significantly lighter option. In fact, it weighs over two pounds less, including the battery, compared to the Makita saw — just 10.6 pounds with the 4.0Ah battery!
What sets the Metabo HPT apart is that it’s the only hybrid option in this group. If you have a lot of production cutting to do and don’t want to worry about managing batteries, you can simply switch to the AC adapter and keep cutting until you’re done. And let’s not forget that Metabo HPT stands behind this tool with a lifetime warranty.
Price: $199.00 (bare), $299.00 (kit with 4.0Ah battery and charger)
Best Cordless Rear Handle/Worm Drive Circular Saw for the Money
Skil PWRCore 20 XP Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw
When Skil was relaunched a few years ago, it primarily targeted DIY enthusiasts. However, their brushless tools have caught up with professional-grade models, and they have now introduced their first tool specifically designed for value-conscious professionals.
The Skil Cordless Back Handsaw is part of the emerging 2 x 20V PWRCore 20 XP system. It utilizes two batteries to provide a higher power level of 40V max (36V nominal), delivering performance similar to the Makita rear handle saw in our tests. While there are trade-offs between the two, the Skil saw is built to withstand the demands of everyday jobsite use.
The best part? The price is quite convincing. You can get the kit, which includes two 5.0Ah batteries and a dual-port PWRJump fast charger, for only $249.99.
Price: $249.99 (with two 5.0Ah batteries and dual-port charger)
The Best Cordless Rear Handle / Worm Drive Circular Saw – More Recommendations From Brands We Trust
DeWalt FlexVolt 60V Max Worm Drive Circular Saw
DeWalt has followed suit and introduced their FlexVolt 60V Max DCS577 to the market, marking a significant power upgrade over the first-generation FlexVolt sidewinder. This saw boasts excellent cutting ability, and its front handle is designed for a more comfortable grip compared to other models we tested. The only minor downside we encountered was that the shoe had slightly more friction, resulting in a slightly “sticky” feel when starting a cut.
Price: $299.00 (bare metal), $449.00 (with 9.0Ah battery and charger)
Hilti Nuron 22V Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw
Hilti’s Nuron Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw has received a significant performance boost thanks to its new brushless motor and advanced battery design. Runtime is expected to double, and the total weight is less than 12 pounds, including a 7.9Ah battery. With Nuron technology, you also get a whole new level of communication between the tool and battery, helping you plan your maintenance effectively.
Price: $369.00 (bare metal, $11.00 per month for fleet customers)
Makita 40V max XGT Brushless Rear Handle Circular Saw
Makita has entered the rear handle market with its 36-volt XSR01 model. This saw delivers excellent performance, weighs less than most competitors, and has consistently made it onto our best value list. For even better performance, check out Makita’s 40V max XGT system and GSR01.
The 40V max XGT model is remarkably similar in design to its predecessor, but with significantly increased speed — jumping from 5100 RPM to 6400 RPM. Not only does it provide a performance boost, but it also weighs more than a pound less than the XSR01, coming in at just 11.7 pounds, including the battery.
As of now, you can find kits from Acme Tools for under $300, which is a great deal considering the quality of Makita and the prices set by its competitors.
Price: $264.00 (bare metal), $299.00 (with 4.0Ah battery and fast charger)
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Rear Handle Circular Saw
Milwaukee’s 2830 M18 Fuel Rear Handle Circular Saw hit the market in 2019, capitalizing on the power boost provided by the M18 Series high-output batteries. It operates on 18 volts and features an advanced M18 fuel brushless motor.
For two years, this saw topped our list as the best overall cordless rear handle circular saw until the Flex finally took the lead in 2022. Nevertheless, the power and cutting speed of this saw are impressive. We have no issues with the design, apart from the traditional slim front handle.
Price: $279.00 (bare metal), $449.00 (with 12.0Ah high-output battery and fast charger)
Ridgid 18V Cordless Rear Handle Circular Saw
Ridgid fans, rejoice! Ridgid will be launching their Cordless Back Handsaw at Home Depot late in 2022, so keep an eye out for it! This saw offers excellent cutting speed and power. Additionally, it is another lightweight option, weighing 10.1 lbs without a battery and 12.4 lbs when equipped with the 8.0Ah max output battery.
Value is also where this saw shines. The bare tool costs $219.00, while the kit retails for $349.00. This is quite a steal compared to the $400.00-plus price tags of some high-end brands.
Price: $219.00 (bare metal), $349.00 (with 8.0Ah battery and charger)
Skilsaw 48V True HVL Cordless Worm Drive
In our testing, the Skilsaw 48V TrueHVL worm drive proved to be the only true cordless worm drive saw. Interestingly, this is the first cordless tool under the Skilsaw brand.
Although it is slightly heavier than its competitors, the Skilsaw stands out as the best cordless worm drive saw due to its solid design and impressive cutting capabilities. Keep in mind that the 48V True HVL battery system is only compatible with two tools: this saw and the 10 1/4-inch cordless Sawsquatch.
If you’re looking for the utmost cutting power, this is the saw for you.
Price (7 1/4″): $249.00 (bare), $399.00 (with 5.0Ah battery and charger), $599.00 (two 5.0Ah batteries and charger)
Best Cordless Rear Handle / Worm Drive Circular Saw Buying Guide – What We Considered
We conducted a series of tests, including cross, miter, bevel, compound, and rip cuts, to assess saw power, shoe friction, and guard action. While cutting power and speed were our primary considerations, we also aimed for smooth cuts without any snagging on guards, regardless of the cutting angle.
We also checked the accuracy of the 0° and 45° tangent indicators, although this may vary depending on the blade type being used. It’s essential to make a few cuts on scrap material when switching to a different blade model to ensure accurate cutting.
Runtime testing is no longer part of our evaluations. With today’s brushless motors, the runtime typically exceeds the time required to fully charge a second battery. As long as you have spare batteries ready, you can work uninterrupted, similar to changing backpacks.
We marked straight cut lines to assess the effect of each saw’s tracking. It’s crucial to ensure that the saw’s design doesn’t encourage it to veer off to either side. Fortunately, this is usually not a problem.
Dust and Chip Removal
Most circular saw cuts are made in a way that minimizes mess. However, we evaluated how effectively each saw removes sawdust and debris from the material. We always aim for a clear view of our cutting lines. Additionally, having a vacuum attachment can significantly help with cleaning up the workspace. For the included saw, a swivel design is particularly useful, allowing you to remove debris without a vacuum while keeping it mounted all the time.
We considered the overall feel and control when gripping the circular saw. Proper handle distance, comfortable grip, and prevention of inadvertent lateral movement during cuts were among our criteria.
While the weight may not be a significant issue when making cuts, it does impact portability on the job site and affects the amount of shoe friction experienced. We weighed each bare saw, taking into account the battery load, and considered its impact throughout the workday.
Price and Value
Value is not solely determined by price. It’s about what you get for the price and how the performance, design, features, compatibility with other tools, and other factors align with your priorities. Ultimately, you need to consider what is most important to you and what fits within your budget.
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