Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw: Enhancing Blade Size and Performance
The Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw is a definite improvement over its predecessor, boasting an upgraded motor and battery that significantly enhance its performance. In order to determine where it stands among other cordless circular saws, including premium models, we conducted a comprehensive evaluation.
Advantages of the Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw
This circular saw offers several advantages, such as:
- Advanced battery and brushless motor system
- Markedly improved cutting performance
- Highly accurate 0º and 45º notches
- Very ergonomic handle design
- Reduced friction on the shoe
- Comes with a vacuum adapter and fence
Shortcoming of the Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw
The only minor drawback we found with this saw is that the guard doesn’t smoothly slide over the top edge of the material, as we hoped.
The Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw is a refined upgrade from its previous model and is undoubtedly a significant improvement in terms of performance. If you’re looking for a cordless circular saw that delivers professional results without breaking the bank, this is the one to buy.
Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw Test Results
When we initially evaluated the Kobalt XTR circular saw, we expected it to offer greater cutting capacity compared to the standard 24V Max model due to its transition from a 6 1/2-inch blade to a 7 1/4-inch blade. While this is somewhat true, the previous design was already impressive, achieving a remarkable 2 7/16″ depth of cut, matching that of many 7 1/4″ saws.
Despite the larger blade size, the capacity only sees a slight increase to 2-1/2″. However, this is not a drawback of the XTR saw but rather a testament to the excellence of the previous design.
In terms of strength, the XTR saw competes with well-known models like Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel 2731 and DeWalt’s 20V Max XR DCS570. In our testing, we found that it outperformed Ridgid’s Octane when cutting 2 x 10 PT and stacked 3/4″ OSB subfloor.
Additionally, the Kobalt saw effectively clears dust and debris from the blade area. The included vacuum dust port adapter can easily catch the mess, reducing the need for extensive cleaning.
During our accuracy tests, we conducted a series of cross cuts and tear cuts to assess how well we could follow the pre-marked cut lines. While the front handle slightly obstructs the view of the blade for right-handed cutting, it’s not difficult to maneuver and look around. Left-handed cutting provides a better view of the blade.
The index notches on the shoe are reliable for tracking, ensuring precision cuts. However, we did notice that the direct alignment of the two handles slightly deviates from the cutting line. Freehand cuts were generally within 1/8″ on cross cuts, with slightly more variation on longer rip cuts. Other saws we tested demonstrated varying levels of accuracy as well.
For critical cuts that require utmost precision, it’s advisable to slow down and use a ruler or guide.
One of the key factors we examined was how smoothly the saw moved during cutting. The Kobalt XTR’s shoe coating glides effortlessly across the wood, minimizing friction. While the Makita saw had slightly lower friction, popular brands like DeWalt and Milwaukee exhibited significantly higher friction.
However, the guard design could benefit from improvement. The inside portion of the guard flattens out as it hangs parallel to the workpiece, requiring extra force to clear the top edge of the wood.
As mentioned earlier, we were highly impressed with the ergonomics of the Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw. The front handle is ergonomically shaped for a comfortable and secure grip, while the rear contoured handle enhances the overall cutting experience.
With a bare tool weight of 9.4 lbs, which is 2.5 lbs heavier than previous models, the Kobalt saw has transitioned from a compact circular saw to a full-size model. It incorporates metal components for the shoe, blade guard, and blade cover to ensure its durability and strength. Compared to other premium cordless circular saws we tested, the Kobalt saw falls on the lighter side, with weights ranging from 9.6 lbs to 16.0 lbs.
The Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw is equipped with a comprehensive set of features, including:
- Brushless Motor
- Electric Brake
- LED Light
- Rafter Hook
- Vacuum Adapter
The only feature it lacks is rail-compatible shoes, which are not commonly found in circular saws. However, Kobalt does provide a fence as an accessory, which proves useful for longer cuts. Most brands typically sell the fence separately.
Pricing and Final Thoughts
The Kobalt XTR Circular Saw is available as a bare tool for $149 at Lowe’s. Alternatively, you can purchase it as part of a 5-tool kit for $399, which includes an impact drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, and LED light, making it an excellent starting point for your XTR collection.
To conclude, the Kobalt 24V Max XTR Circular Saw is a significant advancement from its previous model. It offers exceptional performance, making it an ideal choice for anyone seeking a budget-friendly cordless circular saw capable of professional-grade work.
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Kobalt XTR Circular Saw Specifications
- Model: Kobalt KXCS 124B-03
- Motor: Brushless
- Saw Blade Diameter: 7-1/4″
- Spindle Lock: Yes
- Shoe Type: Metal
- Includes Fence: Yes
- Gear Type: Spur Gear
- Maximum Speed: 5500 RPM
- Cutting Depth: 2.5 inches
- Maximum Depth at 45°: 1.75 inches
- Bevel Stop: 0-56°
- Weight: 9.4 lbs
- Warranty: 5 years
- Price: $149