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DeWalt Corded vs. Cordless Circular Saws

Updated: Dec 12, 2018

If you're in the market for a new circular saw there may be many more options than the last time you looked. Today's power tool market is exploding with cordless models of tried-and-true equipment like circular saws. With all these added options, how do you know which type will work best for you? This article will be focused on two DeWalt circular saws, the DWS535T vs. DCS577.

The main appeal of cordless technology is a no-brainer, portability; a power tool that's as mobile and adaptable as you are. But what's surprising hobbyists and professionals alike is the under-the-hood power and performance of these new battery operated machines. A cordless tool being able to out-power and out-perform a corded alternative was more of a dream than a reality until just a few years ago, and new advancements are coming all the time.

Cordless tools are gaining favor year over year, even on professional grade construction sites, but are we ready to forget about corded tools altogether? Alas, despite the extreme performance capabilities of some cordless tools, there is still a place for cords in the near future. Deciding which way to go is a personal struggle you'll have to work out for yourself.

This week mmToolParts had the opportunity to review the DeWalt DCS577 cordless circular saw against their DWS535T corded option, and here's what we figured out. Both saws fall in the same range of performance metrics at 15amps with a 7.25"blade. The cordless DCS577 actually out-powers the DWS535T corded version at 2400 Watts/ 5800 RPM vs 2100 Watts/ 4800 RPM.

So the cordless version actually has MORE power? This might be the first year we've seen cordless tools capable of producing more power than corded. Some of the increase in performance might be due to the new brushless motor design on the Flexvolt saw, brushless motors are becoming a standard in the power tool industry. The DWS535T still relies on a brushed motor design.

There are two other differences that stand out when comparing these side-by-side, the weight of the DWS535T and the inclusion of an electric blade brake on the DCS577. The corded option weighs 13.8lbs by itself, while the cordless only weighs 10.87lbs. However, this weight is for the base saw itself, once a Flexvolt battery is added they weigh nearly the same. The Flexvolt offers a feature not found on the corded version, an electric blade brake that stops the blade as soon as the trigger is released, much safer than the 15-20 second wind down you'll find on the DWS535T. For someone who will be using this saw over and over, the blade brake could be a very noticeable addition to safety and convenience on the job site.

The DWS535T has innovated new cord technology to ease the trouble of managing a cord with their new TWISTLOCK™ design. They've also introduced a TOUGHCORD™ cord protection system provides 4X better cord jerk protection. This enables the user to plug-and-play the cord with any of DeWalt's TWISTLOCK™ equipped tools. For some users, having access to constant, consistent power from a cord seems like the only answer. For someone using this saw all day, every day, exchanging battery packs might seem too much of a hassle on the job site. But DeWalt estimates over 300 cuts can be made from the power stored in one Flexvolt battery, more than a days worth of cuts for a typical user. The battery reaches a full charge in about an hour, meaning a second battery could keep you working 24/7 without ever having to plug in your saw.

At the end of the day, these saws have more in common than they have apart. Cutting the cord and opting for Flexvolt will make sense for most users as cordless tools start to overtake tried-and-true corded designs. This comes at a price, however, and for someone using this tool to make cuts day in, day out, they may prefer the traditional, corded standby.

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