Why not ask him what he wants to do?
But when you run the numbers, an 18v cordless saw runs 200 bucks
minimum, including the charger and a battery. Lithium ion is going to
cost you 350 or so. Add another hundred bucks for a spare 18v battery
or 150 for lithium ion and you're talking 300-500 bucks. Then you
need either more batteries or an inverter to run the charger from the
car electrical system--that's another hundred bucks or so, so you're
at 400-600 bucks. A 3 KW generator can be had for under 300 bucks and
it can be used for a lot of things other than sawing.
Does he already have a cordless drill? If so, and it's 18V, you might
be able to find the matching saw as a tool-only purchase on-line.
That's how I bought my Dewalt circular saw, and that's how I'm getting
the reciprocating saw that my wife is going to buy me for Christmas.
When you Google the brand you are looking for, include the words "tool
only" and see what you get.
If he doesn't have a 18V drill, then perhaps he really does need a
decent kit - drill, saw, etc.
I have a small (5-3/8"), 18 VDC, DeWalt panel saw that was part of a
drill/saw combo kit.
(That size saw has been replaced with a larger unit.)
I have beat the devil out of both tools.
After 10 years, they don't owe me anything.
The panel saw, while small, has still managed to cut 2x stock. Just don't
expect it to keep up with a Skil 77, corded unit.
I agree with Lew, I have the 18v Dewalt that comes with the kit and it has
sawe of barn rafters and you name it. Don't push the saw, let it eat it's
way thru. Also use a blade designed for cordless saws (i.e thin kerf). I
think the cordless circular saws eat up batteries faster than the other
tools in the kit. Also hold the line, don't go halfway thru the board and
say aw- gee I am off the mark, and then try to correct it. you will waste
the battery right there. Back up and saw again.
Good Luck Lyndell
I have a 18.4 DeWalt, that came with a kit. I like it and use it a lot
break down plywood, cut the occasional 2x4, etc. It's batteries are
sort of going (I have 3) after 8 years. I'd look at either the Ryobi
or any "semi-pro"
brand (DeWalt, Porter Cable, Milwaukee, etc.) Avoid, Craftsman.
I have a Ryobi that replaced an ailing Craftsman. I actually prefered the
Craftsman. For BORG-tools, I'd look at Ridgid. I don't have any of their
cordless stuff, but they felt better than the Ryobi line last time I went
I'm a professional carpenter, and I have and use a Milwaukee
V28 cordless 6 1/2" circular saw regularly. It's lithium powered, has a
charge meter built into the battery, and for a cordless tool, is a real
workhorse. No cordless saw is a replacement for a corded saw, but a high
end tool like the V28 will crosscut ten or twelve 2x6's, and then rip a few
10' 2x4's before the battery winds down. Be warned, they ain't cheap. The
saw and two batteries, with a case, runs about $350.00 right now.
I'd usually advise a non-pro to stick with a corded saw, but in your
it sounds like a legitimate justification for a good cordless. I have less
experience with Makita, but I've always found them to be good tools. Dewalt
varies from tool to tool, but they're usually OK. I'd definitely recommend
getting something with lithium batteries, though. They're about twice the
power for their weight as ni-cads, and they can be "topped off" at any time
with no penalty. They also last much longer.
On Sun, 16 Dec 2007 14:54:38 -0500, "Lyndell Thompson"
I hope they help you as well as they've helped me.
When I toasted my 1st Makita, Wayne, an employee of the link I posted,
led me over to the blades, and mentioned that pretty much everyone had
The stock blade on the DeWalt 18v 6 1/2" saw is better than the 3 3/8"
Makita, but still pretty weak.
I remember the first time I used a well sharpened and tuned hand saw,
and was shocked at how much better a sawyer I was, and how effortless
the saw cut. I'm sure it works the same for any power tool. Also,
it always seems that every time a manufacturer wants to save a buck on
a power saw, they cheap out on the included blade.
Still, none of these tools will replace a corded version in steady
use, but what an improvement!
I bought the Sears 19.2 Volt set that included the Mini-Skill saw,
reciprocating saw, sander and two-speed drill, light, three batteries
and a charger.
They have a whole line of tools that "take" the battery (I tink its
marketed as the C-3 series).
That little saw is a gem. Not the best for ripping a "two-by," but it
will cut a 2 x 6 when called upon.
I do revert to my hypoid-gear skill saw for ripping along a 2 x 6 or a
plywood panel as the little saws' blades are thin and like to wander.
You need to go slow and pay attention when riping.
I wouldn't buy any of them to serve as the sole saw for constructing a
room with 2 x 6 framing, but they are great for occasional use and for
trimming an end while on a ladder cutting from underneath!
THe three batteries help with the power concerns as you can keep
cycling them through the charger and tools such that you are seldom,
if ever, waiting for one to charge.
The kit can be had for less than $200 - watch the clearance shelf - I
got my set three years ago (when it first came out) for $180.
I recently built a barn and use the drills (I also have a 14.4 volt
(the charger works for the 14.4 and 19.2 VDC Batteries) ) and recipro
saw and mini skill saw to do all save some heavy ripping and birds
mouth cuts for which I used the Hypoid. Barn is up with no complaints.
I have the Milwaukee V18 CS. It is the first saw I grab when I need to make
a couple of cuts. I agree with Barry though the stock blade is good for
nothing and a good aftermarket improves the saw at least 2 fold. Also
Milwaukee has in their regular 18volt line a car charger. I never have
needed one but it is nice to know that I could get one if it should arise.
The stand alone saw with 2 batteries and charger is about $300 for the
regular batteries or around $400 for the V18 Lithium.
I like the Ridgid 18V from Home Depot. It's sturdy, affordable, seems well
made, cuts well and seems to hold a charge for a very long time, plus the
batteries as well as the tool has a life-time guarantee. If (when) the
batteries fail Ridgid replaces them under the guarantee. Since it's always
the battery replacement that is the expensive item, this was a great plus
The lifetime battery deal really is a good deal. The tools are pretty good
tools too. Just be aware that the batteries are lifetime warrantee covered
by Rigid themselves, and you can't just walk into a Home Depot store and
swap out the batteries. Not such a big thing, but it's the kind of thing
that would piss you off if you expected you could get the warranty exchange
at the Home Depot, only to discover you can't.
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