Building a Tiny House with a Cordless Saw

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This review was created as part of a paid affiliate program with the Home Depot.

 These are the tools April and I used to build a Tiny House in 7 days.

These are the tools April and I used to build a Tiny House in 7 days.

My first order of business with this and every power tool review is a disclaimer: I am not a professional contractor. I am a farmer and a fine furniture maker. When it comes to construction and renovation projects, I’m a DIYer and weekend warrior. That said, I doubt many professional contractors will be reading my tool reviews. My goal in reviewing tools and products is to provide honest feedback based on my own use and experience with these tools to other regular folks like me- wanting to get their hands dirty, try new things, and get the best value for their hard earned dollars.

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For the past several years, I have been using an 18v Makita circular saw when corded power wasn’t available. It was great for little jobs around the farm, in fact, during the tiny house build, we used it quite a bit as a backup saw so both of us could be working simultaneously. I didn’t realize just how underpowered it was, however, until I spent some time using the Dewalt 60v brushless circular saw. The Dewalt moves through wood differently than the Makita, so it took a bit of getting used to, but it worked like a charm after that.  One cool thing I noticed as I was using it is that the handle position is set in such a way that your pointer finger points directly in line with your cut, just like it should when using a handsaw.

The next thing that really jumped out at me about the saw was the battery life. We used this saw for every single cut during the first three days of framing out the tiny house. Because I wanted to see how long the battery would last, I didn’t bring the battery up to charge at the end of the first workday since it was still going strong. It ended up lasting until the fourth day on the jobsite and made several hundred cuts (2x4’s, 2x6’s, sheathing) until it finally died and we had to put it on the charger.

The Diablo blades we used on the jobsite cut through anything we threw their way like butter. In my experience both in the woodshop and on the jobsite, Diablo blades are the best blade you can buy at a big box store. Of course, if you go to specialty saw shops and supply yards, you can get into blades that will leave a razor thin kerf and last unreal amounts of time, but you’ll also pay an unreal price for them. Diablo has proven, for me at least, to be the best value for my dollar both in quality and durability, and I don’t have to add an extra stop to my errands list to buy them.

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We had a 24 tooth framing blade loaded up in the circular saw for the whole build the thin kerf was great in stretching our wood further, and, at least in theory, that thin blade is lighter, so it would spin faster in the saw making a more efficient cut and saving on battery life. I’m not enough of a scientist or mathematician to prove that, but did I mention that the battery lasted FOR FOUR DAYS? The only point of interest on that framing blade is that it didn’t have carbide teeth- that makes it more affordable, but I’m curious about the durability, and will have to report back on that after a few more months of use. So far? Very impressed. Allegedly, the blade can also hold up to a few nail hits as well, but I’m thankful to report we didn’t have any of those during this build.

Manufacturer claims:

·      Designed with blade oriented to the left of the motor and handle positioned at the rear of the saw for easy line sight

·      Saw has an electronic brake that helps the blade stop after the trigger is released

·      Bevel capacity of 53 with stops at 25 and 45

·      5x longer cutting life versus standard blades

·      2x increased durability in nail-embedded wood applications

·      65% more efficient in corded and cordless saws

Awesome Features I discovered while using it:

·      INFINITE BATTERY LIFE (ok, a tad over-exaggerated there, but it’s really good)

·      Powerful- feels like a corded tool

·      Brushless motor is quiet, starts up and shuts down quickly

·      Shut-off brake

·      Battery position: centered in tool to evenly distribute weight.

·      Big lettering on depth and angle gauges are easy to read

·      Wrench slot on tool- changing blades on the fly doesn’t require an hour-long search for the right wrench.

Things I wish were better/different:

·      You pay for the power and battery life when it comes to the weight. It’s very heavy.

This saw retails for $399.00. Would I buy it at full price?

ABSOLUTELY. During the tiny house project, this tool became an instant favorite. It’s rugged, durable, powerful, and will easily tackle jobs all over the homestead where I don’t have access to corded power.

This blade retails for $9.97. Would I buy it at full price?

Once again, a hearty yes- I’ve been buying and using Diablo blades for all my tools for years.

*I acknowledge that the Home Depot is partnering with me to participate in the Prospective 2018 Campaign. As part of the program, I am receiving compensation in the form of products and services, for the purpose of promoting The Home Depot. All expressed opinions and experiences are my own words. My post complies with the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) Ethics code and applicable Federal Trade Commission guidelines.

Posted on July 27, 2018 and filed under DIY and Home Renovation, Tool Reviews.