Craftsman has recently come out with a new V20 (20V Max) brushless circular saw with 7-1/4″ blade size.
The new Craftsman brushless circular saw, CMCS550B, is said to provide up to 75% more power compared to their 6-1/2″ circular saw (CMCS500M1) when paired with a 4Ah battery.
It features an upper metal guard, aluminum shoe, and LED worklight.
Craftsman CMCS550 Circular Saw Specs
- 7-1/4″ blade, 5/8″ arbor
- 5000 RPM
- Cuts up to 2-9/16″ at 90°
- 0-56° bevel angle
- Positive stops at 45° and 22.5°
- LED worklight
- Stamped metal shoe
- Electronic brake
- Bundled with a 24T blade
Price: $129 for the bare tool
Let’s compare the Craftsman V20 brushless circular saw to Ryobi’s.
Just based on appearances, the Craftsman looks a little more robust, with larger control knobs.
Look at the bevel scale, for example, or the lower blade guard.
At the time of this posting, the Craftsman saw is priced at $129, and the Ryobi at $119. However, Home Depot has a promo on Ryobi’s saw right now, where you get a free starter kit that includes (2) HP 3.0Ah batteries, a charger, and a kit bag.
What this means is that you essentially get a Ryobi brushless circular saw kit for $119. There’s the possibility Lowe’s might have a promo lined up for the new Craftsman brushless circular saw.
Visually, the Craftsman saw looks more premium-built. While Craftsman’s brushless cordless power tools are reasonably matched against Ryobi’s 18V One+ offerings, I’m having a hard time seeing this as an even matching.
Consider the motor speeds. The Craftsman operates at 5000 RPM (no-load presumably), while the Ryobi has a max speed of 3700 RPM.
Both saws have an electric blade brake, to quickly stop the blade from spinning after power is disengaged from the motor.
The Craftsman also has an LED worklight.
Another difference is that the Craftsman has a side-facing dust chute. Circular saws rarely have built-in dust collection, but a dust chute helps to redirect that dust away from the user.
The Craftsman is a right-side-facing saw, while the Ryobi is left-facing. Typically, sidewinder saws are right-facing, rear-handle and smaller cordless saws are left-facing.
Craftsman’s V20 brushless drill and impact driver are considerably higher performing than the brand’s lower-priced brushed motor cordless drills and drivers, and it’s fair to say the situation is the same here. Craftsman says their new brushless circular saw delivers up to 75% more power than their brushed motor saw, and that sounds about right.
The saw is sold as a bare tool, which means you’ll need a battery and charger. There are two new batteries timed with this launch – 6Ah ($129) and 9Ah ($149), and also a dual-port charger ($99).
For Craftsman V20 users, it’s good to see a new higher-powered and larger-bladed brushless circular saw option, which would mean greater cutting capacity and better performance.
For users juggling which DIY-level cordless power tool system to get into, Craftsman’s brushless circular saw costs more than Ryobi’s, but you get more for your money in terms of features and specs. We can’t judge durability based on specs, but it seems that Ryobi’s was designed to be more affordable. Craftsman’s saw has some compromises compared to higher-priced pro grade saws, but it appears that more user-friendly features won out over cost-cutting.
Just based on what I can see and tell from a chair, the Ryobi looks like a lower-priced saw for occasional use, and the Craftsman is higher-priced but looks to be the better pick for more frequent use.
If you want something more entry-level-priced, don’t forget that Craftsman does have brushed-motor tools at lower pricing. Lowes no longer lists the brushed motor kit, but Amazon currently has it for $149. The bare tool is $59, compared to $129 for this brushless model.