Harbor Freight has promised that more Hercules brushless power tools would be launching in 2021, and they’re making good on it. They’ve just introduced a new Hercules 20V brushless 7-1/4″ circular saw, model 57612.
Harbor Freight’s Hercules 20V lineup now includes 4 brushless power tools:
- Hercules Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool
- Hercules Cordless Angle Grinder
- Hercules Reciprocating Saw
- Hercules Circular Saw
The new circular saw’s specs seem on-par with other popular options on the market today.
Key Features & Specs
- 7-1/4″ blade size
- 5000 RPM
- 0-50° bevel range
- 2-1/2″ max depth of cut
- 1-7/8″ max cut at 45°
- Weighs 7.4 lbs
- Magnesiu, blade guard
- Attachable dust port
- Built-in rafter hook
- LED cutline visibility
- Motor maintains constant power under load
- Aluminum footplate
The brushless saw is priced just $10 more than Harbor Freight’s Hercules 20V (Max) 6-1/2″ cordless circular saw.
Harbor Freight has an in-store bundle deal promo, where you save $25 when you buy any Hercules cordless power tool, battery, and charger. I don’t know why they can’t also offer this online.
I find it interesting to think that, at least spec-wise, this tool would have bested all other 18V and 20V Max-class circular saws on the market just a few years ago.
Brushless tech has gotten far less expensive, with some brands launching entry-level-performing tools with brushless motors, although it doesn’t look like Harbor Freight is doing that here.
It’s good to see Harbor Freight pushing forward with a steady pace of new Hercules cordless power tool launches.
Still, it remains to be seen how well these tools fare against price-competitive brands.
looks like a clone of the Dewalt update 20V brushless saw – little bit lower RPM I think dewalt puts down 5400 or such. Otherwise near clone. Not sure on the pricing but if that 100 dollars is for just the tool that’s going to be about in line for the dewalt bare tool price too.
once again why buy the HF when you could buy the better Dewalt.
also I would bet it runs best with the big battery pack – more current draw with dual rows of batteries.
Agree completely, the brushless 7 1/4″ Dewalt is at most $150 bare tool. I have a brushed Dewalt 6 1/2″, which is great for what I do with it, but even it definitely needs the bigger batteries. It’s plenty happy with the 5 ah batteries and unusable with 1.5 ah.
Mike (the other one)
Agreed. They have reached the point of diminishing returns with higher spec models. It appears to be a good saw, but for a few dollars more you can get a DeWalt, which I would trust far more than Hercules or Bauer. I’d bet the DeWalt battery would have a longer lifespan, plus you know DeWalt will be around for a while, whereas HF brands come and go.
I just have to throw this out there, I have used Milwaukee, DeWalt, & Hercules tools & as far as price goes Hercules is much cheaper & as far as reliability I can’t say that I own any tool that is as reliable as my Hercules impact. It is literally outside probably buried in the mud right now & I’m not even a little bit concerned about it. It’s been left out in the rain, the snow, the mud.. it’s damn near indestructible. I recently bought their brushless circular saw & I absolutely love it. It’s the 20V instead of the 12V but I have the dual battery charger which was convenient. I fully intend to continue growing my Hercules collection because my husband is really hard on our tools & I know I can rely on this brand to be both affordable & reliable, whereas if we were to buy DeWalt or Milwaukee tools I would probably keep have to keep them under lock & key so they wouldn’t get left outside. I have a Milwaukee impact that is not only super bulky buy it totally crapped out after less than a year of pretty light use, huge disappointment considering how much it cost including the extended 18V battery. Anyway, just thought I’d share my input & experience with the brand. I wouldn’t expect anyone to make the switch if they’ve already established a collection of another solid brand but if you’re looking for something cheaper & you’re especially hard on your tools, check out Hercules for sure. Also, harbor freight has the best warranties & return policies, I’ve always found their customer service to be quite helpful.
Specs and quality are definitely improving from HF; one guy at work has the Bauer cordless stuff and swears by it. Still can’t shake my old HF prejudices, but I can see it has a place. Honestly my biggest complaint for something like the Bauer/Hercules lines is that they’re a one-retailer brand. Same problem I have with Kobalt or Ridgid: I’m not spending big bucks to buy into something that locks me into just one store for new tools, batteries, warranty, etc. I can add to or replace my Dewalt and Milwaukee stuff from ANYbody that has a good deal, be it online, in store, ebay, whatever. That’s a pretty big deal for me and the price difference is more than worth that flexibility.
I don’t like the fact that they are a one-retailer brand, or the fact that the number of tools in the line is so low. Even if they were proven top-tier reliable tools why buy into a system with such few options for future expansion? When you look at Dewalt, Milwaukee, Ryobi, Makita, etc, you’ve got a couple hundred tools on the platform to pick from. HF gives you what, fewer than ten options? Heck even smaller or specialty-oriented brands like Ingersoll-Rand or Metabo offer more tools on the system.
Milwaukee is exclusive to Home Depot on the major retailer front, ie not at Lowes.
There are other brick and mortar chain retailers selling Milwaukee. Not Lowes, the biggest HD competitor, but others,
Ace Hardware and almost any “specialty” store – think plumbing supply, etc – will have some Milwaukee.
But usually not at HD prices.
My local ACE has a good selection of Milwaukee power tools.
Sounds like Lowes’ problem, not Milwaukee’s; Lowes’ overall brand decisions (and constant brand/line changes) make no sense to me anyway. I have several local hardware/lumber suppliers around here that stock Milwaukee, plus a Home Depot, plus all the major online outlets (CPO, Acme, etc.) Same goes for Dewalt, Makita, Metabo HPT. That’s a far cry from the true one-store wonders like Hercules, Kobalt, Ridgid, Hart, and others.
Hundreds of power tools have been held in my hand and I can count which ones were bought at Home Depot/Lowes/Menards on the other.
Until HF starts offering a real warranty on their power tools, it’s going to hard to consider them beyond “light duty only”. In a market in which “entry level” brands like Ryobi offers 3 years and Skil offers 5 years, HF and their 90-day default warranty is simply insufficient.
Unfortunately this is my issue also. If they rolled out a Lifetime Service Agreement ala Ridgid, I think they may get much more interest.
All other brands just have a track record of reliability on top of decent warranty. Until recently, HF brand and battery consistently over time has been limited.
A LSA is most likely out of the question, what with how many designs and vendors HF sources from; repair parts availability is highly unlikely in a decade.
Many tools are certainly capable of lasting years or even decades, but if the manufacturer isn’t willing to bet on it, I probably shouldn’t be betting on it either. The way I see it, the length of the warranty period is that manufacturer did the math and have determined that the majority will not fail within that timeframe. Just having a warranty that counts by years instead of days will be good indicator of quality/durability/reliability, especially as HF prices are approaching (or sometimes even exceeding) those of mainstream brands.
I hear all of you with Dewalt and other brands warranty being a yr or up to 5 yrs like Milwaukee but I also worked at HF part time for a couple of years and had a lot of sheet rockers buy the Hercules drill/driver and they come with 90 day warranty but you can buy the 1 yr or 2 yr replacement warranty if I remember right 1 yr was 13.xx and 2 yr was 19.xx anyway they would bring them back battery, case & charger just a little over a yr and request a new one beat to you know what full of paint sheet rock dust didn’t matter and walk out with a brand new one and pay 13.xx dollars for another warranty on the one he just replaced he told me he’s done it for 3 yrs and every yr it cost him 13.xx said can’t beat that. Also Hercules is a clone of Dewalt and Bauer is a clone of Porter cable
I suppose if some customers want to play the system that way, then that’s their prerogative. Teardowns definitely reveal they’re not clones of SBD tools beyond its physical shape.
Currently, a cordless Hercules 1/2″ drill/driver with a brushed motor is $50 bare; add in one battery and charger, subtract the in-store bundle discount, and it’s $90 before an extended warranty. Add in the “cheap” 1 year extended warranty, and that places it above the price of brushless competitors. If ProToolReview’s experience is any indication, the extended warranty is a must, as the chuck in their review unit broke.
Going further up the price chain, a corded Hercules 12″ dual bevel sliding compound miter saw is currently $380 before an extended warranty. IMHO, that’s very hard to justify when a similar DeWalt DWS779 is currently $400.
Yes I agree with you! I have Milwaukee stuff myself & a few Ridgid tools, I have a Bauer 3/8 impact with battery and have had good luck so far but true when I worked there I got many free tools that were returned or dented in shipping it was or the garbage nothing got sent back ( I guess to expensive) but it merely a comment on how some buyers use the system there getting new tools every yr or 2.
There are requirements for shipping batteries which might be just enough to make them want to charge a bit more.
But realistically it’s because they want you in the store so you end up grabbing three or four tools instead of just one.
HF is rapidly becoming the new Sears. They are just one step away from it on the warranty. At my local store, you can now walk in, be greeted in a friendly manner, find absolutely good handtools everywhere. Cheap deals that are easy to snap up on the way to the register. Power tools that will absolutely get the job done for a home gamer.
The HF site says to compare to the Milwaukee 2631 (the older, non-Fuel brushless), so I did. There is a strong resemblance, especially from the motor side where you can see things like the screw locations and the depth adjustment.
BUT I then noticed the shoe and bevel adjustment seemed beefier on the Hercules than the 2631. I thought this was strange, so on a hunch I looked up the Fuel version (2732)…same design as the Hercules.
It’s definitely not a blue 2732–for example, the Hercules specs only claim 5000 rpm, not 5500, and state the Herc’s shoe is aluminum rather than magnesium–but it’s an interesting product nonetheless. It makes you wonder how HF and their suppliers go about developing these products. How do they decide which features each HF tool will or won’t carry over from the name brand, or what parts they can cheapen and by how much to hit HF’s price point? Does HF want to carry stuff that SBD/TTI/etc. won’t give them? Given that TTI paid for the R&D to develop the tools in the first place, is HF’s per-tool margin really that much smaller than TTI’s?
That said, at any one time there are almost always sales on cordless brushless 7.25″ circular saws from Milwaukee, Dewalt, and/or Makita, and it doesn’t take much of a sale (if any) for any of these three to make much more sense than the Hercules.
> It makes you wonder how HF and their suppliers go about developing these products.
There might be no development required by the customer (Harbor Freight) beyond specifying the plastic and paint colors, cartons, accessories, and labels if they go to an ODM supplier/manufacturer which already has existing designs available. While a quick search didn’t reveal anything about Hercules, it appears that their Bauer lineup is sourced by Lutool (Ningbo Gemay Industries). Perhaps modify a plastic interference tab on the battery pack so it’s exclusive to one “brand”, and now they have a full array of tools available.
Actually they have 2 R & D facilities where they test tools & make changes to them before production and there both in CA and they have (at least 6 when I worked at HF) 6 different manufacturers building the tools and yes there all asian plants.