Roger Bisby takes the Hitachi Brushless Cordless Circular Saw out on site to gauge some reactions.
At one time most cordless circular saws were really under-powered and only suitable for cutting sheet materials. Sure, the manufacturers boasted cutting depths of up to 65mm, but the 18 volt motors were working on the edge of their capability.
Some manufacturers tried to make up the short-fall with higher voltages, but the attraction of the 18 volt platform, which allowed users to swap and change batteries with other tools, was too great to ignore.
So, accepting that 18 volt is where the market wants to be, the challenge for the manufacturers was to try and squeeze more power out of the machine.
The answer is the brushless motor and no cordless tool, except perhaps the angle grinder, had greater need of this power boost – cordless circular saws have come of age and everyone wants to be at the party.
Hitachi has long been known for its saws and this C18DBAL is a worthy addition to the range. Builder Terry has been a fan of the cordless circular saw for a while now. He uses one for birds-mouths because the size makes it possible to be that little bit more accurate.
The thin kerf blade works really well in such situations but he doesn’t like to run past the cut, so he always takes the corner out with a hand saw. The light weight of the saw means that it can be used with one hand, but with the disappearance of the riving knife there are instances where kickback can be an issue.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is something that only occurs with larger mains powered machines.
There are many who thought they were in control of a circular saw only to find the reverse was true. Happily, with this Hitachi saw you have anti kickback protection. If the electronics senses a jamming blade it will cut the power off in an instant. You then have to release the trigger to restart it.
If you have any sense you will deal with the cause of the problem before you try to restart it, that is to say open out
the back of the cut or stop the timber from twisting.
Terry also gave the bevel cut a try. He was impressed when he discovered that there is a tilt lock at the front and the back of the table, so you can achieve a more accurate squarer cut. We took this opportunity to get Terry and Colin to try out the range of Draper Venom handsaws.
Terry uses Irwin Jacks at the moment and is more than happy with them. Getting people to change from an established brand to a new saw is not easy. He commented on the triple ground teeth, always a good thing if you are looking for a faster cut. We left him a few saws and asked him to report back to us once he had cut in the roof.