Customer Reviews: DEWALT Bare-Tool DC390B 6-1/2-Inch 18-Volt Cordless Circular Saw (Tool Only, No Battery)
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on February 11, 2007
The saw arrived within a week, in perfect condition and I have been framing in a bathroom with it all day. It is a great tool and it almost keeps up with my mag77 only I don't need to roll out any cord's.

PLEASE NOTE: this saw has recieved some undue bad ratings because it is a BARE TOOL (a perfect replacement or addition to your existing 18v DeWalt tool collection) It does not come with a battery or charger ... well duh! A single battery retails for over $80 alone, what do you expect? It does however come with a blade (nice little suprise to me).

This is a great buy and I'm sure you will be very pleased with it's capabilities if you purchase one.
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on September 14, 2008
I thought i was just picking up a trim saw when i bought this 3 years ago.
Apparently i was wrong. I am a handyman/carpenter by trade and have used this thing to rip 1x and plywood, crosscut 2x anything...and it takes it. I keep 3 different blades and always try to use the appropriate one for the material i am cutting and of course, a fully charged battery.
The last framing job i did, i used this thing to cut over 250 2x4's for the walls. The corded Makita sat unused for two days.
For all the criticism of this saw, it does the job for me...for 3 years now of daily and sometimes abusive use.
But, as always, the Dewalt batteries suck so i keep 3-4 charged all day.
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on November 21, 2010
At the current time, cordless saws have noticeably less power than corded tools. The DeWalt DC390 is no exception to this. It will certainly cut 2" thick fir and pine lumber, but you won't get the same rate of production as with a corded saw.

This saw has a thick base plate, which I like. Thinner stamped metal base plates on circular saws often get bent after several years of use and the saws never work well after this happens.

A routine use of the DeWalt DC390 will be to cut thin stock such as plywood. It's handy to have a cordless tool for this purpose since you often have to extend your reach to make cuts. However, this saw is poorly balanced for such work. With the cut depth set shallow, the battery is raised high and the saw is top heavy. If you put the saw down as you would a normal circular saw, it will tip over. The lower half of the saw guard is made of a slightly flexible plastic. Given this saw is likely to tip off worktables frequently, I think this is better than having a metal guard which might get permanently bent. Plywood is often cut using a guide such as a bar of metal clamped to the work. It is difficult to cut with the DeWalt DC390 while keeping it snug to a guide because, in addition to the trigger, the saw has a safety that must be pressed with your thumb. It prevents you from wrapping your thumb around the handle, so you don't have a normal grip. (The DC390 also suffers from a weakness of all direct drive circular saws in that the motor leaves little clearance under it and tends to bump into any clamps that you use to hold the guide. It seems to me that manufacturers could do a better job of designing a motor housing that provided more clearance, even if only when the saw is set to do shallow cuts and motor is raised relatively high.)

The locking knobs for the bevel and depth of cut are made of hard plastic. I find them comfortable to use.

The saw uses a 6 1/2 inch diameter blade with a 5/8 inch arbor hole. The blade included with the saw has 16 teeth and is for rough carpentry. (It is easy to find a variety blades that fit this saw in hardware stores. Don't buy a blade with a 10 mm arbor by mistake.) The arbor bolt is reversed threaded and must be tightened with a hex key. The key is provided and it can be stored securely by pressing it into slots in the body of the saw.

Like many cordless saws, this is a "left handed" saw, which has the blade mounted on the left side of the motor. For a right handed person, the consequences of a "left handed" saw are these: When you cut along a marked line, you will be able to see where the blade is cutting clearly because the motor won't be in the way. However, when you perform the typical operation of holding a board down with your left hand while you cut off the right end of the board, the wider part of the saw's base is resting on the wood that will bend and fall away. The saw also tends to tilt and fall away. You have to apply attention and force to keep the base of the saw level.

This particular product offer ( DC390B, "tool only") does not include a battery for the saw or a charger. The saw's shipping weight is listed as 8 lbs ( about the weight of a plastic gallon jug of water) and, to me, this feels correct for the weight of the tool. Attaching a battery adds weight. At the current time ( Nov. 2010) DeWalt makes both 18 V Nicad batteries and more expensive and lighter 18 V lithium batteries that fit its 18V cordless tools.

I rate this saw as three stars out of five to indicate that it is an average cordless saw. It may be a better than average deal depending on your requirements and its current price.
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on January 29, 2010
I bought this "Bare-Tool", as I already own another DeWalt tool and have spare batteries and a charger. I have a 18 volt "Black & Decker Firestorm" saw of this type, but it is very under powered, and the battery packs do not last well. This DeWalt will out saw the B & D numerous times over and is an excellent buy.
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on February 25, 2012
I LOVE this saw. I bought this saw (which doesn't include batteries, in this SKU) to compliment the Drill/Driver 2-battery kit (DC970K-2) I purchased separately. It's a great addition. I'm very happy with the build quality, and reasonably happy with it's performance.

The Pros:
* Well designed and balanced. It feels great in my hands. The weight is perfect -- heavy enough not to bounce around when I cut but light enough to be very easy to use one-handed.
* I really like that it doesn't "free spin" after cutting the power -- a nice safety feature.
* The left-mounted blade design makes it easy to see what I'm cutting.
* The chuck for the blade is stored on the handle. That's a nice touch for hobbyists like me who only need to change the blade occasionally and might otherwise lose track of it.

The Cons
* Battery life. Not surprisingly, this saw uses a lot of power. In my real-world use, I'm able to cut about 15 deck boards before needing to swap the 18v NiCad battery. While not surprising, it is a little disappointing. However, with the second battery to charge while I use the first, I've never had a problem. I'm currently using the "one hour charger" that came with the drill, and the battery usually indicates it's ready to go again in under 15 minutes. Perhaps my overall experience would have been better on longer charges in ideal temperature settings. At some point, I plan to upgrade to the 18-volt XPR line, which will also work with this saw.

Note that this unit also doesn't include a case. No problem, since good quality Craftsman tool bags are often on-sale for $10 or less.

If you're like me, then I strongly suggest safety glasses when using this saw. It's so lightweight and powerful that I often grab it for little finish cuts where I'd ordinarily have grabbed a jigsaw and, given the power of this blade in comparison, those bits of scrap wood shoot-off in unpredictable ways.
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on January 26, 2012
I was kind of worried on whether the lithium ion batteries would fit and be strong enough to power this saw.
I own a compact 18v drill which uses lion batteries but there only 2.4 compacts,but I figured at worst case id have to buy
a 3.0 Ni cad battery,well I received it and dropped a battery in it and it fired right up so i am well pleased.

Now for the saw,It is perfect size for my small shop and very light to use,I love that i don't need to bring out extension cords to use.
Its half the rpm of a corded saw But if you let it do the work and don't force it it works well,I cut maple,oak and purple heart and it does all i ask.
Get a good blade,I use Diablo 40 tooth and it works well and leaves a smooth finish.
all in all I would recommended this saw to anyone needing a light small saw for versatility that can do pretty much anything you can imagine.
If you purchased the new lion batteries in a kit they will work with this saw saving a lot of cash,you can also purchase the 18v 3.0 Nicad battery
and the lion charger will charge it.
My next purchase is going to be the 18v jig saw so i can expand my cordless tools.
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on July 31, 2006
This saw got poor reviews due it being the saw only- which is great for those of us who have other dewalt tools and all ready have batteries. Otherwise it is a fine saw for use when pulling out a corded saw is too much work or your not near electricity. It's not a replacement for a corded tool- but it has worked very well for me when cutting conduit, some 2X4's and working on the fenceline without electricity.
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on January 11, 2012
One you NEED ear protection. It has no kick, one handed cutting is on problem, once the battery in connected it is well balanced.
The largest I have cut is 2x11 and 4x4 with out much problem. It does not like knots that much, could be the stock blade and I need to try my after market fine 40t blade on some knots to see if that is it. 2x4's cut like butter. The electric brake is a great thing.
The 2 things I do not like, no blade lock for when chaging blade and the plastic blade guard.
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on October 30, 2012
I bought this saw a month ago as I do a lot of work on hiking trails building bridges, boardwalks, and signage. The saw is well balanced when you hold it which is important if you have to make a lot of cuts. Used it to cut 2x4's, 2x6's, and angled cuts on 4x4's. Saw has adequate power, so long as you let it cut and not force it. Comes with a good all purpose blade, but like a previous reviewer said, it's good to have three blades for different woods. Changing the blade was easy.
If it had just a little more power I would have given it five stars, but I use it all the time. Even pack it on the trail to repair bridges far from the road. It's a winner.
UPDATE 9-4-2013
The saw is still working great. I use it often and it has been a reliable saw. I have bought replacement blades for it as I often cut through treated lumber.
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on September 8, 2008
I purchased this saw as a companion tool to my other 18 volt DeWalt tools. I already own
several battery packs and chargers so the "bare saw" option seemed great - a cordless saw (DeWalt no less) for around $50, how can one beat that? I used it all day on the first day and found it very easy to use with plenty of power and the blade speed was more than adequate for framing material cutting. I had absolutely no problem getting used to the safety device on the trigger (contrary to another reviewer's experience). The saw I purchased was the one from MaxTool and was pleased that it was a little more than a "bare tool". It included the blade wrench, carbide blade, and edge guide with the saw - in other words - you get everything in the picture plus an edge guide! I cannot speak for the other dealers, but this MaxTool really exceeded my expectations.
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