Draper’s D20 brushless circular saw – Making the cut

BRUSHLESS or EC motors are the place to be at the moment because brushless, combined with LIon battery packs, is the way of delivering most power to the work in hand. And this compact Draper D20 does just that. The instructions say it is suitable for DIY work and trade, and on the face of it, the build quality would seem to support that.

I like cast alloy bases on circular saws and the well-ribbed cast design is strong and rigid, with a flat smooth base to make sliding along the workpiece as  easy as possible. The adjustments for depth of cut and bevel angle are rigid too with toolless adjustments easily done. The scale for the bevel is clear and quite accurate – although I would never expect 100% accuracy from a hand held saw.

The base is only 13cm wide with the blade on the left side of the handle – which is a bit unusual, but it allows the user to run the base down a straightedge for straight cuts in sheet material. I admit that I prefer the blade on the right side of the motor because I can see the cut better, but I am sure there are others out there who would disagree with me.

Safety is very important when using saws so I was pleased to see a robust cast alloy upper blade guard with a spring-loaded pendulum lower blade guard. This guard also has a lever to move it that is long enough to keep fingers away from the blade when you need to raise it for some cuts. Well out of the way, on the top of the motor casing, is the spindle lock and a hex key needed for blade changing.

Dust extraction from most circular saws is not an exact science and with so much open space around the blade I didn’t expect too much. But, connected to a workshop vacuum it collected quite a lot – but not enough to obviate the need for a dust mask.

The rest of the body is well moulded and put together with effective grippy rubber round the main handle and auxiliary handle. In use, the whole tool feels strong and rigid and will repay users who listen to the tone of the motor and adjust feed speed accordingly.

Battery packs are critical

This saw comes as standard with a 3Ah battery pack with four lights to indicate levels of charge. The battery pack slides off and on easily, with a catch that  is easy to use and effective.

Sawing is a high drain application so users might want to consider a higher Ah rating battery pack or another pack or two if they are using the saw regularly for demanding tasks.

I cut a lot of straight cuts through standard 45mm thick CLS timber and on 35mm thick oak. The saw cut very well and the motor didn’t cry out with that sharp whine that tells you that it is being stressed – but then I am a careful user who wants a smooth cut, not a jobbing builder in a hurry to finish a job! Just listen next time you go past a building site where the first fix is taking place to hear what I mean!

Typical prices on the net are around £160 for the saw, one battery and charger kit. Bearing in mind that there are other tools, like a recip saw, in the D20 Range, some amateur users might find these a good opportunity to collect a useful set of cordless tools at a sensible price.

www.drapertools.com

Buy your D20 Cordless Circular Saw. Here: DRAPER D20 20V Cordless Circular Saw

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