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Skil PWRCore 20V 4 1/2

May 31, 2023May 31, 2023

While 4 1/2-inch circular saws aren't new, they can be useful for a variety of projects and repairs around the house. The Skil 20V 4 1/2-inch compact circular saw is one of the latest additions to the PWRCore 20 lineup and we got to run it through its paces.

The saw comes equipped with a 4 1/2-inch 24-tooth thin kerf blade. Its brushless motor spins this compact blade up to 6,000 RPM which helps it confidently power through materials with ease. While you cut, an LED light and cutline blower keep your cutline visible. There's also a vacuum port if you want to collect dust on the fly.

The speed is more than you typically see from larger saws. With that small blade diameter, it needs a higher RPM to keep the tooth speed up. The tooth count is significant as well, with 24 teeth on that small of a blade leaving a finer finish to your cut than the same count on a larger blade.

The magic of this size saw is that it gives you the ability to make quick one-handed cuts on the fly. Even compared to compact 6 1/2-inch saws, the inline design of this model makes one-hand cutting easier and more maneuverable.

The cut capacity is 1 1/2 inches, which is right on the edge of 2x material. We actually measured the tip of the tooth at 1 9/16, so there's a little extra room there. One thing to look out for is slightly swollen or warped boards. We ran into a couple of 2x boards in our shop that prevented a full through cut because of those issues (thanks, Florida humidity). If that's a concern for you, consider stepping up to one of Skil's full-sized models.

This saw has a very unique shape and balance for a circular saw because of its elongated inline design. It weighs in at 5.2 pounds with a 2.0Ah battery, making it significantly lighter than traditional circular saw designs. It measures 15.5 inches from tip to tail.

The grip is slightly on the smaller side compared to other PWRCore 20V tools and has a comfortable feel, even if you have smaller hands.

One feature this saw lacks is a front pommel for two-hand use. While we were able to make accurate cuts just fine, it would be helpful for folks that aren't as confident.

Despite having a non-traditional look, the bevel and height adjustments function in a similar way to the saw's big brothers. The big difference is that they use bolts a thumbscrew-style knob rather than a clamping lever.

To make either adjustment, start by loosening the knob then pivot the shoe to your desired angle or depth. It has a depth gauge molded into the back of the blade cover for depth. They can be a little tough for some folks to easily read, though (I’m looking at you, Kenny Koehler). Additionally, it has a max 45° bevel with markings at 15°, 30°, and 45°.

This compact circular saw is available as a kit for $123.95 from Amazon and includes a 2.0Ah battery, PWRJump charger, and a 5-year limited warranty.

Skil's 4 1/2-inch compact circular saw gives DIYers a lightweight, one-hand option that's less intimidating to use than a full-size model. It's a confident-cutting saw thanks to its brushless motor and an outstanding value considering its price and performance compared to its competition.

Take a look at Skil's entire PWRCore 20 lineup here!

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