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Craftsman CMCS500B Review

This moderately priced saw delivered a middling performance except in battery life where it floundered
Craftsman CMCS500B
Credit: amazon.com
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Price:   $69 List | $73.05 at Amazon
Pros:  Good sightlines, light-weight, decent cutting power
Cons:  Limited battery life, so-so blade changing system, minimalistic features
Manufacturer:   BLACK+DECKER
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Aug 25, 2020
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51
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 11
  • Ease of Use - 50% 5
  • Cutting - 30% 6
  • Battery - 20% 4

Our Verdict

The Craftsman CMCS500B is a mediocre 6 1/2" saw. Its ease of use features are so-so with bright spots shining through in the weight, sightlines, blade depth, and adjustment assessments. However, the tool suffers significantly in battery life despite having been tested with a 4 amp hour cell. That said, the saw is reasonably priced and is good enough for many DIY applications.

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Price $69 List
$73.05 at Amazon
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Pros Good sightlines, light-weight, decent cutting powerLong-lasting battery, good sightlines, inexpensiveInexpensive, light-weight, clear sightlinesInexpensive, decent blade changing system, average cutting powerVery inexpensive, light-weight, accurate sightlines
Cons Limited battery life, so-so blade changing system, minimalistic featuresSo-so cutting power, no positive stops, fiddly bevel adjustmentsPaltry battery life, below-average cutting powerLimited battery life, poor sightlines, fiddly adjustmentsShort battery life, limited cutting power, difficult to change blades
Bottom Line This moderately priced saw delivered a middling performance except in battery life where it flounderedA capable and inexpensive saw that is perfect for handy homeowners and DIYersAn affordable 6 1/2" saw that will satisfy most DIYers with light saw work in mindThis inexpensive saw is for light-duty applications onlyThis light-duty machine will appeal to novices and pros looking for an inexpensive trim saw
Rating Categories Craftsman CMCS500B SKIL CR540601 Ryobi P507 Porter-Cable PCC660 Black+Decker BDCCS20B
Ease Of Use (50%)
5.0
5.0
6.0
4.0
5.0
Cutting (30%)
6.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
2.0
Battery (20%)
4.0
9.0
5.0
3.0
1
Specs Craftsman CMCS500B SKIL CR540601 Ryobi P507 Porter-Cable PCC660 Black+Decker BDCCS20B
Blade Side Left Left Left Left Left
Blade Size (inches) 6.5 in 6.5 in 6.5 in 6.5 in 5.5 in
Brushless Motor? No No No No No
Blade Brake? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Bevel Positive Stops? No No No No No
Linear Feet of 3/4" Plywood Cut per Charge 184 ft 324 ft 202 ft 157 ft 52 ft
Measured Weight w/o Battery 5.9lbs 5.8 lbs 5 lbs 5.9 lbs 4.6 lbs
Measured Max Depth of Cut w/ Framing Blade (inches) 2-1/8 in 1-15/16 in 1-7/8 in 1-29/32 in 1-1/2 in
6x12" Cross Cutting Time 5.8 sec 6.6 sec 7.6 sec 6.9 sec 11.1 sec
Rafter Hook? No No No No No
Battery Used in Testing (Amp hours) 4 Ah 5 Ah 4 Ah 4 Ah 1.5 Ah

Our Analysis and Test Results

Humdrum comes to mind when searching for adjectives to describe this tool. While the Craftsman CMCS500B is competitively priced and offers decent cutting power, it is a barebones cordless saw. In our estimation, this is a good pick for those who are upping their kit from hand to power tools, or for those in need of a lightweight, light-duty cordless circular saw — especially if you already own Craftsman batteries.

Performance Comparison


Credit: Austin Palmer

Likes


What we like about the Craftsman is that it has a lever for blade depth adjustment — much nicer than a knob to be sure. Also, the angle marker is clearly visible and accurate. The saw cuts to 50ยบ and the max cutting depth is 2 1/8" — pretty good for a 6 1/2" saw.


Another check in this saw's "pro column" is its sightlines. The sightlines allow the user to line up the blade with the marked line at the front of the shoe. We found the Craftsman's open channel sights to be of good depth, and, more importantly, spot-on accurate if not a hair to the left. Finally, this saw is pretty light at 7.4 pounds.

Credit: Laura Casner

Dislikes


This saw is not what we'd call a powerhouse. First off, it lacks battery power. Despite its 4 amp hour battery, it only ripped 184 linear feet in the battery test — right near the bottom of the class. While the saw will make hard cuts through laminated veneer lumber (a very dense material) and full blade depth crosscuts, it labors to do the work.


Value


In a cost to performance analysis we would venture to say that this saw offers consumers a decent return on their investment. The tool is priced way below the class average and yet performed at or near average in most of our evaluations.

Conclusion


The Craftsman CMCS500B is a mediocre saw at a reasonable price. We would recommend this tool to those looking to do some basic DIY projects around the house or to those that need a lightweight mod-up saw for light-duty tasks. The saw is capable of making most common cuts but it is light on ease of use features. All in all, it's a decent saw for the money spent.

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer