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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 | $76 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Craftsman CMCS500B
This Product
Craftsman CMCS500B
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Editors' Choice Award  
Price $69 List$179 List$139 List$130 List$179 List
$183 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
51
76
72
69
69
Star Rating
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Pros Good sightlines, light-weight, decent cutting powerPowerful motor, long-lasting battery, good shoe designGreat adjustment and setting features, decent battery life, cutting lightSuper long-lasting battery, easy to adjust shoe, powerful motorPowerful, great blade changing system, positive bevel stops
Cons Limited battery life, so-so blade changing system, minimalistic featuresHeavy, expensive, so-so bevel designInconsistent cutting performance, slightly underpowered motor, heavyNo positive stops, imprecise sightlines, so-so blade removalLimited battery life, heavy, expensive
Bottom Line This model gave a lackluster performance and was particularly shabby in battery longevity departmentThis 7 1/4" saw boasts professional level power and accuracy in a cordless formatThis fully-loaded saw makes cut adjustments a breeze, but the motor power leaves something to be desiredIf you need to make lots of cuts on a single charge, then the Kobalt is the ticketA professional level 7 1/4" saw with slick adjustments but a little short in the battery department
Rating Categories Craftsman CMCS500B Milwaukee M18... Ridgid R8653B Kobalt KCS 6524B-03 DeWalt 20V MAX...
Ease Of Use (50%)
5
6
7
5
6
Cutting (30%)
6
10
7
8
9
Battery (20%)
4
8
8
10
6
Specs Craftsman CMCS500B Milwaukee M18... Ridgid R8653B Kobalt KCS 6524B-03 DeWalt 20V MAX...
Blade Side Left Right Right Right Right
Blade Size (inches) 6.5 in 7.25 in 7.25 in 6.5 in 7.25 in
Brushless Motor? No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Blade Brake? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bevel Positive Stops? No No Yes No Yes
Linear Feet of 3/4" Plywood Cut per Charge 184 ft 298 ft 304 ft 360 ft 242 ft
Measured Weight w/o Battery 5.9lbs 7.7 lbs 8.4 lbs 6.6 lbs 8.2 lbs
Measured Max Depth of Cut w/ Framing Blade (inches) 2-1/8 in 2-9/32 in 2-3/16 in 2-3/16 in 2-5/16 in
6x12" Cross Cutting Time 5.8 sec 4.2 sec 6.3 sec 4 sec 6.4 sec
Rafter Hook? No Yes No No Yes
Battery Used in Testing (Amp hours) 4 Ah 5 Ah 5 Ah 4 Ah 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