Craftsman CMCS500B Review
Pros: Good sightlines, light-weight, decent cutting power
Cons: Limited battery life, so-so blade changing system, minimalistic features
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$69 List||$179 List||$139 List||$130 List||$179 List|
$183 at Amazon
|Pros||Good sightlines, light-weight, decent cutting power||Powerful motor, long-lasting battery, good shoe design||Great adjustment and setting features, decent battery life, cutting light||Super long-lasting battery, easy to adjust shoe, powerful motor||Powerful, great blade changing system, positive bevel stops|
|Cons||Limited battery life, so-so blade changing system, minimalistic features||Heavy, expensive, so-so bevel design||Inconsistent cutting performance, slightly underpowered motor, heavy||No positive stops, imprecise sightlines, so-so blade removal||Limited battery life, heavy, expensive|
|Bottom Line||This model gave a lackluster performance and was particularly shabby in battery longevity department||This 7 1/4" saw boasts professional level power and accuracy in a cordless format||This fully-loaded saw makes cut adjustments a breeze, but the motor power leaves something to be desired||If you need to make lots of cuts on a single charge, then the Kobalt is the ticket||A 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%)|
|Specs||Craftsman CMCS500B||Milwaukee M18...||Ridgid R8653B||Kobalt KCS 6524B-03||DeWalt 20V MAX...|
|Blade Size (inches)||6.5 in||7.25 in||7.25 in||6.5 in||7.25 in|
|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|
|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.
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 50º 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.
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.
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.
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