DeWalt 20V MAX DCS570 Review
Pros: Powerful, great blade changing system, positive bevel stops
Cons: Limited battery life, heavy, expensive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The DEWALT 20V MAX looks and feels like a professional quality circular saw. When you put it to cutting, it does not disappoint. The saw has all the accouterments you'd expect as well. Easy to adjust depth and bevel? Yeah, it's got that. Easy to remove blade? Yup. That, too. Our only concerns are focused on its relatively short battery life, weight, and price point.
Ease of Use
The ease of use metric covers a lot of ground. While the DEWALT 20V MAX received an average score overall it shined in several areas. Namely, the saw has some great features such as an easy to operate bevel and cutting depth levers. Moreover, the adjustment markings are easy to see, positive stops on the bevel ensure exact adjustments, and a built-in LED cutting lamp improves sighting. The saw also has one of the best blade changing systems we have encountered and the box wrench that loosens the set screw is securely stowed behind the battery so it won't ever fall out.
What hurt this saw in comparison to its peers is that it is relatively heavy at 8.2 pounds without the battery, 9.6 with the 5 Ah battery used in testing. While it should be noted that this is a 7 1/2" saw — the largest here reviewed — the DEWALT is still heavier than others in that subgroup. Additionally, the sightline on the foot was found to be 1/16" off on the big side.
Weight and sightline issues aside, this saw has plenty to offer. In true framing saw fashing, the unit comes equipped with a rafter hook. The markings on the bevel are railed and indented on the foot, making them easy to read even when coated with a film of dust. Additionally, the bevel swivels to an obtuse 57º while most of the competition stops at 45º and it has a super deep cutting depth of 2 5/16". With these kinds of features, we think most won't notice the weight.
As far as cutting goes, this saw is a leader in the class. Truly, this machine will make long rips and full depth crosscuts of softwood and it will pass through laminated veneer lumber (LVL) like its corded counterparts. After finishing a few demanding cuts, one had little offer save a smile and to say, "that's a really nice saw."
Our tests of cutting capability consisted of three tests. First, we ripped 10' of 2x12" softwood took the DEWALT an average of 46 seconds in a two trial evaluation. Next we made crosscuts of a 6 x 12" softwood header. The object of this test was to make a full blade depth cut as fast as possible. The saw made quick work of this exercise in 6.4 seconds. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the MAX's mighty motor propels the blade through a crosssection of 2 x 12" LVL without hesitation.
One of the DEWALT's biggest shortcomings is its battery life. Despite having a 5 amp hour battery, the machine eats it up the cell in relatively short order. To test the battery life uniformity across all the saws we review, we make rips of 3/4" plywood continuously until the saw dies. We then calculate the linear feet. Where similar saws were able to rip over 300 linear feet on a single charge, the DEWALT fell far short of the competition at 242 feet on a charge.
To ensure that each saw is making the same cut each time we use a guide to prevent walking the blade and adding friction. After every cut the guide was moved in a 1/4" and the cut repeated. The MAX made 30 full rips of the 8-foot sheet of plywood, plus to more feet into the next, before exhausting itself.
The DEWALT 20V MAX is one of those products that is just a little too expensive for the performance on offer. Were it not for the battery life issue, we'd say that one gets exactly what they are paying for with this saw. However, as it stands, we think that this product is a little overvalued.
The 7 1/4" DEWALT 20V MAX is a heavy-duty saw. This machine's motor is robust, tackling the toughest cutting tasks without noticeable strain. It has well-designed bevel and depth adjustments, too. It even has an inline cutting lamp. However, its battery and its considerable weight are notable weak points. That said, we think that the ease of use features and all-around cutting performance more than make-up for the shortfall. This is a professional quality framing saw.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer