Ryobi-R18CS7-0-18V-ONE+™-Cordless-Circular-Saw-Review

Ryobi R18CS7-0 18V ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw Review

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Japan’s Ryobi have come on leaps and bounds over the last few years. They used to be considered one of the less reliable DIY brands but have since made a name for themselves with their awesome grips and clever ONE+ battery system.

The Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw is no toy. With a remarkable maximum cut depth of 60 mm, it’s taking a shot at competing with the more professional cordless saws on the market. Boasting a brushless motor and a wickedly sharp 24-tooth TCT blade, it’s not a saw you want to mess with.

Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw At A Glance

Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular SawRyobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw
Design
3
Performance
2.5
Power
3
Noise
2.5
Safety
2.5
Value for Money
3
Overall
2.75
CHECK PRICE →
  • Power
    Battery - 18V
  • No-Load Speed
    3700 rpm
  • Blade Diameter
    184mm
  • Blades Supplied
    1 X 24 TCT
  • Cutting Depth @ 90°
    60mm
  • Cutting Depth @ 45°
    42mm
  • Bevel Capacity
    50°
  • Weight
    3.2kg

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How I Tested The Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw

To find out which is the best circular saw out of all the models I tested, I needed to put them through their paces. Starting with the most basic task, cutting constructional timber at 0°, I then changed the angle to 45° to give the motor more of a workout.

The next stage was to swap out the softwood CLS for English oak. A much harder wood, it would challenge the saw and see what sort of finish it would leave on the surface. Then it was on to making rip cuts in some softwood board. Rippins goes along the grain of the wood and is much more difficult. It was also a chance to see how well the rip fence held up.

A final task for each circular saw was to check how good the depth adjustment was straight from the box. I set the cut depth to 40 mm and made several cuts into a scrap of English oak. This unscientific test was to see which saw cut closest to what it said it would.

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The Results

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Design

3

Ryobi-R18CS7-0-18V-ONE+™-Cordless-Circular-Saw-design

Ryobi are the masters of bare tools, so even though this saw came without a battery or charger, it was still presented in a handsome box. And you could even use it as a temporary case as it sits nicely inside the cardboard. There’s a cut out for the blade cover that holds on to the tool nice and tight.

Something I’ve noticed again and again with Ryobi tools is just how good the handles are. They’ve patented their “GripZone” technology, and you can really feel it in the rear handle especially. It fits my hands well, even without work gloves on. The same goes for the large rubberised front handle. It’s squared off to give you extra contact with your palm, which makes it nimble and helps you to feel confident with it in your hand.

Ryobi have used more plastic than a lot of the competition in this saw’s construction. The lower blade guard is made from translucent polycarbonate. To be honest, it looks a bit flimsy. It wobbles around, and I wouldn’t want to drop it off a ladder. In comparison with the cast aluminium blade guard on the Makita HS7601J this is disappointing.

The metallic looking top blade cover that contains the dust exhaust port is plastic as well. It’s chunky enough and rigid, but compared to the magnesium body on the DeWalt, it’s very much a DIY level tool. The more I think about it, the less I like this part being plastic. When there’s a tungsten carbide tipped blade spinning at 3,700 rpm millimetres away from my hand, I’d take metal over plastic any day of the week.

There’s no way any of these plastic parts would last on a building site, but it’s not who Ryobi are aiming at. The plastic blade guards will obviously reduce the weight, but I highly doubt they will be as durable. The fact that the upper blade guard has been made to look like metal gives you an idea of what material should be used here.

The baseplate isn’t plastic, thankfully, but made from cast aluminium. It’s not quite got the heft of the Makita HS7601J, but it’s rigid and has a smooth bottom that slides over timber well. You’ll notice a channel has been cast into the shoe as well. This is a clever feature that will turn the saw into a precision device for a little extra money. Ryobi don’t seem to make their own one, but most saw rails have a ridge that fits this channel nicely. You can then cut straight lines without breaking a sweat.

Thankfully, the depth adjustment is controlled with a long cam lever. And it’s not made from plastic! There’s a little bit of play in the lever even when it’s locked off, but it’s solid and doesn’t allow the foot to move around at all. Making the depth and bevel adjustments is intuitive and easy, I’m happy to report.

Setting the bevel angle is like the DeWalt. You use a little plastic knob rather than my preferred cam lever, but the action is smooth, and everything feels tight. It’s also really handy that the bevel angle adjuster shows up 22.5°. What’s not so great is that it’s made from a dark grey plastic and the numbers barely stand out. If your eyesight isn’t 100%, it could be a bit of a pain to read.

I like how the battery slots into the side of the saw, it fits seamlessly and helps to keep the saw balanced. I was using one of Ryobi’s smaller 2.0 Ah batteries during the test, but I suspect if you plug in a large capacity 6.0 Ah or more, it will stick out the side and at least look a bit strange.

A handy little accessory that comes with this circular saw is a dust extractor adapter. Like the one that comes with the Bosch PKS 55, it’s not straight but has an elbow in it. It means you can direct the dust away from your shoes or make sure your dust extraction hose doesn’t kink when you throw it over your shoulder.

Supplied with a little rip fence, it’s not the heaviest duty thing in the world, but at least it’s got the measurements stamped into the top of it. The fence has a massive flaw unfortunately. The sleeve the fence fits into is too big!

When you tighten the stop down, it turns into a pivot point, allowing the fence to move through a couple of degrees. It’s annoying because I now can’t trust the saw to rip straight, even with a fence. The rip fence itself has holes drilled into it, so you could extend the length, as well as measurements along its length, but if it doesn’t cut straight, it’s hard to rate it.

Performance

2.5

Ryobi-R18CS7-0-18V-ONE+™-Cordless-Circular-Saw-performance

Even if the Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw is designed with the DIYer in mind, I was really impressed with the clean cuts it made, especially in the CLS. Producing barely any tear out, you could happily use the thin 24 tooth blade for second fix work with only minor fettling needed afterwards.

Unfortunately, the saw needed to work much harder when I set the bevel to 45°. In comparison with the Makita DHS680Z, it took a lot more push to get it through what should have been an easy cut. There was noticeable slowdown in the blade, and you could hear the motor working hard.

Once I’d swapped out the CLS for English oak, the Ryobi started to slow down even more. The oak was 50 mm deep, so it was getting close to the maximum cut depth of 60 mm. I noticed the motor was adding a bit more grunt halfway through the cut, so there must be some electronic speed control built into this saw.

What I was impressed by was the finish that the blade left on the oak. It was clean, with no tear out and a superb face that you could add some wax to straight away. With a fresh blade in, this saw is good enough for second fix visible work.

The same couldn’t be said for the rip cut unfortunately. Thanks to the problem with the rip fence moving inside the holder, even on short rip cuts the saw wouldn’t cut straight. It was also the only saw I tested that got stuck inside the softwood board. I needed to force the saw through the board, and the blade stopped several times. This was annoying to say the least. I’m aware of Ryobi’s high performance batteries, and in this case, I think it needs them.

For the final depth gauge test, the Ryobi was an entire millimetre out, at 41 mm. The bevel was slightly off 0° as well, so the baseplate needs fine tuning too.

Power

3

Ryobi-R18CS7-0-18V-ONE+™-Cordless-Circular-Saw-power

Powering up this saw makes use of Ryobi’s excellent range of ONE+ 18 Volt battery system. The battery slots straight into the side of the saw and can be used in more than 70 different Ryobi tools.

Ryobi have recently started making High Energy batteries that reportedly give you 20% more power. This is one of the tools that would seriously benefit from this improvement. I’m sure it would give this circular saw the extra grunt that it desperately needs.

This saw boasts a brushless motor. It’s the ideal type of motor for a lightweight cordless saw like this. It’s more efficient than a brushed equivalent and shouldn’t need any maintenance. However, the maximum speed of this saw is just 3,700 rpm. This relatively sluggish speed (compared with the DeWalt DCS391’s 5,150 rpm anyway) might be the reason behind the less powerful performance.

What’s interesting about this brushless circular saw, compared with the Makita DHS680Z or the DeWalt DCS391 is that it takes a second or two to spin up to maximum rpm. Where you get maximum power instantly with the more premium brands, the Ryobi takes a second to think about it.

Noise

2.5

Thanks to the extra bit of “revving up” time, the Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw makes a little bit more noise than the other cordless saws. It’s still much quieter compared with the Evolution or the Bosch corded tools under no load.

When you start cutting, there’s obviously a lot of noise. You can’t mask the sound of a TCT blade cutting into timber after all. The rated noise level for this saw is 103 dB, which is equivalent to a motorcycle riding past you. That’s pretty loud!

I will never use a circular saw without wearing proper ear defenders, but especially when it puts out this level of noise. I’m thankful for the electronic brake this saw has, because it stops the blade spinning almost instantly after you let go of the trigger.

Safety

2.5

Ryobi-R18CS7-0-18V-ONE+™-Cordless-Circular-Saw-safety

So much about using power tools is confidence. Confidence in your technique as well as the quality of the tool in your hand. Likely, a plastic upper blade guard is just as hard wearing and safe as an aluminium one, but I can’t help but feel it’s the wrong material for such a critical part.

Not having a power cable to trip over is always a plus when it comes to safety though. It’s just one less thing to think about before, during, and after you’ve made a cut.

The electronic brake is another excellent safety feature. It simply means that when you take your finger off the trigger, the blade stops spinning immediately. If something goes wrong during a cut, I want to have that ability.

Value for Money

3

Just the same as the other battery powered tools on my list, the Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw comes as a “bare” tool. That means no battery and no charger. If you’ve already bought into Ryobi’s extensive list of tools, then you’ll probably have a few knocking around already.

After using this saw, I realised that for harder woods and rip cutting it was a bit underpowered. It’s great that Ryobi now make High Energy batteries, but they don’t come cheap. If you want to get the most out of this saw, it’s going to cost you a bit more than you might think.

And this isn’t a cheap saw, even without batteries or a charger. If you’re on a budget, you could get a saw for a lot less on my list. Only if you don’t mind dealing with a power cable. For the money, I would probably have expected slightly better materials and build quality.

Overall

2.75

I had high hopes for the Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw. It’s got a really useful blade size and with a brushless motor I thought it would be rather powerful as well. This does feel like a quality premium saw, the grip is spectacularly comfortable and it’s well balanced, but it’s been let down by a few major issues.

Firstly, I really don’t like all the plastic parts. It feels like the bottom blade guard could fall off if you put it down too hard and I don’t like a plastic upper blade housing either. Secondly, the rip fence has a major fault that stops it cutting straight. And lastly, the blade got stuck several times when trying to saw through softwood with a fresh blade.

If you’re already in the Ryobi camp and you’ve got their new High Energy batteries, this saw will be just right for most situations. If I was going to spend this much money on a circular saw, I would rather buy a more professional one like the DeWalt or Makita.

Ryobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular SawRyobi R18CS7-0 ONE+™ Cordless Circular Saw
Design
3
Performance
2.5
Power
3
Noise
2.5
Safety
2.5
Value for Money
3
Overall
2.75
CHECK PRICE →

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