DeWalt FlexVolt 60V Max Circular Saw Review

cross-cutting 2x10 DeWalt circular saw
PTR Review
  • Pro Review 9.2

The powerful DeWalt FlexVolt 60V max circular saw clearly has top-tier cutting performance that competes well against the best that other brands have to offer. Its overall design and cutting experience overcome the couple of hiccups we found, making it an easy selection for Pros that want the best DeWalt has to offer in a cordless sidewinder.

Overall Score 9.2 (out of 10)

Second-Generation DeWalt FlexVolt Circular Saw Packs Higher Performance

The DeWalt FlexVolt 60V max circular saw (model DCS578) was one of the first tools to launch with the FlexVolt line, and it remains a solid design with plenty of power. The team and I tested the DeWalt DCS578 against the best cordless circular saws from Milwaukee, Makita, Metabo HPT, Hilti, and others. We wanted to see how well it holds up today after manufacturers have had four years or more to update their tools.

Reasons to Buy

  • Most powerful cordless sidewinder we’ve tested
  • Accurate cutline notches and tracking
  • Best adjustability for setting depth and bevel
  • Handle design is my favorite among tested saws
  • Solid overall value

Consider Another Model if You…

  • Don’t want to pay a premium
  • Want a lighter-weight saw
  • You want lower friction on the shoe

DeWalt FlexVolt 60V Circular Saw Cutting Power

DeWalt promised 47% more power than the first-gen DCS575. That moved the DeWalt FlexVolt 60V max circular saw from 1600 watts to an impressive 2456 watts of power. Four years after my first experience with this saw, it remains one of the most powerful cordless sidewinder circular saws on the market.

From its first cut, I could feel the power of this saw, not dropping much in speed while cross-cutting 2x10s or ripping sheet goods. The 9.0Ah (3Ah) 60V FlexVolt battery supplies plenty of power and runtime for any jobsite application I can think of—and we tested plenty here in the shop.

DeWalt DCS578 cross-cutting

To get an idea of power compared to other brands’ advanced circular saws, I ran the saw across the length of two stacked sheets of 3/4-inch OSB subfloor using a 10-pound weight to pull the saw on a Kregg track.

Cut after cut, the DeWalt DCS578 proved it is in the upper tier with the most powerful cordless circular saws. In our full-depth cutting test we buried the blade in 4 sheets of OSB and used a series of pullies to pull the saw with 20 pounds of weight. The DeWalt absolutely smashed this test and had the fastest time across the board—just 7.7 seconds. Some saws couldn’t make it all the way across.

It’s also worth noting that the maximum cutting depth of 2-9/16 inches lets it cut through 3x material in a single pass. We don’t use a ton of that on the East Coast, but you can also cleanly make it through 3 pieces of stacked 3/4 ply.

Guard Action and Shoe Friction

DeWalt’s guard action is smooth, just like we expect. The design takes of most cuts extremely well. It tackled thin, thick, 45º miter, and 45º bevel cuts just fine.

Overall, the DeWalt cut confidently, as you might expect from a pro-grade saw. My only comment on the sightlines is that during both cross and bevel cuts, the upper blade guard extends a bit farther than I would like. This somewhat limits the sightline, forcing you to lean to the left to see the shoe’s 0° and 45° markings. The blade guard performed well during crosscuts but did hang up slightly during bevel cutting.

One of the most difficult cuts for a blade guard is a compound 45º miter/45º bevel. When making this cut with the DeWalt DCS578, the guard hung up slightly during the beginning of the cut, which also pulled me slightly left. The overall cut quality suffered compared to the two previous cuts. Part of this might be due to noticeably higher shoe friction. This saw doesn’t slide very well across the wood surface, forcing you to push pretty hard through each cut.

DeWalt DCS578 bevel cutting

I’m only seeing increased shoe friction on this model as the DeWalt rear handle slides more easily. However, I don’t consider it a deal-breaker.

Sightline and Chip Clearance

If you’re the kind of person who prefers to watch the blade against the cutline rather than the shoe notches, the DeWalt FlexVolt 60V max circular saw does fine in that department.

DeWalt FlexVolt Circular Saw

The framing doesn’t fully block your sightline, though it’s not as wide open as I found with the Milwaukee 2732. A cutline blower and LED light help to keep the line visible while you cut.

If you’d rather follow the notches, you’re in even better shape. With a CMT Orange Tools Zero Gravity framing blade installed, I found both the 90º and 45º notches were perfectly in line with the blade as I cut.

The saw also does a great job of clearing chips out of the way. It ejects them powerfully through the guard and down toward the floor. Even though some of the debris might end up on (and in) your shoes, that’s a trade-off I’ll gladly make for a clean site line.

CMT Orange framing blade cross-cutting

While it doesn’t come in the kit, you can get an optional dust port to vacuum up the dust and leave a much cleaner work area.


Tracking isn’t usually an issue for most cordless circular saws unless you have a bent arbor. You can run into occasional issues if the handle design encourages you to push right or left slightly as you cut.

DeWalt circ saw bevel cutting

No one on our team had that issue at all when using the DeWalt DCS578. In fact, the large front handle design—the angle and its distance from the rear handle—was my favorite of all the saws I tested.

Even though the weight is really on the material, the handle position helps balance the saw well and cut lighter than its 11.5-pound weight (with a 9.0Ah battery).

Hands-on Testing Results

9.0Ah FlexVolt Battery
Weight (w/batt)11.5 lbs (11th place)
Sightlines4/5 (7th place)
Blade Guard4/5 (8th place)
Rip 2 Sheets OSB22.19 sec (9th place)
Full Depth Blade CutFull rip in 7.7 sec (1st place)

Additional Features

  • Electric brake
  • Rafter hook
  • 57º max bevel with stops at 22.5º and 45º

CMT Zero Gravity – Our Preferred Testing Blade

CMT Orange framing blade cross-cutting

CMT supplied us with enough of its Italian-made Zero Gravity saw blades to test every major manufacturer’s circular saws. We’ve been impressed with how well the blade stands up to our aggressive testing schedule. You’ll note the low-mass plate design and unique tooth geometry. Together, these reduce heat buildup while handling nail impacts. CMT claims its framing blades perform up to 5X more cuts on nail-embedded wood than competitors in its class. Large gullets also store chips while you work and eject them as the blade rotation stops, leading to reduced cutting effort and better tracking.

DeWalt DCS578 FlexVolt Circular Saw Pricing

As a bare tool, the DeWalt DCS578 FlexVolt 60V max circular saw runs $269. The single 9Ah battery kit runs $339.

The 2-battery kit runs $499, $50 more than the DCS575, but it comes with the higher-capacity batteries.

DeWalt DCS575 vs DCS578 Circular Saw

90º Max Cut Depth2 1/4 inches2 9/16 inches
45º Max Cut Depth1 5/8 inches2 inches
No-Load Speed5800 RPM5800 RPM
Bare Weight8.1 pounds8.2 pounds
Brushless MotorYesYes
Rafter HookYesYes
LED LightYesYes

The Bottom Line

The DeWalt FlexVolt 60V max circular saw clearly has top-tier cutting performance that competes well against the best other brands offer. Its overall design and cutting experience overcome the couple of hiccups we found, making it an easy selection for Professionals who want the best DeWalt has to offer in a cordless sidewinder.

DeWalt 60V Max FlexVolt Circular Saw Specs

  • Model: DeWalt DCS578
  • Brushless Motor: Yes
  • Bevel Capacity: 57º
  • Bevel Stops: 22.5º and 45º
  • Blade Size: 7-1/4 in.
  • Brake: Yes
  • Depth of Cut at 45º: 2 in.
  • Depth of Cut at 90º: 2-9/16 in.
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs.
  • Warranty: 3-Year

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