Ryobi 18V Cordless 7-1/4 in Circular Saw Review

The Ryobi 18V 7-1/4 inch Circular Saw Shows Off Impressive Cutting Power

Having rounded up over a dozen saws for a head-to-head comparison, I wanted to see how the Ryobi 18V 7-1/4 inch HP brushless circular saw compared against other manufacturers. First, I planned a set of subjective tests to gauge adjustability, tracking, and ergonomics. After that, I wanted to get the Ryobi PBLCS300 on the Pro Tool Reviews test track to see how well it did in our power-to-weight speed and full-depth torture tests.

Author’s Note: Be sure to check out our Best Cordless Circular Saw article to see our top picks!

Ryobi 18V 7 1/4-inch Circular Saw Performance

I moved on to the Pro Tool Reviews test track next. Ryobi finished 12th on our power-to-weight ratio speed test, passing through two stacked sheets of OSB in 31.52 seconds when pulled by a 10-pound weight.

Ryobi PBLCS300 HP Brushless circular saw OSB rip cut

To test sheer power, we dropped the blade all the way down and did our full-plunge test in four sheets of stacked OSB. Ryobi’s thermal protection kicked in after just 4.25 inches, placing it dead last. That doesn’t make this a bad saw—just not a professional-grade tool that you can really push. Take it slow, and you’ll likely make those more difficult cuts.

Crosscuts, Bevel, and Compound Miter Cuts

I wanted to subjectively test the saw on a series of bevel, miter, and compound cuts using a series of pressure-treated 2×10 boards we have marked for just this purpose. It also gives me a basic sense of tracking and lets me evaluate how clearly I can see the cutline when making different cuts.

Ryobi PBLCS300 circular saw bevel cut

The saw definitely cemented its reputation in the DIY class during the cuts. Crosscuts put up little resistance, but bevel cuts proved more challenging for the saw. The sightline was slightly obscured during crosscuts when using two hands, but using one hand let you see the viewing window more clearly. As expected, the viewing window is wide open during bevel cuts, increasing accuracy.

The blade guard didn’t hang during crosscuts but dragged slightly when making bevels. This caused me to go offline a few times. The bevel adjustment is nice, but it was a little hard to set it accurately at first. The depth adjustment features a scale on the side of the upper blade guard that lets you set the depth correctly the first time.

Ryobi did pretty well on the compound miter cut, cutting smoothly and maintaining blade speed. The sightline was just as good as it was with the bevel cut, and the blade guard reacted similarly. When the cutline dusts over, remember Ryobi includes a vacuum dust adaptor that works with 1-7/8 in. and 1-1/4 in. hoses. This can help keep cut lines clean.

At the heart of this circular saw is Ryobi’s One+ HP brushless motor. It has a no-load speed of 4,300 RPMs and a max cutting depth of 2-7/16 inches at 90° and 1-3/4 inches at a 45° bevel.

  • No-Load Speed: 4300 RPM
  • Blade Size: 7-1/4 in.
  • Max Bevel: 0-56°
  • Cut Depth at 90°: 2-7/16 in.
  • Cut Depth at 45°: 1-3/4 in.
  • Arbor: 5/8 in.

Hands-on Testing Results

8.0Ah Max Output
Weight (w/batt)8.60 lbs (1st place)
Sightlines4.7/5 (3rd place tie)
Blade Guard4.3/5 (2nd place tie)
Rip 2 Sheets OSB31.52 sec (12th place)
Full Depth Blade Cut4.25 inches (14th place)

Ryobi 18V 7 1/4-Inch Circular Saw Features and Design

As you would expect, the bevel and cut depth adjustments are tool-free. The saw blade has a max bevel of 56°, and clear markings at common bevel settings allow for quick adjustments on the fly.

  • Model: Ryobi PBLCS300
  • Power Source: Ryobi 18V battery
  • Weight: 7.0 lbs (bare), 8.6 lbs (with 4.0Ah High Performance battery)
  • Shoe Material: Steel
  • Guard Material: Die-cast aluminum, Plastic

The Ryobi PBLCS300 weighs 7.0 pounds as a bare tool and 8.6 pounds with a 4.0Ah High Performance battery. This saw stands 11 inches tall and measures 13.25 inches from tip to tail. It also features a blade right design that provides an excellent line of sight for right-handed users.

As far as comfort goes, Ryobi gets an A+ from our team. The top handle is draped in a smooth rubber overmold with large grooves for channeling away sweat. Additionally, the spacing between the main handle and the front pommel allows for comfortable one or two-handed use.

Ryobi PBLCS300 bevel 2x10

The die-cast aluminum upper guard helps to reduce the overall weight, and the steel shoe provides some extra durability and allows it to slide smoothly across the cutting surface. Ryobi also added onboard storage for the included hex wrench.

Additional Features

  • LED worklight
  • Integrated dust blower
  • Removable dust adaptor
  • Compatible with all Ryobi 18V batteries

CMT Zero Gravity – Our Preferred Testing Blade

Ryobi circ saw CMT Orange blade

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.

Ryobi 18V 7 1/4-Inch Circular Saw Price

The Ryobi PBLCS300 is available as a bare tool for $129 and $199 as a kit that includes a 4.0Ah High-Performance battery and charger. Both come with a 3-year limited warranty from Ryobi.

The Bottom Line

The Ryobi ONE+ HP Brushless lineup is mainly designed with the Prosumer and residential markets in mind, and this 18V 7-1/4 inch circular saw shouldn’t disappoint. Its overall performance level didn’t drop any jaws during any of our test cuts, but its ergonomics and accuracy earned high marks from our team. Plus, at $129, it’s hard to ignore the value of this tool. If you’re on the hunt for a capable replacement for your old corded saw that’s also easy on your wallet, don’t pass this one by.

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