Today’s building trends are constantly evolving from lighter and stronger materials to rot resistant plastics and better insulations. As a carpenter, I can attest that my job site needs to change and evolve with these newly developed materials, updated building techniques and streamlined methods of working. While a cordless saw like the DeWalt DCS391L1 20V Max circular saw is good for some applications, having a corded model like the DeWalt DWE575 7-1/4 in circular saw is crucial to success.
While newer, lighter, more powerful tools lead to cooler operating, longer lasting batteries, and better dust collection technology—all of these advances have made for great tool features and much needed improvements.
Everyone in the trades knows that heavy tools used over a long period of time or in vertical applications cause fatigue, and long-term use can even cause bursitis or other joint issues. So when tool companies started to focus on lighter tools and anti-vibrations features, I started paying attention. It also got me interested in the DeWalt DWE575 7-1/4 in Circular Saw.
What’s So Sexy About a Circular Saw?
DeWalt recently redesigned their current 15-amp circular saw, reducing the weight and tweaking some other features. They are now offering the new DWE575 and DWE575SB as their flagship models (the “SB” model includes an electric brake). At 8.8 pounds, these are now some of the lightest contractor saws in their class and that, my friends, is just downright sexy in the tool world.
The DWE575 (I’ll drop the “SB” for now) was designed to cut framing material, plywood, siding and exterior siding and trim materials, so we put it to work doing just that. We took it to our job sites and put it in service to see if it was a worthy contender for the professional contractor or only suitable for the rude, crude and socially unacceptable semi-professional contractor. (Just kidding.)
Lighter is Better
DeWalt’s development team seems to have spoken to tradesmen before releasing this saw. The proof is in the refinements and improvements made to what was already a great sidewinder. By basing these saws saw off their predecessors, the DW368 and the similar DW369, the folks at DeWalt were able to take an already great tool and make it even better. Call me a romantic, but to think that they could take my old favorite and improve it makes my eyes tear up…just a little bit.
And my first impression of this newer, lighter saw? “Damn! This thing is light!” It shaves three-quarters of a pound off the magnesium-shoed DW368 and still remains well-balanced, comfortable and ergonomically designed. It also has a nice sweet spot line of sight. Did I mention that this saw is light?
DeWalt also added one more degree to the bevel capacity, allowing it 57 degrees of movement (which incidentally matches the model number). This saw has an easy to adjust metal bevel lever and can quickly and easily achieve bevel cuts that other saws can’t. This new sidewinder was starting to do so much, I began to wonder if it could also leap tall buildings in a single bound…Any roofers out there? In any case, I know the increased bevel will come in handy cutting and framing in rafters.
While we’re talking about bevels, the DWE575 has bevel stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees, which is what we would expect, and all metal, easy to operate levers control the adjustments. It also has a nice heavy-duty aluminum shoe. (Gone is the magnesium shoe of the former reigning champ.) While the saw is light, it remains beefy enough to withstand those inevitable job site falls and rugged conditions.
The DWE575 also has a heavy duty strain relief on its power cord. (DeWalt calls this their ToughCord system.) Let’s face it, as carpenters and contractors, we constantly use our tools in a way that works for us, and sometimes that means raising and lowering the saw by its cord. With the ToughCord, I feel as if I can do this without tempting fate.
Tough Choice—The DeWalt DWE575 7-1/4 in Circular Saw or the DWE575SB?
These two saws are identical except for a couple of key points. First and foremost, the DWE575SB adds an electric braking mechanism that stops the blade quickly when you let go of the trigger. It also comes with a black rubberized handle and contractors bag. Other than that, it’s an identical tool in every way. The premium for the electric brake is only about $10-$20 depending on where you shop, making the DWE575SB (in our opinion) the obvious choice for pros.
Using the DeWalt DWE575 Sidewinder
Right out of the box, I found the plate perfectly square with the blade when set to zero degrees. I almost (Almost!) squealed with excitement as I measured it because it’s so rare to find “straight out of the box” accuracy these days. The electric brake on the DWE575SB also works really well, stopping the blade within a couple seconds of releasing the trigger—a real nice safety feature and one that I truly appreciate.
The DWE575 has a ball bearing, anti-snag lower guard design that worked flawlessly, even with thin cut offs and rips. It is smooth, fast and quiet, and I’ll be damned if I could not get it to snag—and believe me, I tried.
We used both of these saws over the last six months on our remodeling jobs and put it up against all types of material. This encompassed framing lumber, pressure treated lumber, plywood, LVL and we even cut through asphalt roofing and sheathing. That last job is about the worst abuse you can give a saw. Since getting it, we have literally cut miles and miles of material! To-date, the saw has performed perfectly and continues to make great cuts (though we did flip out the included blade for something of higher quality).
The DWE575 was so light I found it a joy to cut with. The reduction in weight doesn’t mean a reduction in power, however, and the 15amp motor cut everything I put it up against. It cut as well or even better than my current sidewinder saw (brand name kept secret to protect the innocent). I also liked the extra (6 foot) long power cord. About my only critical comment on this saw is that I wish it came with a protective carry case instead of the contractor’s bag.
The DeWalt DWE575 and DWE575SB circular saws are both light and tough. I have to give kudos to the power cord, the electric brake, 2-9/16″ depth of cut and the 57-degree bevel. All four are outstanding game changing improvements.