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DC390 - Cordless Circular Saw Question


Guest Jopopsy

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Guest Jopopsy

At my Lowes, I saw two of these on display.  One was out w/ a combo pack, one was standing by itself.  Both saws showed DC390 on the model section of the sticker on the tool.

The one in the combo pack had a Nano base, the stand alone one had a regular XRP / Nicad base.

Is DeWALT slowly moving the bases over to Nano? 

I see on the website that the Nano kit is DCS390L.  I was assuming the Nano based saw I saw in the combo kit would show the S on the model number but it didn't.  I thought that was the way to tell if it had a Nano base or not, but clearly it wasn't.

So how do you know what you have w/o opening the box?

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I recently bought the DCK655 Kit, all the tools came a nano base except for the Circular saw? I returned it for a new one and all the tools came with a nano base including the circ saw. I'm sure they are bleeding through old inventory, no way of telling unless you open the box.

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I noticed too that no matter if its the old style XRP base or the new style Nano base tools, they still keep the exact same model numbers.  Sometimes there is other differences too (besides just the bases) - like on the DC390 circular saw, the XRP model has no black rubber grips, while the Nano saw does - and both have the exact same model number.  I guess the only time your really guaranteed the new Nano base is when you buy a totally new product line, like the DCD970 drill.

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Guest Jopopsy

How good is this circular saw in general?  I'm asking b/c I decided 'what the hell' and just ordered the DCD960KL drill/driver.  Now I'm on the latest / greatest band wagon with the voltage to carry me into other tools.  Since I have these juicy Nano XRP batts coming, I'm wondering what else I can plug them into and get some mileage out of. 

I can get the bare tool saw - but I don't want a non-nano clip.

Is this tool a good replacement for a dedicated corded (assuming you have ample batteries to power it)?  I'm looking at the DW369CSK as well.

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I perform general contracting work, so I use a lot of these 18v cordless power tools.  I bought a new DC390 bare saw 6 months ago or so, its a nano base version.  Like you, I wondered if it had enough power to cut a 2x4 or how long the battery would last.   I am impressed with it,  but not enough to get rid of my corded saw.  It cuts across 2x4s with no problem.  I went to cut a 8'x4' by 3/4" thick sheet, with white laminate surface on each side with hard wood in the middle (used for table/desk/workbench tops), using a new and freshly charged XRP DC9096 battery, & using a new sharp Dewalt 90-tooth blade.  The saw did make it from one end to the other (going long ways).  But, around 7' into it it was starting to loose power.  It is good for quick cuts, trim work, it cross cuts 2x4s to 2x12s, ply-wood, etc.  Using a new sharp blade helps battery life.  You can get a new bare DC390 nano saw off ebay for around $70 or so.  Am i glad i bought it?  Yes.  Can I now sell my corded saw?  No.

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The 90 tooth blade does take a lot longer.  But obviously the cut using a 90 tooth is more precise then a 16/18/24/36 tooth blade.  A precise cut is what I need for my last post above, so that I can add a white Band-It Melamine Edging (pre glued iron on) - it needs a smooth surface to stick to.  By the way, I have used an Avanti 140 tooth blade before, it seems to burn more then cut.  I recommend not to go more then 90 tooth.

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Guest Jopopsy

They are not good for long rip cuts in 2x material, but for 2x and smaller cross cuts they work quite well. Ripping sheeted is pretty easy with a cordless unit.

So does this mean you are not keeping the 920? Or are you getting both?

I never opened the 920 after I bought it, so I returned it.  In the end I looked at my first DeWALT cordless as a investment - I wanted to make the best investment I could, not including the physical drill itself.  To me that meant the batteries, and since there are way more options for 18V cordless I went w/ that.

W/ this shed I'm building, it likely will not have power run to it but it should be big enough to do some woodworking in.  Having portable power tools might end up being a very good thing for me.  Circular saw, maybe a jig saw, already got the drill coming.  Etc.

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The 18v jig saw (DC330), right angled drill (DW960), 4.5" cut-off tool (DC411), impact driver (DC825), circular saw (DC390), just to name a few, all come in handy on a construction site.  But, keep in mind that there is usually (but not always) a generator, 1+ miter saws, and a chop saw at the site.  I really cant think of any 18v Dewalt tool that is just really totally worthless.  As far as drills, I still have some DC759.  The 759s just wont give up, but they are good for general & light duty finishing work.  I had to invest in some bigger more powerful drills, so I bought several of the DCD970. 

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Guest Jopopsy

I'm not a contractor and my shed likely won't have power.  I'm just a DIYer who appreciates good tools and enjoys working with wood.  

Once my shed is up I have 2 options.  Run a extension cord off the back of the house or use some battery tech alternative.  These tools won't be run for hours a day every day - I'm thinking (maybe I'm wrong?) that so long as the batteries I have are charged at the beginning of the day I should be able to do whatever I might need.  2 18V XRP Nanos, maybe one or two XRP Nicads - I should be powered through my worst 'Need to get out of the house' moments.  

At least that's what I'm thinking - I haven't sold myself on the idea yet its just a thought.  Obviously corded tools are cheaper and more powerful, but I DO have 2 of the best batteries made coming my way.  I won't get the 2k charges / discharges before the shelf life kills them off - I'm thinking putting them to use in other tools might be a good idea.

My other plans after the shed include building some builtins around the house, closet organizers (related to the builtins I assume?), I'm going to do case molding around my windows (10" miter probably), some crown molding, etc.  If I get brave w/ some experience I've acquired I'd love to tackle finishing my basement.

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Guest Jopopsy

They are not good for long rip cuts in 2x material, but for 2x and smaller cross cuts they work quite well. Ripping sheeted is pretty easy with a cordless unit.

So does this mean you are not keeping the 920? Or are you getting both?

Eh, nevermind.

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Guest Jopopsy

I'm leaning towards the cordless as I don't need the saw to run all day long and I'd probably be more comfortable with something smaller and more compact.  Its the price that's the kicker, but everything has a cost I suppose.  Still kicking it around.

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Guest Jopopsy

I'm considering the kit - if I get the nano kit I'll have 2 chargers and 3 batteries total.  Pretty much any tool after that could be a bare tool purchase for me.  Like the cordless 16 gauge nailer (have casing and crown I want to put up, plus if I finish the basement at some point that thing outta come in handy for all the trim).  I'd like to get one of those lights too.  I'll see where I go from there.

But 170 is a lot of cash over just the bare tool - so I'll think on it awhile more.  I have no projects that I can get at this month, and probably next month (though I want to).

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Guest Jopopsy

Quick question - when you guys say the saw is not good for ripping 2x material .... do you mean it can't do it or do you mean it will kill a battery too quickly to make it worthwhile doing repeatedly? 

Ripping boards will not be something I do frequently, so I'm wondering if that drawback is something that I should be considering strongly.

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  • 1 month later...

FYI, I am currently building my home and have used nothing but my Dewalt cordless circular saw to make every single cut. I have 4 DC9180 Lithium batteries,  with a dual charger, and have never had to wait on a battery. I've noticed a drop in performance while working in the 20 degree weather. If It were summer, I'd probably only need 2 batteries.

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Guest Jopopsy

Makes me feel even better for returning the heavier, corded Makita 5007MGA.  You know, that saw kicked back on me a lot.  I haven't had a single kickback w/ the DC390.

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  • 7 months later...
Guest Jopopsy

I ended up also picking up the 369CSK.  Now I have a cordless and the corded w/ composite base.  Haven't cracked open the case yet - will do so after vacation when I can start building the shelves for my shed.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Jopopsy

Well, all I can say is everybody on Sawmill Creek and other forums RAVE about the Makita 5007MGA.  Let me tell you, this DW369CSK cuts like a dream compared to that heavy POS.  I think my Makita had a off kilter arbor or something because it kicked back something fierce almost every time I used it. 

This thing on the other hand is a work of art.  I can cross cut 2x material just by propping it up on my foot and letting the saw do the work.  I didn't bind it up once, and I wasn't doing everything I could to support the material like I was w/ the Makita.

Another fine product by DeWalt. 

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