DeWalt 6 ½ Inch 20V MAX Circular Saw (DCS391) Review


In the world of cordless circular saws, the 6 ½-inch class is an interesting sub-niche that provides added portability while still having the chops to tackle most typical crosscutting and ripping tasks. DeWalt’s DCS391 6 ½ Inch 20V MAX circular saw is one of the best examples in this class of saws – providing superb power and usability in a lightweight and easy-to-carry package.

Putting out an impressive 5150 RPM, and competitively priced at around $105 for the bare tool, DeWalt has created a winner for DIYers, homeowners, and pros looking for a compact circular saw to add to their lineup.

I had the opportunity to review the DeWalt DCS391 while working on a few outdoor projects and was thoroughly impressed overall. Let’s take a closer at what sets this saw apart from the competition.

Pro’s

  • Lightweight, compact and easy to carry.
  • Comfortable ergonomic handle.
  • Electric brake.
  • Integrated Allen key for quick blade changes.
  • Impressive 5,150 RPM rotational speed.
  • Powerful, smooth, and accurate cutting.
  • Priced competitively.

Con’s

  • Included blade not suited for finish work.
  • Battery life isn’t that impressive.

First Impressions

The first thing I noticed as I began to review the DeWalt DCS391 is how compact and light it is. Weighing just 7 pounds, it’s significantly lighter than your typical 7 ¼-inch circular saw, as well as being about a half-pound lighter than similar saws in its class.

If you’re coming from the world of 7 ¼-inch saws, then this will feel like a significant change both in terms of size and weight. It also seems a little like a toy at first glance, but this quickly subsided after using picking it up to make some cuts.

Pick up the saw and you can tell right away its typical DeWalt quality. The over-molded rubber handle feels comfortable and ergonomic and creates the sensation that it was custom made to fit the shape of your palm!

integrated blade change allen key
Blade change Allen key integrated into the base.

Another feature you’ll notice right away is the Allen wrench built into the saw’s base for changing the blade. This is a nice little feature for changing blades on the go – and means you’ll never need to go rummaging around for the right sized wrench when it’s time to change saw blades.

Specifications:

  • Tool Weight: 7 lbs.
  • Blade Diameter: 6 ½ Inch
  • Bevel Capacity: 50 Degrees
  • Depth of Cut at 90°: 2 1/8 Inch
  • Depth of Cut at 45°: 1 5/8 Inch
  • Speed: 5150 RPM
  • System: 20V MAX

Bare Tool: 

View On Amazon

Bundle With 5Ah Battery:

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Performance

I tested the saw by making a number of crosscuts in 2x4s while putting together an outdoor firewood rack. The saw cut smoothly and accurately and didn’t feel much slower than cutting with a standard 7 ¼” circular saw.

The saw cut completely straight and accurately even when cutting freehand without any sort of guide. This was a pleasant surprise, as I expected a bit of veering or inaccuracy.

dewalt 6 1/2 inch circular saw resting on 2x4

If you consider the use case for a saw like this, as more of a portable backup saw, then making quick freehanded cuts like this are an area where you’d like to see it excel.

The 6 ½” blade has a max cutting depth of 2 1/8-inch when cutting at 90 degrees, so it will cut cleanly through 2-by lumber in a single pass. It will also cut through dimensional 2x4s when set to a 45° bevel, so making mitered cuts is no problem.

The stock framing blade is pretty good, although you’ll probably want to replace the blade with a finish blade if you’re looking for a smooth refined finish.

Key Features

The manufacturers included a number of interesting features with the DeWalt DCS391 saw – let’s review some of these in more detail.

Shoe

The saw features an all-magnesium shoe, providing a durable cutting surface that also helps cut down on weight. While it’s certainly light, it also feels incredibly durable, giving you the impression it will easily withstand those inevitable jobsite drops and falls off ladders and rooftops.

The metal blade guard is just as impressive, with a butter-smooth operation that hardly feels like it’s there when making cuts.

Battery

DeWalt offers the saw either as a standalone tool or bundled with a 5.0 Ah battery, charger, and hard case.

If you opt for the standalone tool, you’ll want to make sure you have at least one larger (4 Ah +) battery to run it with. Two if you plan to use it all day long or in a professional setting.

The smaller-sized batteries, like the ones that come bundled with drills and impact drivers, won’t have the juice for serious work and will drain pretty quickly.

The saw seemed to drain through batteries fairly quickly, so again you’ll want to make sure you’ve got enough batteries on hand to get you through the day.

Design

There are a few other design features that bear mentioning.

Like many other battery-powered saws, the DCS391 features a two-step trigger activation, which means you’ll need to depress the small lever with your thumb before you can squeeze the trigger. This can take some getting used to if you’re coming from a corded circular saw or if you’ve never used this type of trigger before.

trigger safety mechanism
Ambidextrous trigger safety switch.

This trigger is a safety feature that ensures you won’t accidentally activate the saw and means you can safely store it with the battery still inside. I found the trigger pretty easy to get used to, and it can be activated with your thumb on either side of the handle – so it’ll also work for lefties.

The bevel and cutting depth knobs are fairly easy to operate and feel rock-solid when locked up.

The saw also features an electric brake with stops the blade from spinning as soon as you release the trigger. This is a nice feature to have at this price point and saves you from waiting until the blade stops spinning until you can set the saw down safely.

Price

Perhaps the saw’s most appealing feature is its budget-friendly price. Retailing for about $105 for the bare tool, you’ll have a tough time finding a better performing 6 ½” circular saw from a top-tier manufacturer.

If you’re not already bought into DeWalt’s tool ecosystem then the price suddenly becomes less attractive, as the bundle with the 5 Ah battery, charger, and hard case retails for about $235.

Bare Tool: 

View On Amazon

Bundle With 5Ah Battery:

View On Amazon

Wrap Up

To review, the DeWalt 6 ½ Inch 20V MAX Circular Saw (DCS391) is an excellent value saw that provides impressive cutting speed and accuracy. Its pricing makes it especially attractive if you’re already invested in DeWalt’s 20V MAX battery lineup.

While you shouldn’t expect this saw to replace your full-size worm drive saw for all-day-long framing jobs, it fits the bill nicely for a number of jobs where portability and convenience is an asset.

Whether you’re a DIYer looking for a portable saw for outdoor use, or a pro looking for a backup saw to use around the job site, the DeWalt DCS391 will fit the bill nicely.


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