DEWALT Circular Saw 20v Problems & Troubleshooting

DEWALT Circular Saw

We all know of the DEWALT name in power tools, and most of us likely have at least one DEWALT tool in our shop, whether it’s a cordless drill, a bench planer, or a circular saw.  It might surprise you to learn that DEWALT is part of a family of power tool manufacturers that includes Black & Decker, Craftsman, Porter Cable, and others, all owned by the parent company Stanley Black & Decker.

Key Points:

  • Problems can be both a tool flaw or a user error, so be prepared either way.
  • Some problems are easily resolved and don’t need a tool repair specialist, while others need a licensed DEWALT repair technician.
  • Don’t do anything that will void your warranty if you are still within its lifespan.

The American Stanley Black & Decker company is enormous and owns many power tool brands that you may well have already.  The DEWALT division develops what we know to be high-quality and industry-leading tools.  

A few fun facts about DEWALT include:

  • Its first power tool was a radial arm saw
  • Its tools are manufactured in the United States and Canada
  • Its tools are priced higher than most other brands
  • Its cordless tools are powered by a Flexvolt system of batteries that adjust voltage use automatically depending on the task they are performing.

The sterling reputation of DEWALT and its higher prices does not make it immune to problems, however, or at least problems that will occur from time to time, whether as a result of a manufacturing error or a user error.

Woodworking bulletin boards are always helpful in identifying power tool problems, with members offering tips and repair suggestions, and part of our research for this piece took place on those boards.

We’ve written of DEWALT tools often in the past and compared them to, among other brands, Porter Cable (also owned by Stanley Black & Decker), as well as about the DEWALT 20v Max Flexvolt batteries.

Now, we turn to its circular saw to examine some reported problems with the tool, as well as some solutions to those problems.

The DEWALT 20v Circular Saw

The DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Circular Saw is a cordless saw that is designed for professional use. It features a powerful brushless motor that delivers up to 5,400 RPM, making it ideal for cutting through a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. The saw also features a built-in LED work light that provides excellent visibility in low-light conditions.

On Sale
DEWALT 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 6-1/2-Inch, Cordless, Tool Only (DCS565B)
  • POWERFUL AND EFFICIENT brushless motor provides optimal cutting performance in a variety of…
  • HIGH MANEUVERABILITY with its lightweight and compact design
  • QUICKLY ADJUST the bevel capacity from 0 – 50° with the tool-free bevel lever
  • CONVENIENT STORAGE on the jobsite with the built-in rafter hook

The DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Circular Saw is lightweight and easy to maneuver, making it ideal for use in tight spaces. It also features a comfortable grip that reduces fatigue, even during extended use. The saw is compatible with all DEWALT 20V MAX batteries, so you can easily swap batteries to extend your runtime.

The DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Circular Saw is a versatile and powerful saw that is perfect for a variety of projects. It is backed by a 3-year limited warranty, so you can take some confidence that it will perform well for years to come, or if it does not, that DEWALT will stand behind that warranty and do the right thing in the event of a manufacturer’s defect.

Here are some of the features of the DEWALT 20V MAX XR Brushless Circular Saw:

  • Powerful brushless motor delivers up to 5,400 RPM
  • Built-in LED work light provides excellent visibility in low-light conditions
  • Lightweight and easy to maneuver
  • Comfortable grip reduces fatigue
  • Compatible with all DEWALT 20V MAX batteries
  • Backed by a 3-year limited warranty

The DEWALT 20V Max Flexvolt Battery

The DEWALT Flexvolt battery is a cordless battery platform that can deliver up to 60 volts of power. It is compatible with a variety of DEWALT tools, including drills, saws, and impact drivers. The Flexvolt battery is designed to provide longer runtime and more power than traditional cordless batteries.

On Sale
DEWALT FLEXVOLT 20V/60V MAX* Battery, 9.0-Ah (DCB609)
  • DEWALT 20V/60V Battery features dual-voltage for ultimate flexibility
  • DEWALT battery has 180 watt hours of energy in each battery pack. Get 360 watt hours when using (2)…
  • 6 times runtime** when used in a 20V MAX* tools
  • Runs cooler than leading competitor 9.0 Ah battery for better efficiency***

The Flexvolt battery is made up of two 20V MAX batteries that are connected together. This allows the battery to deliver up to 60 volts of power when needed. The Flexvolt battery is also compatible with 20V MAX tools, so you can use it with your existing tools.

The Flexvolt battery is a great option for users who need more power and runtime from their cordless tools. It is also a good option for users who have a variety of DEWALT tools, as the Flexvolt battery can be used with all of them.

Here are some of the benefits of using a DEWALT Flexvolt battery:

  • Longer runtime: The Flexvolt battery can provide up to twice the runtime of a traditional 20V MAX battery.
  • More power: The Flexvolt battery can deliver up to 60 volts of power, which is twice as much as a traditional 20V MAX battery.
  • Compatibility: The Flexvolt battery is compatible with all DEWALT 20V MAX and 60V MAX tools.
  • Durability: The Flexvolt battery is built to withstand the rigors of professional use.
  • Warranty: The Flexvolt battery is backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

The initial battery voltage of this lithium-ion battery when you first power the tool on is 20v, but when you begin working with your tool, i.e., making a cut, is 18v nominal voltage.  However, the advantage of the Flexvolt is its ability to ramp up power when it is needed in the midst of the task and, conversely, tamping the power down when a lower voltage output will suffice.  Greater voltage means more torque and more torque means more cutting power.

Problems common to the DEWALT 20v Circular Saw

DEWALT 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 6-1/2-Inch, Cordless, Tool Only (DCS565B)

 As fine a quality circular saw as we believe the DEWALT 20v model is, there are occasional problems encountered with its use.  While this is not peculiar just to DEWALT and recognizes that all power tools will sometimes fail or present problems in the shop or at the job site, they are still problems, and solutions become necessary.

Here are some of the most common problems that you may encounter with a DEWALT 20V circular saw:

The saw will not turn on

This is usually caused by a dead battery or a battery that was not fit fully into the battery slot on the saw.  So, first, check the connection.  If that is not the issue, check the battery to make sure it is charged. If the battery is charged, try another battery.

If the saw still will not turn on, there may be a problem with the motor or the switch. In this case, you should contact a qualified technician for assistance.

The saw is not cutting through the material

This is usually caused by a dull blade; we all know the importance of a sharp blade.  Check the blade to make sure it is sharp. If the blade is dull, you can sharpen it yourself or take it to a qualified technician. If the blade is sharp and the saw is still not cutting through the material, there may be a problem with the saw’s alignment. In this case, you should contact a qualified technician for assistance.

Circular saw blades are not especially expensive, and if your blade is old and has lost its sharpness again for you, replacing it is not an onerous task.  Just make sure you tighten the bolt at the arbor well so the blade’s blade is balanced.  A blade change wrench will help with this task.  

Of course, this is one problem that may reflect more on user error than a saw problem.  Let the saw do the work the way a chef lets his knife do the work when he’s cutting something.  Don’t over-push the saw through the material you are cutting; let the blade and the saw’s torque do the work.

The saw is making a grinding noise

This is usually a sign that the saw is overloaded. Stop using the saw immediately and let it cool down. If the saw continues to make a grinding noise, there may be a problem with the gears. In this case, you should contact a qualified technician for assistance.

The saw is overheating

This is usually caused by using the saw for extended periods of time without allowing it to cool down. Stop using the saw and let it cool down before continuing. If the saw continues to overheat, there may be a problem with the motor. In this case, you should contact a qualified technician for assistance.

The saw is leaking oil

This is usually a sign that the motor is damaged. Do not use the saw and contact a qualified technician or approved service center for assistance.

The Value Of Ongoing Maintenance

Sometimes, one or more of these problems can be traced back to a dirty tool.  Your saw 

Warranty Protections for the DEWALT 20v Circular Saw

DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Circular Saw, 4-1/2-Inch, Tool Only (DCS571B)

As we noted earlier, your circular saw comes with a 3-year warranty.  It may seem to you a cop-out in our suggestions that we regularly recommend turning to a qualified service center when you encounter problems, but that is what you paid for (the warranty) when you purchased the saw. 

The value of a warranty is that it be preserved, and making or attempting to make your own repairs (beyond installing a new blade, sharpening a dull blade, or buying a new battery pack) will void that warranty. Once voided, your choices are to pay for all of the repairs yourself (those you can’t effectuate yourself) or pay for a new saw.

Replacing or replacing a damaged motor will void your warranty; replacing gears yourself will void your warranty.  Opening up the motor housing to do anything other than to give a good cleaning will void your warranty.  You paid for it when you bought the saw, so why would you want to toss it away by taking your chances with your own hands?

Again, we’re not copping out on solutions.  Sure, we all like to be self-sufficient, but sometimes it is smarter to use every opportunity at your disposal both in the shop and in life.  Use the warranty when you need it.

Video Demo Of One Task You Can Perform Yourself on DEWALT 20v Circular Saw

Since replacing a blade on your saw won’t void your warranty, here’s a demo on how to do that.  It’s pretty easy, and we’ve replaced blades on our circular saws a number of times.

We want to emphasize that all tools can have problems.  DEWALT’s product lines are good tools, and we like them very much, even at their higher price point.  Just remember they come with a 3-year warranty that you should take advantage of if the need should arise.  

Last update on 2023-06-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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