Porter Cable Circular Saw Review – PCL186CS


Having a good little trim saw or circular saw around is nice.  Not that you will be ripping up sheets of plywood, but a good one can give you a couple of cuts when you don’t want to break out your corded circular saw to rip up some plywood.  The Porter Cable can give you some serious cutting ability especially when using the EX battery.  So lets jump in and talk about the Porter Cable Circular Saw model number PCL186CS that came in the Combo Kit we recently reviewed.


Specifications of the PCL186CS

  • 6-1/2″ blade
  • RPM 3,700
  • Depth of cut 2.1″
  • Weight 7lbs 7 oz. with EX battery
  • 50 Degree Bevel Cpacity
  • Bevel Cut dept max – 1.7″




In the past we have seen saws that come in a combo kit, well sometimes they are cheap.  We are happy to see that while this saw doesn’t have a laser, it is far from being cheap.  The 6-1/2” makes it a great saw to perform most small jobs like cutting plywood, 2×4 and other common materials you would need to cut quickly on a job site.  The 3700 rpm gives it enough juice to make quick and effortless cuts, which is always a plus.  The saw does allow the user to adjust the depth of a cut up to 2-1/8”, plus a nice beveled option for cuts.

The saw is powered by either the EX or LX battery, which we do suggest using the EX, not for power, but longer run time.  The shoe is made from stamped aluminum while the rest of the saw uses a hardened plastic, like most cordless saws.  This allows the saw to be light while maintaining integrity.



While the true cutting is done with the blade, you still need a good reliable saw to turn the blade.  Most of our use was done with the EX battery due to a higher Ah rating.  While we did use the LX for some cuts, we didn’t see a difference except with battery life.  The saw has a good balance, even with the 1lb heavier EX battery.  The handle and motor are both located on the left side of the blade, so when making cuts the weight is supported by the board you are cutting.

We used the factory 18 tooth carbide blade to rip through some ¾” plywood and overall the blade did a great job.  After a little cutting, we switched to an aftermarket blade, not because the factory blade was dull, but just preference.  The saw was very easy to control when making cuts and didn’t bog down under normal use.  Because the saw was easy to control, we were able to produce pretty good straight cuts.  The preset cutting guide was also accurate from the factory and we didn’t have to tweak the guide.  However if you need to adjust the guide, it is fairly easy to perform.  A user can just loosen the screw and make an adjustment.  Switching to a beveled cut was a snap also, not sure why it wouldn’t be, but thought we should mention it.



If you’re looking for a good cordless circular saw, the Porter Cable PCL186CS is a great pick.  Lightweight, very easy to handle and long run time with the EX battery.  Adjustments to the saw are easy and has a great cutting depth with the 6-1/2”




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