DEWALT Bare-Tool DC390B Review: Light and Shadow

As the DIY craze sweeps the nation with no sign of dying out there are more and more people who are doing at home repairs or projects. For some of these people it might not matter what kind of tools or equipment they use – they simply borrow needed supplies from a neighbor or a friend. Others may do more research into what they need for ease of having it in their own home whenever they want to work on their project. These handymen will go beyond the regular hammers, screwdrivers, wrenches, and nail guns. As they venture into doing more and more work around the house they will often find themselves in need of a good circular saw.

Circular Saws are often battery operated (to keep the user from accidentally cutting the cord as they work), and able to be manipulated into tight spaces. The problem with battery operated versus corded saws lies in the power that the saw has. No matter the power source, most circular saws are perfect for ripping lumber, hard and softwood, particle board and plywood when you’re building. When choosing a circular saw it’s always a good idea to go with a trusted name like DeWalt. Established companies will stand by their products and make sure that they will be covered by a warranty. Especially for the new user, warranties are useful as you learn your way around your new tools.

So who needs this tool?

As we’ve discussed, this tool is perfect for the handyman who needs to rip large pieces of wood. It’s perfect if you’re renovating a room in your house, such as your bathroom. The DeWalt DC390B can be used to cut lumber to frame out your room then immediately used to cut the plywood that will be used to cover the floor. It comes with a left-mounted blade that makes it easy for most users to see exactly where they’re cutting and to follow a line as they work. Even carpenters by trade love this circular saw. It helps them quickly cut the wood that they need to finish projects for their customers. This saw would be particularly helpful in building a deck. It would be an easy thing for the user to line up all the wood that needed to be cut and quickly work down the row, getting everything ready to build at once.

The DeWalt DC390B is superior to other circular saws in a few ways.

  • The design and balance of this circular saw are perfect. There’s just enough weight and heft to it that it doesn’t bounce around when making long cuts, but it is light enough for the average user to handle it easily without quickly becoming too tired to continue working. Not everyone understands the importance of a well-weighted circular saw, but the danger of having one bounce up from the cutting surface while still running can’t be understated.
  • Another wonderful safety feature is that the blade stops spinning quickly after use. When the blade continues to spin freely it’s easy to accidentally keep cutting the wood you’re working on, or even worse, part of your body. DeWalt thought this through when they made sure that this circular saw would be as safe as possible to operate.

Like anything though, the DeWalt DC390B does have some drawbacks.

  • Like any cordless tools, the battery life of this circular saw is lacking. Some users, like professional handymen, may find that having multiple batteries on hand and constantly charging is one way to get around this issue. For others that won’t be something that can be done easily, as the spare batteries are quite expensive. Constantly keeping the saw charging when not in use is one way to work around this issue, although many users will find that to be too much of a pain to do consistently. Nobody wants to worry about their tools not working right in the middle of a big project, and the battery dying can be very frustrating.
  • There’s also no case that comes standard with the DeWalt DC390B. Cases can be picked up easily and cheaply, but for someone who travels with their tools this is something that they should consider. When you pay a lot of money for quality products it’s important to protect them. If the circular saw is simply left in your garage or basement for at-home projects then a case might not be as important to you as it is to someone who will travel with it.
  • Another concern is that since the battery doesn’t last very long the circular saw itself won’t be as powerful as another one that is corded or comes with a stronger battery. Again, this is something to consider depending on how often and for how long you’ll be using the saw. Spare batteries are the easy (but expensive) way around this problem. Due to the fact that the batteries run out quickly and the saw loses power it’s not possible to simply force the saw to finish a difficult cut like you can with a corded saw. Once this circular saw is done and stuck you are left with the only option of trading out the battery or waiting for it to charge. Corded saws can be manually powered through a hard cut, which means no extra wait time for the user.


For the average user the DeWalt DC390B seems like a wonderful fit. It’s not the most expensive circular saw on the market and does come with some wonderful reviews of users who swear by using it. The design, ease of use, and affordability all need to be weighed against the power and battery life. Although DeWalt stands behind it’s products with a wonderful warranty, that warranty won’t apply to a users’ frustration over how quickly the product loses power when in use. For the quick and easy project around the house this seems like an affordable option. But for the more regular user or the professional, extra batteries don’t seem to be optional.