The Porter-Cable PC15TCS is a decent 7 1/4-inch circular saw that produces enough power to cut through even the toughest materials. With this saw, you can cut a maximum depth of 2 3/8 inches at 90 degrees and 1 13/16 inches at 45 degrees. This means you can cut through 2x material at any angle this tool can make cuts. However, it is missing features, such as a laser guide, and it has a low bevel cut capacity, which makes it less versatile than the best corded circular saws.
This circular saw cut smoothly during our tests, thanks in part to the lower guard, dust chute and high rotation rate. The PC15TCS has a well-designed lower guard that protects the blade and you without inhibiting performance. As we cut through a variety of test materials, the lower blade guard slid effortlessly out of the way and didn't interfere at all – some blade guards resist as you rip through materials, which can be awkward and cause you to hesitate in the middle of the cut.
This circular saw has one of the best dust chutes we encountered in our review. It blows and directs sawdust out of the way of the blade and the cut line, so you have a clear view of the task at hand. Furthermore, the sawdust blows away from the saw and your general vicinity, so you don't have to worry about it kicking back toward your face.
The saw runs on 15 amps and produces up to 5600 rpm; this isn't the highest speed on our lineup (the highest was Bosch CS5), but it is still far from slow. Because of its relatively high speed, the blade cuts through materials fast enough that you don't feel much resistance.
This circular saw is missing a few key features that other models include. It doesn’t have a laser guide, which would help you cut straight as you rip through the material. In addition, it doesn’t have a rip fence or carrying bag, which are convenient accessories to have when you first purchase a circular saw tool.
However, the hex key you use to replace the blade stores in the saw itself, which is convenient and makes it easier to keep track of. In addition, you can make bevel cuts with this circular saw, but only up to 45 degrees, which is the lowest bevel capacity in our review. It also doesn’t have positive bevel stops to help you make quick adjustments for common cut angles such as 22.5 degrees.
Porter-Cable offers a three-year warranty that covers the saw in case of manufacturer defects. The saw comes with a user’s manual, but you can find an online version on the company's website if you misplace the original. In addition, you can contact the company via email or phone to speak to a customer support representative.
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The Porter-Cable PC15TCS is a reliable circular saw that makes smooth, clean cuts, even on tough materials, because of its great design. The lower guard glides smoothly out of the way as you make cuts, and the dust chute keeps sawdust out of the way. However, it’s missing some useful features. For example, you can’t make bevel cuts at angles greater than 45 degrees.