The 15-amp Milwaukee 6394-21 is recommended in several comparison reviews as the best corded 7.25-inch circular saw. Reviewers praise the Milwaukee for smooth, accurate cuts, easy adjustments, sturdy construction and excellent balance and comfort. It has an electric brake for safety, a Quik-Lok cord attachment and onboard blade-wrench storage. The Tilt-Lok handle adjusts to keep the saw balanced, and a front handle provides extra control. The saw can bevel up to 50 degrees, useful in many remodeling and construction projects. It comes with a soft case and carries a five-year warranty. If you use a circular saw infrequently, however, consider the less powerful and much less expensive Craftsman 10871 (*est. $70).
We found the most recent review of the Milwaukee 6394-21 circular saw at Tools of the Trade magazine, where it's field tested in comparison with 15 other models. Earlier comparison tests at Popular Mechanics and the Journal of Light Construction also include this saw. The similar Milwaukee 6390-21, which lacks the blade brake, is covered in comparison reviews at Consumer Reports, Taunton's 2006 Tool Guide and Wood Magazine. We also found over 50 owner-written reviews at Amazon.com -- useful because many cover months or years of use.
1. Tools of the Trade
The Milwaukee 6394-21 gets top ranking in this review comparing 16 corded sidewinder circular saws. The review gives the Milwaukee praise on all counts -- but especially for its reliable blade brake and guard, plus quick, easy bevel adjustments.
Review: Circ Saws, John Spier, Apr. 2008
The Milwaukee 6394-21 is the only circular saw out of 11 tested here to earn a perfect five-star rating. The review praises the convenient levers for adjusting bevel and depth and the good kerf guide, but criticizes the lack of rip guide and finds a slight misalignment when set at 45 degrees.
Review: Cutting Class: The Ultimate Saw Test, Tom Klenck, Jan. 2007
3. Journal of Light Construction
Based on jobsite tests by a professional framing and trim-work company, this review ranks the Milwaukee 6394-21 third overall, with praise for its power, easy adjustments, bevel-scale markings and quick-change cord. The Milwaukee loses points here to the Bosch CS20, which has a rafter hook, and to the DeWalt 369CSK for overall comfort.
Review: Tool Test: Sidewinder Circ Saws, Steve Veroneau, Nov. 2004
4. Taunton's 2006 Tool Guide
In this older review, editors and readers of Fine Homebuilding and Fine Woodworking give top ranking to the Milwaukee 6390-21 (the same model as the 6394-21, but without the blade brake).
Review: Heavy-Duty Circular Saws, Rick Arnold and Mike Guertin, Dec. 2005
The Milwaukee 6390-21 is rated and ranked in comparison with 31 other circular saws, based on objective tests of cutting speed and power, plus ratings of build quality and ease of use.
Review: Circular Saws, Editors of Consumer Reports, Jan. 2008
6. Wood Magazine
Based on well-documented tests, plus a month of use, the Milwaukee 6390-21 earns top ranking in this comparison review, with praise for its straight tracking, power and handling. The DeWalt DW369 is found to be less powerful.
Review: 7.25" Circular Saws, Editors of Wood Magazine, April 2002
Over 50 owners rate and review the Milwaukee 6394-21 circular saw here, giving it praise for the adjustable handle position -- but with a few dissenters. Some owners are disappointed that Milwaukee tools are no longer made in the United States, but only one owner reports an actual quality-control issue.
Review: Milwaukee 6394-21 Circular Saw Reviews, Contributors to Amazon.com