What Type and Size of Inverter for Circular Saw (+Tips to Connect to your Car!)

Do you find yourself called to remote jobs (with no utility power on-site) that require a circular saw and other power tools?

Then a power inverter is an option you might be considering for your power tools.

But it’s more than just connecting it to an existing battery bank – there are additional considerations to make in order to power your circular saw successfully.

What capacity of inverter (watts) to use with your circular saw?

Must it be a sine wave inverter? Should you connect the inverter to the vehicle battery?

So, read on for what inverter sizes (capacities) and types you should consider for your power saw and if planning to connect to your vehicle’s battery, the risks therein, and possible workaround!

Quick answer. If your circular saw has a rated current of 15A or less at 110V, then you should be able to power it with a 3000-watt pure sine wave inverter.

Several 10 1/2 inch circular saws have a current rating of 15A at 120V. A 3,000-watt inverter should be able to handle both the continuous and surge power rating of the larger 10 1/2 saws.

Smaller diameter saws such as the 6 1/2, and 7 1/4 may be able to work with smaller capacity inverters. Consult their owner’s manual for the power requirements to be sure.

What Size of Inverter (watts) to Use with a Circular Saw?

This depends on the power draw of the circular saw.

Consult the technical specifications section of the circular saw owner manual.

A 3000-watt inverter should be able to power a 110V/ 15A rated circular saw.

Several 10 1/2 diameter and 7 1/4 diameter saws have a power rating of 110V/15A and should be able to work with a 3000-watt inverter.

surge power rating

While the continuous power draw of the inverter may sometimes be 50% of the rated current, the surge current can be as high as 2 – 3 times the rated current, and the inverter needs to be able to handle that for the circular saw to work well.

Sine wave vs modified sine wave inverters

For best performance, if using an inverter solution, go for a pure sine wave inverter.

While they cost more than the modified sine wave inverters, the circular saws run cooler with them.

That said, some users have reported using modified sine-wave inverters with their saws without any problems. I’d advise if you can go with a pure sine wave inverter.

Should You Connect the Inverter to Vehicle Battery?

While you can connect an inverter to the car or a truck’s battery, I’d not recommend this route.

A circular inverter draws high currents when loaded that will run down the battery and possibly damage it.

A circular saw that draws 15A at 110V consumes 1,650 watts. The DC current drawn by the inverter can be as high as 137A.

Additionally, the initial power draw of the circular saw can also shut down the inverter once the battery voltage gets to its low voltage disconnect limit.

Alternatives to powering a circular saw with an inverter solution

In light of the damages that connecting an inverter/ power saw to the car battery, you can instead consider the following options:

  • Purchase a battery-powered lithium power circular saw that you can power at remote locations without power
  • Purchase a generator instead. Though bulkier, it is cheaper to purchase than an inverter solution and avoids the risk of damage to the car’s electrical system.
  • Additionally, you can carry a 75 feet extension reel that can handle the circular saw’s current draw.

If you must use an inverter solution, consider installing an auxiliary deep cycle battery for your circular saw and upgrading the alternator.

You should consider running the alternator to minimize the draw on the auxiliary battery.

Final Word

If you choose to power your circular saw with an inverter, assuming it is a 10 1/2 diameter saw rated 15A/120V, you’ll likely be able to power it with a 3000-watt pure sine water inverter.

Be mindful of the high current draw the circular saw can exert on the car’s electrical system and consider alternatives, using a generator, a cordless version, or extending power with a long extension reel.

Leave a Comment