Question on circular saw

I currently have a reciprocating saw that I've used to rebuild a fence with, but I just received a circular saw as a gift. It's a low-end Skil saw (so there is no electric brake), and I'm thinking about exchanging it for a jigsaw instead. I want to repair the soffit & fascia on my house, and occasionally make small blocks of wood. However, I'm not really comfortable with spinning objects (years ago I witnessed a handyman lose a finger trying to saw plywood on my lawn, he could have gotten his foot sawn off as well...). Can I do what I want to do with just my reciprocating saw and an orbital jigsaw?
Thanks for any replies.
Jan
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You can get by but you'll never get a long straight cut or clean miter with those tools. A miter saw would be a better trade in if you want to make uniform cuts to make blocks
Get back on that horse. Don't let another mans mistake traumatize you into using the wrong tools. Sounds like your handyman was either an idoit (ignores safety) or a drunk. Given the proper respect, any power tool can be safe.
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I really don't know what caused the handyman to injure himself that day. He was sober and experienced with over 30 years in the building trade. He said he had used that particular cutting technique many times (he made it look easy - maybe too easy...)
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

A reciprocating saw can take off a finger. My father was a carpenter and had parts of five fingers cut off two of those were cut twice. It happens and a spinning saw is not necessary.
What usually is the fault is misusing the tool and that includes using the wrong tool for the job. If the job calls for a circular saw; you are likely safer with that than any other saw.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Cutting small objects with a jig saw does not sound like a lot of fun to me.
Never wear gloves near spinning objects.
mh
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You could with the right jigsaw such as the Bosch 1590 but that is around $160. Sears is clearing out the Bosch clone [ model 27719] of their old jigsaw which still is an excellent jigsaw and many Sears have them for $39 in their clearance center down from $149. Having said that a circular saw is a great tool and user's need to understand how to use them safely including using a good sharp blade, only using as much blade as needed for the depth of cut, respecting the tool until the blade is stationary, clamping your work, using a stance that has a good balance and firm support, supporting the work properly, and working in a clear work area, etc. As others have mentioned a miter saw is another great tool to have for crosscutting. You can get a decent miter saw for under $150 such as the Hitachi models sold at Lowes. Bosch has a circular saw [CS20/CS10] that will stop spinning the blade if the blade pinches instead of causing kickback. The CS10 goes for around $119 regular price. --- Steve

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On circular saws, taping the safety shield up and out of the way then extending the blade to maximum depth may make it convenient for plunge cuts in the middle of a board but it is also the best way to loose a finger and cut your leg open. (or your helper). Do this while leaning over a 4'x8' ply, balancing it with the other hand and holding the cord aside with your foot will virtually guarantee a trip to the hospital. OH, don't forget to put the saw horses too close together so the workpiece falls when the cut is half done thereby binding the blade and kicking it out of the wood and into the hand you are using as a clamp.

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wrote:

My neighbor who works in ER recently saw a roofer with that type of injury - he was using a cordless circular saw to open a skylight. It was a two story home, and they had to call firefighters to get him down.
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Steven L Umbach wrote:

Thanks for the recommendations. I wouldn't mind paying for a reliable brand. I like my DeWalt drill and my Milwaukee Super Sawzall, and I've built a privacy fence and gates and trimmed trees with the Sawzall. I'm willing to try a good circular saw, but I'm not willing to end up in the hospital or worse out of ignorance (I'm a widow and I live by myself). Does Makita have a saw with electric brake - Home Depot guy said there is no such thing??
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Yes their are circular saws with brakes such as the Dewalt model DW369CSK shown in he link below that Home Depot lists on their website also. However a blade brake does not work instantaneously and accidents can happen so fast that the user may not take their finger off the switch right away when a dangerous event occurs. Personally I like the fact that my Bosch circular saw has a mechanism to minimize kickbacks and do not worry about not having a blade break. While at Home Depot take a look at the Rigid jigsaw which should be $99 and comes with a lifetime warranty if you register for it and keep your documentation such as receipt and possibly UPC code from the box. It is a powerful quality jigsaw that could probably do most everything you want if you use quality blades such as the ones from Bosch for the job you need to do. Using a guide with a jigsaw [or any saw] can greatly improve the quality of your cut. I use an angle square [Home Depot has lots of them] and guide the saws foot against it to make a great cut. For sheet goods clamp a straight price of wood onto the work as a guide. Of course you will need to position the guide so that the blade is centered on the cut mark.
http://www.toolbarn.com/product/dewalt/DW369CSK/ --- DW369CSK http://www.ridgid.com/Tools/R3120-Jigsaw/ --- Rigid jigsaw
(Amazon.com product link shortened)48576696/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-0811225-8731049?%5Fencoding=UTF8&s=hi&v=glance&n"8013 --- angle square

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Ooooo, tell us more.
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On 24 May 2006 12:56:11 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Many home repairs can be done without resorting to a circular saw. Heck, many homes, cathedrals, pyramids, etc. have been built without power tools.
A good reciprocating saw is actually pretty handy. Circular saws can be dangerous in untrained hands. Stay away from the Chinese crap Wal-Mart and Home Depot are selling at $29.99. Invest in a $159 Hilti (excellent brake, good reputation) or a $129 DeWalt (brake ok, plastic base, lightweight).
I don't know why manufacturers don't make brake a standard feature on circular saws over $150. It's a good thing to have.
There should be a Website to teach people how to saw wood safely with a circular saw - simple stuff like how to cut off 2x4s or plywood on the ground or using a workbench or sawhorses. Perhaps somebody can post a link to such a Website.
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Buy a decent handsaw, a saw set and a few files and learn to keep it sharp. But you could cut a finger off with a handsaw too.
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