Electric hand tool recommendations

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My lovely grandmother sent me a nice check for my birthday that I want to use to replace my elcheapo craftsman and black and decker electric hand tools.
My list is as follows:
1) Bosch 1591 EVSK Barrel grip jigsaw. Probably not to much comment about this one. I've used the 1590 before and it's one sweet piece of kit. I want the barrel design as I hate handled jig saws.
2) Porter Cable 352VS belt sander. I'm currently up in the air over this one. I like the robust construction of the tool, but it certainly isn't on the top of anyone's list anymore.
3) Milwaukee 6391-21 7 1/4" left hand circular saw. I was leaning toward the Porter Cable 424 MAG 7 1/4" left hand saw, but that quick release blade do-hicky scares me. I would buy the old version in a heartbeat if I could find one. The Milwaukee seems to be well respected. I definitely want a left hand saw. I hate right hand saws and want a left hand saw. The PC 345 saw boss is certainly of interest as well. The loss of 5/8" of an inch of cutting depth wouldn't bother me.
Any suggestions/comments?
Thanks in advance, ==========================================================================Chris
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On Wed, 27 Sep 2006 09:41:16 -0500, Chris Dubea

Okay, answering my own message!
Looking at Tyler Tool's website I can get the Bosch 1584AVSK refurb for about $50 than the 1591 EVSK. Is the newer version work $50 more?
later ==========================================================================Chris
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Chris Dubea wrote:

Good question - I haven't used the 1584, so I can't directly answer that, but you should be able to find the 1591 cheaper than $180, I would think. I got my 1590 (top handle version) from Coastal Tool for $150. Toolking.com shows the 1591 for $165. I've also heard very good things about the Dewalt high-end jigsaws, but haven't used one, and I don't know if they come in barrel grip. One other tool for your consideration - do you already have a good cordless drill/driver? My old crapsman is on its way out, so there are two that are currently competing for the top spot on my Christmas list: The little Bosch PS20, and the Makita 14.4V NiMH set with a drill and a separate impact driver. (Amazon.com product link shortened) (Amazon.com product link shortened) (If anyone has used either of these, and wants to pass along opinions, feel free...) Finally, if you'd consider going cordless, and you don't already have a few hand planes, I'll throw in a recommendation for a good one of those. A low-angle block plane (Lee Valley or Lie Nielsen) and #4 smoother (LV, LN or Steve Knight) are high on my list of commonly-used tools, as well as a shoulder plane (LV, LN, Clifton) for fitting joints. In my experience, these are faster and more accurate (not to mention less messy) than a belt sander for most applications. Have fun with your check, Andy
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I got the Makita back in March for b-day..
Killer outfit and you ain't going to believe the light.
Andy wrote:

(Amazon.com product link shortened)
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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anyone's list anymore.

Left hand saws are meant to be used with your left hand so that you are not exposed to the exposed side of the blade. This is a safety feature for left handers. Something to think about since you are thinking safety and do not trust the PC quick release.

The biggest difference between the two is that the later model Bosch, the 1591, has a TRUE quick blade release. While the older model blade release works ok if you like diddeling with the saw when changing blades, the newer 1591 model has a lever you push over and the blade pops out. Its a 1 or 2 second procedure vs. much longer.
Milwaukee saws also have this feature.
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Leon"

Leon, You seem to be the only one who keeps bringing up this issue. Generally, I have a great deal of respect for your opinion however, on this issue I believe you are incorrect.
The blade left saws are not designed for left handed people. Skil/Bosch/Milwaukee/Dewalt all make saws with left bladed - and they outsell the right blade ones five to one. Interestingly enough, most call it their professional - heavy duty or framer saw. I generally use my right hand to saw with and I prefer the left bladed saw. It's much easier to see the line and hold it on line.
Dave
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And on the plus side, my dad can't stand using my PC left-bladed saw, so I don't have to worry about it ending up in his collection! :)
Clint

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wrote:

I'm in complete agreement with you here. I hate having to look over the motor to see the blade.
It all goes back to my days in construction and using worm drive saws. All of these have the blade on the left side of the handle. I just found that a lot more natural.
Thanks, ==========================================================================Chris
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Ok,, fair enough Dave.
The last time I looked at the owners manuals for the PC left and righ saws, the manual stated to hold the left saw in the left hand and the right saw in the right hand. Also, the correct way to cut a board to length is to have the larger area of the saw base resting on the longer piece of wood and or the piece that is not going to fall away. When you use the left handed worm drive saw with your right hand and support the wood with your other, where is ths saw setting . Is it setting on the small area of the base that is on the left side of the blade as it should be?
If you look at the PC manual on line you will see that the proper way to hold the left blade is with your left hand on the triger handle and your right hand ont the auxillery handle over the motor.
http://www.dewaltservicenet.com/ServiceNet/Common/Default.asp?strURLContent=../TechnicalPublications/Default.asp
Unfortunately this link does not seem to work as a short cut but if you log in to the PC/DeWalt site and inquire in to the 423MAG left blade circle saw you can eventually get to the owners manual. They have a photo of the correct way to hold the saw.

That does not mean that the users are correctly using the saws. Probably the same ratio of TS users work with out a guard. Does that make working with out a guard correct?
Still you should not have the blade between your 2 hands. Now this is going to really throw you. :~) Bosch shows to hold the left blade worm dirive with your right hand on the trigger handle however to keep the blade from being positioned between your hands they also illustrate to hold the auxillery handle with your left hand. Essentially Bosch wants you to criss corss you hands if you are going to hold the left blade worm dirive with your righ hand on the trigger handle. This effectively keeps the blade on the outside position of your hands instead of between your hands. Check the illustration on Page 4 of the owners manual. http://www.dewaltservicenet.com/ServiceNet/Common/Default.asp?strURLContent=../TechnicalPublications/Default.asp
Going farther, the side winder right blade manual clearly issustrates that the right hand should be on the trigger handle and the left on the axillery handle.
Check page 4 again here
http://66.77.255.87/Images/BOSCHPDF/CS20_pdf/PDF_MANUAL/CS20.pdf
Interestingly enough, most call

I totally agree that it is easier to see the line however you are also more exsposed to the open exposed side of the blade and the debris that it may throw back at you.
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Is it setting on the small area of the base that is on the left

Oops.. The saw should be setting on the large area of the base when the scrap falls away.
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damn
The corrected link.
Still you should not have the blade between your 2 hands. Now this is going to really throw you. :~) Bosch shows to hold the left blade worm drive with your right hand on the trigger handle however to keep the blade from being positioned between your hands they also illustrate to hold the auxiliary handle with your left hand. Essentially Bosch wants you to criss cross you hands if you are going to hold the left blade worm drive with your right hand on the trigger handle. This effectively keeps the blade on the outside position of your hands instead of between your hands. Check the illustration on Page 4 of the owners manual.
http://66.77.255.87/Images/BOSCHPDF/1677-100_pdf/PDF_MANUAL/1677-100.pdf
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"Leon"

Leon, You obviously spent a great deal of time looking up this data. However, if you ask anyone who uses a worm drive (by default, left blade) saw, they will tell you it is a great tool. I have made hundreds of thousands of cuts with one and I have never felt like my arms were criss-crossed. 99% of the time, I am holding the workpiece with my left hand and cutting with the right. The action is the same as hand sawing only with a powered saw. I see the line, I hold the work and that nonsense about the weight of the saw only supported by thin side is just that nonsense. If a builder can not hold the saw up, he should not be using it anyway.
The other advantage to the worm drive is it length. I can cross-cut a 4'x8' piece (in the middle) of plywood in one push. The other thing I have found interesting is West coast framers overwhelmingly prefer the worm drive saw. However, East coasters like the sidewinders. Since Texas is in the middle, maybe that's the source of confusion :)
I emailed both Milwaukee (I don't take credit for their grammar) and Porter Cable, their responses are below. Neither say one is for left handed or right handed people.
Dave
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Dave I am not saying that people are not using the saw the same way that you do. I agree that probably most people hold the left blade worm dirive with their right hand.

Well nothing you ask a rep is binding and they will always refer you to the owners manual if there is a possibility of litigation concerning an injury. I recall the first time I saw the PC left blade at a ww show. The reps were selling them that they were intended for left handed users. The owners manuals indicate this also. Regardless of whether a person uses the saw correctly or not the owners manual is the final say.
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Using the standard cut alignment mark on the sawplate, the position of the kerf in relation to that mark would indicate what side of the plate is supposed to be on the keeper piece. Assuming that a left blade saw is a mirror image of a right blade saw, I would have to get used to it as I would constantly be cutting to the wrong side of the line. I do prefer the right blade saw a it feels natural (as that is all I have used) and it forces me to keep my hand away from the blade. Can't get to close due to the motor.

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Exactly, that too.
Actually all instruction manuals demonstrate that the circle saw should be used with 2 hands, one on each handle. This becomes awkward if a right handed person uses a left side saw and visa versa.
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"CW"

Nonsense, I have taught teenaged girls (house building in Mexico) to use the wormdrive. They have no problem with it, In fact, after using it for hours of cutting, the biggest problem they have is the boys coming over and wanting to do the cutting for them.
The hardest part of teaching people to use the saw is keeping people from holding the fall-off piece.
Dave
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Having never used a worm drive with left blade arrangement or any left hand saw, with which hand do you hold the keeper end of a board when holding the saw with your right hand? Seems to me it would be the left hand but that hand would have to be on the opposite side of the saw if done correctly. Otherwise you have to rest the saw on the scrap fall away side and that is not a safe scenario?
The fact that you mention the hardest part is teach the people to not hold the fall off piece seems to indicate that the setup for the cut is wrong to start with. If you hold the left hand saw with your left hand this pretty much becomes a moot point. Same goes with the right blade for right handers. If the blade is not situated between your two hands, you are as tempted to grab that waste piece as it falls away.
Taking line of site out of the equation, it makes more sense to me for safety reasons to use the left in your left hand and your right in your right hand.
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regardless of the keep piece, with your left hand - use your right hand to guide the saw, cut the side of the line that protects the measurement of the keep piece - let the short piece fall free.
Below are a few examples of people using the saw.
http://www.teamcasa.org/images/2005images/cd4_june2005.jpg
http://www.teamcasa.org/images/2005images/100_0202.jpg
Dave
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I, for one, can see why the guys wanted the girls to cut their boards for them!!! Need any help down there???
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