In need of a circular saw

Greetings all, it's been a few years since I have been here, I hope I can become welcome back.
I have been searching the 'net for about 1-1/2 weeks trying to gather info on every circular saw that I can find. I need the standard 7-1/4" sidewinder, I have seen some old posts from the 90's and a few years ago from this group but I fing it very hard to find ratings of torque and horsepower. The Milwaukees have 3-1/4hp, the yellow Dewalts have 2200 'max watts out' or less (as I have learned about), that meaning just under 3hp... the latest standard 14- 15 amp motors with high RPMs of anywhere from 5000 to 6200 (that one is the left blade bosch cs5). I do not want a left blader.
I have used some in store opportunity to plug in some 6 or 7 saws to hear the noise levels (as I live in an apt-plex with outside doors. There are babies every- where that sleep all hours of the day and night, and I have a fenced-in patio I can work on with saw horses). I listened to a Makita 5007, dewalt dw368, a 14 amp - 2.5hp Skil with a red handle (sells for 69.99) OSH own make, of the same specs as the Skil (Orchard Supply Hardware akin with Sears) and sells current sale for 34.99. No doubt out of the same factory as the Craftsmans.
All the saws I tried were very loud except one, the following, was acceptably the quietest.
I cannot remember all the names but I did try only one at Home Depot which was the Ridgid r3202, which I mostly have my eye on because it is of highest current specs, and lots of magnesium, upper and lower blade guards and the shoe base as well. 15 amps and 5800rpm, but I do not know it's HP or torque ratings, does anyone own one of these?
I would like to effectively cut through 2" hardwoods with a finer blade, no table saw locally capable, so that's why I am curious about horse power and torque. Or does it matter all that much, with circular saws?
Tall Alex Carpinteria, SoCal
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If you buy a commercial grade tool, it really doesn't matter much which brand. I prefer Milwaukee, but have Porter Cable and DeWalt and a Skil 77. If power is your primary interest, look at the wormdrives, though you said you prefer the sidewinders.
Get a saw that fits your hands and feels good to you. They all have plenty of power to cut 2" oak with a sharp blade.
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Most any better brand circular saw is going to cut what you want.
Regardles of how loud or quiet it is when running, it will become much louder when it actually cuts wood.
If cost is not a deciding factor and you wold like a saw that cuts splinter free, and as accurately as a table saw, consider the Festool.
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On Tue, 24 Nov 2009 00:27:31 -0800, the infamous "LGLA"

Welcome back. Lots of old faces here this month, huh?

There's NFW you'll ever keep from waking babies within a block of a skil saw "going off" Alex.

If you want quiet, can you use a bandsaw? They're 8x quieter, at minimum. A good handsaw is a whole lot quieter, too. Battery powered circular saws are a whole lot quieter, too, but they eat batteries for lunch. You're lucky to get half a dozen tubafores cut with one battery.
If it's just 2x you're cutting, check out the little 6-1/2-inchers, as well.
Maybe this'll help: http://www.osh.govt.nz/order/catalogue/pdf/circsawnoise.pdf The chop saw cabinet might be of special interest to you.
-- It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult. -- Seneca
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LGLA wrote:

If you need a quiet hand held saw, give careful consideration to a Bosch jigsaw rather than a circular saw. Getting good square cuts in 2x lumber is going to require care and the right choice of blade, but the noise level will be much lower than a circular saw, and the cut quality can be far better than you would expect.
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I have both a Dewalt 18V cordless and their rear-pivot corded circular saw. For noise the cordless is quite nice and I generally use it for sheet goods. The rear-pivot saw has a really nice mechanism for depth and angle adjustment. I was going to go with PC until I "saw" the Dewalt rear-pivot.
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Not circular or a power tool but it wouldn't wake the baby<g>
http://www.bridgecitytools.com/Products/Jointmaker+Pro/Jointmaker+Pro+v2
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Milwaukees ..Light. powerful and tuff. Dewalts are nice but kind of bulky

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Welcome back! It is good to see some old face back around here, not just faces that are old!
Just kiddin'.....

I was in the search for the perfect 7 1/4" saw for years after the demise of my Milwaukees. The pre Tilt-Lock models were really hard working great saws that took years of job site abuse before failing.
Many years ago my old Milwaukee saw was the only reliable heavy duty saw I had. I used it so much for everything (at that time all I did was carpentry work and contracting) I just took for granted it would work. Over the time I was using it, it had three rebuilds and a couple of repairs like triggers and cords. Not bad at all.
But they went to the Tilt-Lock, and the saw feels different, and to me the opening for the blade around the shoe is just too large. I cut with the material on both sides of the blade and that gap was a real deal killer.
The DeWalts are nice saws when they are new, but they don't last well at all on the jobsite. They might last well in home use, and they are lightweight and easy to use. Some models have small, strangely shaped shoes that I don't like. The exception is the DW364, which in my opinion is a portable saw mill. Heavy to use all day but really heavy duty, and a great saw.
I don't like any of the other offerings out there for daily use except the Makita line. I use this one a lot, and actually really like it:
http://tinyurl.com/yhbdoo2
IIRC, it has needle and ball bearings in it, and I have to say it is the smoothest cutting saw I have ever used. With a good computer balanced blade in it, you can almost eliminate saw blade kerf marks.
It has plenty of power, and will push through just about anything. 2" is just about at capacity for any sidewinder, but this saw will cut it with no problems. This is a really great circular saw. If you get the kit, you can see that it comes with a blade and rip guide. something many don't come with anymore.
And with a guide, this thing is marvelous at taking down sheet goods and even making final cuts for cabinets while out in the field.

Yes it does, >>BUT<< only if the information given by the manufacturer is correct, and not some baloney like these 5-6 hp ratings on shop vacs.
My old Milwaukee saws were rated at 13 amps. Torque unknown. They would out cut the 15 amp PC saws my buddies had all day. The DeWalt 364 rated at 15 amps (torque unknown) will outcut other saws DeWalt saws that are rated at 15 amps, and most other saws as well.
I would buy from a company that I could take the saw back to immediately if I didn't like it. One reason to buy Ridgid. I thought the Ridgid felt OK in the hand, but not great. While this is one I don't have personal experience with, my amigos tell me that it is a good "rough" saw, not one you could cut out a cabinet with as needed. Apparently on the ones they have used, there is a tiny bit of play at the arbor/bearings connections, and that makes it a bit wobbly.
Hope that helps...
I hope you post back here and let us know what you go and what you think of it.
Robert
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I have, in my shop, the following circular saws: An old Skill side-winder. Good enough for cutting up pallets. Never quits, always mediocre. A Milwaukee side-winders. Gets used a lot, we all like it. We even use it with diamond blades. Great saw. A Porter Cable side-winder with magnesium base and blade "on the wrong side". Piece of crap. A relatively new Skill HS77 wormer. Gobs of power, easy adjustability, not too noisy, gobs of power, great shoe, gobs of power, justabout all we use for ripping up solid surface sheets with TCG 40-tooth blades, gobs of power. A bit heavy... did I mention gobs of power? I really like this beast.
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You sure got a lot of good advice and I don't disagree with any of it. Since you're in an apartment, perhaps a bandsaw might take up a bit too much storage room, but there are table top models that can be clamped down and might be a compromise.
The amp rating of any tool takes on more importance than some might think. Most apartment outlets are 15a, and running a big saw at close to their rating "might" cause a breaker to trip or overheating. It's a curse we here in the USA have in not being a 230v nation. <Grin> Get a good extension cord, since I suspect you'll be working from a balcony or patio if you're in an apartment.
I'd be a tad worried about a jigsaw, since it's difficult to keep the saw's blade perpendicular to the wood and a straight cut is a lot more complicated than with a circular saw. There's a place of both in your future?
The noise will be a factor with about any of the saws, and the blade design will exacerbate or help. If you're worried and working on a balcony, for instance, consider tossing some packing blankets or even towels over the railing to help muffle or redirect sound. Doing your work during the mid day might help, also.
All said and done, I'd consider a DeWalt as a good, generic saw. Make yourself a 0 clearance plate for the base, use a shooting board and it'll all work out just fine. The single most important thing is a GOOD blade for ripping and another GOOD blade for crosscuts. Freud is my favorite, but YMMV.
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A classic saw for heavy use. Really heavy use. I don't know if you have seen this, but it just won some kind of accolades (as it always does) for its utility value.
Personally, I was surprised it wasn't more money.
Robert
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On Nov 24, 3:08pm, Dave Balderstone

Who says things aren't different in Canada?
That has to be the most unique and odd looking circular saw I have ever seen.
No kidding. Robert
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

;-)
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It's one of the handiest saws in the toolbox, so to speak. It cuts on the pull and that equates to straighter cuts. It's thin, so the kerf is reduced as well. You can flex the blade a tad and it'll whack off a dowel almost flush, OR you can get a cheap knock-off one and put one side against the table sander. That knocks off all set from one side of the blade and you can cut flush without much effort.
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Nonny

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I reach for it more than I reach for my Milwaukee circ saw. Nice in a basement shop when I can't sleep.
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Who says things aren't different in Canada?
That has to be the most unique and odd looking circular saw I have ever seen. ------------------------------------------
And it can be used to cut snow to make igloos!!
Obviously a Canadian solution.
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You sound like a most considerate neighbor. But finding a saw so quiet it will not wake a sleeping child is akin to a search for the golden fleece and when you find one "fleece'd" is likely to be the conclusion.
If you think the decibels generated by a brand new 15AMP motor cutting thin air will wake the neighbors - wait 'till you put that meter up against one cutting across some plys made of wood. Or, maybe you'll make a garden shed and turn your blade 'round to slice through some galvanized 5V Crimp - you are not allowed to do that near a cemetery!
My favorite is an Old Sears Worm Drive Saw - though I wish, at times, it had the larger 1/8th inch thick aluminum sole plate as on an old "Skill" saw my father-in-law left - not sure, but it may have been a JC Penny!
That SEARS WORM DRIVE looks like the Milwaukee, etc etc as it is simply re-branded.
As to the noise, well my wife makes me shut down at midnight because of "the neighbors" but I think she is as worried about her lack of sleep. And, up in the hills, my neighbors half a mile away report hearing me working and can often identify the power tool I was using - "What'r routing last night?"
Face it Woodworking is a noisy business, but somebody's got to do it. And that somebody should seriously consider ear protection when younger so as to assure a neighbors sawing will still disturb them when they reach sixty or so.
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