Need competent circular saw with safety switch (think tool obsessed toddler)

I am currently using a black and decker circular saw for cutting probably far more than I should with it. Two glaring problems with it.
1. No safety interlock. Just great. I almost crapped my shorts a couple times picking the thing up with it's over sensitive trigger right where your only hand-hold is. Jeepers. It's going on craigslist as soon as I get a new one. 7 inch is the current thing. That a useful size?
2. The metal decking of the thing has give to it. So even when doing a simple 90 cut, the slightest uneven downward pressure can cause the saw to make this weird compound angle. Arrrrrgh that is frustrating. I would love some sort of metal plate on my new saw that does not have any flex to it at all.
2b. Could anyone please give me a competent blade model too for general purpose things. BD's Pirrana is what I'm currently using.
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wrote in message

You might want to rethink that. You have now publicly documented that your saw has a safety issue. In this sue happy society you may be held resposable if some one cuts their finger off.

I would look at any of the better brand saws. If you want really nice and a more precise cutting saw, consider the Festool, but not for common construction type cutting.
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On 14 Aug, 08:26, "Thomas G. Marshall"

Search this group for circular saw. Many threads with user's opinions. Consider a left blade model if you're right handed. Your eyes will be on the same side of the saw as the blade, making it easier to see the cut line. Strictly a user preference. I love my Porter Cable left blade model.
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Search this group for circular saw. Many threads with user's opinions. Consider a left blade model if you're right handed. Your eyes will be on the same side of the saw as the blade, making it easier to see the cut line. Strictly a user preference. I love my Porter Cable left blade model.
The draw back to using the left blade, right handed or the right blade left handed for that matter is that while you can see the blade better you also put your eye sight at risk from debris that is thrown out and basically your hole body at risk because you are standing on the wrong side of the saw. If the saw climbs out of the cut and comes backward you are right in line of its path. Consider also that if you are cutting a few inches off the length of a board the saw body, wide part of the base/shoe should be setting on the keeper piece. Using the proper right blade with your right hand lets your left hand hold on to he keeper piece. That would be hard to so with a left sided saw.
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"DerbyDad03" wrote
Search this group for circular saw. Many threads with user's opinions. Consider a left blade model if you're right handed. Your eyes will be on the same side of the saw as the blade, making it easier to see the cut line. Strictly a user preference. I love my Porter Cable left blade model.
I love my left blade Milwaukee. I made cutting guides in 3 sizes. 1 - 100", 1 - 54", 1 - 30".
Max
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Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

In general I recommend only buying what you at least have an opportunity to handle beforehand if those kinds of issues are of significance to you. Personally, I won't have a saw, etc., that requires a second safety switch to operate as I've never seen one that wasn't a real pita to use.
That said, there are good, not-so-good, and downright terrible switch designs and locations so that's one thing to evaluate for sure. As important is the handle size and the overall heft and balance. Whether your hands are large or small, some handles just don't work well for a particular individual which makes good work more difficult.
As for blade size, is what you have adequate for what you've been doing or foresee doing? If so, sounds good. If not, it's a different group of saws you'll be looking for. Larger means more heft which can be good, but also can be a problem from being more to lug around all day, etc.

The sole plate is key component. More rigidity means either more mass or stiffer alloys or both. Inexpensive saws use Al for reduced overall weight and lose out on rigidity.

I don't have any real favorites -- what is handy is generally ok although I buy from the supply places, not W-Mart or Big Lot's junk bins or the $2 bin at the Ace. Most of what I have at the moment are Makita but that's because it's the brand the farm supply which I frequent most carries as their main line. I probably have one of most anything, no real favorites other than one that is straight and sharp.
As someone else already noted, there are interminable threads on the subject and I've noted previously I am partial to the ol' Skill Mag 77, but it's not a casual saw. I have a 50+ yr old B&D of Dad's that still use for that sort of thing so don't have a recently built model to recommend specifically...
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Not really a recommendation, but a couple thoughts on the subject;
Yes, 7-1/4 is the "normal" size That's what you want; it will allow you to cut up to 2-by nominal stock at a 45-degree bevel.
Yes, you go want get a saw with a ridgid shoe. Stamped steel is what you want to avoid. Better saws have cast aluminum or a magnesium alloy shoe. You will be be able to identify this by thickness and soem degree of cast webbing in the top surface.
I can't even tell you if my Porter Cable has a "safety"... if it's there, I just use it instinctively.
Go to a store and touch them. They have to feel right in your hand. Weight is also a significant factor. You pay more for that magnesium alloy shoe to cut down the weight a bit.
Other things to consider: left vs right handded (lefties are not just for left-handed people, DAGS), and if the saw should have a brake.
Cheers,
Steve
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On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 09:46:29 -0400, "Stephen M"
<snip>

Over the years, safety interlocks and handle design have pretty much taught this lefty to work right handed..
On both of my circular saws and both chair saws, to use it left handed not only make the balance and vision off, but you pretty much have to reach over with your right hand to press the safety switch...
I probably have more tools that are anti-correct handed, but those 2 come to mind..
Things to consider in a new saw? PRICE and USE
Buy the best that you can afford, suitable to your use..
Too fancy or too heavy is overkill for light, occasional work, IMO..
If you plan on using it a lot, buy a "better brand" model with enough power and options to do the job over the long haul.. For a few times a year or so, buy a nice used one and enjoy it.. YMWV
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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Thomas G. Marshall wrote:
| 2b. Could anyone please give me a competent blade model too for | general purpose things. BD's Pirrana is what I'm currently using.
I have two portable circular saws - the first is a cheap ($15) Skil that I bought back in the sixties, and the second is a small Porter-Cable saw.
The Skil looks, feels, and sounds like a POS - but it cuts well and has refused to die for more than 40 years now. I guess I'll put up with it until either it or I die (the damn thing may outlast me).
The PC (see the 6th photo down at the link below) has a smaller blade but has been at least 200 times more used in my woodworking. It looks, feels, sounds, and cuts like I've always thought every saw should. IMO, it's the portable complement to my old Unisaur.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/outfeed.html
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I too have an old Skil that won't die, but with a good thin kerf blade (see below), it cuts just fine. If I were in the market for a new saw, I'd strongly consider one of the smaller corded models - like the Skil 1155 or the PC 345 (and the PC 314 Morris mentioned looks very nice too). I find that most of the cutting I do is in material less than ~1.5" thick, and the lighter weight would be a nice benefit and possibly even a safety feature (it would reduce fatigue, and maybe you wouldn't accidentally trip the trigger on a smaller lighter saw?).
As far as trigger/safety designs, I'll second the recommendation to try out as many models as you can locally, or order online but be prepared to make a return if you're not completely happy. My Skil has a thumb button that must be pressed before the trigger will go, and I've appreciated that feature several times while picking up the saw and accidentally hitting the trigger. I don't find the thumb button to be inconvenient, but I suppose that depends completely on the shape and size of your hands.
As for blades, I'm currently running a 7-1/4", 40T Freud "Diablo" that I got at one of the borgs for <$15. I find it cuts VERY cleanly (even in baltic birch, laminate, etc.) and quite quickly, and has lasted a long time. I once tried a 60T Oldham blade, but the thicker kerf and smaller bite bogged down my old saw. I've heard that Tenryu and Matsushita make very good blades, but haven't tried them yet. Hope this helps, Andy
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Andy wrote: ...

...
And, unless they're very well done or the saw comes in right- and/or lefthanded versions, for the lefty they can make a tool completely unusable for their natural hand...
dntamhikt... :)
--
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I think you need to go looking for some Consumer's reports type of evaluation for those 7 1/4" saws. Wood mag has probably done these saws from time to time. Those articles may not always be perfect for YOU, but they sure can help.
I also would like to actually try the saw out first. Some years ago I bought a low priced Skil and for some reason, it has horrible "balance". By that I mean that when you push it forward through the wood, it just doesn't want to cut straight. I have to apply "English" with my wrist to get it to go somewhat straight. (Yes, I have tried different blades). I'm not saying that ALL Skil brand saws are bad, but that one sure is a looser. I only use it for cutting sheet steel, hoping that the shavings will get into the works and destroy it asap.
A few years ago I got a used B&D saw at an auction and it doesn't behave this way at all. (so I use it almost all the time).
Pete Stanaitis -----------------------
Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

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On Tue, 14 Aug 2007 12:26:29 +0000, Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

Cordless Saw I'd reccomend is the Skil 5850 18V cordless 7-1/4" Circ saw. Corded Saw I'd reccomend is the Bosch CS10 7-1/4" Circ Saw.
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Other people have commented about a safety button to push. I don't particularly like them either. My Porter Cable circular saw has a great handle design though. The trigger has its own partition in the handle, so when you pick it up by the handle you don't pull the trigger. You can see this in pictures on the porter cable website.
One complaint I have is that the motor housing is low, making it difficult to use a speed square as a straight edge because the motor housing hits the lip of the speed square.
On Aug 14, 8:26 am, "Thomas G. Marshall"

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Chris said something like:

...[rip]...
That's the problem I have with my B&D, though I can move it out of the way by adjusting the blade depth, but only for 1 1/2 " cuts or less. The speed squares I have and have seen have too tall a lip on them anyway, IMHO. And there really ought to be two squares, with the lip only on one side so there is nothing on the top side to bang into (one with the lip going one way, the other with it going the other way).
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wrote in message

7 inch is the standard size.

Check out Porter Cable, Milwaukee, Makita, Skil Worm drive (NOT the standard circular saw), and Dewalt. The new kid on the block is Hilti. No comments on it.
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Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

All the skilsaws I know work that way. I make it a point to unplug the tool before changing blades or fiddling with it.
David Starr
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