New circular saw help....

Looking to purchase a new circular saw (my cheap Skil just aint cuttin it anymore, want to relegate it to concrete/masonry only).
Im not a pro, just a DIY-er. I was looking at a left blade Milwaukee because Ive heard its a good deal for value, performance, weight, etc. I played with a Bosch 1677MD at Lowes today, and Im rethinking my Milwaukee decision. Granted it is heavier, but with the second handle it seemed a lot easier to lug around, line up, etc.
So I guess Im asking if there are any non-pros out there that felt a heavier worm drive worked out better than a sidewinder. I was thinking the sidewinder as more of a "multi purpose" saw, and the worm drive as more of a framing/construction saw, but Im not so sure after holding one vs a sidewinder. I do some panel cutting for projects, but mostly it would be used for decking, 2x4s here and there, etc (i.e. Im not building a house or an addition :) ).
Thanks in advance.
-Chris
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I have a left blade Milwaukee. I made a cutting guide for it and use it extensively for cutting panels. Works great.
Max
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Chris, Before you buy a worm-drive saw, find a way to use one (any make) to actually cut a board. The start-up torque of a worm drive causes it to twist in your hand in a way that I find very disconcerting. I used one for a few cuts and was glad to get back to the familiar feel of a sidewinder. Maybe it was all because I always used sidewinders before. I know that worm-drives have many devoted fans, but I think a do-it-yourselfer will find any of the pro-quality sidewinders to be quite adequate.
DonkeyHody "In theory, theory and practice are the same, but in practice, they are not."
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On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 18:07:42 -0700, DonkeyHody

The only people (as in a defined group) I have seen using a worm drive were form setters. I was told all their cuts were below waist/downhill and the weight/power of the saw increased the speed of the cut.
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" snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com" wrote:

I think worms are great, the next one I buy will be a worm. but I make money in construction (trim carpentry mostly) and I find it easier to use than a side. Another consideration is cost, worms cost more and you have to decide if the extra cost is worth it. The biggest advantage to a side as I see it is it is usually shorter and can allow you to work in tighter spots. And you may not like the worm (some don't), if you don't you'll regret the extra you spent.
ron
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If you're a righty, and you decide on a sidewinder, I suggest you stick to your original idea of getting a left-blade saw. I have a PC left blade and it's real nice to be able to see the cut line without leaning over the saw.
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Chris, I have used both. It's kind of like comparing a framing hammer to a plain nail knocker. The worm gear is a much heavier unit. But it's additional torque can come in handy with green decking woods. With the right blade it will plough through lumber all day long... However as stated above it become the boxer at the formal dance. I rely on my PC sidewinder for about 85% of my cuts. To make you purchase worth while, get the right blade for the task. Good luck
Paul

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I have the LH Porter Cable and a RH Makita sidewinder. Both are 15 amp professional-grade saws.
The LH PC tends to throw more wood chips toward my face, so eye/face protection is a must, but it is easier to see the cutline. The RH Makita is arranged such that I can see where the blade is following the chalk line and it is a very smooth saw.
I cut 3/4" treated plywood regularly with both and they do just fine. When I use a saw guide or shoot board, the accuracy is incredible.
On Sun, 08 Jul 2007 23:55:35 -0000, " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have the Skill 77 mag saw, I wouldn't claim particularly heavy use but when the original was stolen I wouldn't consider replacing it with anything other than the same. I much prefer it for panel/plywood cutting over my older sidewinder, it runs very strait and true, I think the weight is a strong advantage. For whacking 2x4's the weight and size might be a slight disadvantage, doesn't bother me personally but nor do I ever do it all day long. For what it is worth usually in the fall Costco sells the mag version $20+ cheaper than the Borg. Rod
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Not sure why you are deciding t trsh the skill saw - you didn't explain.
I've gotten by (built decks, re-built entire houses, etc) with whatever"skill" saw I had around.
Never one to send big bucks if there was an alternative. Have an old Craftsman or two annd one with a nice thick aluminum base plate.
Bought a reconditioned Craftsman worm drive ten years ago - love the extra power an weight when cutting two by decking and such.
Best advice I've seen here is the "pick the right blade(s)" (and keep them sharp) for the job at hand. There are some very nice thin kerf carbide blades out.
Nothing makes a sick Skill happier than a brand new thin kerf carbide blade.
Looking to purchase a new circular saw (my cheap Skil just aint cuttin

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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Don't know why you would take an (apparently) underpowered saw and think that would be the ticket for an even harder job than lumber, but...

For DIY'er I'd think lighter --> better unless your panel-cutting is with the saw set up in one of the panel guides/frames.
IMO the Skil 77 mag is still w/o peer for worm.
There are a number of sidewinders that are capable, pick one that feels good to you. In particular, make sure the handle is sized so that you can grip it and reach the switch/lock comfortably. Particularly if your hands are either somewhat small or very large, many of the designs are very lacking in ergonomics. I'm on the small end of that...
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Since you are upgrading I strongly suggest you tale a look at the Festool Circle saw. It really produces table saw quality cuts and comes with a straight edge that requires no clamps to make straight cuts. A bit pricey but you may end up kicking your self if you do not look at it before buying.
Keep in mind also that while a left blade enables you to see the cutting line if holding the saw with your right hand, the left blade is intended for a left handed user. The right hand is intended for a right handed user. If you can see the blade while sawing you will also see the splinters coming back at you . The Festool eliminates the need to look at the blade to cut a precisely placed straight line. Used with a vacuum you can saw inside your house and not have any clean up.
www.festoolusa.com

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-If you can see the blade while sawing you will also see the splinters coming back at you .
The LH PC has a dust chute that plugs into the top of the saw so you can direct the splinters towards your workmate.
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Yes many saws have this feature to divert the majority of debris away however more than a comfortable amount still comes up in your face.
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