Right Blade, Left Blade

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I guess that all those skil 77 guys must all be left handed then... No dust in your face means you aren't looking where you are cutting :-) j
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My partner and I do lotsa fences. Trimming posts to the same height puts the saw above my head or at eye level and trimming pickets the length of the fence even with the top rail so that another top tail can be added.
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Leon said:

Oh. I would get the lighter Makita worm drive. Dave
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(that is, the side with the motor) should be on the side of the board that is supported. Normally, this is the finished side, supported by sawhorses, boards, or whatever, so that it doesn't fall when the cut is complete. If you have the waste piece supported *also*, then it doesn't matter which side of the cut the motor is on.

-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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Wrong. After making untold thousands of cuts with both, sidewinders and real construction saws (worm drive), I can tell you for a fact, you should NEVER support both sides! Serious kick back can and most certainly will occur should you try this. Anyone who has ever made a living cutting lumber will tell you to leave one side free to fall off. As for the weight issue, if a 2x4 or whatever is cross cut, the saw will rest on the side that is supported and not fall with the fall off, the weight is not an issue if the sawyer holds onto the saw.
See my response to Leon.
To the OP, the majority of saws are left side blades. That's a fact.
Dave
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"Can occur", perhaps. "Most certainly will occur", absolute nonsense. That means it would happen every time, and my own experience contradicts that. The only way that supporting both sides could cause a kickback is if they are not supported equally, causing the blade to be pinched.

Hmmm.... how come radial arm saws support both sides of the cut? I've seen a lot of guys in lumber yards using radial arm saws to cut lumber to length - presumably they're making their living cutting lumber - and I haven't seen an RAS yet with a provision for the waste to fall off.

Do you mean that when you crosscut a 2x4, you're holding the *entire* weight of the saw, with *none* of it resting on the board?
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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snip

Who said anything about a RAS or other saws designed to support the wood. A circular saw is supported by the wood.

Nope. Maybe a visual will help. A 10' 2x4 needs to be 9'. A line is made at the 9' mark. The 2x4 is setting on a set of sawhorses spaced 5' apart. A 15" section is extending past one of the sawhorses, unsupported. With your left hand, you are holding the 9' section down and with your right hand you grab your trusty left blade saw and slice the line off. The small, unsupported piece falls safely to the ground, the saw is still on the 9' section. You then remove the saw from the now 9' 2x4.
Dave
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TeamCasa wrote:

Gentlmen,
This is EXACTLy the kind of post I was looking for, before I bought the PC 423 (blade left) and eventually, the 324 (blade right). I sincerely appreciate the spirited discussion. I was thinking I was the only one scratching my head, but it appears I'm not alone. There is some confusion.
I followed your logic and your visual all the way to the end. But with the PC 423 (blade left) saw, the unsupported piece falls to the ground, with the saw. The weight of the motor, forces the saw off the board. I suppose it's possible to hold it up, but once it's start to slip off, there is very little shoe holding it up.
Having said that...you realize, I'm talking sidewinder here, not worm gear. Your visual may well be correct, with the worm gear.
As far as my particular saw goes, it appears that Leon found the answer in the owners manual (but who reads those...right?). It clearly says, hold in LEFT hand.
I'm not saying anybody is wrong, but it struck me as odd, that so many right handed people liked the blade left saw. It just did not feel comfortable to me, when cutting anything other than sheet.
Again gentlemen, I thank you for your opinions and suggestions. I am grateful.
I have the blade right PC 324...and feel comfortable again.
Thank you
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I suspect that a lot of right handed people like the left because you can see the blade and cut line easier. BUT that is a more dangerous situation than having the blade outside the width of your body. As for as the Wormdrive is concerned, most are left bladed but IMHO since they are "heavy" and most people are right handed the right hand more easily would grab the weighted end of the saw and the left hand hold the trigger end. More than likely many framers use it in the opposite fashion, and I have seen framers remove the guards. Typically if you are right handed, cutting a 2x4 to length is naturally easier going from right to left to make the mark. Pull the tape with your left hand and mark the line with your right hand. Since cutting from the left end of the board would be the natural next step, use a left hand saw.
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Anyone care to argue about re-wiring a circ saw for 220?!!!
(This refers to an earlier post of mine...I inquired about re-wiring my jointer for 220 and five or six guys practically got in a knife fight.)

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Mark Cooper wrote:

But to be fair they DID brandish 12" planer knives off a DeWalt.
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Can you just imangine how it would have looked had they been brandishing helical knives?

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Mark Cooper wrote:

Whirling Dervishes, or is that Dervi?
Bunch a crazy cut-ups!
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So are you saying that when you are working on a $100 piece of plywood and want to cut it to rough size by cutting 3' off of one end that you let the 3', $37 piece fall to the ground?
http://media.ptg-online.com/20050103080845_En912490-01-04-04.pdf
Take a look here at the Porter Cable site and owners manual from the OP's saw and see how it shows to support both sides of a cut. I too have made a WHOLE buncha cuts ;:~) with a portable circle saw and have not had a problem supporting both sides when setting up properly. Done with a worm drive it may be a scarey thing. BUT, the worm drives are not in question here. The OP is concerned about a sidewinder.

Maybe on the Left coast but just about anywhere else, walk into any store selling portable circle saws you will find the right handed ones and the few left ones will be displayed and stocked in about the same proportions as right handed and left handed people.

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Leon said

Nope. I was not talking about plywood sheets, just lumber. And the OP was concerned about left vs right cutting saws not sidewinder vs worm drives.

Leon said

Maybe at Wal-Mart. However, facts are stubborn things. Left side blade saws are more popular. Each manufacture will tell you that. And if you are correct, why do the saw manufacturers only make left side cordless versions? (At least I haven't seen any right side ones.)
Dave
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Nope, the OP is talking specifically about the PC 423 Left hand Sidewinder.
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LOL, ;~) I don't shop at Walmart, I shop many places and even considering all the places that sell to the trades, the right hand is the predominent one that I see. If you work in a location or region that the trades use worm drive I can see your point. But in Texas I can honestly say that I have never seen any one use a worm drive. Now, Swingman and I live relative close to each other but he is the first person that I know of that uses a worm drive. I have worked for a builder and make my living in the wood working industry so my experience here is not shadowed or limited. Side winders are mostly what are used here and most are right bladed.
However, facts are stubborn things. Left side blade saws

I am clueless with an answer to that one but then I am pretty clueless why a cordless circle saw was even produced.
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Pat Barber wrote:

Pat (or someone),
I value your advice tremendously, so please be patient with me.
The question I have now is, two people have said, "You are doing it wrong" and that I have to switch methods. Are you saying that I need to become left handed?
Because, if I understand you, you are saying that I need to have the motor over the "good" peice (not the waste). If so, I'd have to have the saw in my left hand right (cutting on the left end of the board)? And I'm not left handed.
Honestly....is this some kind of ongoing joke that I'm just not getting? Or am I missing something?
I've read lots of forums where people seem to "get used" to it (blade left saws - specifically, PC 423MAG). But I have a hard time believing that the wood doesn't bind up, or that you don't have trouble controlling the end of the cut, when the weight of the saw begins drop the waste peice. And using the saw in my left hand, cutting on the left side of the board feels akward. But I don't believe I could ever get used to being left handed...can I?
Again, I value your opinion....thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Not necessarily. If you're going to use a blade-left saw, then you need to make cuts at the left end of the board. You can do this holding the saw right-handed, but it is probably more convenient, and *definitely* more safe, to do with the left hand. Your call.

Well, you *could* hold it in your right hand, cutting at the left end of the board. But it's awkward, you'll get chips in your face, and you're at a *much* higher risk of a leg injury if the saw slips or kicks back.

Then you should probably use a blade-right saw.

No jokes. If you're right-handed, you're better off with a blade-right saw; vice versa if you're a lefty.

You *do* have problems like that when the weight of the saw begins to drop the waste piece. That's why you should *never* use a circular saw with its weight on the waste piece.

Maybe. Some folks can, some can't. I played table tennis competitively when I was in high school, and I knew this older, left-handed guy who was a superb player, with a USTTA Class "A" rating (you can look it up - that's *really* good). That is, I always *assumed* he was left-handed, because that's the way he played, until one day I saw him sign his name on something - *right*-handed. So of course I asked for the story... seems he'd had severe bursitis in his right shoulder ten years earlier, and his doctor told him he'd have to stop playing table tennis if he didn't want to lose the use of his arm. He decided that wasn't acceptable. So he learned to play left-handed. Starting at the age of forty.
As far as hand-held circular saws go, though, I'd have to say it's a lot easier to just get a blade-right saw if you're right-handed.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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wrote:

I have always used a "blade-left" saw and I'm right-handed. It is not a problem. Don't over-think this.
-j
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