Have been looking(online at Lowe's) at circular saws. Want to have a good
one with a finishing blade for cutting ply, and hardwood, rip and crosscut.
Going to be using it for miter cuts and ripping pieces of wood that would be
awkward at best on my smallish table saw. Work space also limits adding
support tables to TS. I have seen, online the DeWalt, Milwaukee, and PC. The
PC looks interesting with the dust port that I can rig to my portable DC. I
would like an easy to adjust shoe, which looks like the DW and the PC.
Sooo, any thoughts on this. I have an old Skilsaw that was my dad's, but
think I'll keep it for use on MDF and rough cutting. Thanks.
I've got the left-blade PC, and I'm happy with it. But I'm no expert... I
don't think I'd want to hook up the saw to a shop-vac or dust collector, as
I think having the extra hose would get in the way, and make it much more
awkward to cut. I use a Freud Diablo blade on mine, and it makes very nice
cuts on plywood.
Was down to Rockler's this morning and stopped by Lowe's on the way home to
look first hand. Overall I think I liked the PC the best. The shoe looked
better to me and was easily adjusted. Think I like the right blade tho,
altho never used the left blade. Your right bout the dust port, useless
perhaps, at least it has a cap on it. Too bad Rockler doesn't sell them. Got
a 25% off coupon for the Thanksgiving sale. Thanks for the reply.
I wouldn't call the dust port useless. It does a good job of directing the
flow of sawdust, which is especially useful outside (to make sure it doesn't
get blown back into your face). Even inside, it does a good job of
directing the flow of sawdust. Perhaps if you could get a small hose
(instead of the 2.5" one I've got on my vac) it would make more sense. And
if you were to join the power and vac hose together, maybe it wouldn't be so
bad. The saw does make a pretty awful mess when cutting plywood...
One thing I don't like about it is the lock for the blade (for when you're
taking off the blade). It's in a difficult place, and if you've got fat
fingers, you'll have issues, I think. But get one good blade, and it won't
be a big deal. :)
The shoe adjustments (height and tilt) are pretty good. I'd try the left
blade if you get a chance. My dad thought I was nuts for getting one
(seeing as I'm not left handed), but it seems to make it easier to see the
cut-line. You hold the saw with your right hand, and the blade is on the
side closest to you, not the opposite side. Give it a whirl, and see what
you think. Or buy it at HD, and you can exchange it if you don't like it.
I didn't have a lot of experience with the circular saws, so I didn't have a
lot of in-grained training to overcome. I told my dad that I bought the
left blade so he wouldn't borrow it, however, as he figured he get all
I have the blade on the left version of the PC saw and I love it. I am right
handed and with it I can see the cut line with no fuss. The dust port
isn't useless. When I'm outside I direct the flow of sawdust away from
me and about 90% of it goes that way (of course if the wind shifts it's
another story). Inside I connect the shopvac to it and it collects 99%
of the sawdust. The shopvac hose is manageable but it is bulky too,
so I bought the PC dust hose (PC #39332) while at the WW show
yesterday. It connects directly to the saw (and my 557 plate joiner
and 333VS sander) is 10' long and much lighter and more flexible than
the shopvac hose.
There is one downside to the blade on the left though. If you plug the
dust port you get more sawdust in your face than you would with the
blade on the right model.
I did pick up and hold the left blade, and it seemed to me it made it kinda
awkward grabbing the front knob on the saw with the dust port pulled up.
Maybe give it a closer look and better try next time I'm in there. Thanks.
There is a good thought- a LFT HANDED version. That way, you don't
have to lean over the saw to see what it is doing. Wish mine were all
On Sun, 16 Nov 2003 14:13:14 -0500 (EST), email@example.com
I bought a Porter Cable left hand.......it just made so much sense. The ease
of use of the foot, the balance, and I don't have to strain my old back
looking over and through to follow my cut line
Then I found a 6.5 Rigid in a left model, smaller, powerful. I won't go back
to right ever...........
I have a 10+ year old Black & Decker Super Saw Cat that I like a lot. It has a
unique depth adjustment that works a lot nicer than the pivoting shoe. Also
has good blade visibility for following a line. I think there is a yellow
Dewalt version of this same saw.
I had a Porter Cable SawBoss for a while, but I did not like it. I found it
hard to see the blade when trying to follow a line, it seemed to throw saw dust
in my eyes, and it just did not feel comfortable.
I also have several other saws that all have their places. A Skill worm drive
that I use for rough grunt work. Good for rough work, but it would not be
close to my first choice for any even marginally exacting work. A Dewalt
battery powered saw good for when I do not want to drag out and plug in a
bigger saw just to make a few cuts. Last, a Porter Cable trim saw (4.5" if I
recall correctly.) Worm drive much like the Skill, but compact, well balanced,
and a joy to use for smaller work.
My first choice would be the Festool. With the supplied guide, it's as
accurate as I care to make it with almost no chipping (on the guide side
of the cut). As a bonus, when used with a vacuum, there is almost no
dust to cleanup. (I bought the saw/guide/vacuum combination.)
BTW, the Festool is the third circular saw that I've bought. The first
two, a Makita hypoid and a Skil 77 Mag, are excellent saws, but more
suited to heavy-duty framing than to fine woodworking. With the proper
blade and guide, they would perform adequately; however, the Festool,
right out of the box, gave results equal to my Unisaw fitted with a zero
I have an old Milwaukee saw, but I have a $80 atb, 60 tooth blade on it. It
is used to cut off bottoms of doors and virtually nothing else. In other
words, it is the blade. Try - http://www.forrestblades.com/hiat.htm for
plywood. Try http://www.forrestblades.com/woodworker_1.htm for ply and fine
crosscuts. Try http://www.forrestblades.com/woodworker_2.htm for general
purpose cutting. The blade I have is similar to the Woodworker I and that
is the one I would suggest.
I use an friend's 10 year old makita. Works fine. I bought a $20 new
blade for it and use a zero-clearance insert. That was really the
key. I can cut plywood all day and get absolutly no tearout. With
just the new blade, I got tearout on the side of the plywood facing
up. I doubt any saw cabinet or otherwise could cut better. I
compared the cuts w/ my Bridgewood cabinet saw w/ a WWII on it and
could not tell the difference. Now granted, the blade won't last as
long as the WWII will, but still, it's all in the blade and insert.
I've a left-blade PC. I've a 40T freud blade ("Finishing") that I use
for sheet goods. With a good edge guide, it's plenty accurate, the time
sink being setup.
I also have a "cuts nails" blade that does an excellent job with
You'll want a set of horses so you're not bending continually. Also,
make sure your edge guide is wide enough to that the clamp you use
doesn't interfere with the motor housing.
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