Are you using any kind of guide (e.g., speed square) with the saw? It's
fairly typical that the edge of the saw foot isn't exactly parallel to
the blade, which leads to burning when following a guide. If that's the
problem, freehand cutting should be OK.
Try removing the blade and laying it on a flat surface, first on one side
then on the other side, to check for possible warping due to overheating.
Does the blade have some sort of radial slots to resist such warping ? I
ran onto this problem once with a cheap carbide blade; the warp was
noticeable once the blade was dismounted.
Trust me (and several others), it's the blade. For whatever
reason--it's cheap, you hit a nail unbeknownst, or deus roboris doesn't
like you--the blade is dull. Do yourself a big favor and buy a good
thin-kerf Freud blade. They're only about $10 or so. Take the old blade
off, put on the Freud, use it on some wood...you will be happy.
Tell us how it works out.
Thanks to everyone for their input.
I was inclined to just pick up a new blade, but Home Depot was quite
eager to take their saw back and sell it to some other poor soul. So I
picked up a dewalt jigsaw and that finished the job no problem. It
takes about twice as long to make the cuts, but they are quite straight
and clean - and no problems with the blades
I had a similar situation to the original poster's, which also
involves a Skil circular saw and difficulty cutting things. Some
of my problem was just getting the cuts set-up properly so that the
wood did not bind. But ultimately the biggest problem was having
crappy blades on the saw. I replaced what I had been using with
the Freud 7 1/4" blade available at Home Depot and that made a world
of difference. It made so much difference that it felt like having
a whole new and different saw.
Could be the saw. I had an inexpensive craftsman saw that did just
what you describe. Finally got fed up with it and threw it in the
trash and went out and got a decent Porter Cable saw. Couldn't believe
the difference -- cut true and cut like butter.....
Just for the sake of discussion - what difference does the saw make? It
doesn't. Assuming a couple of things that have not been previously
If the motor is not lugging down on a basic cut, then the motor has enough
power. It will work.
If the shoe and the blade are not aligned it will only matter when using an
edge guide. Free hand sawing will be unaffected. It will work.
If the blade is a piece of junk it will not cut and it will burn wood. It
will not work, but this is not a fault of the saw - cheap or not. You can
put a piece of junk blade on my Milwaukee and it will burn wood just like
the cheap saw.
The saw may indeed be poorly built and it may vibrate a lot in your hand, it
may not last very long as sleeves wear quickly, and it may be of really poor
balance. Those are all good reasons to buy a better tool, but with a good
blade even a cheap "piece of junk" will cut wood just fine. I've had to cut
wood with too many lesser saws to be quick to blame bad cutting on the saw.
One of the best saws I ever owned was the cheapest Black and Decker 5 1/2
inch saws that I inherited. The thing was as poorly built as a saw gets.
It certainly would not have stood up to the rigors of being bumped around,
thrown in the back of a contractor's truck. Flat out, it was not a saw I
would ever have given $5 for. But... I put a decent blade on it and it
immediately became one of the handiest tools in my collection. Very
maneuverable - much more handy to hold onto than my Milwaukee. Quick, clean
cuts. In short, for a few years it was the handiest saw I could ask for.
As it goes with cheap tools, it didn't enjoy the longevity of life that a
good tool will and it's now rotting away in the land fill, but it sure was a
good tool for a while.
My ability to tune the craftman was minimal due inexpensive thin metal
construction -- it was difficult to keep the thing in alignment for
any period of time. I did not have the time or energy to tune it for
every cut. I guess it depends on the tool.
Mike Marlow wrote:
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