I'm soon to begin constructing a ground level (i.e. 14" above ground) cedar
deck off the back of my house, and so right now I'm in the process of
determining all that I will need to purchase before I begin, including a few
new power tools. For example, the circular saw I have is okay for
occasional use but I dread using it for a whole project, so I want to buy
myself a considerably better one. Now, aside from value-per-price
considerations, what should I look for in shopping for a very-good to high
quality circular saw? And in particular, what should I make of "worm-drive"
versus the more common, "side-winder", type saws?
A couple of acquaintances of mine praise their worm-drives as being
inherently superior in every way to the ordinary (i.e. side-winder) type.
But I've noticed that these worm-drive saws are comparatively heavier (which
might not be ergonominally advantageous, I don't know). And the position of
the handles on these saws just looks (to my minds eye, at least) to be
awkward to handle and perhaps not intended for close, precision or finishing
Of course, since I haven't actually ever used a worm-drive saw, my untested
perceptions of it don't necessarily mean a thing. Hence, I'm posting this
message in the hopes someone might 'enlighten' me in this before I come to a
decision what to buy. Thanks in advance...
Got one of the Makita hypoid types about three years back - replace a 25
year old B&D. The handle design is more conducive to straight cuts with or
without fence, in my opinion. Saw doesn't jump when it starts like the old
one, and happily cuts whatever I feed it. Heavy it is, but that's not
always bad. I'd recommend it.
Think of it in terms of physics. With a sidewinder your hand is more
or less on top, and you have to control the motion of the saw in a
plane that's parallel to the base, making the saw prone to sideways
jiggling as you push it forward. This is aggravated by the lighter
weight of the saw. Another problem is that, if you're right handed,
you have to lean over the saw to watch the cut. With a worm drive,
your hand is at the back of the saw, pushing it forward, lessening the
jiggling tendency. The weight is to your advantage, because now you're
more or less "pushing" the tool through the work. And your eyes are on
the correct side of the blade to watch the cut. As far as the torquing
factor of the saw when you turn it on, the habit of turning it on with
the front of the base resting on the material while the blade is held
clear is very easy to acquire.
Well, Ken...Porter Cable makes a sidewinder where you CAN see the blade.
In fact, two identical saws, but mirror imaged. Look at those.
However, worm drives feel right to me, although it has been a long time
since I put in a whole day with one of those in my meathooks. They're a
bit heavy, but, let the wood you're cutting carry the saw. They are
easier to steer along a chalk-line, IMHO.
They are far easier to hang onto when a blade jams, and they don't jam
as often, 'cuz they got a lot more balls.
I like wormys.
Whatever blows up your skirt.
For something that is intended for use and abuse, you can't beat a worm
drive saw. In my years on construction, the Skil was the choice of 98%
of the carpenters I knew. To make straight cuts, use striaght edges,
and squares. They don't make as accurace cuts as chop saws, and table
saws, but if you have a good blade, and jigs, it comes close. Thin kerf
blades are nice, but for free hand cuts, you have to be very steady,
because the blades can flex while cutting.
I've got nothing but sidewinders. My two favorite are the Makita 15-amp
7-1/4" with electric brake (blade-right) and the PC 15-amp 7-1/4"
(blade left). If I need a nice straight line on a plywood panel or
ripping some lumber, out comes the saw guide. I still have an older
Ryobi that cuts well too. All have thin-kerf, carbide blades that
produce very clean cuts. They all cut faster than I can hold them to a
line, so I'm not waiting on the blade to do its work.
I picked up a Skill 77 worm drive used...and have never looked back. I cut
everything with that saw including finished cuts in plywood (with a good
blade). For me, there's no going back and I can't even be bothered to use
any other type of saw now.
"Ken Moiarty" < email@example.com> wrote in message
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