Recommendation For First Circular Saw

Christmas is coming. I'm considering buying a circular saw for my daughter. She's 26.
Other than a drill, this will be her first real power tool. I have a Porter Cable 743 left blade which I love. I'd buy her the same saw but it's no longer available, other than used. Same for the 843 which I believe is the same saw but with a brake. Same issue with PC 424 MAG, another saw in that same line. (I think).
So, if I can't get what I'm familiar with, I'm looking for suggestions for decent left blade circular saw. A brake would be great.
No, she is not going to start framing houses, at least not right away. ;-) All I know really know is that she wants to start doing some woodworking and was wondering what type of "first saw" she should get. She also mentioned cutting up some pallets to make a compost bin.
Any thoughts? Thanks!
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On Sat, 8 Dec 2018 18:49:48 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

I gave my Dewalt rear pivot saw (nice saw) to my son and have been looking for a replacement. I think I've settled on the Bosch CS10 magnesium shoe. I've knocked several saws out of square and the Bosch seems to have a pretty solid pivot mechanism. It's a RH saw, however. Bosch also has the CS5, which is a LH saw but has a steel shoe. It's a bit more expensive ($116 vs. $99 at Lowes).
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On Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 10:23:39 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@notreal.com wrote:

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$116 is nothing, relatively speaking,
The 743’s on eBay start at $150 and go up to (gasp) $250. I think I paid $170ish 15ish years ago.
I know PC isn't the same PC as it used to be and my Bosch glide miter saw i s pretty good, so maybe the CS5 isn't a bad idea. Too bad my daughter's partner is left ha nded. The saw will be for both of them, but my daughter's handness wins.
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On Sat, 8 Dec 2018 20:12:40 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

Prices have come down considerably, particularly given the value of money. There hasn't been much improvement done to these things either. The engineering was paid for long ago. But if you want to spend more, there's always Festool. ;-)

They're cheap. Buy both. ;-)
Seriously, I've looked at a lot of them recently and the Bosch seemed to be the best (Hitachi isn't bad either). At least my circular saws always get a beating (falling off sawhorses and such) so the mechanics is important to me. The only thing I didn't like about the CS5 was the steel shoe.
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On Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 8:49:51 PM UTC-6, DerbyDad03 wrote:

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Guess I'd suggest you abandon the circular saw thought. A drill makes sens e. Its very useful for lots of situations. Hopefully it was cordless. I have and use electric drills frequently, but only in special situations. C ordless drill for 90+% of tasks. Back to saws. If it has to be an electri c, powered saw, then I'd suggest a jigsaw. Can't get hurt, its not dangero us. Like a drill, a beginner with no knowledge at all can operate a jigsaw and not get hurt. It does not cut straight or smooth like a circular saw. But cutting up pallets for a compost bin it would be perfect. And with c ircular saws, the wood needs to be stationary and clamped down to make a go od, safe cut. And you need a guide too. I know construction crews make f reehand cuts in midair with circular saws. But they have a lot more skill and daring than your daughter. Or me.
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On Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 10:17:46 PM UTC-6, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wr ote:

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nse. Its very useful for lots of situations. Hopefully it was cordless. I have and use electric drills frequently, but only in special situations. Cordless drill for 90+% of tasks. Back to saws. If it has to be an elect ric, powered saw, then I'd suggest a jigsaw. Can't get hurt, its not dange rous. Like a drill, a beginner with no knowledge at all can operate a jigs aw and not get hurt. It does not cut straight or smooth like a circular sa w. But cutting up pallets for a compost bin it would be perfect. And with circular saws, the wood needs to be stationary and clamped down to make a good, safe cut. And you need a guide too. I know construction crews make freehand cuts in midair with circular saws. But they have a lot more skil l and daring than your daughter. Or me.
To add some more to my post. I've rebuilt a few houses and done some const ruction work in my life. But the first, and only circular saw I have is a Festool track saw. When I was doing some construction and remodeling house s, I never needed a circular saw. A jigsaw, reciprocating saw, or manual h andsaw worked fine for cutting wood. I had a table saw too. Unless you ar e a house framer, cutting studs or sheathing on the spot, a circular saw is n't a useful saw.
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On Sat, 8 Dec 2018 20:17:43 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

I'd second the vote for a jigsaw. It's just a more versatile tool. But get her a good one. While the barrel-grip Bosch are very good if she has small hands she might prefer a top-handle.
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On Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 5:38:41 AM UTC-5, J. Clarke wrote:

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ense. Its very useful for lots of situations. Hopefully it was cordless. I have and use electric drills frequently, but only in special situations. Cordless drill for 90+% of tasks. Back to saws. If it has to be an elec tric, powered saw, then I'd suggest a jigsaw. Can't get hurt, its not dang erous. Like a drill, a beginner with no knowledge at all can operate a jig saw and not get hurt. It does not cut straight or smooth like a circular s aw. But cutting up pallets for a compost bin it would be perfect. And wit h circular saws, the wood needs to be stationary and clamped down to make a good, safe cut. And you need a guide too. I know construction crews mak e freehand cuts in midair with circular saws. But they have a lot more ski ll and daring than your daughter. Or me.

I agree about getting a good one. As I mentioned to Russell, I recently replaced a POS jig saw with a Bosch JS470E. What a difference paying three times as much makes. ;-) Well worth it.
I'll check her hand size next time I see her. ;-)
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On 12/8/2018 11:17 PM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I third the suggestion to abandon the saw. I got a good deal on a circular saw about 10 years ago. I though I was going to use it for some minor house repairs. It turned out those were done as part of a larger contracted repair and the saw never used. Today it the saw is in the original packaging.
While the jig saw does not have the Tim-The-Tool-man glamor, I vote for a jig saw, as it does most of the cutting need by the average home owner.
If you would like to get and additional gift I would look at a good battery powered screw driver with a large selection of bits. ie differ screw drive bits, a selection of nut driver bits, some Allen wrench, and torque type bits. They will use that nearly every time they have to remove a screw .
While it will not be used as much as the power screw drive I would also consider a Dremel type tool with a full complement of bits. What the jig saw or power screw drive can not do the Dremel with the appropriate bit will.
.
--
2018: The year we learn to play the great game of Euchre

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On Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 8:32:21 AM UTC-5, keith snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wr ote:

sense. Its very useful for lots of situations. Hopefully it was cordless. I have and use electric drills frequently, but only in special situations . Cordless drill for 90+% of tasks. Back to saws. If it has to be an ele ctric, powered saw, then I'd suggest a jigsaw. Can't get hurt, its not dan gerous. Like a drill, a beginner with no knowledge at all can operate a ji gsaw and not get hurt. It does not cut straight or smooth like a circular saw. But cutting up pallets for a compost bin it would be perfect. And wi th circular saws, the wood needs to be stationary and clamped down to make a good, safe cut. And you need a guide too. I know construction crews ma ke freehand cuts in midair with circular saws. But they have a lot more sk ill and daring than your daughter. Or me.

While I appreciate the response, your reason for "abandoning" the circular saw appears to be based on your very specific situation.
In a nutshell, you were going to use the saw to repair something then decid ed to pay someone to do it for you. Sure, there was more to the situation than that, but that's so far removed from "cutting up some pallets" that it just doesn't apply.

Is that what you use? What model did you buy?

Not a bad idea, but the request was worded has "We'd like to try some woodworking projects." Her cordless drill can be used for both woodworking and repairs. She already uses for repairs.

Also a good idea.
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On 12/9/2018 9:12 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I did not abandon the saw it is just that I never found a use for it. (Most of the work I do is on my table saw making picture stretcher and and frames.)

I can not answer you question right now for too reason. One the jig saw is in the shop, and its cold out there ;-) and two the jig saw was one of the first power tools I bought over 50 years ago and I am still using it. I have no idea what brand it is, and If I did it is probably out of business.

Does she have a good set of hand tools? Many times when people think of wood working the first things they think about is power tools. However a good miter box and saw are essential. My first miter box was a Stanley which I still use on occasion. For small items it works better than the table saw. Also for one off cuts where you want precision.
While it has not been mentioned a power miter box would be a good power tool for a beginner.
A good set of chisels is essential. Squares I use thee a Tri square, Combination square and a speed square
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Swanson-Speed-Square-Pencil-Tape-Measure-Tool-Value-Pack-S0101SPT/301793096?MERCH=REC-_-PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-301727940-_-301793096-_-N https://www.rockler.com/6-tri-miter-square-by-crown-hand-tools https://www.rockler.com/igaging-12-combination-square
Don't forget clamps.     One on the ones I use most is the speed clamps http://www.leevalley.com/us/wood/page.aspx?p1162&cat=1,43293,31162
I use them mostly for picture frames, but have used them to repair a bed, make table tops, boxes, etc.
--
2018: The year we learn to play the great game of Euchre

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On Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 10:00:11 AM UTC-5, keith snipped-for-privacy@sbcglobal.net wrote:

Your words: "I third the suggestion to abandon the saw."
I took that to mean "abandon the saw" as far as buying one for my daughter. That is what I was responding to. Since you agreed with abandoning the saw as far as a purchase, and then listed the reason you never used yours in the same paragraph, it appeared that your reason for not using it was justification for me not buying one for my daughter. If your situation was just a nice story to tell, a simple line feed would have removed any confusion. ;-)

I considered that but she has no place to set up a miter saw at this point. They rent a small house on a farm in Vermont. Lots of open space (lots!) but no usable basement and no garage. Besides, it's hard to cut a pallet with a miter saw. (joke!) Yes, a small miter saw is more or less portable, but they aren't light and carrying it in and out of the house every time she wants to use it would seriously limit it's actual use. BTDT

She does have some hand tools, including clamps, a square, etc. I'm not sure chisels are "essential" for what she has planned, but they are not bad idea.
Bottom line is that she can't use too many of her hand tools until she cuts the woods to size, thus the request for a saw.
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On Sun, 9 Dec 2018 06:12:25 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03

But cutting pallet wood would be an all-weekend jib with the dremel.
I have 1 sabre saw (jigsaw) One Sawzall, 3 circular saws, a "dremel" and a oscilating tool (festool style "stryker" saw) as well as 3 different routers, 3 power drills, 3 lithium cordless drills, a drill-press and a metalcutting lathe. Also a belt sander, a vibrating sander,and a "power file" - - - - Yes, I have more circular saws than I need - the little Rockwell is the handiest, but the big millwaukee 8.25 inch comes in handy for heavier jobs - and I can't bring myself to get rid of the big Skill worm-saw - which will outcut anything short of a chain-saw. (oh - I have 2 of them too - - - ) One router is on a small router table, one is on a circle cutting jig, and the other is loose for miscalanious small jobs. The sawzall is good for demolition work and also as a power hacksaw.
And oh yes - I have a battery operated jig saw, "sawzall" and drill in the basement with dead NiCads that I've kept around figuring I could run them off a 12 volt car battery in a pinch --- Really just taking up space I could really make better use of - - -
One of the handiest power hand tools is my newly aquired cordless impact driver - use as power screwdriver or light duty impact wrench. Also have both air and electric 1/2 inch impacts - - -
Seems youcan't have too many tools - - - -
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On Saturday, December 8, 2018 at 11:17:46 PM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Yeah, I'm torn between a jig saw and a circular saw. My brain says a decent jig saw is enough for now, but I've used my 743 so much more than any jig saw I've owned that I'm biased. [Or is it my heart that says a jig saw is enough? I'm always confused by which one is talking to me. ;-) ]
When I look at a pallet (yes, we're being very specific here) I see the deck boards that a jig saw is perfect for, then I see the stringers which probably require a circular saw to cut to size. Then, when I think about them building a shelf or even a book case, I can see a jig saw eventually getting it done, but a circular getting it done so much quicker/easier. Thus my torn-ness.
BTW I recently replaced a POS jig saw with a Bosch JS470E. What a difference paying three times as much makes. ;-) Well worth it.
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The circular saw will give you a quick and accurate cut with square edges, while the jigsaw will take a lot longer to get the same square edges. Jigsaw blades by their very nature tend to deflect as you try to cut faster so you have to run the tool very slowly to get square edges. Even a good saw with good blades will do that.
For most of my home projects, square edges and a reasonable cut speed trumps the flexibility of a jigsaw.
Puckdropper
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On Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 11:34:28 AM UTC-5, Puckdropper wrote:

Those were my thoughts exactly and the main reason I have spend countless hours behind a circular saw and only grabbed the jig saw in very limited situations.
I have a table saw, miter saw, band saw, circular saw and jig saw. The table and miter saws are 1A and 1B as far as hours of use. The jig saw is so far down the list that it can't even see the other saws. ;-)
That said, I'm still not sure that a jig saw isn't the best saw as a "first saw". If tools weren't so "job specific" the choice would be easy. :-(
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On 12/9/2018 11:34 AM, Puckdropper wrote:

Correct. Jig saws are for cutting curved lines, circular saws for straight lines. Get the right tool for the job.
I highly recommend a circular saw with a laser guide that makes cutting LONG straight lines easy for beginners and anyone w/o a track saw. Not needed for pallets though.
For pallets, I recommend getting her tools for ripping the pallets apart, such as a pallet buster and something to remove nails and staples. Once ripped apart, and nails/staples removed, she can use any cheap saw to cut them up.
https://tinyurl.com/yafdfc6k
(Amazon.com product link shortened) 25&creative5953&creativeASIN0IZRUUKU
If she wears this one out, she can buy a good one, I like my Makita 5007MG Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw except it doesn't have the mandatory laser sight. I don't own the $50 saw listed above, but for $50, it should last enough to get a compost bin built.
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I forgot the other saw I have that I find very usefull - my mitre/chop saw. It's not a sliding compound miter saw which would be even handier

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On Sat, 8 Dec 2018 20:17:43 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com"

A sawzall would be better for pallets - and a jigsaw is most certainly far from idiotproof - or "safe"
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On Sunday, December 9, 2018 at 3:07:51 PM UTC-5, Clare Snyder wrote:

hter.

orter

o longer

me saw

line.

for

;-)

ng

ense. Its very useful for lots of situations. Hopefully it was cordless. I have and use electric drills frequently, but only in special situations. Cordless drill for 90+% of tasks. Back to saws. If it has to be an elec tric, powered saw, then I'd suggest a jigsaw. Can't get hurt, its not dang erous. Like a drill, a beginner with no knowledge at all can operate a jig saw and not get hurt. It does not cut straight or smooth like a circular s aw. But cutting up pallets for a compost bin it would be perfect. And wit h circular saws, the wood needs to be stationary and clamped down to make a good, safe cut. And you need a guide too. I know construction crews mak e freehand cuts in midair with circular saws. But they have a lot more ski ll and daring than your daughter. Or me.

I could lend her my reciprocating saw - she's already used it to help me cu t up a sofa bed mechanism - but it's way too limited in its "woodworking" applications. Woodwrecking, sure, but probably not a saw she needs to own.
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