I'm looking for ideas for a good quality circular saw. I'm just
getting started with woodworking, and aren't looking for the top of
the line--but something good, with the right features, that'll last
I'm likely to buy a new one, but will also peruse Ebay to see whats
there as well.
Also, what features/amps/size/etc do you feel are necessary? Until I
purchase a table saw, this'll be it for now.
Lastly...best brand recommendations?
All advice is appreciated!
On 1 Jan 2004 21:47:49 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave) wrote:
Screw the features, shop for brands. There aren't many features on
one saw rather than another, but there is a variation in manufacturer
I won;t suggest brands, as you're American and I'm not familiar with
the locals. But the mid-range Skil Legend / Classic is a good saw for
that size range, and the thumb lift for the guard is neat.
Like all saws, they're only a motor to turn the blade. Look seriously
at blade quality, because that's what really matters. A selection of
blades is important if this is your only saw; rip, crosscut and
Congrats to STBL on his elevation from TLA to ETLA
One very useful feature is a dynamic brake- wouldn't be without it.
Well-balanced motor with good torque characteristic from start (don't
jump about) to full load is also a very good thing (TM M. Stewart.)
You really want to try before buy, if possible.
Some (notice I said _some_) of the Skil saws sold here in the USofA
are purely disposable PsOS. Need more than brand to go by. (Like,
model and today's price.)
You will not go wrong with the Porter Cable or the Dewalt. I have a 10 year
old Porter Cable that is great. There is no detectable end play or run out
in the blade. The weak points in such saws can be the bearings (avoid one
with bushings) and obviously the motor. Don't pay much attention to the
advertised horsepower, but look at the rated amps. IIRC, the PC is an 11 amp
Hitachi has been putting out some of the highest amp rated tools recently. I
have a Hitachi bayonet saw (sawzall) that is a 13 amp too;. It has been a
good tool. I would not be afraid of their circular saw.
Do NOT "screw the features"!! Take them into account & take them seriously.
Look for a good heavy base plate (shoe). Look for a decent amp rating on
the motor. Look to see how the machine feels in you hand(s). Look to see
where the dust shoots out from. Look at everything, for that matter --
including price! Is a left blade more comfortable to you than a right
blade? Does that even matter?
I recently found a Hitachi C7SB2 saw at Lowes that met all my essential
requirements and just happened to fall right on the price line sweet point.
Despite that butt-ugly pseudo-fluorescent green Hitachi uses, I bought the
saw to replace my old department-store-class Skil. The Hitachi is a keeper
(and was a fair buy at $85).
My old thirty-dollar department-store Skil has gone through abuse and misuse
from day one eight years ago. I've dropped it. I've cut down concrete
columns with it. I've butchered lumber and sheet goods with it. I hate that
saw. The damned thing won't die. I really do hate it, I do my best to kill
it. It will _not_ die!
Who cares about what type of bearings are in it?
(They certainly can't be of any importance when the damn saw keeps on
working in spite of every effort to kill it!)
Yeah, I've got one of those.
A contractor gave me for free (he was going to dump it in the trash) one
of those cheap little benchtop table saws. I put a diamond masonary
blade in it and used it to cut paving stones for my driveway (cast
cement about 3 inches thick). It's a big driveway, about 70 feet long.
The herringbone pattern I did required a block to be cut along each edge
on almost every row. That's a lot of cement to be cut, and it made a
huge mess of abrasive dust.
I was done up with respirator, face mask, and hearing protectors, but
the poor saw just sucked in all that dust and kept going. I expect by
now the bearings are total trash, but the saw wouldn't die.
Well, as with chain saws, the "theory" has been that you don't wnt the cut
in front of your body, so that if something does jump you're not the first
thing in the way. Having had off-cuts go whizzing by my head, I will vouch
that this applies to table saws, too.
I don't understand how Tim's comment about kickback applies to a hand held
circular saw. In all of them that I have used, the part of the blade that
does the cutting is moving away from the operator. The sawdust chute is a
different issue. You do want to make sure that this is pointed away from the
Back to the original question - I am right handed and prefer left mounted
blades. This gives me better visibility of the cut. With a right mounted
blade, I feel that I have to lean over to see what is happening. Also, the
left mount blade gives better support for the saw in the way I frequently
use one, which is with the work piece supported on saw horses or a work
table and the smaller cutoff portion sticking out to the left where I can
hold it with my left hand. That way, the saw base rides on the portion that
I have never had that happen, but see how it is possible.
However, you deleted the part that I was responding to where the previous
poster talked about Cut-offs flying past your head. That is what I was
responding to. If a cut-off does go flying, it is much more likely to go
away from you.
For me, the motor is usually in the way unless I lean way over the top of
the saw or get way off to the side. But with a left-hand blade, I can see
most of the saw line and where the saw is currently.
Different strokes - the point is to understand your own patterns of work and
pick tools that fit your style.
I knew a guy that this happened to. He was a contractor & worked with the
guard pinned because it saved time. (Bad Idea.) A pinch, a flip, and ....
Years later he still didn't have much grip in that hand.
a couple of years ago I think it was someone posted here about a
skilsaw kickback death. the jobsite was rural and kind of far from
emergency services. the saw got the guy in the big artery in the
groin. he didn't have a chance.
I suppose a blade brake would help in most circumstances like this.
I try to arrange it so I can support the saw on the non-cutoff side,
though it does happen that it's inconvenient sometimes to do that.
But, a little while ago, you He-Men told me that's what those rippling
muscles y'all have were for (to support the saw when you're riding on
the cutoff side) <g>.
smart, not dumb for email
How much $$ are you willing to spend? (that's the first question
everyone will ask)
Honestly, when I was first married I bought a $50 Craftsman special (7
1/4") on sale for $35. It worked great through six years of
intermittent use and about 110' of fence building. Then it started
making a sorta "grindy-grindy noise". (oh, and the sparks started
getting very visible through the motor housing..)
Ryobi makes a nice $50 saw that I considered, but I oped to buy a
PorterCable 743K for about $120. At that price point, you pretty much
have your choice of very good saws that should last a looong time and
be very satisfying to use. (Porter Cable, Milwaulkie (sp?), Makita,
Dewalt - take your pick) The only thing I would change about mine is
the blade-height lever is placed between the motor and blade housing,
and it's awkward/hard to flip it up to change the depth of cut.
Don't make your decision based on 12 vs 13 amps. 7.25" is the
"standard" size. Weight may be a concern (holding a 15lb vs 10lb saw
overhead to snip off fence posts did make a difference) =^)
email@example.com (Dave) wrote in message
On 2 Jan 2004 08:48:12 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org (aaron) wrote:
for heavy duty use the skil77 has been the choice of pros for a long
time. I saw in a catalog last night that bosch has an offering in the
worm drive saw market now. it looks good, as far as one could tell
from looking at a picture in a catalog.... and bosch is asking two
hunnert clamz for it, so I guess they want us to think it is good.
anybody here used one of these yet?
Most people I know don't use a circular saw for finished work. My advice is
to buy a cheap one; Skil, some store-brand, whatever. Here in Canada you
can get one for $20-$30 if you watch for a sale. That'll save you enough
to get a couple of decent blades. Get at least one blade with a high
tooth-count. By the time you have this saw worn out, you'll know exactly
what you want in a saw and it will be much easier to just go out and buy it
(except for the paying part, because really good is usually really
expensive). I don't think a circular saw will ever really replace a table
saw. Good luck.
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