Advice on buying just one power saw


Old 11-22-04, 11:12 AM
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Advice on buying just one power saw

We recently bought a home, and the need to get things done around the house are never ending. I need to get some minor framing done (cutting 2x4's), and I also need to cut some metal shelving brackets. I was thinking of getting a plain old hack-saw and another wood saw, but I thought I might as well get a powered (cordless or corded) one. But I can't decide between a reciprocating or a jig saw (or maybe handheld circular). Which of these is most versatile/useful one for light-duty housework? I want to buy just one power saw and get the most uses out of it. The guy at HD said buy a cordless jig saw, not reciprocating. Just wondering if other people had opinions/ideas?

I also came across Black and Decker Navigator SC500 which is combination hand-saw/jig-saw. It does seem underpowered, but might suffice for my needs. Anybody used this particular saw?

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Old 11-22-04, 11:30 AM
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Given your choices, I would buy a corded jig saw. The reciprocating saw takes two hands to operate and STILL isn't real accurate. The circular saw won't do for cutting the metal shelving. Jigsaw has an assortment of blades you can get for all materials. One hand operation, Reasonably accurate (if you are). Buy corded for the power. Good luck with your projects.
Old 11-22-04, 09:12 PM
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I don't think anybody who expects to do DIY nowadays can do without a circular saw, - and a jigsaw, -oh, and a reciprocating.

hope my wife doesn't read this , or I'll have to explain why I also havea wormdrive, two bandsaws, two tablesaws and three mitresaws !!
Old 11-23-04, 08:00 AM
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I think you have to make a choice about your tools. Are you trying to find a saw that can do almost anything but may be the best at nothing. Or are you considering a saw that will accomplish 60-70% of what you need to do with the plan to borrow, rent or use manual tools for the rest.

If you answer the former, I would say that you are on the right track with your choices. On the other hand, I find a compound sliding mitre saw to be the most used saw I have for home maintenance. There are some things you simply cannot do with them but what they do, they do well.

Get a hack saw for your shelves or rent a power tool for the weekend.
Old 11-23-04, 10:51 AM
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When you say I'm on the right-track, do you mean with the Black and Decker Navigator hand/jig saw?

Also, I checked out jig-saw and found one with and without orbital motion, scrolling feature etc. Are these necessary? Is 3.5Amp sufficent? (Skil corded jig-saw)
Thanks again
Old 11-24-04, 01:36 PM
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If you are on a tight budget and only want one saw,I would go with a jigsaw.You could do alot with just a jigsaw. I own a skil model 4380. It retails for about 48 bucks, It's 3.7 amps and is variable speed. I like it, has no problem going through 2x4s, has fast cut orbital and smooth cut options. It's fine for shelving projects and light use, but can still cut big pieces of lumber and metal too. If your doing molding, you can always buy a miterbox and cut pieces by hand. I did alot of projects this way ,until I went out and bought some bigger specialized ,power tools. But if your only going to own 1 saw, a jigsaw, I think is the most versatile saw for small projects.
Old 11-24-04, 02:27 PM
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I agree Jigsaw is could choice for FIRST powred saw

post back next thanksgiving and let us know how many saws you own
Old 11-27-04, 07:42 AM
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Well like my grand pappy would say:
Each job has is tool.
I got a jig saw for scrool and decorative cutting and a circular saw for rough cutting
i had my makita circuilar saw for over 25 yrs and still keep going. I went thrue
1 BD,Skill and a Sears before i bought my makita.
As for my jig saw i got a Skill and a BD.
I think a good circular saw and jig saw are a good choice.

hope this helps


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