Circular saw Recommendations?


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Old 08-16-07, 09:41 AM
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Circular saw Recommendations?

Hi all:
Fairly new to the boards, but appreciate the input! I'm tired of borrowing and or renting tools (especially saws) to complete the pile of projects I have around the house, and have decided to buy a circular saw.

I've done a little looking at the local big box stores, but still am not sure what the best purchase for me would be. I'm your average DIYer, and would probably only use the saw a few times a year, so I don't want to spend a lot of money on a tool that won't get a ton of use. But I do still want something that has decent quality and will be around for a while. I'd probably be mostly cutting ply, OSB, and the occasional 2x4. And I know I don't want cordless... batteries and I generally have issues.

Any thoughts on a relatively inexpensive, yet still decent quality circular saw? I appreciate any input!
 
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Old 08-16-07, 11:18 AM
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Circular Saw

I will not recommend a specific brand. Look for an amperage rating of 15 amps for plenty of power to cut 2x lumber. Good luck with your choice.
 
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Old 08-16-07, 11:30 AM
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I'm happy with my Ryobi

Ryobi seems to be a good DIYer brand: good value for light to medium use. If you're not pressed for time, you can find good deals on CraigsList.org- it's a free classified ad web site. Find the town nearest you, and search for circular saw, for instance. (Right now Craigslist in my area shows 9 corded circ saws for sale, from Skil to B&D to Craftsman, from $15 to $45, some with cases, etc. It's a crapshoot- you have to know your brands and your prices, but you can generally offer/counteroffer with the seller.)

For long circular saw cuts where minor defects might be noticed, I clamp a length of angle iron (from an old bed frame) to act as a fence, which provides a straight cut. (I know you didn't ask, but I'm killing time, here.)

Good luck with your projects!
Dave O
 
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Old 08-16-07, 03:52 PM
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Thanks

I've heard good things about the Ryobi, and it seems to have overall positive reviews after searching the board a little more. I'll consider it when I go looking this weekend.

Thanks for the craigslist tip! the only one I've seen for sale near me is a B&D for $30. I try to steer clear of B&D simply because my grandfather was a general contractor who detested B&D tools. Of course, he put them to a lot more wear & tear than I ever would, but old habits die hard.

Anyone else want to go out on a limb and recommend a saw?
 
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Old 08-16-07, 04:15 PM
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I would think most reasonably priced saws would be adequate for your needs. Wirepullers advice for high amps is a good one - I wouldn't want a saw with less than 13 amps. When shopping locally pick up the demo model and see how it feels. The better it feels in your hand the more you will like using it.

BTW - my first drill was a 1/2" B&D that I bought new for $6-$7 to install an 8 track player iin my first car. I still have it and use it occasionally but it's almost worn out
 
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Old 08-16-07, 04:27 PM
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Look for something with a thick, solid base plate, it will stand up longer. An inexpensive sidewinder saw would be adequate for the purposes you describe. BTW, sidewinders are what you're already looking at where the motor is beside the blade.
 
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Old 08-16-07, 06:24 PM
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Just a personal choice, but one of the brands whose name starts with PC has a good left hand saw with the blade on the left side. I like mine because I can see my blade while making cuts without having to look over the motor to see it. Check that out while you are making your choices. It throws a few more chips than the right hand saw, but you will be wearing safety glasses anyway, right?
 
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Old 08-17-07, 06:29 PM
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Chandler's talking about the Porter Cable Mag saw which comes either left or right blade. Good saw, maybe more cost than you're looking for right now. If my cheapy circular saw ever dies, that's probably what will replace it.
 
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Old 08-18-07, 05:14 AM
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The Hitachi 7-1/4" Circular Saw with Case would be a good value for under $100. Personally, I have a Makita and a PC lefty. I use them about 10-12 times per year.

While you're at it, get a quality 12-guage extension cord to use with whatever saw you buy. A quality thin-kerf carbide blade is necessary as well.

I don't use the saws very much, but when I have some cuts to make, I want a smooth cut with plenty of power to get the job done.
 
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Old 08-18-07, 05:01 PM
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carpenter point of view

In my opinion, the best all around 7 1/4"circular saw on the market is the Porter Cable Mag blade on left. I'm right handed, so I use my right hand to control the saw, and because of this I always purchase saws with the blade on the left. This will allow you better control and straighter cuts because you will see line better. If you are left handed, then you would be better off with blade on right. I build homes for a living and use saws every day. We have three of these saws and they are dropped off roofs, dropped in mud, and are covered in saw dust every day. The only repairs I have to make on these saws is cord replacement and that is the fault of the user. If you are looking for a saw that will cut true, take abuse, have plenty of power, and last a long time then this is the only saw to buy in my opinion. They are a little bit expensive, but they are worth it. I have had my share of throw away saws in 15 years, and this is not one of them. They also are wrenchless when it comes time to change the blade. If you are looking to spend less than $100, I really have no recommendation. Good luck.
 
 

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