What is the best circular saw you can buy?

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Old 04-02-10, 01:03 PM
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What is the best circular saw you can buy?

I have been doing quite a bit of research lately, and I want to buy a good circular saw. I plan on doing professional work.

I have found a number of websites in what they state is the best. The saws that jump out at me are (from best to worst): Dewalt DW378GK, Makita 5377MG, Porter Cable 423Mag, Skil HD77M, and Bosch 1677M.

I did see the Festool's TS75EQ but it is a little over my price range, and gave me the impression it is alittle high end.

I am hoping to keep it under $200, however if it is something that is above and beyond the rest (with exception to the Festool) I could pay more.

I couldn't find any recently updated sites the told me what I wanted.

It needs to be a Worm Drive or Hypoid saws. I need reliability and low maintenance. That's why I put the Hypoid saws as my first option. I then want performance, then lastly comfort. (in that order.)

Thanks.

BTW, I am really trying to get a good product, so I googled Dewalt vs Makita and what I got from that search was they were both basically crap. Please let me know if this is true \ your opinion on it.

Sorry for the long post.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 01:25 PM
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I have all DeWalt corded power tools. I have owned Makita, Bosch,and others as well. Not one of the Dewalt tools have failed me yet.

To be more consistent, I purchased all Dewalt tools.

One of those is a Jigsaw I purchased used off of Ebay from a pawn shop none the less and I've had it for 5 years. One of my favorite.

I don't take internet comparisons too strongly. Most of the times you get the complainers more than the ones that actually like them.

I use my tools quite frequently doing side jobs. From whole kitchens to bathrooms, to floors, to installing doors. I haven't had a problem yet.

The newest tool I have is a dewalt angle grinder and that's 3 years old.

For the money, you get a reputable name brand tool that is widely used.

Oh, and the circular saw is awesome. Worm drives are more expensive. Are you framing with it?
 
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Old 04-02-10, 01:51 PM
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I am planning on using it for framing. I will also be using it for other things also. I appreciate your input. So you think the dewalt DW378GK is a good buy? From what I read, the Hypoids had more power than the worm drives and didnt need as much maintenance because they didn't need oil changes. I also do not like the feel of side winders. I do like worm drives though.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 04:53 PM
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I use the PC 423 Mag daily. I'm on my third one, and will buy another one. They tend to last with daily use about 7 years or less depending on whether you have a 6 thumbed gorilla for a helper or not.
The 423 Mag is a left hand saw, and I will never go back to right hand saws. It acts like a worm drive with 1/3 the weight. Lifting a worm drive all day long is a PITA, or arm.
 
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Old 04-02-10, 08:17 PM
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The Dewalt DW378GK is unquestionably the nicest saw I have ever used. I have a Skil Mag 77 which is a solid saw and I don't plan on replacing it soon (it's 20 yrs old and was a present from my brother-in-law), but when I switch to using the Dewalt saw, it's like a dream. light, powerful, and ergonomic. It just seems like the handle and switch are at the right angle, more over the top than behind. I just like it. I've had the occasion to use the Makita and was impressed with it's torque, power, and weight. but in my book the location of the dewalt handle, and the nice rear hook beats all saws hands down.

Sorry, Larry- I've never used the PC so I guess I can't rule that one out. LOL
 
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Old 04-03-10, 12:15 AM
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Thank you all for the replies. Now I just have to find a store that carries the DW378GK!
 
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Old 04-03-10, 04:47 AM
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I do like the design of the Dewalt. I prefer a switch set back for "pushing" rather than on top, sorry Brant. But 13 lbs (Dewalt) versus 9.6 lbs (423 mag) is a deal breaker. May not matter to an occasional user, but daily use would wear someone out.
 
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Old 04-03-10, 11:32 AM
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That is light! And now that I think about it, I think a buddy of mine has that saw, although I've never used it.
 
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Old 04-23-10, 09:17 AM
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You really need to find a store that has all of them so you can put them in your hand and see how they feel. Some guys love their Dewalts... and, although I'm sure they are a quality unit, I'll take the Makita unit any day. I'm on my second one, and when this one needs to be replaced, I'll get another one. But it is all about personal preference, so go handle all of them and pick the one that feels right. They are all quality units...
 
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Old 04-24-10, 11:57 AM
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I am not sure where you are reading that DeWalt and Makita tools are crap, sure they may not always come out on top when compared to others that cost much more, well over twice as much in most cases in fact, and yes I am talking about brands like Festool or Hilti. I don't have as much personal experience with DeWalt as I do with Makita, but my experience with Makita has been that they make pretty good, long lasting corded tools. My Father is a contractor and he still owns and uses (as do I) 20 year old Makita tools from the same lineup back then, they are all made in Japan, so I am not sure if they are not made as well these days but out of 6 corded tools including a Drill, Circular saw, Disc Sander, Planter and Sawzall the only one that sucks, but it still does work is the Sawzall. It is a weak 6 amp model that was given to him by a friend after his 25 year old Milwaukee finally broke, he kept the red metal case that in came in however!

Anyway while all of my cordless tools are Milwaukee, because I got a kit for Christmas and wanted to stick with one brand to have the same batteries and such but I usually feel like Makita offers pretty good quality stuff for the money, DeWalt tools are generally a little more expensive and to me that seems to be just because of the name, but my Father has a 15 Amp 10" Dewalt Miter Saw that has been great as well as a smaller sander and that is about it, both of them are fairly new as well and purchased within the past 3 years so I have not had as much experience with them as I have had with Makita and Milwaukee. Bottom line is I would call all of the brands that I mentioned here middle of the line, although some may ague that Milwaukee is slightly higher end but to me you have the lower end stuff, either no name or your Ryobi grade tool (which are not all bad), then you have brands like Makita, DeWalt, Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Ridgid, ect. that are middle of the road quality and price wise for most of the tools they sell. And then you have the higher end stuff like Hilti that will cost you $800 best case per tool!
 
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Old 04-24-10, 07:23 PM
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Don't recall anyone calling Dewalt or Makita "crap". Most of us are contractors and use a specific brand of tool for various reasons. Probably the best is longevity. Secondly would be weight or accuracy. You can spend as much or as little as you want, depending on what you want in the long run.
 
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Old 04-25-10, 06:18 AM
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Unless your Popeye I'd stay away from a worm drive saw.
 
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Old 04-25-10, 01:04 PM
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Or Boog Powell, but then I date myself.
 
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Old 04-25-10, 01:14 PM
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Uh-oh..if knowing who Boog Powell was means yer old...I'm in trouble too. And how can he not be in the Hall?

I'll leave the "dating yourself" comment alone. It just sounds dirty....lol.
 
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Old 04-25-10, 07:00 PM
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Remember the forearms on that monster??? Poor bat. Choking up literally meant the bat was dead.
 
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Old 04-25-10, 09:13 PM
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Well confession time. Once I discovered the thrill of a 12" miter saw almost all my framing was done with a miter saw. The circular saw got used only when the miter saw just wouldn't cut it. If I could have afforded a sliding miter saw the circular saw would have got even more sleep. Doing repetitive cuts for framing just set up a stop and you can zip through like a factory assembly line.

Milwaukee was my choice of circular saw because of the depth mechanism. I cut with a guide 99.9% of the time. The bottom plate though has to be parallel to the blade for that to work well. The usual mechanism on a saw easily gets bent. The Milwaukee I had though had a heavy duty piece on the front of the shoe that rode up and down in a track on the front of the saw case. Hard to explain but see below.

 
 

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