Hot Topics: Help Me Find a Circular Saw, Please!

A circular saw being used with work gloves.

Here on we enjoy providing a place where home improvement novices and experts can come together to share ideas and advice. Inside our Forums, users can browse threads to see what exchanges are taking place on a topic of interest or start their own dialogue by posting something for the community to take part in. With over 250,000 members and counting, this resource is quite active so each week we highlight one of the conversations that may just help you with that next DIY project.

The forum is a great place to get opinions from seasoned DIYers (and a few pros) on tools that give the best bang for your buck. This DIYer in particular is in the market for a new circular saw. As always, the forum doesn't shy away from giving their advice!

The 52 Ford Member

I'm in the market for a new circular saw. I've been looking at a refurbished Bosch CS5 for about $110 USD, but want some outside opinions. I'm going to give my criteria and/or preferences and I'd like y'alls help to find my new saw. My budget is $150 USD. I'll go ahead and put the rest of my wants, needs, and don't wants and don't needs in a list below.

- I'd prefer a sidewinder over a worm drive saw.
- I have next to no brand biases. (I've heard bad things about the Hitachi circs and I want a brand with a warranty.)
- I want a corded saw (I don't need the extra portability).
- 7 1/4" preferably, though 8 1/4" is fine, too. (Though, I don't see the benefit as I still can't cut a 4X4 in a single pass.)
- Weight isn't that big of a deal. I don't plan on hanging it off my hip and when you're cutting, weight helps keep it from climbing.
- I'd prefer a saw with a brake on it. At work, I use a saw without a brake and it's reeaallllyy nerve-racking.
- A high RPM saw is preferable (another reason that I don't want a cordless unit).
- Longevity/durability is a big deal as I plan on keeping it for a long time.

I can't think of much else...To recap: Durable, high RPM, corded sidewinder with either a 7 1/4" or 8 1/4" blade and a brake. It seems that most saws have the blade on the right and that's what I'm used to, but then apparently having the blade on the left gives you better visibility of the cut...? I don't know. I reckon it'd still rip a 2X4 just fine. As long as it doesn't kick the dust back at me I'll be happy with it. Oh, wait, I guess that means that I did think of one more thing... Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Pjmax Group Moderator

I've got an old Black and Decker that is awesome and it can't be killed. Unfortunately, it's not the same company today. I recently bought a Milwaukee 7-1/4" saw. It was $125. Awesome performer.

I see they have the Bosch saw you are looking at, but brand new at the depot for $112.
Bosch 15 Amp Corded Electric 7-1/4 in. Circular Saw -CS5 - Home Depot

Ray2047 Group Moderator

The Milwaukee 7-1/4" saw has always been my favorite saw. Back when I was doing carpentry for a living, I did a lot of cutting in the field with guides and I found the Milwaukee's sole plate was less likely to get out of parallel with the blade. I had to retire more than one working Black and Decker because it would no longer follow a guide accurately. If you use a table saw, perhaps not so important but I often used it for cuts that might otherwise have been made on a table saw.

Chandler Forum Topic Moderator

Personally, I like my Porter Cable left hand saws. Why left hand? It is pure stupid to have to look over the saw to see your line while the left hand saw allows you to look down on your side and see it. It has a forward dust expulsion tube, magnesium body, blade brake, and some have wrenchless blade change nuts. You just have to get used to the weight of the saw being on the right side rather than the left, but it is really convenient. I say this since you mentioned worm drive. I bought a Bosch left hand, but the dust expulsion was at the back of the saw and it all wound up on your pants legs, so that was a bummer. Since the PCs aren't manufactured anymore, you may have to resort to an auction site to get one.

Gunguy45 Super Moderator

All saws are going to have about the same RPM since they use the incoming power phase to regulate it. I doubt there's a big difference between 5800 and 6200 in actual use.

The Bosch you noted doesn't have a brake, but it is a left blade model which makes the cut line easier to see. No leaning over the saw to see the line. But I use a speed square if I have lots of dimensional lumber cuts, a rip guide of some sort for sheets, and a cordless (all lh blade AFAIK) for just a few small cuts, so the left blade isn't THAT vital to me.

I have a slightly older Makita 5007MG (no lasers, but does have a lighted cut line) that is a beast. Magnesium shoe and motor casing, large easy to adjust levers for depth and bevel, heavy duty case with blade storage, 5800 rpm. Comes with a premium Makita framing blade.

I got this a while back to replace an old faithful Skill Classic that I loved for many reasons, but it was noisy, heavy, and just plain worn out I guess. Compared to it I could barely tell the Makita was running—it was so quiet and sliced through treated lumber like butter. Also, I'm not positive, but it was mentioned in a few stupid safety button that has to be pushed before you can pull the trigger.

The 5007MGA has all those features plus lasers and a brake, but will run you $170, even on Amazon. If it were me, and it was going to be used a LOT or on big projects. I'd pony up the extra $20. If not, stick with the 5007MG. It's on the net at $139 or available through HD and others at $149.

https://www.factoryauthorizedoutlet....Fcm2wAod9e8NAA No tax, free shipping.

Wirepuller38 Member

If you want plenty of power for cutting 2x lumber, be sure to go for a 15 amp model. 12 or 13 amps is too wimpy.

Funny thing is, worm drives are left handed and most "sidewinders" are right handed. I, as Chandler said, like my left handed PC.

marksr Forum Topic Moderator

My Skilsaw died so I was left with just my worm drive Craftsman. I really grew to like it except for the weight. I bought a Bosch left hand saw a few years ago and really like it. Doubt I could go back to a traditional right hand saw.

Marq1 Member

Whatever you do, stay away from tools like Roybe. A quality tool will last a lifetime. A cheap tool will only let you down. I love all my Dewalt tools. They're not the most expensive, but for homeowner use they are excellent.

The 52 Ford Member

I'm definitely looking into a 15 amp saw. I'm running all 20 amp breakers, so I can't think of a reason not to. I really hadn't considered Milwaukee. I look to Milwaukee for their sawzalls and drills and never really think about them making anything else (even though they make just about everything else). I looked into Makita, Bosch, DeWalt, and a couple others, like Skil. From Makita I was considering the 5007MGA, which I haven't used, but I liked every Makita tool I've owned and used. Looked at the DW364K, which I've used and really liked. Then of course, I've considered the Bosch CS5. I forgot which one I looked at from Skil. I'll look into Milwaukee, too. By the way, the saw I use at work is a Porter Cable. It's fine and built well, but it just doesn't stand out as a saw that I want.

I have really good luck buying refurbished tools. I figure the issue was caught and they come with warranty!

To read the rest of the thread, look here: //