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Circular Saw----Which One?

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  • Circular Saw----Which One?

    I need a new circular saw, and I need some advice on which one to buy.
    I definitely want a left handed saw, and one that's high quality.
    My local HD had a Porter Cable LH Mag 423 dispaly model for $60. No blade, no bolt for the blade, no case or paperwork. HD's are selling the 423 NIB for $119.
    I may want one with a blade brake, especially since I'm slightly accident prone.
    I was looking at the Mag 424. Is there a problem with durablilty/build quality with this saw?
    What about the Bosch saws?
    Are the Ridgid saws good? The worm-drive seems nice, but it's a bit heavy.
    The saw is for home use, not for work. Strictly DIY work.
    Last edited by Peter18v; 03-16-2007, 08:40 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Circular Saw----Which One?

    The big question to you is, is this for work or personal usage. For work you want a heavy duty, so its going to last you a long time. Now is the saw going to be used mostly for 3/4" or 2x4's or cutting posts 4x4's, green treat or all the above? The break systems I love, it does increase the cost but to me well worth the extra. I think every brand has at least one very nice saw, but it comes down to, do you want to spend $60.00 or $150.00, you get what you pay for, and sometime you can pay alot and get a bad one. Me personally I prefer DeWalt saws, my preference though. Do your research as your doing now and your on the right track. More guys will help you out here, and has great deals on saws too.
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!


    • #3
      Re: Circular Saw----Which One?

      i like the porter cable saws and i have a model 315 that was built in the late 60's and it is still going also makita makes some nice saws and i rate the ridgid saws at about the same as the makita's there is a guy here"newman"how loves the bosch saws and yet they are nice but unless you use it 8 hours a day and 5 days aweek i think you find them to be alittle more than you want to pay. you also asked if the ridgid saws are good i would say yes i have the r 3200 and the r 3210 and i love them. i am not a big fan of dewalt so i will just keep my mouth shut about them. but for the most part any saw $80-120 will be you a very good saw
      9/11/01, never forget.


      • #4
        Re: Circular Saw----Which One?

        This thread from a week ago might be of some help to you in making your decision.
        I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


        • #5
          Re: Circular Saw----Which One?

          get the ridgid worm drive saw or a skil mag 77 i got the ridgid and its great. dont get a sidewinder worm drives are way better


          • #6
            Re: Circular Saw----Which One?

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            • #7
              Re: Circular Saw----Which One?

              Originally posted by J-man12
              get the ridgid worm drive saw or a skil mag 77 i got the ridgid and its great. dont get a sidewinder worm drives are way better
              Originally posted by Peter18v
              The saw is for home use, not for work. Strictly DIY work.
              Originally posted by garager
              I think every brand has at least one very nice saw, but it comes down to, do you want to spend $60.00 or $150.00, you get what you pay for, and sometime you can pay alot and get a bad one.
              Originally posted by BadgerDave
              I've yet to find anything on my Milwaukee 6390-21 that I don't like.
              Originally posted by garager
              Dewalts has been great for me, own 3 of them, and everyone of them has been dropped off roofs more then once and never broke.
              Originally posted by boytyperanma
              I don't recommend a batter powered saw as your primary. They are nice for punch work and an occasional cut but they can not come close to replacing a corded saw. As a secondary they are great to have around.

              Then the question is worm drive vs direct drive. In your area of the country you might get laughed off a jobsite for using direct drive. In my area the opposite is often true. There are pro's and cons to each. Read up on the differences and make your own decision.

              I use a Makita direct drive. I've been very happy with it. It takes abuse well.

              The Dewalts rate very highly as well. The one most commonly sold has a electric brake which raises the price a little. I could care less if the blade spins down or not so didn't pay the extra for that feature.

              Like most of Ridgid's tools their saw is heavy too. It is a good saw overall, but as the Dewalts and Makitas survive falls from roofs just as well I'm not sure why it needs beefier construction.
              Originally posted by oldslowchevy
              i like heavy saws it is what i learned with. they don't tend to jump around as much as the lighter saws. so i would have to say go to home depot or Lowe's or where ever and go to the tool section and spend some time holding, looking at, and seeing what you like and don't like about each saw. i also would consider the new hilti saws if you are going to make your living with the saw. you need to expect to spend around $100-$170 on a good saw.
              Originally posted by Woussko
              I have the same as BadgerDave and like it very much. One thing, just a little thing that bothered me was the ElCheepo blade screw wrench that came with it. The answer was to get a nice T handle hex key wrench and also an offset 9/16 box wrench. Now I'm happy with it. The adjustable handle is very nice to have.
              Originally posted by jbergstrom
              I currently use a Makita that has been a tough saw and served me pretty well. The only drawback I find with it is that depending on the depth of cut (mostly in 2x material) I sometimes rub the middle knuckle of my fist

              I have used the Milwaukee saw that Badger Dave and Woussko refer too and I liked it very much - powerful, light and great "Tilt-Lok" handle that lets you set it anywhere that feels right for you. Also comes with a nice case

              Old Slow Chevy gives great advice and you should play with a few different brands and styles and choose what feels right to you.

              One of these days I'm going to grab a Milwaukee for sheet goods and I'll either grab a Bosch or Rigid worm drive saw for planks and timbers (probably the Ridgid because it's a bit cheaper)

              Good Luck.
              Originally posted by Newman
              Bosch worm drive
              anything else is a waste of time...
              Originally posted by zenophus
              "The only drawback I find with it is that depending on the depth of cut (mostly in 2x material) I sometimes rub the middle knuckle of my fist"

              Amen to that. I borrowed one of these at a job cutting 1/2" ply for headers and I still have the darn blister scars on my knuckle! I currently own 2 circular a big heavy DeWalt and the other a Porter Cable 325MAG. The PC is an excellent workshop saw for several reasons:

              1. The thick base plate acts like a little "fence" (one of the only saws I have seen with it) that makes following a straight-cut guide a drift.

              2. It's light but quite powerful.

              3. It's a pretty color.

              4. The quick-change blade system rocks.


              OH Yeah......almost forgot. Until someone comes out with a cordless that can make it through a 96" plywood rip without pooping out I would STAY AWAY from cordless.
              Originally posted by oldslowchevy
              bosch = broken or scrap cracked heap
              Originally posted by hellcatt200
              ...i did research for few months. I really like the PC magnesium. It is light and beefy at same time.I asked some contractors one day in the morning getting suplies and they recomended the PC also. After i played with it in store along with others, I am gonna get the PC circ saw...
              Originally posted by Newman
              I also have a Porter-Cable 743K left-blade sidewinder, and I must admit it's probably the best sidewinder out there. It's powerful (as far as sidewinders go anyway), lightweight, and best of all the blade is on left side (the way a real saw should be!)
              Originally posted by Newman
              If you want a small but powerful trim saw, nothing beats a Skil HD5510 5-1/2 (again, blade-left). It' a work horse. I've even used it a few times for framing when my worm drive was MIA.
              Originally posted by Newman
              I don't know why Skil always includes a POS steel blade that's is going in the trash out of the box!
              The only problem is the limited selection of 5 1/2" blades...
              Originally posted by Peter18v
              I may want one with a blade brake, especially since I'm slightly accident prone.
              The point is, just like none of us would agree on the beer (other than as long as its COLD!!!) will any of us agree on a specific circular saw. All the major brands make an excellent model or two (or three). You need to go handle (or fondle if you prefer) several models at a good tool showroom (sorry HD, I guess that excludes you) to see how they feel to you. Try to cut with a couple of different types or brands to get a feel for them. For example, a worm drive is going to feel a lot heavier than the sidewinder (especially after cutting that 5th rafter tail over your head). Cutting panels the worm drive has a lot better reach.
              But your statement about the blade brake and your propensity for accidents make me think that the worm drive type due to its time to "wind down" after a cut would not be the best choice for you. To my knowledge, there is not a brake on these type of saws.
              The top qualtiy saws are going to be very close in function but you can begin to narrow down the range feature by feature. You can pick a specific (pet-peeve type) feature and find a saw that exploits that; for example:
              Check out the depth mechanism operate it and see if it is smooth. Same goes for the tilt mechanism.
              Look at the bases - don't be afraid of the newer-type composite bases they are pretty durable.
              Look at the cords, to me a cord that hangs up while ripping a panel down to size is a deal killer on an all-around saw. (engineers who specify a shorter cord than 8' for a saw should be drawn and quartered)
              Long cord - the RIDGID has the longest at 12'
              No cord - Bosch has the DirectConnect system that lets you use any heavy duty 15 amp extension cord to power the tool. This is a step up from the Milwaukee Quik-Loc which is a proprietary type cord available in long lengths. The advantage to these tools is if you happen to cut your cord (remember - accident prone) you can replace it easily.
              Do you hate to have to bend over to pickup the saw? Some saws have a rafter hook to hang them up by. Very handy.
              Have you recently won the Lotto? Festools are really nice, but extremely expensive - I doubt if they are jobsite type tools that can take serious abuse though.
              The cheapest pro saw - Hitachi has one around $90.
              By far the most popular saw is going to be 7-1/4" right blade. From there there are other blade sizes and blade locations that carve niches. Smaller blades excel at trimming panel goods, but stink for torque because they are spinning those little blades much faster. Also certain models can't cut a 2X at 45 degrees. Left blade types supposedly trim better. (if you are anal retentive and demand both a left blade AND a right blade saw, Porter-Cable's got you covered with identical mirror-image saws)
              The worm drive (and DeWalt's High Torque, and Makita's hypoid saw) are very high torque saws for the toughest conditions. They take a diamond arbor blade that has no slip to it - they blast right through anything. They can cut just about any sawable material with the right blade. For this reason, it is the pros number one choice.

              If you take your time and do your homework and really look closely at the saws, you will find the right one for you, and you should because it will be a long relationship.

              Good luck & happy shopping.
              Tools Rule


              • #8
                Re: Circular Saw----Which One?

                I will make one recommendation, don't get a Porter-Cable. I have the 424 Mag i believe it is. The saw is extremely loud, considerably louder then the other manufacturers, the only feature i do like is the directable saw dust spout. I would highly recommend a Milwaukee Tilt-Lock. Despite the fact I dont have one, i wish i did. The tiliting handle is probably one of the best features ever in a saw, plus they are fairly lightweight and pretty powerful. They are usually $129 NIB no matter where you go. Of course if you are interested I have a Porter-Cable 424 Mag I'd be willing to part with real cheap.........