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  • Circular Saw Confusion

    Hi Guys an Gals!

    Having moved to Hawaii and getting rid of ALL my power equipment (thinking I didn't need them in Hawaii) I am now in the market for a new Circular Saw.

    I just purchased a Rigid Mitre Saw and will soon be purchasing a new Ridgid Table saw. The Mitre saw is because wife wants me to do some crown mouldings in our home and the table saw is for all the cabinets, Shelving etc. that she wants me to build.

    Our house is on a hill and I also want to build a workshop just under the house as well as a deck. Mostly, I want to build a room with walls with a couple of windows and a door under the house, so I thought that the 6 1/2" Ridgid Framing saw would be the ideal choice for around $139.00.

    But there is also a Ridgid Worm Drive Circular saw for $169.00 and a couple of other circular saws for $119.00 and $109.00 all of which are Ridgid.

    So many to choose from!

    Would I be making a mistake by purchasing the 6 1/2" framing saw since most of what I'll be doing is building walls and flooring? Most of the stock I'll be cutting are 2" x 4" and 2" x 6"s. Occassionally, maybe a piece of plywood .. unless it can be done on the table saw.

    Looks like I'm going with Ridgid for almost all my tools (except for my new MK tile saw)! My first experience with them and I sure hope they work as good as the reviews I've been reading.

    If not, you'll all be the first to hear about it! LOL!

    Please advise.
    Thank You and Mahalo from Hawaii!

  • #2
    Re: Circular Saw Confusion

    Welcome to the forum,
    I have not used the Ridgid circular saws, but I feel that you can't go wrong with the worm drive style. The ones I have owned have served me very well over the years. It's also a matter of personal preference; weight, balance, etc...
    Jack

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Circular Saw Confusion

      I think the wormdrive might be a little overkill for what you need. Sounds like what you need is the standard 7 1/4" sidewinder model. Its versatile enough to do all those jobs just fine. The 6 1/2" Fuego is supposed to be very nice for framing but it is supposed to make a mess of plywood.

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      • #4
        Re: Circular Saw Confusion

        If you think you may ever need to bevel cut at 45 degrees anything say over 1-1/4 think you'll most likely want a 7-1/4 or 8 inch blade model to gain the cutting depth. Also 7-1/4 is the standard and thus you can find all kinds of good blade for them. 6-1/2 has been around but getting a good blade can be a bit tuffer. For just a light and handy saw you might look at a cheapo 5-1/2 and for the tuffer work maybe a good 8" side winder. If you want one saw to do about everything, I really think a good 7-1/4 side winder is the way to go. Worm drive models are tuffer, but they are heavy and bulky. If you need one, fine but most home users never really do. One thing you may want to check out is the handle placement. How does it feel to you? Some like a reverse model with the blade on the other side. Some like a rear handle and some a top handle model. You might want to kind of play with the Milwaukee "Tilt Lok" model which has an adjustable handle. Look over many models as the real choice has to be to find one that just feels right. Look at the shoe and how it adjusts. Don't limit yourself to one brand. Give them all a looking over. While this may seem a bit wild, you might check a tool rental place so you can hold and look over a few models. They can also tell you what kind of luck they have had and if it can take rental abuse it's got to be well made. In my area most remodeling contractors go for one of the top model 7-1/4 by Dewalt or the Milwaukee TiltLok models. What you select needs to be based on what you have to do and if you can stand the tool. I wish you luck and please keep us updated.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Circular Saw Confusion

          Mahalo (Thank You) all for your feedback.

          Seems like the 6.5" Ridgid Framing circular saw is NOT getting a favorable approval from you folks. BTW, I found a box of Hand Power tools in my garage one of which contains an OLD (and I mean OLD) Craftsman Circular saw. Must be made in the 60's and it looks like you can only adjust the angle. So definitely, I will be purchasing a new Circular Saw.

          I think I've settle on the Porter Cable 7 1/4" 324MAG saw. I've seen good reviews on it and it sells for $139.00 both at Home Depot and Sears locally.

          LOL! I didn't even know they had Left and Right hand models. Shows you how long it's been since I purchased power tools!

          Many Thanks Again!

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          • #6
            Re: Circular Saw Confusion

            ^^
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            |||

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            • #7
              Re: Circular Saw Confusion

              i have 2 of the fuego 6 1/2s and 2 dewalt worms and 2 dewalt 7 1/4s and the fuego is the best all around saw. i love it. it is so light and you can cut a 2x at a 45

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Circular Saw Confusion

                Originally posted by Kauaiguy View Post
                Mahalo (Thank You) all for your feedback.

                Seems like the 6.5" Ridgid Framing circular saw is NOT getting a favorable approval from you folks. BTW, I found a box of Hand Power tools in my garage one of which contains an OLD (and I mean OLD) Craftsman Circular saw. Must be made in the 60's and it looks like you can only adjust the angle. So definitely, I will be purchasing a new Circular Saw.

                I think I've settle on the Porter Cable 7 1/4" 324MAG saw. I've seen good reviews on it and it sells for $139.00 both at Home Depot and Sears locally.

                LOL! I didn't even know they had Left and Right hand models. Shows you how long it's been since I purchased power tools!

                Many Thanks Again!
                Left hand saws,I didn't know they made'im.That's great.

                I remember using someones direct drive years ago and having to look over the saw to follow the line,LAME.

                Good luck with your new saw,I have the Skil mag 77,years of service.Getting ready to get a new one and move the old down to concrete cutter.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Circular Saw Confusion

                  Before going after a new Skil 77, I recommend looking over the Bosch lineup. Bosch is the parent company behind Skil now (Has been for some time) and their worm drive saws have some nice refinements and features.
                  http://www.boschtools.com/tools/tool...=54930&I=55120

                  Their Direct Connect models are nice in that in place of the standard power cord, you attach an extension cord to the power inlet inside the handle and you're set.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Circular Saw Confusion

                    Originally posted by Woussko View Post
                    Before going after a new Skil 77, I recommend looking over the Bosch lineup. Bosch is the parent company behind Skil now (Has been for some time) and their worm drive saws have some nice refinements and features.
                    http://www.boschtools.com/tools/tool...=54930&I=55120

                    Their Direct Connect models are nice in that in place of the standard power cord, you attach an extension cord to the power inlet inside the handle and you're set.
                    Woussko,
                    There is coniderable substance in what you say.The very qualified framing foreman on the elaborate custom home I was on a little while ago was using one.I used it for a couple of cuts,seemed comfortable.Skill has always been the only saw out here,maybe the winds of change are blowing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Circular Saw Confusion

                      25 plus years ago I would have not wanted any but a real SKIL when it came to circular saws. Today with Bosch owning Skil things have changed. At one time SKIL made here in the USA some real super duty power tools that made the likes of Black & Decker (industrial division) and Milwaukee worry. Then that changed and Skil became all too much like the Black & Decker name taking aim at the home owner and DIY type. I really can't give a good date but I do remember say 15 years (maybe more) that the Skil service center changed the sign to Bosch-Skil. When asked they said that Bosch had bought up Skil and big changes were in the works. About a year later they closed and moved everything to one of few huge regional service centers.

                      As for other wild changes, I wonder how many people have seen Black & Decker vintage Industrial grade power tools some of which for their time were almost mind blowing. It reminds me of the older Porter-Cable sanders and how really built they were.

                      Speaking of circular saws, I really wish that my (not new when I go it) old SKIL 6-1/2" side winder that was built like a tank was around. It grew feet and one night (about 10 years ago) ran far far away.
                      Last edited by Woussko; 08-05-2007, 11:37 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Kauaiguy- regarding circular saws and plywood.....

                        Don't have experience with the saws you mentioned. From what I've seen in the stores, wormdrive saws are very heavy duty compared to the standard
                        circ saws.

                        Regarding plywood-I've seen two major flaws on the standard circular saws.

                        First is soft or flexing base-a soft base is unusable for serious plywood cutting by allowing the blade to wander around when you put pressure on the handle trying to follow the line or saw guide.

                        Second and most common-most saws have three pivotconection points for raising and bevelling the blade. Most saws use cheapo rivets at these pivot points. Over time the rivets wear due to friction from normal raising/bevelling then get sloppy then allow the blade to wander on its own when you have it set to plywood depth. You could be following the cut line or saw guide perfectly but will find wobbles in the cut line when done.

                        I discovered this when shopping for saw guides. Noticed my two saws felt solid at the deepest cutting depth but both bases could be easily be moved by hand when at 1/2 inch or so cutting depth (plywood depth). That explained to me why my cuts were not straight no matter how slow and careful and even using two saw guides when cutting plywood.


                        My solution was to drill out each cheap rivet connection and install a nut/washer/bolt in each connection instead. Viola! No more base flex like before and can cut straight now even without using a guide.

                        I've put a lot of different circ saws in sears/hd/lowes at plywood depth and tried to flex the base. Almost every saw would pretty easily flex telling me there is a a design flaw in circ saws- either the base was too soft (cheapos)
                        and/or there were sloppy rivets at the connection points.

                        I've seen $200 circ saws with rivets used. The only saws I noticed had bolts were the wormdrive saws.

                        Surprising to me was a couple of relatively cheap cordless saws had no base flex at plywood depth. Even they had rivets but I'm sure over time the rivets will wear out.

                        For my needs a cheapo circ (read even $40 here) with corrected hinge connections performs as well and even better at plywood depth than a way more expensive name saw with the standard cheapo rivets in the hinge points. Give it a hand test in the stores before you buy it then check out the amps/power/adjustments and cost. Lemme know what you find.
                        The solution has worked extremely well for me and I also have now a good collection of 96inch down to 24inch saw guides and also a base plate one of my saws is mounted to to ride along a slot in the saw guides for plywood sheets.

                        Mahalo.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Circular Saw Confusion

                          I like my 18v 6 1/2" dewalt cordless. It's light, cuts well(not fast). It won't replace a wormdrive by any means but you won't be as tired at the end of the day using it. For your applications it'll work just find. Just make sure you have extra batteries charged up. Plus if you need other tools already then it's perfect, just get the cir saw, sawzall, drill and flashlight combo. Money well spent.

                          I used to stay in Hawai'i. Stayed in Wahiawa on Ohi St. Been to Lihue a couple times. Fished at Barking Sands plenty times. You from Hawai'i or just moved over? Miss the spam musibi
                          Buy cheap, buy twice.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Was in HD yesterday.

                            Did a base flex on a $100 Bosch circ- moved at the deepest cut and moved
                            a Lot at plywood depth.

                            Also flexed a Ridgid circ-it moved a little less but still was flexing.

                            Neither saw off the shelf would cut straight in plywood IMO.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Circular Saw Confusion

                              I'll second the Dewalt 6 1/2. It suprisingly has a lot of power for an 18v cordless. I've used it on a good bit of 3/4 oak ply with great results. If you're only going to have one circular saw I'd go with a portercable 7 1/4 sidewinder.

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