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Thread: Circular Saw replacement

  1. #1
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    Default Circular Saw replacement

    Hi, my Craftsman 7 1/4" corded circular saw just sparked, smelled bad, and seized. Toast.

    I need a new one. I use it primarily for ripping a square edge onto slabbed hardwood boards. (Most of my saw work is on the table saw.) Should I get a worm-drive? I've never owned one.

    Or a battery-powered one? I see DeWalt has a smaller-lighter saw with a 6 1/2" blade. Anyone have experience with this? What's the battery life like with the 20V packs?

    Thanks,

    Dave

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    I have an older Dewalt 18 volt & it's fairly wimpy - though I'm sure newer ones are better. I can cut some 2x4's or even a few 2x6's - but it's no replacement for a real saw. When my Craftsman died (30 years ago) when 1 month out of warranty, I replaced it with a Milwaukee 7 1/4" - not worm drive. That Milwaukee is over 30 years old & has been through 2 power cords (don't ask) & dozens of blades.

    IOW - I have been very happy with the Milwaukee. This is the modern version of it:

    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    Get both..get the worm saw for 50 bux from a pawn shop.
    Get a new Milwaukee or De Walt 20 volt.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    I’ll second Milwaukee. A word of caution however. I have found that the leading mfrs, such as Milwaukee, Dewalt and others have produced lower price point models with lower quality materials for the big box stores. Lowes to vendor “ I’ll purchase a lot of 20,000 at this price point.”
    If I was a brand manager, I wouldn’t tarnish my brand by producing an inferior product, but $$ talk. Check the model #’s before buying. If you’ve got the $$ buy a festool.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by wizbang 13 View Post
    Get both..get the worm saw for 50 bux from a pawn shop.
    Get a new Milwaukee or De Walt 20 volt.
    I like that advice -- buy 2! Good idea.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    when trying to decide on 18v vs 20v the guy @ the local Lowe's pulled the specs up on the store computer which showed both platforms running the same voltage

    the difference was just the battery design

    the DeWalt 18v has a chunkier/heavier battery

    the 20v battery is more streamlined looking providing IMHO the optorectical dillusion that it weighs less

    i have both platforms butt have yet to weigh the batteries

    the 18v batteries slowly discharge/slow down before stopping allowing for planning my cuts

    the 20v batteries just stop w/o warning right in the middle of a task

    i find the 18v batteries on the interweb for <$50/pr that give me a couple good years

    the 18v circular saw i have was purchaced at a garage sale and isn't a fair example to compare w/ much of anything butt it works for much of what i need one for

    for cutting w/ a hand held i choose the power of a corded unit as long as i have a long enuff string to reach the 120v source(i gotz lotsa string)

    when choosing a new unit i try to get one(of most anything) that provides easy sight of the cutting edge when whirring/making sawdust

    being right handed makes a circular saw w/ the blade on the left side of the handle my preference

    i've had a worm drive for several years butt have yet to make peace w/ it's ergonomics

    i have corded 7.5" saws that do yeoman's duty when needed

    my 4.5" hand held corded and 18v DeWalt 7.5" saws are my goto's

    when the 18v DeWalt 7.5 dies it will get replaced w/ like kind

    just personal observations/preferences some of which were $$ driven

    sw
    "we are the people, our parents warned us about" (jb)

    steve

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    The 18-20 volt saws are wimpy. The 60volt Dewalt is amazing. As much power as a corded saw. The 36volt (two 18v batteries) Makita saws are also fantastic. I don’t even keep my old corded Bosch circular saw in the truck anymore. I don’t think I’ve used it in a year. And I am a full time remodeling contractor. I recently bought a great saw - 36v Makita that also fits on a saw track. Not a dedicated tracksaw, though I have and like one of those, too.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    Depends what you're gonna use it for. The guy on the Essential Craftsman Youtube channel recently did a review after several months of hard use with the worm-drive Skilsaw cordless, after having used a succession of corded Skilsaw worm-drive saws as a professional builder for decades. He is a big advocate of worm-drive.

    His opinion? Corded and battery powered are for different uses. Not because the power demands haven't been sorted - by now, they have. But because the battery versions are heavier and have a different center of balance - so the way you use them and what for will differ.

    Overhead work, the corded saw's lighter weight makes it a no-brainer. Anywhere that you're going to actually want to use the cord as a rope to lift/lower the saw - like doing work up in rafters and trusses, you'll miss it. You could put a rope on a cordless, but it would kinda defeat the whole thing.

    The balance point is a bigger deal - ordinary worm drive saws have all the weight out front, and it helps the saw "drop into" the cut. is the basis for many of the tricks and tips that worm drive users use. But the cordless saw is great when you want to use it pushed across the work rather than dropped into it - it tracks better. Cordless also great when you're having to take it somewhere on a jobsite for individual little bits of work, a few cuts rather than all day.

    For me, I have a good old Makita corded that's not dead yet - and I probably won't kill it for a while. But my son - now a framer - got a corded Makita rather than cordless. Not worm-drive, just a sidewinder. It's a wonderful saw, and he finds it easier to see his cut lines than with a worm drive, and it has plenty of torque. He'll probably get a cordless too, when his work makes it a legit thing to have both to cover a bunch of different work situations - but it won't be the first thing he'll buy to expand the tool crib.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    I bought a Skilsaw Mag77 worm drive about 15 years ago when I was getting into home construction.

    I just now had to replace the trigger. Its been left out in the rain, snow, and mud. Pushed through thousands of linear feet of subfloor, roof sheathing, and asphalt shingles. I've done demolition, rough construction, and fine trim work with it.

    I know its heavier than the sidewinders, but its the most reliable power tool I own.
    Last edited by BBSebens; 01-06-2021 at 11:25 AM.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    If shop space is at a premium, get the worm drive. The ergomics make it easyer to cut accurately and it'll power thru most anything

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    6.5" blades can be hard to find.
    Worm drive is good, no kickback, but heavy.
    basil

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    My favorite circular saw is the Porter Cable 6” Saw Boss. I thought they were no longer available but apparently they are.
    http://www.world-tools.com/porter-ca...h-circular-saw

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    A friend who is a fixer-type guy (fixes anything, from houses to heavy duty equipment) swears by his Dewalt plug-in saw. It is light, cuts fast, doesn't twist when starting it up. I have tried it, and it is the best saw I have used, too. Better than my Makita plug-in Model 5007. It is just easier to use, due to some subtle variation in the design and ergonomics.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    I would not buy any circular saw, corded or not, without a blade brake.

    I use a circular saw almost every day, seldom use the one with a cord (Bosch worm drive.)

    Goodbasil, 6-1/2" blades are in all the stores.
    Steve Martinsen

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    I find weight matters.
    if it's hardwood mostly, then it's got to be mains power.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by robm View Post
    A friend who is a fixer-type guy (fixes anything, from houses to heavy duty equipment) swears by his Dewalt plug-in saw. It is light, cuts fast, doesn't twist when starting it up. I have tried it, and it is the best saw I have used, too. Better than my Makita plug-in Model 5007. It is just easier to use, due to some subtle variation in the design and ergonomics.
    My Milwaukee Tilt Lock also has better ergonomics than the Makita that I use at work.

    I've used the Dewalt 60v. It's lovely,but I wouldn't buy one.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    The beauty of the ubiquitous Skill worm drive is the left mounted blade. Holding the saw in your right hand you are looking right at the line and the blade.
    That and the fact that you can cut through just about anything without bogging down....you'll probably pop the breaker before you can stall the damn thing.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by cyclone View Post
    My favorite circular saw is the Porter Cable 6” Saw Boss. I thought they were no longer available but apparently they are.
    http://www.world-tools.com/porter-ca...h-circular-saw
    I bought one of those when they first came out back in the early 80’s, left the 7-1/4” Craftsman ‘anchor’ it replaced untouched for ever after. I was ‘rebuilding’ a ‘boat that’d never leave the dock’ at the time, cutting the roof up in sections rafters & all.

    Learned quick how much nicer it was to be able to see my cut-line under my face rather than having to look over my right hand on the handle of that Craftsman.

    Couple years back decided to try the DeWalt 20V cordless, being pretty cheap at under $100 & using the newer Li ion batteries I’d already moved up to after the disappointing NiCad / NiMH that’d come first. The PC’s still around, I use it once in awhile but it’s the DeWalt that sees my hand now 9 times out of 10. Just too convenient & I do like its blade brake. Guard on PC’s broken its spring more’n once in 40 years.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    I used a corded Makita professionally for decades. A wonderful saw.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    Time for me to buy a saw with a brake....
    oh, and a cordless planer...and polisher.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    OK, I ordered the 6 1/2" cordless 20V DeWalt, with the left-facing orientation. Then a 5 ah battery. And 2 extra blades. . Total price about CAD $230 before taxes.

    I also want the 5 ah battery for charging cellphones when on Drake or in the Bush, via this unit.




    And I'll do as suggested, and get a used corded worm-drive for the bigger jobs.

    Also, I've found that the new ultra-thin cutting blades get through the wood with less effort than the older style, in both my portable saw and the table saw.

    Anyway, thanks for the collective advice!

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 01-07-2021 at 10:00 AM.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    I don't use them a lot. I have 5 stationary saws set up for various purposes in the shop, and a vertical panel saw for busting up sheet goods.

    But I own a Hitachi corded saw. It compares well to the various other brands of corded saw I've used (for my sins, I worked on a framing crew as a youth).

    And I also have a Milwaukee 18v cordless. I pick that up FAR more often, because I might be out in the yard without an extension cord strung. Or I might be dockside. And I seldom have to make more than a few cuts.

    But I agree strongly with the notion that the 'right' saw depends mostly upon your needs. Of course, do your due diligence. Research the topic. But know that there are at least a half-dozen brands of excellect skilsaws out there.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    I have a Porter-Cable 7-1/4 sidewinder. Nice saw. Very accurate with its cast magnesium sole. P-C has cheaped it out since being acquired by the B+D folks.

    These days, I'd probably get this Bosch: https://www.boschtools.com/us/en/bos...-cs10-27833-p/,

    or maybe this Milwaukee: https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Produc...r-Saws/6394-21, which has a blade brake.

    [And sorry for the lack of worm drives — I grew up in the Midwest... and that's sidewinder territory]
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    ....

    Also, I've found that the new ultra-thin cutting blades get through the wood with less effort than the older style, in both my portable saw and the table saw.

    Anyway, thanks for the collective advice!

    Dave
    cordless saws do not have a lot of torque, don't be afraid to change to a new blade, it makes a big difference.
    Steve Martinsen

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Circular Saw replacement

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Jones View Post
    I used a corded Makita professionally for decades. A wonderful saw.
    Another vote for the Makita 5007.

    $110 is a good price.

    For what the OP wants to do, cut rough hardwood to rough lengths, the cordless saws are not enough. I have no experience with the 36-50 v saws, but get a corded saw.

    Also, whatever brand you settle on, make sure it's rated for 15 amps (120v saw).

    You'll be glad you did.
    Rattling the teacups.

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