Circular Saw & Blade - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Circular Saw & Blade

I need a new circular saw for breaking down ply and occasionally crosscutting long boards. It wont get a ton of use, but I do want a quality saw so that I can make accurate cuts.

Should I consider a cordless or will it be under powered?

I would love a Festool Plunge Cut & Rail system but that isnt economically feasible. Can anyone recommend a saw for $100+/-?

Also, what should I look for in a blade for ripping and crosscutting ply?
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 01:05 PM
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I've always gone with Makita for a good general purpose circ-saw. I don't care for the cordless saws either the circ or the reciprocating.
However the cordless drills are outstanding.
The last saw I bought was 4 or so years ago at about $140 from a local lumber yard. It's still going strong.
Good Luck!!
..Jon..
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 01:16 PM
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Okay, since you asked about sub $100.00 saws, PLUS a proper blade. I have to assume that is a hard budget line for you not including tax...

I have an OLD Skil 13 amp that has been holding up VERY well for me, and has been good and accurate for a LOT of years. I am just a hobbyist. A pro would have probably killed this thing years ago. At the cost, I would be willing to take a chance on another one. The current version of that same saw appears to be the Skil 5480-01 and while I am no huge fan of many current Skil products, their experience with circular saws, and my experience with this saw would bring me back to buy a new one if this one wears out... I have 20+ years with it...

It lacks any sort of case to keep things together, I like having my wrenches, spare blades etc... in one place. My shop is messy enough, I don't need to have to dig for the wrench to my circ saw you know? If you like having a case, Expect to pay about $15.00 for one of those ballistics nylon tool bags big enough for a circ saw and its stuff.

I use the Diablo 40 tooth circ saw blade when cutting panels. Leaves a good finish, extremely clean cuts etc...

Generally speaking, I do not like cordless tools, so I will always recommend corded. And stay away from that advertising gimmick that is laser guides. Use a straight edge and follow that!

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post #4 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 02:20 PM
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I have a Craftsman circular saw that I believe was $79. I don't know the model number off hand, but can look it up if you are interested. It came with a hard case and an edge guide which is decent for making shallow rip cuts (it will guide within 7" of the edge).

I use it with a Dewalt plywood blade which gives me nice cuts on sheet goods.

One thing I would not recommend is the Harbor Freight self squaring clamping guides. I cannot get a square cut using that thing - ended up going back to using a level clamped to the workpiece instead.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions.

$100 is not a hard budget, but I would rather spend closer to $100 than $200.
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 04:48 PM
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I have a 30 some year old Milwaukee, haven't need to shop for circ saw since the early 80's. If you can handle the reconditioned market you can upgrade your quality big time:

http://www.cpoindustrialpowertools.c...fv1=7-1%2f4-in

or
http://www.cpomilwaukee.com/factory-reconditioned-milwaukee-6390-81-7-1-4-in-tilt-lok-circular-saw-with-case/milr6390-81,default,pd.html?start=1&cgid=milwaukee-circular-saws

or
http://bigskytool.com/Hitachi_C7SB2_7-14_15_Amp_Circular_Saw_(Reconditioned)___i258.aspx

I have a Freud 24 tooth framing blade for general purpose and a Frued 60 tooth fine finish blade for... well, fine finish. Both those from Home Depot.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 05:29 PM
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I've got a 6" Freud Diablo crammed into a little 5-1/2" Skil circ saw. The blade does a great job in ply, but I have mixed feelings about the value of the Skil considering that it's in the $100 range, it's underpowered, and blades that fit are very limited. It is however very light and easy to use with one hand.
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 05:54 PM
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Just going over the specs of some of these saws reminded me that, to me, a spindle lock on a circular saw is a must have. I gave away an old montgomery ward saw because it had no spindle lock and had a propensity to loosen just enough for the blade slip. Now that I think about it, I think that's what prompted me to buy the Milwaukee in the first place.

John

If I strive for perfection, I can generally achieve good'nuff, If I strive for good'nuff, I generally achieve firewood
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-19-2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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I walked into Home Depot expecting to buy a Makita 7005MG for about $140 but saw that they dropped the price on the Milwaukee 6390-21 (http://************/cjul6uf) to $114 which was too good to pass up. They accepted a HF 20% coupon dropping the price to ~$90. I also picked up a Diablo 40 tooth blade. Based on reviews I found it should be a great saw.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-20-2012, 04:50 PM
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For a basic saw for quickly sizing lumber try looking in thrift stores and see if you find one. They usually sell for around $25 and come from those estate sales where the home owner used it twice. Once for building the deck and a second time for fixing the deck.

If you find something on the internet you will most likely pay shipping which will need to be included in your $100.00 budget.

I don't like using cordless 5 1/2" circular saws for roughing lumber for a project as it takes to much power and before you can finish your out of juice.

I bought my Porter Cable for $75 off of Craigs List and have hand no issues with it.

Good luck and I am sure you will find something.
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