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Is it worth it to pay more for a circular saw?

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  • #31
    Originally posted by goosala View Post
    For me the blade is very important. Get a good blade because cheap *** blades will wear out after one use.
    Yeah, MDF will eat a cheap blade really quick. I got one with carbide inserts that has lasted a while.
    Francis

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    • #32
      Originally posted by billfitzmaurice View Post
      I don't need a track saw because I have a couple of these, which I use with my circular saw and my router:

      https://boratool.com/clamp-edge-saw-guide-system

      They're handy as clamps too. I haven't bothered with any of the accessories, but they're available if you need them.
      I have the same and use it with mid-range Skil. Easy to use and very accurate.

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      • #33
        My son has become a DeWalt guy. I'm a Milwaukee fan. He received a DeWalt Cordless circular saw a year ago at Christmas and we both thought he would never use it, but it has become one of his go to tools. Strong cutter and doesn't kill the batteries like we assumed it would. The higher end cordless brands have come a long way. I wasted $5-600 on crappy $100 cordless drills back in the day.

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        • #34
          We had De Walt driver drills and impact drivers at my last job. Tough but wobbly. "De Wobble". Makita fan here with one Bosch driver drill.

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          • #35
            I had a 120VAC corded Craftsman circular saw that I almost never used and so at some point I sold it. Last year I was needing a circular saw and so I went and bought a Porter Cable 20V Lithium rechargeable. It works just fine, but not nearly the same amount of power as a corded saw.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by AEIOU View Post
              I had a 120VAC corded Craftsman circular saw that I almost never used and so at some point I sold it. Last year I was needing a circular saw and so I went and bought a Porter Cable 20V Lithium rechargeable. It works just fine, but not nearly the same amount of power as a corded saw.
              Yeah, if you need raw power to cut huge stuff, a corded saw is still king. But for the cabinet making I've done the cordless has had plenty of power, especially using a good carbide blade.
              Francis

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              • billfitzmaurice
                billfitzmaurice commented
                Editing a comment
                If you're cutting framing lumber a sliding compound miter saw is the only way to go.

              • dlr
                dlr commented
                Editing a comment
                I have a small, crappy garage (100 years old, busted up floor), so my table saw was a pain to use (old Sears version). Made lots of cuts with my 7-1/4" old Sears corded circular saw (carbide tipped blade was a huge improvement), but always frustrated. Decided on a sliding compound miter saw. Bought the best I found in stores at the time, a Sears Craftsman. 12" blade, two vacuum attachment ports. I seldom use anything else to cut unless it simply can't be done in it. Still have and occasionally use the corded circular saw, but I'm probably going to get a Makita cordless as I have Makita batteries and charger for other tools. I'm not sure I'd ever buy a table saw in my circumstances now.

            • #37
              FWIW I used the Eurekazone track system a fair bit back before I moved into a place with enough room for a decent TS setup. I had the Makita 5007mg which is a decent enough saw, but like all circular saws it spews dust everywhere. In a bit of frustration I picked up a Makita 5057kb, which is designed for cutting fiber cement siding. Two major differences in construction - a very effective dust collection shroud around the blade, and higher grade sealed bearings to withstand the abrasive dust. Well, IMHO the difference is significant - the dust collection isn't perfect, but hoo-boy does it help with clean up. More importantly, the saw feels more powerful and controllable, and the cut quality really does seem to be higher - maybe due to the bearings.
              They aren't exactly cheap, but since it was my main cutting tool for a while I felt it was well worth it.

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              • #38
                Well, still using my nearly 40 year-old "Golden Anniversary" corded Skil sidewinder with a "no-name" track saw kit, total price about $120 bucks with a good Freud blade (except on MDF, particle board or OSB then I use Home Despot throw-away Avanti or such blades as the resin will soon ruin ANY blade). I can't justify anything more. Yeah there's quieter, smoother, nicer soft-start, blade brake saws out there, but I haven't picked up mine in three years at least. The most I ever used it was when I re-built my garage 30-odd years ago and made it long enough to hold a pick-up. I won't do that sort of thing again, so what I have will do me fine. I could probably find a 1940's Milwaukee maul (worm drive) saw at a pawn shop for $40 that needs $50 of TLC and have a better saw than any new one sold, but I have no need of the power and life and weight and hunt for a 20 amp receptacle. If you want a new saw, indulge yourself! Who's keeping score?

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                • #39
                  I have an old-ish Hitachi. It's never let me down as long as I was using a decent blade. It's main attraction to me is that it's light (I'm a cyclist, so by definition I'm an upper body weakling). I'd guess that any decent cordless circular saw made today is at least as good. I think that if you're not a pro (contractor, carpenter, etc.) almost any modern circular saw will do. That said, of you have cash burning a hole in your pocket Fesstool and Makita (probably others) make some lust-worthy plunge saws....

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                  • #40
                    If you're in a trade, such as form carpentry, it makes a big difference having more power and a more rugged tool. It's also really good and increases your personal safety to have the brake feature that comes standard on higher end saws.

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                    • #41
                      After I bought myself a table saw I almost never used my corded circular saw, in fact I sold my circular saw. However I later bought a cordless circular saw only because I do occasionally have a need for a circular saw, but not often.

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                      • #42
                        I am a big fan of circular saws with the blade on the left (where you can see what your doing - assuming you are right handed. I have a Milwaukee corded, and a two battery, 36v Makita cordless). The one battery small saws are really only suited to light materials. I wouldn't buy a Craftsman, Black & Decker, or Porter Cable (the old PC's were good, before they were bought out). Freud Diablo blades are good. Any extension cords need to be heavy enough not to cause voltage drop - suggest 14 ga for 25' or less, 12 gauge over 25'. A decent extension cord costs more than many saws these days.

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                        • #43
                          Originally posted by GordB View Post
                          If you're in a trade, such as form carpentry, it makes a big difference having more power and a more rugged tool.
                          True, but this site is devoted to DIY speaker builders. My reply at contractortalk.com would have been very different from here with respect to circular saws, but not with respect to compound miter saws.

                          www.billfitzmaurice.com
                          www.billfitzmaurice.info/forum

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                          • #44
                            I struggle with making choices in many facets of life and tool selection is probably one of the toughest.

                            Tried and true vs slick and new...

                            Cordless tools are the future. With the abundance of battery technologies and the ability to interchange them with different tools, it's the ultimate convenience and avoids the aforementioned cord hazards.

                            That said, I try to avoid being too brand loyal, and buy the best tool for the job. Corded tools, whilst they may have their drawbacks, are very affordable these days and avoid the trap of trying to stick to a battery standard and brand. Certain tools I don't mind buying used and those who upgrade to cordless offload their older tools sometimes at a great discount. I can take those savings and invest in things like better blades or tips.

                            Circular saw has been a tricky one for me tho... Without having access to a table saw, the duality of the track saw has great appeal to me. It's definitely not as cheap as picking up a slightly used circular saw, but it seems to afford a convenient package for those on the move. I have seen folk use a full sheet of 1-2" thick XPS foam, and a shop vac attachment to keep the dust to a minimum, and it looked a slick supportive way to rip large pieces. Plus it's light as and easy to transport. Just replace when it gets too beat up.

                            My jigsaw and router are 40+ year old hand me downs that perform amazingly, and my drill is a 20 year old refined Dewalt hand drill I won in high school for being a shop rat. They all serve me well and have no plans to upgrade anytime soon, but if any of them began to perform badly, I would spend what I had to adequately replace them with a quality tool. Bad tools are like dull knives in a kitchen, and can be dangerous as all heck.

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                            • #45
                              I am surprised no one has mentioned looking for ones with adjustable bases. This allows the base to be perfectly aligned with the blade. Unfortunately, most cordless models are missing this.

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