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Old 08-11-2008, 02:30 PM   #1
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


My 30 yr old craftsman saw finally died today. It has served me well.
I have been looking at the standard and worm drive models. I was wondering what everyone who has used both types thought and which they would recommend.
I should mention that I do use the saw often. For many different kinds of material to include plastic, hardwood, mdf, plywood and laminated boards. I'm not a builder, I do remodeling and typically not the framing and of course those never ending home projects.

Your thoughts?

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Old 08-11-2008, 03:48 PM   #2
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


I prefer the worm type, I like the extra torque with the slower blade speed. I also like being on the "action" side of the saw. I've owned both and will not go back to a "standard" version.

I own a craftsman version that is relegated to only cutting concrete/masonry type material. That thing weighs a TON...hard to maneuver, but has taken a beating. I also have a DeWalt worm drive for lumber...and like it WAY better than the craftsman...lighter, better handle/motor configuration and it has a built in rafter hook.

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Old 08-11-2008, 05:45 PM   #3
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


I find myself picking up my skill 5 1/2 circular saw a whole lot more often than my worm drive, mainly because it is so much lighter and easier to control. It cuts through 2x material fine. The worm drive lends itself being dropped through a board as it is leaning against your shin.
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Old 08-12-2008, 11:47 AM   #4
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


Don't buy a worm drive for what your uses are. Try a Porter Cable "blade left" Mag saw. They feel great in my hand and cut smooth as silk. Best saw Ive ever owned
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Old 08-12-2008, 08:11 PM   #5
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


I would not recommend a worm drive for your use descriotion, they are way to heavy and cumbersome. I think the Porter Cable MAGS are at the top of the heap; plenty power in a relatively light and well balanced tool, and a much more substantial base than the piece of thin metal on most.
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Old 08-13-2008, 07:45 AM   #6
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


I'm somewhat intrigued by the knock on worm drives. I've used both and I really find the whole clumsy and weight thing to be inconsequential (assuming I have the latitude to consider the DW worm drive, the craftsman did in fact weigh a ton and was an arm killer). I find that by having the pushing hand/arm nearly in line behind the blade, it's easier to produce straight cuts especially if I have to use the other hand to support or direct the cut-off. The weight isn't a big issue...the PC-Mag comes in right at 10#, the DW worm is 13# for frequent but not continual use, 3# isn't going to cause issues.

Oh well....Shamus is getting some good feed back, and if he has a decent construction tool supply place near him maybe he should go and test drive each type.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:16 AM   #7
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


If you go to amazon.com, home improvement, you can get a lot more feedback on circular saws and everyother kind of tool.
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Old 08-13-2008, 10:39 AM   #8
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


Shamus,

Since you said you use the saw I recommend you get a "pro level" saw. Bosch, Milwaukee, Porter-Cable, Dewalt, Makita, Hitachi and Ridgid all make a good product. When you start tossing around brand names like this you will get a lot of varying feedback. Pro level tools are like trucks - some guys will only drive a Ford, some guys wouldn't drive one if you gave it to them. Do some research and read some comparison tests and you'll get the drift. In one magazine the writer will pick saw ABC #1, in another test a writer will put it near the bottom. Go figure.

Personally, I am using a Bosch CS20. Love the direct connect feature, wish all corded tools would move towards this.
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Old 08-13-2008, 05:18 PM   #9
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


Thanks everyone for your input.

The cost isn't as much a concern as the quality and the weight isn't an issue for me at all.
I'm used to buying more than I need when it comes to about everything toolwise. It isn't always the smartest thing to do from a cost standpoint but better quality, higher priced tools do hold up for years and years.

I just replaced my belt sander a week ago. Last week the circular saw died and today my random orbit sander stopped gripping the velcro on the paper. (Don't understand why they don't include an extra pad with every one they sell.)
Looks like I need to stop by and see what my neighborhood suppliers have to offer.

Just an afterthought, I used a Milwaukee corded drill for everything up until about 2 years ago. Wasn't going to buy one of them battery ones. Well, I did end up with a pair of them and always have a charged battery waiting in the wings. How did I live without these. Their just to handy. The ol reliable Milwaukee sits on the sidelines collecting dust.

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Old 08-13-2008, 07:28 PM   #10
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shamus View Post
today my random orbit sander stopped gripping the velcro on the paper. (Don't understand why they don't include an extra pad with every one they sell.)

Depending upon the brand ROS you have you can buy just the pad at Home Depot. And a lot of times a pad of one brand will fit on another brand ROS. Bring your old pad with you to compare. If HD fails, you can probably find somewhere online to buy pad for about 1/3rd the cost of a new ROS.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:02 AM   #11
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


personally, i LOVE my cordless DeWalt 6 1/2" er. i've had it for years and have used it to death. and only one new battery in 7 or 8 years now. and no friggin' CORD to catch on the end of a panel! -=grrrrr=-
it's also like a worm in that the blade is on the left, viewable side when cutting right-handed. =o) easier to watch your cut.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:41 AM   #12
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


I've had a blade-left Porter Cable for well over a decade, and the thing hasn't slowed down. The blade left feature is something I am used to and couldn't do without! I like the large base on this configuration of saw, as opposed to the often smaller base of a worm drive. It is very light, and has just as much guts as my Makita worm drive. I believe it has worm gears and is not direct drive, which makes it more powerful.

One downside to the traditional worm drive (skil, makita, etc) is that they tend to jump when you start them...A nuisance but not something that would keep me from buying one.
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Old 09-02-2008, 11:18 AM   #13
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


Use and like:

Makitas - Good all around saws. Only gripe: Not crazy about the shallow fence - make's it hard to run it along a straight edge, the fence tends to slide under the straight edge.

Porter cables - Good all around work horses. Left and right side blades.

Just broke in a new Hitachi Yesterday at home.

Don't like the Rigid. Returned one. Still have the second one, I don't like it, and just keep it around as a home saw.
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Old 09-02-2008, 04:13 PM   #14
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Which circular (skil) saw to buy?


I would recommend the Skil HD77 Worm Drive Saw 7 1/4" blade on left side of the saw. This is the Power Tool that the majority of contractors will buy from us because of its longevity and durability.
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Last edited by Termite; 09-24-2008 at 03:21 PM. Reason: Site rules violation...self-promoting advertising link removed
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