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Old 04-15-2010, 08:42 AM   #1
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


Looking to add a circular saw to my small diy tool set. I'm no carpenter so I'm not looking to break the bank. Hopefully I can stick to under 100 bucks. I see HD has Ryobis on the low end then Rigids and Makitas right around $100. An suggestions or recommendations?

Thanks

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Old 04-15-2010, 10:26 AM   #2
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


I have one of the el-cheapo Ryobi saws at home. It does all right even on dense or pressure treated wood so long as the blade isn't dull, and can bevel up to 50 degrees or so. Probably a decent saw for occasional mostly light duty work.

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Old 04-15-2010, 11:54 AM   #3
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


Thanks. The price is definitely right on the Ryobi tools. I was just wondering about the quality. I'm not doing any heavy construction so it probably is just right for me. I also noticed they had a table saw for about $119 that I was considering.
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:52 PM   #4
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


Are you right handed? If so a blade left saw is more user friendly.

These are great saws for the money.


Porter Cable 423MAG 15 Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with Blade Left

Tool Class: Power Tools - Tool Type: Saws, Knives and Blades

Featuring an ultra-powerful 15 Amp, 5,800 RPM motor, the Porter-Cable 423MAG delivers precise, straight, and accurate cuts quickly and efficiently. An on-board cord clip makes sure the power cord stays clear of your cutting more ...

Part #: 423MAG more ..., PORCAB 423MAG


Sellers Found: 8
Available Since: Apr 29, 2005

Lowest Price: $79.95
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:55 PM   #5
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


jte, I have Festool, Porter Cable, & DeWalt circular saws and I would not be afraid to buy one of these:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=95004
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:03 PM   #6
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


Post some candidate specs on amp draw vs. price; at least five samples. A scatterplot should show what's a 'normal' $/A ratio. The less dollars per amp the better, other things being equal.

From above, 15A for $80 = ~$5 per amp and $40 for 10A = $4 per amp. I'd be suspicious of way low dollars per amp. And Grainger had one for $10/amp so that's probably the high end of the range.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-15-2010 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 04-15-2010, 03:42 PM   #7
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


The PC MAGs are an excellent choice, even if they come to a bit over $100
Available for lefty or righty, it's not a tool you'll "outgrow" (find it's limitations fall short of your needs) even if you find more ambitious projects to use it for
And it is a joy to use, so you may find yourself using it more than you thought

A word of warning if shopping for one of these by price alone:
The H/D versions of this model are de-spec'd for H/D's price points
Spend the few extra bucks for a good/real one @ your local tool supply store
It's well worth it

The Ryobis...well...now admittedly I haven't used their circ. saw
But after having two old-school Ryobi tools (pre-H/D buyout and China-sourced tools, these were made in Japan and Taiwan) that work quite well, and have for years... I bit the bait and went for a H/D Ryobi table saw (great price ) a few years ago
Even after extensive modifications it never cut true or well
As mentioned, it cut PT just fine with a sharp blade, and it was "close enough" for a deck or fence posts and pickets (any PT project)
But it was frustrating (time, material, and caulk consuming) on exterior trim and nearly useless on interior trim
I can only imagine the horrors of trying to use it for bookcases or picture framing
Needless to say I soon got to the point of leaving the back of the truck open, and it on the back, hoping it would fall off and be smashed to pieces

Having used and/or owned some Dewalt and Makita circ saws (among other tools), I would be open to their current offerings (and have considered the smaller Makita circ. and the Dewalt Table Saw offerings more than once)
Again, I would be hesitant to purchase either from H/D, because at least in regards to the the specific tools I was looking for at the time (DeWalt Table Saws, Makita Drill Drivers), the HD offerings were de-spec'd compared to the Tool Supply places

A Note In Regards To De-Spec'ing:
Just because a tool offered @ H/D doesn't have the exact same specs as the "same" model (model-wise, there will often be only a letter or number different), and the actual spec. diff. might not appear in the lit. (motor casing material, bushings, options vs. standard, tech. specs. like harshness and vibration and Amp Hrs as compared to just plain Amps) doesn't mean it might not be worth it for your needs
Just go into it with your eyes wide open as to the fact that it's simply not the same tool you saw at "Northeast Tool Supply" for less money
It is a product/tool worth less than what you tried out at NE Tool Sup.
Is it worth it to you?
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Old 04-15-2010, 05:58 PM   #8
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


I have always thought that De-Spec'ing for price points was a urban legend. I can't imagine what kind of logistics would be involved in keeping separate supply lines for a PC MAG saw from HD vs another source other than changes in the factory feature set. For example Quik change blade or regular change, or with/without a blade.

There is price a difference for different models of tools just like there is a price difference between different models of cars. To be specific for the case in point the PC 7-1/4" Mag saw with blade left Model #423MAG is carried by HD in two versions. With or without the Quik Change blade.

With:http://www.homedepot.com/Porter-Cabl...atalogId=10053

Without:http://www.homedepot.com/Tools-Hardw...atalogId=10053

Other than the blade and blade change, There is no difference between
these saws from HD or those from any other source.
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Old 04-15-2010, 08:29 PM   #9
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


I am inclined to agree about the despeccing being an urban legend. Why would a longstanding company want to compromise it's reputation selling poorly made knockoffs with their name on it to Home Depot. That would be a very poor marketing strategy.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:29 PM   #10
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Slick does bring up a good point that when shopping for a specific model of tool, the buyer has to be aware of what is included. The 7-1/4" #423Mag from HD is a good example because while HD gives these two models their own HD model number, they share the 423Mag label. A casual reading of their specs as seen by the HD web editor not only does not highlight the difference but has errors from the actual factory specs. For example the 2nd 423Mag Specifications state the Horsepower as '0 hp'

This to me meant that the two versions of the HD 423MAG had two different editors that were tasked to take the Porter Cable 423Mag specs and write up a web page.

The bottom line is that the buyer has to be aware of just what will be included in that UPS box. I recently got a great deal on a rebuilt DeWalt 16 gauge nailer that came with an optional bump trigger,oil, and safety glasses, but NO Case. The Web ad did not say No Case but then it's "Buyer Beware"
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:07 PM   #11
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


Urban legend:
Yes, I know, most people would like to think so
But my diligent research into the specific examples I mentioned, along with statements from my friends in the manufacturing industry who actually supply these de-spec'd products, lead me to mention the fact
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim F
I am inclined to agree about the despeccing being an urban legend. Why would a longstanding company want to compromise it's reputation selling poorly made knockoffs with their name on it to Home Depot. That would be a very poor marketing strategy.
You'd think....
H/D sells 20% of all lawn care machinery in this country
If H/D said we need a "de-spec'd" version of your (picture it's you who makes/sells it) popular lawn mower to sell for less, or else we'll drop your line...would you (as a business-person) say "No" to this?
This is why the H/D "Honda" powered lawn mowers (Chinese-made) are nothing like the "real" Honda-powered (Japanese-made) lawn mowers our "Lawn Care Professionals" love and swear by

More generally, if you sell ten million of an item, and can save ten bucks cost on each, you just saved yourself (your share-holders) a million bucks!
If the target customer (one-off project clueless-to-tool-quality DIYers) can't tell the difference...why not do it!

I DO NOT repeat "urban legends" here
I hate them
I am here to DISPEL them

But what I have stated above is in fact completely true

Sorry you don't "get it"
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Old 04-16-2010, 07:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slickshift View Post
Urban legend:
Yes, I know, most people would like to think so
But my diligent research into the specific examples I mentioned, along with statements from my friends in the manufacturing industry who actually supply these de-spec'd products, lead me to mention the fact
Perhaps your research or your friends can supply one example of how a 423Mag saw from HD is different from one sold by say Amazon.com? Or are they also in on the scam?
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:17 AM   #14
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Looking For A Sub $100 Circular Saw


---And now-Back to the question------Listen to Keven M's suggestion--
That Porter Cable saw is a sweet looking tool--It'll give you a lifetime of quality cuts--Cheap-o saws are a constant irritation and slowly become dangerous-as the parts fall off.

I have two old Skill worm drives--they will out live me--I've looked at the Porter Cable--Looks like a fine light saw---I am right handed--Porter is the only side-winder I know of with the blade on the left------Where it belongs for a right handed person.

--Mike--
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:26 AM   #15
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Re: de-speccing, can anyone provide evidence [lawsuits, ripoff reports, MBA theses, on-the-record statements, etc] to support either position?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifiability

I kinda' think HD and their suppliers can do whatever they want to. If they're found out they can mount an advertising campaign.

Maybe that's why nobody publishes reliability numbers [MTBF]. It's a gentlemen's agreement.

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