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Spait1946
Spait1946 New Reader
3/28/18 1:58 p.m.

My trusty old Craftsman Circular saw may have finally bit the dust. The motor shaft (and therefore the blade) has about a 1/4" of play. To me, that's a worn out motor and/or bearings and not something worth replacing. Plus, it gives me an excuse to put a shiny new tool on the shelf. 

I figured about $100, and started looking. I know that a $300 worm-drive Skil Saw is more than I need. But I don't want a $25 el-cheapo either. While I don't use it often, when I do, I want it to work and work well. I kinda like this option, but have no experience with a Hypoid saw or Makita. I like the layout however and it gets good reviews. Interested to get your feedback. 

If you occasionally built things and did home remodeling, what saw would you want?

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
3/28/18 2:10 p.m.

I have a Makita circular saw. I don't know the model number, but it is a regular circular saw with a magnesium footplate. I like it a lot. I use it maybe a few times every few months. I've never used a hypoid or worm gear saw, so I am interested to hear what others have to say.

Furious_E
Furious_E SuperDork
3/28/18 2:12 p.m.

I finally got tired of borrowing my dad's circular saw and bought a HF saw a few months back. It's actually quite decent for the price, but I don't think that's what you're after here. My dad's Makita is a much nicer tool, noticeably more powerful, and is holding up well at roughly 25 years old. Can't speak to the hypoid or worm drive saws, but I can definitely endorse Makita. 

Ian F
Ian F MegaDork
3/28/18 2:17 p.m.

It will depend some on how heavily you plan to use it, but I'm quite certain the next circular saw I buy will be cordless.  

Otherwise, my basic DeWalt has worked for me  - at least after I spent a few minutes setting it up and making it true.  Out of the box it couldn't cut worth a damn.

coexist
coexist Reader
3/28/18 2:27 p.m.

I have used sidewinder saws for 35 years in carpentry.  I own a wormdrive and never use it. Currently we have three Porter Cable 347 (well one is a 743 reverse) used for all parts of framing. When combined with various guides and a good blade, we do cabinetry cuts with it.  Can probably find a used one for under $100. Built well and repairable (brushes are all I've had to do) . I don't know about modern PC saws, look cheap.

However, my most recent tool is a Milwaukee 18v 7 1/4" (sidewinder) saw. $250 including a 9ah battery.  I suspect this will get a lot of use, not including heavy framing.  Feels great and good power. We already have Milw. battery tools, so it was easier to buy.

I'll save my opinion of wormdrive users for later in the thread. :)

aircooled
aircooled MegaDork
3/28/18 2:35 p.m.

I have HF's worm drive saw.  Seems like a high quality saw and works great (make sure to put oil in it!!).   Probably a clone of the higher price brands.  Costs about $100.   Their cheapo goes for $40.

 

 

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
3/28/18 2:36 p.m.

If I was looking to buy, I would shop the Makita first.  But, a few years back, I got a Milwaukee saw as a 20th year anniversary gift at work.  Its been a good one, but is made in China.   The old Sears I used for years seemed to run fine, it just wouldn't cut worth a E36 M3.   

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
3/28/18 2:47 p.m.

I have a DeWalt 20v battery circular saw. It came in a set of tools, I didn't go specifically looking for it. 

I've used it a few times here and there for 2x4's and plywood for various projects and it has done great. Corded circular saws are going to be noticeably more powerful, but for here and there, the 20v holds it's own, plus is very mobile. 

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
3/28/18 3:07 p.m.

My dad was a carpenter his whole life and always used Porter Cable.  I bought one in '97 and still have it.  Then inherited dads a few years ago.  They are both excellent saws.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
3/28/18 3:23 p.m.
T.J. said:

I have a Makita circular saw. I don't know the model number, but it is a regular circular saw with a magnesium footplate. I like it a lot. I use it maybe a few times every few months. I've never used a hypoid or worm gear saw, so I am interested to hear what others have to say.

I may have the same saw.  It does what I need it to do.  Seems a tick above average quality.  I'd recommend it.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy UltimaDork
3/28/18 3:37 p.m.

Anything that has bearings instead of bushings on the main shaft, or so I've been told.  Bushings wear, which lets the blade wander a bit, which makes it harder to cut a straight  line. 

That's all I got.

frenchyd
frenchyd Dork
3/29/18 5:17 p.m.

In reply to Spait1946 :

For 22 plus years I sold construction equipment to the housing industry. I looked at what the pros used. Skill  saw worm drive was the workhorse.  Ran for decades with little or no work. These guys bought sawblades by the carton.  They would saw with one until the blade smoked because it was so dull.  

Sidewinders were used where more delicate cuts were required.  Of the sidewinders Mikita had the most respect and fewest complaints. 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
3/29/18 5:43 p.m.

$99 makita on Amazon and you won't buy another.

slefain
slefain PowerDork
3/29/18 9:35 p.m.

My circular saws are older than I am and frightening to use, but damned if they don't tear through some lumber. I'd check yard sales and estate sales for old school stuff.

CJ
CJ New Reader
3/29/18 10:14 p.m.

I have an original Skil worm drive that I have had for about  30 years.  It does what I need it to do and I guess I just don't build enough stuff to justify spending the bucks on something else.

Last year, I was helping build a Habitat for Humanity house.  There were four Skils on the site - all were at least as old as mine and a couple quite a bit older.   If you keep feeding them blades, they will just keep going.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
3/29/18 10:57 p.m.
T.J. said:

I have a Makita circular saw. I don't know the model number, but it is a regular circular saw with a magnesium footplate. I like it a lot. I use it maybe a few times every few months. I've never used a hypoid or worm gear saw, so I am interested to hear what others have to say.

I think I have the same saw. I have had it for years. When purchasing Look for the commercial grade version. It will usually have a higher amp motor. 

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
3/29/18 10:59 p.m.

Dewalt DWE575 is the best saw on the market by just a small margin over the Makita. Based on blind tests of all grey tools and unmarked blades. 

Bosch, Skill, and Milwaukee did a slight reduction in quality and features in apparent attempt to avoid Harbor freight sales loss. This was before Skil was sold to the Chinese company. 

But in measured inch/minute and ease of holding your line in wood board cutting the Dewalt premium saw blades out performed everything. Putting a Dewalt blade on a Makita brought it up to basically the same as the dwe575. 

coexist
coexist Reader
3/30/18 1:14 a.m.
Advan046 said:

Dewalt DWE575 is the best saw on the market by just a small margin over the Makita. Based on blind tests of all grey tools and unmarked blades. 

Bosch, Skill, and Milwaukee did a slight reduction in quality and features in apparent attempt to avoid Harbor freight sales loss. This was before Skil was sold to the Chinese company. 

But in measured inch/minute and ease of holding your line in wood board cutting the Dewalt premium saw blades out performed everything. Putting a Dewalt blade on a Makita brought it up to basically the same as the dwe575. 

I wouldn't argue against this. A 15A sidewinder turns faster than a 15A wormdrive, speed vs torque. However, you can do more with a sidewinder, and it weighs less. I never hesitated to push a sidewinder hard.

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
4/3/18 10:40 a.m.

In reply to coexist :

It seemed that certain regions used the worm drive saws. And as usual, trades train trades, so the type of tool gets entrenched in their specific regions. 

We often found the worm drive users cut board off their boot! Holding the board off the ground with their right boot and running the saw down parallel to their leg. Two guys even had special custom gauntlets on their legs. They seemed to be modified riding chaps. 

The other use I think was for FRP panel cutting as they can reach further across the board with the rear handle. 

Really if you aren't building something every week any good brand name ball bearing circular saw will get you a a lifetime of use. Usually they are damaged by accident rather than wearing out. On construction sites, they can wear down the tool to actually end of tool component life. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
4/3/18 12:04 p.m.

In reply to Spait1946 :

That hypoid saw is much more than you need. 

I own one. It's a great saw. But it is contractor grade, not homeowner. 

The Makita sidewinder will do everything you want, and leave a smile on your face  

Worm drive saws:  Have MUCH more torque, can take very serious abuse, have better visibility for right-handed users (because the blade is on the left), and extend the user's reach by about 8" (which is very important if you are cutting cross-cutting plywood all day)

They are also MUCH heavier than sindwinders. That's good and bad. Most homeowners find the weight grossly uncomfortable. It will wear you out. But it also plants the tools better, for more accurate cuts. 

The extended reach helps for guys like me who are perfectly comfortable holding lumber on their foot while they cut. 

The Makita hypoid is slightly different than other worm drives, because it is oil less. 

I never changed the oil in my work drive saws anyway. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
4/3/18 12:08 p.m.

For the record, I've had more than a dozen worm drive saws. It's all I would use when doing heavy work. 

But now that my career is not doing daily carpentry, I've shelved the worm drives. They make no sense unless you are cutting 1000 board feet of lumber per day. 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
4/3/18 12:15 p.m.

<threadjack>

I've still got an old USA-made Skil saw, but it quit working years ago.  I finally got around to putting a new set of brushes in it.  It ate those brushes in a few hours.  Same with the next set.  Commutator looks fine.  I assume the brushes are crap, but they're the only ones I can find..  Anybody been here or know how to fix?

</threadjack>

Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
4/3/18 2:35 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

Lots of variables there. Brush material is certainly one. 

Most likely the brushes need some low load run time to seat or you can replace or return the commutator. 

Getting the armature rebuilt used to be a thing but not sure if they just replace the whole thing now. 

Curtis
Curtis PowerDork
4/3/18 9:17 p.m.
KyAllroad (Jeremy) said:

My dad was a carpenter his whole life and always used Porter Cable.  I bought one in '97 and still have it.  Then inherited dads a few years ago.  They are both excellent saws.

Porter Cable was unfortunately bought by HD about a decade ago.  They are now under the same roof as Black and Decker and Homelite.  Still not a bad saw, but a pale shadow of what they were back in the day.

Can't go wrong with Milwaukee, Ridgid, Dewalt, Makita.  I have a HF worm drive saw.  Its nice for some things, but jeez they're heavy.  I find that a direct-drive circ saw will cut 90% as well but so much easier to handle.

My direct drive is a Dewalt (yard sale) and I'm very happy with it.

hazardcopper
hazardcopper
12/24/19 11:01 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

$99 makita on Amazon and you won't buy another.

wasn't it $130?

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