Plse recommend a lightweight circ Saw

bobb_2010April 30, 2010

Priorities are LIGHTWEIGHT and QUIET for portable applications as well as able to mount it under a table in the future with a remote switch.

Immediate application is to cut the subfloor and later general carpentry. Not heavily used. Can go slow, super-durable not needed.

What features should I be looking for? Is a laser guide useful?


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at the link below is a review.

Some of my observations:

- For weight, you probably want a "sidewinder" and not a worm drive or hyploid.

- A good blade on a cheap saw is better than vice-versa.

- I'd be cautious of "mount it under a table in the future with a remote switch." This exceeds my level of "feeling safe in your work." A good saw guide, purchased or shop built, will work just fine for anything you should be doing with a circular saw.

- Though right handed, I prefer a left-drive saw so that I can see the line without having to lean way over the saw.

- You are going to get what you pay for. If you spend $39 on a saw vs. $139 you will get a difference in quality. Perhaps Festool aside (as much as a mid-priced table saw!) which is multiples of expensive over the rest of the pack. Whether or not it's worth 5x the next competitor is largely a matter of what you are going to do with it, how often you are going to use it, and can you justify it in terms of work time saved, safety, etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sidewinder review

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 6:45PM
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IMO, the best all-around skilsaw is the Porter Cable mag-saw. Lightweight, very responsive, and sounds like a jet engine, so it fails at the quietness part of your demand. The cheaper the saw, the more it will scream.
Older Japan-made Hitachi skilsaws, if you can find a used on that's not beat to crap, may be your best bet; they were light and quiet (and now replaced be an Improved model that's anything but).
A skil 77 worm-drive is the quietest and smoothest saw ever made, but it's anything but lightweight; you'll develop Popeye forearms from it; I did, using one every workday for about 7 years.
Then tennis elbow set in, so never again.
Rigid makes a wonderfully useful 6.5" skilsaw, it's super-light, but I can't imagine using it as a simulacrum for a table saw.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 7:38PM
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The biggest issue with the lightweight saws is lack of power to make a cut, and kickback.

Luckily the area usually so anemic the kickback can be handled.

Try a jig saw.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 2:31PM
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Go to the Fine Homebuilding site and do a search for circular saws and click on the first site. There you will find these saws and the info you need. Also, be sure you purchase a book or video showing the proper way to use this tool. You'll learn to use the tool properly, do a much better job, and maybe avoid an injury.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 5:28PM
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Thanks guys, probly going for the Ridgid 6.5" But WHY can't I mount it under a table? OK, it's NOT IDEAL but for the occasional hobbyist, what's the prob? Now am going to buy a REAL saw table for it, not any ole table.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 9:59PM
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Table saws use induction motors and can actually deliver the power needed to cut safely through materials.

There are some 'portable' or 'bench top' saws that use universal motors, but they are not really suitable for any hardwood except balsa.

If all you want is to cut softwoods they can work.
Cut some oak and the lack of power shows up.
Move past one inch material and you can probably stop the blade rotation.

Cut some cherry or walnut and the underpowered saws produce burn marks.
Slowing the feed rate to compensate for an underpowered saw increases the heat build up in the kerf from friction.

What do you what to cut?
What quality of cut are you looking for?

Rough framing (studs, joists. deck flooring) are a different world from interior hardwood flooring and furniture (including bookcases).

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 3:28PM
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