Circular saw question

Circular saw question

Chris
Chris

May 7th, 2012, 8:11 pm #1

Looking at getting a circular saw for house repair projects and some light to middle weight project work. I've narrowed my selection down to a 6 1/2 inch cordless or a 7 1/4 inch corded. My main question is... beyond the depth of the cut (I doubt I'll be cutting anything bigger then a 2" thick board), is there really any reason to get the 7 1/4" saw over the 6.5"? (the 6.5, even with battery, is lighter then the 7.25... at least in the ones I'm looking at).
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Maker of Toys
Maker of Toys

May 7th, 2012, 8:32 pm #2

. . . Do you have other tools with the same battery setup? Will you be doing a lot of cutting from ladders/on the roof, or maybe with your feet in a puddle? and maybe you're a long way from an outlet? Then it might be worth while to have the battery saw.

Do you have a lot of cutting to do? Like long cuts in plywood? That's maybe being done in the garage or just outside the living room window? Then get the corded one; the endurance on the battery saws isn't very good. Ditto if you expect to keep the saw for a LONG time; the corded ones are just that much more durable.

The battery saws are the perfect thing for birds-mouthing rafters or taking a kerf to adjust the fit-up--you know, finish and small-project stuff, but they're not really production cutting tools.

Also, if you're only going to make one cut every couple of months after the current project is done, the corded saw is (counter-intuitively) actually likely to be more convenient-- you won't have to charge the battery first! (and batteries left on chargers go stale and won't hold a charge after a year or so; so your total cost of ownership will likely be lower)

The battery saws are the perfect thing for birds-mouthing rafters or taking a kerf to adjust the fit-up--you know, finish and small-project stuff, but they're not really production cutting tools.
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KevinB
KevinB

May 7th, 2012, 9:50 pm #3

Looking at getting a circular saw for house repair projects and some light to middle weight project work. I've narrowed my selection down to a 6 1/2 inch cordless or a 7 1/4 inch corded. My main question is... beyond the depth of the cut (I doubt I'll be cutting anything bigger then a 2" thick board), is there really any reason to get the 7 1/4" saw over the 6.5"? (the 6.5, even with battery, is lighter then the 7.25... at least in the ones I'm looking at).
I like the new cordless saws, they are convenient and capable.....as long as the batteries are charged. There are lot't of write-ups about which ones are better.

The extra time just finding an outlet and a working extension cord is sometimes a longer task than making the cut.



The only advantage to a larger blade on the corded saw is a deeper cut. Do both saws allow for the base to be tipped on it's side for miters? The shorter blades will not slant through as deep as the 7 1/4" blade and sometimes that's all you need.

In the true spirit of this group, why not buy both?

Buy a new cordless saw with a couple of new good quality batteries, and hunt down a used corded saw from Ebay, or a yard sale. Stick with the better brands like older Milwaukee's, Porter Cable, or older Craftsman and Makita's.

It's always nice to have a demo blade on the corded saw while I have a finish blade on the smaller one. And for the occasional masonry job I have a "beater" saw with a grit blade on it just for cutting brick. They have a limited lifespan with all that dust.

Good Luck

Kevin
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Chris
Chris

May 8th, 2012, 2:38 am #4

The 6.5 cordless I'm looking at is a Dewalt 18v. I have a Dewalt 18v cordless drill with a pair of batteries and fast charger for it, and the batteries are interchangeable with the saw.

The 7.25 corded I'm considering is a Rigid and a Kobalt (Lowes' internal brand). I have a woodworking friend who swears by Rigid for his corded tools, and I've hear just enough good about Kobalt for me to consider them.

I do like your idea about both... would have to pick around garage sales to check for the 2nd saw, but that does sound like an idea.

Only current projects in mind are having to cut out 4-6 5/4 decking boards and then cut the replacements to size (need access to under them to fix a step), some extensions for my desk (likely 1x8 pine, possibly 1x10), and some shelving for said desk. Possibly rip a sheet of 3/4 ply and build a work bench... but no other projects in mind at the time.

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akpirate
akpirate

May 8th, 2012, 8:09 am #5

Looking at getting a circular saw for house repair projects and some light to middle weight project work. I've narrowed my selection down to a 6 1/2 inch cordless or a 7 1/4 inch corded. My main question is... beyond the depth of the cut (I doubt I'll be cutting anything bigger then a 2" thick board), is there really any reason to get the 7 1/4" saw over the 6.5"? (the 6.5, even with battery, is lighter then the 7.25... at least in the ones I'm looking at).
Cant go wrong with a corded saw. It will have more power for cutting and ripping boards, The blades will last a bit longer and there are more blade choices, and it will last longer than a cordless saw period. Batteries lose power and expire eventually. There's no expiration date with a corded saw (unless your buying a Ryobi or something cheap like that )

Sure there is the convenience of a cordless saw at times, but in the long run a corded saw is just better overall.

The Porter-Cable 423MAG would be my recommendation. Very light, well priced, very durable, I've had mine on the job site for years cutting crap like cementboard siding and other nasty stuff and it still works like a champ.
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Robert L Martin
Robert L Martin

May 8th, 2012, 3:56 pm #6

there is a reason they make those orange cords in "half-mile" lengths so if you will be away from an outlet then go cordless if not then just get a long cord and be done with it.

you will want to get an extra battery so you can use your spare when you run out mid project (hopefully not mid cut).
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Bruce Bergman
Bruce Bergman

May 9th, 2012, 6:15 am #7

Looking at getting a circular saw for house repair projects and some light to middle weight project work. I've narrowed my selection down to a 6 1/2 inch cordless or a 7 1/4 inch corded. My main question is... beyond the depth of the cut (I doubt I'll be cutting anything bigger then a 2" thick board), is there really any reason to get the 7 1/4" saw over the 6.5"? (the 6.5, even with battery, is lighter then the 7.25... at least in the ones I'm looking at).
The Skil 77 7-1/4" worm-drive saw is the defacto framing saw for the world, and most of them have switched over to the MAG-77 that's a bit lighter as their Primary Saw. (The old one is now the Backup.) If you plan to do a lot of roof framing get one of the swing-out hanger hooks.

The Modular power cord that unplugs at the handle is slick, when you goof up and cut the cord on yourself (It Happens) you can change it without any tools at all.

Of course, the Pros always think they'll live forever and take the safety guard totally off, and you REALLY don't want to do that unless you absolutely have to - these suckers will take a leg off Real Fast if you slip, or forget and try putting it down before it stops.

If anything, I'll block the safety open for the one odd cut, then release it for regular use. I'm an Electrician not a Framer, I don't use the thing NEAR enough to get used to running it barefooted. Same thing with disabling the safeties on nail guns, only in a pinch and then put it right back.

And there are a few custom timber saws made that take a standard 77 motor head and mate it to an oversized shoe and guard to swing a 10" or 12" miter-saw blade - for doing miters on 4X and 6X Glu-Lam beams. But they are real pricy, don't buy yourself one until you're building your timber-framed house and actually need one - Or you score a Gloat-Worthy deal...

Oh, and an Old-School brush type Universal Motor runs on DC too - perfect if you have an old Hobart Welder where the auxilliary power outlet is 120V DC.
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Eric
Eric

May 9th, 2012, 9:41 am #8

...Now all we have to do is define what really is Gloat-Worthy
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akpirate
akpirate

May 9th, 2012, 4:11 pm #9

there is a reason they make those orange cords in "half-mile" lengths so if you will be away from an outlet then go cordless if not then just get a long cord and be done with it.

you will want to get an extra battery so you can use your spare when you run out mid project (hopefully not mid cut).
My worm-drive skil-saw I use for framing has a 50ft extension cord I hard-wired right into the handle so I could move around in the rafters/ trusses without getting snagged on something every time I had to move somewhere. Also works for moving around the job site snag free.

Best thing I ever did to my saw.
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akpirate
akpirate

May 9th, 2012, 4:15 pm #10

The Skil 77 7-1/4" worm-drive saw is the defacto framing saw for the world, and most of them have switched over to the MAG-77 that's a bit lighter as their Primary Saw. (The old one is now the Backup.) If you plan to do a lot of roof framing get one of the swing-out hanger hooks.

The Modular power cord that unplugs at the handle is slick, when you goof up and cut the cord on yourself (It Happens) you can change it without any tools at all.

Of course, the Pros always think they'll live forever and take the safety guard totally off, and you REALLY don't want to do that unless you absolutely have to - these suckers will take a leg off Real Fast if you slip, or forget and try putting it down before it stops.

If anything, I'll block the safety open for the one odd cut, then release it for regular use. I'm an Electrician not a Framer, I don't use the thing NEAR enough to get used to running it barefooted. Same thing with disabling the safeties on nail guns, only in a pinch and then put it right back.

And there are a few custom timber saws made that take a standard 77 motor head and mate it to an oversized shoe and guard to swing a 10" or 12" miter-saw blade - for doing miters on 4X and 6X Glu-Lam beams. But they are real pricy, don't buy yourself one until you're building your timber-framed house and actually need one - Or you score a Gloat-Worthy deal...

Oh, and an Old-School brush type Universal Motor runs on DC too - perfect if you have an old Hobart Welder where the auxilliary power outlet is 120V DC.
...for different jobs. My Mag I always use for framing and decking jobs, but for stuff like siding or light duty work I like my sidewinder too.

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