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Circluar Saw Choice ?

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Posted February 10, 2013 - 07:51 AM

What do you guys use ? I MUCH prefer a worm drive saw. It is what I was taught to use way back when.
I bought a Craftsman back in 1981 when I bought my first (handyman special) house. I believe it was a skill brand relabeled as craftsman. I used it a lot up until last year when my star employees decided to cut two 54" x 54" holes for exhaust fans at a dry cleaning plant I was building. Through 4 or 5 layers of tar on a flat roof. They cooked and ruined it.
I've been using a regular Porta Cable ever since.
I have a bunch of 6/4 white oak planks I need to rip for trailer decking, and rather then ruin that saw, I hit Craigslist to find a worm drive. And I found one, like new and it was in a steel case.
$100 for the saw and case. I stole it. Contractor was closing up shop and selling stuff cheap.
Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE Craigslist ? I do !!

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#2 Amigatec OFFLINE  


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Posted February 10, 2013 - 07:59 AM

I'm calling the police, you stole that saw. LOL



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Posted February 10, 2013 - 08:02 AM

I've never been a construction contractor myself, but have been around quite a few ore the years. Figured out early on that people who make a living with a circular saw own at least one worm drive.

Congrats on replacing for reasonable, Ken.. That's great.

Make sure you bring that to plow day, I've got a bunch of old roofing to cut up i can bring with me and it looks like that will do just fine. See what it's really made of. :poke:

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Posted February 10, 2013 - 08:24 AM

I used a worm drive for years. Can't beat them. Now, I find that it is a bit on the awkward side as I progress through the years. I have my Fathers 1950's Craftsman that is in like new condition that I use.




Hey Ken!

Edited by gravely-power, February 10, 2013 - 08:25 AM.

#5 Cat385B OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2013 - 08:48 AM

Being left handed, I prefer the worm drive. No other reason than that. I just like having my left hand free, and being on the left side of what I'm cutting.

#6 pigsitter OFFLINE  


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Posted February 10, 2013 - 09:52 AM

Never tried a worm drive saw.That looks to be a real nice saw for the money! :thumbs:

#7 boyscout862 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2013 - 10:19 AM

I grew up when carpenters were just changing in the 50s and 60s. From hand saws to circular saws. From 1 x 8 T&G sheathing(on the diagonal) to plywood. From plaster to sheetrock. Two by lumber from 1 5/8" to 1 1/2". My father and both grandfathers were carpenters. My father had a worm drive with a guide frame set up on saw horses for cutting framing lumber. He used a Craftsman circular saw for plywood.


When I built my house I used a radial arm saw for precutting the framing, my Skill worm drive for framing onsite, and a skill for light work. I sheathed the house with 3/4" ply so I used the wormdrive on that. The worm drive is powerfull but heavy. I haven't used it since I built the basement stairs but when I build the greenhouse, it will come out again.


You did real well, don't let the employees near it. 

#8 marlboro180 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 10, 2013 - 10:56 AM

Nice score right there Ken. A Milwaukee for a hundy???? I'm calling the police.....


You asked what we use, and funny enough I am working on re- structuring a home right now. I had to rip a few LVL's down a touch , so I threw them on the sawhorses and pulled out my SKIL wormdrive saw. The owner's jaw dropped as I casually ripped those boards down like they were hardly there.  He was amazed by how quiet and powerful that saw is. I happen to use that same saw for cutting metal , but with a special blade in it.


As for a regular circular saw, Porter Cable all the way. The one with the magnesium base, I think one of mine is going on 10 years old now and doesn't owe me a thing.  For  Southpaws like Cat, Porter Cable makes the 743KR with the blade on the left. I am righty, and like to use my lefty saw from time to time as well, especially when trimming roofdecking on a rake edge.







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#9 HDWildBill OFFLINE  


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Posted February 10, 2013 - 11:04 AM

Yep it looks like you got a good deal!  I have a Milwaukee circular saw I have had for over 20 years and it is still going strong.

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#10 Amigatec OFFLINE  


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Posted February 10, 2013 - 12:56 PM

I prefer a bit more power from my saw.

#11 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  



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Posted February 10, 2013 - 01:09 PM

Well, after traveling around to several shops during my previous employment, I decided any saw I owned would have the thickest base I could find.  I found more warped stamped steel bases than I care to think about.  Personally I like my old Makita, has a thick, solid base that is nice and true.

#12 JDBrian OFFLINE  


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Posted February 10, 2013 - 02:08 PM

A friend has a Porter Cable and it's a great saw. Miles ahead of the 25 yr old Craftsman I have. When I replace the Craftsman I'll probably go with the Porter Cable. 

#13 Kurtee OFFLINE  


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Posted February 10, 2013 - 02:32 PM

Sweet deal on that Milwaukee. Non better than that. We have used and abused those for years. We used them for cutting alum headers off of grain trailers when replacing them. Had 2 of them. Run 1 til it is so hot you can't handle it and switch. 42 feet of solid aluminum cutting takes two good saws.






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Posted February 10, 2013 - 02:47 PM

i do not have a worm drive saw. Being left handed and blind in the left eye makes it harrder to find tools to suit me.
I have a Porter cable left handed saw that has worked well. Cost a bit more than my skills might justify, but I have found when I have invested in good tools I take care of them. Not likr the cheap B&D i threw off the roof and bent the base up.
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#15 Reverend Blair OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2013 - 07:07 AM

Sold off/gave away a lot of stuff when I closed my business, but I hung onto my Makita.  Lots of power, and it's been through rain and snow and mud.  Replaced the base once (back when I had guys working for me...they break stuff), and the height adjustment for the blade needs attention every few years.  Other than that, it's been through a couple sets of brushes.


I've never been a fan of the worm drives because they are so heavy. They might be commonly called framing saws, but when I frame with one, my arm gets tired.  No question about their power though.  If you have to rip lumber (especially old fir) end to end they are a beautiful thing.  Great for lap joints and other applications where the blade doesn't clear the bottom of the lumber too.