|Review by Mark Shymanski||posted 06-14-2008 05:29 AM||4511 views||0 times favorited||8 comments|
- Ryobi 7 1/4" Laser Circular Saw double insulated CSB141LZ
- Brand: Ryobi | Category: Circular Saws
One of the great things about renovations is that it is really easy to rationalize a new tool purchase (or two so far). As part of the ongoing ceiling installation Jenn and I decided to buy not only the Dewalt drill, which I’ve already reviewed, but this circular saw. I did not do any research into which tool would be the best as this was more of an impulse purchase just to get the ceiling up…
Some specs: 7 1/4 inch blade 5/8 arbor weight (from the manual) 11 lbs and a straight cut depth of about 2 3/8 inches. 14 amp motor. It was the amperage that convinced me to buy this over the other tools at HD, as it was the highest amperage of the lot. My thinking is that more amps means either more cutting power when it is needed or I’m cutting at a lower percentage of the available power so the machine should last longer. I also liked the heft of the machine as some of the other machines felt lighter and more ‘plasticy’ if that is a word :-).
At this price range I don’t really expect to get a high end performing machine but I was pleasantly surprised by the ergonomics of the handles. I’d never seen a CS with two handles perpendicular to each other (as you can see in the third image). I’ve only just started using it so haven’t used an edge guide yet (although I should have on the first cut I made…but that is another story :-) but I can see that the black handle would be very useful in holding the saw against the guide while still moving along the guide. I like the base plate as it has a solid lip on it so it will not slide easily under a straightedge. You can see both the plate edges and the laser in the second image. I am not sure how useful the laser is; it was fairly bright working in the shop with all my ceiling fixtures out and just sunlight coming in through the windows. At times it seemed to ‘merge’ with my pencil line as I was cutting so it was fairly easy to follow. I’m just not sure if its a useful feature or not…it was not a selling feature to me but just one of the features the saw had.
The bevel guide, depth of cut and edge guide knobs all feel pretty robust. I’ve not tried out the included stamped metal edge guide…I suspect it is too short and narrow to be really useful but when the opportunity presents itself I’ll give it a shot. The saw felt stable while cutting and the laser was easy to turn on and off.
The little ‘dust collector’ pipe came off after about 15 seconds into the first cut as it is a snap on fitting that is very weak. The leverage from moving the saw with the shop vac in the dust collection pipe overcame the wee little tabs and out popped the pipe. I found it after my cut was done, it wasn’t broken just not strong enough to do the job.
I am undecided as to whether I like the plastic boxes that some of these tools come in (as did this saw) or are they are just space eating nuisances. I guess until I have the shop in operating order the case is nice but I kinda think it is a waste of resources for which a simple cardboard box would have done.
Overall a nice tool one I am sure will get a real shake down after I can get back into the shop and working on my ceiling.
Update 2009 December 20
This saw just upped and died on me. I was cross cutting some 3/4 maple (about a 7” board) to lengths for my vanity drawers, cut three pieces and then click, click no more noise…the laser comes on but the motor doesn’t turn. Didn’t even bog down or sound odd or anything…it just up and quit. I’m frustrated as this saw has not seen a lot of use and I expected more then just 555 days out of it.
Now I have to dig out my receipt and see if it is still under warranty.
-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2