Problems with Circular Saws?

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Forum topic by Anamaria posted 03-18-2010 07:23 PM 1591 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 2972 days

03-18-2010 07:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: circular saw improved tools innovative tools tool design saw framers saw

Hello lumberjock community!

I am a student at app state and I am working on a big project where I am redesigning the circular saw SPECIFICALLY FOR THE FRAMING MARKET. I have a couple of more specific questions of how the circular saw is used. If you guys could help me that would be great!

Are there any problems with the circular saw that lead to things such as uncomfortable use, lack of precision, etc when framing?

How would you like the safety switch to work on your saw?

Would you prefer the blade on the left side or the right side? Why do you prefer them on this side???

Would you like and easier way to verify exactly at what depth or at what angle you cut will be? Is it easy enough to identify accurately right now? I was thinking of adding a small screen that digitally gives you this information, do you think this might be a good thing to explore??

Anything else to make your framing work easier while using a saw??

Once again, Thanks so much!!!

16 replies so far

View Ingjr's profile


144 posts in 2978 days

#1 posted 03-18-2010 08:39 PM

I think one thing that would make a difference on a framing type circular saw is lightweight. When holding it over your head or working at a odd angle a lightweight saw would be ultra important. Being able to operate the on/off and safety switch with one hand (easily) would also be quite important. I really don’t think a screen on a handheld saw would be to great. IMO. High power and lightweight with good ergonomics is what I would like to see. I’m sure other will chime in also. Thanks for your efforts.

-- The older I get the faster I was.

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3749 days

#2 posted 03-20-2010 04:02 AM

Gee whiz and LCD readouts won’t make a construction saw better. Just something else to make cheap and break.

Weight is an issue. Worm drive saws are more durable, more powerful, but have a weight issue. This can be a plus when cutting 3/4 ply as the weight can help pull the saw through the cut if you hold the ply at an inclined angle. It sucks the rest of the time, but many will go for it because of durability.

Left cut/right cut is based more on its use. It is best to have the weight of the saw (the largest part of the saw sole or shoe) on the wood that is not drop (drop is the cut-off piece). When trimming a framing timber to length, it is easiest to have the weight on the “keeper” board, which is also the board you are holding against the pressure of the saw cut with the hand that is not operating the saw). However, that means the blade is on the wrong side to see your cut line.

A “left hand” saw is great for cutting out window cutouts, etc from a piece of sheathing, as you can see your cut and still have the main weight supported outside your cut. (provided you are on the correct side of the sheet, which is only 50% of the time.) It is also good for ripping a piece of sheathing lenght wise if it is less than 1/2 sheet.

The perfect saw would be light, the weight centered over the blade, and the blade centered in the shoe. The safety switch would be equally accessible for right or left hand. The cut line would be easily visible from either side. The shoe will be solid, edge square to the blade, and not get distorted if dropped. It needs the power and blade depth to cut through 2” of hard wood for at least 4 hours 30% use before charging (if cordless). It will be made of long lasting materials with inexpensive high-wear parts readily available. (that means things like gears, etc. No matter what your eco-friendly professors tell you, plastic and nylon gears suck when it comes to durability).

If you haven’t used one, you have no idea how hard this will be to design, so I suggest you visit a variety of construction sites to get a feel for how difficult it is to use this tool.


-- Go

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3708 days

#3 posted 03-20-2010 04:42 AM

Dear student at app state:

The perfect framing saw already exists. It is the Skill Mod 77. There is a Bosch equiv. as they are the same company. If you want to experience the virtues of this particular saw, you can intern with my company, after passing a pre-employment physical. 420 not allowed but you might slide, rednecks and fundamentalists (redundant?) discouraged.

In the real world routers are used to hogg out window openings, not a skilly. It saves on layout time and the offcut isn’t really that useable. Once the wall is squared, nailed off and then raised, what’s left? Sidewinders are for Bostonian mouth breathers. Norm gets a pass . . .

I’m posting this just to wind the watch of the masses . . .

View dannymac's profile


144 posts in 2978 days

#4 posted 03-20-2010 04:52 AM

lightwieght and durable is all i look for.

safty switch? they all have one it’s called the trigger – if ya don’t pull it it won’t go on

-- dannymac

View Chelios's profile


568 posts in 3028 days

#5 posted 03-20-2010 04:54 AM

Ana Maria

Are you marketing POV redesigning a saw or engineering POV redesigning a power tool? This will help us give you a better answer.

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3854 days

#6 posted 03-20-2010 06:27 AM

Being right handed, I prefer the blade on the left. I currently use a Porter Cable left blade model and love it. An “accurate” laser line and micro depth adjustment would be nice to have. I hate safety switches. People who need safety switches shouldn’t be operating power tools.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18241 posts in 3638 days

#7 posted 03-20-2010 07:03 AM

I like a left blade too.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View grumpycarp's profile


257 posts in 3708 days

#8 posted 03-21-2010 09:55 PM

I’d like to apologize for the comments I made above. I was “speaking” as I would have to a friend in the trades. I’m not apologizing for my (lack of) humor but for my boorishness, insensitivity and lack of tact.

It was also at least a bit self-referential. While not personally religiously devout, it has been reported that the sanguine glow from the back of my neck can be seen by an orbiting space shuttle.

I am completely and utterly sorry to those whom I’ve offended.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3836 days

#9 posted 03-21-2010 10:09 PM

It sounds like you are trying to build a lot of accuracy into a framing tool. I’ve done a little framing, and it’s been my experience that framers figure plus or minus an eighth of an inch is close enough. The circular saws on the market can be used free-hand to cut that accurately. An accurate way to set depth, angle, and bevel might be useful, but adding breakable electronic devices to a tool that’s going to be dropped from the rafters and thrown in a tool box may not be the best way to do it.

-- -- --

View TheDane's profile


5399 posts in 3625 days

#10 posted 03-21-2010 11:02 PM

I bought a Ridgid Fuego framing saw when I built a new deck last year … it is a great tool. It is light-weight, has easy to set depth and bevel, and has fore/aft cutlines on the shoe, which makes it easier to cut a straight line. It comes with a thin-kerf blade and the composite shoe is designed to withstand up to a 1 story drop.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View surfin2's profile


51276 posts in 3098 days

#11 posted 03-22-2010 04:13 AM

I prefer the blade on the left, light weight, durable, a laser is a must.

An accurate and easy way to set depth & angle.

The handle set right so when you push it it goes right where you want it to go.

Most saws are like a D handle jig saw, the handle is too far forward & high…

-- Rick

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3855 days

#12 posted 03-22-2010 04:26 AM


call their complaint department

I hear they have time to answer calls?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Anamaria's profile


4 posts in 2972 days

#13 posted 03-25-2010 05:14 PM

Chelios, I’m designing more on a marketing point of view.

Also, Scratch the screen it was a dumb idea. I worked out a lot of features so its more lightweight though.
I am still working out how I will implement a safety switch.

I have used a circular saw before, but I cannot compare to the professional user, which is who I am designing for.

Thanks for all your input, I appreciate it!

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3855 days

#14 posted 03-25-2010 05:26 PM

worm drives are the way to go, blades up front and it extends the reach but thats already been invented. Blades are always on the left cuz most folks are right handed and nobody likes making dangerous cuts in some wierd yoga position,...........thats just common sense?

Biggest complaint is always the wieght. If they would make some kinda carbon fiber super space age light wieght bullet proof plastic…..............that would be cool but then who could afford to buy them?

safety switches are most often found between the ears, just behind the eyes but seriously the sliding safety cover is often a PITA.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Anamaria's profile


4 posts in 2972 days

#15 posted 03-25-2010 06:36 PM

Im not looking to go as deep as inventing anything. I just want to find a flaw in the circular saw for framers and take that direction and find a solution to the problem.

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