Please recommend a circular saw

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Forum topic by live4ever posted 04-01-2010 02:18 AM 1909 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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983 posts in 2976 days

04-01-2010 02:18 AM

Bah! I’m so pissed off right now. My stupid Skilsaw can’t cut straight if its life depended on it. I can’t run the thing along a straightedge…why you ask? Well, for starters, the baseplate edge isn’t at all flat. So when you run it along a straightedge, trying to keep it against the edge results in stalling the blade, kickback, or simply a completely unstraight cut.

I don’t have a TS at the moment, so the circ is currently my only way of making longer cuts.

So can anyone recommend a circsaw with a decent baseplate? One that I can actually run along a straightedge and get straight rips?

PS. Don’t want to shell out for a Festool TS…yes, I know they’re on sale right now. :p

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

30 replies so far

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 2957 days

#1 posted 04-01-2010 02:22 AM

I have a Milwaukee that’s about 6-7 years old, never had any problems with it. Construction is very good, although it’s pretty heavy which can be a pain after a lot of heavy use. Mine cuts straight with a straightedge, but like you mentioned, I think just about any CS will do as long as it’s got a decent baseplate.

View bigike's profile


4050 posts in 3254 days

#2 posted 04-01-2010 02:26 AM

The skillsaw is ok i have one, what you have to do is get a long piece of wood wider than space from the blade to the edge of the base then rip a thinner piece of wood and line it up on the wider board so when you run the saw on the wide board it will run on the thinner one as a straight edge but cut the wider one make shure your not cutting off too much off the wider board mabe like an inch or two past the blade if you can picture this you should have a straight edge that you put the saw on with a smaller thinner edge on top where your saw follows all you have to do is line the fresh cut up to the lines on the work piece to be cut like a sheet of ply and cut away. but if you want a better saw get a millwakee saw i hear those are top of the line sorry for the spelling. ;)

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2976 days

#3 posted 04-01-2010 02:33 AM

Hmm…looking at a Milwaukee…

Ike – yes, I have made a circ saw guide like you describe. In fact, I have made many of them. They are pretty useless at the moment since my skilsaw can’t run along the thin piece (straightedge). Since the baseplate isn’t straight, the saw can be twisted into the guide depending on exactly where I am applying pressure into the fence/straightedge. My understanding is this shouldn’t be the case and the baseplate should register against the straightedge all along its length. Am I off here?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Tim_456's profile


170 posts in 3561 days

#4 posted 04-01-2010 02:37 AM

I have a 12 year old craftsman that still works well but who cares about a 12 year old saw;) If I were getting a new one (and I’ve been eyeing this up for a while) I would buy a DeWalt cordless saw. Having said that, I already have a DeWalt cordless drill, light, and jigsaw so getting another tool in the same tool line makes sense for me but even if I didn’t I would probably go the cordless route given the advances in technology and the ease use.

Oh, and as the previous poster mentioned, making a custom guide for whatever saw you have/use does make it a whole lot easier to set up and use. I have one I’ve had for years and it makes cuts simple to set up and rip.

Just my 2 cents;)

View flowchart_jockey's profile


37 posts in 3042 days

#5 posted 04-01-2010 02:37 AM

I have a wormdrive Skilsaw that I love. It is a heavy sucker but it cuts really nice, straight and lots of power. It is a little easier to control than a regular circular saw because the handle is set back a little ways instead of being almost right over the blade.

-- Why make it easy when you can make it difficult?

View woodworm's profile


14462 posts in 3556 days

#6 posted 04-01-2010 02:46 AM

You may make a square base out of lexan or clear acyrlic and attach it to the original base using machine screws and you still can use your skilsaw.

sample of clear acrylic

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View hazbro's profile


109 posts in 2956 days

#7 posted 04-01-2010 02:50 AM

the table is replaceable. I’ve got a mag 77 and I wouldn’t trade it for any other saw.

-- measure once, keep cuttin' til it fits

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 2971 days

#8 posted 04-01-2010 02:59 AM

It sounds like the plate edge is not parallel to the blade. The same problem would occur with a TS fence that wasn’t aligned right. Has it been dropped before?

Are the attachment points of the foot to the saw bent? Can you bend them back to being straight?

I like the idea of attaching a n auxiliary foot out of plexiglass or even masonite, or aluminum plate. Make sure the edge you are going to run against the straightedge is parallel to the blade.

I have had a Porter Cable Pivot Foot circ sawfor 25 years that works fine, needs a new cord though. My brother gave me his Rigid when he moved to Denmark and it works good too. It has a Laser on it. Cool but I am not sure how useful.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View woodworm's profile


14462 posts in 3556 days

#9 posted 04-01-2010 03:04 AM

If you have the budget go for DeWalt, Bosch or Makita 7-1/4” Circular Saw. I have both DeWalt & Makita, good base plate and awsome power. I bought my Dewalt CC at – great service, free shipping for US address.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Jeison's profile


968 posts in 3074 days

#10 posted 04-01-2010 03:12 AM

I have a little skilsaw with a crappy baseplate, I made an auxiliary out of 1/8” hardboard attached with double sided tape and a pair of machine screws. Functions as a zero-clearance base and a straight reference edge

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 2976 days

#11 posted 04-01-2010 03:28 AM

Thanks for the suggestions everyone. I’ve thought about making a new baseplate for it…maybe I will give that a try before springing for a new one.

The edges of the baseplate are bent up – which I think is part of the problem. This also makes it very difficult to measure the blade to edge distance with any accuracy. Unfortunately the metal is too stiff/thick to be correctly bent back into straight. I’m sure it could be done, but for a $70 saw, it’s not worth it to me.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View flyfisherbob2000's profile


81 posts in 2953 days

#12 posted 04-01-2010 03:37 AM

I have this Porter Cable saw (
First, it has a nice thick & true base plate. Second, for me, a right handed person, it has the blade on the left side, so you can see the cut and line much better! If you are Left handed, they do make a version with the blade on the right side as well. I have had this saw now for about 5 years, and iyt has been a great workhorse, used both for rough carpentry & framing as well as finish work & cutting plywood sheets.
I highly reccomend it.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3040 days

#13 posted 04-01-2010 04:52 AM

I’m not a big circular saw user. On those rare occasions when I need a circular saw I grab my DeWalt 18 volt cordless saw. It cuts slower than a plug in and it only has a 6.25” blade but it is so dang handy to work with.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Chuck Shellem's profile

Chuck Shellem

36 posts in 2959 days

#14 posted 04-01-2010 05:04 AM

I got the Makita 5007MG last year and built a shed with it. I’m very pleased. The adjustments are smooth and easy to use, it is well balanced and has plenty of power. It was designed to provide a good view of the cut. The magnesium baseplate is rigid, flat and tough.

-- -- Chuck S.

View jobott's profile


27 posts in 3327 days

#15 posted 04-01-2010 05:12 AM

I also have the Makita Magnesium circ. saw and it it just great. I, like most folks here, have had a few other saws over the years and the Makita is the best one I’ve used. Great power, easy to set angles and stops, comes with an edge guide and the Makita blade works very well. I bought mine for $150 but they are closer to $100 now and well worth it

-- Joe B

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