What's your fav circ saw for truing sheet goods?

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Forum topic by dakotawood posted 10-19-2010 08:25 PM 2371 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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211 posts in 2986 days

10-19-2010 08:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: circular saw trim saw

I’m in the market for a nice circular saw mainly to help give me one straight edge on sheet goods. I see norm uses that worm drive PC trim saw. It sure appears like it makes a nice cut, but I’m not sure I want to drop $225. What’s everyone’s answers:

1. Circ saw or trim saw?
2. Corded or cordless?
3. Brand and model?


-- Travis, South Dakota

15 replies so far

View darinS's profile


713 posts in 3070 days

#1 posted 10-19-2010 08:35 PM

I’ve got a worm drive (I think that’s what it is) Makita circular saw. Cut up quite a few boards and sheet goods with it too. Not sure what the model is (I’m at work right now, not at home to check. Looks like a 5277B though). It’s corded, and I really like the little thing.

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

View TheWoodNerd's profile


291 posts in 3394 days

#2 posted 10-19-2010 08:36 PM

+1 on the TS55. Super-clean cuts. Festool just shipped me a MFT/3 to evaluate, looks like it’ll be an amazing combination.

-- The Wood Nerd --

View yuri's profile


136 posts in 3806 days

#3 posted 10-19-2010 08:42 PM

I use Milwaukee Tilt-Lock circular saw. For me it is great saw? just put Freud Diablo blade in it and you are in business. To make straight cut use cut guide, that is major guarantee for success, plus good blade, everything else is minor. That is my experience.

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1520 posts in 4328 days

#4 posted 10-19-2010 09:59 PM

A third vote for the Festool TS55. If you wanna cut sheet goods, the saw on the rail is awesome.

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California,

View Domer's profile


252 posts in 3569 days

#5 posted 10-19-2010 10:55 PM

A forth vote for the TS55.

I bought the MFT/3 table. It makes a great combination. You can do a great deal more than just sheet goods with the two tools together. Look on Festool’s site to see.

There was a blog on this site I think that showed you how to make a poor man’s MFT/3 table out of MDF. I think you still need one Festool MFT/3 to get the miter gage and to have the rails to attach jigs but the ability for a versatile bench to assemble large cases etc looks attractive.

The TS55 is also about the same price as the Dewalt track saw but I think much higher quality.


View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4025 days

#6 posted 10-19-2010 11:01 PM

Travis, I have two cordless saws, Ridgid and DeWalt. I use them interchangeably, depending upon which one has the strongest battery. The cuts do have some chipout but I usually cut them about an inch oversize and true the plywood up on my tablesaw.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3129 days

#7 posted 10-19-2010 11:38 PM

Vote #5 for Festool!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3174 days

#8 posted 10-20-2010 09:59 AM

I bought the nicest, proudly made in the USA, Skil Saw I could find in 1978; cost about $100 I think. Still purrs like a kitten. Haven’t seen anything comparable in today’s China crap offerings. I guess, if I had to replace it today I would go with a worm drive saw.

I also use the foam board for cutting sheet goods with a rip guide. I think the only thing better would be a panel saw. But, to be honest, I never looked at the Festool because it is so expensive. It must be pretty good to have such a loyal following. Of coursre, if I had paid $500 for a circular saw, I’d sing its praises too.

View pmayer's profile


1032 posts in 3268 days

#9 posted 10-20-2010 01:52 PM

For occasional use, you don’t need to go high end. Dewalt, Bosch, Makita, etc. Pick your favorite color in the $100 range and go. I think the blade and a good straight edge are the the keys here. If you are doing this every day in a production setting, then by all means invest in production quality gear.

I made a simple zero clearance plywood cutting jig out of MDF that I clamp to my cut line, and cut away. From a practical standpoint you couldn’t get a better edge with Festtool. You could set it up quicker, and put less sawdust on your shop floor, and the edge may or may not look better under a microscope, but other than that, the two cuts are indistinguishable. For the 10 sheets or so of plywood that I rip per year, this approach is more than adequate. I generally make my first cut or two on the plywood this way, and then take it to the table saw when it is easy enough to handle there.

-- PaulMayer,

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3277 days

#10 posted 10-20-2010 02:46 PM

Another vote for the TS55. There is a DeWalt and Makita version of the same type of saw and they may be just as good – but I have never used one. Expensive but worth it. Used ones are on ebay often.

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

View gerrym526's profile


275 posts in 4011 days

#11 posted 10-20-2010 08:13 PM

I’ve been using a $60 Black and Decker lightweight corded 7” circular saw with an aftermarket blade that probably cost me $25 for the last 15yrs to cut sheet goods down to components-didn’t want to wrestle an 80lb sheet of hardwood ply down 13 stairs to my basement workshop. Been using Clamp & Tool guides (also inexpensive) to ensure straight edges when I cut. To eliminate chipping along the kerfs, just cover the area with blue masking tape, mark your lines, and cut.

-- Gerry

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 3381 days

#12 posted 10-21-2010 03:19 AM

I just use a Porter Cable MAG (blade on the left side works best for me even though I am right handed)with a good/decent Frued blade and a 50” Borla clamp/Edge guide. Not as fancy as a FesFool but works great for me.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View gary351's profile


97 posts in 2999 days

#13 posted 10-21-2010 01:23 PM

I use a Bosch CS10 corded. I really like way it fits my hand comfortably, if your outside cutting sheet goods, it has a nice hanger on it ,so you don’t have to set it on the ground you can hang it on your saw horse instead. You can also register for a 5yr warranty no charge.

-- A poor man has poor way's

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11067 posts in 3631 days

#14 posted 10-21-2010 02:27 PM

Skil worm drive and Tenryu blades for the cuts.
Shop made zero clearance guide with a a t track embedded and a t track insert on the skil for accuracy. No need to true up with the TS.
I’m a hobbyist, were I a pro, I’d have the Festool.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View dmoney's profile


191 posts in 3282 days

#15 posted 10-21-2010 03:30 PM

skil worm drive is all I have ever used. probably because it’s the standard in construction and I use it for that as well.

-- Derek, Iowa

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