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  • 4 1/2 inch corded circular saw.

    Watched a trim carpenter use a 4 1/2 inch circular saw recently. Have a full size Circular thinking 4 1/2 inch would be useful. On Amazon the reviews are terrible. Broken arbor mostly allowing the blade to come loose. Switch issues too. Looked at the brand he was using. Other brands reviews similar problems. Rather not have battery & small issues like arbor adaptors no worries.

    Are these small saws any good ? Likely they are all made in the same Chinese factory. Brand recommendations appreciated.

    Boats

  • #2
    Originally posted by boats View Post
    Watched a trim carpenter use a 4 1/2 inch circular saw recently. Have a full size Circular thinking 4 1/2 inch would be useful. On Amazon the reviews are terrible. Broken arbor mostly allowing the blade to come loose. Switch issues too. Looked at the brand he was using. Other brands reviews similar problems. Rather not have battery & small issues like arbor adaptors no worries.

    Are these small saws any good ? Likely they are all made in the same Chinese factory. Brand recommendations appreciated.

    Boats
    I use a 5-1/2" saw almost exclusively. It's an old USA made Skil brand. These smaller saws are much easier on the arm plus I like the blade on the left side.
    I think porter cable makes a nice one. I wouldn't buy a Chinese one.

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    • #3
      They come in very handy, I end up using mine for many things I would have used a reciprocating saw for. Only issue I've run into with them is that adjusting depth of cut can put the handle in an awkward position.
      I have a sonicrafter and a mini saw by Rockwell and have no complaints, Rockwell's mini saw is around $70

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      • #4
        My wife bought one at HD a couple of years ago. Porter Cable. Handiest little thing for small jobs. Everything else uses the Mag77.

        Mike

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        • #5
          I own a porter cable 5" left hand saw. Great saw. Problem is finding blades. Like hen's teeth...

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          • #6
            Can't say about the current models but I have a 20 year old Rockwell and it has been a great tool.
            They are about 1/4" short of cutting threw a 2 by 4 but are great for cutting plywood down to a size that is easy to trim up on a table saw if a nice straight cut is needed.

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            • #7
              I second portlandRon's experience with the Rockwell. Mine is a 30 year old 4 1/2" worm drive Rockwell and about the handiest little saw for trimming plywood to manageable size and cutting 1 X lumber I've ever used. May I suggest you look for an older high quality saw, me thinks you will be happier.

              Ron

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              • #8
                These days why futz about with a cord? Assuming you are like many these days and use cordless tools for a lot of other work why not buy a cordless circular saw from the same maker as your other cordless tools for this sort of work?

                The trim carpenter you mentioned would come in and basically set up shop for the day in a set area. So working with corded tools isn't a big deal. But for a lot of the small jobs or going out into the driveway to buck down a sheet of plywood for further trimming I'd say that a cordless would be a lot handier.

                This has nothing to do with how nice a tool these little saws are. It's more about the need to bring along an extension cord for a lot of the work.
                Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                • #9
                  I had a little one that was just the job for lifting tongue and groove floorboards.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks good advise. I do use cordless. Used to be all Dewalt, batteries different tool to tool as they went bad junked them. Sill use their power screwdrivers with aftermarket batteries . Went with Ryobi all same battery some of the tools are junk other OK. Chucks on the drills, no key, like to slip.

                    Multiple batteries in the shop are a real pain. Circular saw infrequent use cord is fine.

                    Boats

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                    • #11
                      Years ago I bought this Milwaukee metal-cutting saw because it was the lightest weight that I could find:
                      https://www.milwaukeetool.com/Produc...utting/2782-20

                      I had to do some hacking to fit a wood cutting blade, but it is very handy. Cuts 2x-- no problem (not all day long & not as fast as a bigger saw). And the metal cutting blade is useful too.

                      Love it.

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                      • #12
                        I had a Porter Cable trim saw. Not particularly light weight, but easy to handle anyway. I lent it and it came back burnt out. Now it's in the middle of being adapted to becoming a hobby sized table saw. It is a precision tool with a solid gear system and everything on ball bearings. It now has a 36 volt DC motor on it, and it's smoooooth-
                        I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                        • #13
                          I have a Ryobi P501 18V 5-1/2" cordless saw which works well enough, but I find it hard to get used to the blade being on the left side. Just seems awkward for me, being right-handed. My other (corded) circular saws are all blade-right. Yet the following suggests that blade-right saws are better for southpaws.

                          https://inspiredesignandcreate.com/r...ar-saw-review/

                          https://www.amazon.com/circular-trim...cular+trim+saw
                          http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                          Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                          USA Maryland 21030

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                          • #14
                            'blade-right better for southpaws'- I have to agree with that. No wonder most people can't cut a straight line-
                            I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                            • #15
                              Re: the right/left thing, if you're cutting, say a 1x10 using a speed square, you hold the square with your left hand, and the saw has the majority of it's plate on the side of the board that is not going to drop away. With the blade on the left side it's easy to lose control of the tool at the end of the cut. Placing your guide is the trick, I have a marking block the width from the left side of the blade to the edge of the plate.

                              I'm not entirely following the attraction of a smaller saw vs a 7.25". Just weight? I feel the size of the larger saw would consistently give me a cleaner cut. But if someone gave me a Festool track saw I'd not turn up my nose.
                              Location: Jersey City NJ USA

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