Circular Saw, Reciprocating Saw, Jig Saw, drywall saw, hole saw, handsaw, and a hacksaw. These are just the saws that I carry with me everyday, not to mention all the specialty saws in my home and shop. Now, I can admit it “My name is Curtis and I am addicted to tools”. Luckily my chosen profession allows me to feed my addiction with little guilt, however for the average homeowner the basics will usually have to do. In this on going article I will list the saws needed for everything from basic household repairs to advanced home improvement projects, which models I prefer and why. Check back each month for the next saw in the series.
Battery vs. Electric
This will be brief don’t buy battery powered saws unless you will be consistently cutting far from a power source. They are underpowered, run out charges quickly, and not adequate for most building jobs. Don’t get me wrong I do own a set or two and use them occasionally for convenience but do not recommend them over electric tools
This Month's Featured Saw:
The most common type of power saw is the Circular Saw it is typically used for crosscuts (across the grain) and rips (cuts with the grain) in dimensional lumber or plywood. With a little practice most people can master cutting with a circular saw. This type of saw is very versatile and can handle most cutting tasks; in addition it is quite compact which makes it ideal for storing or transporting.
Circular Saws come in several varieties, the traditional style known, as a sidewinder in which the motor is located on the left side, is lightweight and compact. A left-handed version which is opposite of this type is also available not only for left-handed people. Many people find this version easier to operate and to see the cut line. A Worm Drive is another type of Circular Saw. This model has the motor on top instead of the side and is much heavier it also has considerably more power. This model is more common on the west coast and was invented and used for framing houses during the 1950’s housing boom in California and has remained very popular by professionals.
I have and use both types sidewinder and worm drive and to be honest I love them both. I keep the Milwaukee sidewinder in my truck and use it all the time. Because its bigger and heavier I keep the Skill Saw Worm Drive in my shop. I would have to say the worm drive cuts smother, easier, and straighter on long cuts. But for cross cuts and general cutting I prefer and recommend the Sidewinder.