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Thread: Circular Saw for EZ Smart

  1. #1
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    Oct 2013
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    Circular Saw for EZ Smart

    I've been using more sheet goods, which has pointed out the need to replace my circular saw. Had been reading and looking into track saws for the past year or so, but hadn't convinced myself of the need. A fellow Creeker recently offered an EZ Smart system at a fair price, so i purchased it. Now i need to select a circular saw to use with it. Since i'm a hobby woodworker, and full-time home owner, the ability to disconnect for rough framing every now and then would be a great asset. Budget is always an issue, i'm more comfortable at $80 than $200, but the high end could be done. In reading reviews of the EZ Smart system, many of the comments on saw selection are 5 to 8 years old, so i'm looking for just an update--if enough changed to warrant consideration of any given saws.

    I'm seeing 2 potential paths in the selection--1. buy a "great" CS--or--2. since the system is claimed to work well with most any circular saw, go to the low end of the range ($80 will buy a reconditioned Bosch CS10, light years better than where i am today). I see the Makita 5008MGA get a lot of positive mention with this system, so i'm viewing that as the high end of the spectrum. Side question--if i buy an 8 1/4" saw, could i use 7 1/4" blades part of the time to save a little on blades?

    If you use the EZ Smart or similar, what saw do you like and why? Now that you have the saw--is there a different saw that you think may have been a wiser purchase?

    Thanks,
    earl

  2. #2
    My makita 508 was vobbly in vertical and even after some tweaking and shimming it did not improve much, result is that it is hard to get consistently true cuts.
    My Hitachi 7 inch 79 dollar saw worked well. This was about a year ago.
    I actually like ez smart rip guide better than track for quick sheet good rips.

    Quote Originally Posted by Earl McLain View Post
    I've been using more sheet goods, which has pointed out the need to replace my circular saw. Had been reading and looking into track saws for the past year or so, but hadn't convinced myself of the need. A fellow Creeker recently offered an EZ Smart system at a fair price, so i purchased it. Now i need to select a circular saw to use with it. Since i'm a hobby woodworker, and full-time home owner, the ability to disconnect for rough framing every now and then would be a great asset. Budget is always an issue, i'm more comfortable at $80 than $200, but the high end could be done. In reading reviews of the EZ Smart system, many of the comments on saw selection are 5 to 8 years old, so i'm looking for just an update--if enough changed to warrant consideration of any given saws.

    I'm seeing 2 potential paths in the selection--1. buy a "great" CS--or--2. since the system is claimed to work well with most any circular saw, go to the low end of the range ($80 will buy a reconditioned Bosch CS10, light years better than where i am today). I see the Makita 5008MGA get a lot of positive mention with this system, so i'm viewing that as the high end of the spectrum. Side question--if i buy an 8 1/4" saw, could i use 7 1/4" blades part of the time to save a little on blades?

    If you use the EZ Smart or similar, what saw do you like and why? Now that you have the saw--is there a different saw that you think may have been a wiser purchase?

    Thanks,
    earl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    South Coastal Massachusetts
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    I use a Porter Cable on my EZSmart.

    You should note that the new bases are not easily removed
    from any of the circular saws on the market (holes are drilled and tapped for screws)
    and you will lose a full 1/2" (or more) in depth.

    The fiddly process of aligning the guide plate is what makes the EZSmart
    guide effective, and it needs to be verified every time you remount the plate.

    I've done it twice, and it takes me about 45 minutes.

    I suggest you buy the best new saw you can comfortably afford
    using the tracksaw as a designated for sheetgoods.

    Beater circular saws for framing can be had at most garage sales.
    Keep an eye open for one, when the snow clears.

    I kept my first cheapo (branded Skil, made who knows where)
    to run my demolition blade. Harbor Freight makes serviceable
    saws that no one will 'borrow', on a job site.
    Last edited by Jim Matthews; 01-06-2015 at 7:34 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    N.E, Ohio
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    The re-mounting will be problematic as far as getting it properly aligned each time. The saw plate has a tab that you remove (break off) once the saw is mounted so it will not be functional for re-mounting the saw. You will need a dedicated saw for the EZsmart system.
    George

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
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    857
    Thanks. I'd read the 1/2" loss of cutting depth--about 98% of the time i wouldn't notice it on a 7 1/4" saw. So, at a spec of 2 7/16" cutting depth i could double up 3/4" ply or straight line 6/4 stock if i'm figuring correctly.

    That's good info on the remounting--a dedicated saw it is.

    earl

  6. #6
    If you can afford it, I'd get an 8 1/4" circular saw. If you are ever tasked with thicker cuts, you'll appreciate the capacity. I know I would have liked it a couple times.

    That 2% of the time you need the depth, you'll spend a lot of time figuring out how to do it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Earl McLain View Post
    T So, at a spec of 2 7/16" cutting depth i could double up 3/4" ply or straight line 6/4 stock if i'm figuring correctly.
    earl
    You loose 15/16" for the track and the saw plate, this is per EZSmart. The only 7 1/4" that may handle two trickiness of 3/4 ply is the DeWalt DW575SB. I would go 8 1/2" to be safe. I had a DW575SB at home and on the saw plate (not mounted just setting) and track it was just barely able to cut the full thickness of two 3/4 sheets of ply. Don't rely on me get one from Lowes and check it our yourself before you commit to mounting. The problem with an 8 1/4 is the selection of blades is limited.

    I know because I have explored this issue but decided that since I already had two circ saws I would cut sheets individually until the saw I have dedicated to the saw base dies. It is sounding like the bearings may be going.
    George

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  8. #8
    I want to reiterate that Makita 5008MGA was vobbly and there were some posts on EZ smart forum about it and also some attempted solutions, but none of them worked for me.
    I think it was design/materials issue, if you get that saw then check it before drilling for the base. I did not check and had to keep the saw.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    N.E, Ohio
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinis Kanders View Post
    I want to reiterate that Makita 5008MGA was vobbly and there were some posts on EZ smart forum about it and also some attempted solutions, but none of them worked for me.
    I think it was design/materials issue, if you get that saw then check it before drilling for the base. I did not check and had to keep the saw.
    What do you mean it is wobbly? Is the blade mount not flat and the blade does not run true to square to the direction of feed?
    George

    Making sawdust regularly, occasionally a project is completed.

  10. #10
    I had purchased a Eurekazone pre-mounted saw - the Hitachi 7-1/4 Circular Saw Model C7BMR, 15 Amp - back in 2008 and it does a fantastic job. No complaints. I've used it on track (with the EZ Smart Square) to cut 2x6's and it cuts them but leaves just a "hair's thickness" uncut. Its think enough that I use a pocket knife to finish the cut (much thinner than veneer). This is with the older style base. I assume the new base is similar but I don't know that for sure.

    If you're only cutting plywood and other sheet goods then any high quality 7-1/4" circular saw will likely do fine. Consider the pre-mounted Eurekazone saw with the dust control on it. Sweet!

    If you're likely to frequently cut 2x lumber then I'd recommend you go with the Makita 5008MGA. Hopefully the wobbliness that Reinis has won't effect you. It gets very good reviews on Amazon.com.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by George Bokros View Post
    What do you mean it is wobbly? Is the blade mount not flat and the blade does not run true to square to the direction of feed?
    This guy on Amazon explains it better:

    "I bought this saw a year ago. I really wanted to like it but the long plastic attachment point for the front pivot allows a lot of slop in the foot if you push down on the handle and have the saw raised up a bit. I beefed up this pivot with a washer and could get better cuts but for $200 it should be twice the saw that the c7mbr hitachi is at just over $100 but it isn't even half as well built."

    http://www.amazon.com/Makita-5008MGA-Magnesium-Circular-Electric/product-reviews/B001ASHL8A/ref=cm_cr_dp_qt_hist_two?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addTwoSt ar&showViewpoints=0

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
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    6,759
    Earl

    I have a nothing special Makita, sub $100.00 7 1/4" , I don't even know what the model # is. I use the Freud Diablos blades from Home Depot and have no problems. I can cut a line as accurately as I can lay that line out. The blades don't last all that long, but they're not expensive.
    This setup will not cut through a 2x. It lacks about a 1/16".
    For 2x's and such I use a Milwuakee, 8 1/4", worm drive saw. There are plenty of blade types available, but they need to be ordered online, or at least I need too. The next step up after this is a 10" circular saw, and they get $$$.

    I now have a Festool TS75 for more depth of cut. Other than the depth of cut, I could cut just as cleanly, and accurately, with my EZ rails and Makita.

    Keep alot of the EZ ZCI edges on hand. When your cuts start to get a little ragged, it's either a worn blade, or time to replce that ZCI edging.
    Last edited by Mike Cutler; 01-06-2015 at 5:14 PM.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    I think I PM'ed you this when you bought the system but will re-iterate. I have used EZ for over 10 years and tried many saws. If you plan to have one saw and want to cut 2x stock get the Makita 5008MGA (magnesium base and brake). I have one and I never had wobble issues some reported. If you need deeper get a Makita 5104 10-1/4". I currently have a Hilti 267E 7-1/4" (my go to saw), 5008MGA for thicker stock, and found a home for my cordless 18V Makita 6-1/4" on the EZ Universal Edge Guide (UEG). The UEG is excellent for ripping ply.

    Mike

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Northwest Indiana
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    You sure did Mike--and i appreciate that. I'd love to not spend $200+ right now, but the last time i bought a circular saw was over 20 years ago so it's not like i couldn't amortize the purchase over a long period of time!!
    earl

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