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Thread: Circular saw: left blade vs. right

  1. #1

    Circular saw: left blade vs. right

    Is there any distinct advantage to one over the other? Right handed use vs. left maybe? It seems that about half the time I'm wishing mine were the opposite orientation (imagine that ;D).

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Sterling, Virginia
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    I learned with a Skilsaw worm drive saw with the blade on the left and it just seems natural for a right handed person. I don't like leaning over a blade on the right saw trying to see whats going on. I have some and I use them when the blade needs to tilt the other way but I prefer the blade on the left.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    With worm drive saws (left blade ) it is easier to see the blade and cut to a line. However it is far more natural to the way I work to use a saw with the blade on the right. This puts my saw over the piece I am keeping and the waste piece falls free when cutting on saw horses. To each his own,probably a 50/50 proposition.

  4. #4
    I'm right handed and prefer the blade on the left so I don't have to lean over the saw to see the cut line. To address the point Mike made...simply get used to flipping the piece end for end so the waste piece is to the left. Then the saw body is over the keeper piece, you can see the line easily, and your left hand is free to support the cutoff. It takes a little getting used to because you are cutting to the left side of the line when you do it this way (so the kerf is in the waste), but it quickly becomes second nature.

  5. #5
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    Paul I never really got used to working on the left end,I was too used to saws with the blade on the right side. I did use a worm drive on a commercial job for about 8-9 months ,building forms for a concrete slipform. they worked well because of the torque of their design and the fact we were cutting gradual curves all the time. I did not like the weight of them though. At the end of the job I was offered the saw I used for something like $50 and I walked away. I grew up with' sidewinder' type saws and still prefer them. 35 years of use so far as a carpenter so no plans to change anything. Worm drive saws do have certain advantages , just not for me. YMMV.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    I've used a sidewinder with a right side blade for years, never a problem. I can see the line fine.
    But these days as I slow down, I tend to pull out the portable with the left side blade.
    Both are Milwaukee (I've standardized) because after using the other guys stuff I just prefer their sight lines etc.
    Young enough to remember doing it;
    Old enough to wish I could do it again.

  7. #7
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    I use both. The Porter Cable models 347, and 743 are mirror images, with one a right blade, and the other a left. To me, a right blade is the easiest to freehand cut for a right-handed person because the saw is more balanced in front of you, even though you have to lean over it to see the blade.

    For vertical cuts, I use the right bladed one. Trigger is pulled with the ring finger on my right hand, and left hand holds the blade guard open while supporting the saw.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    6,469
    My Makita and Festool have the blade on the right. My Milwaukee worm drive has it on the left. All cut equally well.
    A right handed person using a circular saw with the blade on the left is going to get a lot of debris thrown right at them. My Milwaukee leaves me covered in saw dust from the waist down.
    The Festool, by nature of ergonomics, at least in my case, forces me to push the saw with my left hand, and guide with my right on long rips. I know it doesn't have to be that way, but it seems the majority of the time I use it, I am aligning the guide rail, with the ZCI strip facing me, or I have to lean over the work piece. Use a Festool TS75 without a vacuum hooked to it, and you'll only do it once unless you're outside.
    It really comes down to how comfortable are you using your off hand, and where do you want the saw to throw debris. I know a lot of folks will just comment to use a vacuum with an attachment on the saw, but lets be honest, that isn't always going to be the case.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2018
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    Lancaster, Ohio
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    started out with blade on right, had 3 different saws that way
    got a worm drive with blade on left, now have 4 of those and no blade on right saws anymore
    all in what feels right to you, I can use either saw just worm drives feel natural to me
    as already posted both style saws are available right or left blade

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Western Nebraska
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    When we move into a construction site, my crew brings a lot of saws. As the job progresses the saws tend to migrate to different areas based on use. By noon you will find that there is a corded Bosch worm drive (left blade) on the tailgate of my pickup ready for duty, but unused. There will be a Flexvolt Dewalt sidewinder by the entry door of the project with a demo blade on it (left blade) that was used a couple times in some marginally correct technique like cutting old flooring and nails, and right by all the action will be at least one Flexvolt Dewalt "worm drive" (left blade). That one saw does 90% of the work and gets treated like a baby. The rest are just tools.

    So anecdotally, you can derive that my small sample size but heavy use survey really dramatically prefers left blade, and further that Dewalt Flexvolt cordless. My personal preferences also agree with that.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    I have a worm drive and have trained myself to use it with either hand for any kind of cut. Awkward at first, but worth the effort.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
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    Doylestown, PA
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    For general carpentry I prefer right blade but left blade is much more natural when cutting sheet goods using a saw guide cutting right to left.

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    I've always used a right handed saw. Having to lean over the saw a bit to see the cut puts my weight, with my left hand, on the piece being cut. Plus the saw doesn't fall off with the cut off, which makes it easier for mew to move on to the next cut. We used to refer to worm drives as boat anchors. But to each his own, like everything else in our trade. For instance, I can not for the life of me figure out why anyone would use a round mallet on chisels instead of a flat face mallet.

  14. #14
    This thread gives a glimpse into what it's like being a leftie in a right-handed world.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Donhowe View Post
    This thread gives a glimpse into what it's like being a leftie in a right-handed world.
    Very true however as a right handed person I find that most tape measures and circular saws are designed for left handed people.

    Regards, Rod.

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