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Thread: 6-1/4 Circular Saw Regrets?

  1. #16
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    Mar 2018
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    I have an 18v DeWalt 6-1/2" saw that I bought used in a set, and it seems pretty weak. It would be fine for cutting a clapboard or something, but I never use it since I haven't worked with clapboards since I got it. Maybe with a new blade it would be better or maybe it's just worn out, I don't know. I had a 6-1/2" Skil corded that was OK, that I gave to someone who had no circular saw. I paid $5 for it at an auction years ago and used it occasionally. My new Makita 7-1/4" is great, lots of power and not very heavy. My previous saws were all 1990s and older.

  2. #17
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    I have the PC Saw Boss 6 1/2 left-blade and have used it for years. But for smaller things and general handyman stuff, I find the Dremel Saw with a 3" blade to be enough for most things. It'll cut up to 3/4". Not quite stable enough for fine woodworking, but I use it for cutting down plywood.
    Hobbyist

  3. #18
    I have 6 handheld circular saws ranging from a cordless Makita 6 1/2 (subcompact, brushless 18v) up to a 16 5/16" beam saw for cutting timbers and pretty much all sizes in between. The one I use the most by a large margin is the cordless 6 1/2" Makita (and the cordless track saw, but that's a different application) because of speed and convenience. It is plenty powerful with a good blade for crosscuts up to 2" thick. I do not typically use it to rip hardwood as I have other tools for that (bandsaw or larger corded saws) but these little saws were not designed for heavy ripping.

    With 5 ah batteries the subcompact brushless Makita (the little black one) does a lot of work even in 6/4 and 8/4 hardwoods. Aside from more general carpentry type tasks, I keep it in the shop with me and routinely use it to make quick "rough" crosscuts. It's hard to beat the convenience, IMO.
    Last edited by Phillip Mitchell; 09-16-2021 at 10:30 AM.
    Still waters run deep.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    One reason might be lighter weight, Steve. I know that's a nice thing for the little, inexpensive battery powered unit I mentioned above. With my hand and wrist foibles, the lower weight was a lot more comfortable. My 7.25" saw is a beast and it's not anywhere as heavy as the OP's worm drive 7.25" saw that he mentioned.

    Honestly, aside from the portability it's given me while doing things around our new property, it's also become my "board cut down" solution in the temporary shop because dragging the miter saw out onto the driveway is a pain in the you-know-what.
    I'll concede that maybe if lighter saws = better, a DW 573 is 8.2# with a 7 1/4" blade, and a DW 565 is 6.3# with a 6 1/2" blade. I don't agree with that though, the reason we use worm drives is the stability with the torque they generate, and a little more weight is part of that. I personally don't use much else.

    Festools are revered by many, a TS55 weighs 9.92#, very close to the same weight as the cordless DW worm drives that I use extensively.

    To each their own, but I don't keep anything other than 7 1/4" saws for use on a daily basis in our business.

  5. #20
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    Since you are a contractor, Steve, there are other considerations, for sure. Were I in the business, I'd likely feel the same way. I could be wrong, but I "think" that the OP is a non-commercial user. For me (and I suspect for you, too), I'm generally trying to use the best tool for the particular job and the "little thing" really has provided some utility to my personal activities. That may not be the case for others. The only downsides I've identified are less power and depth of cut and if that's a factor, I'll pull out the corded circular saw or my Festool Track Saw, as the case may be.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #21
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    Jan 2017
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    MT
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    Another vote for cordless. I have a heavy corded Milwaukee right blade saw that I rarely use anymore. It has been replaced by a Milwaukee left blade 6-1/2" 18V saw which I prefer even though I am left-handed. Except for the initial framing of my shop building I haven't used the corded saw since. Haven't had anything come up as far as depth that has been an issue. YMMV.
    Regards,

    Kris

  7. #22
    I have the Dewalt 20V cordless 6.5" saw, and before that the 18V 4.5" and 5" saws. The old saws were fine for sheet goods - I used them with a straightedge when cutting up plywood and MDF before I got my track saw, but would struggle a little with 2x material. The 20V saw has no issues with 2x and cuts through it like butter.

  8. #23
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    Sep 2019
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    Why would you want a 6 1/4" saw, I can't think of any reason you would benefit from one? 7 1/4" is not a big saw, what are you gaining by losing capacity with the smaller ones?

    I get it if you just really want one to add to your collection, but they are really quite pointless if you already have a 7 1/4".
    Weight is a serious consideration as well access. For a full time framer their needs are a lot different mine as homeowner/part time wood worker.
    My next project will be cutting 1-1/16 oak stair treads and the smaller saw attached to my Kreg Accu-cut adapter and tack I think will be more than robust enough

  9. #24
    I find I pick up my DeWalt 18v 6.5” all the time. I originally bought it when I was doing patch work in a truss set after they were up — wanted to be able to crawl around with a smaller saw and no cord. My big ol’ Makita with the tail is the special purpose saw now; the small one has become the regular go-to.

    I did have to get used to the shoe being “on the other foot”.
    Life is too short for dull sandpaper.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Polubinsky View Post
    I have the cordless version of that saw and it works well for me. The nice thing about Ridgid is if you register it properly it has a lifetime service contract that includes the batteries. I've got Ridgid drills that use the same battery and when a battery went bad it was replaced no problem. One of the drills had a problem after 5-6 years and it was fixed no charge.

    Cliff
    Well I am in the Dewalt eco-system for better or worse. My local True-Value has the 6-1/2 cordless on sale right now so off I go when it opens. It's a bare tool so I'll probably internet order a battery for it

  11. #26
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    John, I think that will be a nice addition to your tool corral for sure. It's funny you mention the battery. Despite being "in an ecosystem" and already having several batteries, I always find myself buying one more battery when I acquire another tool. It's an affliction I think...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #27
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Rozmiarek View Post
    I'll concede that maybe if lighter saws = better, a DW 573 is 8.2# with a 7 1/4" blade, and a DW 565 is 6.3# with a 6 1/2" blade. I don't agree with that though, the reason we use worm drives is the stability with the torque they generate, and a little more weight is part of that. I personally don't use much else.

    Festools are revered by many, a TS55 weighs 9.92#, very close to the same weight as the cordless DW worm drives that I use extensively.

    To each their own, but I don't keep anything other than 7 1/4" saws for use on a daily basis in our business.

    Clearly a 6 1/2" saw is not for you. But , methinks thou doth protest too much in regard to everyone else's needs and wants.


    Your comparison of any of these saws with a TS55 if ridiculous. If you need a general purpose or framing saw - a TS55 (or any other track saw for that matter) is not the right tool for the job. People buying a 6-1/2" saw aren't looking at a TS55 anymore than they are looking at a wormdrive. There's clearly a market for all of them.

  13. #28
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    Sep 2019
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    Massachusetts
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillip Mitchell View Post
    I have 6 handheld circular saws ranging from a cordless Makita 6 1/2 (subcompact, brushless 18v) up to a 16 5/16" beam saw for cutting timbers and pretty much all sizes in between. The one I use the most by a large margin is the cordless 6 1/2" Makita (and the cordless track saw, but that's a different application) because of speed and convenience. It is plenty powerful with a good blade for crosscuts up to 2" thick. I do not typically use it to rip hardwood as I have other tools for that (bandsaw or larger corded saws) but these little saws were not designed for heavy ripping.

    With 5 ah batteries the subcompact brushless Makita (the little black one) does a lot of work even in 6/4 and 8/4 hardwoods. Aside from more general carpentry type tasks, I keep it in the shop with me and routinely use it to make quick "rough" crosscuts. It's hard to beat the convenience, IMO.
    Thanks Phillip, your experience is invaluable. I did get the Dewalt 6-1/2 today (on sale for $99) and a 4Ah battery for same price on sale. Seems capable enough for most of my needs and like the smaller/lighter frame.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sabo View Post
    Clearly a 6 1/2" saw is not for you. But , methinks thou doth protest too much in regard to everyone else's needs and wants.


    Your comparison of any of these saws with a TS55 if ridiculous. If you need a general purpose or framing saw - a TS55 (or any other track saw for that matter) is not the right tool for the job. People buying a 6-1/2" saw aren't looking at a TS55 anymore than they are looking at a wormdrive. There's clearly a market for all of them.
    Dave, the title of the tread invites critical reviews, "6 1/4 Circular saw regrets". You have an opinion too or else you wouldn't be reading this far in. In the world I operate in, which is homebuilding, there is no benefit of a 6 1/2" saw over a much more capable 7 1/4". I actually saw one of my guys give one to a high school kid. It had come in a kit and l agree with his take, "It was too weak and pointless to keep around".

    Hey, if someone wants to collect tools, have fun! But if you want an opinion on their usefulness from someone who makes a living using these exact tools every day, mines likely relevant.

    Lots of people have ts55s, I used it for weight comparison only. Methinks thou may be looking for a reason to dislike my opinion.

  15. #30
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    Dec 2010
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    For hobby use my 18V 6-1/4" Milwaukee is the saw I reach for first. I built my shed, solar drier, and a bunch of other stuff using it almost exclusively. A couple of batteries usually are enough to last half a day; recharge as needed and I'm good all day. 3/4" sheet goods will drain the batteries fast, but for framing work they last a surprisingly long time. Like battery powered drills and especially impact drivers the circular saw was another of those "Why didn't they invent this 20 years ago? moments the first time I used it.

    John

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