Categories
Compound Miter Saw Saws

DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw Review

Miter saws are one of the most convenient types of saws available. They make producing repeatable cuts a cinch by eliminating the need to readjust the saw head, angle, and fence after every cut. A compound miter saw takes it to the next level by allowing users to make repeated compound cuts (mitered and beveled cuts) in no time at all.

DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw with XPS Review

One of the more popular compound miter saws out there is the DW716XPS from DEWALT. This saw is known for its tremendous power, high-speed blade, and amazing positioning system that ensures you’re making precision cuts every time. Let’s take a closer look at what the DW716XPS is packing and how well it works.



XPS (Cross-Positioning System)

Without any lights or lasers, it can be quite challenging to gauge how much material will be removed. The kerf (thickness) of the blade determines the width of the cut so it’s extremely important that you know just how wide the cut will end up being. Normally, miter saws come with lasers which give a somewhat accurate picture of where the blade will penetrate your piece, but the main problem with lasers is that they often don’t match the kerf of the blade, especially if you purchased a laser add-on separately.

DEWALT’s ingenious system – the XPS module – projects a bright LED light on both sides of the blade, creating a shadow that darkens and becomes more defined as the blade moves closer to the workpiece. The thickness of the shadow is also extremely similar to the kerf of the saw blade so users can get a clear idea of how much material will be removed. In our opinion, DEWALT’s XPS trumps any laser system out there. Of course, the only drawback is if you’re working outdoors where sunlight shines directly on your piece.

DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw Review

Motor Power and Speed

The DW716XPS is equipped with a large 15-amp motor which delivers a ton of power for chopping through all types of wood. It spins the huge 12-inch blade at speeds of up to 3,800 RPM for quick, clean cuts through wide boards. For portable compound miter saws, this is the largest motor you’ll ever need, and anything more powerful can be overkill.

Miter and Bevel Capacities

This compound miter saw has a maximum mitering capacity of 50° in both directions. The mitering system has 11 pre-installed positive stops to help make repeated cuts at the most commonly used angles. The DW716XPS also has a beveling head that can tilt in both directions at up to 48°. Apart from the 0° position, each direction has three positive stops at 33.9°, 45°, and 48°.

Cutting Capacity

The 12-inch blade that comes with the DW716XPS can deliver deep cuts on wide boards, making it an extremely useful tool for all sorts of woodworking projects. While the blade is at the 90° position, it can cut boards up to 8 inches wide and 6.5 inches thick. While mitered at 45°, the 12-inch blade can cut 4 inches deep on 6-inch wide stock. For cutting through crown molding in the nested position, the DW716XPS can cut as deep as 6-5/8 inches with a single plunge.

DEWALT DW716XPS Compound Miter Saw

Dust Collection Bag

Like any woodworking tool, a compound miter saw produces huge mounds of sawdust in just a couple of passes. Luckily, miter saws like the DW71XPS feature a handy dust collection bag that attached to a 2-1/2-inch dust port located on its backside. The dust bag doesn’t leak but can fill up rather quickly if you’re using the tool continuously so consider attaching a shop vac hose to this unit’s dust port. Adapters are available (but sold separately) if your shop vac doesn’t use a 2-1/2-inch hose.

Electric Brakes

Miter saws should come with a wide range of safety features like retractable blade guards and lockout triggers. But the one feature we think not enough miter saws come with – the DW716XPS not included – is electric brakes. Basically, when the trigger is disengaged, the DW716XPS’s saw blade will stop almost instantaneously. This means while the blade is slightly above the surface of your material and fully exposed, after releasing the trigger you’ll have a reduced risk of cutting your forearm.

Verdict

In all honesty, the DeWalt DW716XPS is like so many other 12-inch compound miter saws out there in terms of maximum cutting capacities, mitering and beveling ranges, and safety features. However, the thing that really sets this tool apart is the XPS module which helps give operators a clear idea of the blade’s kerf and how much material will be removed. This feature alone is definitely worth the cost of the tool if you’re serious about woodworking.

DEWALT DW716XPS




Categories
Reciprocating Saw Saws

Best Reciprocating Saw under $100: Buying Guide

Reciprocating saws, a.k.a. recip saws or sawzalls aren’t the most accurate type of power saw in the world, which is what makes it perfect for demolition, renovation, landscaping, and prepping lumber. What it lacks in precision and finesse, it makes up for in portability, maneuverability, and power.

Best Reciprocating Saw under $100

Reciprocating Saw under $100 Buying Guide

Getting your hands on a versatile tool doesn’t require you to talk to the bank and set up a payment plan. Some reciprocating saws sell for less than a C-note, albeit with slightly worse specs than their costlier counterparts. However, budget-friendly doesn’t mean cheap, poor-quality tools in this sense. You can get most demolition, renovation, and landscaping projects are done with a budget-friendly sawzall. All you need is a little bit of knowledge of what constitutes a high-quality, budget-friendly reciprocating saw. This guide will tell you all about it.



Corded vs. Cordless

Budget-friendly reciprocating saws can come as either a corded or cordless model. We can get into the whole “uninterrupted power” vs. “maximum portability” spiel, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Just note that corded models typically pack beefier motors that produce better cutting abilities, and cordless models can be powered by batteries of between 9 and 20 volts. Each charge can provide roughly 30 minutes of work at maximum speed (more on speed later).

What is The Best Reciprocating Saw Under 100 Bucks?

Mini-Reciprocating Saw

If you need something that’s super inexpensive, can fit into cramped spaces, and can easily be operated in a single hand, then consider mini-reciprocating saws. These tools can navigate through pipes and in corners easily. They’re usually cordless for extra convenience. However, if power for thicker schedule pipes or boards is what you need, then forget about these mini saws.

Weight

Perhaps you’re not in the market for a mini-reciprocating saw but instead are looking for a lightweight, full-sized model. Don’t you fret; they have those, too. Reciprocating saws can anywhere from a couple pounds all the way up to 15 pounds or so. Typically, heavier models deliver more power, but they’re also considerably more expensive. The good thing about reciprocating saws is that even the budget ones are lightweight and can be operated using one hand. It’s just the shape of the tool that can get in the way and block your vision.

The Best Reciprocating Saws

Strokes per Minute

The speed of the blade is measured in SPMs or how many times the blade moves forward and backward every minute. Higher SPM ratings mean chopping through lumber, pipes, and conduits quicker. The good thing is that most models, even budget-friendly ones, can reach up to 3,000 SPM. Many $100-or-less recip saws only reach about 2,500 SPM, so we recommend avoiding these and opting for a faster model.

Stroke Length

Apart from the speed of the blade, another thing to consider is how far the blade travels forward and backward. Longer strokes can cut through any material much quicker, especially when they can reach up to and beyond 3,000 SPM. We’d suggest finding a Sawzall that travels at least 1 inch, but if time isn’t a factor, then a 7/8-inch stroke will suffice.

Best Reciprocating Saw

Blade Changing System

While we’re on the point of time, one thing you may want to consider is how the recip saw changes blades. Most modern reciprocating saws have a tool-less blade changing system which can be done using a single hand if necessary. However, most high-quality budget models require using a key or other apparatus to detach and re-attach blades and other attachments. Once again, if downtime is a big concern, then get a reciprocating saw that requires no keys or tools to swap out blades.

Batteries and/or Blades included?

Many of the budget-friendly reciprocating saws are a tool-only kit, meaning that it doesn’t come with a blade or battery for cordless models. If you’re replacing an old recip saw and have blades and spare batteries lying around then a bare-tool kit would probably be the better option, assuming that the battery is compatible with your new reciprocating saw, however, if you’re a first-time buyer or want to get straight to work after spending $100 or so, the try and find a model that includes at least one sawing blade and a battery pack.

Best Reciprocating Saw under 100

Attachment Compatibility

Reciprocating saws are extremely versatile tools in the sense that not only can it cut wood, plastic, metal, and even concrete, but it can do a wide range of different jobs. For instance, you can use it to sand the wood if you purchase a sanding pad attachment. You can use chipping and scraping tools on a recip saw to get rid of dried cement and paint. You just need to be aware of what sort of attachments are compatible with your saw.

Vibration Control

Sawzalls are not known for being dainty cutting tools. No, they deliver full power and create earthquakes that send shocks up your arms and shoulders. However, more recent models don’t vibrate nearly as much as their ancestors, but it’s still a good idea to be on the lookout for vibration-control features. A rubber grip would be a good place to start, but things like a separation of the body and handle can also help keep vibrations in check.

Reciprocating Saw under 100

Adjustable Shoe

The shoe is the metal piece found on the nose of the saw. It’s used to give stability to the workpiece when hacking and sawing through it, so it doesn’t wobble around. In some projects, you may find that the piece you’re working with is fixed at an angle, and unless you can maneuver the tool, your arm, and your body at an awkward angle, you’ll want an adjustable shoe. You can reposition the angle of the shoe based on the angle of your work piece.

Final Remarks

Reciprocating saws are versatile tools that can cut through practically any material. It doesn’t provide the accuracy of table saws or circular saws, but when tearing down drywall or sawing bushes and hedges, does it matterThere are budget-friendly reciprocating saws available if you don’t feel like spending more than a Benjamin. They’re powerful enough to do a lot of what a more expensive model can do, despite their weaker motors. Our guide provides you with information regarding certain specs and features to consider when shopping for a reciprocating saw under $100.

Reciprocating Saw Guide




Categories
Reciprocating Saw Saws

Reciprocating Saw vs Circular Saw

The number of power saws available today is truly baffling. How in the world are you supposed to determine what type of saw you need when you’re literally bombarded with dozens of different optionsOne of the more commonly asked questions is regarding two types of very different saws – reciprocating saws and circular saws.

Reciprocating Saw vs Circular Saw



What is a Reciprocating Saw?

Reciprocating saws are a kind of machine-operated saw in which the blade moves in a forward-and-backward motion (reciprocating) to cut through materials. It’s one of the most versatile tools you could own since the lightweight design and thin construction allows it to fit in places where most tools couldn’t.

The saw’s design does not allow for much precision since the tool does not come with any fences or guides. On the front-end of the tool is a shoe – a metal piece that juts forward – that rests against the surface of an object you’re cutting. The shoe keeps it in place while the blade pushes and pulls through the piece.

Circular Saw vs Reciprocating Saw

When to use a Reciprocating Saw

When we say that a reciprocating saw is versatile, we MEAN versatile.
First of all, whatever this tool lacks in precision, it makes up for in extreme cutting power. The rapidly reciprocating blade can be used for demolition projects such as tearing through drywall and sawing wooden beams.

The power of the motor also allows the blade to cut through plastic and metal. This is especially handy when remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. Also, reciprocating saws with LED lights will help improve visibility when working in dark, cramped places like under the sink or in bathrooms without running electricity.

Another place where reciprocating saws flourish is outdoors, specifically for landscaping jobs. Although the go-to tool for trimming hedges and bushes is a chainsaw, a reciprocating saw can offer just as much value with very little risk. The blade is shorter and can reach tight spaces such as between branches and twigs.

Reciprocating Saw

There are certain specialized tasks where a reciprocating saw could prove to be the ideal tool to use. When fitting windows, you’ll need a tool that can fit in cramped areas and work in corners. With a reciprocating saw, you can take the tool to the window and make cuts where needed.

What is a Circular Saw?

Circular saws are a handheld electric or gas-powered saw that uses a circular blade to cut materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. Blades are swapped depending on what sort of material you plan on cutting. The blade is offset to the side which may cause some visibility problems for some people. However, the shoe or aluminum guide has a mark which indicates the position of the blade.

This tool, though versatile, is made only for straight cutting. The blade is not flexible, so when it’s inside the material, you cannot swing the tool around to get a curved cut.

Circular Saw

The main benefit that you get from using a circular saw is its compact size and light weight. Circular saws are mainly used in woodworking to produce straight rip cuts and crosscuts on boards that are too large or too heavy for your table saw. The main benefit of circular saws is their lightweight that allows you to take the tool to the material and not the other way around.

When to use a Circular Saw

In many instances, the things that a circular saw can do can easily be done by a miter saw, or table saw. The main difference is that neither of those saws is as portable as a handheld circular saw.

Circular saws are designed to rip cut and crosscut through boards of virtually any size. Before running rough lumber through a jointer or planer, you can cut the board down to size using a circular saw. This is especially handy when dealing with huge boards that won’t be supported on a table saw’s or miter saw’s work surface.

Reciprocating Saws

Another huge benefit of circular saws is being able to make plunge cuts in the middle of your workpiece. This is one of the things that a circular saw can do that table saws and miter saws can’t. However, making plunge cuts requires holding the blade guard back to expose the blade as it enters the piece. This can be dangerous, but with a little common sense and practice, it’s pretty easy to do.

The ability to make compound cuts (angled and beveled cuts) is arguably the best thing that a circular saw can do. By tilting the blade, you can run the saw into the material at any angle to cut on two planes. Sure, you may not need to do it as frequently as you’d like, but it definitely covers the main points of a compound miter saw.

Circular Saws

Reciprocating Saw vs. Circular Saw – Which do I need?

The type of saw you need truly depends on what you’re doing. For instance, if you need a saw of woodworking projects, then a circular saw will provide you with precise cuts for producing beautiful pieces of wood-based art. A reciprocating saw is mainly for prepping rough lumber and not for cutting perfectly straight edges.

The versatility of a reciprocating saw is mainly for home renovation and demolition projects. If you’re redoing your floors, remodeling bathrooms, or want to demolish drywall, a reciprocating saw is the safest saw to use. It can also be a cost-efficient and safe replacement for a chainsaw to trim hedges and cut twigs. The way the tool is designed allows for maximum control through bushes and branches.

Reciprocating Saw

Final Remarks

Not every project will require the use of a circular saw and a reciprocating saw, so if you don’t need to use both regularly, it’s important that you know which of the two tools will help you more. In a nutshell, reciprocating saws can do demolition and construction jobs to a certain extent, whereas circular saws are mainly for constructing wood-based crafts. Take some time to get familiar with each of the tools before making a final purchase decision.

Circular Saw




Categories
Circular Saw Saws

How to Use a Circular SawInfo Guide

Any craftsman worth his salt should have a circular saw in his or her collection of power tools. Their compact size lets you take the tool to the material, not the other way around like with table saws and miter saws, so you can perform crosscuts and long rip cuts without needing to worry too much about support.

How to Use a Circular Saw

If you’re unfamiliar with how a circular saw is used, then keep reading; this article aims to explain how you use a circular saw. We’ll also include a few tips on how you can use your circular saw more safely.



Get to Know Your Circular Saw

There are two main types of circular saws – sidewinders and worm-driven.

Sidewinders are the more popular version of the circular saw. Its handle is located near the top of the tool, and the blade is on the right-hand side while most of the weight is on the left. It can be quite awkward to use, especially since your sight is slightly impaired by the large motor, but after you’ve gotten to know your saw better, it’ll be one of your favorite tools to use.

When purchasing a circular saw, know what size the blade is and how far it can reach into your workpiece. Choose a saw with a larger blade if you plan on frequently working with thick boards. A smaller blade can be used on thick boards as well, but you’ll need to flip the workpiece over to cut through it.

How to Use a Circular Saw Guide

Position the Material

Even though circular saws don’t require a large table to work, the board still needs to be supported. You can either use a conventional worktable and let the board hang over one side, or you can purchase two sawhorses.

The sawhorses allow you to make a cut through the middle of a board while they support both sides. Just be careful to watch your toes since the cut pieces will undoubtedly fall to the ground. You have Sir Isaac Newton for inventing gravity…

Adjust Depth and Bevel

Before slicing through your material, you need to adjust how far you want the blade to penetrate the board and at what angle. The depth of the cut depends on how large the saw’s blade is. Larger blades mean deeper cuts, allowing you to dimension thick boards in a single sweep. You can use the central lever to adjust how far the blade protrudes from the baseplate.

Most circular saws have a bevel capacity of up to 45°, but some models can go a little beyond that. Use the pivoting scale on the side of your circular saw to gauge how far the blade is tilted.

After adjusting the depth and angle of the blade, make sure that everything is locked into place. Accidents can happen if the blade isn’t locked into place.

Use a Circular Saw

Position the Saw

Take a look at the baseplate of your saw. It should have markings ruler markings showing the distance from the left and right of the blade. The most important thing to look at is the “0” and line. This indicates where the blade will go assuming that you’re pushing it with steady force. The “0” and line needs to be aligned as perfectly as possible to any measuring marks.

Activate the Circular Saw

After your material is propped up on a table or between two sawhorses and you know where the “0” mark is, now it’s time to activate the saw. The trigger should be located on the bottom portion of the handle, but your saw may have additional safety features that need to be disengaged before the trigger can be pulled. After the unlocking, your saw, pull the trigger while the blade is away from the material and let the blade reach its maximum speed.

Cut Your Work Piece

Following any measurement marks, push your saw slowly and smooth into the material. You might feel a bit of resistance in the beginning as the saw makes contact with your board but keep a steady hand and keep pushing. As the blade penetrates the surface of the board, the blade guard should rotate away from the blade, giving it clearance to pass through the board safe and sound.

If, for any reason, the blade guard fails to back away, release the trigger and pull the saw away from your workpiece. Check to see if anything is blocking the guard from rotating. At this time, pull the guard away with your hand to gauge who smoothly it rotates back.

Circular Saw

Release the Trigger

You should only release the trigger after the blade is away from the workpiece. Let the blade move forward a few centimeters away from the board while the trigger is still engaged. After the blade is away, release the trigger and wait until the blade makes a complete stop before taking the tool away.

Unplug the Saw

After you’ve finished cutting all of your boards, unplug the saw (if you have a corded-electric model). This will prevent the saw from accidentally turning on and potentially causing bodily harm.

Circular Saw Tips

Even though circular saws come with a wide range of safety features, it never hurts to get a little extra insurance. In this article, we’ll talk about the various items you should use to operate a circular saw safely.

Circular Saw Use

Get a Rail

Circular saws straight from the box rely on their baseplate for support and to lead the cut. However, if you don’t have a steady hand, the saw can easily deviate from the desired trajectory, ruining your workpiece or requiring the use of another tool to fix. To eliminate this risk, you can get an aluminum rail in which the saw sits flat and guides the blade in a straight line across your board. This is especially handy when making rip cuts through super-long boards.

Protective Equipment

Goggles, ear muffs, respirator, gloves (if you’re comfortable) – these are all things you need to stay safe while operating a circular saw. They can be quite loud and produce a ton of dust. A shop vac to clear the dust would be a good tool to have in your workshop as well.

Do Not Make Plunge Cuts!

Traditional circular saws are not designed to produce plunge cuts – cutting the middle of a board without passing through one of the sides. There are specific circular saws built without blade guards to assist you in making plunge cuts.

Circular Saw Info Guide

Bestseller No. 1
SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with...
  • Powerful 15-amp motor delivers 5,300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
  • 7-1/4-in carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
  • 51 degree bevel capacity for a wide variety of cuts. Arbor size: 5/8 inches, cord length: 6 feet
SaleBestseller No. 2
TACKLIFE Circular Saw with Metal Handle, 6...
  • METAL HANDLE & LASER DESIGN: Comes with a unique metal handle, which helps to reduce fatigue for one-hand...
  • POWERFUL MOTOR & 6 BLADES: Features a 5.8 Amps copper motor to deliver full-size performance at 3,500 rpm,...
  • FLEXIBLE 90° & 45° BEVEL CUTTING:Easy-set depth scaled gauge lever allows the cutting depth up to 1-11/16...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
  • Magnesium components create a lightweight saw (10.6 pounds) that is well balanced and jobsite tough
  • Powerful 15.0 AMP motor delivers 5,800 RPM for proven performance and jobsite durability
  • Two built in L.E.D lights illuminate the line of cut for increased accuracy



Categories
Circular Saw Saws

Circular Saw vs Reciprocating Saw

With the numerous types of saws available on the market, it can be quite confusing to know which is used for what job and which saw you actually need, especially if you have little or no carpentry experience.

Circular Saw vs Reciprocating Saw

After looking online, you might run into a few different types of saws. Table saws, miter saws (COMPOUND miter saws, SLIDING compound miter saws), circular saws, flush-cut circular saws, hacksaws, track saws, reciprocating saws, jigsaws, band saws, etc. etc. etc.

The latest confusion to arise when comparing two types of saws is how a circular saw and reciprocating saw differIn all honesty, these are two completely different tools used for different jobs and in different circumstances. This article will explain the main uses of each tool and in what conditions each saw will benefit you more.

What is a circular saw?

A circular saw is a handheld power saw that uses a circular blade, ranging between 7-1/4 and 10 inches in diameter, for plunging into wood, crosscutting boards to the right length, and ripping boards to the right width. Basically, it’s a very versatile tool that’s easy to carry and easy to control.

Speaking about the blade for a minute; if you have the need to cut masonry, plastic, or even metal, you can swap out the wood-cutting blade for the correct blade/disc for cutting the other materials.

Circular saws are generally powered by electricity and gas; gas-powered models offering more power and deeper cutting capacities than their electric counterparts. There are even some cordless models, but their weaker motors are suited for powering smaller blades and producing shallower cuts.

The versatility of the circular saw is practically endless. For instance, some creative woodworkers have posted videos of them turning their circular saws upside down and mounting them under a table to use as a table saw.

Reciprocating Saw vs Circular Saw

When should I use a circular saw?

Due to the size and shape of a circular saw, the tool can be used anywhere and anytime. It’s not a stagnant tool that needs to be mounted so taking it to various job sites is entirely possible.

The circular saw is a popular tool for building furniture. Due to its design, the circular saw can be used to dimension boards of virtually any size, provided that you have the right supports for the job. The circular saw’s beveling blade also gives it the ability to cut on two different planes for more challenging, intricate tasks.

This saw is meant to produce straight cuts, unlike the jigsaw or reciprocating saw, so it’s better-suited for carpentry work than rough dimensioning.

What is a reciprocating saw?

The reciprocating saw, referred to as a recip saw for short, is a machine-powered tool that cuts through materials by using a push-and-pull motion (reciprocation). Unlike circular saws, table saws, and miter saws, the recip saw doesn’t have a circular blade. Instead, this saw uses a knife-shaped blade with serrated teeth on one edge.

The recip saw doesn’t have any mechanisms in place for making angled cuts since the user simply needs to tilt the tool to the left and right to do so. As you can imagine, this tool isn’t made for fine-carpentry projects.

Due to the reciprocating nature of the recip saw, the produced cuts will not be entirely clean. The blade hacks away at a material while producing a ton of vibrations, leading to unpredictable results. The recip saw is operated by using both hands to keep the unit as stable as possible.

This saw’s blade is designed to work on all materials. Wood, plastic, and metal are no match for the sheer power of a reciprocating saw. However, if finesse is what you’re looking for, the reciprocating saw is not what you need.

Circular Saw

When should I use a reciprocating saw?

Most homeowners who purchase recip saws often use this tool to do a bit yard work. Trimming hedges, cutting unruly bushes, and pruning trees are all entirely possible to do with a recip saw. Not only would a circular saw an ineffective tool at doing so, but it would also put you and anyone else in the vicinity at great risk, even with the blade guard intact.

Another type of project where a recip saw’s unpredictability doesn’t harm performance is in demolishing tasks. Taking down wooden beams and demolishing old furniture can be done with a recip saw without fuss.

The reciprocating saw is also designed to make flush cuts. As long as you have steady hands, a clear line of vision (no guards to block your view), and have a surface to use as a guide, the reciprocating saw can actually be useful in the workshop. Just be sure to give the cut-edge a sanding before calling it a day.

Reciprocating Saw

Are they interchangeable in certain conditions?

We can’t imagine any scenario where a circular saw could replace a reciprocating saw other than in demolition projects (a circular saw can be used to chop wood, too). Given the nature of each saw, we can’t advise you use a circular saw where a reciprocating saw should be used, and vice versa.

However, there are several instances where a circular saw and reciprocating saw complement each other. When using a circular saw to cut off an end of a thick board (6 x 6s), make four passes with the circular saw. With each pass, the board needs to flipped to another side. After the fourth pass, since the circular saw’s blade can’t reach the center, all you need to do is make a final cut with the recip saw to fully detach the end of the board.

Circular Saw versus Reciprocating Saw

Final Remarks

In conclusion, a circular saw and reciprocating saw are two entirely different tools used for entirely different purposes. A circular saw is better-suited for building, whereas a recip saw is used in renovation and demolition projects.

Essentially, a circular saw makes straight crosscuts and rip cuts. It’s a great tool to have for dimensioning boards. With a beveling blade, it becomes even more versatile and can replace many functions of a compound miter saw and table saw.

As for the recip saw, there aren’t any guides, fences, rails, or tracks for you to rely on. It’s basically a hack-and-slash tool that is used to remove as much material as possible without finesse. There’s also no guard protecting the blade so you need to exercise extreme caution when using this. The absence of a guard is to offer the user as much visibility as possible when maneuvering the serrated blade through virtually any material you need demolished.

Reciprocating Saw versus Circular Saw

Bestseller No. 1
SKIL 5280-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw with...
  • Powerful 15-amp motor delivers 5,300-RPM for greater speed and faster cuts
  • 7-1/4-in carbide-tipped blade included. Spindle lock for easy blade changes.
  • 51 degree bevel capacity for a wide variety of cuts. Arbor size: 5/8 inches, cord length: 6 feet
SaleBestseller No. 2
TACKLIFE Circular Saw with Metal Handle, 6...
  • METAL HANDLE & LASER DESIGN: Comes with a unique metal handle, which helps to reduce fatigue for one-hand...
  • POWERFUL MOTOR & 6 BLADES: Features a 5.8 Amps copper motor to deliver full-size performance at 3,500 rpm,...
  • FLEXIBLE 90° & 45° BEVEL CUTTING:Easy-set depth scaled gauge lever allows the cutting depth up to 1-11/16...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Makita 5007Mg Magnesium 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw
  • Magnesium components create a lightweight saw (10.6 pounds) that is well balanced and jobsite tough
  • Powerful 15.0 AMP motor delivers 5,800 RPM for proven performance and jobsite durability
  • Two built in L.E.D lights illuminate the line of cut for increased accuracy



Categories
Saws Table Saw

Table Saw or Circular Saw: What to Pick?

When it comes to woodworking, picking the right tool for the job can be a bit confusing. Looking at the numerous types of saws and their cutting capacities, it can be confusing deciding which of them can actually be the “right” tool for your collection.

Circular Saw or Table Saw

One of the greatest dilemmas for aspiring woodworkers is picking between a table saw, and a circular saw. Comparing the benefits of the large supports on a table saw to the compactness of a circular saw can be a head-scratcher. In this article, we’re going to take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of both of these types of saws and give you our opinion of which would be the better saw to start off with.



What is a Table Saw?

A table saw is a large variety of circular saws in which the blade protrudes upward from the work table. The blade is driven by an electric motor and belts or gears to give it the cutting power and speed needed to rip through long, thick boards.

You slice and dice your work by pushing wooden boards through the blade with a push stick while lined it is up against the support fence. The fence can be shifted to either the left or right side of the blade depending on which part of the board you wish to cut.

A number of different jigs can be used to assist in making angled cuts while spinning a wheel or lever can tilt the blade to make beveled cuts. Cutting on both planes – angled and beveled – is possible with the right jig, a tilted blade, and a steady hand.

Table Saw or Circular Saw

The greatest benefit that a table saw offers is the ability to make repeated cuts on several pieces. You simply need to adjust the cutting depth of the blade, the tilt of the blade, and the distance from the fence to the blade. After everything is locked in place, you can cut boards to an identical size in no time at all.

Types of Table Saws?

Table saw models range from large, stationary units to light, portable ones. Although there are several types of table saws out there, for first-time buyers and aspiring woodworkers, the two that you should consider are cabinet and benchtop table saws.

A cabinet table saw is a heavy-duty machine that’s used in professional woodshops. It comes with a beefy motor, a huge work table, and a large blade for cutting through large wooden boards. This is the type you need if you plan on establishing a home business.

If you’re more of a hobbyist, then take a look at benchtop table saws. These are the lightest, most compact type of table saw available. As the name suggests, this tool is mounted onto a workbench or table to give it stability and height. It works just like any other table saw, but the supports to the left and right are small, limiting how large a board you can cut with this tool.

Circular Saw

Drawbacks of a Table Saw

Many people would argue that the table saw is the heart and soul of any woodshop. We feel that it can be, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have disadvantages. For starters, even a compact benchtop table saw can be pretty heavy, and transporting it from place to place can be troublesome if you don’t have the right cushioning for both your truck and the tool.

Second, the only way to make use of this tool is by lifting your boards onto the table saw’s work table. If you need to cut huge boards down to size, you can skip the gym since lifting and positioning the board onto your table saw will be enough of a workout.

What is a Circular Saw?

The term “circular saw” can refer to any saw that uses a circular blade, such as a table saw. However, the tool that’s generally called a circular saw is a portable, handheld saw that’s driven by an electric motor. The size of the blade ranges from 4-1/2 inches to 7-1/2 inches, but there are several models with huge 10-inch blades for heavy-duty cutting.

This saw solves the problem of carrying huge lumber onto a work surface. Instead of lifting and building muscle mass, you simply need to carry the tool to where it’s needed and do your cutting there.

Essentially, there’s nothing that a table saw can do that a circular saw can’t. Miter cuts, beveled cuts, cuts on both planes, rip cuts, crosscuts – a circular saw can do it all.

Table Saw

Types of Circular Saws

Circular saws can be gas-powered, corded-electric, or cordless. Gas-powered circular saws are the most portable type since you don’t need to deal with power cords or recharging batteries. They’re also the most powerful type of circular saw. But just like any gas-powered tool, it’s not safe to use indoors even with ventilation.

Cordless or battery-powered circular saws, like a gas-powered saw, won’t tie you down with long power cords. However, they’re the weakest of the three and typically come with smaller blades and shallower cutting capacities.

Corded-electric circular saws are in the middle-ground between cordless and gas models in terms of power. They generally come with 7-1/2-inch blades for slicing through 2-inch thick boards in a single pass. Their power cords will tie you down, but you can solve the problem of limited movability by utilizing a long extension cord.

Drawbacks of a Circular Saw

Even though a circular saw can do everything that a table saw can, it does have some drawbacks. First of all, using a circular saw requires a lot of extra measuring and double-checking in order to get the right cuts every time, unlike a table saw which just needs to be adjusted once. There’s also no fence to help ensure that you make straight cuts using a circular saw, but you can purchase an aluminum rail which guides the blade in a straight trajectory across the surface of your board.

Something else that you should be aware of is that a circular saw will leave a messy finish on the newly cut edge. The only way to make a board usable after cutting it with this tool is if you have a sheet of sandpaper or a power sander on hand.

Circular Saw

Table Saw vs. Circular Saw – Which to Get

Looking at these tools and what they can do, their range of use is just about equal to each other. So if you were to ask us whether your first saw should be a table saw or a circular saw, we’d have to say it depends. We know, this non-committal answer isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, but the right tool really depends on what you’re doing.

If you need a heavy-duty saw for dimensioning numerous boards and you have the space for it, then a table saw can be the most time-efficient tool to do it. If you need to simply rip and/or straight cut through boards, then a circular saw would be the most cost-effective tool to have.

A benchtop table saw, and a circular saw would be an excellent combo to have. One will give you the ability to produce identical, precise cuts across several boards while the other will let you reduce the size of your boards where they lay.

Table Saw




Categories
A-Check Compound Miter Saw Saws

Best Compound Miter Saw Reviews

A woodworking shop is never complete if it doesn’t contain a miter saw. A miter saw is a saw with a circular blade attached to a head which plunges downward with a pull of the lever. The size a miter saw’s blade allows it to make a clean cut through thick boards in a single pass.

The main function of a miter saw is to cut your boards at a wide range of different angles. Many models have the ability to be mitered up to 50° to the left and right. Admittedly, you could do this on a table saw or eye it with a circular saw, but the miter saw’s straightforward setup makes it a heck of a lot easier to produced angle cuts.

The main benefit that a miter saw offers is the ability to make repeated cuts across numerous boards with just a single setup. You don’t need to readjust the tilt of the blade or the stops; simply push your board against the fence and pull down on the saw head. Easy as pie.



What is a Compound Miter Saw?

Like any good woodworking tool, miter saws come in a wide variety of shapes and with various features. The most basic of miter saws let you cut at an angle by swinging the saw head left or right before plunging it into the board.

However, what if you want to cut on two planes – at an angle through the wood and at an angle into the woodA basic miter saw won’t give you the ability to tilt or bevel the saw head, so you can either spin your board around to attempt this dangerous cut, or you can get a compound miter saw.

The only distinguishing factor between miter saws and compound miter saws is that the latter has a beveling saw head. Apart from swinging the saw head left or right, you can tilt it to produce beveled cuts into your piece.

Being able to make compound cuts into your workpieces is useful when making crown molding, picture frames, and furniture with fancy joints. It’s definitely a handy feature to have. No longer will you need to rely on miter jigs to produce the right compound cut.

What to Look for in a Compound Miter Saw

In this section, we’ll talk about the various features and specs to be on the lookout for when choosing a compound miter saw.

Motor Power

In a nutshell, a more powerful motor means better cutting power. When looking at potential compound miter saws, be sure to check out the motor’s amperage. Around 15 amps should be more than sufficient for cutting through thick boards with a single plunge. Of course, this depends on what you plan on cutting. If you work exclusively on delicate thin pieces like crown molding, then a 9-amp motor would do you just fine.

Blade Size

This is another thing to pay close attention to. The size of the blade determines how thick a board it can cut with a single pass. A smaller blade forces you to turn the workpiece over in order to finish the cut. The most common sizes are 8 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. The saw should have a beefy motor if it’s equipped with a 12-inch blade.

Miter and Bevel Capacities

The saw head of a compound miter should swing at least up to 45° in both directions. Even though you can simply turn your board over to produce an identical angle cut on the other side, being able to turn the saw makes the process much quicker to do. As for the bevel capacity, a compound miter saw should tilt at least 45° to one side.

Positive Stops

Positive stops are points set by the manufacturer that let you adjust and lock the saw on a particular angle. They help in reducing the amount of time needed to adjust the saw head’s cutting angle. Some models even let you adjust the angle – both swivel and tilt – with your thumb, increasing your work speed even further.

Dust Blower and Collection Bag

One of the worst things that can happen in a woodshop is inhaling sawdust. To prevent sawdust from going airborne, a compound miter saw – a tool that produces dust by the tons – should come equipped with a dust blower to shoo the sawdust to away from your workstation. It should also feature a dust collection bag at the backside of the saw head to gather as much as possible. However, when operating any woodworking tool, you should wear a respirator at all times.

Laser Guide

A laser guide helps in determining where the blade will penetrate into your workpiece. The problem with many models is that the vibrations of a rapidly spinning blade and repeated plunges can shift the laser from its original position, rendering it utterly useless for future cuts. Check to see where the laser is located and how well it’s built into the tool to prevent it from moving.

Blade Guard

One of the most reliable safety features of a compound miter saw is the blade guard. Since you need to get the blade rotating at full speed before plunging it into your workpiece, the blade should be completely encased in a transparent guard. As the saw head moves downward, the guard will retract, exposing the saw just inches away from your stock to reduce the possibility of injury. As you raise the saw head, the blade should return to its original position.

Electric Brakes

This is another safety feature to be on the lookout for. Electric brakes immediately prevent the flow of electricity into the saw’s motor as soon as you release the trigger. The blade will then stop spinning within two seconds. Without electric brakes, it would take even longer for the blade to come to a complete stop.

Final Remarks
A compound miter saw can be a handy tool to have in the workshop. It lets you produce angled cuts and beveled cuts with a single plunge of the saw head. The ability to make these compound cuts helps in making simple and complex pieces of wood-based art such as picture frames, crown molding, and furniture. Many of the features to look out for are similar to those of a simple miter saw; the difference being the beveling capacity or how far the blade can tilt in one or both directions.




Categories
Compound Miter Saw Saws

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 vs RAGE3 vs RAGE4

Chop saws are all the rage when you need to cut straight through metal pipes, angle beams, and nails. They work similarly to a miter saw, but most models lack the ability to bevel the saw head to make angled cuts through wood and metal. This is easily overcome by flipping the piece of metal over or clamping it down at an angle to give you the appropriate position for cutting. With a chop saw in your shop, you can say goodbye to the traditional hacksaw which takes way more effort to produce clean cuts in hard materials.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 vs RAGE3 vs RAGE4

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2

In this article, we’re going to take a look at three of Evolution Power Tools’ chop saws: the RAGE2, RAGE3, and RAGE4. The company is a master at making steel-cutting tools, and their expertise is clear from their high-quality chop saws. These three chop saw models might have similar functions, but their design and range cutting capacities are worlds apart. Let’s see which of these models would fit best in your arsenal of woodworking and metalworking tools.

Design

RAGE2 and RAGE4
The RAGE2 and RAGE4 have the more traditional look to a chop saw. Although they have the ability to miter to produce angled cross-cuts, operating the tool is done by mainly dropping the head downwards and retracting it when it’s made a clean pass through the material. There aren’t very many bells and whistles that come with these models.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE3 vs RAGE4 vs RAGE2

Evolution Power Tools RAGE3

RAGE3
As for the RAGE3, this is basically a compound miter saw with a 28-tooth TCT blade. The miter-saw-design makes it bulkier and heavier, but if you’re used to operating a miter saw then this tool will be super-easy to use.

Conclusion: A simple alternative to a chop saw is installing a TCT blade in your miter saw at home. If you don’t have a miter saw, we recommend getting the RAGE3 since you can just swap out the TCT blade with a high-speed steel one for cutting exclusively through the wood. However, miter saws, even with a TCT blade or other metal-cutting blade, has very limited use on metal since they operate at much quicker speeds. For this reason, if you deal with metal on a regular basis, you’ll need a dedicated metal-chopping tool like the RAGE2 or RAGE4.



Maximum Speed

RAGE2
The RAGE2 has a speed rating of up to 1,450 RPM. This may seem low but keep in mind that metal-cutting tools should produce slower RPMs in order to cut through thicker materials. Because this tool is designed for thicker pieces of metal, you should feed the blade into the material at a slower rate.

RAGE3
The miter-saw-lookalike – the RAGE3 – has an RPM-rating of 2,500. This tool is the middle ground between the RAGE2 and RAGE4 in terms of how thick the materials this tool can slice through.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 vs RAGE2 vs RAGE3

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4

RAGE4
The RAGE4, the fastest blade, has a speed rating of up to 3,500 RPM no-load. The high-speed blade makes this tool more appropriate for cutting through low schedule pipes, thin angled beams, etc.

Conclusion: RPM plays a huge role in a chop saw’s ability to cut through all sorts of dense materials, including metals like steel, copper, bronze, etc. The thicker the material, the slower the blade should spin in order to cut cleanly through the material without producing sparks. If you deal with thinner pieces of metal, then the RAGE4 would be the best option here to get work done quickly. When dealing with larger, thicker pieces of material, the RAGE2 should suit you fine.

Blade Size

RAGE2
The size of the blade determines how thick/wide a piece of metal or wood can be cut by the chop saw. Larger blades have greater cutting capacities but are often slower than machines with smaller blades. The RAGE2 uses a super-large 14-inch blade, thus the slower RPM.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE2 vs RAGE3 vs RAGE4: Saw Comparison

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RAGE3
The RAGE3 comes with a 10-inch blade which is about the second largest size blade you can get for a miter saw. There are several types of blades out there for you to choose from in case you want to replace TCT blade that comes with the tool. Because of the commonly used blade size, you can install blades from different manufacturers in this saw.

RAGE4
This model comes with a small 7-1/4-inch TCT blade for multi-purpose cutting applications. The small blade means shallower cuts in a piece of metal or flipping the metal over to complete the cut. Small blades aren’t necessarily bad, but in general, they require more passes to finish a cut than a large 10- or 14-inch blade.

Conclusion: It goes without saying that the size of the blade can be an indicator of the cutting capacity of a chop saw. The larger the blade, the more material it can cut in a single pass. However, you must decide how big a blade you need. That being said, going big, in the case of chop saws, is better since it allows you to increase your workload as you become more accustomed to using the tool.

Mitering Capacity
RAGE2 and RAGE4
Unlike miter saws, the heads of these two chop saw models don’t swivel, but instead on the base is a swivel clamp which holds your material in place and can swivel to the left, up to 45°, to make angled cuts. The clamp system works rather nice, and it’s easy to set up and use. Just be sure that everything is tightened as much as possible to prevent kickback.

RAGE3
Unsurprisingly, this miter saw can cut angled cuts up to 45° to the left and right after swiveling the head. There are nine positive stops to help ensure that you’re cutting at the appropriate angle.

Conclusion: Being able to swivel the head or position the material at an angle helps in completing specific jobs. Between the swiveling head of the RAGE3 and the clamp system of both the RAGE2 and RAGE4, we prefer the RAGE3’s mitering ability. The clamping system is great, too, but it requires tedious measuring to get the appropriate angle, whereas the RAGE3’s positive stops along the 0° to 45° make for quick setup.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE3 vs RAGE4 vs RAGE2

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Evolution Power Tools: Verdict

It’s clear that these three tools, though work similarly, have very different functions. The RAGE2, with its low RPM and large blade, is designed to slice through thick pieces of metal, plastic, or wood in a single pass. The RAGE3 is a miter saw that does what you’d want from a miter saw to do, but the addition of a TCT blade makes it extra versatile for cutting metal bars, pipes, and nails.

The RAGE4 is perhaps the entry-level chop saw designed for slicing through small pieces of metal, evidenced by its high RPM and 7-1/4-inch blade. We feel that the middle path – the RAGE3 – is the most flexible tool here, though if you have one in your shop and just need a metal-cutting chop saw to add to your collection, then we recommend getting the Evolution Power Tools RAGE2.

Evolution Power Tools RAGE4 vs RAGE2 vs RAGE3: Saw Comparison

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