I made a stop at the local Lowe’s today to grab a wall box (and some drywall materials to fix the “other” hole I made before I found the right spot) and came across the above display in the tool corral. It made me wonder: If you were faced with this selection — from left to right: Skil’s 3310 for $140, Skil’s 3410 for $190, Porter Cable’s PCB220TS for $300, and DeWalt’s DW744X for $500 — which saw would you buy? And most importantly, why?
The two Skil entries are obvious choices for the financially strapped. Any saw that’ll cut even reasonably straight in the $150 range is pretty hard to complain about. (Well, you can complain, but no one will listen. They’ll be too busy telling you that you should have shelled out a little more cash.)
But that’s a pretty big jump up to $300, isn’t it? And $500 for the DeWalt is a huge jump. Incredibly, as far as I can tell, each of these saws is made for the same purpose. I do know — having used saws from crappy to excellent — that there is a difference in quality among saws, even sans feature differences. In short: If it doesn’t cut accurately, you’re screwed. But how much does one have to spend to get that accuracy at a minimal level?
Of course, you can spend a whole hell of a lot more on a saw. And you can spend more on a stand, too. But as I stood there blocking the isle pondering, I just really would like to know which one of these three saws you’d buy. Let me know in comments?
PS: You’re welcome to do any research of your own, but to simulate my experience I’ve added links to Lowe’s online shop for each saw below.