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It’s difficult to imagine a shop without a saw. The 7 1/4” sidewinder circular saw is probably one of the first power tools other than a drill that will prove itself worth the money over time. However, you’d be shocked at the number of DIYers that don’t have this staple of construction — which makes it a great gift.

An old standby if you’re not sure what brand or make to get is the Skil 5480. It bristles with 2.3 horsepower and is the standard sidewinders are built upon. Anywhere between $40 to $50 will get one under the tree, and should your Toolmonger at home not have one there really isn’t a wood worker anywhere who will be displeased with a circ saw as a present.

Of course there are tons of other makes and models out there should your gear-hound be partial to a specific color scheme, but in the end that’s about all you’re buying in that price range. Whatever model you get, rest assured it will go over bigger than the car charge-powered personal fan you found at the checkout line with a big name manufacturer sticker on it.

Street Pricing [Google Products]
Skil 5840 Circular Saw Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

4 Responses to Classics Are Always In Style

  1. mistershhh says:

    Consider throwing in a quality blade along with the saw. I bought this saw (my first) about a year ago, but didn’t know how bad the included “all-purpose steel” blade was… until I replaced it a few months later.

  2. PutnamEco says:

    Re:
    An old standby if you’re not sure what brand or make to get is the Skil 5480. It bristles with 2.3 horsepower and is the standard sidewinders are built upon.
    ———
    In my opinion the Makita 5007 was the last game changer on the circular saw scene, the one the other manufactureres looked to as a standard to beat. After that saw came out, the other classic professional saws (B&D Sawcat, P-C/Rockwell 315) went away and where replaced by cheaper models.
    Historically speaking, it is my belief that Black & Deckers Home-Utility line were the first marketed to the DIY crowd, thus setting that standard.

    My own personal opinion, based on what I’ve seen on commercial jobsites, is that the Ryobi is the low end saw of choice among people that make there living with tools.

  3. Beans Baxter says:

    Agreed on the Makita 5007 (and 5008 for 8 1/4″). If you’re going that route, spend the extra cash and get the 5007MGA with the magnesium housing and electronic brake.

    Also agreed on the Ryobi but specifically the 14 amp one. They are around $50 refurb or $70 new and really the only significant downside is the stamped base. The motors are excellent, it comes with a dust port attachment and the ergonomics are outstanding.

  4. SCWetherbee says:

    I love my Porter-Cable except the front of the shoe is not tapered or turned up, so when I cut across the ends of deck boards, for instance, the shoe can get caught up if the boards are not level. I think it was about $130 @ HD three years ago, I wish I had gotten the one with the brake though but it was about $30 or more additional. I like the wrench-less blade change too.

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