Performance beyond it's price

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Review by Mike_D_S posted 04-23-2018 04:51 AM 3100 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Performance beyond it's price No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So I’ve had this saw a few months now and had time to make a number of different cuts with it. I picked this up at Home Depot pretty much paid $150 net for it as I had a few other items and used the $20 off $200 Pro coupon.

I’ve cut a pretty good bit of ply, some hardwood and a bunch of 2x and cedar pickets when I replaced some of my fence. Overall, I’ve been impressed with the saw and the quality. Though I will say that the last circular saw I bought was a Skil saw back in maybe 93 or 94, so I don’t have a lot of experience with different circular saws other than using a few friend’s saws occasionally over the years. I bought this saw with the intention of passing the Skil on to my daughter’s boyfriend who was looking for a circ saw. I did some research and this saw seemed to get pretty good reviews on balance, so I figured I’d try it.

The good:
1. Relatively low noise level. It’s a circular saw, so it’s not whisper quiet, but it is surprisingly quiet. Every time I use it, this is one of the thoughts that pops up.
2. Large flip levers for adjustment are easy to use and lock down securely. Time will tell how they hold up, but so far I’ve really enjoyed the ease of setting the depth by just flipping the lever up and down.
3. Built in dust blower does a great job of keeping the cut line clean making it pretty easy to see what’s going on.
4. Motor has a pretty soft start, so it doesn’t jump around during ramp up.

The bad:
1. The box is both larger than it needs to be and yet too small to put the saw away unless the base is raised all the way. There’s a lot of dead space in the molded box, but the recess for the saw is exactly saw sized. It’s just sort of annoying that if the base is down even a 1/4” the box won’t close without some force.

The middle:
1. The light is sort of useful. To be honest, I had been using it in full daylight and hadn’t really even noticed it had the light. But as I was finishing up the other night making a few cuts, it was getting a little less light and I could see a bit with the light. To be honest, I felt that if it was dark enough for the light to be useful, I probably shouldn’t be operating a power saw.
2. The weight. It’s not anywhere near as heavy as the Skil bruiser, but it’s not super light either. I have picked up a lot of circular saws at several stores while looking for a new one. This one is not the lightest, but not the heaviest either. In use, I really don’t notice the weight, but when I’m picking it up out of the box the first time I notice the weight of it.

All in all, I’m happy with the saw and compared to the old skil it’s a lot lighter and easier to use overall, so no regrets at least.


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Mike_D_S's profile


778 posts in 3434 days

4 comments so far

View Holt's profile


280 posts in 3849 days

#1 posted 04-23-2018 11:48 AM

I’ve got the same saw. Bought it when I realized that my old B&D circular saw that I used for general carpentry would not cut straight for love or money. I’m with you point for point. I kind of like the extra space in the case, but having to change the saw settings to close the case is a little annoying. I picked this saw more for it’s base than any other reason. Those pressed steel bases so many of the saws have are just not square to the blade (at least not for long). This saw has a substantial base and is easy to use with a speed square or other “guide”. I use my Festool track saw for breaking down any sheet goods, but this saw does great on all my 2x cutting. I do have a Skill Worm Drive saw, but it is dedicated to a Prazi Beam Cutter. This Makita is a good general purpose side winder with plenty of power. Only real con I see, is the storage for the Allen wrench is not all that secure.

-- ...Specialization is for insects.

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1960 days

#2 posted 04-24-2018 12:33 PM

Mike, I’ve been using the same saw for the last couple of years, and like Holt, I’m also in agreement. When I put the saw in its case, it was a pain, but I only use it in my home shop. After building a small hanger and cleat for it, the case is now a non-issue: though I can see it’d be a nuisance when transporting.

I used some scrap MDF about mid-last year to build a 4ft zero-clearance track for it. Took practically no time to make, and really helped out with a small cabinet project I was working on. Not to mention, nice, clean edges.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View jimintx's profile


939 posts in 2804 days

#3 posted 04-24-2018 06:57 PM

I got that saw when my ancient Bosch gave up the effort. I chose it for similar reasons, and I like it for the same features and performance as has been described. I think it is a great choice and is offered at a good price point.

I let it slip one day and it fell maybe 16 inches to a hard concrete surface. In the fall, the slotted metal arc that is used to adjust and set depth of cut got slightly bent, which made the depth adjustment sticky and difficult. My effort to get it to work smoothly did not work. This did not have any effect on the alignment of the plate and the blade, however. I took it in to a local Makita repair center and explained the issue, to see if I could get a replacement piece. They just replaced it on the spot, and said they saw that problem a lot, and knew the piece was not very stout. There was no charge!

I also agree the box fitment is a pain, but i don’t really keep many of my tools in those boxes anyway. I have a stack of them up in the attic, with not any good thing to do with them, but i have not yet elected to toss them out.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View KTNC's profile


187 posts in 1476 days

#4 posted 04-26-2018 04:21 AM

Mike: Thanks for taking the time to do this review. Also Thanks to Jim, Dustin and Holt.

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