I am thinking about upgrading my old Skill Saw to a Ridgid R3203 25418 12 Amp 6-1/2-Inch FUEGO Framing Saw I am wonder is this saw any good. I have hear good things about it I am looking for a saw to frame houses with.
I would think that if you're looking for a saw to frame houses with you'd want to go bigger than the 6 1/2" blade size… at least a 7 1/4".
I got the PC 423 which also has a hookup for dust collection, which is the reason I got it, on top of the occasional framing work, it's also great for sheet goods breakdown, with dust collection built in, it makes things easier and cleaner all around. so far it's performing really well, it's robust, and has a metal sole (not plastic like some other saws). angle settings lock well.
There is a lot to be said for light weight and handy especially at the end of the day) I like my old mikita 9 volt drill for that reason. I don't need the weight of an 18 volt drill overhead all day long. I see carpenters cutting 2x' with the big worm drives with one hand across their leg, but that saw takes some getting used to one handed and if they don't cut a leg off they will develop wrist problems.
Yea 7-1/4 works really good for 2×4s the smaller the blade the hotter the blade gets I once had a 6-1/2 get locked up in a 2×4 then was like a stalling sound then just was smoking and at the time I didnt have any fire extingusher around and I was on a job with my dad and that was scary but then we upgraded to dewalt 7-1/4 circular saws a miter saws
I think if it's working fine, why upgrade? Let me give you and example. I enherited a 7.1/4" Black and Decker circular saw when my dad died. That thing sucks! It works just fine, but it leaves black marks from the base on the lumber when you use it. I only use it for rough cutting rough boards that are too long to get on the tablesaw. I've found that the paint is hard to clean off, unless you run it through the planer or across the jointer. For that reason I don't upgrade. I also have a cordless 5.3/8" circular saw. If I were to upgrade, it would be on the cordless, to maybe a P/C 4.1/2" trim saw for more power.
I like a little heft on my framing saw and mostly use a worm or hypoid drive. I only use the top handle circular when I am doing ceiling work. The heavier saws don't get as hot - burn out the blades or smoke the boards, they will cut darn near anything with the right blades (from aluminum to titanium) and they tend not to kick back as much as the top handles…but thats me….For a top handle I really like my Milwaukee…it is smooth, at a great price and an excellent warrantee…..I've used worms/hypoids and top handle circulars made by Milwaukee, Bosch, Ridgid, Fuego, Skil and Makita….all were excellent..and each has it's own traits…but I have been very happy with Milwaukee…the warranty - 5 years is great…and the customer support has been sterling..
After having a Black and Decker (Tinker and Diddle), a Milwaukee and a Skiil, I bought a Dewalt (top of the line) about the third year I was working for a general contractor (mostly framing). used it for next ten years professionally, and still use it for home projects now ten years later. I love the thing even though it can be kinda heavy after long usage. For framing a 24 tooth blade is best and if you can find a Makita blade, they seem to last longer than any other kind of blade in a circular saw.
I have a friend who is a professional carpenter and he got a Dewalt with an 8" blade. this allowed him to cut a 4×4 in one pass. That is a nice saw and a good upgrade. I bought a Milwaukee because I couldn't find the Dewalt anywhere around here, but I still wish I had.
For framing you can't beat the Skill Mag lite..Only 7 1/2 pounds and will have you biceps burning from the weight, Yet it will cut all day long and beg for more..Framing is hard work…did it for years. The worm drive is the only way to go….Just my opinion though!!!!
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