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Cutting plywood sheets with a "Skil" type saw.

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 05-08-2018 05:04 PM 2757 views 0 times favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

5718 posts in 3754 days


05-08-2018 05:04 PM

I have 4 “Skil” saws and they all share the same fault. It appears to me the “Skil” saw was designed for left handed people. At least this is what it seems when I am cutting across a plywood sheet using a fence as a guide. For example, I want to rip a few inches off the long side of a plywood sheet. The cut length is 96” and I set my cutting guide (fence) onto the good part of the sheet. The saw also rides on the good part of the sheet and not on the waste side. As set up, the saw has to rip from left to right. That direction is ok for left handers, but awkward for a right hander. Obviously, I couldn’t set it up to rip along the far side of the sheet as I would have to reach over the 48” width of the sheet in order to use my right hand. This may sound a bit confusing so here is a sketch to illustrate what I’m trying to say.

In the bottom sketch, I have to use my left hand to make the cut. In the top sketch, I can use my right hand (normal for me), but I would have to stretch over the sheet of plywood to make the cut, (awkward).

I guess the question is: Is there a saw that favors right handers?


40 replies so far

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Woodknack

12910 posts in 2890 days


#1 posted 05-08-2018 05:06 PM

Circ saws come in left and right hand.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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BorkWood

14 posts in 563 days


#2 posted 05-08-2018 05:09 PM

That’s why I love my worm-drive saw

-- Matt, Woodworker based in NC, https://www.BorkWoodBlog.com

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Loren

10477 posts in 4158 days


#3 posted 05-08-2018 05:10 PM

Worm drive saws tend to have the blade on
the left. They’re heavy though. For several
years Porter-Cable made blade left saws, the
743 and later the 423mag. The 743 is an
excellent saw, light enough to handle with
one hand and plenty of power. I never used
the 423mag. Other makers may still make
similar saws.

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John Smith

2015 posts in 673 days


#4 posted 05-08-2018 05:13 PM

do a google search on ”Worm Drive” saws.
this will be my next purchase. (many share your pain).

.

-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --

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MrRon

5718 posts in 3754 days


#5 posted 05-08-2018 05:30 PM

I don’t want a worm drive saw; too heavy. I just use a saw for breaking down plywood sheets.

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jonah

2080 posts in 3809 days


#6 posted 05-08-2018 05:33 PM

You can get regular circular saws with the blade on the left or on the right. It’s not just worm drive saws.

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JayT

6295 posts in 2721 days


#7 posted 05-08-2018 06:12 PM

Have you thought about going cordless? Most of the cordless circular saws are blade left. Add not having a cord catch on the corners of a plywood is a great bonus. My corded saw rarely comes out any more.

Circ saws were designed for right handed people, just before sheet goods. When trimming the end of a 2x or ripping a 1×12, having the weight to the body side of a right handed person is much easier to control than having the weight on the outside and waste piece.

-- https://www.jtplaneworks.com - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

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Rich

5001 posts in 1100 days


#8 posted 05-08-2018 08:13 PM

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Rich

5001 posts in 1100 days


#9 posted 05-08-2018 08:18 PM


do a google search on ”Worm Drive” saws.
this will be my next purchase. (many share your pain).

- John Smith

They’re all made in China these days. Even the venerable Skil 77. I bought my Skil Mag 77 in the late ‘90s and it’s all American baby. It slices through 8/4 mesquite like butter.

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MrRon

5718 posts in 3754 days


#10 posted 05-09-2018 01:15 AM

I did a search for left blade saws and found that the cordless saws are left blade. I went to Lowes and bought a Dewalt 18V saw. Paid $80 for it with a blade; regular price was $99. I have many Dewalt tools so I already had 18V batteries. I’m glad I bought it. It is powerful, well made and quiet. It even has a brake. I am very happy with it. I think it’s going to get lots of use. The reviews were all positive; no complaints. It is made in Mexico. Tomorrow, I will be using it to cut up some 3/4” plywood and 2×4’s.

I bought a Skil 14.4V saw a few years back, but it was junk. Since then, I was apprehensive about cordless saws, but the Dewalt has made me a convert. I fully recommend it.

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Woodknack

12910 posts in 2890 days


#11 posted 05-09-2018 03:24 AM

Cordless circ saws have come a long way. I have a Makita and love it.

-- Rick M, http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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dhazelton

2839 posts in 2807 days


#12 posted 05-09-2018 11:29 AM

I have the 20 volt Dewalt cordless with blade on left. Love it.

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cabmaker

1745 posts in 3319 days


#13 posted 05-09-2018 12:04 PM

If you have a tablesaw you could breakdown sheets with that,,,,,but if your using a skill saw, cut the other direction ,,,,put the guide (straight edge) on the narrow side of the saws base.

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cabmaker

1745 posts in 3319 days


#14 posted 05-09-2018 12:05 PM

If you have a tablesaw you could breakdown sheets with that,,,,,but if your using a skill saw, cut the other direction ,,,,put the guide (straight edge) on the narrow side of the saws base.

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

359 posts in 2245 days


#15 posted 05-09-2018 01:34 PM



If you have a tablesaw you could breakdown sheets with that,,,,,but if your using a skill saw, cut the other direction ,,,,put the guide (straight edge) on the narrow side of the saws base.

- cabmaker

The problem with doing it that way is that the heavy side is now over the part that will fall off (assuming it is not supported) making the saw want to tip. It’s not exactly safe, but we’ve all done it when we had to.

Another option is to go full Steve Ramsay and throw a sheet of foam insulation on the ground, then put the wood on top of that. Then you can kneel on the wood and be on any side of the saw that you want.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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