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circular saws - left vs. right

CCI's picture

I was using my friend's 18v cordless circular saw yesterday and was wondering why the blade is on the left side like a worm drive not on the right like a sidewinder even though the cordless is a sidewinder.  The one in question is a ryobi but I have used a dewalt and it is also blade on the left side.

My corded bosch is on the right side as are most other corded I have used except for the worm drives.

Any reason for the switch or just trying to mess with my head?


(post #82900, reply #1 of 47)

me thinks they be messing wid us!

(post #82900, reply #2 of 47)

I saw an article in FHB where someone was cutting a skirt board for a staircase. They actually needed both a right and left circ saw to make the miter cuts.


Family.....They're always there when they need you.

(post #82900, reply #8 of 47)

We used to cut open stair skirts freehand with a tablesaw, I had one that tilted right for left handed skirts and a tablesaw that tilted left for right handed skirts. 

"Perfect is the enemy of Good."    Morrison


(post #82900, reply #9 of 47)

LOL!  That's a TOH jioke, even.

"Now, Norm will take the piece over to the OTHER tablesaw and complete the cut."


(post #82900, reply #3 of 47)

Aside from the odd circumstance similar to what MSA1 described it's mostly just personal preference....  I have both.  Blade left (for a righty) means more accurate cutting based on easer view of the blade, but this also means more sawdust/whatever in my eyes.  Also, with a blade left saw (again for a righty) the fingers of your holding (left) hand can end up closter to the blade...


(post #82900, reply #4 of 47)

We use both right and left for cutting facia!  on every house.

(post #82900, reply #5 of 47)

Sounds like you cut your fascia in place...


(post #82900, reply #7 of 47)

sub-facia!  can't bevel facia when installed.

(post #82900, reply #11 of 47)

Funny ,in the last 2 weeks I have done exactly that at least 10 times.

I cut fascia in place in remodel work and in new construction.

I also keep 2 saws at the horses for opposite angles instead of standing on the other side or reversing my board.








(post #82900, reply #17 of 47)

I have used as many as 4 saws around my horses.  Don't like to go far when cutting for 4-6 guys.  I am left handed that cuts both ways.  I admit, with a left handed saw my cuts are a little straighter.

(post #82900, reply #19 of 47)

 I'm the same way.  If I'm cutting some kind of funky roof like an octagon or bastard valley/hip or something I'll have my wormdrive like always.... but then I will also probably have a blade right sidewinder, a 10" worm with swing table, and maybe my 8 1/4" wormdrive or another 7 1/4 wormdrive.  Lotta saws making a lotta dust!

Isn't it nice being able to use a saw effectively with either hand... beveled or not?  A couple of my guys get into gymnast mode when they've got to make an odd cut with 'the wrong' saw.... arms all crossed and running the saw back at themselves and chit.  Just looks painful to me.

(post #82900, reply #6 of 47)

Right blade for a righty; might as well close your eyes and guess, unless you want to curl your head around upside down in front of the saw.

Forrest - opinionated

(post #82900, reply #10 of 47)

what i like best about my left blade saw is that i can hold a speed square tight to the board with my left hand and use it as a guide to get a perfectly square cut with the saw in my right.

(post #82900, reply #12 of 47)

I wondered about the speed square on the blade side of the saw -

you do it, apparently - do you feel more at risk than having the square on the opposite side of the saw?

"there's enough for everyone"
"there's enough for everyone"

(post #82900, reply #13 of 47)

I can understand the need for "left" and "right" saws for special cuts.  It just seemed to me, in my limited experience, that the cordless were typically blade on left and the corded were typically blade on right.

I actually noticed it because I ended up with much more dust on my face (I am right handed)with the cordless saw.

Can you buy a cordless saw with the blade on the right?  All of the ones I have used/seen are part of a kit and all have the blade on the left.

I can see how they would be good for cutting fascia in place.  I find them useless for cutting sheet goods - the battery drains down after just a few cuts and the small diameter, thin kerf blades tend to wander more than a 7-1/4" so it takes more effort to cut a straight line.  Just my own feelings, I am sure some get used to them.

(post #82900, reply #14 of 47)

....I find them useless for cutting sheet goods - the battery drains down after just a few cuts

That's cause you are using a Ryobi - what'd you expect with those - they are ####.

The Ryobi's are cheap, but the real difference is in the batteries and chargers. There's a reason the batteries retail at $20 each.

I barely use my corded saw for anything as my cordless (Bosch 18volt) cut's through sheet goods as good as the corded.

True - they are not designed for ripping 2x's, but for sheetgoods no reason for the corded.

Of course - for fine work, I use the Festool with the guide.


(post #82900, reply #16 of 47)

using a square on the motor side of the saw results in the motor hitting the square or my hand. plus it's easier to align everything when it's in front of you. i place the blade on the line, then pull the square in to get the saw square. i've tried it with my right blade saw, and looking around my hand and the saw to hit the line is difficult. and cutting with the saw in my left hand is out of the question. i have no left hand dexterity at all.

(post #82900, reply #18 of 47)

I wondered about the speed square on the blade side of the saw -

Resting the saw on the piece of board that is about to fall away would not seem like the best approach for accuracy.

"Perfect is the enemy of Good."    Morrison


(post #82900, reply #20 of 47)

You'd be surprised.  I can put a 45 degree bevel on a 1x8 that's as good as my slider with a worm and a speed square.  No BS.  It's like anything else... you just get used to it and it becomes second nature. 

(post #82900, reply #21 of 47)

shoot brian why use the speed square?  We never set up anything other than the skill saws!  You have to learn quick how to cut trim straight

 or the boys get pissed!

(post #82900, reply #22 of 47)

I use the speed square when I'm making a first cut on a board so I don't need to mark a line.

(post #82900, reply #27 of 47)

I find that to often when using a speed square as a guide the last 2" of the cut wanders, so I mark and cut freehand.

(post #82900, reply #25 of 47)

You don't frame with a speed square do ya?

(post #82900, reply #28 of 47)

Yep, to draw cuts, I have actually gotten better than using a framing square.  It took awhile!

(post #82900, reply #36 of 47)

Is it acceptable to draw a line atleast?  I had a carp when I was an apprentice tell me I'd get in trouble if I was using a speed square as a guide,, He told me that the framers only make a mark and cut at 90.  I like to draw a line and cut,, unless it's 2x8,, then I do sometimes grab the speed square.  Keep in mind I do renos,,and timberframing,, so don't get a whole lot of time to get proficient at any one task!





(post #82900, reply #37 of 47)

"I had a carp when I was an apprentice tell me I'd get in trouble if I was using a speed square as a guide"

what kind of trouble? - 'real men' don't use a speed square? - or using a speed square with a left blade puts you in physical danger? -

dunno - just asking -

"there's enough for everyone"
"there's enough for everyone"

(post #82900, reply #38 of 47)

Real men just make a 1/8" mark and cut!  I will keep marking my line and following it!

I really like the timberframing meathod,, mark with a knife the cut,, all the way around.  Then darken the cut side with a sharp pencil.  Then a lumber crayon so you know which side you're on for sure.  With the knife line,, if you're getting tear out, you're too far!  I love timberframing!





(post #82900, reply #39 of 47)

like you, I do a lot of different operations, rather than repetition that would build the skill for that single operation to the point of elimination of a tool -

and there's framing, and there is trim - there's a reason it's called 'rough' framing -

I've disassembled a number of 19th century timber frames - they were generally well done, but most far from 'perfect' - some approached elegant - I've reassembled some, with modifications - my technique was inferior to the original, tho my last ones were quite presentable -

do whatever it takes to achieve the quality that is necessary - some places 'rough' is good enough -

my 2 cents -

"there's enough for everyone"
"there's enough for everyone"

(post #82900, reply #40 of 47)

Sometimes it's a good lesson on what will do, to see what has done!  Like porches that stand with no apparent support. OR load bearing walls sitting between floor joists, (that job had bowling alley gutters in the hall,, fun to fix ,, lots of cracked plaster)

Anyway,, the thread is left vs right.  I've got a sidewinder,, but am thinking of a nice new 8 1/4 worm.  Be nice to have a second tilt,, and I'm getting querys of spayed stairs,, and don't want to keep borrowing worm drives.



(post #82900, reply #41 of 47)

I've got a 8 1/4" sidewinder, right blade -

it's an anchor -

I got it because, like you, I was doing jobs with full 2" material, 8X8" beams, and larger - nice to have the capacity - but it is an anchor working with common materials -

so, you need a saw, get it - maybe you ought to get two....

I'm trying to talk myself into that very thing right now -

"there's enough for everyone"
"there's enough for everyone"