How To Use Old Makita Battery On New Makita Tools Buying a Circular Saw

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Buying a Circular Saw

Looking for a new circular saw? I am. I have an old, cheap one that I bought at Home Depot about 10 years ago that has pretty much had my torture. So now I’m looking at my options for buying a new circular saw. Do I go wireless? How much will I use it? What do I need it for? How much power do I really need in my circular saw?

I talked to my brother Joe about it. He is a contractor in Buffalo, New York and a huge fan of DeWalt tools. He always goes for top line quality in his tools. Joe said cordless circular saws are good when you’re working on a roof or in places with limited access or no electricity. In terms of strength, Joey says the newer cordless tools have nearly the power of corded tools. Almost, but not quite and certainly not if you use them to cut out framing pieces all day long. Joe also has a worm and a regular circular saw. He pulls out his Skil HD77M wormdrive circular saw when he needs to get through the big stuff. But when he’s going to cut 2x4s all day, he uses the lighter weight DeWalt 368K. And, for roof cutting, he uses his DeWalt DC300K cordless with a NANO battery. Joe said he got into NANO technology because it’s cold in Buffalo and he wants the reliability of Lithium Ion batteries, which will perform just as well in cold temperatures. And the best thing about them is that DeWalt NANO batteries are compatible with all his DeWalt cordless tools.

Hmmm. But what kind of circular saw do I want? While I’m not a contractor, I am an enthusiastic Do-It-Yourselfer who has a sweet job as the editor of a tool blog. Yes, I get a huge discount on the high quality tools sold at the Toolking Superstore and you betcha, I took advantage of it! (shameless plug ;0) Seriously though, even if I didn’t get the discount, ToolKing has the lowest prices, especially if you go for the rebuilt versions (trust me, I checked). ToolKing’s secret (for all you e-commerce folks out there) is that they buy in very large quantities from companies like DeWalt and Makita and this leverage gives them a better price deal, which they then pass on to their customer. theirs, aka: You.

Anyhoo ~ back to my circular saw purchase.

Corded vs. Cordless

I am debating whether to go with a cordless or corded circular saw. My husband and I bought the dirtiest, smallest house in our neighborhood, so we’re in the middle of remodeling almost our entire house. Because we both work full time, we remodel quickly. We just had our circular saw left on the last project. We were framing an outdoor patio area with 6x6s to lay pavers. Me, went our circular saw, had had enough. Like I said earlier, it was old, cheap, and from Home Depot. Okay, maybe we were pushing it a bit on 6×6, but who doesn’t push their tools to the limit of what they’re supposed to be used for? Especially homeowners, who usually don’t have the large selection of tools that a contractor would have, or don’t always have the ‘right tool’ for the job (the right tool for the job would be a circular saw with a Prazi attachment beam cutter).

After some debate, we decided to go with a corded circular saw or a Lithium Ion battery circular saw because we often go weeks or months between projects. When we need to use the circular saw, we want to use it now. Lithium-ion batteries have a long life, meaning they will stay charged even if they sit on your garage shelf (in the cold) for weeks. They are also extremely lightweight. So if we go cordless, we’ll choose the Lithium Ion battery circular saw. Makita makes a nice LiIon circular saw and you can get one with the purchase of their LXT700 18v LiIon combo kit. The LiIon circular saw included in the LXT700 kit has a 6-1/2 inch saw blade though, not a 7-1/4, which is what we’re looking for.

I went to the hardware store. The ToolKing store has a great setup, Doug and the guys have redesigned the entire layout so now you can touch and hold all the tools. I love him! You can really figure out which one you like best because when it comes to options, there are a lot of high-quality tools available, but which one feels best in Yours hands? Most contractor grade circular saws have a 15 amp, powerful motor, magnesium housing (for light weight and strength), at least a 45 degree bevel capacity, and excellent safety features. I personally have to pick each one up as I use it and check the position of the handles for comfort and how good my view of the blade will be.

These are the circular saws I compared:

1. I got the DeWalt DW368K. Lightweight at 9.5 lbs, it’s durable enough to withstand a 1-story drop. The DeWalt DW368K also has a bevel capacity of 56 degrees.

2. The Makita 5007FAK is a bit heavier at 11.1 lbs, but has this cool LED light on board and a ruler on the foot plate. How many times are you working in a room with a light on your back?

3. I’m a big fan of Bosch because of everything I’ve learned about their power tool recycling program and other environmentally proactive projects. The very nice feature of the Bosch CS20 (10.3 lbs) chainsaw is their direct connection cord management system. The Bosch CS20 doesn’t have a cable, you plug your power cord into it. So you never have to deal with replacing the cord or throwing your tool out because the cord has split. The Bosch CS20 also has a fan at the front that blows sawdust out of your way while you cut, so you can see where you’re cutting. The Bosch CS20 also bevels at 56 degrees.

4. Then there was the Porter-Cable 324MAG. Super light, the 324MAG weighs 9.6 pounds. Of the circular saws I looked at, only the Porter Cable brand had a discharge port for a vacuum connection, a nice feature for working in the garage or home.

5. Milwaukee makes 6394-21 Tilt-lok. It’s the most expensive of the bunch at $175, but it features an exclusive Tilt-Lok handle that’s probably more adjustable than I’d like. The Milwaukee 6294-21 Tilt-Lok adjusts to 8 different locking positions, making it easier to work in corners and overhead. The Milwaukee circular saw also has a 10-foot cord, Quik-Lok for easy cord replacement, and with a 3-horsepower motor, it works as hard as my Polish carpenter dad.

A good circular saw should have enough power to cut through wet wood without slowing or dangerous kickbacks. A good circular saw should also be light and stable because you will accidentally drop it on the ground. You should choose a circular saw based on balance, maneuverability and how it feels when you hold it. Good luck!

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