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Thread: Circular saws - left blade vs. right blade

  1. #1

    Circular saws - left blade vs. right blade

    Hi,
    I am right-handed and am used to a right-side blade, where my left hand holds down the workpiece, and the scrap falls off to the right.

    If I use a left-blade circular saw, does that mean I have to reverse everything?? - that is, can the body of the workpiece still be to my left as it was before?? But then the weight of the saw motor is resting on the scrap piece?? Not sure I explained this clearly..! I'm confused.

    Tx,
    matt

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    central PA
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    Matt, I've always had a right blade circular saw but recently decided to buy a left blade saw (Milwaukee). I like the ease of seeing the cut line better now, but I mainly use it to cut sheet goods down to size and support both sides anyway. I suspect it would be a minor issue if you were cutting off decking, or in situations where you have the waste side un-supported, as you suggest; but I like the ease of seeing the cut-line.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Atlanta , Ga.
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    You explained it just the way it is. I thought before purchase that the left side blade would be easier to see which would be good. So I purchased a PC 324 left. But... I was smart enough to raise the blade and make a dry cut without power when I got it back to the shop.

    The results were I boxed it back up and returned it for a right side blade as I have used all my life for the reasons you mentioned. I am right handed and the left blade feels very out of place from the get-go to me when in an actual use situation.

    I ran across a similar thread elsewhere the other day that a gentleman did not test his first and he posted to me he wished he had. He's stuck with the left blade and is a right hander. He discovered the same but after he actually used the saw. Right blade for R-handers and left blade for L-handers is the ticket as I see it.

    Please... if you are considering a left and are R-handed... go to the Box and put one in your hand and make a dry run with it. Make up your own mind and I think I know what the outcome will be. I even feel that having the saw on the drop off side is an accident waiting to happen with anything but the utmost attention and balance at all times.

    Just my thoughts....

    Sarge..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Pflugerville, TX USA
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    357
    Like you fellas I have used a right blade circular saw for most of my life, I just switched over to a Dewalt Hypoid Saw with the left blade. It does feel kinda weird but the balance is so much better with the motor inline with the handle and I like being able to see so much better.
    Mike Marcade
    Senior Mechanical Engineer
    Server Development
    Dell Inc.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Paldy View Post
    Hi,
    I am right-handed and am used to a right-side blade, where my left hand holds down the workpiece, and the scrap falls off to the right.

    If I use a left-blade circular saw, does that mean I have to reverse everything?? - that is, can the body of the workpiece still be to my left as it was before?? But then the weight of the saw motor is resting on the scrap piece?? Not sure I explained this clearly..! I'm confused.

    Tx,
    matt
    Matt,
    I'm right handed but I prefer the left hand blade because I can watch the cut line without trying to look over the saw or trying to use the alignment mark on the shoe. I can and have used the "regular" righthanded skil saws but find my self "working" harder to get a straight cut. However, my father taught me using his all metal beast of a worm drive saw which had the blade on the left, so that makes a difference.
    So to address your question, by cutting like this the weight of the saw is unsupported by the material after the cut is made leaving you to control the saw by strength.
    Is that the correct/safest way of doing things... nope, but thats how quite of few of us do it.
    My advise is if you can cut straight using a saw with the blade on the right, then stick with the way you've been doing it.

    My 1st post here, so what do I know

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Posts
    1,430
    I used a right handed B&D before switching to a left bladed Saw Boss for most jobs. I wish I had bought the Saw Boss a long time ago. I adjusted to the left blade with no problems.
    ________
    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  7. #7
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    Uhmm... you all are talking as if you couldn't just flip the workpiece around 180 degrees and do the cut... with the saw now supported on the "keeper". Every cut can be done BOTH ways with either saw. As I see it, if you ever find yourself cutting with the saw body supported on the waste side, you're standing on the wrong side of the board...

    That being said, I don't actually have a good answer for whether to use a left-hand saw if you're left handed, or vise versa, or whatever. I read these threads when they come up with enthusiasm. My problem is that I'm ambidextrous--it doesn't matter WHAT saw I use or WHICH direction I run it, everything feels equally right and wrong at the same time. If one of you would just COMMIT with enthusiasm to an answer on this, I could just be done with all this waffling, buy the saw you recommend, and feel good about my circular saw finally!
    Thread on "How do I pickup/move XXX Saw?" http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=597898

    Compilation of "Which Band Saw to buy?" threads http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...028#post692028

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Thompson View Post
    You explained it just the way it is. I thought before purchase that the left side blade would be easier to see which would be good. So I purchased a PC 324 left. But... I was smart enough to raise the blade and make a dry cut without power when I got it back to the shop......
    I wasn't! (Smart enough, that is.)

    When I finally let the smoke out of my 30+ year old Craftsman, I bought one of the PC left blades for the same reason - visibility of the cut line. Took it home and put it to work finishing the deck. Went back the next day and got the right blade version. So now I have one of each.

    Maybe it's just that I have too many years as a right handed person using a right blade saw to break old habits, but I simply could not find a comfortable way to make crosscuts with the left blade saw and felt that it was an accident waiting to happen.
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS
    USA

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave MacArthur View Post
    Uhmm... you all are talking as if you couldn't just flip the workpiece around 180 degrees and do the cut... with the saw now supported on the "keeper". Every cut can be done BOTH ways with either saw. As I see it, if you ever find yourself cutting with the saw body supported on the waste side, you're standing on the wrong side of the board..
    ....
    I found that when I flip the workpiece 180 - or move to the other side of the board - then, since the "keeper" is usually the longer of the two parts, my free hand is supporting/holding the waste with the "keeper" part resting on the sawhorses but otherwise unrestrained. I found that without clamping or having a helper hold the board, I felt very unbalanced (no pun intended) and insecure making the cut.

    YMMV, but for me it was enough to make me go back and get a right blade saw.
    Tom Veatch
    Wichita, KS
    USA

  10. #10
    Used right bladed saws for years, last Christmas picked up a Ryobi battery powered left bladed saw. It is very hard for me to get used to. I can use it ok, but just doesn't feel right. Might be something about an old dog, and new tricks.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Veatch View Post
    I found that when I flip the workpiece 180 - or move to the other side of the board - then, since the "keeper" is usually the longer of the two parts, my free hand is supporting/holding the waste with the "keeper" part resting on the sawhorses but otherwise unrestrained. I found that without clamping or having a helper hold the board, I felt very unbalanced (no pun intended) and insecure making the cut.

    YMMV, but for me it was enough to make me go back and get a right blade saw.
    Smart move to use a right bladed saw.
    For free hand cuts, right 4 right and left 4 left.

    Some food for thought.
    The Canadian OSHA agrees with R4R and L4L.
    All marketing pictures and videos of the left bladed saws ...
    shown left hand users.
    Insurance liability?

    Happy and safe sawing...with the right saw.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2007
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Ok, this thread got me thinking, so I went out to the garage, looked at my saws, and cut some 2x4s. Turns out I am even more messed up than I thought, and this discussion is not helping LOL...
    I have a Black and Decker 3028 Sawcat corded saw, blade on the right. Turns out I MOSTLY use it with my left hand...who knew? I like to be able to see the sightline. However, while cutting ends off a 2x4, I found myself naturally switching the saw to my right hand as the board grew shorter. And I tended to always switch to whichever hand left the saw body supported by the keeper, whichever side of the board I was on... I just didn't feel a need to walk to the other side of the board, it seems simpler to switch hands instead. Erm.. are you telling me folks are really not comfortable holding a handle and squeezing a trigger with either hand?

    My other saw is a 14.4 volt cordless DeWalt 938, and it has the blade on the LEFT. If you had asked me 30 min ago, I would have told you both saws have the blade on the same side. I found I naturally used my right hand with that saw, and never felt like switching it to the left-perhaps because of the light weight.

    Now from reading above, it sounds like I am doing it exactly opposite what most of you find comfortable? I'm doing R4L with the corded, and L4R with the cordless. I guess I always thought the R bladed saws were made for L handers, so you could SEE what you were doing with the blade.
    Last edited by Dave MacArthur; 12-24-2007 at 3:15 AM.
    Thread on "How do I pickup/move XXX Saw?" http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?p=597898

    Compilation of "Which Band Saw to buy?" threads http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthre...028#post692028

  13. One of the biggest problems I run into using a saw with the blade on the left is actually finding LH blades. Seems most Home Depot/Lowes stores don't stock them. Some clerks just give you a blank stare (must not know anything) and others try to help but usually can't even find the space on the shelf for the LH blades. Must be special order I guess

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Randolph County NC
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    184
    I used blade right saws for 30 years. Recently I bought the PC blade left for the reasons already given. I didn't "dry test first" and would have returned it immediately if I had. A couple of months later... I wouldn't trade back for anything. After my body got over the new 'hey, this ain't right' feeling, I love it and won't ever go back.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    California, MD
    Posts
    469
    Back when I was building a house, I bought two PC saws. One at a pawn shop, and one at a yard sale. One was left, the other right. I found myself just grabbing whichever was closest and was comfortable using either. House is done, but when I need a saw, I still just grab the first one I see. I would agree with others who recommend holding it first, since I can't actually recommend one or the other.

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