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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 08:03 PM Thread Starter
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Default Porter Cable circular saw

Porter Cable have flooded the big stores with this circular saw:

Saw - 7 1/4-In. Circular Saw with Laser PORTER CABLE - Rona.ca

They are also available in Home Depot, Canadian Tire and House of Tools. The RONA price however is the lowest by far.

Does anyone have experience with this saw? In the past I bought a Mastercraft Maximum circular saw when the price dropped to $60 thinking I could not go wrong at that price. Wrong! It was a complete piece of garbage which could not cut a straight line even if one ignored the horrible laser.

Up till now I have been using a Hitachi cordless but even cutting plywood the power is limited and the batteries are beginning to die (it is a pain having to think 20 minutes ahead to charge up before use - the self discharge rate is really bad!)

I thought replacing with this Porter Cable might be a good idea. I see it only does 13 Amps but that should be way more powerful than what I have now and I doubt that paying more for the extra 2 Amps is justified.

Opinions and advice will be appreciated.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-27-2009, 08:12 PM
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I do not have that particular model, but do have their 325MAG and have been using it for 3 years now. I find it to be a most excellent saw in every way. It has done everything I have asked of it, which has been a lot at time, and it has never let me down.

I know this dies not address the model you are looking at, but their saw reputation seems to be in very good standing among the industry.

Hope this helps a little.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 12:36 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bob View Post
I do not have that particular model, but do have their 325MAG and have been using it for 3 years now. I find it to be a most excellent saw in every way. It has done everything I have asked of it, which has been a lot at time, and it has never let me down.

I know this dies not address the model you are looking at, but their saw reputation seems to be in very good standing among the industry.

Hope this helps a little.
It looks to me that the 325MAG is the Rolls Royce and the one Rona sells is ... a Kia? VW?

Here is the comparison (one of the problems is that one cannot tell which product number is the saw sold at the department stores. I am pretty sure it is the middle one):

Delta Machinery|Porter-Cable

Another interesting thing is that since I looked at the saw last they came up with a 15 Amp model which makes my speculations about power rather dubious

The 325 prices I see are $150-170 *US* - more than double the price.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Also: is the difference between 5000 rpm and 5800 rpm significant?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 01:38 PM
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5800 rpms creates a higher torque at the edge of the blade making it bog down less.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 01:53 PM
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I used the Porter Cable 8" saw when I was doing contract work. Had a lot of power, good large flat base. A really good saw. Someone else needed it more than I did, would get another. John
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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This is clearly not it...

I have just returned from RONA. First of all, the whole place has a look of a shop going out of business. Shelves are empty. The lumber lot is empty ("they moved the lumber under cover" - but it was under cover already!). There is hardly any staff (not that when there were they were any use!). Porter Cable saw nowhere to be seen. A direct question pertaining to its appearance in their most recent flyer ("What, *our* flyer?") yielded a reply "None of the stores have it. Maybe in a week."

I recall receiving a similar answer about a router set last fall (in fact I posted about it here). Those routers were supposed to have appeared in October and then in November. They never appeared. The one sad remaining router, a part of a set (no-one knows where the box or the rest of the set is) still graces their shelf. So I am not holding my breath about the saw.

Interestingly, though, Canadian Tire also has Porter Cable stuff in their flyer this week. I have *never* seen PC stuff in our CT store. Looking on-line, they stopped carrying the 13 Amp saw and replaced it with a 15 Amp one of a similar appearance. However, none of the CT stores in Alberta, BC or Ontario that I looked at had it in. I wonder what is going on with Porter Cable?

Back to the specific saw: I spoke to a friendly professional. He agreed that the lower rpm makes the saw more likely to bind and less likely to follow straight line. Furthermore, he was not impressed with the plate on this model.

So, $75 saved!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-28-2009, 10:49 PM
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Bosch make an excellent 8" circ. They took the best parts of the old 8" Skill saw and meld it with their own 8" producing a superior product.
I've been using Bosch 8s since the early 90s when my last Skill quit.

The 8 has greater torque due to the larger heavier blade, I can't remember tha last time it bogged in PT.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 01:51 AM
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The PC 425 will cut anything from 4X4s to paneling without bogging down.
No tool blade changes. cuts where you point it. I have to use a line or straight edge.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-29-2009, 09:52 AM
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I'll stick with my 2 Skilsaw wormdrives.

Ken

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