Choosing a circular saw

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I realise now a jigsaw is a bit rubbish for sawing sheets of wood, MFC, fence panels etc. I already have some 18V cordless makita tools (drill driver, impact driver, jigsaw, orbital sander), so I was looking at a cordless circular saw.

The circular saws come in different sizes, with blades ranging from:
136mm, 150mm, 165mm, and 185mm
http://www.makitauk.com/products/cordless-tools/circular-saws/18v-circular-saws.html

Is there a best "general purpose" size, or good all-rounder model?
 
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SammyInnit

If it's something that interests you, the Makita XSR01 36v Brushless Rear Handle saw will be out over here in the coming months and it pretty much eats any competition bar the Flexvolt.

While looking at other options I'd personally look at 36v(2x18) or the Brushless 18v. They're worth the extra money.
 

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SammyInnit

Nice looking machine. Only drawback is the battery probably won't fit makitas other vast range of cordless machines.
I'll stick with metabo.

Same batteries mate. Uses 2 18v packs.
 

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ntb

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Depends on your wallet and the amount of power you want. I have the Makita 610 and I rate it very highly. It's only 360W so not in the same league as the brushless 36V but it will happily rip 100ft of 18mm ply or OSB on a 4Ah battery. It's had regular use for about 5 years without any issues. The standard Makita blade is fine but the DeWalt Extreme blades are better. I've only really struggled with rip cuts in very wet pressure treated timber due to it pinching the blade. I think I've used my mains one once in the last 5 years.
 
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Another vote for the DSS610. The 165mm blade gives sufficient depth of cut to deal with 2in timbers and providing your blade is sharp it will cut through most construction timber you'll ever come across. Not heavy at all nd pretty compact. The 136mm sas don't really have enough depth of cut for cqrpentry IMNO whist the big downside the the DHS710 (185mm) is that it requires four batteries (two sets) and a double charger unit (DC18RD) to use in any sensible way. If you want longer run time and more power than the DSS610 and the budget stretches that far then I'd recommend the DHS680 (165mm, brushless). I started with a BSS610 then upgraded to a DHS610 about 18 months back. Never regretted having either saw, but the DHS has noticeably more "grunt"

A point about cordless saws: these saws all require ultra thin (sub-2mm kerf) sa blades and the blades must be sharp to get the best cutting performance. Whilst the OEM Makita blades are OK, I've been less than impressed by some on the thin blades on the market, such as Makforce and Dart which either don't cut well, take too much out of the battery (even when new), wear quickly or shed teeth when they hit inclusions such as screws or nails (as in floors). The best blades I've found are actually the deWalt Extreme thin blades, such as the set of 3 sold by Screwfix, etc. At 1.6mm kerf they are nice and thin but they are durable in a site setting and stay sharp longer than the competition.
 
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Thanks all. Is there a guide rail available for the DHS610? It's probably overkill and I could get away with a length of timber and some clamps but would be nice to cut a straight level edge.
 

ntb

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Thanks all. Is there a guide rail available for the DHS610? It's probably overkill and I could get away with a length of timber and some clamps but would be nice to cut a straight level edge.
Not as far as I'm aware but it's easy to make a zero clearance guide rail from two pieces of plywood.
 
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Thanks all. Is there a guide rail available for the DHS610? It's probably overkill and I could get away with a length of timber and some clamps but would be nice to cut a straight level edge.
As said by Stealthwolf there is a guide rail adaptor, however the guide rails from Makita, et al are £50 or so each (for 1400mm), you'll need two of them plus a couple of rail joiners at c.£20 the pair (plus a couple of trestles and a support table) to rip down a full sheet of plywood, along the length - and I returned all four of the adaptors I bought/had as replacements because they were all warped to a greater or lesser extent - and they were Makita OEM items. So complete rubbish IMHO
 

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