I briefly talked about the new Dewalt FlexVolt circular saw in my 5 Hot Tools from Dewalt’s Media Event post, and have a deeper first look planned for later this month.
I am extremely excited about the new saw, and can’t wait to get my hands on a test sample.
But, there are some that aren’t so enthusiastic about the new saw. Over at Amazon, there are 2 reviews complaining about how the saw is a right-handed design.
I had meant to tackle this topic later in the month, but a post about left-handed vs. right-handed circular saws in the ToolGuyd forum had prompted me to move it up a bit.
If you recall, Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel 7-1/4″ circular saw is also a right-handed saw.
Here’s what Dewalt’s 20V Max circular saw, a left-handed saw, looks like.
So what’s the difference?
From what I’ve seen, right-handed saws are traditionally designed for righties, and left-handed saws for lefties.
A right-handed saw puts the main handle in your right hand, and auxiliary handle in your left. The blade is to the right, with no hands or arms crossing over. The base sits over your workpiece on the left, and when making small cuts, the cut-off falls to the right.
With a left-handed saw, a righty’s left hand will cross the blade when gripping the auxiliary handle. That’s less than ideal. The saw blade is also aligned between the user’s arms, rather than outside. If you hold a workpiece with your left hand, there’s a chance of accidental contact with the blade. Such a scenario is less likely with a right-handed saw.
But, the advantage of left-handed saws is that you have much better cut line visibility. You can more easily see where you’re cutting.
From what I’ve seen these past few years, corded circular saws are mainly right-handed saws. There are some brands, such as Milwaukee, that offer both right- and left-handed saws.
Worm drive saws are typically left-handed.
Cordless circular saws are typically left-handed as well. There have been some exceptions over the years, but most if not all of the 6-1/2″ and smaller circular saws I’ve seen and used have been left-handed.
So why is the new Dewalt FlexVolt circular saw right-handed?
My best guess is that Dewalt was aiming for this full-size 7-1/4″ cordless circular saw to have a similar feel to full-size corded circular saws.
That’s likely what Milwaukee was going for as well.
While a lot of righties prefer the greater cut line visibility of left-handed saws, corded circular saw users are used to the feel of right-handed saws.
I’m thinking that both Milwaukee and Dewalt polled plenty of users to see what they preferred, and the right-handed saw won out.
In a perfect world, brands would come out with both right-handed and left-handed circular saws. Maybe eventually!
In the meantime, what’s your take on the blade-right orientation of Dewalt and Milwaukee’s full-size brushless circular saws?
Blade-right or blade-left, what’s your preference?
There’s also more discussion about this in the ToolGuyd forum, check it out!
1. Most people are right handed, therefore when you using the saw right handed, there is no chance for the left hand to be cut by a saw with blade on the right side.
2. When the blade is on the left side, sawdust is thrown all over you, compared to having it on the right, where it can be directed away more efficiently,
3. Majority of the saw base is supported with a right side blade so you are more likely to get a vertically square cut as you are not relying on the waste that you are cutting off to keep the saw square. Especially if you are just cutting a couple of mm of the end of a piece of timber and there is nothing to support the right side of the saw.
#2 unless i’m left handed, in either left or right handed saws the sawdust ports are the same, no change in efficiency.
#3 if you are worried about how much of the base is supported, cut the other end of the timber. Would you need a left hand an right hand saw depending on which end of the board you are cutting?
yeah, I’ve never been able to get a good idea of which i’d prefer overall (i’m a righty, btw). Used a corded right hand saw forever until I bought my cordless 6.5″.
I don’t notice getting more saw dust on myself during cuts with it, but that could be that neither of my circular saws are very good at porting dust out of the way. The only thing I have to keep in mind is which direction to start the cut from, as the bigger shoe portion is opposite (like this write up mentions), but as far as ‘reaching over’ for the secondary handle and that sort of thing…it never really bothered me, and I do agree that left handers give better cut line visibility.
You also get better visibility not wearing safety glasses or face shields. Does that mean we don’t want our kids wearing them as they cut, grind, etc. and learn the trades? Right handed saws are safer for right handed carpenters and any experienced carpenter and/or woodworker with skills can make good cuts with the correct tool. Sad that too many on this post are willing to promote bad safety behaviors for what really amounts to nothing gained. Skilled professionals will set the right example for the next generation.
[Bop Bop Beeeeeeep – That’s the sound of this comment being redacted for being a snide personal attack.]
The problem for righties using a right handed saw, aide for bad visibility, is that during cuts, you will need to start leaning over the board during a cut and eventually enter into an ergonomically compromised position.
On 3, I can agree. On 2, a right sided blade, the sawdust port shoots it right and back. Left sided balde, it shoots it left and back. If you’re holding a left handed saw with the right hand……the port shoots the dust more at you, then if you were using your left hand. Also if you are using a guide fence, then left hand on a left saw is definite way to go.
Cut the other end of the timber? You do realize that the majority of circular saw user cuts PLYWOOD materials right? say, the cutoff while laying subfloor, or the cut-off of decking boards at the end. Neither of which could be “cut at the other end” so thats is a fairly narrow-minded comment. I have noticed that the most, if not all, user who are pissed off about the right hand saw are framers. ToolGuyd mentioned that most worm drive saws are blade left as worm drive circular saws are built for framers. It really comes down to how you want to use the saw, Right handed framers holding a 2x in one hand(most likely their left hand) and the saw in the other(most likely their stronger right hand) need a blade-left saw to see what they are doing. Try it right now, it just would not work with a blade right saw. As for anyone cutting plywood materials, holding the saw with BOTH hands with the weight/pressure on the larger side of the base as mention above, a right handed user needs a blade-right saw.
I completely disagree. I’m right handed, have used right handed circular saws for years cutting up 2x4s how you mentioned. Recently tried it with a left handed cordless saw. It felt so awkward having absolutely no support under the base of the saw. You have to solely rely on feel to keep the cut vertical. Ive never used a circular saw that didn’t have a hole in the guard so you can see your cut line.
I am left handed. I hold my saw with my left hand and the blade-right config. To me, you not make sense with a blade-right saw for right handed ppl. You can’t see the blade! I had enough problem with blade-feft saws since i was a kid. Back then all saws were blade-left config!
Any professional carpenter or framer would have made a large percentage of their cuts with a worm drive saw. With their right hand (only) blade left. The benefit of cordless saws is you can easily use them with one hand. Blade right just doesn’t work for that. That’s why I’ve always considered them home owner saws, and blade left professional saws.
Exactly! I really want to buy the flex volt cordless, but the blade on the right is a deal breaker. I hold my material with the left hand, cut it with the right. I’ve done it that way for more than a decade.
Yes! I’ve never seen or worked for a contractor that didn’t use a worm-drive saw…all of which are “left-handed” as this article calls them. I learned on right-side blade saws because that’s all I had around as a kid, but I much prefer the left-side blade for visibility (despite being a righty. ) I will never go back to saws with a blade on the right and would switch brands of cordless saws to avoid it.
Bob the builder
Agreed. Go to any professional framing site, 90% are worm drive saws, blade on left and most of the guys are right handed. Nothing cuts better in my opinion… and yes, using your head will keep you plenty safe regardless where the blade is and some manipulation of what your cutting will make the shoe sit where you like. I’m a righty and I always prefer left sided blades on saws.
I’m a carpenter and I’ve been using Makita saws for over 20 years (Right side) Worm drive saws are too heavy and heavy to use everyday all day and anyone who says otherwise is probably over60 and a dinosaur carpenter that thinks only he knows how to build a house 😂! Worm drive saws are too expensive too and most guys that are coming up need a decent saw that is reliable but not $300 so they usually opt for the Makita 15 amp saw because it’s cheap and reliable and a lot of the guys I came up with had those and still use them today because we use what we come up with and that’s probably the most common circular saw !! I think it just depends on what you used as you learn but I can tell you now I can cut anything with my Right Handed Makita that you can with your bulky overpriced work drive … so I prefer to stay with what I know. JMO
Totally agree! I’ve had left and right saws. There is no valid explanation for a righty using a lefty saw. It just doesn’t work as well. Blade right allows you to keep the table and weight of the saw on what’s not falling away and you can hold the stock steady with your left hand. As for sight line.. c’mon, it’s not hard to lean a tad right and watch the line. If you can’t run a circular saw with one hand while holding the stock steady with the other hand and cut a straight line you need a table saw😂
Hate to tell ya but I’m right handed and cant use a right-handed saw for shit
I can honestly say that in the UK I’ve never seen a worm drive saw on site
Im a professional framer of 2 decades and i only use blade right circular saws. Im also right handed. Lets just stop telling people their preferences are wrong and allow everyone to have their own opinions.
All the reasons published for a blade right saw are foolish, imo. The visibility factor is HUGE and a blade right saw means I have to develop the skill to cut left handed. Not going to happen. The blade left cordless saws are awesome. The 20v max Dewalt I own is one of the most precise saws I’ve ever owned because you can see what you’re doing without leaning over the saw uncomfortably. Who cares about a little sawdust. If you’re a pro, you’re used to that. Stop designing saws for the pretty boys that don’t want/expect to get dirty . That whole ‘more of the shoe on the work’ is junk too. It’s true but anyone that does this for a living can get the shoe flat on the board. Dewalt-are you listening?? BLADE RIGHT IS A DEAL BREAKER! Every saw I own, cordless, sidewinders, worm drives are blade left. Not a coincidence.
Love your pretty noy comment,… thats true,… we have to get dirty to finish the job
[rude comments removed] Right side saws are just as accurate and usually lighter (except cordless) the only time I prefer a left handed saw is when it’s cordless but honestly it’s still kind of awkward
Holy Grail is right. I’m right handed. Been sawing with the blade on the right for over 35 years. It’s much, much safer, and I really don’t have that much of a problem with seeing my cut line. That’s why God gave us a neck. No way I’m going to have a portable saw mill operating nearing my right leg and left hand with the blade on the left.
I have saws with of both variety and I just use whichever hand is more comfortable. It’s not that difficult really.
This subject is so silly! I’m a professional framer for the past 20 years and only use a worm saw, left blade and one hand only. I have never seen a right blade saw on a job site. My Other hand is always supporting the lumber. I wouldn’t expect a weekend amateur to be able to hold a worm saw in one hand a cut straight line, especially straddling floor joistes 3 stories up. Bottom line right hand blades are safer for amateurs that need two hands to cut and a work bench. I also always watch the blade to cut. The guide always gets bent out of wack after a season. So you learn to trust the blade. If I go to a professional tool store that only sells tools, 80% of the saws are left blade. If I go to a big box home improvement store 80% of the saws are right blades for the 2 handed handyman. 2 different markets. 2×6 on my right foot. Left to support. Toe up and saw down watching the mark and blade. Never a bench and never on my knees.
I’d have to disagree with you. I’m a professional framer and I use a saw with the blade on the right side. I have no issue seeing the blade to make my cuts and preform the cuts with one hand. I’m not cutting on a bench, mostly on the ground or standing out on stringers.
What Hugh said makes a perfect sense to me.
However, if left hand saw on the right hand runs away, the consequence could be dire in comparison to the right hand saw on the right hand running.
Provided we are professionally capable, best to use right hand saw by a left hand person and left hand saw by a right hand person. Otherwise not professionally capable or safety minded, right hand saw by a right hand person and left hand saw by a left hand person. IMHO
Wormers are blade left because back in the day when they were invented the only motors they had which would work all spun that way.
Been blade left ever since.
(Sounds good anyway…)
I am right handed and about a month ago I used a right handed saw with the blade on the right.
If that’s considered right handed then it is dangerous for me.
I hold the saw with my right hand and with my left I control the aux and the blade guard.
With a right side blade I am playing blind twister to use it.
I was only cutting scraps to burn but even without the need to see it was still a twisted dangerous mess of where my hands were.
I gave the saw to a left handed neighbor who loved the saw .
Professionals watch the blade, not a mark or guide on the base. This is really awkward with blade right saws.
Completely disagree. I’m a 12 year carpenter by trade and when making long cuts, like those in sheet goods or wider dimensional lumber, I follow the line with the guide on the foot of the saw.
As an apprentice I tended to watch the blade and after sending up some really wavy rips to a journeyman one day he chewed me out and then showed me a better way, and that’s to use the guide on the base. Even with my inexperience it was a night and day difference, and I’ve done it that way ever since.
Try it out some time, trust the mark. Rip an 8 foot sheet good in half and marvel at what looks to be a factory edge.
Yep, watching the blade is silly (except when watching exactly where you need to stop a cut). If you do it that way you can only see where the blade IS, not where it’s going. There are so many analogies here. Farmers and professional lawn mowers pick a distant point and drive straight to it. Bowlers use the arrows marked on the lane and the pins themselves to aim, not right where the ball will make contact. It’s all about having a good reference for accurate performance.
All that said I much prefer the blade on the left, as a righty. I love my magnesium body 15-amp Porter-Cable sidewinder with the blade on the left. It’s a powerful, lightweight corded saw I can use with one hand when necessary. Worm drives are great, but they weigh a ton. My cordless has the blade on the left (it seems like most cordless models I’ve seen do), and I wanted that in my corded saw but no one offered one at the time. I kept my eyes open and finally found the almost mythical, legendary PC at a pawn shop. $50 out the door. One of the best tool deals I’ve ever found. It even has tool-less blade change. I couldn’t be happier with it.
I have never once been bothered by the dust port, or the way the dust is discharged. I’m not with it right now to check, but if memory serves it can be aimed left or right. Short of a Festool with a full dust extractor every circular saw makes a mess. Some are worse than others, but they all get you dusty. (Wear a respirator regardless of how the port is aimed!!)
The bearings in my Ryobi cordless are shot after several years of use, including doing architectural sheet metal work with it. I got it for free and it has been worth every penny. 🙂 Now that I need to replace it I think I’ll go for the M12 version. Blade is on the left, where it belongs for my use, it’s built far better than the Ryobi, and the M12 version has the blade on the right, as shown in this post.
I have been watching the blade for twenty two years, and my cuts are dialed. I don’t know a single real pro who does otherwise. I also don’t know a single pro who screws around with a saw that has a blade on the right or that isn’t worm drive.
you must be on the west coast. I’ve never seen a pro use a worm drive saw on the east coast. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a worm drive period.
I’m a lefty. Just bought the cordless m18 saw with the blade guard on the right. So nice to be able to see the blade
Is there any substantial proof that lefthand blade saws used right handed or vice versa is more “dangerous”?
Ive been plumbing for over 10years, actively using skillsaws(left handed blade for right hand user) in the most unusual positions and not once have been injured, nor any stories from other plumbers……table saws, hole hawgs yes….all spawning from MISUSE and carelessness.
My opinion, blade position is just a random profile for what the industry deems a certain tradesman use. Nothing more nothing less.
I don’t know if there is any substantial proof or studys. But we had a few accidents in the shop 2 in 3 years, cause by not user not paying attention. Both on right handed user using left handed saw.
really need a edit button….lol
The FlexVolt TrackSaw (variable speed) is blade right as well.
I feel like with a track saw, the cut is usually positioned to the right of the track, which means you need to keep the saw and track supported on the left. So blade-right makes most sense. Track left, blade right feels intuitive as a right-handed person imo. No need to watch that blade follow the cut line when using a track, either.
Who uses the top handles on these cordless saws when making horizontal cuts? This idea that reaching over the saw to grab the top handle is a danger seems like a theoretical point. I’ve never used it.
I do when making long rips in sheet goods. Gives more precise control so you get that extra straight line without the use of a straight edge.
I find the top handle is very useful when making cuts without a bench. I’m putting up a shed right now, and cutting a lot of 2-by material set on cinderblocks. I keep one foot on the board, and two hands on the saw, a Makita blade-left.
If I’m cutting on sawhorses, my left hand is holding the material, but since the saw is in line with my arm, my control is better with one hand.
I’m about ready to jump into 18v again and circular saw blade position is a big consideration for me when choosing a brand. I like Milwaukee’s offerings, and Ridgid is very tempting with the Stealth Force driver (come on already, Milwaukee!), but both those brands are currently blade-right.
I’m a righty that likes blade-left saws. I like to watch the blade as it cuts. I almost never use two hands on the saw so that’s a non-factor (I’m no pro, but I doubt many pros use two hands either).
Honestly, my preference for blade-left doesn’t have a real solid foundation and I could probably be swayed to the other side.
The M12 5-3/8″ version has the blade on the left. That will be the one I get to replace my Ryobi which was given to me and which has worked surprisingly well for 3 or 4 years. When I need more power or capacity I’ll get out the corded (left-hand blade) Porter-Cable. But you can cut a 2×4 the narrow way with a 5-3/8″ blade, and I rarely have to cut anything deeper than that.
6 1/2″ M18 also has left hand blade. Not sure, given the diversity in preference why manufacturer would not design a circular saw with swappable side for blade.
I always thought a right hand saw was designed so you held the board to be cut with your left hand (on sawhorses) and the saw with your right. On the other hand, things like trimming deck boards after they are screwed down are easier to do with a left hand saw, for a right handed user because he can see the blade when the deck supports the shoe. Makes no difference to me, though. I’m ambidextrous!
– Equally bad with both hands? 😉
Yup, pretty much!
We have discussed this at length as well. It all boils down to use your preference and what you learn on. I maintain that the further east you go in United States the more right-hand blade saw users you will find in the further west you go the more blade left users you will find. I grew up in the west and so I learned on a worm drive. All worm drives are blade left except for a discontinued porter cable trim saw which used a worm gear drive . I love to be able to see the cutline with the saw in my right hand . I also like that the handle is closer to the plane of the blade. This ensures that when you are pushing the saw through a cut it is much more neutral and causes less lateral force and deviation from the cutline. I do have a blade right saw that comes in handy when cutting compound angles Or bevels because in that case the blade is more visible . There aren’t equal number of arguments for a blade right saw I am sure for someone who first learned on a blade right saw. The bottom line is that every manufacturer should give us the choice of left or right and in many cases they would sell twice as many saws because some of us like both. When I see almost every manufacturer making a 6 1/2 inch cordless blade left saw and then their 7 1/4 inch cordless saw is blade right it makes me scratch my head. Build them both and we will come.
I would already own the Milwaukee 7-1/4 cordless if it was left handed. I’m right handed a prefer a left hand saw…like a skill worm drive.
Are! There are equal arguments! I was voice typing and apparently I stuttered ? Where is the edit button ?
I prefer to see the blade as I’m usually making very precise cuts.
I just run right handed saws with my left hand.
Never had a problem with either.
I’m left handed and I was helping someone to cut some woods. I use a saw less than 2 months and during any work I found very discomfortble to use a normal saw on the left hand. The first problem is that you can’t see well the line due to all the cutting that comes straight to your face. The second you feel that the saw is unstable. Last week I cut myself that I almost lost my leg. It was almost in the knee and I could see my bones. Thanks God neither the ligaments or any bone was affected I think is the reason I’m writing this message. Since I never saw before, I wanted to find if there’s a left handed saw until I saw this conversation.
I specifically bought the m18 6-1/2 for the ability to see the blade, even though 7-1/4 was already out
I hadn’t even noticed the 6-1/2″ version. How funny. They have a 6-1/2″ blade-left M18, and 7-1/4″ blade-right M18, and a 5-3/8″ blade-right M18, and a 5-3/8″ blade-left M12.
Thanks for mentioning!
I say it’s great to have both options. The goal is an accurate cut, and safe work, if a user prefers a profile, let them use it. So it’s entirely down to personal preference and user strengths. Any argument about viewing the cut, or holding the work piece comes down to how you approach the task. There is more than one way from A to B, choose what is best for you.
I’m a lefty, and basically ambidextrous, so I haven’t found a big problem with using either type of saw, and having both on some projects has been handy. I do notice that in general, I think a bit more about set up with the left handed saw, having done so many more cuts with the right handed saw over the years.
From a training / safety perspective, any task requiring hand eye coordination and repetitive movement benefits from practice, so it would make sense for larger employers to have both types available unless they want to spend time allowing for practice and training. I’m guessing they want that training time and money spent elsewhere, and saw injuries can be serious, so it’s easy, and cheapest to have both types. It’s the same logic as to why a few contractors I know are planning to upgrade their jobsite table saws to Bosch Reaxx. The extra cost for the saw is cheaper than injuries, cost to re-hire, re-train, and also reduces liability by showing the employer has considered the safety of their employees.
Sometimes the solution, at least in this example of circular saw configurations and use, is to go from B to A and the problems are solved. 🙂
L vs R is not the only variable for me. I typically prefer Bosch worm drives for almost all sawing. I did own the now discontinued DeWALT hypoid; it was OK. I’ve also owned 14 or 15 other A/C circular saws at one time or another.
Worm drives are better(for me) because they are longer, with a “rear” handle. Sidewinders have a “top handle” that is not as ergonomic. Sort of like the barrel vs top handle jigsaw…though I find SOME top handle jigsaws OK for SOME tasks SOME of the time.
Worm saws are SOOO much better at ripping straight lines in sheet goods, presumably because of the way the gears spin and their position to blade and so on.
The handle position and greater stability combine favorably with a more substantial weight to present a more controllable(and thus safer) saw. This also allows vertical(downward) cuts that sidewinder saws are less than ideally suited for.
Worm saws, with their vastly increased torque levels, deal with the inevitable twists in dimensional lumber quite well. There are actually 12″, even 16″, saws using the stock Bosch motor and housing parts. There are even dado equipped worm drives utilizing the same 15 amp Bosch units!
Worm saws, especially the types with diamond blade arbors, have noticeably less blade wobble (or centrifugal run-out if you prefer).
Sawdust in face: I think that sawdust ports(or the lack of ports) is the main culprit rather than L vs R blade location. Ex: Bosch CS5, a left-blade saw with port, is notorious for messy sawdust ruining user experiences on what seems to be a pretty solid saw otherwise. But the CSW41, a left blade w/o port does not share the same flaw.
Also of note in some new-ish worm saws is the superior shoe/base/foot.
1) Magnesium does not interact chemically with fancy materials and wood like aluminum and steel sometimes do.
2) Magnesium breaks when stressed too hard, and can actually be mended with a little care, skill, and luck. Steel and aluminum bend. It’s easier to restore a bent paper clip back to original profile than to properly true up a steel/alum saw shoe once it’s bent. I have literally, and I mean literally, seen aluminum and stamped steel saw bases in the shapes of the letters “s” and “c”. I call them “Sesame Street Saws”.
3) The newer magnesium shoes have nice ridges/grooves throughout the underside, like a nice table saw fence, that seem to provide a smoother glide action during cuts. The DeWALT hypoid and old Porter-Cable mag saws shared this small but luxurious detail.
4) The new mag shoes are chunky and have nice crisp square sides-very compatible with using a carpenter’s layout triangle as a guide on 2 x 4″ and similar framework tasks. I’m just less comfortable with thin little pancake shoes like on these new DeWALT flex-pay or Ridgid worm drives, as examples.
Right-side saws are fine for track(not to be confused with guides) setups. You know, with dust-extraction and all. Which apparently is a thing I just invented since, as an American, I’ve never heard of it before. Hardy-har-har.
For all the wishers of left-side options to get released: I’m with you. But not hopeful. Makita used to sell one. Gone. Porter-Cable used to sell at least three types. Gone. Still waiting. Will also have to wait to see if DeWALT sells the new flex tracksaw here in USA. Since Metabo, Bosch, and Hilti don’t seem very interested in bringing their tracksaws stateside. Though Mafell battery powered tracksaws can be ordered with a bit of effort. Probably for less than $2000 even. Mafell saws are worth every penny, they really are, it’s just soooo many pennies are required.
For those of you who do like right side sidewinders, check out the DeWALT 364/384. Pretty unique setup, basically today’s version of the Sawcat.
Also, check out the Hitachi C7BMR. It’s not widely promoted, but it’s a real gem. Not perfect, but still one of the best sidewinders around these days. FWIW, it’s priced at $100 w/ free shipping over at Amazon, which is a very good price for that saw.
How is the Hitachi’s brake? I was not so impressed with the Dewalt 364 in that regard as the brake seems to take some time to activate once you let off on the trigger.
I did not do a side-by-side comparison with my Super Sawcat – but tried them both about an hour or so apart – and the old Sawcat seem to stop the blade almost instantaneously – while there was a perceptible delay with the Dewalt . I think I also like the line of sight on the blade on my old sawcat.
I believe the main reason the hypoid/”worm” drive saws are better at cutting straight lines is just the length of the body. The reference point (notch in the front of the sole) and blade center are further apart than in sidewinders. Long views like that always provide better reference for straight work, much like using a long hand plane instead of a shorter one for jointing, or a farmer plowing straight lines by sighting a distant object instead of a near one.
My question is for Stuey. Have you ever asked any of the manufacturers as to why they sell 6 1/2 on left side and 7 1/4 on the right side for sidewinders? Also why aren’t there any right side worm drives? I’d be interested in knowing if it really is a safety issue OR if it was really a sales issue as to how we ended up with most saws being the way they are now; the saws that used to be offered just didn’t sell.
My guess is the 6.5 is lighter and therefore easier to manage on the small edge of the baseplate (while giving you that extra visibility) and the 7.25″ saw with the larger motor can be tippy in the same orientation.
The old Rockwell – Porter-Cable 314 – while not your typical saw – a a blade-right worm gear saw – alos one of my still favorite saws:
Right hand guy here wants only left bladed saws!
Learn to cut proficiently with either hand with both blade left and blade right saws and there’s no issue.
Sometimes you have to use your weaker hand and sometimes you can’t have the cut off fall from the blade side of the piece. You’re not always going to be cutting on stationary saw horses.
I’m right handed and prefer a right handed circ saw.
By the way, some Youtube reviewers are saying the flexvolt circ saw will be available around October but on the Home Depot site they are expecting the saws to ship mid August. I am not usually an early adopter but in this case I’m going to make an exception. Have been window shopping for a cordless circ saw for what seems like forever but didn’t jump because I did not find any of the current offerings all that impressive. This new brushless 60v max, 7 1/4″ right handed saw appears to be the saw I’ve been looking for all this time. I trust that DeWALT is not going to jeopardize the roll-out of such a big new line of tools by releasing a half baked product so am looking forward to picking one up as soon as they become available.
I prefer left handed saws in my right hand … – better visibility on a blade and the guide…
Right hand, preferably lefty. Never had an issue of cutting my left hand. Not sure how 4-5 inches further from my left hand makes it so much safer. I put the safety of seeing my sight line and not having to lean over the saw and possibly being off balance.
I found a old hard bound catalog. I found a saw in it that I wish they still made. It had adjustable shoes top and bottom. Come to think of it though, I don’t know how a blade guard would work on it. Oh well. A number of years ago, porter cable made a saw in both left and right. Both had adjustable dust shoots.
The one I know about was an old Stanley Eager Beaver flip-over 4-1/4 inch panel saw. I believe it had two switches to spin it in 2 directions. I recall being once told that it could be a dangerous-to-operate tool
I have the adjustable PC with the blade on the left (and tough magnesium shoe, etc.). I LOVE that saw. That it was discontinued is a lot like the VHS-Betamax type scenarios, where the superior design failed because of poor marketing and consumer ignorance.
I guess the true Holy Grail of saws (No offense or reference intended to the guy calling himself HolyGrail, of course) would be the ability to buy the Shoe/Dust Collection, and Blade-Side separate, and the Worm/Brushless/Whatever Drive would end up being switchable. You then just attach the correct one for what side you need for your hands, and go to work?
I dunno. I’m Right-Handed, but I’m perfectly capable of just using a saw Left-Handed in situations when I’m worried about safety. I can follow lines on a circular saw just as well with my Left hand on the trigger. The Saw is always strong enough to do the work, and doesn’t need that much “Guidance” from me.
Not a bad concept in theory, but every connection point like that is a major source of vibrations and loss of power in any modular tool I’ve ever used. For instance, I grabbed the Ryobi oscillating tool because it was the cheapest way I could get a cordless corner sander at the time, and I had been wanting an oscillating tool for a while. It works great on light to medium weight materials. But I completely gave up on it, even with a brand new blade, cutting stranded bamboo flooring for a heat register opening recently. Fortunately my brother’s Milwaukee was available. Ostensibly the two have approximately the same power, but the Ryobi flexed and vibrated at the modular connection point so badly that it couldn’t cut the material at all. The Milwaukee had no such issues. I’ve seen the same problem with Craftsman interchangeable head tools as well.
So while it would be a convenient design, it wouldn’t qualify as a “holy grail” design, unless they somehow managed to overcome what I think is considered a rule in engineering: every connection point means a loss of power.
For cutting framing lumber blade on left for ripping sheets of plywood blade on right because plywood kicks up so much saw dust that sometimes with blade on left causes you to turn your head and messing up the cut framing lumber doesn’t kick up that much saw dust and the cut are usually short so the dust isn’t a factor for the better sight line You get with blade on left
That depends entirely on the specific saw being used. It is not universal to the position of the blade. Some are much better than others at routing the dust away.
I’ll have to do some looking to back this claim up, but I swear I recall coverage of someone asking a rep at the flexvolt event about the positioning of the new blade, and was specifically told that they’ll be offering both right and left in the near future. I believe the current initial model was simply the result of polling
I sure hope so!
I am a right handed and I like left handed circular saw, when I cut plywood or MDF with very little width, left handed circular saw is the best for me. If it was plunge saw it would not be the case, it depends on the size of the baldes for all brands, 136mm, 140mm and 165mm ones are left handed in cordless versions, corded 165mm ones plus bigger sizes are right handed as much as I’ve seen.
Framer 30 yrs,i agree both types of saws should be available. Im right handed and use blade right. I know over 40 framing crews and never seen anyone using blade left to frame houses…battery saws are blade left and are used occasionally for a quick cut…..you put a worm drive saw in the hands of someone without experience and you asking for problems. ….a typical crew has a mill guy,nail guys,laborers and a foreman. …..never seen anyone hurt with a blade right and right handed….but quite a few injuries with a blade left and right handed..my two cents
Left or Right, makes no difference to me. I drill, cut, saw, screw, plane and paint with either hand. The only thing I struggle to do with my left hand is to hammer. Guess I’m I’m just chicken.
Probably the biggest reasons saws are handed one way or another is that electric motors are timed, as in they will make more power spinning one way versus the other.
This is why I bought a saw called eager beaver back in the 60s the fence folded right or left used it very few times but was handy on certain cuts
Still in. Original box just like new
I’ve recently started doing more framing carpentry, and being very left-handed I’ve not been happy with the blade right saws. The balance and safety of them is not good for me. When I use them I’m typically making cut offs of 2 by lumber with the short side of the wood to my left. That way causes the motor to hang down, messing up my balance. I can see the blade, but I don’t need to see it as I use the guides on the foot of the saw anyway. Even more problematic is that some cuts require holding the guard up out of the way (and yes I know it is a baaad practice and not safe) but sometimes it happens. I have to reach across the saw (and the motor) with my dominant hand and grip the saw in a right-handed non dominant (for me, uncomfortable) grip. A left blade saw solves these issues. Also, my right hand is much safer with my left hand gripping the saw as I push it through the work. I am learning, little by little to push the saw with my right hand, but it is a bit of a struggle.
the new dewalt 60v. cir. saw really sucks when it comes to where the saw dust shoots out. Using mine a lot the saw dust while you are cutting shoots directly up in your face, in your nose and eyes. What the ——-dewalt? you could nt put the whole in the guard in a place where it would shoot out down or a attachment for the vent for the saw dust removal. mike. G.
i know right ?
i honestly can’t stand it, i have an old dewalt 18v i believe the blades just under 6” it’s a left handed saw, i’ve been using it so long i had forgotten what a righty saw was like, the only thing i don’t like is even with a new battery it doesn’t last long and the blade size is a limitation, but i love cutting with it, and i use my speed square as a guide, now with the new saw it’s awkward, if dewalt starts making lefties i’ll buy one, until then i’ll suffer through
I just 180 (flip) the blade around, reverse polarity on the motor and pull the saw towards me with my left hand rather than push the saw away with my right. I like to see where I’ve been – not where I’m going :0 ;)+
Mike the Chippy
Are Makita the same; I.e. sub 7″ = left handed?
My neighbor is cutting a new closet system down to fit a closet. He is right handed. I thought I would help him out and make him a cutting guide for 90 deg. cuts. Well, I got quite the shock when I saw it was blade left. I can make one for him but he will have to use a clamp(s) on the right side of the saw, unless he is a “contortionist” ! Any other suggestions.
There are some cuts that you can’t make with the blade on the right side. I needed to cut a 4X4 for the top of my front step bannister. The cut needed to be 22-1/2 degrees on each side. From the end, it looks like a house roof. I had to use a table saw with the fence to the right of the blade. It was hard since the 4X4 is treated and quite heavy. The blade on my right bladed saw tilts the wrong direction. A left bladed saw would have tilted the correct way and would have been an easy cut using a guide. I’m right handed, but have used some smaller cordless saws that were left bladed. I prefer them to the right bladed one I have now. I don’t think safety is an issue. The blade is not exposed above the saw. If you’re careless, you can get hurt no matter which side the blade is on.
Now that I’ve studied it more, it doesn’t look like it matters which side the blade is on. Either side, it tilts the wrong way to make the cuts I needed. I had looked at a Makita and thought it would work, but I’m pretty sure I was wrong. I guess the table saw was the answer after all.
BS, that’s the only reason i don’t buy that right handed crap, all 4 (3 6½ and 1 7¼] of my Dewalt 20V saws all left “handed” and the only time i ever use the left hand on the saw is when i have lift the guard manually for angle cuts (as it’s getting jamed under 1½in)
I am a NYC union carpenter and have been since 1989. The majority of jobs I’ve been on, including 86 story high rise buildings and large bridges and overpasses, have all used worm drive left blade skilsaws! Granted, I own a right blade saw which my father in law bought for me, and is not a problem. But I prefer left blade worm drives as do most of the guys I work with. I recently worked with a guy who just couldn’t use the right blade and complained over and over about it. To the point where I question his ability as a carpenter. Just my 2 cents
Iv’e been a professional framer for nearly 25 years and always used an conventional right hand saw. Yes , I can see the benefit of a left hand blade aside from the fact of being able to see your line of sight in certain tasks like trimming rafter tails 2 or 3 stories up.
The one thing that most pros commenting here have forgot is that (at least how I was taught) is our blade guards have been either locked out or completely removed. The first thing I do when I get saw … I’ve never been cut and never been injured. Anytime a new helper grabs my saw I have to remind them to make sure the blade has stopped before putting the saw down!
As an ER nurse, this has come through our doors on a few occasions. And of course, no professional has had a serious injury…until they have one. What you are doing reminds me of the picture(s) we have of fingers with nails holding them together because they took off the safety interlock on a framing gun. But they are professionals and know their tools.
Is this a guy thing?
Having done service with the 75th we often took off safety interlocks, but we are in pretty hectic and hostile situations. But I don’t think I would do so when on a job site where injury means lost work. Or ummmm, lost digits.
Left-side saws are for one-handed use by carpenters who use their knees as a saw horse while framing on the run. The narrow part of the shoe, to the left of the blade, glides across the ‘keeper’ so the cut isn’t super square, but it’s very fast. And dangerous — not a technique for amateurs.
Left-side saws give good visibility when cutting panels keeping your face further from the saw dust.
Right-side saws are for cutting boards to length on a saw horse, with the right hand on the saw, the left hand holding the “keeper,” and the scrap falling off to the right. Pulling a tape measure from left to right puts the numbers right-side up, so lefty pro’s almost always hold the saw with their right hand.
Left-handed carpenters use right-hand saws typically. I don’t think lefty saws are made for lefty carpenters.
Assuming your right handed, it’s simple, left handed saw for ripping, right handed saw for hand held cross cutting. Depends on what you mostly need it for,
Lamo…..I’m lefthanded been using righthanded saws and everything else thats righthanded for 60 years.Suck it up Boy’s !!!
Directly from Milwaukee website, Milwaukee 6391-21,7-1/4″ Left Blade Circular Saw:
“Superior cut visibility for right hand users with the blade on the left side of the saw. ”
I’m not sure if anyone has touched on this above, but it seems to me that application matters. For framing or any time the cut needs to be straight but not “precise”, visibility on the blade becomes a priority, so a bit of safety ends up getting compromised in exchange. But for anyone using a track or similar style guide (Kreg accu-cut, for example?), the guide/track and saw should be supported on the left side of the cut line, so blade right is best. Plus, blade visibility takes a backseat when you have a guide/track since presumably the guide is doing the work of keeping the cut straight.
So…all that to say, different blade positions each have valid applications. Almost everyone in here complaining about blade right has noted they are on a construction site. That’s fair. But that doesn’t mean a woodworker working on a bench with a guide, and who as a result prefers blade right, is an “amateur”, “noob”, or “inexperienced DIYer”.
100% agree with you. I’m a lefty, but due to school, necessity, have learnt to do most things right handed as well. I have two cordless saws, one blade right, other blade left. I use them both equally, mainly due to how I’m making a cut( verticals cut, laying the saw on its side, upside down), visibility and what space I have around me to fit the saw in. When cutting timber on a bench , or with a guide or rail, I predominately use my blade right saw with my right hand, mainly like you say to keep the motor housing as flat and stable as possible. On another note, as a leftie, main issue I have with some tools are the safety switches can be awkward if engineered by someone right handed.
Maybe I’m retarded but …
If I’m ripping osb or plywood I use my right handed saw left to right with my left hand even though I am right handed so I can see what I’m doing. If i Iead the saw appropriately with my body the dust is mostly behind me and I can see what I’m doing very well. The heavy part of the saw is supported on the clamped material. I’ve done this for over 40 years, thinking I bought a left handed saw by mistake.
Yeah, So doesn’t that make you want to get a left blade saw? If you are ripping plywood you walk alongside with your right hip closest to the board, hand positioned normally and comfortable, and the shoe is on the keep side. It’s perfect, where you lose out is crosscut because the shoe is on the wrong side, if you like to hold the keep side with your left hand. Although you can see the guide/blade perfectly.
I’m trying to figure out whether blade-right or blade-left circular saws are safer for a right-handed individual. It seems that most people assume that blade right is safer because your hands don’t cross the blade… but is that actually true? Has there ever been any actual research to prove it?
As an ER nurse, there seems to be a lot of”man-checking” going on here. But I can say that when circular saw injuries come through trauma there is a high number (proportionally) of saw injuries that occur with circular saws that have the blade on the left side of the saw. It is also to be noted that it is often accompanied by a person who is a “professional.”
On hearing their story (and they all want to tell it), this is a person who has become too comfortable with their power tool and not thinking of the safety steps each time.
No (right handed), Professional, traditionally trained woodworker/builder/carpenter would ever even consider looking down at a motor rather than their cut. It’s an absurdity.
The only right bladed saw I own is to enable an opposite tilt for finish work in the field. Such as a Finish stair Trimmer Board etc.
I shouldn’t be shocked to find the Mongoloid’s of this generation slurping up some idiotic ideal that says “it’s safer fer ya if you can’t see what the blade is doing”.
I had never even SEEN a right bladed ‘sidewinder” for sale until the last few years. Now they have managed to corrupt and twist common sense again in yet another field.