Inline Circular Saws

The author lined the tools up to get a sense of their relative sizes.

The numbers on Makitas bevel gauge are to the right of the marks they correspond to, which makes it easy to set the wrong angle.

There is less chance of error when the numbers are directly below the marks, as they are on other saws, including the DeWalt.

If a saw takes a fall, the slide arm may bend and make it hard to change the depth-of-cut. Milwaukee stiffened the 6477-20's slide arm by rolling its edge.

DeWalt made the DWS535's arm stronger by building it from unusually thick metal.

Some blade guards, like the ones on the Milwaukee (shown) and Makita, have a tendency to snag on compound angles and narrow trimming cuts.

The guards on the Ridgid (shown) and DeWalt will retract by themselves no matter what kind of cut you make.

The blade guard on the Ridgid in action.

Bosch 1677MD

DeWalt DWS535

Makita 5377MG

Milwaukee 6477-20

Ridgid R3210

Skil SHD77M

The base plate on the Ridgid is more likely to bend in falls because it is essentially a flat piece of metal.

Makita and other manufacturers stiffen their saw bases with thickening ribs.

Skil reinforces its base by rolling its edges.

The Bosch is sold in two versions: One has a standard cord, and the other — the Direct Connect model — connects directly to an extension cord. Replacing the cord is easy, and you can use any length you like.

The lit plug on the Ridgid cord lets you see at a glance if there is power to the saw.

DeWalt's DWS5100 is the best and most accurate rip guide around. With two arms and a 19-inch fence, it can make rips up to 14 1/2 inches wide.

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