Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
Great secondary circular saw for light work
on October 7, 2005
I've had a Porter-Cable 0314 4-1/2" Trim Saw since the 1980s - and it was such a good design, the current version is virtually identical. E.g., mine has round knobs; new knobs are triangular! Being corded, it will also be just as good 20 years from now, given that I won't use often enough to wear it out. This is one tool to hand down to your children...
A battery powered trim saw might be a smart choice if you will use the tool often; e.g., weekly. Otherwise, this saw, over the long haul, will be MUCH less costly because it will never need battery, or tool, replacement. Every battery-operated tool manufacturer periodically changes/improves their battery design. Next generation batteries probably won't fit your [old] tool and/or will be a different voltage. So, when the batteries die, and they all will, you'll have to replace the two batteries - and they are expensive. Or, "your" batteries will no be longer available, so you'll have to buy a new saw.
Another reviewer said his saw's sole plate was "out of parallel with the saw blade 3/64" over the length of the plate. Mine is also off, but only by 1/64"; which hasn't been an issue when using a straightedge to guide the saw. If it were, some judiciously placed thin washers in the adjusting mechanism would bring that to zero.
Still another reviewer said his saw's sole plate was "flimsy and inaccurate". I don't understand that comment, unless Porter Cable has used different plates. The sole plate on my saw is very stiff steel, 1/16" thick - rolled at the edges for strength, and is attached to the saw in four places - it doesn't flex and works exactly as expected.
This is a lightweight; very portable and maneuverable saw; having less torque & power than a full-sized circular saw. Those are distinct advantages in many situations, such as using it vertically or over your head, or when cutting trim-sized stock. On some jobs it's just more practical to use a small saw. It's also safer than a large saw because it's lower torque means a reduced chance of the saw getting away from you.
I've been happiest with this saw since a carbide blade was installed some years ago. Although this is a terrific TRIM saw, I wouldn't recommend it for the ONLY circular saw in your toolbox. This is because maximum cutting depths are too shallow for 2x4s and other thicker stock, and because it cuts much slower (on heavy stock) than a bigger, more powerful, saw. It is a well-designed, professional grade tool.