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At the moment considering the purchase of a circular saw for light work. I'm looking at a corded model and a cordless model. But the question I have is not about which one is better.

My question today is why the corded one has the blade on the right of my hand and the cordless one has the blade on the left of my hand. See both models below.

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Now, I know some manufacturers make left- and right-handed versions of their circular saw. And I'm also aware that 'worm drive circular saws' usually have the blade to the left of my hand. But it seems odd to me. Especially as it seems to apply to most manufacturers too.

Was wondering if somebody has an explanation for this.

  • Just speculation on my part, holding the saw in the left hand allows the right hand (the dominant hand of 90 percent of the population) access to change the battery. – mikes Oct 5 '16 at 8:31
  • Most cutting is trimming (separating a smaller waste piece), so it makes sense to put most of the area of the base plate on the inboard side (where it also supports the heavy AC motor) -- and the user is also inboard, to stabilize the work piece (not the waste piece). – amI Nov 23 '18 at 18:50
  • In the time since the question was posted the new Dewalt 54/60 V saw has the blade on the right for anyone that stumbles across this question and wants one that way. – PeterJ Apr 28 '19 at 7:54
  • I own a Dewalt 20 V cordless Circular saw ( opposite of the one in your photo ) and the blade is on the right and I find it to be a pain in the as$ to cut with because I cannot see the line or the guide mark on the fence to line up with the cut line when I am using it with my right hand. I should’ve thought about it before I bought the saw and spent more money for the cordless worm drive with the blade on the left side of the motor. I do own a Skilsaw worm drive corded saw with the blade on the left and it is awesome. – Alaska Man Feb 22 at 22:38
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A majority of people are right handed. With the blade to the left you are positioned to comfortably view the cut (for a right handed person).

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  • Thanks for your comment, but I don't believe this answers the question I was asking - which is "why are they different?". Also, if this was an argument, then why aren't all corded circular saws built that way too? – Rob de Jonge Oct 5 '16 at 0:58
  • Rob a close friend of mine is left handed he purchases saws that have the blade on the right he is a contractor and he wears them out regulary. There are many different handle styles to chose from, the manufactures stock the models that sell the best. You may be able to find the same handle on the web site for a premium I know my friend complains about the increased cost to get what he wants. – Ed Beal Oct 7 '16 at 17:12
  • Thanks but I'm not left handed. I'm just trying to understand why corded saws have the blade on the right and cordless saws have blades on the left. – Rob de Jonge Oct 7 '16 at 17:41
  • That is just 1 model I have multiple corded saws with the blade on the left Dewalt, Skill & Milwalkee. this is what I was trying to explain. – Ed Beal Oct 7 '16 at 18:55
  • Are they worm drive circular saws? Because those do indeed have the blade on the left. – Rob de Jonge Oct 8 '16 at 1:48
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I (a right handed person) bought an Aldi Workzone cordless saw, and the blade is on the right side. This allows good visibility of the 0 & 45 degree guide slots. If the blade was on the left side I would not be able to see the guide slots as they would be obscured by my left wrist, which grips the front saw support.

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I have a Craftsman Corded 7.25 circular saw and a Worx 6.5 battery saw. Both are Blade-RIGHT. I can handle the Craftsman just fine, but the Worx battery one is a bear to sight the cut. Also the Worx has the safety button on the left side of the handle which is incorrect for using it left handed. I am now considering a Blade-LEFT battery powered saw so I can see where my cut will start and I can see the length of the cut. The 6.5 Battery powered circular saws are considerably lighter and easier to use, if you can see where you are cutting and can push the safety button. My Craftsman is old enough NOT to have the safety button so it is slightly more ambidextrous. I hope this help someone.

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Why do you think there's a difference in how your two saws function for you? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to contribute here. – Daniel Griscom Feb 21 at 18:17
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I too have been wondering why cordless are left. I have many years of experience with my 7-1/4" Makita and can debunk many of the opinions here. Even with my experience and ability to cut straight, I have grown accustomed to holding the stock and a speed square in my left hand, and making cuts as true as a miter saw. I would not hold a speed square on the blade side! The left blade cordless would require a total reversal- left hand on the saw, right hand holding material and square, benches set to support the stock on the right.

The only explanation that might make sense if the smaller blade might be more difficult to see? But with a square and experience I am looking at the notch, not the blade. Having said that, the cordless saws are perhaps better for cutting paneling? where you do need to watch the blade.

Also, there is a safety concern and I am certain it is advisable to hold a circular saw in the hand where you have the exposed blade- simply so you cannot cut yourself! I know there is no way I would ever be as good cutting lefty. too bad, maybe I just get one for hack work and convenience trimming a fascia board from a two story ladder. no one is going to see it's not a perfect cut.

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