Craftsman - 27311 Circular Saw - Fine Homebuilding Tool Review
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27311 Circular Saw

Craftsman - 27311 Circular Saw

Sears offers a variety of sidewinder saws but this is their top model, billed as the Craftsman Professional line

$130.00 (As of 1/19/2012)

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Editor's Review: Tool Test: Sidewinder Circular Saws

review date: January 19, 2012

Cutline markers: 90° Poor, 45° Poor
Blade visibility: Poor, front handle obstructs view. Headlight housing bulge obscures line of sight during bevel cuts.
Guard operation: Poor
Brake: No
Adjustments: Fair. Depth set with large outboard plastic lever, action a bit stiff. Bevel set with similar lever, cast-in numbers marked every 5°, 45° bypass is a plastic plug that flips up out of quadrant.
Shoe: Cast magnesium. Flat across width, flat across length. 
Stability: Fair for both shoe and body flex. Less stable design because body to shoe connection is at the blade guard rather than in line with the handles.
Grip comfort: Rear handle Good but bulky, trigger Fair due to ridge in front of trigger that pinches finger.
Extras: LED headlight, laser, rip fence, Velcro cord wrap
Case: Fabric bag

Flaws: The saw had no single glaring issue, but its rash of poor performance ratings tells a tale of mediocrity. And like every circular saw with a laser, this feature was lost on me. In theory, a laser projected straight in line with the path of the blade will help you guide the saw straight to a point marked on the other side of a sheet without the need for a chalkline. In reality, as soon as your saw deviates the slightest bit off track, you will cut a wavy line while trying to correct its path, all the while with the laser pointed square at you mark. I never got that far though, after the first few feet of cutting OSB, the fine sawdust totally obscured the laser lens.

Bottom Line: One of the three saws considered “less than pro”.

Nothing stood out with this saw to wow me in use and it felt too tall and clunky to be comfortable. The laser and depth markings with names of materials were way off the mark for pro use. You can get a lot more saw for a lot less, or the best saw for just a little more.

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Editor Test Results:

Overall Rating N/A
Ergonomics N/A
Sightlines N/A
Depth and Bevel Adjustments Fair
Base and Blade Guard N/A

Manufacturer Specifications

Manufacturer Craftsman
Manufacturer's Web Site
Manufacturer's Phone Number 800-697-3277
Weight 10.6 lbs.
Dimensions N/A
Blade Size 7-1/4 in.
Max Depth of Cut (90/45 degrees) N/A
Amps 15
Corded/Cordless Corded; 10’-11”
Bevel Range 56 degrees
Speed N/A
Type Sidewinder

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