Cons: Ripping wood, no dust bag, weight of saw
I have been an on and off owner of Craftsman for a number of years, owning different types of tools, some being regular hand tools and others being power tools. This is one particular power tool I have owned.
I would have to say that this particular power tool, the Craftsman 7-1/4 circular saw (model 315.108990), is not one worth the purchase. With my experience in cutting certain types of wood, I have had several problems with ripping wood. It does not matter what type of blade I use or what type of wood I am cutting. It all seems to boil down to the saw. I have used other more popular brand circular saws, like Porter Cable and Makita, and do not seem to have the same problems with ripping the wood.
An example of what happens with this saw when I am ripping/cutting a piece of plywood, for example, ?-inch regular plywood, in half, balanced on table saws, halfway through the ripping process, the saw either jolts back at me or grinds at the wood. I first thought it was the blade or that I was ripping into a knot in the wood, but that was not the case. I replaced the blade with different teeth and checked the wood. Same problem. Changed the power tool to a Porter Cable and was able to easily rip the wood in half with the Porter Cable. Not sure what the problem was with ripping the plywood in half with the Craftsman, except that perhaps the horsepower might not be good enough to do the simplest of jobs. Although, the Porter Cable I had was of the same hp. I even tried to cut a simple 2x4 in half with the Craftsman saw and had the same results. Either at the start of the cut or halfway through, the saw would jolt back to me causing me to stop the cut and find another way to cut the wood.
This circular saw has no dust bag to it either. These days, most circular saws either have the option for dust bags or come with dust bags. Dust bags are great features for saws, in my opinion. If you can get one with a dust bag, I recommend it. The horsepower for a circular saw like this is simple and easy enough for small projects, but again, for some reason, I had no luck with this saw in completing the simplest tasks.
With all the problems I had with the saw, I reported them back to Sears who could not explain what the problem was with the saw. They could only tell me to change out the blade and maintain the saw by oiling in the appropriate places. I did send the saw in for service, but am not sure what they did to it because the problems did not go away.
I would not recommend this saw or any other Craftsman circular saw to anyone. I would recommend any other popular brand like the Porter Cable or Makita over this any day. Preferably, the Porter Cable because these days, they come standard with the dust bags and is lightweight. This particular circular is a little bit on the heavy side also.
I'm not proud to say I own this Craftsman. I am displeased that after th few years of use, it doesn't run as well as I expected it would.