DeWalt Circular Saw

DeWalt Circular Saw – 7.25 inch

Manufacturer:  DeWalt

Model:  DW364

Amperage:  15

RPMs:  5,800

Cost:  $176

DeWalt's DW364 Circular Saw

DeWalt’s DW364 Circular Saw

This is the fourth circular saw that I have had since 2004.  However, the first three saws gave up the ghost in the first year.  The first saw was a 15 year old Skill saw that had only occasional use.  When it died I purchased another Skill brand saw, but it gave out after its first use.  So I returned it and gave Skill one more chance.  It was the exact same result.  I decided that I needed a saw that was built for the job.  I looked at Milwaukee saws but I did not like the “lefthand” view.  I like to be over my saw and not to one side.  Sure Mils are great, but they are very expensive.  Other brands I looked at were Bosch and Makita.  I finally chose the DeWalt DW364.

First, it just fit right.  The weight was not over bearing like the Mils.  I figure I was going to be using this saw for hours on end and I did not want it causing fatigue, which becomes a hazard when using powertools.

The guide plate is made of high strength aluminum and is large.  That meant that when I place it on the workpiece, it is not going to tip or sway.

The motor is powerful, at 15 Amps and an RPM of 5,800, it is going to move through material.  Believe me, this saw has gone through a lot of material from wood to concrete to steel.  The motor is surprisingly quiet.  A lot of saws have a high pitch whine to it and that just hurts the ears and is quite annoying, but the DeWalt DW364 sings a pleasant song.  It might be funny that a contractor thinks of their tools singing, but when you look at a tool’s “noise” making, I would rather have it sing to me than whine at me.

The saw has the basic features found in all circular saws, such as blade depth control, bevel control, and an attachment for a rip fence.  However, I use the fence (which comes with the tool) a lot and adding to the saw’s extra large guide plate makes ripping lumber quite fun.

I would say that a lot of saws “market” a anti-kickback ability, but kickback is not a saw problem, it is a user problem.  The DW364 has kicked a few times in its life, but that was because I allowed my workpiece to pinch the blade by not adjusting the blade depth properly.

My DW364 has performed flawlessly (a relative term, it did what I told it to do) for me the past 8 years.  I have dropped it from heights of 6 feet and found that the saw was still in good shape.  Of course I was lucky it was not concrete, I do not think any circular saw would survive that kind of punishment.

The only issue I had with the saw was in 2010 when I was working on a roof.  I noticed that when I would pull the trigger the saw would “sputter”.  I thought that the saw was finally giving out.  I had one more cut, so I “forced” it to finish the job.  I heard a pop and litterally flames came out of the cord where it connects into the saw.  It was lunchtime, so I took a break and decided to open up the saw and see what was going on.  I found that one of the wires had come loose and the trigger was not getting a good contact.  The fire did not do any major damage, so I cut off the “char” which was only about a quarter of an inch and reattach the wires to the contacts.  The saw has never since sputtered or spontaneously combusted.  The problem again was the user.  Over years I would lower the saw from roofs or whatever high place by holding onto the cord.  Well over time that loosened the connections and the result was well….

Maintenance is key to any tool.  By routinely (for me that is about every Winter Solstice) blowing out dust from the motor does wonders.  If I feel the saw is lagging, I blow it out and everything is back to normal.

Switching out blades is quite simple.  The DW364 has a blade lock button to push while loosen the clamp screw.  Blade changes only take about a minute or two.

Electric Brake system:  This feature I really like.  When you let go of the trigger the saw stops immediately.  To me that feature can save a lot of fingers and other body parts.

Controlling dust is really not a feature of too many circular saws.  Usually that requires hoses and vaccums so it is not practical for a saw of this type because you are moving around with it so much on a jobsite.  However, the dust ejection port on the blade safety shield directs the dust down out of your face.

So to sum it up for the DeWalt DW364.  Tough construction, light weight, and a lot of power.  Quick blade changes and precise cuts when using the fence and measured guides.  The saw has been performing almost daily now for 9 years and has not shown any signs of giving out.  Definitely a recommended purchase.

Posted June 12, 2014 by admin in Tool Reviews

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