Although portable circular saws are more the province of construction workers than cabinet makers, cabinet install crews frequently reach for a circular saw to cut stray sheets or studs that can’t be easily handled otherwise on the job site. A new entry in this category is the Porter-Cable 15-amp circular saw.

Plenty of features 

At first glance, this saw looks like a pretty standard portable circular saw, but there are plenty of features that make it extra handy on the job site. Despite the powerful 15-amp motor, the saw tips the scales at only 9.5 pounds. Helping shave the weight is a magnesium shoe.

Blade changing is easier with a push-button arbor lock, so it’s fast to switch the standard 7-1/4-inch blades as needed. The 10-foot power cord gives extra slack for long cuts and awkward locations. An outside mounted depth of cut lever speeds blade depth adjustments.

Cutting through 

In use, the saw balances and handles very easily. Grips and triggers fall right to hand just as you expect them, working equally well in one-handed and two handed operation.

The included edge guide for ripping is nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. Similarly, the no-nonsense base is designed for clear sight lines, and the big lever locks for adjustment make for fast, tool-free settings for any cut. The saw adjusts up to 55 degrees for bevel cuts, and there are stops at 22.5 and 45 degrees.

Great for job site 

With plenty of power to spare, this saw easily tackles everything from 2x4s to plywood. Don’t expect the precision of cuts like you’d get on your sliding table saw back at the shop, but the results are more than adequate for the kind of job-site reworks and rescues that installers typically would use this kind of saw for. At a street price around $90, it’s the kind of saw that is well worth adding to the install kit even if it is needed infrequently.

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