No Framing Saws In The UK! - Framing


Hello, I'm new to this forum and as you can guess I'm from the other side of the pond! I'm a Scottish carpenter working in Bath, England.
I frame a lot of roofs over here but we don't have framing circ saws like you have! For 7 1/2'' circ the most watts we can get is only 1400...not enough for wet timber (lumber). We don't have worm drive or high torque circ saws either...what do you use/recommend?

I like the bosch worm drive or the skilsaw HD77 worm drive great saws lots of power and very durable.

Skil wormdrive is the only saw for me but I don't think ours would work on your 220 volt..??

If you can't get these saws in your area consider buying on line and have them shipped to you. Even if you have to spend a little more its still gonna cost less than replacing saws that keep burning out.

Last framing crew I worked on we ran nothing but Porter Cable Blade Left saws. They're not worm drive but we never had any problem with performance or power.

The voltage is not a problem Rob, I can get the US-UK voltage converters over here that can power saws upto 3000wts. Does having the blade on the left make it easier cutting jack and cripple rafters? We don't have that option of which side the blade is on either. (It's on the right only).The EU have made it illegal to use worm drive here as well.....don't ask me why! Also the max bevel cut with our saws is only 45 degrees too!
Anyway thanks for your help,..didn't hear dewalt mentioned above should they be avoided?

I guess since worm drives are outlawed I thought OSHA was bad. A dewalt would be a good alternative. The table goes to 50 or 55 degrees. Just don't drop one. The gears will misalign and bind and you have to crack the case and put everything back together.

I have a dewalt worm drive saw, and used to use it when I was framing. Wheww that was a long long time ago. But other than it may be a bit heavier than most, I love it.

I think you'd like a wormdrive if you tried one for a couple of weeks. It's a whole different feel. Arn't your cops allowed to carry guns now?? I think they should allow you to use a worm drive, although , we have our share of stupid rules.

I think we should all chip in a few bucks and mail this fellow craftsman a bootleg worm drive saw. Illegal? Sheesh...

get this thing rocks 28 v

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I've fot an 8-1/4" deWalt circular, I've built a lot of places with it, also done a lot of timberwork with it. Got it 7/8 years ago and no probs yet. Rich.

Not all our cops carry guns Rob, they still use harsh language here!
I'll have to look into why we aren't allowed to use wormdrive but what it boils down to is the EU. All they seem to do is ban one thing after the other. E.g...the blade of a circ saw should not spin for more than 6 seconds after being shut off to minimalize the risk of injury. I'm taking a guess here but do you think the guy that thought that one up is a carpenter?
But there you go...all our saws now need electric brakes!
Actually I wouldn't exchanging some of your stupid rules for mine I've got some real goodins!

That's a lot of use out a framing saw Rich!
I usually 'smoke' my circ saw after 3 or 4 roofs because there not man enough for the job. Our saws in the 7 1/2''- 9'' bracket are underpowered for the job.
'Smoke'= that blue/green flame that comes from the motor!..mind you I do push them a bit hard.

There not illegal as such they just don't use them over here, don'y know why but I'm looking into it. This worm drive sounds the business....What's your guess the forum store wont ship to the UK??

Thats when you get someone else to ship it for you.

What do you mean pastures! Some other way of optaining this item

say you buy from an individual, or have that person buy for you and ship it themselves. As far as currency goes ebay sellers from the US ship world wide on a regular basis, I think paypal would convert currency from pound to dollar.

I'll check and see or you can check.

Here's a seller that ships world wide.

You need to email him first, then he can give you specifics.

Looks like you'll be spending $300 or more US, which I think is roughly 150 UK or more. The ? would be how long does it take to go through that much in saws now?

All our proffesional power tools cost about double what you pay like for like. For example: Dewalt cordless nailer (DC618 KA)..the one I have, cost £386.00/ $684.00 !! (present exchange rates). My IM350 Passie fares a wee bit better but not much comming in at $620.00
Getting back to framing saws the Dewalt (DW 378 GK) is the one I'm after.Although it's not worm drive I like the sound of the high torque! Even if the shipping is going to cost me about $150 +,..I still break even.

If you can get one, get The skill mag 77, or bosh. I had 2 dewalts, and they rattled, were harder to control on ply, and in my opinion, were cheaply made. they are light though.

I don't use the magnesium saws anymore I went back to the tried and true original
Skil wormdrive. Bosch's table's are cheap cast that break to easily and mag 77 is too light and 100 dollars for a new table is rediculous. I can run a hundred feet running my dino skil of a chalked line on ply and not get a wavy cut with a almost factory like edge.
Try that with a mag saw.

I'm just wondering how much time one might get for smuggling decent saws into the UK. Time in the Tower would be a bummer.

You would'nt have to do much time in the tower as us chippies in the UK would break you out...!!!
Wormdrive it is..........Skil or porta...need the spares to be sent over..
Thank's for your help.

Here's the method I use from time to time to 'increase' the bevel.
This is only for the very experienced, - - those who can actually 'feel' their saw. It's a dangerous operation for a novice. In other words, - - don't try this at home!!
Let's say your saw, - - as you say, - - only max's at a bevel of 45, - - and let's say you need a 60.
First of all, - - 'square-cut' the end of your board to the 'long-point' of the length you desire, - - then set your board across your saw horses 'up-on-edge' - - and you'll need to either clamp it secure or have someone hold it as you cut.
Now set your saw bevel to 30 degrees (90-60), - - stand at the end of the board, - - and cut downward along the end, - - letting the table of your saw ride on the end itself, - - and using the 'side/end' corner as your 'cut-line'.
Voila, - - 60 degree bevel !!
P.S. Depending on the bevel you're 'shooting' for, - - and the diameter (depth) of your saw blade, - - your cut may not always go all the way through, - - but it's easy enough to finish with a hand saw or sawzall if necessary.

No opinions on this one?? Yay?? Nay??
Anyone else ever used this method before??

I have a variety of sleds that can accomplish the same thing.

That's nice, but . . .
Have circular saw will travel !!

I've have seen pictures of this done and tried it but I'm back to our underpowered saws again! The blade just binds less than half way throught he cut. Our roof timbers (usually 2x9 or 10) when they arrive on site can still be dripping in presevative. Larger section timber (treated) has to be ordered in advance as our timber yards won't stock it due to the lack of storage space.
The chippies on my Brit' contractors forum have inquired about the benifits of worm drive compared to a standard driven circ saw?
Many thanks.

Hard as Nails,
I'm in the U.K. too and I have three Skil 7 1/4" wormdrives. I picked them up secondhand right here in the U.K. and I think the dearest one was only 47 quid.
I like them but they are on the heavy side and one big disadvantage is that they won't cut right through the full 2" rafters we use when they are set at 45. I find them better for freehand work when you're just eyeballing the cut than the sidewinders. I find the guard hangs up a lot too when making angled cuts so I took it off the one of them As for the rules and them being illegal, well I never heard that, and who really gives a ******************** about all them soft rules anyway?
If you want a saw that tilts over to more than 45 then you could check out the Maffell gear that comes at a heavy price.
If you're having trouble crossing timber 'cos it is wet then I would guess that could be the blades, are you using the thin kerf blades? I've seen this a lot too, running great long leadsto the saw and ending up with a large voltage drop and so losing power at the machine. I've got a couple of old Makita sidewinders, one has a 12" blade cobbled onto it and the other has a 2 1/2" dado cutter on it that I use for notching joists over R.S.J's. Never had any problems with lack of power.
The American stuff I have all works fine of the U.K. site transformers.
So hey, there is loads more stuff available in the States. It just means you gotta be a bit more recourseful here

Also, a chain saw with a 'soft touch' will make any cut!!

Pardon my manners, ukace, - - welcome to the forum!!

Hello Ukace..,
The power drop off is due to a long lead from the site transformer (upto 50mtrs in some cases). Already use thin kerf blades with ptfe. A bit more power would be nice.I've been told by others that worm drive doesn't comply with EU regs but I also couldn't give a rats about their regs, if i want one i'll get one.
The voltage: USA(110v)=L 110v N=0v : The Uk site transformers put out 110v also but L=55v N=55v. Does this not have an effect on the motors?

I can't use that on my plumb cuts Tom... The ridge will drop out!

Hard as'
I'm no sparky. All I know is I've been using American stuff here for years and had no electrical problems yet.
If you're going to the troble of importing one them then get an 8 1/4" which should cut straight through a full 2" piece at 45 degrees.
Tom R,
I use a chainsaw for making head cuts

Ihi, I’m living in Ireland and I’m tired of burning out the standard side winders saws. I work as a carpenter mostly on cut roofs, joists, rafters etc. I have always wanted to purchase a worm drive saw from America in particular the 81/4” but I was worried the saw wouldn’t work over here. Are you sure all I’d have to do is stick a yellow 110 volts plug on it and I can use it with a transformer?? Cheers Dan


Hi live in Yorkshire do lots of framing and have two worm drive saws they work well of me tranny no problems just had to get a supply of saw blades thin kerf from the USA as they got a weird diamond knockout arbor knocked out with half inch nut and ofcut of 40mm waste pipe 


I've been using a saw from a company called "Bigfoot Saws". They make a 10" and 14" wormdrive saw that has a swing table on it so that the saw can cut up 75°.
It cuts like butter and I've used it for roofs that have "Bastard Hips" or "Irregular Hips" with different pitches. If you had a roof with a 8/12 pitch on one side and a 12/12 pitch on the other side your hip would be running at 56.31° on the 8/12 side and 33.69° on the 12/12 pitch side in plan view and those are the angles that you would set on your saw to cut the plumbcut lines on your jack rafters and aslo cheek cuts for your hip plumbcut lines. Just set the saw at 56.31° and cut one pass and your done.
Or if your cutting a roof for a 8 sided Octagon shaped Gazebo, you set your saw @ 67.5° and cut through the plumbcut marks on the jack rafters..
Hope this can help you.

Big foot V Mafell so far....
What do you think of this little mafell then...
Look for the FSG 240K

That saw is a Monster and it's 145lb and it only tilts up to 48°.The price of this saw will make you faint. I don't see the prices with your link but a couple years ago I saw thm and I'm pretty sure they're in the thousands.
The Bigfoot when I bought the 10" was $400.00 back then.

Yeh.. it sure is a big un..! Can get a bit tricky on those hip cheek cuts, but I've always been told that when using a circ saw to let the blade reach full revs before you start your cut......Plenty of time to make yourself a coffee with the FSG 240 K!!

I just moved to Germany and had a hell of a time finding a saw I liked. I looked at Festool, Bosch and Hilti, and only had to shake my head No blade left saws to be found??? I swear the old guys that taught me half of what I know would turn in the grave if they knew I was going to have to use a sidewinder!! I looked at transformers,voltage reducers, even talked to sparkys in the US about rewinding my stateside rig. So I decided to buy the hilti 265 I ordered it and gave the 255 a spin. what a rattly sounding peice of plastic!! the ideal tool (yeh right!) so with one last desperate web search I found "" (this forum wouldn't let me write out the whole url, but you get the picture)Give Nina a call to order, if you have tech questions talk to Dean. These two know there stuff and 5 days later a brand new Skil HD77-80 (important to specify the part #) is at the door. Yes, Skil H.D. 77 tried and true from the factory running on 230v 50hz. All for less than a hilti 265. I still had money left over for traditional carpenters Zunfthosen.

Hi how you doin, I didnt know there was many scottish folk on here. Just shows you that anywere you go you'll always meet a Scottish person. Mental!!

Hey sorry bout your luck with obtaining suitable saws. you mentioned the dewalt high torque framer. Nice saw BTW. check this link from amazon.
They usually beat everyone but e-bay on cost.

The 15 amp DeWalt is what I use for framing. Plenty of power to make full depth rips in any material. It also has more cut depth than any other 7¼" circular saw. It also has a blade brake and goes to 50 degrees.

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