The Craftsman 3284 circular saw is one of the best models you can buy. It handles well, has a deep cutting depth and includes most of the features we look for in this category. It’s easy to handle and includes a laser guide to keep your cuts smooth and straight. However, it misses the top-tier in our comparison because it’s relatively heavy, doesn’t clear sawdust away very well and lacks an electric brake that would increase safety.
This circular saw weighs in at 12 pounds, which is the heaviest of all the tools on our side-by-side comparison chart. The lightest is the Black & Decker CS1015. However, its construction is well balanced, and it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone to push it through wood.
You can use both standard- and arbor-size blades with this circular saw and changing between the two is rather easy. This is made even more convenient by the spindle lock button, which holds the shaft in place while you change the blade. This makes swapping out your blade quicker and safer.
The Craftsman 3284 is one of the few circular saws on our lineup to incorporate a rip fence. This feature enables you to make identical cuts on several pieces of wood without having to measure each time. This saves time when you’re cutting a lot of wood to the same size.
This circular saw comes equipped with a laser guide. It shows you the path you need to take to make a straight, smooth, accurate cut each time. This reduces the number of faulty cuts and the need to recut pieces that aren’t perfect the first time.
You can adjust the cutting depth of the Craftsman 3284 up to 2 3/8 inches when you’re cutting at a 90-degree angle and 1 13/16 at a 45-degree angle. The bevel capacity on this power tool can go up to 56 degrees, which is close to the highest we reviewed – the highest on our lineup is 57 degrees. This makes the saw more flexible than most of the others we reviewed.
As good as this circular saw is, it misses out on the top tier of our side-by-side comparison chart because it lacks a couple of key features. For example, it doesn’t have a dust chute or a blower to clear away sawdust as you cut. It’s also missing an electric brake, which would automatically stop the blade from turning when you remove your finger from the trigger. The inclusion of one or both of these features would enhance both the saw’s usability and safety.
Despite what it lacks, the Craftsman 3284 is an adequate choice if you’re in the market for a circular saw. It’s well-balanced, includes tools like a spindle lock for blade changes and a laser guide to help you make the exact cut you need. It is heavier than the other products on our lineup, but extra weight is well worth it considering the what else this circular saw has to offer.