We got a chance recently to put our hands on a classic, a Black & Decker 7301 circular saw. This rugged 1 HP circular saw was purchased back in 1971 and has been running ever since. It has a cast aluminum body and a stamped steel shoe. It was purchased alongside a Black & Decker drill for $19.99 for the pair (in 2011 dollars that’s about $120!) On top of that, when you purchased two Black & Decker tools you got a third tool for a penny more (my dad picked up a Rockwell 4420 (96) Type 2 1/3rd sheet Finishing Sander.) Three heavy duty tools for that price, at that time wasn’t bad. And it was a really good deal considering two of the three are still in operation!
Indeed, all of these tools were used over 40 years to do numerous renovations and home improvement jobs. About the only casualty was the power cord of the circular saw which was accidentally cut through in the 80s (operator error). As you can see from the photos, that was remedied easily enough on the Black & Decker 7301 circular saw with a replacement cord.
It’s amazing to see this Black & Decker 7301 circular saw still going strong after 40 years of use. Then again, given Black & Decker’s reputation back in the day, we’re not terribly surprised. Locating tools these days that will last as long is a bit tougher, and indeed you do get what you pay for. Keep that in mind the next time you opt for that inexpensive power tool solution over the higher priced, better-built model.