So the first thing you’re probably asking is ‘‘What is worm drive?” It’s a valid question. Worm drive is simply a different way of building the engine inside a circular saw. The axle and ball-bearing style is usually referred to on jobsites as a ”sidewinder.” Without going too crazy, what’s the difference? Basically, Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 worm drive is beefier, more robust, easier to transfer power, and more reliable.
Then wait a minute—why are there not more saws on this list with worm drive engines…and why is this one so far down the list? Simple, it’s because a worm drive engine is too much engine for most applications, and its also because worm drive engines are awfully heavy. This goes back into our original factors we test all saws with… Specifically, we look at three main things; the weight and overall handling of the unit, the speed and ease of its cutting power, and finally the cost of the tool. As you might think with a quality brand like Skil, their products did well in all three categories. The worm drive works like it should. Basically, this saw is for professionals. It’s made for people who frame houses and basically cut thick wood all day. It cuts straight and true, and after only a few hours with the unit you can really ”get into” your cuts. Just like the DeWalts, the blade adjustment and overall fit and finish are of very high quality. And yes, this tool isn’t cheap, but you get what you pay for.
Really, the main thing that keeps this product out of the top spots is it’s basically too much saw for most people, and it’s also heavy. It’s funny, because the product is made of magnesium instead of a heavier metal, and it’s touted as lightweight! Well, the model it replaced in the lineup was honestly much heavier! But the worm drive engine and beefed up features of this unit kind of make it too much saw for most people, and even some heavy users would prefer a lighter saw. However, this is the saw to own if you’re a pro. No questions asked.
Brand and Model History
As mentioned above, Skil is the originator of the circular saw. Yes, they are owned by Bosch presently, but the power and durability of their tools is said to be as good or better now than at any other point in their life as a company. They are middle-to high end at most home improvement stores, and have stellar ratings online both from writers and consumer users.
- Worm Drive engine. This unit has a powerful motor and has a fully professional build quality. Most of the metal parts of the previous model have been replaced with magnesium to offset the size and weight of the engine.
- Skil build quality is strong. Like with DeWalt, Skil is known as a high-level brand used by pros. This isn’t just an image, as again, their satisfaction and durability rankings are high. Plus if you buy a Skilsaw, you’re ensured of legit customer service and repair service if it’s ever needed.
- Fine tuning and dialing it in is easy to do. Just like with the DeWalt units, the Skilsaw has an on board wrench and adjustments are easy.
- Professional-grade gear. This is the type of circular saw that’s used by specific construction trades where their main mission is to cut wood all day.
- No real safety trigger features. Sadly, this is a big negative, and for us this is why the Skilsaw isn’t in our top spot. Yes, there is a sort of ”safety” on the trigger, but it works like the safety on a gun. Basically, you have to push a secondary pin before pushing the ain trigger, or the Skilsaw won’t cut. Good, but as mentioned before, most accidents come when someone slips with the saw and puts the blade somewhere it isn’t supposed to go. Other units shut off if you’re not on the trigger, which stops work sometimes if you’re fatigued, but it saves fingers.
- The machine is simply too heavy and too much saw for most consumer users. It’s also not cheap. However, if you do this for a living, and you don’t want to buy a new saw every year or every 6 months…then this is your Skilsaw.
Skil is the originator, the inventor of what most people simply call the ”Skilsaw.”
Well, this is ”THE” Skilsaw, the boss Skilsaw. It’s nice. But do you need it? This is their professional model, and if you’re doing this for a living you won’t mind the extra heft or the extra price.
If you’re not cutting wood 5 days a week however, then there might be other, better options for you in other areas of our guide.
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