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Difference Between Skill Saw and Circular Saw

Skill Circular Saw fi

People often use the terms skill saw and circular saw interchangeably, which can be a bit confusing especially if you are looking to buy a new circular saw. If you’ve heard these terms but don’t know exactly what they mean, here is everything you need to know.

Skill saw is the name of one of the first companies that started making circular saws. This is why back in the day people used to use the terms skill saw and circular saw interchangeably. However, many other companies have also started to make circular saws now.

History of Skill Saw and Circular Saw

The first-ever circular saw was made back in the 18th century, however, it didn’t look anything like the circular saws that we have nowadays. That circular saw was much bigger and heftier and was used to cut down the timber of logs to make usable pieces out of it. Back in the early 20th century that the first handheld circular saw came on the scene. It was created by Edmond Michel, who with his business partner Joseph Sullivan, started a company that manufactured these circular saws. Later this company came to be known as Skilsaw inc.

Back in the day, the very first iteration of these circular saws was made for framing and rough cuts. However, the name skill saw became so popular among woodworkers that they started using this name to refer to circular saws in general.

Skill Circular Saw

Whether you are looking to get your first circular saw or you want to upgrade to a newer and better one, you can’t go wrong with the Skill circular saw. The company Skill saw has been around for more than eight decades and has been innovating some of the most useful and pristine power tools, since 1937.

It has a 15 amp motor and has a cutting depth capability of 1.6 inches. Its blade has a diameter of 6.7 inches and rotates at 5,300 RPM, which gives maximum control and precision to the user. It is also equipped with an easy change blade technology with a spindle lock that makes it very easy to switch between blades.

It is generally used to cut small boards with a number of different motor settings that suit different situations. Although originally the name skill saw was used to refer to warm drive hand circular saw, it gained so much popularity that it is now used to refer to the sidewinder circular saw that is made by a completely different company.

Features of a Handheld Circular Saw

handheld circular saw

The features you get with a handheld circular saw cannot be replicated in other types of circular saw. One of the most prominent features is portability. It allows the user to use the tool in ways that other circular saws couldn’t be used before. Some of the newer handheld circular saws work on lithium-ion batteries which means you no longer have to worry about the cord. Other features include accuracy, safety, and ease of use.

Types of Handheld Circular Saws

There are many different types of handheld circular saws that have minor design variations. However, in general, there are only two types of handheld circular saws. Although there are many small variants to these two major types the main difference between them is the arrangement of the motors. Below is a detailed account of the difference between the two types.

Sidewinder Circular Saws

Sidewinder circular saws have a much higher rpm as opposed to worm drive circular saws. This is mainly because of the placement of the motor in worm drive saws. Which sits behind the blade and uses two gears that are set at 90 degrees to turn the blade. However, this unique design produces a lot more torque and is the better option when it comes to plunging cuts.

Worm Drive Circular Saws

When it comes to the sightline, worm drive circular saws have a clear design advantage. The motor sits behind the blades which give the user a clear and easy view of where the blade is going. On the other hand in sidewinder circular saws, the motor is placed in front of the blade which can block the view of the user.

Circular Saw Weight Distribution

Sidewinder circular saws take a clear lead when it comes to weight distribution. In a Worm drive, circular saw the motor sits behind the blade. Which not only makes it much heavier it also makes it much longer in size which creates an uneven distribution of weight. This makes it much more difficult to balance the saw without a steady surface to support the weight of the machine while cutting.

Circular Saw Blades

A Couple Circular Saw Blade Top Picks:

Difference Between Skill Saw and Circular Saw Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the term skill saw is nothing more than just a misnomer for circular saws. You won’t hear a lot of new woodworkers use this term because it is slowly going out of fashion. However, you might still hear both these terms being used interchangeably by older contractors and woodworkers.

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