The Evolution of SKIL Model 77 Worm Drive Saw
The SKIL Model 77 Worm Drive Saw, first introduced in 1937, has undergone significant improvements over the years. The latest iteration, the SKIL Mag 77 SHD77M, features a lighter magnesium case. With decades of experience, SKIL engineers have perfected the Worm Drive Circular Saw. While not a new release, this model continues to set the standard for worm drive saws.
To truly appreciate this tool, let’s delve into the history of the SKIL 77 Skilsaw. In 1924, the Michel Electric Handsaw Company designed and built the first electric hand saw. Two years later, the company rebranded as Skilsaw Inc. Their groundbreaking achievement came in 1928 with the introduction of the Skilsaw Model E circular saw, boasting a die-cast aluminum motor housing. Building upon the success of the Model E, Skilsaw designed and produced the Skilsaw Model 77 in 1937. Despite numerous improvements over the past 70+ years, the Model 77 has retained its original design. Its trailblazing reputation has led people to mistakenly refer to all other circular saw brands as “Skilsaw.” Over the years, countless homes have been constructed with the help of carpenters relying on their trusty “Skilsaw.”
Unparalleled Build Quality
The SKIL Mag 77 SHD77M boasts a magnesium motor and gearbox, ensuring both durability and weight reduction. Compared to the standard SHD77 model, it is two pounds lighter. The saw’s base plate is made from aerospace-grade aluminum, guaranteeing top-notch quality. Unlike many saws, the SKIL Mag 77 SHD77M utilizes minimal plastic parts, with the only major component being the comfortable red ABS handle. Its heavy-duty 20A rated switching type trigger allows for easy and immediate operation, eliminating the need for safety catches or extra buttons.
Among the standout features is the folding hook located at the back of the saw. This clever addition allows the saw to hang securely from a 2x piece of material, solving the problem of balancing the saw after a cut. The patented anti-snag lower blade guard minimizes snags on narrow cuts, while the blade guard automatically retracts during 45-degree angle cuts to prevent jamming. Equipped with a powerful 15 amp full ball bearing motor, this saw is a true workhorse. Its precision-machined worm gears operate in a continuous oil bath, ensuring proper lubrication and cooling. An oil pressure release bellows prevents oil leakage, and an easy-to-read oil level indicator simplifies maintenance. The miter and depth rods are user-friendly, featuring clear indicators for precise adjustments. The entire saw exudes a heavy-duty feel, purpose-built for demanding tasks.
The Power of Worm Drive
For those unfamiliar with worm drive saws, they feature a motor mounted parallel to the blade. A shaft extends from the motor into the gearbox, which houses the worm gear and pinion responsible for transmitting power to the blade. This design boosts torque, resulting in enhanced cutting force. Additionally, the worm drive setup minimizes direct stress on the motor, significantly extending its lifespan. However, it’s worth noting that worm drive saws tend to be weightier compared to their “rattlesnake” counterparts.
While we haven’t personally built a house with the SKIL Mag 77 SHD77M, we can attest to its raw power and ability to cleanly cut through wood. Whether working with pressure-treated wood, regular wood, or plywood, this saw effortlessly handles each task. It’s a machine that devours wood with ease. One adjustment for users to make is getting accustomed to the blade view being on the opposite side from “rattlesnake” saws. Nevertheless, spending a significant amount of time with a circular saw, we find that a worm drive saw, like the SKIL Mag 77 SHD77M, never tires or slows down. It provides a better understanding of the cutting position, although one may need some time to adjust to the additional weight.
In Conclusion: A Timeless Legend
Our admiration goes out to the saw that has been instrumental in shaping America over the past seven decades. The SKIL Mag 77 SHD77M’s direct lineage to the first-ever worm gear drive saw pays homage to the original design. While competitors offer their own versions of worm drive circular saws, it’s hard to deny that this remains the true Skilsaw. In terms of performance, we rate it a 9/10 due to its unmatched popularity. Nevertheless, we would have loved to see it come with a sturdy hard case for convenient storage. When it comes to value, we give it a perfect 10/10. Considering its price, it’s challenging to find a saw with comparable features and such a rich history.
Note: The article contains images from the original source.