The term "circular saw" technically refers to any saw with a circular blade. However, we usually refer to tools like our best circular saw reviews. What do you know about the circular saw – like who invented it and where the Skilsaw name and brand came from? We offer you a "5 minute" overview of the history of circular saws.
A Brief History of Who Invented the Circular Saw
- Invented by Edmund Michel in 1923
- Joseph W. Sullivan works with Michel to improve the electric hand saw and starts The Michel Electric Handsaw Company in 1924
- Originally called "Skilsaw"
- 1926 – Michel leaves the company and the company changes its name to "SKILSAW Incorporated"
- 1928 – Art Emmons invents the first rattlesnake circular saw for Porter-Cable
- 1937 – Model 77 circular saw is introduced
- 1985 – Matsushita Electric Works receives a patent for a battery-operated circular saw
- 2009 – US Patent Office grants Milwaukee Electric Tool Company a patent for lithium-based battery packs
Edmond Michel developed the first electric hand saw in 1923. Working with farmland developer Joseph W. Sullivan, they made improvements and formed the Michel Electric Handsaw Company.
It was here that the hand-held circular saw as we know it was first known as the "Skilsaw". The name is so synonymous with a handheld circular saw that many people still refer to models of any make as Skilsaws.
To pursue other inventions, Michel left his company in 1926, which changed its name to SKILSAW Incorporated.
Obtained a patent for a worm drive circular saw
This original design is patented for a worm drive circular saw. In 1928, Art Emmons, on behalf of Porter-Cable, invented the first rattlesnake circular saw to circumvent these patents. East coast and west coast construction will never agree on a circular saw style again.
Also in 1928, as die-cast aluminum began to find its way into power tools to make them lighter and stronger, Skilsaw produced the Model E.
Skilsaw Model 77
By 1937, the first Skilsaw Model 77 was produced – a classic design that formed the basis for today's Skilsaw Model 77 circular saw.
In 1985, with the efforts of Hiroyuki Ando, Toshio Tanabe and Shinji Ihara, Matsushita Electric Works patented a battery-operated circular saw.
Heralding the modern age of cordless circular saws, the Milwaukee Electric Tool Company was granted a patent by the US Patent Office in 2009. The patent approved their application for a lithium-based battery pack. It changed the course of history for cordless tools. Milwaukee was subsequently awarded additional patents for high current draw applications (2011).
Almost every major tool brand now has corded and cordless "Skilsaws," and lithium-ion battery technology allows cordless models to outperform corded models.
Here's a 5 minute history of who invented the circular saw, thanks for reading!