Skill Saw Vs. Circular Saw: Which Is Better?

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For most people who work with any tool types, what matters most is the quality of work and the results they get. In this case, what calls the shots is the type of tool, the process one goes through to get it, and its performance. However, even as one makes the effort, there’s always a challenge in getting the right tool.

For workpiece cutting, the most common tool is a saw. With the different types, however, one needs to focus better for them to pick the right one. In light of that, this article sought to explore two types of these tools, that is, a skill saw vs. circular saw, explore their varied features, and similarities and differences.

What is A Skill Saw?

A skill saw is defined as a power saw designed with a rapidly rotating and toothed disc. The name originated from around the turn of the 20th Century (1923-1924) when Edmond Michel and his partner Joseph Sullivan joined hands as business partners. Their partnership was mainly to manufacture and market the worm-drive saw that Edmond had invented in 1923.

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SKILSAW SPT77WML-01 15-Amp 7-1/4-Inch...
  • Lightest magnesium construction reduces user fatigue for less down time
  • Cut-Ready depth of cut system helps with quick, accurate depth measurements
  • 53° bevel allows users to complete a wider variety of cuts
  • 15 Amp of power gives users the power to rip through more lumber in less time
  • The anti-snag lower guard provides smooth operation for small cut-off pieces

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  • Powerful 15 Amp motor and durable worm drive gears for pro performance and long life.
  • Cut-ready depth-of-cut system helps with quick accurate depth adjustments.
  • Multi-function wrench for a variety of uses on the jobsite and conveniently stores in the foot.
  • 51 degree bevel allows users to complete a wide variety of cuts.

3. Upgrade Pick

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SKILSAW SPT70V-11Super Sawsquatch...
  • 6-1/4 inch Cutting capacity for one-and-done, clean cuts through 6x and lumber up to 6-1/4 inch Thick
  • Largest capacity worm drive circular saw that delivers Relentless power for the Biggest jobs
  • Tough, durable magnesium die-cast footplate ensures accurate cuts every time; all magnesium construction for durability and reduced weight
  • 15 amp Dual-Field motor keeps the motor cooler to provide increased power; Bevel Stops: 0°, 45°
  • 16- 5/16 inch SKILSAW blade to make perfect cuts right out of the box

4. Good choice

SKIL SHD77 15 Amp 7-1/4-Inch Worm Drive...
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SKIL SHD77 15 Amp 7-1/4-Inch Worm Drive...
  • 20 amp switch and heavy gauge cord
  • Anti-Snag Lower Guard reduces snags
  • Die-cast aluminum motor and gear housings for durability
  • Push button blade lock for easy blade changes
  • Two position saw hook for safe rafter placement

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  • Die-cast aluminum motor and gear housings for durability
  • 22-Amp switch and heavy-gauge cord
  • Precision-machined, durable worm-drive gears for longer tool life
  • Exclusive 53 degree bevel feature with 7 1/4-inch blade is ideal for angled cuts
  • Diablo blade for the tough chores

Together, the duo started a company, the Michel Electric Handsaw Company, which was later renamed to Skilsaw Inc. They also went ahead and filed for patents for the saw. The name of the saw was, eventually adopted from the company’s name.

Skilsaw Inc. produced their first generation saw with a worm drive. Over the time, the name Skil has been used to refer to any handheld circular saw since Skilsaw Inc. was the pioneer manufacturer of those saws.

In recent decades, there has been an upsurge in the production of such kind of saws. Even though the tendency of using the name skill saw on them is lessening, people are yet to adapt to using the actual brand names for the saws.

What is A Circular Saw?

A circular saw is a power tool that’s used for cutting different materials, mostly timber to make lumber. The saw is designed with an abrasive disc or blade with sawing teeth and cuts the materials by way of a rotary motion spinning around an arbor.

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Makita XSH03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion...
  • Bl motor delivers 5, 000 RPM for faster cutting and ripping
  • Automatic speed change technology adjusts speed and torque during operation for optimum performance
  • Compact and ergonomic design at only 13 to 3/4 inches Long
  • Weighs only 7.3 pounds with battery (battery not included) for reduced operator fatigue
  • Large cutting capacity (2 to 1/4 inches at 90 degree) and bevel capacity (0 degree to 50 degree)

2. Budget Pick

TACKLIFE Upgraded 12.5-Amp 1800W 7-1/2'...
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TACKLIFE Upgraded 12.5-Amp 1800W 7-1/2"...
  • ▲【Efficient & Powerful Motor】The 12.5-Amp 1,800W Powerful pure copper motor is efficient for greater speed and faster cuts, safe time for your woodworking project. Lightweight 8.5-lb design reduces fatigue. Two-way button makes it also an ideal circular saw for left-handed workers.
  • ▲【Adjustable Cutting Angle】Max cutting depth at 90° is 2-1/2-inch(67mm) and bevel capacity at 45° is 1-4/5-inch(47mm), you are able to adjust the left bevel cutting from 0° to 45°. 24T 7-1/2-inch(190mm) bigger circular saw blade is applicable for cutting wood, tile, plywood, soft metal.
  • ▲【Tilted Dust Vacuum Port】Detachable 1-2/5-inch(35mm) dust vacuum port in diameter make it possible to connect your vacuum cleaner, maintaining a clean working space. Slightly sloping dust holes prevents wood chips from flying to your face, offering a comfortable working experience.
  • ▲【Aluminum Guard & Iron Shoe】Aluminum alloy guard increases diversity of use and extends tool life. High strength Iron shoe and high hardness saw blade serration provides durability for long-term cut accuracy. Included guide ruler offers simpler parallel cutting.
  • ▲【Safe & Reliable】The circular saw prevents inadvertent connection due to the design of double-safety switch; Only when both switches are pressed on will the machine begin to work. Rubber-wrapped handles are ergonomic and reduce fatigue for long hours cuts.

3. Upgrade Pick

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Makita 5477NB 7-1/4' Hypoid Saw
349 Reviews
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  • Efficient hypoid gears deliver more power and greater surface contact than conventional worm drive gears.
  • Powerful 15 AMP motor for increased productivity.
  • Oil bath technology and sealed gear housing for less maintenance.
  • 0º - 51.5º bevel capacity with positive stops at 45º and 51.5º is ideal for truss and rafter cut-outs.
  • High quality, heat treated hypoid gears are engineered for long lasting performance.

4. Good choice

Ryobi P506 One+ Lithium Ion 18V 5 1/2...
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Ryobi P506 One+ Lithium Ion 18V 5 1/2...
  • EASY GRIP: Rubber overmold makes it easy for you to grip and control this tool, even in slippery conditions
  • LASER GUIDE: The tool generates a red line on the work surface in front of the saw upon the tool’s activation, letting you see where you’re working
  • ADJUSTMENT: Easy-access knobs let you adjust your depth up to 1 9/16 inches and your beveling angle from 0 to 50 degrees
  • ONE+ COMPATIBLE: This tool is compatible with many Ryobi battery, including the P100, P101, P102, P103, P104, P105, P107, and P108
  • INCLUDED BLADE AND BLADE WRENCH: A 5 1/2 inch blade, tipped with carbide to reduce corrosion and wear, is included. The wrench used to remove the blade is included in a slot on the tool

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  • ELECTRONIC BRAKES will stop your blade quickly when you’re finished with your cut. You won’t need to waste time waiting around for the blade to slow down, so you can get back to work quickly
  • SOFT GRIP HANDLE provides maximum comfort so you can work with precision in slippery environments
  • BEVEL AND DEPTH ADJUSTMENT: You can adjust the depth up to 1 1/2" and the bevel up to 45 degrees, giving you a huge degree of versatility in your cuts
  • MAGNESIUM GUARDS on the top and bottom of the blade well keep the unit protected from impacts like bumps and drops of several feet. This will allow you to work confident in the safety of your tool and yourself
  • M18 COMPATIBLE: This cordless circular saw is compatible with Milwaukee M18 18 Volt Lithium Ion batteries. Compatible models include the 48-11-1860, 48-11-1850, 48-11-1828, 48-11-1815, 48-11-1840, and 48-11-1820

The first circular saw was produced in the late 18th Century and became a common tool in sawmills around the United States mid-19th Century. It’s now widely used for cutting wood, plastic, metal, or masonry materials either while mounted or handheld.

The saw has also grown to be one of the most preferred due to the convenience it brings along. The user only needs to adjust the height and depth by lining the saw up to where they want it to make the cut. The saw is then pushed with enough force to make the cuts as it glides along or across the surface of the workpiece.

For most professionals and DIYers, the circular saw is one of the top-trending tools they must have. Its versatility allows the user to do more, be it cutting wood or even harder materials like stone and plastic. So, an individual who wants to cut lumber can also depend on the circular saw’s prowess.

As mentioned earlier, it’s worth noting that the term “Skil saw” has for long been a generic trademark for conventional handheld circular saws.

Commonly, the term “circular saw” is used to refer to the handheld type of the circular saw franchise. Other types include the table saw and chop saw.

Circular saw vs skill saw

From the 19th Century, the term skill saw has been widely used to refer to all circular saws since the onset of the first designs made by the Skilsaw Inc. company. As of today, the two are more or less the same only that the names are used based on the brand.

A skill saw, in this case, is a circular saw produced by the Skilsaw company.

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Types of Circular Saws

Apart from the handheld circular saws, other saw models that use circular saw blades include:

  • Abrasive Saw: - this type is also called a a miter saw is different to a circular saw. and features a circular blade. The saw is typically used for cutting hard materials such as tiles, metals, and concrete. The saw cuts the materials using an abrasive disc that is similar to a thin grinding wheel.
  • Miter saw: - a miter saw is different to a circular saw. It's a power tool used for making accurate miters and crosscuts in a workpiece. The design is for the user to pull a large mounted circular saw blade or large backsaw downwards on a board in quick motions to make a cut.
  • Carbide Saw: - this tools features tooth made from cemented carbide and has other types like carbide hot and carbide ring saws.
  • Cold saw: - circular saws with options of corded and cordless is designed for cutting metal and uses toothed blade which transfers the heat generated by the cutting process to the chips that are created by the saw blade.
  • Concrete saw: - a concrete saw is used for cutting masonry, asphalt, concrete, tile, bricks, and other solid materials. Its types include big walk-behind, chop-saw, and small handheld saws.
  • Table saw: - this is a woodworking tool that consists of a circular saw blade usually mounted on an arbor and driven by an electric motor. The mechanism allows the blade to protrude through the surface of a table surface to provide support for the material being cut.
  • Flip over saws:- these types of saws are usually a combination of a table saw and compound miter saw.

Other common circular saws include the biscuit joiner saw, brushcutter saw, multi-tool saw, panel saw, pendulum, radial arm, sally, and swing blade saws.

Modern Handheld Circular Saw

The circular saw (or skill saw, depending on the term you’re comfortable with) is used generally for cutting small boards. It’s a handheld tool but not one to scoff at. Despite it being small, it’s powerful and packs a huge punch. Also, the versatility it offers has seen it replace other larger saws over time.

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Precision

When it comes to precision, the circular saw is an almost perfect replacement for the table saw. It only takes a few measurements to make accurate cuts even in long and thick workpieces. If you want miter cuts, you will only need to align the shoe of the saw and then push. For beveled cuts, you only toy around with the bevel gauge until you get the right angle and then push the blade through the workpiece.

Speed cutting

The circular saw also boasts of speed cutting to fit the user’s desired speeds. It can also be used on a board or even on the ground. It only needs to be slightly elevated to give it enough clearance to pass through the boards in just one pass.

Portability

The saw also brings along the ease of portability for people who keep on moving from one workspace to another. With it, you can change job sites with ease without the worry of storage and transportation. Also, since it’s a lightweight design tool, you can go with it to where the materials are instead of the vice versa.

Safety

The saws have evolved too and safety has been the top point of focus for most productions. On that note, they are evidently more secure to use compared to the likes of the old radial arm and table saws.

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