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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2008
After too many years of unsatisfactory results with yellow and gray sidewinder circular saws, I decided I deserved a good worm drive saw. All the reviews of the Skilsaw were pretty positive, and I liked the idea that Bosch had continued making such an old design with limited changes. First use was a revelation, As many have noted, the saw tracks very well, and following a line is no longer a WAG as with a sidewinder. Some other handy features are the depth markings on the shoe adjuster, the folding hanger hook, and even the sole plate has been thoughtfully dimensioned to 1 1/2" on one side of the blade and 3 1/2" on the other. Can you say, "Standard 2 x 4 size"?
In spite of light alloy usage, this a heavy machine. I suppose the weight is something of an advantage as the power output is substantial. It amazes me to see videos of pros using this tool with one hand on framing jobs at scary heights. All in all, a good product, good enough that finding one on eBay for much below market doesn't happen very often.

jb
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2008
My new Skil SHD77M arrived. I heard that there was a problem of the base plate not being flat, but assumed Skil had fixed that. Mine is way out of flat! The whole saw rocks as you place it on the work piece. So, back she goes. What a pain.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2011
this is the classic framing saw, I wanted a high quality handheld circular saw and based on what I saw contractors using I figured if I got this one I couldn't go wrong. Well, I sort of did. I bought this not from Amazon but from CPO Skil as a recon; the saw is great. BUT. the foot when set at the 0 degree detent is not exactly 90 degrees to the blade, and there's no adjustment. The Bosch 1677M which is the new and updated version of this same saw includes among other improvements a foot assembly with a fine tuning adjustment for just this issue. The good news for me is that I can buy the Bosch replacement foot for less than the cost difference between what I paid for my recon Skil and a new Bosch saw, and the part numbers for the two case pieces are identical so it should be compatible; however, if buying new, I would highly recommend going with the Bosch 1677M just for that one refinement alone. Yes I know that it is a framing saw but there's no reason that a tool of this quality AND PRICE shouldn't be able to be set up to produce exactly square cuts without fiddling around with fine setup - if there's a 0 degree detent, it should be able to be adjusted so that the detent is at zero degrees plus or minus a fraction of a degree. The Skil is not capable of this out of the box; the Bosch is. 'nuff said.

This isn't a *bad* saw... but the Bosch is a refinement of this same design (Bosch owns the Skil name now. I'm not sure why there's differences between the Bosch saw and the Skil - you'd think that they would have discontinued one, and/or applied improvements equally to both. But they didn't, and the Bosch in my opinion is the superior product, even taking into account that the Bosch is typically slightly more expensive most places that you look.)
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2012
The manufacture is farmed out to a Chinese subcontractor, who then subs out various parts to varying subs and assembles it. the result is a saw of variable quality and usefulness. I have had a US version forever, and bought a new one because I had a helper on a big project, and I wanted him to do as well with his saw as I do with mine. I knew it was pretty poor when I held it in my hand as I released the trigger and felt the roughness as it wound down. On a US saw, that would be a sign to take it in and get the bearings replaced. This new saw started out life with bad bearings. I took it back to the store and the guy shrugged, saying they are all like that. He let me pick my replacement, and some were rough, a few were smoother, so I took one of them.

My helper and I both soon saw that the base plate was a hodgepodge of problems. The parts seemed to be just poor copies of the original. hv Same as others have reported here. Also, the motor smells like it is running hot.I expect it to fail soon, as that smell always foretells a burned out motor.

I returned it for a refund, and bought a Harbor freight cheapie as a 2nd saw. It is no prize, but it is cheap, and I paid extra for the 2 yr replacement warranty.

Too bad. The DeWalt 77 used to be the best saw out there.

I finally acquired a shelf demo that was USA made and am happy as a clam at high tide. It feels like a Swiss watch compared to my elderly 77, and made the Chinese 77 feel like a cement mixer full of rocks.
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55 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2007
This is the son of the saw that built America, aka the Skilsaw. Notice that it's Skil and not Skill, and Happyness vs. Happiness. Today this saw has more variants than a 60's Corvette. The most recent upgrade includes a magnesium housing, aluminum foot, higher temperature motor wiring, and 2 more amps of current usage (hopefully translating into more power). Like many of you who don't own a worm drive Skilsaw, I was confused and am still confused about which one to buy. When in doubt, buy the most expensive model in the line. Ha ha. There are variants built out of steel, those with a removal cord, and even one that sits on wheels. This is not a joke. I saw one with an accessory plate that had 4 wheels on it. I ordered this just to have a saw that could ride atop concrete. The accessory was priced at $62, and is not offered by Amazon yet. Stay tuned. Anyway, the version of the SHD77M you should buy is the SHD77M-22. That version has a cloth bag. Now let's get to my evaluation of the saw. Power corrupts absolutely. There is no substitute for power. Once you get used to power, you don't want to go back. If you are cutting moist 2 x 12's or are building a deck with Ipe or Tiger Deck materials, a smooth and powerful saw is your only ticket. Another thing this saw does is score concrete. I use this term lightly because a 1/4" depth of cut is almost like scoring the material. That's Skil's recommendation, but you might want to plunge 1/2" with the right blade. Make sure it can take the rpm of this saw. They also recommend successive cuts, which I like to do just to keep the heat down. Okay, now that I have described the power and smooth sound you get out of this saw, let me get down to precision. First, the included carbide blade is disposable. The tips, when viewed closely, have chips on the side. But it cuts and it came with the saw, so use it until you have need of a better blade. Others have noted that the base plate is not exactly level. It bows in the middle looking front to back. You don't even need a precision level to see this, as it is off by around 1/32" or so. On a large flat surface, maybe 20% of the plate is resting on the wood. This might be a design or manufacturing issue. I could theorize how this could be good, as it reduces the friction/drag as you slide across wood. There is a saying in woodworking that you should measure twice and cut once. However, when you build a house, there are instances where you measure once and cut twice. The second cut is with the wood nailed in place. You want the saw to slide smoothly and not get snagged anywhere. A swirl or gouge on an edge can ruin the piece or pieces. So, I have to assume that Skil designed the plate based on a lot of hands-on experience. As for fit and finish, the plate is rugged (thick) but not a perfect rectangle or even a parallelogram. I tried using the left and right edges against a metal fence to determine which one gave a cut parallel to the fence. The right side won. Lefty was a little off (I'm picky). The amount of metal on each side is sufficient if you want to machine it square, but why bother? Out of the box, the blade cut at 90 degrees along the vertical. This is good, and should save you from having to shim the saw (you have to loosen some Torx screws to accomplish this). The two v-notched cutting guides are accurate, and acceptable for this type of tool. The handles are made of a plastic or composite. Since I did not subject this to a drop test, I can't vouch for their longevity. But plastic worries me. Too much plastic in a Bosch saw cheapened it. Luckily the two most stressed user adjustment points on the Skilsaw, the depth and miter screws/levers are both metal. Overall, I am pleased with this saw. It is not perfect, but then it does not cost as much as a Hilti. Nor was the Skilsaw designed for precision finish woodwork. That's what my table saw and miter saw are for. This is a carpenter's saw. I hope the new generation is as reliable as the old.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2011
I've used this saw for many years in construction and it's never let me down. I've noticed the complaints about the shoe plate. It's designed to have less drag so it has high points on it. Unless you've bent it it should work great. After bending it (and you will if you work it hard) you have to use care to bend it back properly. I keep mine sanded with emery cloth for a very smooth cut. Because of the design of the shoe I did use a diamond bur to enlarge the slot in the 45 degree pivot so I can get a perfect 90 degrees after years of use. I've yet to have trouble cutting even the hardest woods.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2009
I purchase all of my tools (way too many if you ask my wife) from Amazon and very rarely, because I read all of the user reviews, am I disappointed. In this case I didn't listen to the one reviewer who found the problem with the base plate wobble. After a number of hours trying to figure out why I kept failing to get "square" cuts I finally figured out it was this miserable saw. The plate has a heavy 1/16th to 1/8th play that can't be tightened away. It's how the pin that holds the plate is machined.

Thankfully, Amazon stood by this defective product and accepted the return.

I too always go by the user reviews but BEWARE this time, the 4 to 5 star review is deceiving. If you get one of these defective saws you'll be very very frustrated. I'd get something else until Skill fixes this design problem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2014
Made in china…..sigh..

While this may not be news to you the quality issues are truly related to cutting corners.

Combined with the fact the saws cost MORE than ever!

So we are paying MORE for less quality so Skiltools can make more money!

Don't buy skiltools saws. Look for a used USA model. Even if you find one that is beat to heck looking if it is an older USA model I can assure you it will out perform and out last these impostors.

Bosch also makes a non-china worm drive saw worth having a look at.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2011
Not so pleased. Here's why:
1. blade guard lever is too small and I am inclined to accidentally grab for the depth adjustment lever due to its size and proximity to the blade guard lever
2. quick release levers for bevel and depth adjustments are flimsy stamped steel and cumbersome to operate
3. bevel and depth adjustments are difficult, stick, and are not smooth
4. cooling fan inside motor housing broke loose before the saw was a month old, now the saw is not operable.

This is a worm drive saw, patented by skill almost 100 years ago. I don't think the design has been updated in 100 years and it shows in the clumsy features of this saw!

Try another brand, not this imported imitation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2014
Bought this to cut Hardiboard siding. The inline handle made using it all day for a week a non-issue. The 2x4 hook keeps the tool hanging on a sawhorse keeps the tool off the ground, saves your back and keep trip hazzards way down. Powerfull enough to cut through 2x12 without even so much as a change in rmp sound. Comes with a faily good blade for rough cuts but not the best for finish cutting plywood.

The one down side is that the depth and angle guage are a little tricky to read the first time you go to set them.
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