What Is a Skill Saw? A Detailed Guide

A skill saw is often mistaken by a circular saw. But in actual it is one of the earliest types of a circular saw. The confusion began when a brand named “Skilsaw” manufactured the first hand-held circular saw. The saw was gained popularity on such a large scale that every hand-held circular saw is thought to be a skill saw.

A skill saw or a circular saw is used generally to cut small boards. Its handheld feature has replaced the other larger saws with time.

When examined, the features of both devices seem to differ at some points. The circular saw is backed by several manufacturers. However, the skill saw is manufactured single-handedly.

What differentiates a skill saw from a circular saw? The confusion is still a mystery to solve. If you too are looking for the answer then have a look at this detailed article.

Origination of Skill Saw

Before discussing the inception of the skill saw, one must discuss what marks the beginning of this category of saws.

There are several fallacies regarding the invention of circular saws. The most acceptable one hints about its beginning in the 19th century. Samuel Miller was the one who brought up this idea. He was later awarded a patent for designing a machine mounting circular saw.

On contrary, the credit of fashioning out a skill saw goes to Edmond Michel. In the early 20th century, Michel came up with the idea of an electrical saw small enough to carry in hands.

The skill saw was then produced on a larger scale by the Michel Electric Handsaw Company. The company was later named as Skilsaw and was spearheaded by Michel and his partner Joseph Sullivan.

10 Features of a Skill Saw

1. Design

Due to its unique design, the skill saw was successful enough to prevail over its former types.

It is also called a worm drive circular saw. This type of saw delivers more power and compactness while cutting.

On starting the saw, the gears deliver power to the toothed disc and it rotates rapidly. The overall construction of a skill saw makes it a kind of power tool.

2. Quality

Manufacturing since ages, the Skilsaw has won the confidence of people. The heavy-duty construction of the saw makes it a more reliable option.

Moreover, the product is still a top customer priority which signifies that they haven’t compromised their quality till now.

3. Versatility

Several new designs of skill saw are introduced by the company every year. Also, the saw can be utilized for a wide range of jobs. But since a single company is designing it, the area for choice can be limited.

Comparatively, many companies are making circular saws, you can have a greater area of variety if you opt to skip Skilsaw.

4. Weight

One distinctive feature of the saw is that it is easy to carry. This light-weight handheld device can make your difficult tasks easier.

The availability of the benchtop skill saws has further reduced the stress on artisans. Power and torque combined deliver more efficiency while tackling difficult rip cuts.

Skilsaw, along with innovations, has managed to maintain its long tradition of light weightedness.

5. Portability

Skill saw gained popularity mainly because it was portable. It made possible to carry out high powered saws along with them anywhere.

Though several competing devices are available in the market, skill saw is still winning to provide portability with quality.

6. Precision

The old large saws and table saws were challenging to maintain precision. A skill saw, which can be carried by a powerful grip, is perfect to make accurate cuts.

For miter cuts, position the shoe of the saw and push.

For bevel cuts, you only need to set the desired angle at bevel gauge. And you are all set to start cutting your project.

7. Cost

The cost of a skill saw is often higher than a circular saw. However, for a lower cost, you might be compromising the quality.

However, there can be variation in prices depending upon:

  • The company from where you are buying
  • The size
  • The model

8. Cutting Speed

While a conventional circular saw can be used to make small cuts, a skill saw can manage different cuts at a higher pace.

A wood, metal or concrete, all can be cut easily by the provision of a skill saw.

9. Blades

While a circular saw can make cuts of 2-3 inches, a skill saw comes with a variety of blades which can make you cut all types of materials with a single device.

Along with efficiency, the skill saw proves to be a time saver as it provides portability, durability and versatility all in a single operator.

10. Safety

Fancy features won’t matter when it comes to risky devices like a saw with a deadly blade in it.

The Skilsaw has been manufacturing saws for decades. For safety, we suggest you to go for a reliable company rather than any common circular saw.

Safety Precautions While Using a Skill Saw

As the device contains a blade and works on electricity, it can cause severe harm. We suggest you follow the following precautions before starting your job:

  • Your work area must be clean and bright to have clear visibility.
  • The scroll saw should not be operated in atmospheres containing flammable material.
  • Keep all sources of distraction away while operating to avoid control loss.
  • Avoid body contact with the earth to prevent electrical shocks.
  • Operating in the damped atmosphere is prohibited to avoid electrical shocks.
  • Use personal protective equipment including eye and hearing protection, dust mask and safety shoes.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to avoid any accident.

Maintenance of a Skill Saw

Proper maintenance is required for sustainable performance of skill saw. Follow the given instructions to increase the longevity of your saw:

  • Keep the skill saw away from moisture to avoid rusting.
  • Overheating may damage the device.
  • Use the skill saw only for the purpose recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Clean the blades after doing your task to avoid dust or other deteriorating particles.
  • Lubrication of gears to maintain the effectiveness of the device.


Though several options available in the market, if one opts for quality over variety, skill saw would be the best available option. The device is known for its durability and portability in several operating areas. However, numerous competitors with affordable price ranges are emerging to beat this expensive yet hard-wearing device.

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