The Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 is a superb 7¼” worm drive circular saw. Its motor design and incredibly low weight, combined with extreme durability have made this one of the most appreciated trim saws for contractors and professional framers. I’ll be providing a full review of the Skilsaw corded 7¼” circular saw.
I know there is a lot of debate about which is better; a sidewinder or worm drive circular saw? I would like to address this question before moving on to the Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 review.
Worm Drive vs Sidewinder Circular Saws
Worm drive saws tend to be more expensive. For this reason, many circular saw buyers prefer sidewinders, simply to save a few bucks. Though, are worm drive saws better than sidewinders?
In my opinion, worm drive circular saws are the better option. While sidewinders generally have a higher RPM, worm drive offers more torque. The extra torque gives you the power you need for cutting hardwoods without losing power. That, as far as I’m concerned, is a massive advantage.
Because worm drive gears are more robust, and the saw does not have to work so hard (thanks to the extra torque), worm drive saws last much longer. This is especially true for contractors who expect their tools to work much harder than in a DIY environment.
As a right-handed guy, I also prefer the motor position which makes it much easier to see what you’re doing.
Skilsaw was the original worm drive saw. As a result, many consider them the leaders in this field. Personally, I have massive respect for the Skilsaw brand, especially their worm drive models. You may be wondering what the difference is between Skil and Skilsaw. Generally, Skilsaw models are more expensive, intended for professionals and contractors. Whereas Skil is a cheaper brand used by DIYers and light-duty professional applications. Both brands belong to Skil.
Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 ǀ The Full Review
- Weighs only 11.5 LBS
- Cut-ready depth of cut system for easy accurate measurements
- 53° bevel
- 15A power
- Oil-lubricated worm gears for improved durability
- Impact-resistant carbide blade
- Magnesium foot
- Anti-snag lower blade guard
- Saw hook
- Easy to use spindle lock
The most impressive thing about the Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 has to be the extensive use of magnesium – for the foot and gears. This is an amazing material for circular saw construction. It’s extremely lightweight. As a result, the 7¼” Skilsaw weighs only 11.5 pounds. Furthermore, magnesium is about the most durable metal you can get. It won’t warp or bend over time and can handle just about anything you throw at it.
The 15A 110V motor is also pretty incredible. It has been designed specifically for hardworking jobsite environments. This means you can work hard all day long without the motor overheating. It will probably outlast most other circular saw motors.
Power is also quite incredible. The Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 is rated at 5,300 RPM no-load speed. That’s a lot higher than most other worm drive saws, which are typically below 5,000 RPM. Heck, this is almost sidewinder territory in terms of blade speed. Which sort of gives you the best of both worlds; the smooth fast cuts of a high-RPM saw combined with the torque and durability of a worm drive.
When it comes to using the Skilsaw SPT77WML-01, things really start to get exciting. The worm drive design makes it wonderfully balanced. Along with the lowest weight in its class, this truly is a nimble saw. You have an extremely comfortable grip on the rear and front handles, with plenty of padding so you hardly feel any vibration. While I like the trigger switch configuration, it isn’t that great when you’re wearing thick gloves.
The blade guard is one of the best for anti-snag design, making it very convenient for thinner material. The Cut-Ready depth of cut system makes it super quick and easy to set the saw up for standard ply – ¼”, ½”, ¾”, and 2X. Maximum cutting depth at 90° is 2⅜”, at 45° it is 1¹⁵⁄₁₆”. It has a bevel capacity of 53°, with positive stops at 0° and 45°. The 24-tooth carbide blade that is supplied with the saw is super-tough and pretty amazing in all aspects.
As magnificent as this little saw is, it is not without its faults. Okay, perhaps not faults, just stuff that I would have preferred they did differently. For one thing, this saw doesn’t have an electric brake, which is something I really like. Considering that this is a heavy-duty 7¼”, which will mostly be used on jobsites, I think a more robust cord guard (where the cord enters the handle of the saw) would have been better. The cord could also have been a little longer.
When all is said and done, my issues with the Skilsaw SPT77WML-01 are pretty minor, considering all the incredible benefits. This is a wonderfully lightweight and extremely durable 7¼” corded saw. It is an absolute pleasure to use and is perfect if spot-on accuracy is important to you. I really love this little machine.