While there have been several “worm drive style” cordless circular saws to hit the market, the Skilsaw Cordless Worm Drive Circular Saw is the first one to actually use worm drive gearing. It’s also Skilsaw’s first cordless product since the Pro brand became distinct from Skil on the DIY side.
- Top-tier cutting power and performance
- Excellent tracking
- Perfect notch accuracy at 45º and 90º
- Perfect guard action
- Very low shoe friction
- Outstanding dust and chip removal (without a vac)
- Includes a vac adapter
- Heaviest of the rear-handle group
- Limited number of compatible tools currently
Skilsaw Cordless Worm Drive 48V TrueHVL Power Source
Let’s start with the power source. Skilsaw is going with a 48V battery and the kit comes with a 5.0Ah pack, giving it a total of 240 watt-hours to work with. They’re calling the battery system “TrueHVL”, or True High Voltage Lithium.
There’s no denying it’s a big battery. 48 volts require a 12-cell system and there are 24 cells in the pack. The pack itself weighs a hefty 4.25 pounds.
That might not be too big of a deal, though. When you look at Skilsaw’s lineup, it’s all saws. Sidewinders are pretty much the smallest tool they make, followed by worm drives, chop saws, miter saws, and table saws (plus a few specialty saws).
Hopefully, we’ll see cordless versions of each of those tools. Weight isn’t nearly as important as the power to do the job in those classes. As long as the Skilsaw Cordless Worm Drive can effectively glide over the material it’s cutting, we’re okay with a bigger battery.
Skilsaw Cordless Worm Drive Circular Saw On Paper
Skilsaw’s brushless motor spins its 7-1/4″ blade up to 5800 RPM. That’s plenty of rotation speed and we have no doubt the 48V motor will drive confidently through anything you send a corded worm drive to handle.
At 90º, you’re looking at 2-3/8″ cutting depth that moves to 1-15/16″ at 45º and 1-11/16″ at its full 53º bevel.
As a bare tool, it weighs just 11.09 pounds and the battery brings it to a full weight of 15.34 pounds. Skilsaw’s current range of corded 7-1/4″ worm drives runs 11.5–14.2 pounds, so there is a weight penalty, but it’s not obnoxious. Helping to keep the weight down, the design team turns to magnesium for the guards, base plate, and housings.
Their 16-5/16″ Super Sawsquatch weighs 27.3 pounds, just in case you were wondering.
That’s definitely on the premium side of the market, but not surprising considering the company it’s keeping in the elite upper tier of cordless circular saws.
The Results Are In!
We tested the Skilsaw cordless worm drive head-to-head against other rear-handle and sidewinder styles and it’s clearly part of an elite group of cordless circular saws.
Cutting through two layers 3/4-inch subfloor, it matches the top cutting power among all the cordless saws we tested.
Where it takes things a step further is with its dust and chip removal. With a vac attached to its dust port, there’s very little left behind. Even if you don’t use it, it clears debris away better than the other rear-handle saws we tested. Having the debris travel through the handle to the opposite side of the blade proved to be very helpful in keeping that cutline clear.
Skilsaw’s sightline is decent if you prefer to keep your eyes on the blade while you’re cutting. It’s not as wide open as we saw with Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel rear-handle, though. If you prefer to keep your eyes on the shoe notches, you’re in luck. Those were perfectly aligned at both 0º and 45º with a Spyder framing blade installed.
Skilsaw’s tracking was also dead-on. A few of the saws we tested alongside it tended to wander 1/8-inch side-to-side, but the TrueHVL worm drive also tracked incredibly true on our hand-guided cuts.
We tested a variety of cross cuts in 3/4-inch and 2x materials along with bevel, miter, and compound cuts. There were a handful of models that ran into trouble on some of the cuts. But in all of them, the Skilsaw cordless worm drive’s guard slid up and over the material smoothly.
The shoe also has a very low friction level compared to other cordless saws. The coating allows it to glide easily over wood and help you keep moving it forward.
Both as a bare tool and with its 5.0Ah battery, Skilsaw’s worm drive is heavier than the rest of the group. Because of the low shoe friction and excellent cutting power, it’s not something that’s a big deal when you’re cutting most materials. You’ll notice most when you’re carrying the saw around the site or if you have to make a vertical or overhead cut on material that’s already installed.
We really liked the handle ergonomics, though. The angles are just right and we appreciate that there’s some thickness to the secondary handle for those of us that don’t have smaller hands.
The Bottom Line
There’s no doubt the Skilsaw cordless worm drive should be on your radar if you’re on the hunt for a high-performance cordless circular saw. It nails the most important characteristics we look for in performance, accuracy, and movement. If you don’t mind a little extra weight, the SPTH77M does everything you need to replace your corded worm drive permanently.