Skil just announced two new circular saws and a new brand identity—which to you and me means a new look and logo. The new logo is shaped like the diamond arbor on a wormdrive and says Skilsaw rather than Skil. It looks good, and the saws do too, but what really matters is how they work. Let’s hope Skil builds them as well as they do their wormdrives, because sooner or later the prettiness wears off and then all you have is the tool.
I expect to see these saws in person next month at the STAFDA show, and test them at some later date. For now, all I have to go on is a press release and some bits and pieces of information I found online. Here’s what I can tell you about Skil’s new sidewinders.
There will be two models, each with a 15 amp Dual-Field motor, which uses a unique copper winding pattern to increase surface air and make it easier to cool. According to Skil the saws will have best-in-class torque and power. When manufacturers say best-in-class they usually mean “best in their price range”. Both tools are made in China and include a Stay True Guarantee; use the saw for up to 180 days and if you don’t like how it works you can return it for a refund.
The SPT67WM-22 has a magnesium base and guard, and is be the only circular saw on the market with an all-magnesium housing. Skil went with an all metal housing to increase strength and help dissipate motor heat. The saw weighs 8.8 pounds, has a 10-foot cord, and bevels up to 56 degrees. It includes a 24T Freud Diablo blade and has a suggested retail price of $129.
The SPT67WL-01 has a resin (plastic) motor housing and weighs 8.6 pounds. According to Skil, this will make it the lightest weigh pro-grade circular saw on the market. The suggested retail price for the tool is $119.
If the price of these saws is an indication of quality, then they seem positioned to complete with some of the less expensive pro-grade models from companies like DeWalt and Makita.
Stu from Toolguyd posted an interesting analysis of Skil's rebranding efforts. I think he's right when he says the company is trying to separate their pro-grade tools from their DIY product. In the years after it was acquired by Bosch (in the mid-1990s) Skil's product line came to be aimed at the DIYer-everything except the wormdrives, which continued to be pro-grade tools. Skil's decision to introduce higher-end sidewinders, which promise to be on par with the company's wormdrives, is good news for pros.