In late 2014, Skilsaw released a 10 ¼-inch beam saw called the Sawsquatch. I was excited to try this saw out because this was a saw designed to spin a larger blade, unlike the Big Foot saws we had been using for years. Those saws took Bosch or Skil bodies and adapted the guards to use larger blades. I wrote about our experience with the Sawsquatch and concluded the review by saying, “if I was buying now, I’d save up and get a Sawsquatch.” Recently, Big Foot redesigned its saw (SC-1025SU) with some improvements to compete with the Sawsquatch. Big Foot gave us one to try out; we’ve been using it for the past several months.
Now let me begin this review by explaining my history with Big Foot Saw Adapters. Back in 2002, we bought an adapter kit at JLC LIVE and used it to convert our oldest Mag77 saw into a beam saw. The day we did it, our electrician told us we’d burn up the motor. Fourteen years later, that saw is still going strong, although it's obvious it is beaten up and old. In fact, the motor on that old Mag77 spins the blade more smoothly than the Big Foot saw they sent us in 2006 that used a Bosch body. Ever since we bought the first 15-amp Bosch wormdrive, all 15-amp wormdrive saws we’ve reviewed seem to have a rattle to them.
We recently dropped the Big Foot from 2006 and broke it to the point that it wasn’t worth repairing. After using that saw on volunteer projects, other framers went out and bought either the Big Foot 10 ¼-inch saw or an adapter kit. We’ve found that we need two of these saws to stay productive.
What’s New? Big Foot saws have treated us well for a long time. We have a 14-inch Big Boy saw, too, and although we use it rarely, it is a good saw.
The “upgrades” Big Foot made to the 10 ¼-inch saw aren’t obvious at first. Big Foot claims the saw is lighter than the Sawsquatch, and we found this to be true. I had my co-workers use both saws, and then I asked them if they noticed any differences between them. Both commented that the Big Foot felt lighter. I noticed the same thing. Technically, it's not a big difference (about 1/2-lb.), but as I’m getting older, I’ll take any difference.
Another difference is that the left side of the baseplate is ½ inch bigger than the Sawsquatch. A standard baseplate is 1-1/2 inches wide off the blade, but Big Foot is 2-1/2 inches. This means for me that you can cut at the very end of a beam (working on the right-hand side) and keep the saw stable. Is this a huge improvement? No, but it is an improvement we like. These are big saws and a larger baseplate is nice, especially when we are cutting exposed beams.
Big Foot claims, too, that it is using the latest Skil motor and that it is a better motor. I can’t comment on that, but I can comment that in our Sawsquatch, it looks like something melted on the winding (it actually looks like subfloor glue). It hasn’t yet caused a problem, and I hope it doesn’t. We also have issues with the Bosch CSW41 we reviewed a couple of years ago. It really throws sparks in the winding. Works fine, but rattles pretty badly.
Performance. We put Big Foot blades on the new saw as well as on the Sawsquatch that we’ve owned for years now. The Big Foot blade is a little thicker and cuts very true compared to all the other 10 ¼-inch-diameter blades we’ve used. I recommend buying this blade for your 10 ¼-inch saws.
Using the two saws head to head, I found the Big Foot to be slightly more comfortable to use than the Sawsquatch. It is a little lighter and very well balanced. We use it for a lot of repetitive cutting like gang-cutting blocking, and balance plays a big role with jobs like that.
I can’t say anything negative about the Sawsquatch because it is a good saw and has been now for nearly two years. We keep both of these saws in the Sprinter, but the Big Foot is the one that comes out most often.
What to Buy? Although the Big Foot is currently $26 more than the Sawsquatch on Amazon, it ships with Big Foot’s blade. I would recommend buying the Big Foot especially because those saws are assembled in Nevada. I have sent in tools to be repaired by Big Foot and have even had them make me a custom Headcutter.
We haven’t had anything negative come up with the saw, and we use it nearly every day. I firmly believe every framing crew needs at least one beam saw to be productive; this is the saw I recommend buying. One note though: You have to use a heavier gauge extension cord. To keep the Big Foot warranty intact, you have to use a 10-gauge cord at a maximum length of 50 feet. While the saw will run on a 100-foot 12-gauge plugged into a spider box for most applications, doing so will void the warranty and isn't recommended by Big Foot. If we know we’ll be doing any ripping, we use the 10-gauge cord straight from the power pole.
Big Foot SC-1025SU SPECS
- Amps 15
- RPM 5,300
- Blade Size (in.) 10-1/4”
- Arbor Size (in.) 5/8”
- Spindle Lock Yes
- Upper /Lower Guard Magnesium
- Motor Housing Aluminum
- Foot Construction Magnesium
- Bevel Capacity 50°
- Depth of Cut @ 90° 3-7/8”
- Depth of Cut @ 45° 2-3/4”
- Cord Length 8’
- Weight (lbs) 15.93
- Assembled in USA
- Cost: $380 (online)