Launch Slideshow

Skil Mag77LT

Skil Mag77LT

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    Tim Uhler

    Skil Mag77LT

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    Tim Uhler

    This saw is 4 pounds lighter than the previous model from Skil so it's easier to use overhead.

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    Tim Uhler

    Upgrades include rubberized grips, an easier to read bevel scale, and a maximum bevel angle of 53 degrees.

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    Tim Uhler

    The one thing Skil failed to improve when they designed this saw was the depth bracket. If the saw gets banged around (and every saw does) the bracket will no longer slide smoothly and you'll have to bang the base to get it to move.

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    Tim Uhler

    The wrench stores in a slot in the base and will not get lost if you put it in there. Why is the slot on this saw empty? We foolishly forgot to stow the wrench and now we can't find it. Our mistake.

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    Robert Bosch Tool Corporation

    A hero shot from the manufacturer.

Skil recently announced a new wormdrive saw that they say is 4 pounds lighter than their Mag77. That grabbed my attention because the Mag77 is one of the lightest inline saw around – nearly as light as Makita's hypoid model (5377MG).

I use inline saws every day and have tested every model now on the market (see Inline Circular Saws). I'm particularly familiar with Skil because I learned on an HD77 and switched to the lighter Mag77 when it came out in the late 1990s. My current saw is the DeWalt DW535, though we also use other models.

The Mag 77LT is very much a "Skil saw".  It is the same time tested design.  But there are some features that distinguish it from the Mag77. Upgrades include a 53 degree bevel capacity (the previous model topped out at 51.5 degrees), a rubberized grip and top handle, and a storage spot on the baseplate for the blade wrench. The wrench is designed to change blades, adjust the bevel nut, access the brush cap, fit the oil plug, and remove diamond arbor knockouts.

So what's it like to use this saw? When I pulled out of the box it was clearly much lighter than other inline saws – even lighter than Makita's hypoid model (5377MG). It's also very compact – at 17.5 inches it's about an inch shorter than our DeWalt.

The saw arrived while we were framing a house and the first thing we used it for was to cut birdsmouths and rafter tails on about 50 rafters. We immediately noticed how much lighter the saw felt than other models we have used. The saw's 15-amp motor has plenty of torque and didn't bog down when we used it to cut LVL.

I like almost everything about this saw but I do have a complaint about the depth adjustment mechanism. Once you have dropped the saw (and sooner or later every saw falls) the depth adjustment gets sticky and you have to tap the base with a hammer to get it to move. This has been a problem with every Skil wormdrive I have ever used. It's a nitpicky problem but one that has annoyed me for 20 years. By way of comparison, our DeWalt has taken a number of falls and after 3 years of use the depth mechanism sticks only slightly.

Bottom line – I like this saw a lot. It does the job and is comfortable to use. I found it on Amazon for $219. That's a little steep for a wormdrive but prices usually come down after the tool has been out for a while. This one is brand new so it's selling for list.

The editor of Tools of the Trade talked the product manager of this saw at JLC LIVE and you can see the video of it below.