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Chuck likes to give me a hard time about my Skilsaw because he says I bought it for the sole reason of not using the term “circ saw.” That’s of course untrue — I also got it because it was on clearance. It’s lasted 5 years thus far and is still going strong, but it has nothing on longtime reader Putnam Eco’s old Black & Decker.

This saw has lived through about 8 American presidencies and roughly 4 major wars, and its still sees service today judging by the modern Diablo blade perched on the spindle. Folks love to talk about the Sawcat, which is one of the saws that built Black & Decker’s rep in the American workforce back in the day. But this bad boy was the foundation that the Sawcat was built on. Sidewinders today don’t look that much different, in fact.

I dig the full-metal jacket on the saw as well as the case. Black & Decker doesn’t do this sort of combo anymore; however, there are saws out there that still follow in this mold.  Even though today’s saws have more power and less vibration I’d love to get a hold of one of these just to see how it holds up for a day’s work. I’m betting that, other than the obvious power increase, if I put a fresh blade on both the difference wouldn’t be as much as you might think.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]

 

21 Responses to Antique Tools: Black & Decker Sidewinder Saw

  1. Paul says:

    My Father-in-law sold one of these with the case last year in his father’s (carpenter) estate sale. My brother-in-law (carpenter) and I both considered taking it, but my wife already comments about the number of tools I have ‘lying about’. Really wish I had taken it now, but opted for his tool belt and tool box instead.

  2. mickeyrat says:

    It looks like the 9 1/4 i bought in the early 70s,with brake,still running strong,just you cant get parts.I like the brake as I took off the guard off 30years or so ago.wish I could find another one like it on the market

    • Old Saw says:

      If you are still interested in finding another one of these, there is one on Ebay right now, 25 Oct 2012. It is in Canada, it is priced at $235 plus $35 shipping. I bought one 2 weeks ago for less than $50 total but the one I bought was not nearly as sharp as the one on there now. They do come up for sale but you may have to spend a lot of time on ebay to find one.

  3. Brau says:

    My dad had one of these. He cut the blade guard off so he could fit oversize blades on it for deeper cuts. There was no blade brake or any safety. Rain could lead to the user getting nasty shocks through the metal casing. I shudder at the danger of that saw today.

  4. PutnamEco says:

    This saw does in fact still see use, although I don’t take it out on any job sites anymore. It lives in my shop area being used for breaking down stock. This IS a smooth running saw perhaps even more so then todays saws. This saw was designed before carbide tipped blades were popular. Those old steel blades were more often dulled than not, so I have never felt it to be down on power, especially with a modern narrow kerf carbide blade mounted. This saw also has great ergonomics, and is a real pleasure to use.
    That metal body was sometimes a curse though, you think your speed square or level gets hot when you leave it sitting in the sun? This saw was also quite capable of transmitting cold to your hands, when working with it in winter.
    Back in the day, my circle of associates were slow to adopt Sawcats as they believed the “plastic”(which is actually fiberglass) handle of the Sawcat was Black & Decker downgrading the tool so as to produce it cheaper and then charging more money for it.

  5. Dick says:

    I have a B&D 6 1/2 inch Sawcat model 7163 that is 40 years old and still out performs my other modern saws. I paid $61 for it at the Fort Sam Houston PX. Man what I would give for a lower guard which broke 10+ years ago.

  6. Tom says:

    My dad purchased a 7 1/4 inch sawcat in 1966 and used it for quite a few years. I’m presently building a home with it and it runs great. Compared to the saws built today, it is a beast and will run circles around other saws. Guys on the job site always ask to try it out… sort of like taking an antique car for a ride. The saw is older than most of them. Wouldn’t give this saw up for anything. B&D should come out with a limited reproduction of these saws. You could buy one saw and it would last for decades.

  7. jc crawford says:

    I have a model 1 B&D 8″ sidewinder saw. The arbor 1 3/8″ and the front and back of the table has height adjustment. I’m wondering what it’s worth and maybe stop using it if it’s worth something. Please let me know.

    Thanks
    JC

  8. PutnamEco says:

    The Sawcats are the only collectable old B&D saws that I see commanding any serious money ($400) you might get $100 for your saw if it is in good running and looking condition condition and having a case and any extras would add a little to this. Take this with a grain of salt, as putting it up on an auction website may or may not induce auction fever, collectors are a fickle bunch,you may get no bids or you may have a bidding war. Are you sure it is a model number 1 and not a later U-80 type 1? Pictures would be nice.

  9. Charles William Tucker says:

    My Dad and I used this 7″ saw, as is pictured, in 1959 to build a small house. It was so heavy my nine year old arms ached for days. It cut everything! I just took it apart 56 years, later to rebuild the wiring and now have to find new brushes and electric wiring for as it has crumbled from age. I need a source for replacement parts.

  10. Gord says:

    Hey guys can’t upload a pic. From my phone but I do have type 1 circular saw (sidewinder) working great !! So much power ! 115 volts 12 amps 4500 Rpms cat number 80 8 inch

  11. Julie says:

    I have one of these. It waw my granfather’s who was a mechanical genius. Can any of you tell me what it’s worth? Wanting to sell it, but don’t know much – ok, don’t know anything.

  12. Old Saw says:

    I too have the old HU 80 saw with the 1 3/8″ arbor. Can’t find blades except occasionally I see another saw for sale ‘with some old blades’. Have not yet bought a saw just to get the blades but I probably will because the only blades I have, being the old type which get smaller when sharpened, are all down below 6″. A machinist friend of mine made an adapter for the arbor to make 5/8″ arbor blades work, but the adapter’s thickness throws of the line guide on the saw. I don’t use it much so maybe it doesn’t matter. The saw was one of several my carpenter relatives had when I was small, about 1950 and before.

  13. Old Saw says:

    I bought a BEAUTIFUL like new HU-80 on ebay WITH 4 good-as-new blades AND the factory case for 53.45 complete. I have seen others on there but not as good and at higher prices. There are also several 60 series available with the 1 1/8″ arbor blades. The 80 series has a 1 3/8″ arbor. I did not want to buy a saw just to get blades but decided to do so and it has worked out very well.

  14. Donald says:

    I purchased a Milwaukee Dyna Flash Circular saw at a local thrift shop in St. George Utah. Model 65S. It has the original box; receipt, parts list with exploded view, original blades still in the paper envelope, extra wrench for the arbor nut, two extra sets of brushes, and the warranty card signed and dated. The price was $58.53, sold on 8/26/52 at Buffalo Surplus Co Inc. 26 E North St. Buffalo N.Y. It out performs any modern saw I have used. Its weight keeps it vibration free. I use it on every project I’ve done since I bought it.

  15. brooklyn says:

    I have B&D 7-inch portable elec saw (115V; 9amps; 4200rpm) with case. The wire is a little frayed. If interested in buying, send me an e-mail: aidalaja1@gmail.com. I can provide a picture.

  16. kasey jordan says:

    i have one of these saws im trying to get rid of and dont really know what to sell it at if anyone is interested or know more about it please feel free to email me at sorceress_raina@yahoo.com

  17. doug noel says:

    I have a b&d made by utilty,7″ heavy duty lat. No.u-70 ac/dc 115volts 9amps 4200rpm 1u-18607

  18. Nancy says:

    I am trying to locate a brush cap G987 Type A for an old Black and Decker circular saw. Any advice?

  19. Dan says:

    I have a Home utility by B&D,6″ , WU-60, #71606,115v ac-dc,10 amp,5500rpm example of one of these fine old saws,it is 100% metal,heavy but smooth& compact,tons of torque!!I think mine is a 1950 vintage,never seen another example yet.

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