First up in our no-particular-order top ten favorite tools, 2007 edition, is Skil’s ever-popular circular saw — the 7-1/4″ Skilsaw. And we’re not talking about their high-buck worm-drive model. Our 2007 favorite is the model 5400-01, which we snagged for a whopping $25 off a Lowe’s sale table sans operator’s manual. Read on past the jump for details.
Despite this saw’s humble appearance — and price — it’s tough as hell. We’ve made thousands of cuts with it this year, building at least four bookcases, a huge hutch, a bedroom suite, numerous tool test rigs, and even the building we tore down. It’s been pitched off a roof, slung around by its cord, stepped on, and abused in almost every fashion you can imagine — and some you probably can’t.
Still, it cuts straight the first time in most any condition through anything from 1/4″ ply to 2″ hard wood.
Features? Sure: its foot has a mark you can use to follow a line to make straight cuts. And there’s a safety lock on the trigger. You could spend more for a laser (or two) and some additional foot detents. But why? For the price of many modern circular saws you could have two or three of these — and we can attest that it’ll do anything you need to do with a circ saw.
Even if you can’t find one on sale, they only retail for $45 brand new, and they’re readily available at most big-box retailers — or online if that’s how you shop.