One of our most beloved circular saws around the Toolmonger shop is our now 4-year-old 7 1/4” model 5400-01 Skilsaw. It has been involved with every wood working project we can think of and it’s still going strong. So when Skil decided to come out with its successor, the HD5687-01, they got our attention.
The new saw has a 51-degree bevel adjustment with a detent at 45 degrees and a larger anti-snag guard blade nose to help with binding in the middle of a cut. The biggest change that we can see other than that the amps have been boosted from 12 to 15 is that the handle is a worm-drive style, not the typical angled-up sidewinder style that have graced these saws for decades.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. Most pros that I’ve talked to say it’s a step in the right direction, but I still can’t help wondering if the new version will wind up feeling like the same old friend I’ve grown accustomed to. I’m probably in the minority here since I’ve always preferred sidewinders anyway — I suppose only time will tell. Then again, it is only a handle so perhaps I should take my own advice and shut up and start cutting.
The only real perceived drawback on this rig comes when you get a gander at the pricing. This new saw will run you $60 to $90, while the older model we have in the shop was around $45. A decent actual worm-drive rig runs about $150, so we suppose Skil is trying to ride the line between DIY and pro offerings. Either way, the saw market is getting very interesting.