Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - TOOL TEST -

I reg­u­larly saw wood, metal and every so of­ten con­crete, so I was de­lighted to see Skilsaw’s in­tro­duc­tion this month of a mam­moth cir­cu­lar saw called the Su­per Sawsquatch, a power tool that can slice a 150 mm beam in a sin­gle pass. To ac­com­plish this, Skilsaw equipped the saw with a 400 mm blade and a 15 A mo­tor pow­er­ing a wor­mgear driv­e­train. The ma­chine is like a small, hand­held sawmill.

In case you’re un­fa­mil­iar with the term worm gear, a brief ex­pla­na­tion: cir­cu­lar saws come in two forms. A sidewinder uses min­i­mal gearing, of­ten a spur gear on a shaft off the mo­tor. This is the most com­mon form of cir­cu­lar saw. Then there’s the worm gear, which con­sists of a steel worm and a cor­re­spond­ing gear that it meshes with. There’s noth­ing wrong with sidewinders, es­pe­cially in heavy-duty tools. They have a high power-to-weight ra­tio and they are easy to han­dle. But the worm-gear ar­range­ment pro­duces a highly durable and stall-re­sis­tant, high-torque saw. It’s ide­ally suited for tough cuts or the re­lent­less num­ber of cuts that oc­cur when you frame a sub­di­vi­sion house or cut form lum­ber for con­crete used in high­ways and bridges.

Skilsaw chose its ven­er­a­ble Model 77 worm-gear saw as the ba­sis for the Su­per Sawsquatch. In­tro­duced in the 1930s, the 77 is time-tested. It ploughs through lum­ber in ad­mirably hasty fash­ion, but one thing it can­not do is get through 90 x 90 or thicker lum­ber in a sin­gle pass. Which is a bit of a prob­lem. These thick ma­te­ri­als are ev­ery­where to­day: in en­gi­neered beams, mas­sive pres­sure-treated posts that sup­port decks, and the truly big tim­bers used in dock build­ing. We’re gonna need a big­ger saw.

The Su­per Sawsquatch is it. It weighs ap­prox­i­mately 14 kg and has a rigid mag­ne­sium base and an elec­tric blade brake, other­wise who knows how long you’d have to wait for a blade that di­am­e­ter to spin to a halt; probably longer than it took for you to cut through the beam. – RB

This enor­mous new saw can cut through 150 mm beams in a sin­gle pass.

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