Skill Saw Vs Circular Saw: Which One Should I Buy and Use?

When it comes to power tools, both power and usefulness are the key factors that determine a good tool.

The Skill and circular saws are two types of power tools that look very much the same.

Thus, it’s understandable that you may not be able to distinguish a Skill saw vs circular saw.

Aside from their resemblance, most people mistake the manufacturer’s name for the product’s name.

They sometimes interchange circular and Skill saws, but, in essence, Skill saws are circular saws.

Confusing right? So, let’s dive further and learn about circular saws and skill saws to see how they stack up with one another and find out their differences.

Table of Contents

    What Is a Circular Saw?

    Circular saws present numerous conflicting origin theories. The earliest known information is from when Englishman Samuel Miller received a patent in 1777.

    Others believed it was developed in 1800 for private use. Interestingly, Miller was only credited with creating a machine to mount the circular saw in the patent.

    But according to history, Tabitha Babbitt, an American Shaker, invented the saw after observing that people struggled to fit a circular blade in her spinning wheel.

    However, her invention was never patented.

    That said, “circular saw” refers to all-electric or battery-operated power instruments that quickly cut through several materials like wood, plastic, and metal using flat round blades.

    It is renowned for its effectiveness and accuracy in repeatedly producing swift straight lines or curved cuts.

    Varied circular saw models could have different features, including design characteristics, but most models have:

    • A trigger switch you use to power them on and off
    • Safety guards to protect your fingers
    • A feature to change the height, bevel, and depth settings to help you make different cuts

    The engine of the Sidewinder circular saw is positioned at a right angle to the blade, which causes it to spin more quickly.

    This type of saw is lighter and more portable, it is also less powerful.

    What Is a Skill Saw?

    Edmond Michel invented skill saws in 1924. He invented the first handy, portable circular saw and established the Michel Electric Handsaw Company together with Joseph Sullivan to manufacture them.

    The company later changed its name to Skilsaw Inc. Through the years, other manufacturers copied Skilsaw and developed their own circular saws.

    Although numerous models and advancements were created, many individuals continued to refer to these saws as “skill saws” since they were accustomed to doing so.

    With this, the phrases “skill saw” and “circular saw” are now frequently used synonymously.

    That said, a skill saw is a worm drive circular saw with the motor placed near the back end of the saw, parallel to the blade.

    The blade speed of this saw is reduced while power is transferred to the blade. That’s all thanks to a 90-degree angled pair of gears.

    They can cut through hard substances like concrete and occasionally thick lumber.

    Typically, usable lumber is cut into large logs using Skill saws, which can make straight, square cuts and cut across or along the wood grain.

    However, despite their incredible force, they are not very precise.

    Owning a skill saw may be quite advantageous for woodworkers and contractors who want a power tool that can tackle demanding cutting jobs while remaining portable and simple to use.

    Skill Saw vs Circular Saw: A Detailed Comparison

    Now that you’ve a general idea of what these two tools are, let’s get more into detail about their differences.


    The particular models and brands you select will have the biggest impact on the construction quality of your circular saw.

    However, when it comes to quality, Skill saws are rarely a bad choice.

    Circular saws made by Skill Saw are renowned for their robust design. Most woodworkers will agree that they are the kind of power instrument you can count on keeping in your workshop for a very long time.

    The company has been around for a while. The fact that they are still among the top choices indicates that many customers are confident in the effectiveness of their saws.

    On the contrary, regular circular saws’ construction quality is not always assured because it largely depends on the brand you choose to purchase from.

    While several companies are renowned for producing high-quality goods, many low-cost counterfeit companies also produce inferior circular saws.


    Since Skill Saws are synonymous with being a trusted and well-known brand, it is clear that most consumers will choose skill saws.

    With their heavy-duty quality, most consumers choose them because you can expect they will last for a long time.


    Since Skill saws are still standard circular saws, you can expect them to perform all of their functions, including ripping stock and producing plunge cuts.

    However, since all these saws belong to the same manufacturer, your versatility may be constrained.

    Many alternative circular saw brands that are more adaptable and have more modern features, like a wider bevel angle that enables you to produce broader bevel cuts, are currently available on the market.

    Some manufacturers provide bevel cuts up to 55 degrees, increasing the versatility of their circular saws.

    Additionally, some manufacturers include various blade types with their circular saws, allowing you to use the tool for a more demanding, difficult task.


    Circular saws are the best option when it comes to versatility. Aside from offering many circular saws with advanced features, they also have models with a compact design that can be used even in small spaces.

    skill saw vs circular saw

    Product Options

    All skill saws are circular saws because they have circular blades that will spin rapidly to bite through the material or wood.

    Despite the fact that there are still several circular saw models available for purchase from Skill Saws, your options are still limited compared to those of a standard circular saw.

    Almost all respectable manufacturers in the power tool industry currently produce circular saws due to the tool’s rising popularity.

    Each unpopular and respected power tool company will have several models available, such as Worm Drive Saws, Sidewinder Saws or direct drive, and Hypoid.

    Circular saws can be corded, gas-powered, or cordless and have radial or fixed arms.

    It gives you hundreds or even more circular saw options if you decide against limiting your search to Skill saws.

    With so many popular options, you’re sure to discover something that meets your specific requirements.


    If you are looking for different types of models, choose circular saws. With dozens of model options, you will find the best one that will perform the daily tasks you require.


    The type of tasks you can complete with a saw depends on its power rating, which is expressed in Watts.

    Although a skill saw model is likely the most powerful of all, circular saws are already well renowned for their capacity to cut through some of the toughest construction materials available.

    However, some models lack power.

    Skill saws are extremely effective for cutting harder woods and other solid materials since they typically have a motor design with an adequate power rating above 1200W.

    In addition, this saw blade is a 10-inch blade with a cutting power that can get through various tough materials, including hefty logs, thick boards, and other tough materials that other circular saws can’t handle.


    If power is what you need, then power is what Skill Saw will deliver. While a circular saw cuts through wood, it may not be enough to work on other harder materials.


    The contemporary Skill saw is a handheld machine that can handle any task, with an edge between 5-1/2 and 7-1/2 inches wide.

    It has a powerful 15-amp power with a 5,300-RPM output for enhanced speed and faster cuts and a 7-1/4-inch metal cutting blade edge with a carbide tip.

    Furthermore, a 51-degree slant allows for a wide range of cuts.

    Additionally, it contains a dust blower that clears sawdust from the cutting line, improving visibility as the job advances.

    It also has a lower watch with anti-snag technology that lessens tangling during limit cut-offs.

    On the other hand, if you have a circular saw, you won’t ever have to deal with the difficulty of balancing your board on a table or work surface and slowly running the saw through the wood.

    When you elevate the piece of wood, this saw may be utilized on the ground and cut right through in a matter of seconds.

    The speed of a circular saw depends on what circular models you own.


    Both saws can provide the speed you need. Choose the one that will suit the task you need to perform and deliver the results you want to achieve.

    Skill Saw vs Circular Saw: A Sum Up

    Here’s a quick summary of the minor differences between these two power saws:

    Skill Saw

    • Definition: It is a brand of handheld circular saw.
    • Quality: Durable and heavy duty
    • Versatility: Limited
    • Product Options: Limited
    • Power: Most powerful type
    • Cutting Speed: Lower (Up to 4000 RPM)

    Circular Saw

    • Definition: A type of power saw
    • Quality: Depends on the brand or manufacturer
    • Versatility: More versatile
    • Product Options: Wide variety
    • Power: More powerful
    • Cutting Speed: Higher (Up to 6000 RPM)

    The Pros and Cons

    To further help you decide which is the best tool to use or purchase, let’s go over each of their pros and cons in a nutshell.

    Circular Saw


    • Has a lot of brands and models to choose from
    • Has three types to choose from
    • Versatile


    • Many low-cost quality models

    Skill Saw


    • Lighter than circular saws
    • Easy to handle
    • Good for less-experienced user
    • Most trusted


    • Has limited options

    The End of the Circular vs Skill Debate

    Skill and circle saw describe the same instruments, even though they may appear to be two separate tools.

    The main distinction is that one refers to a tool by a particular brand, Skilsaw Inc., whereas the other is the tool’s real name.

    Finding a brand that fits your particular demands will be more important when selecting a circular saw, and there are plenty of other reliable brands besides Skill.

    Skill is a fantastic option if you want to purchase a circular saw brand that has a lengthy history and has been tried and proven.

    On the other hand, if you’d want something less expensive, there are lots of different low-cost circular saw brands available.

    Overall, choose the power tool that will best serve your purpose. Expensive models don’t mean that you have the best.

    Therefore, choose wisely and do your research. Check out customer reviews and avoid purchasing cheap knockoff brands because they will not only perform the job well but will also waste your money.

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