The Skilsaw No. 77 Worm-Drive Saw - 75 Years Old This Year

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Forum topic by BDFan1981 posted 01-12-2012 12:13 AM 20129 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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99 posts in 2504 days

01-12-2012 12:13 AM

Topic tags/keywords: skilsaw skil skil corporation s-b power tool company robert bosch 77 worm-drive saw edmond michel

Does anyone here have any pictures of the Skilsaw 77 worm-drive saw through its history from 1937? This legendary model came out 13 years after the first Skilsaw (which, of course, is the world’s first electric handsaw) that was invented by its founder, Edmond Michel.

I wonder if Skil had ever made a 25th anniversary version of this saw in 1962, and a 50th anniversary edition in 1987?

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Skilsaw 77, for all those of you that do not know. And in only two years from now, the saw itself will be 77 years old.


20 replies so far

View whitedog's profile


652 posts in 3631 days

#1 posted 01-12-2012 01:46 AM

I have a 50th anniversary edition that I bought new when we were building our house in ‘87 . I was using it today to cut an old header. I think the difference was the color , the anniversary edition was gold not silver.

-- Paul , Calfornia

View BDFan1981's profile


99 posts in 2504 days

#2 posted 01-12-2012 02:01 AM

Thank you for letting me see your 50th Anniversary edition of the 77. Yeah, everything that is usually chrome or silver is gold-plated on this 50th Anniversary edition.

Besides the 77, there were two other Skilsaw worm-drive saws of note: model 367 (later 5825) with a 6-1/2” dia. blade, and the 825 (later 5865) with the 8-1/4” dia. blade.

Of course, the original Skilsaw that was made under the auspices of founder Edmond Michel was the model E, which was finally dropped in 1939, two years after the 77 was in production.


View joebudd's profile


1 post in 2431 days

#3 posted 03-21-2012 09:07 PM

I have recently come across my Fathers Skill-saw that he used in 1950 or so. He passed away in 1952. Here are pictures. I was going to take it into Circle Saw in Houston to have the brushes replaced and the saw cleaned up. Without seeing the saw they questioned whether or not the two prong cord was original. They wanted to replace it. I am not sure if it is an original cord.

Any comments in general about the saw? It works now but I really want to get it cleaned and ready just to use the saw my Dad did.

View higtron's profile


243 posts in 2851 days

#4 posted 03-21-2012 09:26 PM

I’ve been useing the model 77 since the mid 70’s no significate changes in design that i’m aware of other than the Mag 77 upgrade. It’s always been a rock solid workhorse I’ve had quite a few of them, and as a carpenter used inumberal model 77’s I’ll always have one in my shop.

-- A friend will help you move, a good friend will help you move a body

View PRGDesigns's profile


241 posts in 2487 days

#5 posted 03-21-2012 09:34 PM

The Skil 77 was my very first power tool I purchased when I was 17 years old. I don’t use it as much anymore with fewer carpentry projects and more woodworking projects, but it still fires up every time and cuts anything it’s asked to. One of my former neighbors was trying to cut concrete pavers with his Craftsmen circular saw and eventually burned it up in about 8 hours. He was ready to give up on this project when I offered to loan him the ‘77. He didn’t know there was a difference in circular saws and was very skeptical it would work until he made his first cut. He finished his project in about an hour after he tried the ‘77. Still one of my best built tools.

-- They call me Mr. Silly

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2866 days

#6 posted 03-22-2012 03:20 AM

Hooray for the 77! I’ve been using them since the late 1970s. I purchased an old one that belonged to a friend’s grandfather sometime in the 1980s. I loved it. It had a two piece upper guard that routed the motor exhaust down just in front of the blade. I always wondered why the stopped making them like that. It also had a sight glass on the side of the gearbox to check the oil, so cool. I don’t know how old it was but it had all slotted screws, no phillips head. It did have the levers that are common these days for bevel and depth adjustment.The sad thing about it was, it was stolen when I had it in storage.

They also made a 10” version. A friend I need to visit has one he keeps saying I can have. It’s the same has the 7 1/4” that was stolen except no levers for bevel and depth adjustment. It a round knurled knobs instead. I’m going to take him a hand plane when I get around to the central Texas area again. That one comes with a metal case

I also currently have the model 5860 8 1/4”. I only use it to cut jack rafters when doing bastard hips or valleys. It’ll make 60° cuts.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Dondi's profile


2 posts in 2439 days

#7 posted 05-20-2012 06:05 PM

I have the 50th anniversary edition with the original box,blade and papers in mint condition it has never been used. Does anyone know what it might be worth?

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10982 posts in 3602 days

#8 posted 05-20-2012 06:32 PM

Mine was purchased at a flea market in the mid 70’s. It was barely used and was in the original box. I still have it and use it nearly every day. Mostly for breaking down sheet goods. I have used it for framing a few times, but it’s really too heavy if I were using it for that purpose 5 days a week. Might firm up the biceps, though.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View PutnamEco's profile


155 posts in 3460 days

#9 posted 05-20-2012 10:12 PM

Here are a couple of pics of my old 77, she still runs good, although I seldom use it anymore, only when I need a nostaglia fix.

Shame the don’t make them in the U.S. anymore.

-- “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2466 days

#10 posted 05-20-2012 10:44 PM

That’s the one I grew up using on the farm back in the 50s and 60s. My dad had it as far back as I can remember. Nothing like it in electric handsaws. It was stolen back in 1998 when the barn was broken into, but it was one hell of a saw.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View BDFan1981's profile


99 posts in 2504 days

#11 posted 11-21-2012 07:48 AM

You somehow deleted your pictures. I wonder if you could reinstate them?

Also, I’m curious as to whether or not the model designator “E” of the first such Skilsaw refers to Edmond Michel’s first initial?


View rmaccrea's profile


3 posts in 1634 days

#12 posted 05-28-2014 03:27 AM

I noticed a lot of knowledge here about old Skilsaws.
Questions: 1. Is this a model 77 type 1? What is the official full model number for ordering parts? 2. What are the possible years of manuf? 3. Can I find a replacement switch? Inherited from my grandfather, and the best handsaw I have ever used. The original chord shorted out today (from cuts). Required unsoldering the wires from the switch, which loosened the rivets holding the switch terminals. Now the terminals can touch and short. Looking for a replacement switch. Photo 1: Saw with switch removed Photo 2: Switch

View BreeStephany's profile


63 posts in 2359 days

#13 posted 05-28-2014 03:55 PM


What parts are you looking for in particular? The bearings and seals are pretty common and can be found or ordered through local bearing shops. You can also get them through Eurton Electric ( You can order brushes and brush caps through Eurton as well.

The armature, field, switch, worm gear, brass drive gear and all of the housing parts are no longer in production, so finding parts is very difficult.

Your best bet on locating a new switch is through ebay or craigslist. They are generally between $20 & $40.

Skil’s 7-1/4” saw began with the model E / model J in the late 1930’s to 1940. In 1937, Skil developed the 77. The blue label Skil 77 was produced from 1937 ~ 1948, Skil then began to transition into the traditional black & orange color scheme, but kept the traditional oval label with block lettering into the mid 50’s.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5255 posts in 1894 days

#14 posted 05-28-2014 04:27 PM

I have a few hundred switches from various manufacturers including Skil, I’ll check my stash, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have one that old, though I may have a newer re-production that will fit correctly. Here’s my pictures:

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View rmaccrea's profile


3 posts in 1634 days

#15 posted 05-28-2014 04:50 PM

Everything is fine except the switch. I’m going to try to stabilize the switch terminals with some epoxy.

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