Skilsaw Super Duty 866, 867, 868 Saws

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Forum topic by BDFan1981 posted 04-28-2013 07:02 AM 3342 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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99 posts in 2477 days

04-28-2013 07:02 AM

Topic tags/keywords: skil skilsaw circular saw power saw super duty heavy duty 1970s 1980s

Does anyone know anything about the Skilsaw Super Duty line of saws models 866, 867 and 868?

These were sold between 1978 and 1981 and were similar to models 552, 553 and 554 respectively.

Compare with model 553:

I can’t seem to single out any differences between the two trios other than their distinctive badging.


3 replies so far

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1 post in 409 days

#1 posted 09-07-2017 12:26 AM

Yes, I know I’m a ridiculously late to the party, but I felt compelled to shed some light on this post. I went with my dad when he bought an 866 from a local tool specialty store. He had relatively small hands and couldn’t easily reach the safety button and the trigger that had just been mandated on consumer saws. The only alternative was to get a “pro” model which didn’t have the safety button.

So the gentleman took a lot of time to explain the differences between this one and a similar looking one being sold under JCPenny’s house brand. Yes it WAS a very long time ago. He had both “brands” of saws in for repairs and showed us disassembled ones of each. While the cases were identical in size/appearance and the electric motors were physically the exact same size, there was a world of difference between the two electric motors. The “super duty” motors have two or three times as many commutator bars with much smaller gaps between them than the cheaper ones, which of course produced better power, etc. In fact, the salesman told my dad to decide which of his two son would get the saw when he died, since the saw would outlast him. He was right and I still have and use the saw :-)

Now if someone could please point me to a manual for the 866….


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99 posts in 2477 days

#2 posted 09-07-2017 01:41 AM


You are so right about some of these heavy duty saws not having everything they really needed to be OSHA compliant.

A carpenter named Ronald Cavanaugh had sued the company for over $200,000 in 1992 (and won the case seven years later) when he had a model 559 saw and he was injured badly, losing one toe and almost losing another:

As to finding the manual for your 866, I wish you the best of luck doing so…


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99 posts in 2477 days

#3 posted 09-07-2017 01:48 AM


And here’s an episode of RESCUE 911, which shows another guy injured by a Skilsaw… this time, it is the legendary model 77 worm-drive saw (which appears to date from after mid-1985 going by the label on the motor, which reads: “SKILSAW PROFESSIONAL”).

And the way he screams: it reminds me of Sergeant Galt in RAMBO falling to near-death!

Yes, that guy’s injury was his own fault: no saw horses! And he could also have lost both his legs because of the way he worked the saw!


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