Kim Katwijk

When I tested seven new worm­drive saws about a year ago (“Wormdrive Saws,” September/October 2011), I was impressed with some of the advances in design. In particular, many of the saws now have sole-plate designs that reduce friction and make them easier to push.

The Skateplate goes those low-friction bases one better. It’s a plastic-composite plate with two polyurethane rollers that turn on stainless steel shielded bearings. It fits the Skil HD 77, Skil 77 Mag, and Bosch 1677 MD saws, and takes about 4 minutes to install — with removal and reinstallation of the pivot bolt and the depth-lever nut. I tested it on a deck demolition, cutting the decking between the joists, and there was no friction. The Skateplate just rolled over nail heads and wet deck boards like nothing was there.

The front roller has guidelines for each side of the blade at 0 degrees and 45 degrees, and every 1/2-inch to make cutting fast and accurate. With an edge guide clamped in place to cut a cedar 4x4 post, the plate slid easily on its side. It did not leave marks on cedar or redwood the way a metal plate will. There’s also a slot with a wing screw to hold an optional rip guide.

Overall, this is a great upgrade to a wormdrive saw.

Contributing editor Kim Katwijk is a deck builder in Olympia, Wash.