What do you think of when you hear Skil? Do you think professional, homeowner, do you think Skilsaw or are you wondering who they are? Don't worry because in my opinion it's been a lost brand. A brand that has history but has not found its way. So today we are going to talk about Skil power tools and hopefully put some clarity of who they are, where did they come from and where they are going.
Skil Power Tools – A Look-Back
Skilsaw started back in 1924 with the first portable circular saw. In 1952, Skilsaw changed the company name to Skil Corporation and that is when the name was born. In 1979, Emerson acquired Skil and in 1991 they partnered up with Bosch to work together. In 1996 Bosch took over Skil. In 2014 Skil rebranded itself with Skilsaw being for the professionals and Skil being for the homeowner. In 2016 Chervon bought the company and here we are today.
So the following is my opinion of what happened to Skil over the years. Skil used to be a large brand and knew exactly who their consumer was. Over the years, it was lost. The brand wasn't backed and no one really understood who Skilsaw or Skil was and who needs these tools. I think part of the issue was Bosch. While I love Bosch and think they make some of the best professional tools in the world, they are also a big company that does so much more than tools. So I feel that while they make a great tool, it's only a small part of the business. So I don't think they received the backing, the direction or the vision. So yes, it became a very confusing brand of power tools.
In 2016 Chervon bought the company. If you're not familiar with Chervon, they are a large power tool company. They started off making tools for other brand names. Then in 2014, they came out with the brand EGO, which is considered the best cordless OPE tools.
So my take is this. If anyone can make Skilsaw and Skil work, it's Chervon. They have the people, the knowledge and the drive to make it work and turn this into something special.
Skilsaw is still a name that is geared towards the professional. They are professional tools for the tradesman. Skil is not necessarily going after just the DIY market like they used to be. Skil is now for the “Prosumer”, the homeowner and the smaller contractor. They are going to build tools that offer professional features, built tough for job sites, and built to be powerful but for a cost much less than what you would pay for a professional tool.
Skil Power Tools – Overview
Currently, Skil has a large line up of power tools and these are just some of the more used power tools, so we wanted to start with these tools. I am currently building an addition on the back of my house so I have been working with these tools and will continue to use them to fully see how they hold up so always check out our Instagram page for updates.
Skil offers both a 20V battery line as well as a 12V battery line. Today we are covering the 20V tools.
Skil Power Tools – Batteries
Skil offers the following batteries in the 20V lineup
- 2 Ah
- 2.5 Ah
- 4 Ah
- 5 Ah
As noted, Chrvon also makes Ego which has some of the best batteries in the industry. Here is where the Skil battery stands out from the rest. Skil uses temperature technology to help prolong the life of the batteries. Each cell is wrapped with a cooling material, so as the battery cells heat up, the wrap helps cool the batteries and prolong the life and increase run time. Heat is the number one killer of batteries so anything you can do to keep the heat down will also prolong the life of the battery.
The batteries feature a fuel gauge. Some of the batteries also have a built-in USB charger for your phone or other electronics. Which is pretty cool if you need power on the go.
Skil has two chargers. Their top of the line charger has PWRJump which gives a drained battery a boost 25% charge in 5 minutes so you can finish your job.
Skil Power Tools – The Line-Up
Out of all the tools, the drill and the impact remind me most of a professional tool and they do really resemble a much more expensive tool. The DL529302 features a brushless motor that has 0-480/0-1800 rpm's. The tool puts out 450 in-lbs of torque.
The drill uses a full metal chuck, something you usually only find on professional drills.
A user can set the clutch setting from 1-17 with a drill mode.
On top of the drill, a user can select between speed 1 for more torque applications or speed 2 for applications where you want speed over-torque.
The rubber grip on the drill does have a great feel and makes you think you are holding one of those professional expensive drills.
The drill features a variable speed trigger that is easy to control.
We used this drill for a wide variety of applications and will continue to use it. Right now we are installing electric, EMT and using this for drilling. We are using a 7/8″ bit and it can easily go through 3 top plates without slowing down or having issues.
Overall this and the impact are my two favorites twos in the Skil line. I think because they replicate a professional tool and they just feel nice and tough.
The ID573902 is also designed around a brushless motor that delivers 1800 in-lbs of torque.
As with all other impact drivers, this features a 1/4″ hex collet.
The impact has the same feel and rubber grip that the drill has.
Also, the trigger is a variable speed that is easy to feature. The trigger is very easy to slow start and ramp up when working with metal.
Speaking of metal, the impact features two speed plus control mode. For Control mode, the impact will start slow and then speed up.
An impact is probably my favorite tool out of all the tools in the industry so I am happy to see that Skil took the design of this tool to heart. The impact replicates a more expensive tool. The impact is power is more than sufficient to use it for our project which was stairs, electrical boxes, and fastening Tapcons.
Skil Circular Saw
The CR541302 is a 6-1/2″ saw built around a brushless motor.
The saw will bevel up to 50 degrees. The measurements are stamped into the metal so you can see what degree bevel you are working with.
The saw uses a metal shoe.
Above are the knobs for making changes to the shoe for bevel cuts.
This is probably my least favorite of the Skil tools. I think it's a little underpowered and I think the design could be a little better. I just feel the outside should be a little beefier. Maybe I am just used to my professional saws, but I would like to see a Magnesium shoe and guards (yes, it will raise the price). Again I am not sure what it is, maybe it's the stamped metal but I think they could hit a home run with what this saw has to offer with a couple of changes.
Skil Jig Saw
The 20V Skil (JS820202) uses a brushless motor with a slow start feature and will ramp up the RPM's to 3,000 SPM.
The handle has a nice rubber mold grip for comfort.
One cool feature is the blower motor. If you have used a jigsaw before, you know the debris usually kicks out in front of the tool blocking the line. With the blower, it will help keep the line clear and free to make your life easier.
On the other side of the saw, there is a 4 selection orbital selector.
On the back of the tool, you can adjust the detent, which it does have positive stops.
I do wish the jigsaw came with a no-mar show as I love having a smooth bottom plate when working.
The saw features a 1″ stroke length.
We have used the jigsaw for a couple of small projects like when I had to run waste pipes through the floor and wall. I do like the feel of this jig saw. There is nothing that stands out that makes me not like or love the tool. It's a jigsaw and I think it does what it's designed to do. Smooth, easy to use and easy to work with.
The Skil sander (SR660302) is a 5″ random orbital sander. The sander is built around a brushless motor that delivers up to 11,000 rpm's which can be controlled with a dial located on the back handle of the tool.
The sander uses a hook and loop system to keep the sanding disks attached to the sander.
The front of the sander has a dust-sealed on/off switch.
The sander has a detachable micro-filtration dust canister to help keep your air and surroundings cleaner.
I have used this for my banisters. For me, I like the feel, I like the ease of use and it does a decent job capturing most of the dust. The canister is very easy to take off and put back on. The grip is nice and is easy to work with.
Skil Laser Line
The Skil LL932401 is a green laser that is easier to read than a red laser. Green lasers are also more expensive. This laser projects a line up to 65′ (accuracy of ±3/16″) and will project both a vertical and horizontal line. One cool feature that I have not seen with other lasers is the projected measuring marks. Which is great for a variety of projects. The laser will self-level itself ±4°.
There is a 1/4″ on top and bottom of the laser. The laser will turn on and off with a slide switch on the side. On top of the laser, you adjust for horizontal, vertical or both, plus see the status of the battery, which is rechargeable.
The laser will lock once it's turned off.
The Skil comes with the laser, charging cord, protective storage case and a mounting clip.
The laser is extremely easy to read and I love the marking that it projects. The marking a perfect if your painting or need to line something up.
So for lasers, I am a huge Bosch fan but sometimes the price range is not where I need it to be. Some people just need a quality, accurate line without having to break the bank. So far this laser has been great. Now I haven't dropped it but I have been using it for framing and now using it for electrical work.
Skil Power Tools – My Take
Skil still has a long road ahead of them. While I love the tools above, I still think there is room for improvement on some of them. I am excited to see where they go and I believe they will go far with Skil. They are targeting a market that is underserved. Chervon knows and understands the power tool and if anyone can ramp up this brand, they can.
This is a line of tools I think a homeowner or smaller contractors can and should get behind. They will continue to grow this line and will continue to support it and build it up.
They are off to a great start with the drill, impact, sander, and cross-line laser. While I think the circular saw and jigsaw need a couple of adjustments, they are still great tools and do what they are designed to do.
Skil Power Tools – Final Word
As I said at the beginning of this article, Skil was a lost brand. I think with Chrvon buying them, I think you will see a new Skil. I am excited to see where they are going and what they will be releasing. Over the years we have seen power tool companies come and go and even some having a hard time finding out who they are. While I think Skil has a long road ahead of them, I think Chrvon is going to make Skil a household name and really back this brand. I think they found a niche that is being underserved and I think they will be able to turn Skil around.
When it comes to the tools they have out, I like where they are going and like the tools. While I think they still need some work one some of the tools, the core tools are great and an easy buy, If you are a homeowner or small contractor looking for a power tool with the features of a professional brand, plenty of power but something that won't kill your profits, I think Skil is going to be a viable choice. I think they will be expanding the line so you can do so much with a single battery platform. As of today, I think Chrvon is on the right path and I think they are going to turn Skil into a great brand.