Skil power tools are some of the most widely used tools on the market. I have a handful of Skil tools that I’ve used over the years so I can give my honest opinion.
But is Skil a good brand? And are their tools worth your money?
In this Skil tools review, I’ll help you decide whether these power tools are worth your money. Let’s dig in.
Yes, Skil is a good brand because their tools are durable, affordable, easy to use, and versatile. Plus, they offer a wide range of tools, and their saws are some of the best on the market. Their power tools are equipped with strong batteries and auto-cooling technology to ensure long-lasting superior performance. Overall Skil power tools are comparable to DeWalt, Milwaukee, and Makita tools – which are the best of the best.
History of Skil Tools
Founded by Edmond Michel in 1924, Skil is an American tool manufacturer based in Naperville, Illinois.
Now a subsidiary of Chervon, a company based in Nanjing, China, Skil specializes in making products for DIY consumers. Their subsidiary, Skilsaw, puts out a line of professional-grade tools.
The Model 77 Circular Saw was this company’s first product, and often it’s referred to as “the saw that built America” because of its popularity across a range of industries at a time when the United States was pursuing rapid and substantial development.
The Model 77 was a handheld, worm-drive circular saw, and the version they make today isn’t all that different from the original.
During World War II, Skil’s PS-12 circular saw was used on a wide scale by the American military.
After the war, Skil focused on expanding to international markets. By 1961, Skil had offices in France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, and their products were being sold on virtually every continent.
It was also in the 1960s that Skil became big in Australia, after they acquired Australia tool-maker Sher Powertools.
In the late 1970s, the company was purchased by Emerson Electric, and it was around this time that they started equipping their tools with heavy-duty plastic; they also started using double-insulated housings.
After being acquired by Bosch Power Tools in 1996, the brand would be sold again 20 years later, this time to Chervon Ltd., a Chinese power tool manufacturer.
Skil’s European division is still based in Breda, Netherlands, and today most of their circular saws are referred to as Skil saws.
Types of Products Skil Manufactures
Today, Skil manufactures a range of corded and cordless tools, including:
- Cleaning tools
- Impact drivers & wrenches
And of course they still put out a line of high-quality saws, as these are the tools that put them on the map. At present, they sell:
- Reciprocating saws
- Circular saws
- Bench & table saws
- High-performance saws
- Worm-drive saws
They also make landscaping equipment, including mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, edgers, chainsaws, pole saws, and hedge trimmers.
And since most of their tools are battery operated, they make a range of batteries, with the higher-end ones being longer-lasting and more powerful than mid-tier options.
Skil Tools Pros & Cons
Pro: Easy to Use
Tools made by Skil are easy to handle and they perform the functions they’re supposed to effectively.
And once you’re familiar with a few of their main power tools, you’ll be able to learn the other tools they make quickly.
In my opinion, Skil’s saws are the most user-friendly of all the tools they sell, and I believe this is because the company has been manufacturing saws longer than anything else.
Ease of use is a main reason why I’m a big fan of their cordless drills. They don’t have a lot of kick-back, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to change out the drill bits, and switching from drill mode to drill mode is easy.
Other manufacturers over-engineer their tools and equip them with unnecessary bells and whistles; not the case with Skil. Their tools are simple yet effective, which is exactly what you want.
Pro: Durable & Long-Lasting
Durability is something I want from all the tools I use. If a tool is durable, there’s a very good chance it’ll last a long time, provided it’s maintained and taken care of properly.
Not only do these tools have high impact resistance but they also resist the degrading effects of moisture, dust, and other fine particles.
I know I put my Skil drill and some of their pneumatic power tools to the test quite often, and they’re still holding up well after nearly 6 years of frequent operation.
The durability these tools offer is largely a result of (1) the materials used to make them and (2) the way they’re manufactured.
Pro: Wide Selection
Skil manufactures a wide range of power tools across the world, including cordless tools, corded tools, and benchtop/tabletop tools. They also make related accessories.
Their best tools by far, however, are their saws.
They sell numerous circular saws, jig saws, and reciprocating saws, as well as their famous worm-drive saws.
And of course they sell a variety of blades that are designed specifically for their saws.
Plus, their website is easy to navigate, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for at a store near you.
Pro: Easy to Find
Skil products are sold at a variety of big-box hardware stores and they can be purchased online.
You can get secondhand models off Amazon or from stores that specialize in selling used equipment, but keep in mind that secondhand equipment isn’t covered by Skil’s warranties.
Use this link to find stores near you that are licensed to sell Skil power tools.
Skil’s tools are pretty powerful, and currently all their power tools are equipped with one of four patented power systems: PWRCore 12, PWRCore 20, PWRCore 40, or TrueHVL.
PWRCore 12: This system runs longer, in part because the lithium batteries it utilizes are cooled in real time to improve performance. You can drive 100 screws on just five minutes of charge, and the USB charger allows for easy charging.
PWRCore 20: This system offers what the system above offers and more. You can find drills, saws, lawn care equipment, and other Skil tools utilizing this system. This system and the other PWRCore systems utilize a brushless motor to improve handling.
PWRCore 40: This system’s most attractive quality is that it charges super fast. You can reach 30% charge in just 15 minutes and full battery life in an hour.
TrueHVL: This system utilizes special, patented cooling technology to guarantee longer run time and ample power. Plus, intelligent power management and other battery-related features prevent overheating.
If you take durability and lifespan into account while considering the average price of a Skil power tool, you’ll see right away that these are cost-effective tools capable of delivering fantastic ROI.
I’ve found that expensive, over-engineered tools made by other brands break down relatively quickly because of their complex designs, and in my opinion a tool isn’t worth a high price tag just because it has a lot of bells and whistles; these could be what make it ineffective overall in the long run.
So if you want bang for your buck when shopping for power tools, consider the Skil brand.
Con: Selection Smaller Than Competitors’
Although their selection is wide, it’s not as large as those offered by companies of similar size, so you may run into a problem if you want a particularly niche tool with the Skil logo on it.
This is unfortunate because it means you may have to familiarize yourself with other brands’ unique power tool features, which can diminish your proficiency with Skil tools.
Still, Skil is a professional brand and their tools deliver serious performance, which is why you’ll find them at job sites across the world.
Where Are Skil Tools Made?
At present, the vast majority of Skil tools are manufactured in China. This is mainly because their parent company is based in China. Also, the cost of manufacturing is much cheaper in this country.
So if you’ve got a Skil self-propelled mower, one of their leaf blowers, or another one of their many power tools in your shed out back, it’s likely your Skil brand products were made in China.
Before sending manufacturing overseas, they did most of their manufacturing in the USA, specifically at their main facility in Illinois.
They’re not the only brand to use overseas manufacturing, as many brand names in the tool space do this as well, including Craftsman, Dewalt, Milwaukee Tools, and Makita.
Skil Warranty Info
Skil’s cordless power tools, measuring tools, outdoor power equipment, and lasers all come with a five-year warranty. But you only get five years of coverage if you extend the three-year warranty within 30 days of it running out.
Benchtop/tabletop equipment comes with a three-year warranty, but only if you renew the one-year warranty within 30 days of it expiring.
Their batteries and chargers come with a two-year limited warranty, and their corded tools come with a one-year warranty.
Their High Performance Cutting Tools come with their STAY TRUE™ Guarantee. So if you aren’t satisfied within 180 days of using your tool, you can return it and get a full refund with no hassles.
You can read all of their warranty info here.
Skil vs Other Leading Tool Manufacturers
In terms of quality, Skil power tools measure up to those made by other well-known power tool brands.
Sure, they don’t make as many tools as other brands, but their tools are generally more affordable despite possessing a range of unique features that make them high-performance tools.
Plus, Skil warranties provide solid coverage, which can’t be said for other brands I’m familiar with.
In short, they require less effort, deliver more power, and maintenance is neither time-consuming nor expensive.
So how is the Skil brand overall? Well, when you consider all the positives along with the very few drawbacks, it’s clear that Skil is a preferred tool brand at the mid-tier price range.
Sure, you may not find a lot of niche tools for specific industries carrying the Skil logo, but they manufacture pretty much all basic tools, and their saws in particular have been renowned for nearly a century.