Skil Cordless Tools are About to Reshape the DIY Market
You may have seen several new Skil cordless tools show up in the 2018 Pro Tool Innovation Awards. What they’re doing has the potential to completely reshape the DIY market and there are some compelling reasons to keep your eyes on the brand.
Focus on DIYers and Online Sales
Skilsaw is still the Pro brand for all things cutting. Skil is going to have a clear DIY target, particularly with the Millennial generation, and a motto of “Own Your Home”. Their stated goal is to “build something people will genuinely be surprised by.”
Just like Ryobi is a DIY brand, we know some of those tools are going to reach up into Pro hands. Essentially, they’re positioning themselves as a Prosumer brand. We’ll just have to wait and see how the final products perform and feel before we can make any claims to back that up.
Launching with Amazon as their primary retail partner is a huge benefit for Skil cordless tools. With more people making purchases online and Amazon offering such compelling prices, it’s a smart move for the brand considering their target user and age base. Once the initial launch is complete, there will be some other retailers that pick it up.
Expect surprisingly low price points for these tools. However, don’t confuse inexpensive with cheap. Skil is going to back these up with a 5-year consumer warranty. You’re on your own if you use them as a Pro, but it’s a better warranty than you’ll get from Black & Decker or Ryobi.
Skil Cordless Tools
The heart of Skil’s push will be a full line of 12V and 20V tools that also includes accessories and laser products. PWRCore 12 is promising 18V power in a compact size. We don’t expect that to be high-end Pro-level power, but more of what DIYers are getting out of 18V tools currently.
PWRCore 20 will be what you turn to when you need something closer to entry-level Pro performance.
The first wave of tools will be the 12V brushless line in October followed by 20V in November with the 4V, electronic tools, and accessories making their way in the same time frame.
Here’s what you can expect to see:
Skil PWRCore 12V Brushless Tools
- Impact driver
- Oscillating Multi-Tool
- Right angle impact driver (later launch)
- 5-3/8″ circular saw (later launch)
- One-handed reciprocating saw (later launch)
- Impact wrench
- Bluetooth speaker
- LED work light
- Vacuum (later launch)
- 2.0 and 4.0 Ah batteries with PWRAssist USB charging
Skil PWRCore 20V Tools
- Impact driver
- Hammer drill
- Rotary hammer
- Reciprocating saw
- Jig saw
- Oscillating multi-tool
- Angle grinder
- 6-1/2″ circular saw
- LED work light
- 2.0, 4.0, and 5.0 Ah batteries
Skil 4V Cordless Tools
- Power screwdriver with voltage detector
- Power screwdriver
Skil Lasers and Electronics
- Laser distance measure
- Cross line lasers
- 360° laser
- Digital levels
Keep your eyes open for 44, 50, 120, and 141-piece driving and drilling accessory kits. There will also be a variety of combo kits coming to give you an even better value.
Innovative Battery Design
PWRCore gets its name from what’s at the core of the battery pack – lithium-ion cells. Skil is wrapping each cell in a heat-absorbing jacket to pull heat away from the cell and allow it to run harder and extend the life of the battery.
The packs will use 18650 lithium-ion cells. That’s no surprise given the prices we’re expecting to see. It also helps keep the pack size down – something you want on lightweight, compact tools.
There are a couple of genuinely exciting features on the new PWRCore 12. First up is what Skil calls their PWRJump charging. This gives you up to a 25% charge in just 5 minutes on a 2.0 Ah battery before slowing down for the remainder of the charge cycle. Sound dangerous?
We thought so, too. But the product team tells us you can give cells a high-power boost in the lower 0% – 25% range without having a negative effect on the battery life.
There’s also PWRAssist mobile charging. With Skil cordless tools, you won’t need a USB adapter to slide on the pack. The port is already built into it. You’ll be able to give any of your USB rechargeable devices a boost. There’s also a USB port on the charger.
Skil goes with a slide pack design, which is really helpful to give the product team plenty of leeway when working on the handle ergonomics. Stick packs insert through the handle and dictate the diameter, often leaving you will a larger handle.