Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802
PTR Review
  • Cutting Speed 7.9
  • Vibration Control 7.8
  • Feature Set 8.5
  • Size and Weight 7.9
  • Value 8.8

Compared to Pro-level models in the same class, the Skil 12V brushless reciprocating saw gives you mid-range cutting speed at a solid value. Whether you're looking for a workhorse compact model as a serious DIYer or a Pro that wants an inexpensive 12V option, it's a great bet. 

Overall Score 8.1 (out of 10)

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Finishes in Podium Position Against Pro Models

Skil may be a DIY brand, but the Skil 12V brushless reciprocating saw doesn’t seem to have any competition from other DIY brands. So we put it head-to-head against what Pro brands have to offer… and it held its own, beating out competition from Bosch, DeWalt, and Makita.


Pros

  • Brushless motor
  • Pivoting shoe
  • LED with afterglow
  • Top-rated value in its class ($69.99 bare, $89.00 kit)

Cons

  • On the heavier side of the class
  • Longest of the one-hand designs in the 12V class

Recommendation

Buy it if you’re willing to trade-off top-end cutting speed to spend half the money and don’t mind a little extra weight. Pass if you need the lightest or fastest 12v model available. 

How Fast Does the Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Cut?

The two major tests we run small reciprocating saws like this one in are EMT and PVC cutting. Their relatively shorter stroke lengths and smaller motor make it tough to cut wood well.

Cutting through 3/4″ EMT, Skil held its own well, averaging 5.48 seconds per cut. It’s right in the middle between Hilti’s 3.17-second winning average and Makita’s 7.60-second effort at the bottom.


Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802

Moving to 3″ PVC, Skil climbs up the rankings a bit. Its 14.94-second average is well ahead of Makita (23.76) and DeWalt (19.60). It’s a few seconds shy of Hilti’s 10.67-second class-leading performance, though.

Okay, so you remember I said these smaller recip saws aren’t great for wood cutting? We actually test them in the same 2 x 10 PT nail-embedded wood test anyway, just to have a baseline speed test for every saw. The reason I bring it up is that Skil crushed it in this test.

It needs 54.03 seconds on average to make the cut, but it’s significantly faster than most of the 12V class. Only Hilti managed a better average at 51.35. If you have to cut wood with a 12V reciprocating saw, Skil is one of just 3 on my list that I’d reach for.

How Much Vibration Does it Have?

Skil does a decent job of controlling vibration. We test it with a more subjective method by letting our testing team assign a 1 – 4 score for each model. Everyone cuts with each saw in the class without any influence from the other testers. Once we wrap it all up, we average the ratings and convert it to a score.

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802

The Skil 12V brushless reciprocating saw finished with a score of 78 out of 100. Only Milwaukee and Hilti finished with higher scores in this category.

Some of the saws we tested have enough vibration to shake off a winter cold. Skil isn’t one of them and as long as you keep the shoe pressed against the material you’re cutting, the vibration is very manageable.

What Features Does it Have?

Brushless Motor

Skil put a brushless motor in this model, something only Hilti and Milwaukee also do. Does it sound like things are getting repetitive with these three? That’s awfully impressive company Skil is keeping, especially for a brand that’s supposed to be targeting DIYers!

In addition to longer runtime and longer tool life, you can read more about the benefits of brushless motors here.

Shoe Design

Skil bucks the trend of most manufacturers in its 12V shoe design by including a pivoting end. There’s no length adjustment to use different sections of the blade, but only Makita includes that at the 12V level.

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802

LED Light

Like the rest of the group, Skil includes an LED light to help you see in darker areas. What’s a little different is the afterglow the build in. Once you let go of the trigger, you have a few more seconds of light before it goes out.

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802

What Missing?

12V reciprocating saws aren’t known for having a lot of bells and whistles, but there are a couple of things other brands offer that Skil doesn’t include.

  • Lever blade release instead of a shaft release (DeWalt)
  • Spring blade ejection (Makita)

How Big Is It?

With the exception of Makita and DeWalt, the other 12V saws share a pretty similar form factor with an angled one-hand design. Skil’s length is 12.8″. It’s small, but that’s actually the longest of the one-hand designs in the 12V class.

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802

I wouldn’t let that sway you too much, though. This is a compact tool and it doesn’t feel like it’s oversized at all.

How Much Does it Weigh?

As a bare tool, Skil weighs in at 3.2 pounds. Adding the 2.0Ah battery moves it up to 3.9 pounds. That’s among the heavier models in the 12V class. With their respective batteries, the group ranges from 2.7 pounds up to 4.1 pounds.

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802

Compare that to the one-hand models in the 18V class running as high as 6.4 pounds there. Even though Skil is in the heavier part of its 12V class, it not burdensome, especially compared to what you get by moving up to 18V.

How Much Does it Cost?

If you’re already using Skil PWRCore 12 batteries, the bare tool is just $69.99. The kit is a pretty good deal at $89.00, though. It comes with a 2.0Ah battery and Skil’s upgraded PWRJump charger. That’s the one that has a USB charging port on the front and charges your battery from 0% – 25% in 5 minutes.

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Review | RS582802

There’s also a combo kit with the Skil 12V brushless reciprocating saw, brushless drill/driver, 2.0Ah battery, PWRJump charger for $149.99.

The other 12V saws we recommend range from $90 – $149 as bare tools and $90 – $189 as kits. Only Bosch’s 12V model really competes as a kit, but it isn’t brushless and ranked below Skil in our shootout. Aside from that, Skil is smoking the competition in price.

Currently, other Prosumer brands such as Ryobi and Craftsman aren’t making 12V reciprocating saws.

 

The Bottom Line

Compared to Pro-level models in the same class, the Skil 12V brushless reciprocating saw gives you mid-range cutting speed at a solid value. Whether you’re looking for a workhorse compact model as a serious DIYer or a Pro that wants an inexpensive 12V option, it’s a great bet.

Buy it if you’re willing to trade-off top-end cutting speed to spend half the money and don’t mind a little extra weight. Pass if you need the lightest or fastest 12v model available.

Skil 12V Brushless Reciprocating Saw Specifications

  • Model Tested: Skil RS582802 (2.0Ah kit with PWRJump Charger)
  • Power Source: Skil 12V battery
  • Stroke Length: 3/4″
  • Stroke Rate: 0 – 3000 RPM
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds (bare), 3.9 pounds (with 2.0Ah battery)
  • Price As Tested: $89.00
  • Warranty: 5 years
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