The new SKIL 9350-01 18V Cordless Reciprocating Saw is a homeowner’s dream tool – offering professional quality at a price almost anyone can afford. With an excellent power-to-weight ratio, top quality design, and the latest 18V lithium ion battery technology, this saw is an ideal for those just starting out with their first home or the seasoned do-it-yourself type.
Skil 18V Reciprocating Saw Features
As we were unpacking the Skil 18V reciprocating saw 9350-01 kit, one of the first things we noticed was how lightweight it felt in our hands. The saw had good balance, was easy to use, and appeared to be well made. The main body is made of tough ABS plastic with black rubber overmold on the handle and front body of the tool. The tool comes with a case, 2 blades, one 18V battery and a one-hour charger.
One of the more interesting features of this saw is its use of the PowerPlus battery system that makes the tool both Lithium-ion and NiCd battery compatible. Unlike some other manufacturers that have introduced new battery technology and new battery styles that are not compatible with the older tools, the SKIL 18V tools are backwards compatible with previous SKIL 18V NiCd tools. The new Lithium-ion batteries are supposed to be able to hold a charge for up to 18 months (of course we have not tested this, so for the time being we’ll have to trust the folks over at SKIL on this one). And to make all you “green” people happy, the charger for the batteries is Energy Star rated which means it meets the government standards for energy efficiency.
The Skil 9350-01 Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw kit has several great features. The first one is the tool-less blade change system. The reason we find this so important is because for most reciprocating saws, we find the blade change system to be the weakest link. With the Skil 18V reciprocating saw we didn’t have any trouble loading blades or releasing them. All you have to do is push back or hold down on the red colored tab. The blades were held in place very securely and in all the cutting tests, we did not once have a blade fall out or come loose. The only trouble we had was that, on a few of the new blades we tested, the little hole in the tang of the blade had some extra paint in it and it would not allow the pin in the saw’s blade holder to pass though very easily. Using a small screwdriver we reamed the paint out of the small hole in the blade and then had no trouble loading it into the saw.
The other feature that surprised us at this price point is the “turbo” setting. This setting really is what we call orbital action, which gives up to 20% faster cuts according to SKIL. We would like to point out that if you are cutting hard materials like metal, you will need to leave it on the “standard” setting since this is a linear “in and out” motion. The turbo setting will work better if you are cutting soft materials like wood and plastic and want to finish fast. Also, the turbo setting does not make the motor run faster, as the name might imply, so it should not require any extra energy to use it. Rather, it is more a function of the stroke action of the blade. On the top side of the saw, there is removable blade storage that might hold two or three blades. To us, this tool felt very lightweight for its size when we compared it to other cordless reciprocating saws; even at that, the saw felt sturdy in the hand when we were using it.
Basically, if you are out shopping for the best bang for the buck, the Skil 18V reciprocating saw (model 9350-01) delivers. We liked the many quality features that were packed into what is a very value targeted saw. While many heavy duty homeowners will like this tool, we think that many budget conscious contractors can also benefit from the performance. For our Performance rating we gave it an 8/10 because of all the quality features that brought the tool closer to what a professional might expect and for our Value rating we gave it a 8/10 because we think it will be hard to beat what you get with this saw for the money spent.