Skil came out with their 360 Quick Select cordless screwdriver a couple of months ago, and at the time I was pretty excited about its feature set, which includes a built-in rotating 12-bit cartridge and USB charging port.
After a few tests I put together a quick initial review video:
At the time, my only minor gripe with the driver was how easy it was to jam up the bit cartridge when pushing new bits forward. The oddest thing was that this only happened during testing and not at all during the few times I tested it. To be fair, I was being a little forceful with the bit plunger mechanism.
Now, more than 6 months a few more uses later, I have a few more thoughts to share about the Skil 360 Quick Select screwdriver.
To be honest, I don’t really like the 12-bit carousel. I thought I would prefer the large built-in bit carousel, at least compared to the Worx semi-automatic screwdriver which comes with two removable and interchangeable cartridges, but that wasn’t the case. The Worx driver proved to be more compact and a little more convenient to use.
Actually, I didn’t really find much benefit in having a built-in bit carousel or drop-in bit cartridge at all. At times when I didn’t need a pro-grade or clutched screwdriver, I wanted to reach for the Black & Decker Gyro I tested and have yet to give away.
By no means do I mean to suggest there’s anything wrong with the Skil 360, because it’s actually a reasonably good tool. But it just didn’t seem like a good match for me. I also felt that its construction could have been a tad better, as it’s not a good sign that the plastic bit plunger knob kept popping off.
As far as torque goes, Skil hasn’t published exact specifications, but I never really found the tool to be lacking, at least compared to other 3.6V/4V Max cordless screwdrivers. The 360 Quick Select has a single speed trigger and 200 RPM gearbox.
The Li-ion battery charges in 3-5 hours and it holds its charge for up to 18 months.
My test sample is destined for the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, and I actually think they’ll find it to be useful. Having a decently sized assortment of bits inside the tool should save mobile users the hassle of having to dig through a tool bag to find a small insert bit holder or box.
I think that this is a great cordless screwdriver for DIYers, and possibly mobile users who don’t really need pro-grade construction, a removable battery pack, or built-in adjustable clutch. DIYers who rarely misplace their screwdriver bits – or who have plenty of spares – will probably get along just fine with the 360 Quick Select as with simpler cordless screwdrivers like the B&D Gyro or Skil iXO.
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Thank you to Skil for providing the review sample unconditionally. Review samples are typically given away, donated, or retained for benchmark and comparison purposes.
I bought one of these last summer or thereabouts to use for odds and ends. It’s not a bad little tool. I found the bits can jam on occasions, I helped alleviate it somewhat by putting a tiny bit of white grease on the forward shoulders of the hex shanks on the bits. That helped cut down on the occasional jams quite a bit. The bit retention is rather clever. It’s magnetic. using a powerful magnet to hold it inside. I worried the magnetic force would carry through the bit and cause some issues (sometimes I want a magnetic bit, other times I don’t). Turns out the retaining magnet is bi-polar and completes the magnetic “circuit” at the end opposite the tip, and no magnetic force exists at the tip. In fact, I can magnetize a tip and put it in the chuck and it works as expected. Some thought was definitely given there.
I wish the driver had variable speed, when you reach the end of the screw as your tightening it, it hits pretty hard, in cases of electronic assembly/disassembly, it’s easy to overtighten small screws. The B&D Gyro works well as a variable torque driver when held loosely.
The little driver comes in handy for tearing stuff apart for recycling, like computers, electronics and such. Almost any bit you need is handy, just a twist away.
For me, the issue isn’t the carousel, the ease of ejecting bits, etc. It always comes down to the power supply. No one tool is inclusive for all applications. They all have their place. When I’m involved in a project where I have a lot of hardware, particularly when I need continual bit changes, this could be a great thing.
My problem is tools with installed non-interchangeable batteries. When I need something like this, I need it. I may not reach for it however for months at a time. When I finally get around to an application, the tool no longer performs to spec. That’s because the batteries have gone for an extended period of non-usage.
While it’s not convenient to install 4 rechargeable AA’s, I would much rather deal with batteries that can at least be replaced. These are low voltage tools anyway. It’s not like an expensive rechargeable is necessary for the tool to perform to spec.
I would purchase a cheap Black and Decker that accepts standard AA’s before this. Not to suggest that this tool isn’t superior in every other regard. It’s just that a battery operated tool is only as good as the available power. I know that batteries have come a long way in recent years. If I have no means of replacing them however, that’s usually where I lose interest.
For me, the issue with these Skil tools is the battery. The USB charging port is a nice option that makes it appear high-tech, but, like a Macbook, the lack of a removable, replaceable battery means when the battery no longer takes a charge, you have a paperweight. While it may be possible to take the tool apart and source a replacement, it’s bound to cost more than buying an entire new unit.
From now on, I only buy cordless tools with batteries that detach, easily and by design. The ones with batteries built-in are for suckers. Too bad Skil is still doing this.
You’ll be hard pressed to find cordless drivers with removable batteries for under $60-75 or so.
From development, production, marketing, and support standpoints, there is no easy way Skil could have built and sold this driver without a built-in battery at its $40-50 price point.
You won’t get any arguement out of me there. I’m not suggesting that it’s not worth the price. I’m not suggesting that they should make one with interchangeable batteries at the same price point. I’m only saying that from my personal vantage point, I don’t pick up tools like this often enough to keep them operational in the way of power.
As previously stated, I know that batteries have come a long way in recent years. A battery that sits unused today is not the same thing as a few short years ago. That said, my experience is that when I finally get around to needing these things, they just don’t perform up to spec at that point. Then I end up with a useless tool that as “Toolfreak” says, a paperweight.
Spending the extra on a tool with interchangeable batteries is usually cheaper for my purposes in the long run.
The built in battery allows for a smaller design. In the manual it clearly states how and when to replace it when that time comes. In my oppinion it’s a perfectly compact, reliable tool that won’t lose your bits on the job.
We picked up one of these to go on our truck a while back. It’s not something that we typically use, but on the occasions we have, it has proven useful. We had a dorm which had had the drop in tiles in the hallways swapped by a contractor for fiberglass tiles, and we had to swap the tiles that had smoke detectors mounted. Replacement among other things involved the addition of two cosmetic rings sandwiched on either side of the ceiling tile to prevent the smoke detector base from moving when the head is removed. Being able to quickly swap between bits, while not having to worry about dropping or losing them was welcome, especially since we had to do this for something on the order of 45-50 devices over a period of a day.
The features of the tool is better then all of the other manufacturers that i have ever got I’m verry happy with how it works. The on-board bits, the light, the rapid recharge, they’re are all top notch! I couldn’t find anything better. It’s amazing. The power is told to be extremely effective compaired to the others. Its a Superior tool in every way. and I highly recomend it to you all!