Skil is officially launching their PWRCore 12 and PWRCore 20 cordless power tool product families this week. Not only that, Skil is realunching their brand.
To start off, let’s talk about the brand relaunch. Chervon, a very experienced power tool maker, acquired the Skil and Skilsaw brands from Bosch, just over two years ago. In addition to manufacturing tools for other brands, they are behind EGO, which has grown to become a very popular brand of cordless outdoor power tools.
I spent some time talking with Skil’s brand manager and marketing leadership (thank you for your time!), and learned quite a bit about Skil’s philosophy and strategy.
Tools for the Modern DIYer
It comes down to this – they want to launch new power tools for the modern user. The modern DIYer, to be specific. Today’s users want good quality. They want features. They want a brand that stands behind their products with a strong warranty. And, they don’t want to spend a fortune to get all this.
Skil is avoiding “me too” products, and is seeking to leverage all of their experience and industry research into new innovations.
The new Skil PWRCore 12 cordless power tools are about delivering compact power. The Skil PWRCore 20 cordless tool lineup will include a full range of tools.
PWRAssist and PWRJump
Features such as PWRAssist, which allows users to tap into a USB port built into their cordless tool battery pack to charge their smartphone, add to the value. This makes those battery packs more useful in today’s world.
The PWRJump chargers have a special fast-charging mode that gives you a 25% battery charge in 5 minutes, and I’m told that this is enough juice to fully recharge a smartphone. You cannot do that with a typical USB power bank. Or, for a drill or driver it’s enough power to drive in 100 more screws.
The battery packs will also feature Chervon’s phase change cooling technology. It was predicted that I will be surprised at how well built the PWRCore 12 tools will be, and especially in how they perform. I was also told that the phase change cooling tech, in addition to years of R&D and involvement in the cordless power tools industry, will give the 12V-class battery packs the ability to add extra capabilities.
Skil says that their patented battery cooling system will keep battery cells cooler, even under heavy load, which will provide for up to 25% longer runtime and 2x longer battery longevity.
By this – and I don’t have specific details just yet – it was suggested that we’ll see several new kinds of cordless power tools in the Skil PWRCore 12 compact cordless power tool lineup than previously possible for tools of this class.
I previously wrote about some of these technologies here: New Skil PWRCore Cordless Power Tools – Here’s What We Know.
The majority of all the new Skil PWRCore cordless power tools will be brushless. At launch, all of the PWRCore 12 tools are brushless, but the introductory PWRCore 20 tools will be brushed.
The majority of kits will include PWRAssist-capable Li-ion battery packs, and PWRJump fast-charger-capable chargers. For some tools and kits, consumers will have the option to go with a fully-featured kit, complete with PWRAssist battery and PWRJump charger, or a more value-priced kit, with non-USB battery and a standard charger. Bare tools will also be available.
There are very many new tools on the way. The PWRCore 12 and PWRCore 20 lineups will both be launching in Q4 2018, with introductory assortments. There will be expansions in 2019, predictably in the spring and again at the start of Q4.
With the new brushed motor PWRCore 20 models, I’m told to expect them to be shockingly powerful. I am also told that the upcoming PWRCore 20 brushless power tools will be more affordable than competitors’, while delivering outstanding performance.
5 Year Warranty
The new tools will be supported with a 5-year warranty. Skil’s research has shown that today’s DIYers look for longer warranties, as it shows that a company has more confidence in their products.
When I asked about pricing, I was told that Skil was entering the mid pricepoint market, and that although their new PWRCore cordless power tools will be competitively priced, the performance of their tools will surpass that of their competitors’.
It seems that the new Skil PWRCore 20 offerings will be competing against cordless power tools by other mid-priced brands, such as Craftsman, Porter Cable, and Ryobi.
Buy Now(PWRCore Tools via Amazon)
I’m starting to get really excited about what’s to come.
Skil has raised my expectations about what their PWRCore 12 and 20 cordless power tools will deliver. And while I am usually reluctant to take manufacturer’s claims at face value, Skil’s new parent company, Chervon, has proven that it can build a great brand from the ground up. But, unlike EGO, Skil is already an established brand name, one that even millennial DIYers are familiar with.
There aren’t very many 12V-class cordless power tool options for DIYers, even if you consider pro-grade brands. Skil has the opportunity to shake things up, and I think they’re definitely going to turn some heads. No other brand offers anything like what their PWRCore 12 cordless platform offers – brushless compact power tools at DIYer-friendly prices, plus the added PWRAssist and PWRJump features discussed above and previously.
As for the PWRCore 20 lineup, I am sure that Skil knows how competitive the industry can be. There are a lot of brands already vying for DIYers’ attention, purchases, and shelf space. The new Skil PWRCore 20 cordless power tool kits, which started to appear on Amazon already, are extremely competitively priced. I’d predict that the upcoming brushless PWRCore 20 cordless power tools will deliver performance that further contributes to putting competitors on their toes.
Skil says that their PWRCore 20 brushless power tools will be powerful, yet more compact, efficient, and lightweight, in contrast to the bulky, heavy motors used by most manufacturers in the [DIY tool] space. Skil is very optimistic about the tools they’re about to bring to market, with these and other claims, but I see strong reasons to believe every one of them.
I think they have the experience, will, and direction to successfully relaunch the Skil brand. From everything I heard about their new PWRCore 12 and 20 cordless lineups, and the technology that it will be built on, DIYers have a lot to look forward to.
The next year or two will be very interesting, as Skil climbs back to relevancy and the market is forced to adjust. Something tells me that there might be some surprises along the way.
What does your Skil PWRCore 12 and PWRCore 20 cordless power tool wishlist look like? Personally, I want to see a PWRCore 12 compact multi-cutter (similar to this older Skil tool), and a cordless inflator.