Shown here is Skil’s PWRCore 12 brushless compact reciprocating saw kit (RS582802). It’s one of several compact Hackzall-like recip saws on the market, so why the big deal?
What I find surprising is that this one is currently priced at just $80, and that’s for the complete kit.
Oh, you want more for your money? Okay – Skil also has a PWRCore 12 brushless drill and reciprocating saw kit, and it’s also on sale for just $80 (CB742601).
Speaking frankly, that’s just crazy.
I reviewed the brushless Skil PWRCore 12 drill when it first came out, and it’s a very capable drill. I have only used it a couple of times since then, due to having other drills as personal favorites, but it remains one of the highest value 12V-class cordless drills on the market, and it bests other consumer and DIY brands’ comparably-priced 18V and 20V-class cordless drills, by far.
At the start of the post, I was surprised that you could buy the brushless reciprocating saw kit for just $80. But then I saw there’s a saw and drill/driver kit option, and it’s also $80, and it’s fairer to say I’m a bit shocked. I don’t know why the kit is priced so low, but I’d chalk it up more towards a desire to increase market share than anything related to quality.
Right now, there are only a couple of compact reciprocating saws on the market, and even fewer brushless models. There’s the Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hackzall, which came out a couple of years ago, and Dewalt recently came out with an Xtreme Subcompact 12V Max model. There are a few other brushed motor tools on the market.
Specs and Features
- Brushless motor
- 3/4″ stroke cutting length
- 0-3000 SPM cutting speed
- Variable speed trigger
- LED worklight
- 4″ max cutting capacity in wood
- 3/4″ max cutting capacity in aluminum
- 5/8″ max cutting capacity in metal
- Weighs 3.28 lbs with battery
The specs seem quite fair. Skil’s brushless reciprocating saw has a slightly longer stroke length and higher speed than Dewalt’s, and unless Milwaukee has quietly updated their specs over the years, the Skil’s stroke length is also a little longer than the M12 Fuel Hackzall’s.
This isn’t to say that Skil’s PWRCore 12 brushless reciprocating saw will go to head to head against Dewalt and Milwaukee tools with equal performance, endurance, and durability, but its specs seem impressive for a consumer-focused tool.
The kits come with the Skil PWRCore charger, with PWRJump fast-charging that takes the battery from 0% to 25% in 5 minutes (or 100% in 45 minutes), and a built-in USB port. You also get a 2.0Ah battery with its own built-in USB charging port, serving double duty as a power bank, giving it functionality and use even when you’re not using your tools.
I find myself asking “what’s the catch,” because at the surface I can’t believe the brushless reciprocating saw kit is priced at $80, let alone the brushless drill and saw combo kit. Personally, I think Skil might be struggling for market share, or more specifically market visibility. They seem to be largely excluded at big box stores, where shelf space is more reserved for bigger name brands, private labels, and exclusive arrangements, and overshadowed by the wealth of other options at Amazon and other online dealers. But, that’s just my opinion given the fairly high impression I have on Skil’s newest cordless power tools so far.
One of the only criticisms I can make of Skil’s 12V-class tools, at least those I’ve used or tested so far (most notably their brushless drill/driver), is that some of the tools are a bit large. Size-wise, the drill is about as large as leading pro brands’ compact 18V-class brushless power tools, but at the same time they’re substantially smaller than consumer and DIY brands’ entry-priced offerings, and so it’s more of an observation than a criticism or complaint.
I can’t find size specs for the reciprocating saw, but it looks a bit larger than the more compact brushed and brushless models on the market. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and the higher performance specs likely balances things out.
Frankly, it seems to me that these tools should – and could – be more popular than they seem to be, and at these prices, they’re practically a steal. I really don’t think that $80 is a natural promo or sale price on the combo kit, or even the saw kit, not that I’m complaining.
I started off this post titled “Skil – One More Compact Cordless (Brushless) Reciprocating Saw Option,” but changed it to where it stands now after the super low price fully sunk in. At this price, Skil should be stealing interest and sales from brands such as Craftsman and Ryobi, but on the other hand, such low might indicate that they’re not. That’s okay I guess, as lower prices are better for customers, at least for not.
Sale Price: $80 for the combo kit
Update: There’s also a 12V drill and brushless circular saw combo kit, also priced at $80, and bundled with a 4.0Ah battery. Thanks Eric!