Skil has launched a new line of PWRCore 40V cordless power tools.
Why should you care? Well, Skil’s parent company is Chervon, which is also parent company to the hugely successful EGO brand of cordless outdoor power tools. EGO has come out with some truly amazing tools and tech in recent years and have grown to be quite popular.
So, it’s my assumption that the same folks that designed and engineered EGO’s 56V cordless outdoor power tools have put their efforts towards these new Skil 40V cordless outdoor power tools. Skil’s system operates at a lower voltage, and the tools appear to be a bit more affordable than EGO’s.
In my mind, I’m seeing these Skil tools as “EGO Lite,” and hopefully that’s how they’ll end up performing.
All of the new Skil PWRCore 40V cordless power tools look to feature brushless motor tech.
Shown above is the PWRCore 40V 5.0Ah battery, with each cell said to be surrounded by temperature management material to keep the battery cool and powering on. (EGO Batteries feature similar tech.)
Skil says that their battery tech provides for 25% longer runtime and 2X battery life.
Skil’s new 40V charger has an Auto PWRJump feature, which can charge the 5.0Ah battery up to 30% capacity in only 30 minutes. This lets you take a short break and get some final work done without much delay.
If you’re using the 2.5Ah battery, the Auto PWRJump feature gets you to 30% charge capacity in just 15 minutes.
At this time, there are 6 tools included in the launch, and they’re only available in kit format right now. It’s unknown as to when Skil might launch bare tool versions of their new cordless offerings. In addition to the 6 kits there is also a blower and trimmer combo kit. Replacement batteries and additional chargers are also available at launch.
- Blower (500 CFM)
- String Trimmer (14″)
- Hedge Trimmer (24″)
- Chainsaw (14″)
- Self-Propelled Mower (20″)
- Push Mower (20″)
Skil PWRCore 40V Blower Kit – BL4713-10
The new Skil PWRCore 40V leaf blower is kitted with a 2.5Ah battery and charger, and features a turbine fan that can deliver up to 500 CFM of airflow, variable speed trigger, and a PowerBoost feature helps to clear heavier leaves and debris.
Skil PWRCore 40V String Trimmer Kit – LT4818-10
The new 14″ string trimmer is kitted with a 2.5Ah battery and charger. It features a 14″ cutting swath, and a dual line bump-feed and twist-to-load cutter head.
It works with 0.080″ twisted line. Skil doesn’t specify the cutting speed, but says that the motor delivers “a staggering 1200 watt output.”
Skil PWRCore 40V String Trimmer and Blower Kit – CB7478-10
There’s a single combo kit available at this time – a string trimmer and blower kit, for users who want to buy into the system and get both right away. We might see additional combo kits later in the season, but that’s hard to predict.
Skil PWRCore 40V Hedge Trimmer Kit – HT4221-10
The new 24″ hedge trimmer, kitted with a 2.5Ah battery and charger, has dual action hardened steel blades and cuts at a speed of 3000 strokes per minute.
We know that EGO’s 56V 24″ and 3000 SPM hedge trimmer can cut shrubs and branches up to 3/4″ thick. Skil’s 40V hedge trimmer has a similar maximum cutting capacity of 19 mm, which is ~3/4″.
Skil PWRCORE 40V Chainsaw Kit – CS4555-10
The new 14″ chainsaw, also kitted with a 2.5Ah battery, features tool-less chain tensioning, auto-lubrication, and an anti-kickback brake.
Replacement 14″ bars and chains look to be available at launch.
Skil PWRCore 40V Self-Propelled Mower Kit – SM4910-10
The new Skil 40V self-propelled mower features a 20″ cutting capacity and deck size, mulching, side discharge, and rear discharge modes, 60L collector capacity, and 7 cutting height settings from 1/4″ to 4″.
It has a push-button start and a folding and telescoping handle that allows for vertical storage.
The mower is kitted with a 5Ah battery and 150W charger.
Skil PWRCore 40V Push Mower Kit – PM4910-10
Skil is also launching a new push mower, and from what I can tell, it’s identical in specs and functionality to the self-propelled mower, except for the lack of motorized wheels. The wheels on this mower appear to be larger – at least at the front – which should help with manual maneuverability.
This mower is also kitted with a 5.0Ah battery and 150W charger.
Batteries and Charging Time
2.5Ah Battery (BY8705-00): 60 mins
5.0Ah Battery (BY8708-00): 120 mins
These charging rates are with the standard 150W charger (SC5364-00).
Pricing and Availability
At the time of this posting, it looks like Acme Tools has the tools at MSRP pricing, which will be quoted below, and Amazon has most of them at randomly lower pricing. At this time it looks like the tools are expected to start shipping in April or May.
- Blower Kit: $180
- String Trimmer Kit: $180
- Buy Now via Acme Tools
- Buy Now via Amazon – lower priced (~$161)
- Blower and String Trimmer Combo Kit: $250
- Buy Now via Acme Tools
- Buy Now via Amazon – lower priced (~$220)
- Hedge Trimmer Kit: $180
- Buy Now via Acme Tools
- Buy Now via Amazon – lower priced (~$165)
- Chainsaw Kit: $220
- Buy Now via Acme Tools
- Buy Now via Amazon – lower priced ($215)
- Self-Propelled Mower Kit: $480
- Buy Now via Acme Tools
- Buy Now via Amazon – lower priced ($439)
- Push Mower Kit: $380
- Buy Now via Acme Tools
- Buy Now via Amazon – lower priced ($250)
- Compact 2.5Ah Battery: $110
- Buy Now via Acme Tools
- Buy Now via Amazon – lower price (~$99)
- 5.0Ah Battery: $190
- Buy Now via Acme Tools
- Buy Now via Amazon – lower price (~$166)
- Charger: $50
The first thing that confuses me – and might bother me a little – is the “Auto PWRJump” feature, which charges a 2.5Ah battery from 0 to 30% in 15 minutes, and charges a 5.0Ah battery from 0 to 30% in 30 minutes.
I had to dig a little to find the SKU for the replacement charger, and only there does it say that the 2.5Ah battery fully charges in 60 minutes, and the 5.0Ah battery in 120 minutes.
Now, those are decent charging times – pretty fast actually. I don’t doubt that this is made possible thanks to the cooling wrap around each battery cell that keeps things cool and high-performing during use as well as charging.
But what’s the point in marketing the system’s Auto PWRJump feature if all it means is that you get 30% charging in 25% the time it takes for a full charge? That’s not surprising, since charging curves aren’t linear – it takes less time to charge a depleted battery than to top off a partially or nearly fully-charged one.
Oh, I see – Auto PWRJump. This is why there’s no mention of a PWRJump feature, button, or activation in the online user manual – because it’s automatic.
If a battery and charger don’t have a specific boosting or quick-charge function, why not simply market the 0-30% charging time without giving it a fancy name like Auto PWRJump.
That little peeve aside – as I don’t like that I was led to believe there was some kind of quick-boost charging function, which Chervon has built into some chargers before – I think that Skil is launching a solid line of cordless outdoor power tools.
Actually, I have very little doubt that these tools will perform well, although I’m known to be overly optimistic at times. EGO has come out with some excellent cordless outdoor power tools. With this Skil launch, I’m sure that Chervon leveraged their years of know-how and advancements.
Sure, these tools are less expensive then EGO tools, and that might mean lower performance, but the specs so far seem fair and balanced.
I really like EGO’s 15″ carbon fiber shaft string trimmer. At the time of this posting, it’s $229 via Home Depot, kitted with a 2.5Ah battery and charger. Skil’s trimmer is a 14″ trimmer, and it uses thinner line – 0.080″ vs. 0.095″. With that in mind, and the smaller battery (40V vs. 56V), the $180 kit price of the Skil seems proportionate.
With the Skil trimmer, you still get an easy twist-to-load bump-feed cutter head.
The biggest hurdle for Skil, in my opinion, is in how they market the new PWRCore 40V cordless tool lineup. Skil’s PWRCore 12V and 20V cordless power tool lines have expanded, but I think they need greater visibility.
Here, there’s a brand new line of Skil PWRCore 40V outdoor power tools, and I only learned about it from one of my “check to see if there’s something new on Amazon” searches. There are tools up on Skil’s website, Acme Tools, and Amazon, but no press releases, no launch announcements, nothing.
But the biggest problem is in retailer support.
Home Depot marketed EGO very heavily, and I believe that’s what boosted the brand into the leadership spot in the cordless outdoor power tool market, or at least the consumer OPE market. EGO sprung forward, and while other consumer brands have been working on their cordless lawn, garden, landscaping, and other outdoor cordless power tool offerings, EGO seems to be way ahead in performance, popularity, and innovation.
Skil might very well have the potential to be a leader in the 36V to 40V cordless outdoor power tool market, despite the late start. But, they need support to get there, which means spending money on advertising (hey – we’ve got some open spots and opportunities), but also coordinating with retailers on promotions and emphasized placements.
Lowe’s is likely focus on promoting Craftsman cordless outdoor power tools. Home Depot will likely continue promoting EGO and Ryobi at the consumer level, and brands such as Dewalt, Makita, and Milwaukee for pros and consumers with deeper budgets.
Which retailers are going to emphasize Skil? Amazon? Are sponsored placements going to be enough? On a platform like Amazon’s, Skil will have competitors such as Greenworks to contend with, and also brands such as Worx, and even Black & Decker. Amazon also offers Craftsman V60 cordless power tools, and I’m sure there will be coordinated marketing efforts as there were last year.
I’m optimistic about Skil’s new 40V cordless outdoor power tools, but I’m worried about how well the line will fare against more visible competitors. We’ve seen expansion in PWRCore 12V and 20V product lines, and so maybe Chervon will have the momentum to make Skil a household name (again?).
Right now, you can order a Craftsman V20 string trimmer kit (13″, 0.080″ line) for $139 via Amazon, or a V60 kit (15″, 0.095″) for ~$182 via Amazon. Greenworks has a 12″ 0.080″ trimmer kit for $180. Skil’s 40V trimmer seems like a better buy than Greenworks’, and its intro price of $161 at Amazon is lower than the presumed MSRP of $180. But does it have enough to compete with Craftsman’s returning clout and market share?
The tools look decent, but the fact remains that I felt compelled to mention Skil’s sibling brand, EGO, in the post title to ensure that it caught enough readers’ interest to justify the time and effort of a detailed news post. That sentiment, that I didn’t think enough of you would be interested in the post if I only mentioned Skil in the title and left out their relationship to EGO, highlights the problem.
That all said, I am quite optimistic about the new tools. Skil has their work cut out for them in raising brand visibility and familiarity, but fortunately I have near-zero concerns about the quality and performance of these tools – this is Chervon’s specialty.
For the price, I’d strongly consider Greenworks Pro 60V. For $180 you get 180 more CFM in the blower model number: BL60L251. Other items are comparable or around the same price but I’d say they are on-par or beats EGO…and Skil is positioned as EGO lite.
There are probably downsides to Greenworks Pro 60V, thus far the only thing I’ve found is that the line trimmer is 0.80 line as opposed to 0.095(EGO and Skil both can use the larger line).
If you are in the market and want to look at Greenworks reviews but find information lacking, you can add Kobalt 40V and 80V OPE to your search.
Can’t comment on the 60v, but the 80v (and the Kobalt rebrand, which is exactly the same, both tools and batteries other than a tab position) are phenomenal. I have the trimmer, chainsaw (18″), push mower (new version) and the older blower. There’s pretty much everything you could want, batteries are reasonably priced, and bare tools are available. The 5ah battery can get almost two full 1/4 acre mows for me (bagging) and I’ve yet to run into a chainsaw job it couldn’t handle. Yes the chain gets a bit dull faster (it’s a narrow one),but it powers through anything I’ve thrown at it and is well balanced. I had Dewalt’s 40v stuff originally, but got into the Kobalt 80v on a clearance deal and it’s been fantastic.
Can anyone assist me with a compatible head replacement for the LT4818 14″ string trimmer?
Factory head failed after 9 uses….replacement failed after 7 uses. CHEAP plastic just dissengrates under normal use rendering it useless and in pcs.
Will EGO brand fit my shaft???
TY for any hints.
Ironically, I (literally a different person) also have an assortment of Kobalt/Greenworks 80V. Ideally would have stayed in one system but found better deals on one vs. the other at different times.
The blower and mower are both AWESOME. The mower gives a cleaner cut than my old (admittedly cheap) gas powered Troy Bilt. The blower is, as far as I can tell, more powerful than most consumer grade gas models. I’m sure it won’t beat a pro-grade backpack blower, but it’s more than sufficient for my use.
The string trimmer is decent, but rather heavy. The best thing about it is its compatibility with widely available gas trimmer universal attachments. I regularly use mine with a TrimmerPlus cultivator attachment and a blade edger. For routine week to week perimeter trimming, it’s really overkill and I prefer using a much lighter Ryobi 18V One+ single line trimmer I got for around $50 last year.
pwrcore 40 14″ string trimmer head is made of very thin plastic vs industry standards. 8 weekly uses has rendered it useless !!! ( Currently out of stock at Lowes).
I guess I’ll be using my Poulan gas weed eater till I can modify head unit.
Fairly satisfied with 20″ push mower but batteries could last longer.
I like Skil’s clean-slate approach to jumping in with brushless motors, ring-light illumination, and modern amenities like built-in USB charging. My two Skil PWRCore 12 inflators are good enough that I gave my Milwaukee M12 inflators to my kids. That said, here are my thoughts on some of their 40V tools:
Blower (500 CFM). That’s one honkin’-wide nozzle, so it oughta blow like crazy. Skil should be applauded for focusing on air volume, not air speed.
String Trimmer (14″). I don’t understand why a string trimmer needs more than 18 volts, especially if can’t use string that’s thicker than 0.095 inch.
Hedge Trimmer (24″). It can cut a 3/4-inch branch? So can my 24-inch Milwaukee, with 18 volts.
Chainsaw (14″). Skil aims to serve consumers who aren’t the most tech-savvy. So I wish Skil had licensed the sharpen-in-place system developed by Oregon.
Here’s the thing – higher voltage tools can use higher voltage current and thus they run cooler even if they operate at the same power output.
A 40V (Max) battery running at 36V nominal, and with a 5Ah charge capacity, has a calculated power capacity of 180 watt-hours. With a 2.5Ah battery, its calculated power capacity is 90 watt-hours.
An 18V tool with a 5Ah charge capacity has a calculated power capacity of 90 watt-hours.
What’s the cost of acquisition for someone new to a system?
In my opinion, a consumer is going to have an easier time buying into a consumer OPE system, such as this one, Craftsman’s, or EGO’s. Now if that consumer has cordless power tool needs and wants as well, that’s where Milwaukee M18, Dewalt FlexVolt, Makita 18V and 18VX2 systems shine.
Drawing comparisons between pro systems and consumer systems gets complicated, fast.
With string trimmers, if you increase the line length, you increase the motor load. Increase the line thickness, and you increase the motor load.
Looking at Worx’s WG160, a 20V Max tool, it has a 12″ cutting swath and 0.065″ line diameter.
Black & Decker’s LST136, a 40V Max tool, has a 13″ cutting swath and 0.065″ line length.
Ryobi’s 40V string trimmer has a 13″ to 15″ adjustable cutting path and 0.080″ line diameter.
Stepping up to a higher voltage system makes more power easily available, but I think the biggest benefit is the greater runtime.
I have a 18V Ryobi string trimmer and it’s fine 90% of the time but I could see where more power would be good if your clearing an overgrown area.
I like the looks of these. I also like the looks of the Skil 12V line, but still I really wish I could see them locally in person. A few months ago Lowes starting pushing them in online ads but I haven’t seen them in the stores near me yet.
The few cordless Skil tools at Lowe’s are often hidden on an endcap on one of the islands with the power tools.
They can be hard to spot given the color scheme, often they are on the end of the same island as the Craftsman tools and so they really blend in.
I went to several local Lowe’s for weeks/months before I noticed the Skil cordless tools because of this.
This is probably good news for the electric lawn equipment market, competition is a good thing and maybe the Skil stuff will wind up in places where the EGO brand isn’t, or will compete at a lower price point.
I agree about the marketing gimmick, it’s dumb when companies tout a basic charging function as some sort of special feature.
I really like that Skil is offering a non-self-propelled push mower, but I would prefer if they ditched the rear bagging design for it. It’s probably less expensive to make both mowers with the same body and just leave off the motorized drivetrain, but I’m tired of getting rear bagging mowers when I just want one that does mulching and side discharge with no rear bag or even the ability to mount or use one.
Interesting. I’m looking for more specialized equipment (i.e. a dethatcher, cultivator, edger, etc.) but there aren’t many cordless options on the market yet. Hopefully having two price point options now will give Chervon more scale to launch specialty tools downstream. More competition is always a good thing for the consumer.
Cultivator and edger I’ve just been using trimmerplus and Ryobi expand-it universal attachments on my cordless Kobalt 80V (same as greenworks) string trimmer without any problems. I think they recommend against a brushcutter, but otherwise work with all universal “gas trimmer” attachments.
Make sure you get one that is attachment capable (split shaft) if you go greenworks, as I think they also sell a solid shaft trimmer that won’t do this.
Ego has a similar system with their power-head and attachment system, but you’re locked into their slightly more expensive attachments and a plastic gear engagement system that doesn’t strike me as particularly durable but seems to have great reviews.
I wonder if these will be compatible with the True HVL Skilsaw batteries? Pity if no…
Not that I know of.
The True HVL tools are a nominal 48 volts (about 43V under load). So no.
So many cordless come and go, it’s risky to get into any system these days. I bought the V60 system when it was on fire sale ($200 for the self propelled mower for example) last year knowing it may not be serviceable down the line. The Chinese need to start making cheap (cross brand) battery adaptors…..
Been using Ryobi 40v platform for 2 years and have nothing but praise for the outlay of cash. Lots of good deals and brands. Great time to be a consumer!
Love my Skil mower & blower – excellent performance last summer. Now if only they had a snowblower …