Skil 7 Amp Flooring Saw - Canadian Woodworking Magazine

Makes the job of installing flooring quicker and easier

skil_3600

Skil 7 Amp Flooring Saw



One of the problems faced by avid DIYers who want to upgrade the flooring in their homes is not having the right equipment. In order to do the job well, you need access to a table saw (for ripping stock) and a miter saw (for making crosscuts and miter cuts). For contractors and flooring installers, access to equipment isn't the crucial issue; rather it's transporting the equipment to and from the job site.



The new Skil 7 Amp Flooring Saw (3600) is a unique saw that makes flooring installation significantly easier for both DIYers and professionals. It combines the features of a rip saw and a miter saw into one portable, precision cutting machine. 



The 7 Amp motor turns the blade at 11,000 RPM, which is about two and a half times faster than a table or miter saw. This is essentially a function of the small 4-3/8" diameter blade size. The 40 tooth carbide tipped blade (#75540, about $15) that comes with the saw gives a reasonably smooth cut. Skil doesn't provide any additional blade configurations; however any 4-3/8" blade with a 3/4" arbor, such as the Freud Diablo D0436X, will fit the saw.
 

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40-tooth carbide tipped blade
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Rubber foot and mounting hole
The 3600 is ultra compact, measuring just under 18" by 27", and weighing about 25 pounds. Most of the saw is made of die-cast aluminum, which contributes to its light weight, and of course means you don't have to worry about rust. Four holes in each corner of the table allow you to bolt the saw directly to a workbench, or better, to a piece of 3/4" ply, which in turn can be clamped to the workbench. As well, there are four rubber topped legs on each corner that raise the table top to 1-1/2" high, the same thickness as a 2 by. If you place the saw directly on the floor floor, you can use a scrap piece of studding to support longer stock. Very clever. There is also a convenient cord wrap.
 

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Carry handle
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Stock hold down
There is a carry handle on one side of the saw, and underneath the base you'll find a push stick and hex wrench. You also get a stock clamp, thought there isn't any place to store it on the saw, and a rather small dust bag. Fortunately, you can attach a shop vacuum hose to the dust port, which you'll likely want to do if cutting more than a few boards. The saw accepts a small (1-1/4" diameter) hose. I would have liked it if Skil included an adapter, as most shop vacs have 2-1/2" hoses.
 

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1 1/2" dust port
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Dust bag
The motor slides smoothly along two 1" diameter stainless steel guide rods. You'll want to keep these rods clean to ensure smooth operation of the saw head. It wouldn't hurt to occasionally treat them with a silicon spray. A lock knob holds the saw head fixed halfway along the guide rods. You make rip cuts with the saw head in this position. For crosscuts and miter cuts the lock knob is retracted to allow the saw head to slide along the rods. The design of the saw limits it to cutting stock up to 3/4" thick.
 

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1" guide rods
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Lock bolt
The fence is attached parallel to the saw blade when making rip cuts. Two tabs on the bottom of the fence align it on the table, while a threaded lock bolt fixes it securely in place. You can adjust the fence so that it's precisely parallel to the saw blade. To make crosscuts or miter cuts you mount the fence perpendicular to the saw blade. Switching the fence from one location to the other is very quick. It could be done much quicker if not for the length of the lock bolt. The bolt is 1-1/4" long, and it takes about twenty turns of the knob to lock the fence in place. I think a shorter bolt is called for.
 

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Rip-cutting
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Crosscutting
When ripping you push stock toward the saw blade (the saw head remains locked in position); when crosscutting or making miter cuts it's the other way around - the stock is held securely in place against the fence by means of a stock clamp, and you move the saw head over the work piece.
 

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Miter cutting
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Scales are large and easy to read
The stamped scales on the saw table are large and easy to read, and there are detents at 0-degrees, 22.5-degrees and 45-degrees, which make it quick to set up and miter cuts. You can make rip cuts on stock up to 8 1/2" wide, crosscuts on stock up to 15 3/4" wide, and 45-degree miter cuts on stock up to 10 1/2". This is pretty generous; I normally work with flooring that uis much narrower.

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Arbor lock
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Controls are easily reached and the handle is comfortable to use
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This is a very safe saw for anyone to use, but particularly for people not used to woodworking tools or machinery. There is a front hold down bracket, rear anti-kickback pawls, spreader/riving knife, and a clear plastic guard covering most of the saw blade. Replacing the blade is relatively quick, and the arbor lock is easy to reach.
 
In operation the Skil 7 Amp Flooring Saw (3600) runs smoothly, and changing from rip to crosscut mode is quick. The saw is quite loud (107.2 decibels, no load) so hearing protection is important. You can drag it along the floor without risk of damaging the finish. It's much quicker and more convenient than alternating between a table saw and miter saw. It's also super portable, making it easy to cart to a job site, and to move from room to room in a house. The 3600 isn't limited to cutting flooring. You can use it for molding, baseboards and all kinds of trim work.



KEY FEATURES:


  • 7 amp motor
  • 11,000 RPM
  • 17 3/4" D x 26 3/4"W
  • Die-cast aluminum
  • Self-aligning rip/miter fence
  • 4 3/8" 40-tooth carbide blade
  • 3/4" arbor size
  • 8 1/2" max width for rip cut
  • 15 34" max crosscut at 0-degrees
  • 10 1/2" max width at 45-degrees
  • Detents at 0, 22.5, and 45-degrees
  • vacuum bag and dust port
  • 25 lbs
  • 2 year warranty
  • Includes: one 40T carbide blade, fence, blade wrench, stock clamp, push stick

MANUFACTURER:Skil
AVAILABLE FROM:Tool and equipment suppliers nation-wide
RETAIL PRICE:$199.99
MODEL #:3600
MADE IN:China

Author: 
Carl Duguay
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