Since 1924, Skil has been producing quality power tools, not only for the professional handyman but also for the passionate amateur or even just the regular Joe/Jane who wants to redo his/her bathroom. As with any other renovation endeavor, choosing the right tool for the job is crucial. To accommodate different needs, Skil has a set of different tools purposed for one job, the precision of cutting of tiles using a wet tile saw.
Before you choose, you must consider a few different factors, such as the number of tiles you’re going to cut as well as the sizes of the individual tiles. The following models all include a 7-inch diamond saw, suitable for different kinds of materials. It will make short work of ceramic, porcelain and granite.
Talk about an unobtrusive piece of equipment. The small frame of the 3540-01 is perfect for quick use and easy storage. At 7.2 inches tall, with a 17×15 inch base, it will fit in any garage or tool shed. Weighing a little less than 19 pounds, moving it around shouldn’t be much trouble. You won’t be worrying about batteries either, as the 3540-01 connects into any 120 V outlet.
This is a wet saw, which means that the 7-inch blade will be showered with water when the power is on, making it possible to cut tiles precisely without overheating the blade, while at the same time washing off burrs and splinters. The wet tile saw comes with an adjustable rib fence with a miter gauge. It allows for bevel cuts from 0 to 45 degrees. If any criticism is to be made, the water reservoir is a little limited, which means you may have to replenish it after a couple dozen cuts. Also, while its light weight makes it practical, a heavier base could’ve made it more stable.
That being said, considering the constant flow of water, don’t expect much of it to land on you. The blade guard will also keep bits and pieces from flying into your face.
This a redimensioned version of the 3540, weighing 17.7 pounds, reaching a 7.8-inch height and with a 18×14.5 inch base. As with the 01 model, this is a corded saw, which connects to a 120 V outlet. It supports tile of up to 12×12 inches. It has a cross-cut capacity of 7.75 inches and a diagonal-cut capacity of 7.25 inches.
Both this model and the 3540-01 are a perfect fit for quick, small jobs. The equipment has no laser guides, but nevertheless, it’s possible to perform very precise cuts with ease.
This 3550 model is considerably sturdier than the 3540. It weighs 24 pounds, has a 22×18 inch base and reaches a height of 8.5 inches. The heavier set of this model makes it more stable, allowing for more precise cuts.
The water containment system in this model allows you to set the saw in the same room that you’re renovating, keeping the water splash to a minimum. Not only that, but they also channel the water back to the reservoir, so you don’t have to replenish it as often. Once again, the guard over the wt tile saw keeps splashes to a minimum, along with any bits and pieces of tile that might fly off.
The 3550 can cut up to 18×18 inch tiles. The miter gauge is also present in this model, as well as the ability to perform bevel cuts from 0 to 45 degrees. The rib fence in this model has a somewhat flimsy feel to it and didn’t work as well as expected. On the flip side, the guide locks well and the engraved rulers are accurate.
SKIL Wet Tile Saws: Conclusion
Overall, the Skil wet saws are quality products that will certainly get the job done. You can expect ease of use and straight, clean cuts. However, these are not heavy-duty products and should not be treated as such. If you’re renovating an area over 500 square feet, you may have to consider more suitable options. When dealing with a large volume of tiles, the slower speed of these instruments may prove cumbersome after some time.
Finally, if you’re not sure whether to rent a wet tile saw for your particular renovation or buy your own, you can trust that you’re better off owning a Skil wet tile saw. They’re compact enough to stay out of your way when you’re not using them and powerful enough to get you through any small-scale job you plan on doing.