If you have worked with wood before, then you know one of the most important tools in your workshop is a band saw. Band saws are used mainly to cut curves and irregular shapes in wood and therefore, are important tools to have if you would like to make items like cabriole legs. However, they are also used to split lumber into smaller pieces and to make cross cuts in wood, thanks to the smooth cut that they can provide.
The Multi-Purpose Band Saw
When it comes to band saws, you will search high and low to find one that is better than the Skil 3386-01. This great multipurpose tool allows the user to cut through both wood and metal, making it perfect for DIY enthusiasts and hobbyists.
This lightweight saw is easy to lift, as it weighs in at only 30 lbs. This makes it one of the most portable band saws you will ever use. Its light weight can be attributed to the cast alloy frame and table which are beautifully constructed to make this saw one of the most aesthetically pleasing tools you can get.
Robust and Powerful
Do not let the light weight lead you to believe that this is a weak tool which will break easily, as it has proven to many customers that it is indeed a strong, robust tool. The Skil 3368-01 comes with a 3 year limited warranty, which is a testament to its long lasting ability.
The Skil 3368-01 comes with steel friction-pin side blade guides to help ensure that every cut that you make is as accurate as possible. The blade itself is driven by a modest 2.5 amp electric induction motor that is capable of getting the blade up to speeds of 2800 fpm.
Cuts deep and Wide
The band saw also includes a throat depth of 9” and a maximum cutting depth of 3-5/8”, making it ideal for small jobs and hobbyist projects. It comes with a decent table that can be tilted via a geared trunnion to help make beveled cuts.
The angle of the table can be controlled using a set of concentric knobs that are calibrated with an easy to read angle scale. The table also comes with a rip fence, which further helps to increase the accuracy of your cuts.
The Skil 3386 includes a miter gauge, which is a very good addition to this tool. It helps to produce clean cuts by acting as a guide for the work that you are doing. You will find that you achieve higher accuracy, especially with cross cuts.
Useful LED and Dust port
Any person that regularly uses tools like a band saw will let you know that you should avoid using these tools in the dark. Not only are you likely to make bad cuts, it is also extremely dangerous. However, with the Skil 3368-01, you do not have to worry about working in the dark again.
This is because the saw has an LED work light that is designed to let you see what you are doing when your lighting is low. The light is adjustable, making it possible for you to see and inspect every aspect of your work.
When you are using a band saw, one of the most important things to consider is dust, and how you are going to clean it up. The Skil 3386-01 actually makes this easy for you, as it comes with a 1 ½” dust port that is designed to keep your work area clean and clear of dust.
The Skil 3368-01 may be among the best saws you can get on the market, but it has some properties that may prove to be slightly disappointing. For instance, there have been many various consumer complaints about the saw’s ability to handle larger pieces of wood.
Many users have reported that when they try to saw larger pieces of wood, the saw stops operating suddenly, messing up what could have been a clean cut. There are also reports that the vibration is out of this world, and is something that cannot be fixed regardless of the adjustments that you make.
Heavy Vibrations and Poor Build Quality
If you are not careful, it is possible for this saw to vibrate itself off the table. The vibration makes cutting and ripping wood very hard, and there has been a report of a user losing over 1/16” of wood just from sanding out the blade marks that happened thanks to the vibrations. One reason that has been given to attempt to explain this phenomenon is that the wheels that drive the saw are not completely round which points to poor build quality.
It has also been noted that there are some areas where the build quality could have been improved. For instance, there are occurrences where the table is not level, which affects the quality of the work that the saw can achieve. In addition, the knobs on the machine are weak and tend to fall off if adequate care is not taken.
The LED may be a brilliant addition to the Skil 3386-01, though one should note that the light it provides is not particularly bright. Dust accumulation can also be a problem on this machine. Despite the fact that it is supposed to have a dust port to help keep it and your work area clean, dust still ends up coating the inside of the plastic case, compromising the effectiveness of the inner workings of the saw.
With the number of things that are right about the Skil 3386-01, it would be hard not to buy one, especially if you are a hobbyist or have a few small jobs to perform. However, before you do so, you should seriously consider the size of the job that you would like to undertake before you purchase this machine, just to make sure that you are getting the right fit.