Among its range of tools, the Skil brand offers a unique cordless jigsaw, the Skil 3420 DA. A model that offers a good number of well thought out features for simple and efficient use.
Skil is an American brand founded at the beginning of the 20th century, and a subsidiary of the Chinese group Chervon since 2016. It started with the first electric saw and now offers both jigsaws, drills, sanders, and garden tools. like lawn mowers or hedge trimmers.
As of this writing, the Skil 3420 DA jigsaw is the manufacturer’s only cordless model. Its characteristics position it in the mid-range of the category. It offers a stroke height of 23 mm for cuts in wood not exceeding 65 mm. It is able to move its blade at a speed of 2800 strokes / min and benefits from an adjustable pendulum movement in 3 positions.
The Skil 3420 DA comes with a 2.5 Ah battery, charger, storage bag and blade set for wood and metal.
The Skil 3420 DA takes the form of a jigsaw with a yoke handle. A format that is easy to learn for good precision. The assembly of the machine is flawless and the materials used are correct. The housing has side vents to remove heat from the engine. The grip that covers the handle and the front is not very catchy. This remains a minor defect for a tool intended to be used mainly flat.
The variator integrated into the trigger allows the blade speed to be adjusted relatively precisely. The good thing about this type of trigger is that the blade stops almost instantly when released. The flip side is that on long cuts it is difficult to maintain a speed that is not the maximum speed. Materials that require this kind of precision should therefore be avoided as much as possible. We prefer jigsaws which require pressing 2 buttons at a time to operate, for added user safety. In terms of safety, the Skil 3420 still offers a button that locks the trigger so that it cannot be pressed.
Safety isn’t really put forward by Skil’s jigsaw, however. Around the blade, only a metal bar placed in front of the blade prevents an object or a finger from coming to meet it. Some machines offer for their part a small cover which protects more, in addition to limiting the projection of fragments.
The blade change system offered by the 3420 DA is very practical. You just have to reassemble the plastic that surrounds the grip of the blade, slide a blade in, then release the cover to fix it. This is one of the most practical systems we have come across. The blade is also well maintained and does not come off-center during cutting. Skil’s jigsaw sight is rudimentary. It is suitable for 90 ° cuts, but not for the other angles offered.
A blower system is supposed to clear the sawdust from the cutting line. In practice, this breath is too weak to properly fulfill its function. The base of the saw can accommodate a rip fence, which is however not supplied. An accessory, delivered, to slide under the casing allows to connect a suction system to evacuate the sawdust.
The cutting angle can be adjusted to 3 positions for flat or 45 ° cuts on both sides. Here again, Skil’s system is ingenious. A small lever allows you to slightly unscrew the screw that holds the sole and change its position. A much simpler way than the usual hexagonal wrench required by most competitive machines.
The Skil 3420 DA weighs 1.9 kg without battery and 2.3 kg with its 2.5 Ah accumulator. Values which position it in the average of our comparison. This type of jigsaw being required to work flat, placed on the material to be cut, the weight is not particularly handicapping.
Despite a speed of 2,800 strokes / min and a stroke height of 23mm, the Skil 3420 DA only promises cuts up to 65mm thick in wood. Models like the Ryobi R18JS-0 or the Bosch Professional GST 18V-LI S, for their part, can exceed 100 mm.
Skil’s jigsaw isn’t ridiculous when it comes to cutting, though. She is quite adept at curving and straight cuts in melamine and plywood. The different levels of the pendulum movement, which mimics the stroke of a hand saw, allow a slight gain in cutting speed, at the cost of a marked drop in precision. In oak, at 27 mm thick, cutting is a bit more complicated, but still achievable. It is the 45 ° cuts that are pleasantly surprising: in these complicated positions, the machine remains stable and the cut keeps a good rhythm.
For greater thicknesses, it will be necessary to rely on the pendulum mode. Unfortunately, this faster cut limits precision. For fairly thick laminate worktops, you will have to opt for an upside-down cutout or use a sacrificial board to preserve the coating. Too bad Skil does not offer a splinter guard on his jigsaw.
Cutouts in metal are quite possible. The Skil 3420 DA is not the fastest in this exercise, but it does well.
With a measurement of 79 dB (A) at a distance of 1 meter from the Skil 3420 turning at full speed, the jigsaw is among the quietest machines in our comparison.
Autonomy and charge
We carried out the autonomy test with the Skil Li-ion “20 V Max” battery of 18 V and 2.5 Ah. It allows the 3420 to hold for 42 minutes before calling back its charger. An endurance which places it above the average of our comparison.
On the other hand, you have to be patient when recharging the batteries of the jigsaw. It takes 1 hour 7 minutes for a full charge.
Skil 3420 DA Jigsaw- Conclusion
The Skil 3420 DA cordless jigsaw delivers a good performance overall. Without excelling anywhere, it is quite versatile and able to face many uses. The 3420 DA is not as precise as a Bosch Professional GST 18V-LI S , but it is much more accessible and easier to handle.
Pros of Skil 3420 DA
- Good grip.
- Clean cut in thin metal.
- Easy blade change.
- Cut in not very thick wood.
- Cutting angle change system.
Cons of Skil 3420 DA
- Low protection around the blade.
- Speed variator in the trigger.