SKIL 3601-02 Flooring Saw with 36T Contractor Blade Review

 

 

You must have read our article on the SKILSAW SPT70WT-01 10″ Portable Worm Drive Table Saw with 25″ Rip Capacity. If you haven’t then do so here.
Well I decided to put down some new floor in the house, and needed a good laminate flooring cutter. I’d been suggested a vinyl plank cutter by Steve my friend, although he couldn’t suggest a good brand.
A couple of guys I know in the bar said a laminate floor cutter was a must. So I decided to research for myself and found the SKIL 3601-02 Flooring Saw. Based on how much I like the SPT70WT-01, I decided the 3601 was the one for me.

Whether you’re trying to pick up a floor saw for your one-time weekend-warrior project, or you actually need one for your job as a contractor, you might want to check out the SKIL 3601-02 Flooring Saw. Obviously, the name itself suggests it would really come into its own in a contractor’s hands, but the price is far from being prohibitive to folks who like to do all the handiwork around their house (and nowhere else) themselves.

With over nine decades of experience under their collective belt, SKIL pretty much deserves another “L” at the end of its name. Whether you’re earning your living by working with power tools, or just need to do some handiwork around the house, SKIL’s got your back covered, and their 3601-02 floor saw is no exception.

Overview

In a nutshell, the SKIL 3601-02 is your go-to laminate flooring saw when you need any laminate ripped over the weekend. On that note, it rips very much like a table saw, the only difference being the position of the blade (on top instead on the bottom), and you get it for a cheaper price. It can handle finer work, as well, such as miter cuts, as well as tougher jobs – as in cross cuts. It’s fairly lightweight, meaning it’s easily portable, so you can take it with you pretty much by hand (it’s designed with this possibility in mind), and it sets up in less than a minute. If you have a limited space in your vehicle to haul around tools, this puppy is definitely the way to go. All you have to do is find a convenient wall outlet for the cord, and you’re good to rip. Moreover, it’s reasonably priced, and definitely makes for a worthwhile investment, especially if you install flooring for a living.

As of this writing, the SKIL 3601-02 sells nicely on Amazon.

A Closer Look

Durability

What you need to know about the SKIL 3601-02 flooring saw, first and foremost, is that it’s designed to be easily portable – that means lightweight and compact. On that note, we should specify the measurements a bit – the whole thing weighs about 24 pounds, and measures 20.1 x 28.9 x 13 inches. That said, the 3601  is fairly durable, thanks to being made of solid aluminum, which pretty much allows it to be lightweight enough to carry around without sacrificing the structural integrity and sturdiness. On that note, don’t worry about the stability – the low-riding design allows it to remain firm, and its 24 pounds of weight are felt here, as well.

This puppy will rip, cross-cut and miter-cut anything up to 0¾ inches thick – bamboo, laminate, Brazilian cherry, you name it. Basically, it should tackle any type of hardwood, just make sure you go slow to avoid burning or chipping the material.

As far as the blade itself is concerned, it’s a 4¾-inch 36T Contractor Saw blade, packing 36 teeth (hence the designation – 36T), carbide-tipped and ready to chew through miles of hardwood. A word of advice (provided you’d like to prevent your flooring from chipping) – make sure you cut it with the material face down. On that note, don’t forget to get another blade – the one that comes with the saw is surprisingly good for something that’s more often an afterthought than a feature (kudos to the seller on that account), but you’ll always do well to have a backup blade. Keep in mind that this is a throw-in blade, after all.

Power Usage

The SKIL 3601-02 has an amperage capacity of 7Amps, nominally, with peak amperage at 7.9. On a similar note, the 3601-02 draws juice from any standard 120V power outlet, so you can hook it up pretty much everywhere. The saw is, of course, corded, with a built-in cord wrap (sort of like vacuum cleaners have, in case you’re wondering), though you might want to invest in an extension cord if you want absolutely uninhibited mobility. The no-load speed of the saw is 11,000rpms, which is more than adequate with the right blade on.

Ease of Use

The 3601-02 is a nice and handy little floor saw which does its job admirably – thanks to being fairly lightweight and compact, it’s easy to carry around and set up virtually anywhere with a power source readily available. This, in turn, eliminates the need of going to and fro with the flooring material, and you can do everything in the same room, from measuring and cutting to laying down the boards and tweaking.

The saw comes with a die-cast aluminum rip fence, much like a table saw, which makes your life a whole lot easier. It also features a vertical workpiece clamp to help you with stability when cutting. There’s also a dust bag for the saw that hooks up to a vacuum, which should pick up to about 90% of the debris; though, come to think of it, the mess isn’t all that bad, so you could probably get away without it – it’s just a matter of convenience.

As we noted earlier, the 3601-02 can handle rip cuts, cross cuts and miter cuts, and we really liked the fact that there’s both a miter and a rip fence (die-cast aluminum both) on it. As far as the angle range goes, the miter detents at several angles – 0, 22.5 and 45 degrees, which gives you a decent amount of flexibility for a variety of cuts and joints. It’s not a miter saw, but it sure as heck does the job.

 

Final Thoughts

All things considered, the SKIL 3601-02 Flooring Saw looks like a sturdy piece of equipment and a worthwhile investment, no matter if you were a pro or a novice. Its major selling point is the fact it’s easily portable and fits almost everywhere – so if you don’t have much space in your car for hauling tools, or realize you only need to walk to wherever you’re installing the floor, this puppy is there for you. We also like the fact that replacement blades are easy to order, as are all Skilsaw parts.

SKIL 75536 Carbide Flooring Blade, 4-3/8″

Why do people buy the genuine blades ? Here’s a couple of great reasons; Premium carbide stays sharper longer.
Secondly the triple chip grind provides a clean cut as well as extra-long life, so saves you money in the long run. This is why we always buy the genuine SKIL 75536 Carbide Flooring Blade, 4-3/8″ blades 

For all replacement blades, or anything else classed as Skilsaw parts, you can Shop Here for the dedicated Skil store.


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