SKIL 3410-02 Review
Welcome to our SKIL 3410-02 review - This is a budget table saw, and winner of our "best budget table saw" award.
Reviewed: SKIL 3410-02
Our overall rating:
- Friendly price
- Sturdy and durable
- Powerful 5,000 RPM motor
- Blade height and bevel adjustment are controlled by a single handle
- No dust management whatsoever
- Fence could be better
- Riving knife is not adjustable around the blade
The Skil 3410-02 is essentially a benchtop saw, and comes with a foldable stand. It's a sturdy little saw with the stand made out of heavy duty steel, and it's pretty functional overall.
This is a budget saw, so don't expect too much - but for the price, it's a great table saw.
After seeing how small this saw is, you might be surprised to hear that it has a powerful motor which helps it to run along at 5,000 RPM.
No lack of power here and nothing notable about the motor - it's more than powerful enough to help take care of any standard cut that you make regularly. Just don't expect it to be ripping 3 inch thick hardwood, or something like that.
This is a portable saw after all, and a budget one at that!
As with virtually every portable table saw, the Skil runs a 10 inch blade.
A carbide-tooth blade comes with the saw. This is standard for portable table saws.. and what's also standard is that the blade is awful.
Upgrade it asap.. as with any table saws, the Skil 3410-02 will be held down by a bad blade. Get a great blade for great results - it's the heart of every table saw after all.
Retractable table extensions help this little table saw open up a 24.5" ripping capacity.
This is just about the standard for a portable table saw... there are some with greater ripping capacities, but on a budget saw of this size, 25" inches is about as much as you can expect.
Blade Height and Bevel
A 3-1/2 inch maximum cutting depth is also standard on portable table saws, and that's exactly what we have here on the Skil also.
An unfortunate thing about 3410-02 is that the blade height and bevel adjustment are controlled by a single handle.
Most table saws will give you two handles, one for height and the other for bevel. And this is great, because it makes setting a precise height or bevel very easy.
With both being controlled by a single handle, it can become a little trickier to be precise. Not to say that it's totally undoable - but, you'll just need to "baby" it a bit to get the results you want.
We can't really complain too much about this.. It does it's job after all (even if that takes some effort) - and these are exactly the sort of tradeoffs that are to be expected in a budget table saw.
When a low price tag is the main priority, other functional aspects of the table saw take more of a back seat - this is a perfect example. The blade height and bevel works, but you have to put in more effort.. you're saving money with a low price tag, but you gotta pay that back with a little extra effort to make the saw do what you want.
Here again, we come to a downside of a budget saw - there's no dust port.
A dust port is usually a standardly sized pipe on the saw, where you can attach a shop vac or bag - the dust is collected from your cut as you run the saw.
So there's no dust port on this little Skil table saw - where does the dust go when you're cutting?
Let's just say you won't want to us being this table saw indoors.. know what I mean?
Yep - the saw dust just goes everywhere. No dust management whatsoever.
Again, this is a tradeoff with budget table saws (or any sort of budget powertools, really). You get a low price, but you miss out on some functionality.
On a side note, other benchtop and jobsite saws aren't that much more expensive than the Skil, but can offer a lot more functionality. Checkout the Dewalt DWE7480, for example (our choice for "best benchtop saw"). Or the Bosch 4100-09 (our choice for "best jobsite saw").
Fence and Miter Gauge
I'm eally starting to repeat myself now - but the fence is another area where the Skil 3410-02 doesn't perform so well.
Again, it's just one of those things... when you're looking for a low price tag, you pay for it instead in other ways.
Now, before I slate the fence on this table saw too much, let me mention that the fences on portable table saws are often pretty bad.
They work, but you gotta wrestle with them (they often stick and don't slide along their rails smoothly) and double check squareness with a tape measure constantly.
The fence on the 3410-02 is... well, it's pertty bad. Don't get me wrong, it'll certainly do the job, but it's going to fight you.
It's plastic, and clips onto the rails, similarly to other portable table saws. Skil says the fence is "self-aligning", but I'm not so sure about that.
What I am sure about is that you can't trust this fence without adjusting and double checking that it's square.
Make sure to alawys double check, and it'll work fine.
This is a budget table saw, and it's just one of those things you have to expect and put up with.
As required by US law, this table saw comes with the usual host of safety features.
You get a blade guard, riving knife, and anti-kickback pawls.
These safety features follow a recent trend with table saws, which is tool-free installation and adjustment. All of these simply clip securely into place around your blade.
They're not quite as nice as tool-free safety features on more expensive portable saws, but they'll do the job. Like everything else about this saw - these are minimum acceptable functionality at the lowest possible price.
Aside from that, there are two complaints I have about the safety feaures on the Skil 3410-02:
- Firstly, the riving knife - it's not adjustable around the blade. That means for non-through cuts you've got to take it off. This is a big disadvantage and less than ideal in terms of safe table saw use.
- The second thing is that even though all of these safety features work - they don't work as well as on more expensive portable saws. That's been the story of most things in this review.. but with safety features, it's even more undesirable.
Having safety features be a hassle to use correctly adds an element of danger. Even though the 3410-02's safety does work, the fact that the features cause some hassle means you're less likely to use them diligently.
The riving knife is a good example with the fact that it can't be in place for non-through cuts. So every time you make a cut like this you gotta remove it, and then put it back in place afterwards before other cuts.
It's just human nature to be tempted to avoid the hassle, and not use the safety gear.
And that's the real problem here.. not that the the features aren't as good as more expensive saws (and they aren't), but that this fact causes using the Skil 3410-02 to be more dangerous, due to human nature.
Enough doom and gloom - it's just something you should be aware of before buying this table saw. And as usual - always take great care when using table saws or power tools of any kind.
The Skil 3410-02 isn't necessarily designed to be the most portable table saw in the world.. it's designed to be a functional yet affordable saw that does what you need with no frills.
With that said, the saw doesn't do too badly in the weight department. At 67lbs, it's around the average for a portable table saw.
Altough there's a stand with the 3410-02, it doesn't have wheels and it's not attached to the actual table saw. It's a simple foldable stand. It works, and it's a nice feature to have in terms of portability.
You can't really expect more than this from a budget or benchtop table saw.
If portability is a priority for you in a table saw, you're going to need to pay a little more for a bigger brand. I suggest the Bosch 4100-09, weighing just 60lbs and featuring the amazing gravity-lift stand.
You probably picked up on this while reading through the review - but the Skil 3410-02 isn't a fancy saw, and it won't blow you away with its features.
Actually, its features will consistently leave you underwhelmed compared to other portable saws.
But does that really matter? No, not really - because there's one thing thing that's great about this table saw - and it's probably the reason you're even reading this review right now: the price.
The 3410-02 is designed to offer a powerful table saw capable of serious cuts (and the Skil is very capable), with no frills, and at an incredible price point.
If that's what you want in a table saw, then you'll love the Skil 3410-02.