SKIL 3386 Review – Should I Buy This Band Saw?
The SKIL 3386 is another entry level bandsaw that brings a lot of value to the table. This is a popular model found in many carpentry workshops as well as woodworking schools. It is a very easy-to-use bandsaw with a rich set of features that easily sets it apart. If you are fresh on the market for a bandsaw that does not cost an arm and a leg, then this SKlL band saw might just be made for you. Let’s review it and see if it is worth your hard earned cash or not, shall we?
Table of Contents
SKIL 3386 Band Saw Review
Without further ado, let us go into the details about this SKIL bandsaw.
For starters, this 9-inch bandsaw does not feature the most powerful motor out there as it is only rated at 2.5-Amp. However, it is still sufficiently powerful to cut through low-density material quite easily. It can even make its way through soft metal like aluminum, brass or copper fairly effortlessly without stalling. Best, as we can see below, it can even cut through relatively thick stock.
The cutting height of 3-5/8 inches is quite appropriate for this low powered entry-level bandsaw. It does a good job going all the way through relatively thick stock without stalling. It uses 3 mm friction-pin side blade guides that sadly do not have a blade tension release. However, changing the blade is equally easy by simply unhooking it from the blade tension knob at the top of the guide.
Furthermore, the throat depth of 9-inch is still ample for accommodating medium-sized material with great ease.
The base of this mini bandsaw is what is the most interesting about it. Most of the casing of this SKIL bandsaw is made from a metal alloy that is both lightweight and durable. However, the base is made from a heavier cast-iron so as to provide stability and lower its center of gravity.
This combination of a lightweight top and heavy base makes this 9-inch band saw very stable. It will not fall easily and affixing it to a workbench is not required. Furthermore, the base is also large to provide even more stability to the device.
As expected, the table can be tilted from 0 - 45 degrees to the right to provide for more cutting versatility. This is almost a standard feature in band saws. Additionally, the table is made from a thick cast iron to absorb vibrations. It simply provides more stability when cutting. The surface of the table is polished and perfectly flat. This offers low resistance and stock can easily glide on this 12 x 11-3/4 inches cast-iron table for even better maneuverability.
As if that was not enough, SKIL drops a metal rip fence with this bandsaw. It allows you to make very straight cuts that would otherwise be very difficult with a band saw using the hands alone. Of course, the metal fence can be adjusted and locked into position with a knob.
Additionally, the table height or angle can be adjusted with the rack and pinion system that provides great accuracy. This rack and pinion system is usually found in more expensive and premium bandsaw models and we're happy to see it included in this entry-level bandsaw.
- LED: This model features a retractable LED light that brings a lot of convenience to this budget bandsaw, especially when working in dimly lit workshops.
- Dust Port: We like the inclusion of a dust port in this bandsaw as it helps keep your cut line clean and free from sawdust and debris.
- Miter Gauge: The included miter gauge allows you to make very accurate cross cuts using this bandsaw. Again, other bandsaw models that are more expensive than this one like the Rikon 10-305 do not even include a miter gauge. It is just a nice surprise that it is included.
- Mounting Inserts: The base of the SKIL 3386 has insert holes which can be used to firmly mount on a workbench for even more stability and accuracy.
Out of the box, this bandsaw comes with a miter gauge, a metal rip fence, retractable light and a 1x blade. It basically comes with everything to get you started right away with your work. You do not have to purchase anything else, unlike other models we have reviewed in the past. Indeed, this is an extremely user-friendly and all inclusive bandsaw that people who have never used a bandsaw before will quickly come to appreciate.
Price of SKIL 3386 Band Saw
The price is what we like the most about the SKIL 3386. It is an extremely competitive bandsaw that has few competitors that can match its performance and set of features. We like how SKIL provided a fence as well as a miter gauge with this purchase at no extra cost. There are many models out there that cost many times more than the SKIL 3386 and yet do not include those basic accessories. All in all, with all things considered we think that this mini bandsaw offers a lot of value for money. In fact, you will find many SKIL band saw reviews online that recommend this model exactly for the price and the accessories delivered with this unit.
Pros/Cons of SKIL 3386 Band Saw
- Does not stall when cutting through 3-5/8 inches stock.
- Large cast-iron based for stability and low vibrations.
- Thick 12 x 11-3/4 inches cast iron table provides ample space for you to work. It has low resistance and material easily glide on the surface for greater maneuverability.
- Solid metal alloy outer shell is durable and long lasting.
- Table can be tilted for angular cuts.
- Comes with a lot of accessories, including a miter gauge and in metal rip fence for cutting straight lines.
- The motor is quite weak and deliver only 1/3 HP of power.
Who Should Buy?
We have absolutely no problem recommending this model to anyone looking for a budget and entry-level mini bandsaw. It is quite small and does not consume a lot of space on either a stand or a workbench. Furthermore, you get a lot of accessories that you would otherwise have to purchase to get the most out of this bandsaw. It is all included and you can save some money this way. It is a fairly inexpensive bandsaw that will not break the bank. You have absolutely no reason not to get this model. Go get it!
Last Updated on January 19, 2019 by Tom Bradly