Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have any questions about a specific job or tool? Or do you want to know the differences between individual tools? You’ll find a handy list of Frequently Asked Questions on the Skil website.

Check if your question is there, and find the answer you’re looking for!

  • What’s the right power saw to use for cutting laminate flooring: a circular saw or a jigsaw?

    You can use both kinds of saw. A jigsaw is handier, and it’s also easier to use for making small cut-outs, while a circular saw is better for sawing long straight lines. Use a fine-toothed saw blade. For a smooth finish, always saw the planks with the top surface facing downwards.
  • What does ‘16V Max’ mean?

    A ‘16V Max’ (14,4V) battery pack consists of four individual battery cells. Each cell has two voltage ratings: nominal and maximum. When a 3,6V Lithium-Ion cell is charged, it’s actually charged with 4V. Only when it’s discharged to a level of 50%, it reaches the nominal level of 3,6V.

    The nominal rating is calculated as follows: 3,6V x 4 cells = 14,4V. While the ‘Max’ rating is based on the maximum charge level: 4V x 4 cells = 16V.

  • When I’m sawing plastic-coated MDF board the white plastic surface always splinters, leaving an ugly finish. Do I need to use a special saw?

    It’s best to use a circular saw with a fine-toothed saw blade, and to adjust the depth of cut so that the blade just protrudes through the panel. You can also use a jig saw with a fine-toothed saw blade. It’s a good idea to put masking tape along the line of cut on both sides of the panel to reduce splintering to a minimum.
  • What kind of drill bit and which speed should I use to drill in granite?

    To drill in granite tiles, use a diamond-tipped or Widia drill. You can also use a glass drill. Use the impact setting of your drill, and increase the speed gradually. Adjust the speed to prevent the drill from sliding on the tile surface, and don’t drill at full speed. Cool the granite with water if necessary.
  • How far should my circular saw protrude through the material?

    In principle 3 mm is enough. That will minimize splintering of the material surface. That’s because at maximum depth of cut the teeth of the saw blade approach the material almost at a right-angle. But if you use the minimum necessary depth of cut, the angle of attack of the teeth is smaller. That makes working much easier and gives a better result.
  • Does a circular saw always have to work at full speed?

    A variable speed allows you to match the cutting speed to the material. Plasterboard and heat-sensitive plastic require a lower speed than tropical hardwood or aluminium, for example. Saws with a ‘soft start’ build up to full speed gradually, which causes less shock when you start the machine.
  • Doesn’t my drill lose power if I adjust the speed?

    Variable speed is one of the factors to consider when you’re buying a drill. Most low-cost drills have a fixed speed, usually around 300 r.p.m. More expensive drills have a switch to select high or low speed. Use of the latest electronics means hardly any power is lost.
  • What’s the difference between a cordless drill and a cordless screwdriver?

    As well as cordless drills there are also cordless screwdrivers. You can also use a cordless drill for screwdriving, so you might think there’s no need for a cordless screwdriver. But that isn’t true: a cordless screwdriver is lighter and more compact than a cordless drill, so it’s handier and less tiring to use. It’s also easier to work in hard-to-reach places with a cordless screwdriver. As well as that, a cordless screwdriver also costs less than a cordless drill.
  • Why does the battery of my cordless drill get discharged so quickly?

    The power of a cordless drill depends on the battery voltage. A more powerful tool needs a higher-capacity battery (in amp/hour), and this also allows you to work for a longer period before recharging. The heavier the job you’re doing, the more quickly the battery will become discharged. This is also influenced by the age of the battery. The life of the battery is also affected by usage and charging, as well as by the type of battery.
  • How do I know what grade of sandpaper to use?

    Standard red-brown sandpaper is suitable for general sanding jobs and is available in a range of grit sizes, from coarse to fine. Oxide grit on a linen backing is harder still, and is used for sanding metals and with power sanders. Hardest of all is carborundum, used on ‘wet & dry’ sandpaper. This can be used together with water for sanding metal surfaces. The size of the grit determines the sanding effect. Sandpaper with a smaller grit size gives a fine finish, but has the disadvantage that it quickly becomes clogged. This means you can’t use this kind of sandpaper to remove a lot of material. Sandpaper with a larger grit size is more effective for material removal but can also make scratches, so finishing with finer sandpaper is usually necessary.
  • My plastered wall is coated with latex paint. What’s the best way to remove it?

    First of all pour boiling water over the latex paint, then immediately try to remove it with a wire brush or triangular paint scraper. If that doesn’t work entirely, then use a blow torch to soften the remaining paint and remove it with a wire brush.
  • What does ‘20V Max’ mean?

    A ‘20V Max’ (18V) battery pack consists of five individual battery cells. Each cell has two voltage ratings: nominal and maximum. When a 3,6V Lithium-Ion cell is charged, it’s actually charged with 4V. Only when it’s discharged to a level of 50%, it reaches the nominal level of 3,6V. The nominal rating is calculated as follows: 3,6V x 5 cells = 18V. While the ‘Max’ rating is based on the maximum charge level: 4V x 5 cells = 20V.