SKIL 3317-01 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw

Review of the SKIL 3317-01

Feature-Packed And Ideal For Beginners

I like a miter saw that’s portable and can be easily stored away at the end of my work day, so I was excited about reviewing the SKIL 3317-01, which is considered to be one of the most portable miter saws on the market. In addition to being portable, it also has other features which should make it ideal for beginning woodworkers, like its laser cutline guide and the carbon tipped blade that comes included.

SKIL makes quality power tools that are also affordable and they have become a favorite choice among people who are new to woodworking or those who only occasionally have woodworking projects. So come with me as I take an in depth look at the SKIL 3317-01 and see if it has all the features you need for your woodworking projects.

Feather Light

If you’ve read many of my other reviews, you probably already know I have a bad back and so I’m biased towards tools that are on the lighter side. The SKIL 3317-01 weighs in at only 25 pounds, and that’s a weight I can easily carry around. Beginning woodworkers should find this weight to be very manageable as well. When you have a miter saw that is so easy to carry, you can conveniently move it to wherever you need to use it.

Moving a miter saw with ease is great, but if it’s complicated to set up you may not want to move it at all, and that pretty much defeats the purpose of having a saw that’s so lightweight. Fortunately, the SKIL 3317-01 is endowed with a quick mount system which makes it fast and easy to get the saw set up on your miter saw stand in only 3 steps. If you don’t have a miter saw stand, I reviewed those too, so just take a look and pick out the one that will suit you and this SKIL saw the best.

Extended Possibilities

The SKIL 3317-01 has a table extension with left and right extension rails for stability when working with larger pieces of material. When working with longer pieces, it’s also a good idea to use a clamp to hold the wood in place, and the SKIL 3317-01 has a horizontal clamping system that securely holds your workpiece against the fence while you are cutting so you won’t have to worry about the wood getting away from you.

Look Ma – No Splinters!

A few of the customer reviews I came across in my research mentioned how clean the cuts made by the blade included with this saw are. You get a solid 10-inch carbide tooth blade with this model and the reports are that there are no splinters when you cut with this blade. No splinters makes for smooth clean finishes, which novices and professionals alike can surely appreciate. When cutting pieces which will be highly visible (like crown molding), it’s especially important to have a nice, clean finish. Splinters on your woodwork are unsightly so they usually need to be sanded smooth, which adds to your worktime, but they are also a safety hazard as splinters can easily get stuck in your fingers while you are working – again, adding to your worktime as you dig those little suckers out of your flesh.

The blade on the SKIL 3317-01 is also easier to change than some other miter saw models and here again, I can see how this can be helpful to pretty much anyone who works with a miter saw. Some of the most renowned and most expensive miter saws have blades that are a pain to change and in many cases you need someone to help you change it. Not with the SKIL 3317-01, though. This model is designed with a blade changing mechanism to make changing the blade a relatively hassle free task that can easily be performed by one person.

Lazer? Yes!

The SKIL 3317-01 also has a laser cutline guide to help you make accurate cuts more quickly. When I was just starting out in the wonderful world of woodworking, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a miter saw with a laser guide. The day I met one, my life was forever changed. I felt very advanced and very professional when I used a laser guide for the first time. It really does help you make accurate cuts easier and, well, I think I look very cool when I use one. Yes, I know that’s a rather embarassing statement to make, but I must admit it’s true. Anyway, there are other saws which require you to purchase a laser guide separately, so it’s pretty nice that the SKIL 3317-01 comes with it built right in.

Another One Bites The Dust

One common problem among miter saws is having an ineffectual dust collection system, and the SKIL 3317-01 falls right into this category along with the rest of them. The problem is that the dust bag that comes with the miter saw just doesn’t do a good job of catching the dust particles and keeping your work area clean. I would go on more about this, but it wouldn’t be fair to SKIL as this is an issue that so many miter saw have, it can almost be considered to be a universal Truth. Until manufacturers come up with a better system, I’ll just continue to rely on my trusty shop vacuum for dust collection.

A Strong Showing by SKIL

I see how the SKIL 3317-01 can be a great saw for beginning woodworkers in particular, but from what I can tell, it would be just as welcome as an addition to a professional’s tool collection as it is for novices. The 15-amp motor makes this a very powerful miter saw which can be used for a wide variety of wood cutting jobs. It can cut through woods up to 6 inches thick, it has a (cool) laser cutline guide, it’s definitely light enough to carry around, and it’s super easy to mount to a stand. All in all, the SKIL 3317-01 has the makings of a fine miter saw. I almost forgot to mention the ON/OFF switches that are located on both the left and right-hand sides of the saw. This ambidextrous feature means that the SKIL 3317-01 is lefty friendly, and as I am a lefty, that really makes me smile. If it was the first miter saw that I had when I was starting out, I’m sure I would have made a lot fewer mistakes, but then again, you never know.