reciprocating saw question

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Hi guys, looks like my personal Christmas gift this year will more than likely not be a Weatherby shotgun so my second choice is going to be a reciprocating saw. I'm a high rise glass installer and have used them at work but never owned one and don't want to go too cheapO'. With my dad passing away last year I'll be doing some restoration on his home so it will come in handy. I want no less than 10amps (is that a reasonable request) and at first thought a DeWalt would fit the bill but read some negative reviews so now I'm leaning in the direction of a Milwaukee which is a bit more pricy. Any suggestions on products I may of overlooked would be helpful, thanks... Ray,
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Milwaukee is the usual answer because of their performance and durability. Depending on you usage, you might want to consider the new Porter Cable Tiger Claw. The pivoting head looks like it would be convenient in some situations.
If you can, go to a store where you can get you hands on some samples. See how they feel in your hands. Check out the blade change mechanism.
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*snip*

That's how I chose mine. The feel of a recip saw is one of the most important things about the tool, as you'll be holding it for hours at a time.
(Next you'll want blades. There's a reason they sell multi-packs... buy them.)
Puckdropper
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Thanks guys, and the idea of feeling one out in a store is a good one. I have two Dewalt hammer drills that, except for the head are identical in appearance and weight, when time allows (crazy time of the year) I will handle a Milwaukee. I also appreciate the Porter Cable recommendation, didn't think of them. It's a shame but in my area of W.C. Florida it seems power tools aren't on the menu when it comes to the Christmas door buster sales. Guess they think we're made of money. Thanks again and now I know where to come with my power tool questions, a table saw is next but that's another time & another thread... be safe... Ray,
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I don't know if the model is available in the USA, but I'm very satisfied with my Makita 3070 CT.
I use it to knock off corners and generally prepare the wood for my lathe. I do this with logs in oak, beech, hornbeam, black locust and other hardwoords of mostly between 20" and 25" diameter. The saw is robust and has not let me down after two years of hard use. I can change the sawblade with gloves on easily.
Good luck, Jurriaan
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Ray,
I have a very old Dewalt and a Milwaukee. They are both tough but the Milwaukee has more finesse - better variable speed switch etc.
cm

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On Mon, 1 Dec 2008 13:34:40 +0000, cm wrote

Swap you for my B&D Scorpion? It's great for opening cerial boxes, cutting Christmas cake, hairstyling poodles and similar demanding jobs.
Actually, it's not that bad but it _feels_ like a toy, and the whole thing about toys is that they shouldn't.
:-)
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Coming from a homebuilding standpoint, I personally dont think you can beat the milwaukee for toughness. We have owned several, and the two milwaukee's are the only two that are still in the trailer. We have never had any luck with DeWalt (most of their tools actually). A backup that has worked well, though it is not our daily saw, is a Bosch RS20. I dont think you will have much luck finding the 20 at the home centers, probably only the 15.
While I dont want to disagree with the other posts, if you will use the saw much at all (if you are doing any restoration you will) the feel of the saw in the store isle really has very little to do with how good the saw is. Vibration is one of the main factors in good recip'. Not only does a crappy saw beat you to death, but it robs you of cutting speed and accuracy. The Milwaukee 6523 is about the smoothest running saw we have ever used and I have read the same in many reviews. Its in the higher priced saw catagory but you cant beat them and they run forever. Other things like one handed blade change, Orbital cutting, rafter hook, and so on are nice but if the saw beats you to death or craps the bed it aint worth it. I dont go to much for the gimmicky things like the PC Tiger Claw and other than tough spaces that saw never fairs too well in reviews which test cutting speed and vibration.
The Bosch is nice with a rafter hook, LED lights out front, and pretty smooth. I just pulled FHB #174 off the shelf and in their recip review they rated the Makita JR3050T as the best value and the JR3070CT as the best overall. The Milwaukee 6523 was second to the 3070. You may be able to find this review on line. I would read some reviews in addition to your research.
Good luck, Mark
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BDBConstruction wrote:(snip)#Coming from a homebuilding standpoint,#I personally dont think you can beat the milwaukee for toughness. We have owned several, and the two milwaukee's are the only two that are still in the trailer. We have never had any luck with DeWalt (most of their tools actually).#A backup that has worked well, though it is not our daily saw, is a Bosch RS20.#I dont think you will have much luck finding the 20 at the home centers, probably only the 15.
~~~~~ Wow, that's a lot of information with some excellent points to be pondered. Your right about the vibration factor especially since an industrial accident where a 640 lb glazed frame fell off a truck onto me while luckily only breaking my left wrist but also tore up some ligaments in the process that resulted in 3 surgeries and now that area is internally filled with plated, pins and things. It just goes with the territory so I suck it up but can be rather painful at times so excess vibration is a big consideration. I first leaned in DeWalts direction due to the 10amp I seen that was almost identical to me two D25203 hammers drills I've used on five high-rise projects, however I have seen two others have their switches break practically new out of the cases. I guess another factor was the attractive price of $90.00 dollars but like you say, if it dumps on you during a job what good is it. Before I obtained my own power tools I've also used a Bosch (hammer drill) on two projects that we had to share between three crews (cheap company) and it kept right on going. To be honest I believe is (some cases) the failure of power tools has a lot to do with human operator error, or should I say abuse. Guys just treat tools, especially if not their own like shit and why I use mostly my own and leave the company supplied stuff for others to fight with. Well thanks bud, I appreciate all the advice from you and others especially the pointers I overlooked. Have a good week... Ray,
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I am not inherrantly a DeWalt basher, we own several and are happy with them. I just think they (and others) have to their own detriment chased the home center business resulting in poor quality or somewhat of a "dual" line within their own product line. Some of their stuff is decent, 3 wheel belt sander, saber/jig saw, 735 planer is exceptional in our opinion, however much of their commodity stuff absolutely sucks. $90.00 for a recip' says it all, its a throw away.
Today was a perfect example. Ran in to Lowes to look for a match on a passage set a customer said they bought there. Walking down the main isle in the front of the store we spot an end cap with Porter Cable cordless tools in it. This was a shock to us as PC had pretty much abandoned the home center market (thankfully we were hoping they were making a stand for their quality). We walk up to the end cap to find a 4 piece 18v Lithium Ion cordless combo kit for 159.00!!! One hundred and fifty nine dollars! Just picking the stuff up you could tell it was junk. So now PC has dropped their drawers, bent over, and sprinkled sand on their own a**hole and asked to be penetrated in favor of the all mighty buck. Sad, very sad. Given they probably just sold their name to Lowes, like Ridgid to HD, but its still sad.

I couldnt agree more. Even the best tool will fail under overwhelming circumstances. I cant tell you that personally we have had guys loosen and even blow the clutches out of a Milwaukee sawzall. They will get the blade "pinched" in a bad cut and just try to power out of it by pulling the trigger wide open and racking the saw back and forth. Thankfully the Milwaukee has a nut under the boot the tensions the clutch. It most often becomes loose under rough use and just slips avoiding damage to the gears or up in the recip mechanism. When this happens you can re-torque the nut followed by some well placed attitude adjusting.
How a tool is used has everything to do with how long, and well, it performs. Unfortunately not many of todays tools are built to deal with endless abuse.
Make the right decision and buy a good tool and be willing to pay for it, Good Luck, Mark
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On Mon, 1 Dec 2008 16:20:03 -0800 (PST), BDBConstruction

...you can't go wrong with Milwaukee, supremely tough tools in general...after all, that's why we have a generic name: Sawzall.

...I own a Tiger Claw (one of the first generation) and it's, if anything, tough. It *will* beat you to death and the blade change, at least with mine, needs channel lock help once in awhile...

I also own the battery powered Makita. If the corded variety is anywhere near as good, I'd buy it.
cg

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On Sun, 30 Nov 2008 20:27:48 -0800 (PST), "R.M.R"

A couple weeks ago we kinda burned up a 10 amp Makita that was about 15 years old. We replaced it with a larger Bosch RS-35 from the big blue store. I can't vouch for it's longevity yet but it's a lot more saw than the old Makita. It has the quick change feature ( which isn't quite as quick when it's all full of crap), variable speed, an orbiting blade feature and the adjustable throat. We gave it a pretty good work out over about a week cutting out wood framed walls as well as metal stud walls. The thing rarely slowed down and when it seemed to, it felt like something kicked in and it would try to maintain speed. The thing is a monster and is supposed to be competition for the large Milwaukee. So far so good for a tool I always hope not to need.
Mike O.
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Hey guys, well I decided on the Milwaukee 6509-22 10 amp, and the Good news is they are on sale at Home Depot for $99.00 until Dec10th and that is exactly what I was going to spend on the DeWalt before I asked the group their opinion, so thanks again. I seen an 11amp via an internet supplier for $107 but than there was shipping. These saws are new to me so do you think a 10amp (considering sale price) has enough power for general home restoration, basically kitchen cabinets and possibly some wall opening for a pass-through plus it'll be used to remove an old barricade fence and posts plus a screen room. Thanks again and looks like Milwaukee gets the nod...
Ray,
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On Sat, 6 Dec 2008 16:19:10 -0800 (PST), "R.M.R"

The old Makita we wore out was a 10 amp and it took us 15 years to do so. We sawed up a lot of stuff over that time and I think you'll be happy with the 10 amp Milwaukee. It should do anything you need it to and you'll probably be looking around for stuff to carve up. Hmmm...turkey!!!
Mike O.
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congrats on the Milwaukee - I have one and have used the crap out of it doing home improvement and it has never dissappointed, although mine is so old the blade screw is wearing out and backs out. The thing is smooth, and powerful, and I used the thing so hard I read in the maual where it said to regrease the mechanism after a few years so I opened it up. Even after cutting cast iron DWV pipes and getting wet (that was about an hour of full-bore use and it never even got hot or seemed stressed), a whole house full of plaster walls, beams, joists, etc etc the gearcase was so pristine I just closed it back up and figured I'd check it again in 10 years. I had a contractor buddy come help me and we were cutting a beam in the house and his buddy used it for a second and stopped, said "Man, you have felt how smooth this Milwaukee is??" I guess they had a mikita or something else. Used my broinlaws makita over holidays and it seemed week after you ran the motor for a minute, I kept squeezing the trigger but it was like the battery was running out but it was a corded tool. And of course his B&D cheap 10 amp circ saw with dull blade about burned up the motor ripping a 2x4...had to keep from smirking.
I have all sorts of tools including dewalt, hitachi, etc, so I'm not stuck on a brand but for sawsall, you can't go wrong.
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Mike O. wrote (snip)#and you'll probably be looking around for stuff to carve up. Hmmm...turkey!!!
~~~~~ hehahha, never thought of that, and other possibilities are endless too, just for fun that is. Thanks for reassuring me on the 10amp question. I think my next venture will be some type of table (miter saw). I did a quick search and noticed a Ridgid for $269 at HD, this one-> http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId051&langId=-1&catalogId053&productId0618246 I know it's not the most expensive with all the bells and whistles but I used that brand before while building curtain wall while cutting aluminum. Except for the dopy laser giving out within a few weeks it tooled along just fine for a gazillion cuts. The one the company owned was much more expensive due to the degree of cuts but for my needs I think the one above will work out fine, what do you think.
The gist of my repair work is on my parents house that due to their illnesses it's in need for a face lift. My dad past away last year and my mom with Alzheimer's is now in an assistant living facility (expensive) 75 miles north of me. I go up there on the weekends to visit her so in all the house that is 30yrs old is about 10 years without care. My main target is the kitchen. The cabinets are shot and so is the cook top and oven so pretty much everything must go. Being a high rise glazer I've participated in building a lot of big structures in Florida but this is a different animal and my budget isn't very high and why, while I want quality like the 10amp Milwaukee for $99 dollars I can't go overboard. I also have my own home in Tampa so two get a little pricy.
I'm going to need a saw eventually and I think the Ridgid may fit the bill for what I described, "but" if you or anyone else can recommend another brand in that price range (give or take) I surly would appreciate it. Thanks again, you guys are alright...
Ray,
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Ray,
a 12" is hardly going economy. I redid a house and used a 10" B&D basic saw, and while its not good for large cross cuts and would harder to do stuff like crown, for most of what you're likely doing something like that would cost 1/2 of the what you're looking at. But depends on what you're using it for. I was cutting 2x4's, rafters, pvc pipe, etc etc.
Now I have a 12" dewalt sliding miter saw and the little one gathers dust... but it still works.
This is a good deal on a saw from company that makes quality stuff.
if this doesn't work check Amazon's price on Hitachi 10" http://tinyurl.com/6md6eq
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Scott wrote:(snip)#This is a good deal on a saw from company that makes quality stuff.
~~~~~ You have a point Scott, what I save on tools I can add in on materials and that 10" Hitachi looks promising. Seems according to the reviews the only two problems are the instructions & damage from shipping due to inferior packaging. As for the saw itself and the price, it got high marks. Thanks bud, I'll keep it up front... Ray,
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Well got my Milwaukee Sawzall and there was a bit of confusion however it turned out for the better while an e-mail form Milwaukee cleared up the issue. At first I thought the 6509-22 was 10Amp, and according to most web sites and even ACE Hardware & Home Depot adds it was advertised as such. Must of been the power tool gods smiled upon me cause it turns out it's actually an 11Amp. The reply I received from Milwaukee was:
(Ray, Thank you for your e-mail to Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. We apologize for this inconvenience. As of July 2006, the CAT / Model 6509-22 changed from a 10 Amp to an 11 Amp Sawzall.Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance.** Sam **Global Customer Service Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation Phone: 1-800-729-3878 snipped-for-privacy@milwaukeetool.com)
So there you have it, and not a bad deal seeing it was on sale for $99 bucks. I like to add they e-mailed me back within hours after receiving my inquiery. To me that says something about an otherwise buisy company... Ray,
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I'm told that with the sales of automobiles down, there is a surplus of amps on the world market and some tool makers are buying them up at record low prices. Makes for a better value for the tool buyer at about the same price.
BTW, is that new Sawzall Energy Star compliant? If so you can get a rebate. Applies only to electric models, not gas or steam powered.
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