Pros:Powerful, good balance, soft touch surfaces where needed.
Cons:Need tool for blade change
The Bottom Line: When the job calls for a recip saw, this one can handle it well.
The DeWalt reciprocating saw is fun to use. When I was about three I took my tricycle apart. Ever since, I have loved disassembling things. Sometimes now I can even get them back together. When I want to disassemble things made of wood or other sawable (is that a word?) materials so that they will never go back together, I grab the DeWalt, insert the appropriate demolition blade and go to work. It's fun to watch the dust fly and things start to fall apart or have big holes appear in them.
Recommend this product?
What Do You Get?
This is a kit, so it comes with the standard DeWalt heavy plastic case. It has room for blades and comes with three. The allen wrench and a rubber thingy to keep it attached to the cord is in there as is a decent manual. The DeWalt warranty is one year. I've had this one three years and haven't needed it.
What Does It Do?
Most folks use a reciprocating saw for demolition work. This one does that well. It takes standard blades from about 3" to 12" long and will cut through wood (rough or smooth cuts), metal, plastic, wire, or just about anything else it comes in contact with. That includes things like legs and fingers. It is not a tool to use when you aren't feeling alert and rested. It's 1 1/4" stroke makes fast work of cutting and uses more of the blade, lengthening blade life. It has variable speed for use in hard materials or plastic that melts easily. The cord is a standard six feet so a heavy-duty extension cord is usually part of the needed equipment.
Some of the uses I've put it to include tree trimming, cutting fence posts, cutting holes in walls for things like outdoor power sockets, tearing a bench that was glued and screwed apart, and other typical rough cuts around the house and yard.
I have also used it for some more precision tasks. I used it to make tenons on the ends of long treated four-by-fours. I have used it to cut out large craft shapes for my wife from plywood. I've used it to make mitered joints in decking boards. I've used it to shorten the axle of a go-cart. Don't get me wrong here. It isn't meant as a precision cutting tool, but with jigs and a good assortment of blades there isn't much you can't cut with it.
Where it shines, though, is in demolition. With the right blade, I took a tree house down and re-did it as a potting shed. The house was on 6X6 stilts about six feet high. It cut them like they were butter. I've taken limbs out of trees that are nearly 12" thick. I cut out the rough opening for a window air conditioning unit for my shop in a couple of minutes. I even built a picnic table using only the DeWalt and a drill.
Is It Rugged?
Although some of the parts are plastic, this tool takes knocks like a championship fighter. I have dropped it out of trees and on concrete floors. The only damage so far is a couple of broken blades. The reciprocal action is counter-balanced to reduce vibration. It works. It takes several turns of the single allen screw to get the blade out and several more the other way to tighten the next one back up. Other than that, it moves from one job to another with no fuss. I have never been able to stall this baby. The 11+ amp motor drives it through the toughest materials. I did have it jerk out of my hands once when I wasn't paying attention and hit a nail with a wood cutting blade. Luckily it didn't fall where any of my body parts were because it kept right on trying to cut until I hit the trigger lock.
Should You Get It?
The DeWalt falls right in line with several other similar recip saws. I looked at the Milwaulkee, Porter-Cable, and a couple of others. I bought the DeWalt because I have had good experience with other DeWalt tools. Other than that, the specs are similar to all the others. The question might be, should you get one at all? I have had a few times where I used it just because I had it, but most of the time I need it for demolition or home improvement work. If you are into that, it makes sense.
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