Worx WT401K Assault Specs
Weight: 9.9 pounds
Strokes per minute: 0-2700
Stroke length: 1 1/8 inches
Cutting action: straight plus three orbital settings
Street price: $130
Summer before last, a new power-tool company called Worx came
into being. Normally when a new line debuts, its tools look
pretty much the same as all the other ones on the market. Worx
tools are an exception: You'd never mistake them for another
The Worx recip saw's grip pivots over a
60-degree range and can be locked in various positions; here
it's shown in the straight position (left) and rotated all the
way down (right).
It's not just the company's distinctive green color that makes
this true; the tools in Worx's Revolver line have been designed
with ergonomics in mind. The drill, hammer drill, circular saw,
and recip saw all have pivoting D-grip handles — the idea
being that if the user can change the angle of the grip, the
tool will be more comfortable to use in a variety of
Earlier this year, JLC asked me to test the Worx WT401K recip
saw, dubbed the Assault. The tool weighs 9.9 pounds and lists
at 10 amps. It has a no-load speed of 0 to 2,700 strokes per
minute, orbital cutting action, and a stroke length of 11/8
inches. It comes in a plastic carrying case and has a 10-foot
Here's what we found after several months of use.
The WT401K's handle rotates 0 to 60 degrees and locks in place
with a quick-action clamp. Milwaukee and Porter-Cable also make
tools with rotating handles, but theirs rotate the other way
— around the body of the tool. Although a rotating handle
sounds like a nice feature, we discovered that once we found a
comfortable angle we just left it there. One drawback to the
handle adjustment is that if you rotate the handle with your
finger on the trigger, your finger can get pinched between the
trigger and the tool body.
Most recip saws are long, because their motor aligns with the
gear train. The WT401K is shorter and more maneuverable than
most; its motor angles down from the front of the saw. Its foot
doesn't pivot, but it does adjust in and out by means of a
spring-loaded button on the nose of the tool.
To operate the WT401K's toolless blade clamp, the user pushes
against a spring-loaded button on the end of the drive shaft.
We found the blade clamp a bit harder to operate than those on
other tools. It's located in a cramped position behind the shoe
and it can be quite difficult to get at if you have large hands
or are wearing gloves.
We sometimes had trouble getting the blade onto and off of the
pin inside the blade-holder, too.
However, these were minor annoyances compared with the one big
problem that we had with this tool: The thicker demo-style
blades (we used the Milwaukee Ax) would occasionally pop out of
the clamp during heavy cutting.
The blade clamp is tucked into the nose
of the saw, so it's harder to get to than the clamps on other
We did not have this problem with normal-thickness
Two lights are built into the front of the saw to illuminate
the workspace around the blade.
Unfortunately, their intensity varies with the speed of the
blade: The lights are bright when you are cutting fast, but if
you're cutting slowly in a dark area, they're so dim they're
not much help.
It would be better if they were at full brightness all the
The Bottom Line
The WT401K runs smoothly and has good cutting power, though we
did not actually see much advantage to one of its most touted
features, the adjustable grip. Everything on the saw worked
well — except for the blade clamp. If Worx could work out
that glitch, the tool would be a lot more appealing.
The WT401K costs about $130.
Scott Dornbusch is a remodeler in North Branch,
Bosch PS10 I-Driver
by Norm St. Onge
Bosch PS10 Specs
Platform: 10.8-volt lithium ion
Maximum torque: 80 inch-pounds
Weight: 2.2 pounds
Street price for kit: $150
A couple of months ago, I tested Bosch's PS20 pocket driver for
JLC (see Toolbox, 10/06). Within weeks of receiving that tool,
I heard that Bosch had introduced another compact cordless
screwdriver, the PS10 — so I decided to test that one,
too. Since I really liked the PS20, I had lofty expectations
for the PS10.
The newer tool — called the I-Driver — has many of
the same features as the PS20, plus a unique articulating head
meant to make it more useful in close-quarters applications. My
remodeling company concentrates on small handyman-type
projects, which means I've had plenty of opportunities to use
the PS10 every day.
Like the PS20, the PS10 comes in a soft-sided nylon case. The
kit contains the I-Driver, two bits, two 10.8 lithium-ion
batteries, and a 30-minute charger. Loaded, the carrying case
is small enough to stow in the nooks and crannies of my truck
or tool trailer.
The driver feels solid and well-made — "heavy in the
hand" would be an apt description — and looks hardy
enough to withstand the rigors of professional use. The
five-position articulating head is made from cast-metal parts;
the one on our tool absorbed a couple of good drops without
The PS10's 10.8-volt lithium-ion battery
pack provides a surprisingly long runtime for smaller
fasteners. However, the author's self-drilling cabinet screws
proved too much for the tool — despite the manufacturer's
claim that one charge delivers enough power to drive 100 3-inch
A single-release button on the thumb side of the head (for
right-handed users) allows the head to swivel between 0 and 90
degrees with three evenly spaced detents in between.
A nice perk is the convenient tool-hanger that folds out from
the body of the tool; the PS10 doesn't really fit into a pocket
or tool pouch easily, so I was pleased I could hang it off my
With the battery installed, the PS10 weighs a little more than
two pounds. When a bit is in the quick-change holder and the
chuck is in the straight-out position, the tool measures about
12 inches long; with the head rotated 90 degrees, the body is
10 inches long. Since the head itself— with a standard
bit installed — is 5 inches long, the tool could
conceivably fit in a 5-inch cavity when the head is rotated 90
degrees. (Of course, the length of the fastener needs to be
taken into account as well.)
The barrel grip is rubberized for comfort and features a large
trigger, a forward/reverse switch, and a seven-position clutch
with a "drill" setting. The built-in quick-change bit-holder
accepts 1/4-inch hex-shank bits. Unlike the PS20, the PS10 does
not have a trigger lock or an LED work light, which wasn't a
problem for me.
Over a six-week period, I used the PS10 extensively to drive
the various fasteners commonly used for installing doors and
hardware, electrical devices, cabinets, and ductwork.
In most cases, it drove small to average-length screws and
drilled small holes just fine. Yet I was never able to
completely warm up to this tool.
Part of the problem was the barrel grip, which felt too big for
my medium-sized hand. I was unable to hold the tool in such a
position that my fingers could comfortably work both the
trigger and the forward/reverse switch without my having to
reposition my grip.
This was particularly frustrating in confined spaces when I was
holding both the fastener and the workpiece. And on a ladder,
it could be a serious safety issue.
An unusual characteristic of the PS10 — which I couldn't
find referenced in the Bosch literature — is how slowly
the bit turns immediately after you pull the trigger; it takes
a second or two to ramp up to the desired speed. This is not
necessarily a shortcoming; it's just different from any other
driver/drill I've used.
Since I'm a right-handed user, I could adjust the five-position
articulating head by pressing the release button with my thumb
— but only after repositioning the tool in my hand.
The head moves easily and the adjustment can be made one-handed
by pressing the button and then leveraging the bit against a
As with the PS20, I had some difficulty driving longer screws.
Bosch claims that you can drive 100 3-inch screws on one
charge, but I didn't find this to be the case: When I was
installing vanities in a master-bathroom project, the PS10
stalled while driving 3-inch self-drilling cabinet
Oddly, once the tool stalled, I could get it to drive the screw
home — albeit very slowly — if I eased off the
trigger and then squeezed again. I tried a fresh battery and
had the same result.
Now, there's the possibility that with a little more use the
PS10 would eventually drive 100 3-inch screws on a single
charge — but personally, I'd run out of patience long
before that point and switch to something faster.
If you are absolutely convinced that you need an
articulating-head driver, then by all means take a look at the
PS10. For someone who works frequently in confined, awkward
spaces, it might be a useful tool.
In my opinion, though, the PS20 is a better driver. Even with
the broad range of driving tasks that I do, I rarely made use
of the PS10's articulating head. In a few instances, I used it
simply to compensate for the sheer size of the tool.
With two batteries and a case, the Bosch PS10 costs about
Norm St. Ongeowns St. Onge Renovations and BackYard
Tractor Works in North Bennington, Vt.
Vinyl Sidingby Patrick McCombe
Better Blade. When you're working with vinyl,
a utility knife is the best way to make long horizontal cuts
like those under windows and at the top course — but a
dull blade can lead to wandering cuts and damaged siding.
Tajima's new Aluminist Rock Hard snap-blade utility knife can
help you avoid those problems. The 1-inch-wide blade is
extremely tough — and getting fresh blades is so easy,
you'll have no excuse for ragged cuts. As an added bonus, the
blade extends a little extra so that you can get through those
profile-matched foam backers used so often these days with
high-end vinyl siding. The knife sells for $20.
Higher Calling. If you're installing siding
regularly and haven't yet abandoned your wobbly wood pump
jacks, maybe now is the time to do so. Werner recently launched
a line of 500-pound-capacity Aluminum Pump Jacks. Approved for
heights of up to 50 feet, the jacks — which are
compatible with Alum-A-Pole scaffolding — feature
powder-coated steel parts and smooth operation. Poles come in
6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-foot lengths. I found a complete two-pole
setup — 24-foot poles, a pair of 250-pound 24-foot
stages, jacks, bench brackets, roof braces, end guards, and a
safety net — on the Web for $1,863.
Top Table. Although a Van Mark Trim-A-Table is
a sizeable purchase, the siding installers I know who bought
one are glad they did. The TAT50 extends to 18 feet for fast
cuts on either end of the panel. It has a built-in pitch and
angle protractor with memory stops for easily repeated miter
cuts. The blade track is recessed to prevent the new guy from
cutting into it. According to the maker, the 80-pound table
works with most 7 1/4-inch circular saws. It costs about $860;
an optional leg kit goes for about $200. Van
Mark, 800/826-6275, www.van-mark.com
A Cut Above
. Until recently there was no
good way to cut fiber cement by hand. Now there's Malco's Fiber
Cement Hand Snip. Similar in design to a pair of aviation
snips, the tool can cut 2-inch-radius curves and as little as
1/8 inch off the ends of planks. It costs $30. Malco
, 800/596-3494, malco.malcoproducts.com
Extra Hands. Hanging any type of siding solo
is tough, but the job's nearly impossible when it involves
fiber cement, which weighs nearly 30 pounds per plank. Knockoff
Clips can help. The ABS plastic clips hang from an installed
plank to hold the next piece at the correct 11/4-inch overlap.
Once the piece is nailed in place, the prescored clips are
broken off with a hammer — no special tools required. A
box of 500 costs $100. Knockoff, 800/262-9680,