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Tool Test: Reciprocating Saws, continued

Reviewer's Comments

Bosch 1634VSK

1203PA9

The 1634VSK is a powerful, orbital cutting machine that cuts as quickly as any saw I tested. It does the job, but it's longer and heavier than other saws in its class.

DeWalt DW303MK

1203PA10

The DW303K is very light and has a comfortable grip. The lever-action clamp makes it easy to change blades. The price is right, but the saw is very slow and hasn't got the power to do heavy cutting.

DeWalt DW307MK

1203PA11

The DW307K is a light saw but with good speed and power. The grip is comfortable, and the lever-action blade clamp is easier to use than the clamps you find on other brands.

DeWalt DW309K

1203PA12

The DW309K is powerful and smooth-running. It's equipped with an auxiliary speed-control dial and an internal counterbalance to dampen vibration. The lever-action blade clamp is exceptionally easy to use, and the rear grip is comfortable. The only thing I don't like about this saw is that it's kind of bulky in the middle.

Hitachi CR13VA

1203PA13

The CR13VA is an orbital cutting saw with the power to do any cutting job. It has a comfortable grip but is bulky in the middle. I didn't like the spring-loaded shoe because it feels like it pushes back on light cuts and gets in the way when you're changing blades. The CR13VA also vibrates more and is louder than any other saw I tested.

Makita JR3020

1203PA14

The JR3020 is a recently modified version of an existing Makita saw. The new version has a different blade clamp. This is a narrow, compact saw, but it's slower than average and has a bulky shoe-adjusting mechanism that gets in the way when you grasp the front of the machine.

Milwaukee 6509-22 Sawzall

1203PA15

The 6509-22 is a no-frills saw. It's light and well balanced but lacks an adjustable shoe, quick-change cord, and gear-protecting clutch. The price might be right, but with a 3/4-inch stroke, it cuts slower than any other saw I tested. If you want a Milwaukee, it's worth spending extra for a Sawzall Plus or Super Sawzall.

Milwaukee 6519-22 Sawzall Plus

1203PA16

The 6519-22 is a light, well-balanced tool with comfortable grips. It cuts with average speed and is equipped with a quick-change cord, a tool-less shoe, and a clutch that protects the gears if the blade gets stuck.

Milwaukee 6521-21 Super Sawzall

1203PA17

The 6521-21 is slim, powerful, and fast. It's rated at 3,200 spm, which is 300 spm faster than the closest competitor. It has an orbital cutting mode that is activated by an easy-to-reach switch that's recessed into the top of the housing. At 8.5 pounds, the Super Sawzall is very light for a tool with so much power and speed.

Porter-Cable 9741 Tiger Saw

1203PA21

The 9741 is a brand-new model. I tested a prototype, which is why the saw in the picture has no label or logo. Speed is controlled by trigger, and there is no speed-control dial or orbital mode. This is a basic no-frills saw with average cutting speed.

Porter-Cable 9746 Tiger Saw

1203PA19

The 9746 is a powerful no-frills saw. Speed is trigger controlled, and the saw does not have orbital action or a speed-control dial. The 9746 is a good saw, but I don't understand why it costs the same as the more powerful and better-equipped model 9747.

Porter-Cable 9747 Tiger Saw

1203PA20

The 9747 is another new model from Porter-Cable. In the orbital cutting mode, it's as quick as any saw I tested. The most unusual thing about this tool is the handle, which can be rotated in relation to the blade. I really like this feature because it allows you to cut up, down, or sideways without changing the way you grip the tool.

Porter-Cable 9750 Tiger Claw

1203PA18

The 9750 is a powerful machine with a unique adjustable gear housing that allows you to contort the tool to cut from any and all angles, making it the king of tight spots. The adjustable mechanism seems well made and is very easy to use. On the downside, this saw is slightly heavier than average, and the gear train makes it vibrate noticeably more than other saws.

Late Arrivals

Two companies introduced new recip saws that showed up too late for the author to test. The specs for these tools are at the bottom of the spec table.

Hilti WSR 900 PE

1203PA23

The WSR 900 PE is an 8.5-amp, 900-2,700 spm, orbital-action saw. The most unusual thing about this tool is the housing, which is short in length, tall in height, and has an exceptionally large open grip. The WSR 900 PE has a tool-less blade clamp and shoe, a speed dial, and a safety mechanism on the trigger.

Ridgid R3000

1203PA22

The R3000 is manufactured by One World Technologies (which also makes Ryobi tools) and is sold exclusively by Home Depot. The most unusual feature is the lever-action blade clamp on the side of the gear housing. The R3000 is equipped with a variable-speed trigger and a key-operated foot and comes in a large plastic case with metal clasps.

Recip Saw Specs

Brand

/ Model

Amps

Speed (spm)

Length of Stroke (in inches)

*Weight with Cord (in lbs.)

Street Price

**Sound Output (straight/orbit, in decibels)

Orbital

Auxiliary Speed Dial

Bosch 1634VSK

10.5

0-2,700

1 1/4

10.9

$179

100/102

yes

yes

DeWalt DW303MK

0-2,400

1 1/8

7.4

$99

98

no

no

DeWalt DW307MK

10.5

0-2,800

1 1/4

8.3

$139

97

no

no

DeWalt DW309K

11.8

0-2,900

1 1/4

9.2

$159

96

no

yes

Hitachi CR13VA

11

0-2,800

1 1/4

9.7

$139

102/102

yes

yes

Makita JR3020

9.3

0-2,500

1  3/16

8.3

$169

95

no

no

Milwaukee 6509-22 Sawzall

10

0-2,800

3/4

7.3

$129

97

no

no

Milwaukee 6519-22 Sawzall Plus

10

0-2,800

1 1/8

7.4

$159

96

no

no

Milwaukee 6521-21 Super Sawzall

11

0-3,200

1 1/4

8.5

$189

98/99

yes

no

Porter-Cable 9741 Tiger Saw

0-2,600

1 1/8

9.3

$109

99

no

no

Porter-Cable 9746 Tiger Saw 

10.5

0-2,600

1 1/8

9.0

$149

97

no

no

Porter-Cable 9747 Tiger Saw

11.5

0-2600

1 1/8

9.3

$149

99/100

yes

no

Porter-Cable 9750 Tiger Claw

11.5

0-2,600

1 1/4

9.3

$219

102

no

no

Brand-new saws from Hilti and Ridgid arrived too late to be tested by the author; see their specs below.

Hilti WSR 900 PE

8.5

900-2,700

1 1/4

8.7

$239

not tested

yes

yes

Ridgid R3000

0-2,800

1 1/8

8.5

$110

not tested

no

no

*Each saw (including cord) was weighed on a digital scale.

**Sound output was measured with a digital meter 30 inches from the saw with the blade out of the cut. The decibel scale is logarithmic, so increasing a noise by 3 dB doubles the intensity of sound.

Sources

Bosch Power Tool

877/267-2499

www.boschtools.com

DeWalt Industrial Tool

800/433-9258

www.dewalt.com

Hilti Inc.

800/879-8000

www.us.Hilti.com

Hitachi Power Tools

800/829-4752

www.hitachi.com/powertools

Makita USA

800/462-5482

www.makitatools.com

Milwaukee Electric Tool

877/729-3878

www.milwaukeetool.com

Porter-Cable

800/321-9443

www.portercable.com

Ridgid Emerson Tool

800/474-3443

www.ridgid.com