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    Credit: Bruce Greenlaw

 

As a drywall contractor, I depend on drywall routers for quickly cutting around window and door openings, electrical boxes, and ducts with the drywall tacked in place. Maybe my corrosive coastal environment is partly to blame, but my drywall routers rarely last longer than six months. So I was excited to try the new model SS355 RotoZip RotoSaw to see if it would raise the bar. According to RotoZip, it’s the right tool for professional drywallers.

Inline grip. I liked the feel of the tool right away. You can hold the barrel with one hand while gripping the tool almost like a drywall screw gun with the other, so your thumb and forefinger wrap around the end of the motor housing. Most of the time, that dual grip gave me the best control. The tool had ample power, and the exhaust vents did a good job of blowing drywall dust away from my face. Other features include a slide-on/bump-off switch and a rubber loop on the cord that holds the collet wrench.

The outcome. After about six months of use, the RotoZip seized up. But I learned some things I didn’t know about the one-year warranty. First, if the tool breaks down under warranty, you can send it to the RotoZip service center and receive a new one with a new warranty that runs up to an additional year. Second, if the tool breaks down after the warranty expires, you can send it in and receive a reconditioned replacement with a new one-year warranty at a reduced price. (You can also buy a reconditioned one — with the warranty — at homedepot.com for $40.)

I also learned a tip from RotoZip customer service: Blow out the vents periodically with compressed air and the tool will last longer. I’ll have to try that.

Josh Overlin owns Chetco Drywall in Brook­ings, Ore.