Saturday, July 05, 2014

Man sized tools - Reciprocating saw

Reciprocating saw

Time for some proper tools for real men. Last weekend I was playing with a reciprocating saw as we had an old shed soon to be replaced by a nice new one. As both needed to be carried through the house, they have to be small enough to fit through a door. New shed will do but old shed was built in the usual shed-sized lumps.

Cutting up the old shed could be carried out with a hand saw but I have a life and didn't fancy spending a week of it sawing away at a slightly rotten old building. It was time to head to the hire shop and get a proper tool.

If you've used a jig saw then you have an idea how a reciprocating saw operates. Imagine that your jig saw and a pneumatic drill were left alone one night and had a baby. That's what we have here. At the sharp end, a blade comes in and out. Further back the operator does his level best to keep his fingers out of the way. It certainly is a beast of a tool.

A few handy hints for the beginner:
  • Blades come in long and short versions. Buy a pack of both. We bought long and found there were occasions when hacking up the floor when the blade kept hitting the slabs underneath.
  • The tool operates of 110v so a transformer is required. This weighs about half a ton (OK, not that much but it is b****y heavy) and the lead from this to the tool is around 7ft long. Personally I'd have preferred twice this as it would make it a lot easier to keep the cable out of the way. You can't flip it over your shoulder, or at least you can't if you are 6ft tall and the transformer is on the floor.
  • For some reason, power tools are fitted with a button on the side that when pushed, keeps the power on until the trigger is pressed. The correct name for this should be "The button of death". Quite why you want a cutting tool to operate if you'd dropped it or otherwise lost control is a mystery for me. As much as a mystery as to why it has to be put where it's so easy to press with a gloved hand.
  • If your shed is 10ft by 14ft including veranda, you can just about get it in a 5 cubic yard skip by cutting the bits up small. Should you have some rubble that you also want to get rid of, get the standard 6 cubic yard size.
Like all tools, this is perfectly safe if you are sensible. I still have all my limbs after all the chopping. The spare blades are blood-free so that that is a good thing. I've done more damage to myself with model-making tools.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just seen this on today's link.
Very useful tools but better battery powered. I have a Ryobi 1+ 18v that uses the same battery for the drill, jigsaw, circular saw, planer etc
No power lead to worry about and the button of death becomes a safety that has to be pushed before the trigger to start it. Much safer.
And it's still powerful enough to cut through a bit of 4x4 no problem (use the NiMh battery's not the NiCads)

Mark N