Who is using the new cordless recip saws. What are your experiences? What do they do best? What will they not do? Any problems with blade changes?
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Thread: battery operated recip saws
01-23-1999, 06:23 PM #1billyFirehouse.com Guest
battery operated recip saws
01-23-1999, 10:38 PM #2SBrooksFirehouse.com Guest
We have a couple cordless DeWalt recip saws, as well as a few corded Milwaukee Super Sawzalls. We don't use any of them on a regular basis, as we tend to go with our hydraulic cutters. We've used them a couple times that I can think of...they worked fine on roof posts, just like the corded ones. Well they work fine until you get bound up or whatever your cutting starts to move.
We had a problem with the cordless saws batteries draining if they sat in the saw for a few weeks, so now we keep the batteries disconnected.
I'd like to hear how well other companies use recip saws, vs. hydraulics. I hear stories about how the recips are supposed to be better on modern cars, but. . . the hydraulics work pretty good for us.
Berwyn Heights V.F.D.
Prince George's Co., MD
01-28-1999, 06:35 PM #3Marv WaltonFirehouse.com Guest
We have Milwaukee cordless and a Bosch corded saws. The cordless is OK, but I have noticed a lack of power in the cordless an opposed to the corded saw. Battery life is also a problem. We have found you had better have a spare battery ready to use in case the old one gives out in the middle of an evolution.
01-28-1999, 09:04 PM #4jsteeleFirehouse.com Guest
I've used cordless saws in competitions and was happy with them. I haven't used in the street, and my concern is keeping a charge when they are stored on the apparatus. How long can they sit without drain down, and batteries sitting in the charger all the time is just as bad as it will kill the battery life. A side note, I also used the cordless in a RIT class. With a demolition blade, you can breech walls in a hurry, and really open window openings.
Second Assistant Chief
Portland Hook & Ladder Co. #1
Portland , PA
01-28-1999, 09:45 PM #5Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
We use the 18V Milwaukee and leave the battery in saw. Once a week we pull both batteries and put them in the charger, so far its worked well. The quick chargers also give you the option of charging them up on scene.
01-28-1999, 11:35 PM #6ECBURTFirehouse.com Guest
In a word, they SUCK.
We have the entire rechargeable line. Mini-steel cutting circular saw, recips, light, drills, etc. The recip saw if everything is perfect, will cut 4 posts and it is time to change batteries. Several times they have come off the rig and died in use before one post is cut. Often times replaced by a corded saw.
Why pay more money (almost 3 times more) for a saw that works once in a while. We have six spare batteries in 12 volt chargers and it is still iffy.
I'm very glad we didn't pay for them, they were donated. The bright spot is the Starrett vari pitch blades that never break, ever.
The corded sawzall will beat our hydraulic cutters on a post everytime and are ideal for C posts. They are a wonderful, low cost method to allow multiple tool operations.
[Note: This message has been edited by rmoore]
01-29-1999, 01:37 PM #7FSRIZZIOFirehouse.com Guest
We anticipated the same problem you guys are having with battery powered recip saws. So we demo'd and bought a gas powered RYOBI recip saw, a small 2 stroke engine that has pretty good power, starts every time, and you don't have to sweat spare batteries- recharge times- etc. It's worked real good assisting our hydraulics on complex extrications. Get a demo and see what you think.
Good Luck, Frank
01-29-1999, 11:41 PM #8Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
I'm with Frank, the Ryobi is the ultimate cordless. Outcuts any electric saw, corded or battery. Longer and faster stroke. Only downsides are noise, exhaust and the maintenance problems of another small engine.
01-30-1999, 10:23 AM #9rmooreFirehouse.com Guest
Posting from Ron Moore
I conducted a school bus rescue program on the East coast where one of the participating fire departments had two Ryobi gas-powered reciprocating saws. I had never seen such a tool and kidded them about having a weedwacker for a rescue tool.
With a top-of-the-line fuel additive, the saws burned clean without smoking and were relatively quiet for a gas motor.
I was astounded however, by the work that those saws could put out. In fact, two firefighters working with both saws set a record for the least amount of time needed to cut a picture window and drop the sidewall on a school bus.
Now, here's the BAD news. Ryobi has a website (www.ryobi.com). I recently checked on their latest model of the gas-powered reciprocating saw. I could not find it listed in their online catalog so I wrote an email. The reply was... "the saw has been discontinued!"
01-30-1999, 01:52 PM #10Halligan84Firehouse.com Guest
Ryobi previously only sold them through their regional warehouses, you couldn't buy them in stores as they say on TV. These saws were unavailable once before, but you could find them in outfits like Harbor Freight and others that buy out lots of discontinued stuff. If you can find one, they are worth it, I'm going to have to look for another one now.
02-02-1999, 04:45 PM #11billyFirehouse.com Guest
Can ANYONE provide a source for purchasing the Ryobi gas-powered recip saw?
02-02-1999, 11:19 PM #12rmooreFirehouse.com Guest
A Posting from Forum Moderator Ron Moore
An upcoming multi-part series for the University of Extrication will focus on the use of 18volt cordless reciprocating saws for extrication work. Through the outstanding cooperation of DeWalt and Milwaukee, I have been conducting a series of informal field tests. There has been some very interesting information discovered during this project.
I need suggestions on what else you would like to know about when discussing 18v saws and vehicle rescue.
Here's what info I'll be reporting on;
the average length of time a battery will run unloaded
the number of A-pillar cuts possible with one fully charged battery
average length of time to cut through a typical B-pillar
the number of door hinges one battery will cut before it is depleted
temperature on the surface of a saw blade while cutting
length of time for an 18volt battery to recharge after being exhausted
the effect of a month of sitting around 'aging' on a battery without being used or recharged
What else should I research and include in this series that would be of interest to you or members of your department?
Any personal experiences with 18volt would also be of value to me.
02-03-1999, 03:43 AM #13PhredFirehouse.com Guest
Additional ideas for cordless recip saw article:
1) Are the "rescue" or super-duty blades really better than the standard ones?
2) What is the best number of teeth per inch for heavy metal cutting (rescue cutting)?
3) Is there any benifit to cooling or lubricating the blade during metal cutting operations?
Phred from Ohio
02-03-1999, 10:46 AM #14FSRIZZIOFirehouse.com Guest
Billy/Halligan84, my supplier called ryobi, the sales rep. physically checked warehouse stock... they have two left on the shelf, however she said they are discontinued
[This message has been edited by FSRIZZIO (edited 02-06-99).]
[This message has been edited by FSRIZZIO (edited 02-06-99).]
02-03-1999, 04:07 PM #15billyFirehouse.com Guest
I've checked, and the Ryobi saws ARE still available. The model # is EJ100, price $469.00. Although they aren't in the catalog, they remain available. For further info., call Robin at 800-847-5993.
02-03-1999, 05:06 PM #16eng4Firehouse.com Guest
Better add a chart that shows amp draw seeing as how they go from 4 to 15 amps. Some kind of a chart that shows wire gauge and length limits.
02-03-1999, 06:02 PM #17billyFirehouse.com Guest
Most any reputable electrical supply house can furnish info. regarding correct wire gauge AND outer jacket. These items should follow NEMA suggestions. DON'T buy cheap lightweight cords--get the best! Same goes for junction boxes. Do they meet load requirements?
02-08-1999, 05:08 PM #18rmooreFirehouse.com Guest
Post from Ron Moore, Forum Moderator
As I am moving forward in my research about the abilities of 18volt cordless reciprocating saws and various saw blades, I have received several great suggestions to add to my project.
Here's additional information that will be addressed in the upcoming University of Extrication series on DeWalt and Milwaukee brans of 18 volt recip saws.
From firefighter Craig Wickham, Selkirk,N.Y;
-What voltage chargers are available? 12v dc? 120 volt ac?
-Are multiple battery chargers available?
-What does cold do the condition of the batteries and does cold affect the charging rate?
-What blade would work best for use as a windshield saw?
From Asst Chief John Morris, Berlin Twp (OH) FD;
-Regarding the proposed vice break test, heat the blade, then operate the saw plunge-cut style into a solid block of wood to simulate the pinching and stalling action of a typical cut???
-loss of capacity that the typical NiCad battery experiences as it ages?
-have manufacturers ever considered using sealed or gelled lead-acid batteries?
-have manufacturers ever thought of supplying a battery eliminator module for us fire types? A dummy battery housing with a
long extension cord with jumper cable clips. When the rechargeable battery goes south, attach the clips to the apparatus battery and saw your heart out.
02-22-1999, 06:25 PM #19Curt IsaksonFirehouse.com Guest
CARRY CORDLESS DEWALT'S ON ALL RESCUES IN MY DEPARTMENT WITH TWO EXTRA BATT. AND HARD WIRED CHARGERS. IN THE LAST SIX MONTHS I'VE USED THEM EXTENSIVELY ONSCENES AND IN TRAINING AND ALL IS GREAT.
USE THEM TO REMOVE ROOFS INSTEAD OF HYD. CUTTERS LESS TIME AND NOISE, ALSO REMOVED A GARAGE DOOR DURING A RESIDENTIAL FIRE. GREAT FOR TIGHT SPOTS LIKE CUTTING THE SEAT BRACKETS. DURING TRAINING WE TOOK ONE SAW ONE BLADE AND A BOTTLE OF SOAP AND WATER AND REMOVED THE ROOF OF AN OLDER MODEL CHEVY STATION WAGON.
02-23-1999, 06:39 PM #20JeffFirehouse.com Guest
I would encourage folks to look at the Ryobi gas powered saw. I and my teaching partner own two and the squad we volunteer with has one as well. Now, it has the draw back of exhaust, but it makes up for it in cutting power. This power is especially good when dealing with school buses and heavy truck extrication, which we teach. Also, for those interested, the gas powered saw can cut a PTO shaft on a tractor in half the time a conventional corded saw can (using Lenox blades). Just my thoughts.
Assistant Training Coordinator
Winston Salem Rescue Squad
Winston Salem, NC
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