1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default recip saw blade preference

    OK folks, let's hear about your FAVORITE recip saw blade(s). What things WON'T they cut? What would YOU recommend? Do you lube the blades during actual rescues? Have you modified, or dressed up your saws any, and in what way?

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Posting from Ron Moore, Forum Moderator

    Here's some reciprocating saw blade 'Points to Ponder'........

    1) 6 inch blades are too short to cut through substantial roof pillars, vehicle sidewalls, etc. Consider an 8 inch or 9 inch blade for these situations. Keep the 6 inchers for when you need a short blade due to close proximity to a patient or other unique situation. Standardize on 9 inchers!

    2) Lubricating of saw blades is done primarily by machine shops and metal shops as a means of prolonging their blade life. We've sort of adopted the idea because that's what we're being told in our rescue training.

    Consider this. For extrication work, if I did NOT lubricate the saw blade, I would have one more available rescuer to do other tasks while I'm sawing.

    We do not really want to prolong our blade life, we just want the blade to cut through without breaking so we can get that cut or several cuts done. After an extrication, I don't know of any team that leaves the old blade in the saw for the next job... seems we all change to a 'fresh' blade.

    Therefore, why don't we seriously look at NOT lubricating blades and do look a better use of that partner who used to run the spray bottle?

    3) No rescue team should be buying cheap, standard metal cutting reciprocating saw blades. Forget the "blue light specials" They're not for rescue.

    You should be purchasing only the newest generation'bi-metal' blades that are break-resistant. Because of the potential market fire and rescue departments offer to blade manufacturers, there are now several manufacturers who produce saw blades specifically for extrication use.
    (Milwaukee's TORCH blade is the most recent example designed specifically for fire/rescue/extrication uses)

    These new blades are bi-metal, thicker than the standard blade, have good tooth-per-inch designs and make for outstanding rescue scene results. Everyone who uses them is impressed with the results. Check them out.

    [Note: This message has been edited by rmoore]

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    buy the saw with the longest stroke, most stokes per inch, with the lowest amp draw, a reversable blade, and use a combo of 6 and 12 inch blades, Starrett vari pitch .0050 gauge, and always buy saws in pairs.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In Rockford last fall, one of my missions was to test as many blades as possible, simply because they were there.Let me share the highs and lows.
    Starrett was hot about a new "combi" blade. We tried it out when working on school buses. Each time we hit a fold in the metal, such as where it was formed to fashion a rail, the blade "stalled out". When we were done, so were the teeth. This was after cutting perhaps 8-10" of metal. Thinking that perhaps the bus was an unfair tough test, we later went at a heavy truck with it. The results were similar. The blade did fine on straight metal, but where any metal forming was done for strength, the blade didn't like it. The consensus towards this blade was not favourable.
    We also got our hands on the TORCH. I, and the others who were involved, are in agreement with Ron. This may be one of the best blades to hit the market, from our point of view. I was told that, apart from rescuers, demolition workers (read scrap yards) were anxious to get a beefier, more productive blade. I was fortunate to get a couple of blades to bring home and test, and passed one along to a neighbouring dept. also. So far the consensus has been favourable.
    Hope this is of assistance.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    ECBURT - I am curious as to why you suggest a low amp recip saw. Also what do you mean by "Most strokes per inch"?

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I work and volunteer for the 2 heavy rescues in my area. I was also at Rockford this past fall and we were fortunate enough to win the comp, but with little saw-zall work. On our way to the international we tryed many different types of blades and saws. Not trying to be an advertisement but to state what has done the job best for us is the 9.6 amp Porta-cable Tiger Saw with the Lenox 960R rescue blade. The Lenox Blade (Both Rescue & Demolition have been put beyond the test. We tryed testing 1 Rescue blade (960R) through an entire pick up truck. We cut the hindges, steering wheel, roof off, doors off, and even took the bed of the truck off with a single blade. The blade kept going. No Lubrication!! The blade lost a total of 4 teeth and was slightly "blued." We have found, like Ron, that the blades cut fine without lube. We Like to use the Demolition blade for the depth of the cut for 3rd door conversions in 2 door cars. We haven't tried the Torch Blades yet but they will be tried. We also have never bent or broke one of these Lenox blades. They have been the choice of both of my departments.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    resQHero, my hero.....thanks for the insight brother. Its good to know these things. We in the rescue community applaud your efforts to test and apply the newest tools and techniques in the dynamic field of fire and rescue. You probably learned all you know from one of the best rescue co's (49). Be safe.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Having used many different blades in different situations, I would have to say either Lenox or Starrett blades. Both are excellent blades for extrication. I would give the edge to Lenox for durbility though. I have to agree with Ron, a longer blade is better for today's vehicle, especially with the amount of times that an entire "B" post needs to be removed or a third door evolution is done.

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Attn: billy and Ron Moore,
    Ref: Proposed saw blade test

    Found some interesting, although old (dated 1997) information regarding saw blade design features on a "Tools of the Trade" web site. I'll try to create a click-link here to let you look at it; try clicking on:

    then scroll down or click on 1997 Summer and read the second atricle on choosing blades.

    Another site of interest is the Lenox Blade (manufacturer = American Saw & Mfg Co), who mention their Fire & Rescue blades:
    click on www.lenoxsaw.com

    Hope these links work - happy webbing.
    Nope, goofed the first one; edit to repair link #1; #2 works.
    Phred from Ohio

    [This message has been edited by Phred (edited 02-09-99).]

    [This message has been edited by Phred (edited 02-09-99).]

    [This message has been edited by Phred (edited 02-09-99).]

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We recently switched to the Lenox 960 blade mentioned before. It is a 9"x7/8"x.062" blade. The difference is amazing. As Ron mentioned, the longer blade is a must for most extrication cutting. It enables you to cut through thicker areas without the blade binding. The blade thickness is important as well. The thicker Lenox blade won't bind or bend, and the more agressive teeth really do well through the mix of materials in a B or C-post.

    As always, a blade (or saw) is only as good as the tecqnique of the person using it. Proper cutting procedures go a long way.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We've used the milwaukee Sawz-all for years with the Lenox "hackmaster" blades. They have worked very well. We have recently purchased a cordless Sawz-all that works very well on cutting windshields.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    On our new engine we run an 8 kw generator, starts in the cab, has a 4 plug gang box connected to a 200' 12/3 cord preconnected to the gen. We have a Holmatro combi tool, and use 2 porter cable tiger saws and use lenox demolition blades/14 tpi. The 6tpi are to agressive. lenox is coming out with a 10 to 14tpi combo blade, we have them on order and are looking forward to trying them out. we use pam spray[pam food spray][great for the victim and weather conditions] for lube on the blades when we have the manpower. the recipricating saw is fast, the right blades witht the right user, they beat hyd tools hands down.We have been criticized by other company's because of there noise and vibration transmitted to the vehicle. But they are effective in achieving the golden hour. We have never broke a lenox demolition blade, very seldom break teeth, we use the used blades for drill, always put new blades in the saw for calls.

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