1. #1
    xe1rcf
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    Post Reciprocating saw as primary tool

    Just wondering how many of you use the reciprocating saws as primary tools.

    How efficient would you consider a cip saw agains an hydraulic cutter.

  2. #2
    kbud
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    Cool

    Great tool as long as you have a quality saw and blades that are up to the task. We carry a 24v Dewalt with 2 batteries and an AC/DC converter. Mainly use 9inch,14 tpi Milwaukee Torch blades.
    If we're going to do a roof removal, the saw is the ideal weapon. In the time it takes to lug the big heavy power unit up, fiddle with the couplings, flake out the hose, and finally put the cutter into play, we can already have the vehicle stabilized, the battery shutdown and have several of the roof posts cut. As soon as the 2nd engine arrives ,they bring up their saw as well.
    One thing we have noticed is that if you're using both a hydraulic cutter and recip at the same time, the shearing action of the cutter sometimes binds up the saw blade on the opposite side of the car. So we like using 2 saws at once or running the cutter when there's a pause in the working of the recip(ie. changing blades,stripping the trim, cutting seatbelts)
    As for other evolutions like total sidewall removal or dash displacement, it's a great tool to use with the hydraulics making relief cuts,etc.

  3. #3
    86Rescuetech
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    We have had some great discussion about this in the past. We run dual cip saws as primary and back them up with Hurst hydraulic tools and two other cip saws. Having a pre-connected saw or two on the Rescue is a great idea, or a battery unit (charged of course). In timed evolutions, off the truck, cip saws may be quicker for some jobs like roof removal. There is always a place for a good hydraulic cutter though. Be safe.

  4. #4
    CaptCo7
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    Cool

    Our Rescue Company has found that recip saws are a very effective tool to be used ALONG with the hydraulics. The speed of our newest Milwaukee 11 amp saws with the 9-inch Torch blade is amazing. Using the right technique, a saw operator can blast right past the hydraulic cutters, until you break a blade. Always have manpower ready to change out the blades as needed. Stage fresh saws behind the operations team in a powered and ready mode to do a tool hand off as needed.

  5. #5
    T. Faull
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    Thumbs up

    We Use 2 dewalt 24v saws as primary with spare bats and ac converter. Setup is much less time consuming but I would agree to have extra blades waiting. We do not have a problem with broken blades. If your blades heat up they will dull.

  6. #6
    EJR51
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    I too like the recip saw, however I have my doubts regarding the battery operated saws. What are anyone's experiences with the battery powered units - how long they last, speed vs. electric, etc?

  7. #7
    res7cue
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    My dept uses two cip saws. Both Milwaukees, one cordless.

    They work GREAT in some situations. The biggest drawbacks are blade wear on both and I think the biggest drawback is with the battery life.

    On a fully charged battery, we are only getting an avergae of 7-10 minutes max.

    Keep a minimum of two batteries fully charged at all times. I've seen the battery pack attachment and it looks good, but haven't had the chance to do any RD with it yet.

    ------------------

  8. #8
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    I agree the milwaukee cip saws battery life is sub par. The dewalt 24v is 2 to 3 times as long. Check out their web site. Our dept. has two of them. We recently totally dismantled a 92 ford escort with two saws on one battery each. We cut hinges, nader pin A,B,C pillars, relief cut for dash lift...everything.

  9. #9
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    My dept has 3 cip saws..all mils. We don't have any extrication tools. 2 surrounding towns do. We felt that we didn't need to get any due to our low volume of usage for them. We have gotten very good at using the cip saws. most of the time we have the car apart before the crew arrives with the jaws. We use only AC powered saws. Also have PLENTY of spare blades in the cases.
    HELL YEAH!!!
    The comments made by me are just that. Not of the Fire dept or Ambulance squad I am on.

  10. #10
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    Well, we just recieved a new Pierce Dash rescue pumper and we're in the process of outfitting it accordingly. Considering putting a Dewalt 11 amp corded recip on it mated with a lightweight(23 lbs) 1100 watt Coleman generator (just saw the generator at Costco for $200).
    The corded recip with generator (total $360) is a little lighter on the budget than the 24 volt saw w/spare battery and AC/DC converter ($520). We already have 2 of the cordless units in service w/spare batteries,converters and our only problems have been the guys occasionally not swapping the batteries in the charger to keep them with a full charge.
    If you guys haven't tried the 11 amp corded saw it ROCKS! It's got the same quick change blade feature and plenty of power.

    Kevin

  11. #11
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    kbud,

    Coleman is a good name and $200 is a great price but 1100 watts is just not going to be enough for a rescue unit - even a light rescue unit. Your 11 amp saw is going to draw over 1300 watts alone. You need AC lighting for night operations and may want to add another saw later on. Also consider set up time and reliability. Either go with a bigger generator, preferably 10KW with electric start, or go with the 18 volt recip in a two battery setup. DeWalt will have a DC charger for the 18 volt shortly so get two (AC or DC) and keep both batteries on charge all the time.



    [ 08-06-2001: Message edited by: Engine 224 ]

  12. #12
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    Our department also runs with 2 DeWalt 24Volt recip saws. We have experienced some problems with battery life and have had some discussion with DeWalt on the matter. If you decide to go this rout, keep in mind that the batteries lose 25% of their charge in the first 24 hours off of the charger (according to DeWalt engineers). We have one with the ac/dc adapter and one on battery. We also use Lennox blades and have an assortment of them for different applications. In my experience the Lennox blades have consistently outperformed the DeWalt blades as well as the Milwaukee blades.

    As for which tool is primary, we run with our spreaders and cutters (Holmatro) on 100' preconnect reels, so deployment time is not really an issue for us. We can get both in operation in about the same time. I would say, however, that the recip saws are much better on the larger posts where you just can't get cutters around them.
    Lt. John Kaltenbach
    Mifflin Fire - Rescue 133
    Gahanna, OH

    "Vermögen bevorzugt das tapfere!"

  13. #13
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    Our department has both a corded and battery powered Milwauke Sawsall on the Heavy Rescue.

    In training evolutions and in real life conditions, I have found the recip saw to be faster than a Hurst cutter. Fast enough to cut through A, B, and C posts on one side of the vehicle and finish cutting the C post on the other side. Both tools were set-up at the same time and operated with experienced operators.

    To speed up the process, add a second firefighter to the operation using a spray bottle with soapy water to cool down the blade as it is being used.
    BE SAFE
    Before Everything, Stop And First Evaluate

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    We have 24v dewalts w/ Milwalkee "torch" blades, as well as 2 Milwalkee cordeds. However, the first thing off the truck is the Hurst tool. We ran a head on a couple of shifts ago, though, where the driver door impact support bar of a small car was jammed into the rear door. The Dewalt cut through it like butter, allowing us to make a pur. point remove the front door. We've had 3 or 4 entrapments since then, and now the saw comes off of the truck WITH the Hurst tool. Live and learn, I guess. Good luck!

  15. #15
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    We carry 2 cip saws on our rescue a Milwaukee and get this a, Riyobe gas powered saw. Cips are invaluble when used in conjuntion with hydralic tools. The best thing to remember is to buy the best bimetal blade available and tacticly the most important thing we have found for blade life is to have a pump bottle cut 50/50 soap and water. This keeps the blade cool and you can get 2-3 times the life out of them. When using the saw always have spare blades close by for quik changeout and don't waste valuable time trying to cut with a dull blade. Happy cuttin'

  16. #16
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    As a firefighter form Germany (where cip-saws are not commonly used in vehicle extrications) I like to know a few things:

    How about the noise of these saws? I saw a demonstration on the "Interschutz" where cutting with this saw was very loud. To loud for an extrication scene where everybody tries to be siltent to be patient-oriented.

    Which role do the cutting speed and the cutting blade play?
    Jorg Heck
    Airbag&Co, Germany/Austria
    http://airbag.feuerwehr.org

  17. #17
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    One thing we do, is we have a sawzall sheath duct taped to the side of the saw's body with a couple of blades in it. If we break one, we can pop the busted blade out and lock a new blade in PDQ. The soapy water mix that LT13 talked about works great. We use it, and it also elimiates sparks and thus a source of ignition.

    Noise isn't much of a concern. Our interior rescuer always knows what is happening and can prep the PT for the noise. The actual cutting is louder then cutting with a hydrolic tool, but the time it takes to rip through a post isn't that long.

    Now for the original question about it being the primary tool, for us, it is definately one of the first tools off the rig. We run with combi-tools so we can cut and spread without changing. However, I do remember when I was a newbie and I was bet that a firefighter (now my captain) could take the roof with the sawzall faster then I could with the combi-tool. I was new, and I lost. We use that story when training new guys now, and if gives them a respect for the tool.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

  18. #18
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    Forgot to mention that we also use our sawzall for taking out windshields. We use a crash axe, windshield saw, or even a fire axe to get a puchase in the top corner (either side). Slip the blade in and cut around the outside as you would with a glassmaster. Takes only a few seconds and the windshield is out. Barely even damages the blade, so you can move onto the A posts almost right away.
    "No one ever called the Fire Department for doing something smart..."

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