1. #1
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    Question Cut-off saw use???

    A few members of our Department recently went down to FDIC in San Diego, CA. While down there the took a class on forcible entry. One of the things they brought back was using a Cut-Off saw A.K.A. K12, to cut the dead bolts on steel doors, instead of trying to force them with irons. Since we are a smaller department with limited staffing most of the members liked the idea because forcing the door could be done by one person. Now the problem is, most of the members like using the Cut-Off saw for roof ventilation, wich would require a different blade then for cutting the doors. So my question is, do you set the saw up with the blade to cut the metal door or for ventilation??? Any other ideas on the subject are welcome.
    Thank you all

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    What do you do more often, ventilate structure fires or force doors with dead-bolts?

    If you use the saw primarily for ventilation, I'd leave it that way and find another method of forcing entry.

    If you're running into a lot of dead-bolts, maybe you set up a chain saw for venting and your K-12 for cutting metal.

    Or you buy another K-12 and have one ready for both situations.

    I certianly wouldn't want to have to take the time to change out blades for different applications. Usually, if you need to vent or gain entry, you don't have that kind of time.
    Lt. D. Gordon
    Greendale Fire Department
    Greendale, IN

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    How about using a small air-powered cutoff saw? If you have an air cylinder setup with an air chisel, a small cut off saw could be put on it in seconds. Just a thought, havn't tried it myself.

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    Keep the K-12 set up for venting. If you're delayed making entry you're still safe. If you're inside and the vent is delayed you're in trouble.

    Alternative lock cutters are:

    Duck Bill for pad locks, inexpensive and effective.
    Mapp/Oxy torch, more expensive but affordable.
    Another K-12, much more expensive.

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    As the LT said........if you can only afford one saw, keep it set-up for ventillation. Just one suggestion if you do go with a saw set-up for F/E. Try going with a slightly smaller saw like a Partner K-650 or K-950. These saws weigh less then the K-1200 and provide close to the the same cutting proficiency as the larger saw. Since most deadbolts are placed approx. 5 feet from the floor, the lighter saw will save on the arms and back.
    FTM-PTB-EGH-RFB-KTF

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    Good points from everyone. Glad to hear guys taking the lessons learned from FDIC back to their Depts. I took the same class a few years back...excellent.

    I agree that another saw while probably the most prefered might be too expensive. Trkco1 makes a good point. The K-12 should be set up for roof venting. If you do buy another get a K-950 for FE. That is signifigantly lighter than the K1200 with enough power to cut the metal.

    Remember that if the locks are case-hardened, you might make it through one...maybe two locks before trashing the blades of bolt cutters. Use a halligan or pipe/stillson wrench to twist it off using shearing force. Or like was mentioned the Duckbill works well, especially on cheap locks.

    Besides a small delay in FE isn't necessarily a bad thing in a Taxpayer fire... that might just give the roof man enough time to start the venting on the roof, limiting the chances of Backdraft in a sealed building when you do open the front door.

    FTM-PTB

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    We have the K-12 set up for venting but keep a metal cutting blade handy in the compartment. The saw comes with a small wrench that allows changing of the blades in less than 30 seconds. Train a little on it (especially with gloves on) and it's really no problem to switch blades out quick.

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    We carry a K-12 on each of our three engines as well as one on our truck. The one on the truck is set-up with a wood blade, and the three on the engines are set-up with cut-off blades. We carry other blades as well, but these are the ones that stay on the saws.

    We also carry two chainsaws on each engine and one on the truck. The reason for two on the engines is that one's set-up for ventilation (carbide-tip chain) and one's set-up for brush (standard chain). The truck only has a ventilation chain saw as it doesn't go on brush calls.

    Since our town is mostly residential with some light commercial, we end up using the chainsaws most of the time for roof ventilation. We did a roof ventilation class back over Labor Day weekend and tried both on the roof props, and most of us found the chainsaw easier to handle for the types of roofs we have in town. The K-12s tend to be used more for rescue and other cutting.
    Chris Gaylord
    Emergency Planner / Fire Captain, UC Santa Cruz FD

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    Or use/buy a chainsaw (i.e. cuttersedge, etc) for the roofing where you'd use a wood-blade on your K12.

    Then keep your K12 set with an abrasive disc.
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    We have a K950 set up for FE and a chainsaw for vent work.
    Look at your responce area and some of the forcible entry challenges. You may find that the metal saw isn't needed. I work in the 4th largest industrial park in Illinois and 90% of the time the irons get us in just fine.
    If you are having problems double check your tool set up. Do you have 6lb axes or a more useful 8lb axe, maul or 10lb sledge. Are the halligans you are using pinned with fat wedge shaped heads or are they the nice one piece tools with a good fork and adz end.

    Good tip on the saw use for FE, good luck

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