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  1. #1
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    Default Cutters vs. Saws

    Had a state vehicle extrication a few years back. Did several different scenarios. One was to take the roof off of a car. 2 groups worked on it. 1 group used cutters and the other used a reciprocating saw. group using reciprocating saw took the post quicker. Now I know everyone has their own way of doing things, but I am putting together a extrication session for our department to do. I would like some input from everyeone on this issue. Which do you use more often on the roof, cutters or saws. I tend to lean towards using a saw to take the roof off due to the fact that it seems to be quicker to take off the truck, dont have to worry about starting a pump and its lighter.




    Auk


  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber BurnCMSFD's Avatar
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    Default sawzall or cutter

    They both have there advantages, if you are in a hurry I would suggest using both. Start one side with the cutters and one side with the sawzall. If there are side air bags in the B post you will have to identify it and look for the best place to cut, it may be a pie cut on the top of the post. Not a good cut for a sawzall, but can be done. The newer cutters are alot quicker and more powerful then the old ones so that could make the difference also. If your pump is hard starting maybe a good tune up will help. We teach them to learn how to use the hand tools first to do everything, then when they get that we teach them the hydraulics. There is jobs that both of these tools excell on, its just training and identifying what works the best.
    burn
    Burn<br />LT/EMT/Inst />Central Mat-Su FD<br />Wasilla Alaska

  3. #3
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Default

    We do the same thing. Two people work the cutters, the others grab the DeWalt (much better than a sawzall) and start on the other posts. The whole thing gets done faster. We also have two hydrolic lines so in theory, one can use the cutters, combo tool, and a recip saw at the same time.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  4. #4
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Default

    We got the Amkus Ultimate system which works off a PTO on the truck, so no start up, and the cutters run about 4 times faster than the old simo pump (can open and close the jaws 4 1/2 times for every one on the older unit).

    I dislike the noise a sawsall makes, it can be quite unerving to the vic, especially children.
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  5. #5
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    If possible, use both simultaneouly.
    Developer and Sr. Presenter, Team Xtreme
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  6. #6
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Default

    Depending on the incident, I would have both going.......

  7. #7
    Forum Member SpartanGuy's Avatar
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    Default

    Depends on the incident. I prefer the hydraulic tools, because that's what I was brought up on, but I like to use both simultaneously.

    For example, our department always does a full roof(why only cut half and then fool around trying tob end it back?), so I'll put a recip saw on the C posts(Since on most cars, they're wider than the bite of the O-cutters) and have the o-cutters cut the remaining posts. Recip saws are also GREAT for cutting third doors into two door cars.

    I've done extrications with just hydraulic tools and just hand tools, and I must say the time we did extrication with just the Jaws was a whole lot more pleasant than the recip saw.


    One thing to also conside: An air chisel with a wide tip on it. I've taken posts with them, and it is pretty quick.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

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  8. #8
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    Give me the milwaukee!!

    We carry 2 sawzalls on every crash truck, a milwaukee and a Craftsman. (IMO, both better than a Decrap for extrication)

    I worked a MVA the other day and had the A,B,C on the driver side as well as the C on the passenger side cut with my milwaukee before the "other agency" that was there had the driverB-post cut using the new Hurst O-cutters.

    Spreaders\cutter are great, but to take a roof, you can't beat a the recip. saw.

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber N2DFire's Avatar
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    Default

    Originally posted by SpartanGuy
    . . . I'll put a recip saw on the C posts(Since on most cars, they're wider than the bite of the O-cutters) and have the o-cutters cut the remaining posts.
    Exactly.

    Use the Saw on the Longer(wider) rear post & the Cutters/Combi-Tool on the smaller front post.

    Like nmfine, we also have dual lines on a Duo Pump so (in a perfect world) we can run the O Cutter & the Combi-tool at the same time up front & the 'cip saw at the rear.

    One "advantage" of using the 'cip saw on the A post is that (in some cases) you can simply cut through one post across the bottom of the windshield and through the other A post all in one pass. Then when you remove/flap the roof you take the glass with it and short yourself 1 additional step. Note that additional precautions should be taken whenever you saw through glass.

    Now to the root of the topic question - If it's a known extrication required situation - the first Tool I bring off the Rescue is going to be the 'cip saw (Note I said first tool not first thing - crib & stabilize first ) because I can get it into operation faster & easier than the hydraulic stuff.
    Take Care - Stay Safe - God Bless
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    FF/Paramedic
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  10. #10
    Forum Member Fire304's Avatar
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    Our Ultimate system allows 3 tools to be run at the same time w/o any loss of power or speed. We have "speedway" cutters

    as well as a combi and a 36" spreader preconnected. The speedway have an 8" bite and can take most C posts in one chop. Third doors can be made in about 4 or 5 bites. Since the system is 4 times faster than a normal simo pump it does not take long and I would be willing to put the speedway against a saw in a race. On top of that since its much quiter than the saw we don't need hearing protection for us or the vic.
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  11. #11
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Now there you go again N2,giving away all the trade secrets(G).I like to use all the tools at my disposal,hydraulics plus corded and cordless saws.Hardtop convertibles;can we buid one for you?T.C.

  12. #12
    Forum Member MetalMedic's Avatar
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    Default

    This business is all about having options. I would train with every tool I have on the rig that will cut. You cannot predict which one will work best for the situation you will be presented with on your next call. Personally, I like to start with hydraulics since I am most comfortable with using them. If we have the manpower available, then by all means get the reciprocating saw to work on the other side of the vehicle. Each cut that is made saves time. I would caution you to be sure to have your incident commander on the same page as the workers on this so that he/she can monitor the progress of the cuts. The last thing you want to happen is for two cuts to be made that cause the roof to fall freely with no one available to hold the weight when the final cuts are made.
    Richard Nester
    Orrville (OH) Fire Dept.

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  13. #13
    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    I would get them both going ....................we have both cordless and corded along with the hydraulics...plus on some scenes we get '77 and the #1 Station wrecking crew on auto aid (when it works)
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  14. #14
    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    Default

    We have both corded and cordless saws, a Milwaukee and Dewalt 24volt and the Amkus tools. From what I've seen you can really get alot done using all the tools at the same time, with the newer cars though I like the saws they seem to cut better and faster at times than our older cutters. Then of course a tool that doesn't get pulled off the truck enough is the air chisel, nice to have that going too for the hinges on one side of the car while the jaws are workin the other side.

  15. #15
    Forum Member SpartanGuy's Avatar
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    Default

    Beau,
    Excellent observation about the air chisel. Personally, it's one of my favorite tools, but it just seems like the set-up time for ours is slow enough when compared to the 'cip saw that it doesn't warrant it, in my opinion.

    However, it's also great for a third door conversion. I've used it on a minivan to open up the doorless side while a sawzall did the other side of the door. We made it to the bottom about the same, but the sawzall couldn't make the cut straight across the bottom like the chisel:-D

    Also, nothing beats the air chisel(especially an oversized Paratech air chisel with a head half the size of my fore-arm) for taking the roofs off of tractor trailers if necessary.
    "Captain 1 to control, retone this as a structure and notify the fire chief...."

    Safety is no accident.

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