for easy blade changes and to make a
variety of cuts in different directions,
including flush cutting,” he said.
When choosing between cordless or
corded band saws, cordless is preferred.
“Battery technology is making cord-
less reciprocating saws equivalent to,
and in some cases better than, corded
models,” Bolton said. “Cordless is more
convenient for metal-cutting circular
saws, but when high power is demanded,
users turn to corded tools. Chop saws
and multicutters remain corded with no
cordless models available.”
Aaron Brading, business unit man-
ager, power tools and accessories for
Hilti, Plano, Texas, cites the transition
to battery-powered saws as the greatest
product improvement in recent years.
“Beyond five years ago, the reciprocating saw was the only one available
with a battery, and commercial contractors were largely dissatisfied with their
run-time on a single battery charge;
therefore, many professional users did
not consider them acceptable,” he said.
“The advancement of lithium-ion batteries and more efficient motors have
enabled manufacturers to not only offer
commercially accepted reciprocating
saws but also to expand their cutting
tools into metal-cutting circular saws
and band saws.
“In addition to extended run-time,
new categories, such as the metal circular saw, have offered safer alternatives
to metal cutting by minimizing sparks
and not heating up the base material
like abrasive cuts of the past tended to
do. Finally, cutting speed has increased
with each generation of saw that comes
out due to various motor and electronic
advancements,” Brading said.
Regarding cordless versus corded
options, some users believe they require
corded saws for their applications.
“However, typically it is because they
have not used the latest generations of
cordless tools from high-grade manufacturers,” Brading said. “Once they do,
they tend to recognize the power and
convenience of being cordless and drop
the corded tools for good.”
GRI F FI N, a construction and tools writer from Oklahoma City, can be reached at
Cordless, lithium-ion powered saws may capture the most
attention, but they haven’t displaced basic hand saws for
making quick cuts, in areas where a power tool can’t be
used, or when an extremely precise cut is needed.
Derek Rose, product manager, Milwaukee Tool,
described some of the primary hand saws electricians use:
“High-tension hacksaws are designed for general-purpose
and demanding applications with high tension, assisting in
making faster, straighter cuts. Compact hacksaws are ideal
for cutting in tight spaces, while folding jab saws allow
for quick cutting into multiple materials. Rasping jab saws
have integrated rasping holes along the side of the blade to
rapidly expand holes or smooth rough edges of Sheetrock
after a cut is made.
“Efficiency and ergonomics are also key concerns in hand
saw design. To avoid downtime, saws, such as our compact
hack saw and folding jab saw, feature tool-free blade changes
that allow users to change their blades faster,” Rose said.
Tayler Brinson, product manager, Southwire Tools,
Carrollton, Ga., said electricians continue to use hand
saws for roughing-in boxes for outlets, switches and other
installations and for cutting conduit and pipe to length.
“Ergonomics also has become a greater voice of
influence in the development of hand saws,” he said.
“Balance, weight and handle comfort are as integral in
Hilti 18V cordless
developments as blade forging. Hand saws have become
more versatile as well, whether it be a hacksaw with a
drywall jab saw or keyhole saw built into the handle, or a
folding drywall saw which accepts a variety of blade types
to cut different materials. The strength and durability of saw
blades has improved.”
Finally, corded saws can be difficult to use and impose a
safety hazard when working in elevated areas. Hand saws
may be preferred in those situations. —J.G.
Southwire Tools hacksaw