As with other power tools, the
lithium-ion battery is a primary driver in
demand for cordless saws. It packs more
power in a smaller package, enabling
manufacturers to design smaller, lighter
and more ergonomic hand tools.
Cordless and corded handsaws
John Rose, Bosch product manager, said
advances in lithium-ion technology have
given professionals a true alternative to
corded tools, including saws.
“There is a clear trend in the industry to go completely cordless,” he said.
“That is especially so for electrical con-
tractors who need the ability to work
nearly anywhere, often in areas where
there is no power. As we see cordless
continue to mature, we anticipate a
transition from corded to cordless as
the primary power source.”
For the electrical market, Rose said
the most popular saws are the 18-volt
(V) reciprocating saw, compact 18V
band saw, 18V circular saw, and com-
pact 12V reciprocating saw.
Rose classifies the 18V reciprocat-
ing saw as the electricians’ “go-to” saw
designed to cut through most anything.
When clean cuts are essential, he rec-
ommends 18V band saws and 18V metal
circular saws, optimal for cutting conduit
where a burr could tear wire sheathing.
A “one-hand” 12V pocket reciprocating
saw is useful for pipe cutoffs and other
Each product offers a solution for the
different cutting applications an electrician may encounter on a job site, and
each can be fitted with the blade appropriate for each application.
All are available in cordless, lithium-ion-powered models.
“With increased power and longer
run time, lithium-ion power allows
users to work effectively on any job site
without being required to have a power
source nearby,” Rose said. “In the past
four years, we have seen quick advancements from 3.0 Ah [ampere-hour]
batteries to 5.0 Ah packs today, with 6.0
Ah packs coming in the near future. This
means bigger ‘gas tanks,’ more run time
and the ability to cut the cord completely.
“In addition to bigger gas tanks, the
latest battery cells offer more power
than the original lithium-ion generation.
These cells have less resistance, which
means energy travels more efficiently
from the battery to the tool for better,
faster performance. Reciprocating saws
and others have more energy at their disposal and can be more efficient in how
they use it for less bogging down and better overall performance.”
However, Rose said, despite batteries having larger capacities, the packs
themselves are not larger. Lighter tool
weights make working overhead more
comfortable and well-suited for various
environments. More efficient and powerful motors are also possible, as cordless
batteries now have a larger power supply
to support such performance all day.
Rose said the most common application for corded saws usually is around
CONSTRUCTION IN MOST TRADES uses saws to cut off and cut through various
materials, and electrical work is no exception. Cordless saws continue to capture a
growing share of the market, though there still are applications where corded saws
are preferred. In some situations, a manual handsaw is the best choice.
COOLTOOLS BY JEFF GRIFFIN