DeWalt 12V Max Cordless Pivot Reciprocating Saw

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dewalt-cordless-reciprocating-sawWhen the “powers that be” at DeWalt offered Home Fixated the chance to try out their 12V Max Cordless Pivot Reciprocating Saw, we jumped. This reciprocating saw is a light-duty powerhouse. At just over 3 lbs. it’s ergonomically designed and easy to handle — light enough for single hand operation, though I felt more comfortable using both hands. (That’s what she said.) It has two well placed, rubber handgrips at the trigger and behind the blade and works really well for cutting lighter weight wood, sheet metal, plastic, Formica and of course sheetrock. If what you need is precision control and some finesse on the cut, this reciprocating saw does the job.  

Compact size as compared to some larger (and more cumbersome) electric models.
Obviously, it’s not as powerful as some of the larger, electric reciprocating saw models, which can get heavy and cumbersome very quickly (pictured), but the DeWalt 12V Max Cordless certainly boasts some sweet features and holds its own for a variety of reasons.

The kit comes with a 12V battery which auto-locks into place with the press of a button. Also included is a 30-minute charger (the user’s manual indicates a 30-minute charge, but the unit we received charged in barely 20 minutes and that was from absolutely dead), a couple 4″ wood and metal cutting blades (one 6 teeth per inch or tpi, the metal version is 18 tpi) and a compact storage duffel.

Some Sweet Features:

3-position adjustable pivoting handle: is a huge advantage for getting into tight spaces and/or allowing you to position the angle of the saw to your personal comfort level. This means maximum accessibility and maneuverability (good God is that even a word?)

“Pistol grip” operating trigger: is located between the two well-placed rubber handgrips for a comfortable and safe operation. Also equipped with a trigger safety lock — a nice feature considering the trigger is positioned slightly differently than I’m used to and because of the smaller size and lighter weight of this tool — it’s easy to get a bit careless. (All digits are still in place, but it was a close call once or twice for me. Use the damn safety people.)

Keyless blade clamp/release: makes for quick changes and the blade locks automatically in place. Blades are also reversible to accommodate different cutting applications.

Variable speed trigger: allows for control on the cut — up to 2,700 strokes per minute or “spm”.

12V battery operated: means you can use this cordless reciprocating saw anywhere. (Not every job happens to be located near an electric outlet and running miles of extension cords isn’t always safe or feasible.)

LED light: recessed below the blade clamp, it lights up whenever the trigger is depressed. Whether you need to make cuts in hard to see/reach spaces, or maybe your eyesight just isn’t what it used to be (especially when trying to follow fine pencil marks), this is an extremely useful feature.

Worked great in this application -- no need for extension cords all the way out in the back yard!

Multiple Uses:

This reciprocating saw is the type of tool you’ll find uses for both inside and out, including ones you’d never be able to conjure in your wildest dreams until they’re staring you in the face. Pruning, sheetrock demo, cutting through wood of all kinds (I’d cut a 2×4″ but it’s probably asking a bit much for this unit to tackle a 4×4″), access holes, heat ducts/registers, sink cut-outs (very handy along the backs), garden fences and lattice work…I could go on endlessly. We used it to pre-cut what seemed like a thousand grapevine supports to size on the back acreage of our property. The fact that it’s cordless saved a lot of time and it was so nice not having to pre-cut everything in the shop and then haul it all out in the truck.

An Effective Reciprocating Saw When Used In The Right Application (Know The Tool’s Limits):

As mentioned earlier, this is a light-duty cordless reciprocating saw. While it definitely maintains the quality and craftsmanship DeWalt is known for and is very well designed for the expected use of the tool, it has its limitations. We tried cutting through damp pressure treated and found it to be underpowered. The blade bound, but the truth is it was our fault and not the saw’s. This isn’t the saw you want to use on a huge demo job, so as long as you keep that in mind, you won’t be disappointed. As you can see from the photo above, we used it to cut nicely through the 2×4″ crossbars of this paneled section to create a two-door gate we installed into a fence. No doubt we’ll find a hundred different ways to use this tool down the road.

DeWalt’s 12 Max Cordless Pivot Reciprocating Saw comes with a 3-year limited warranty on defective parts, not general wear and tear, and is available from either DeWalt’s website or starting at about $150.00.

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About Liz

Liz is a professional, custom picture framer based in Central New York. She and her contractor husband are currently renovating their second home together. At the time of this writing, they are not on speaking terms. Her love of making stuff with wood and DIY home projects began by watching her Dad. (It was also around this time Liz's incessant use of "colorful language" took root.) She's an avid gardener, stellar cook and doesn't throw like a girl: an all-around rad chick.

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