This month’s tool du jour is the Dremel Saw-Max. To me, simply hearing the name Dremel conjures up visions of engraving or die grinding, but the Saw-Max is something different. While it is still in the diminutive tool division, it can step up to the plate in situations where you don’t really need that circular saw overkill. I mean, you can use a four inch brush to paint base shoe, but seriously, if you don’t have to, why would you? Finally, we have a small but strong saw to do the work where circular saws are too big.
In our offices at Miller Woodworking, we decided to go with an upgrade to the hodgepodge of desks and countertops that we’ve carried around during our last two moves as we’ve grown. It was time to get rid of the old and bring in the new. This of course means demolition is involved. Not exactly my favorite form of work these days, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. So I bring up this project with my lovely wife and hint that I might need some help. With the look she gave me in response, I took the hint and knew I was on my own. After all, she certainly didn’t get beautiful doing demo now, did she? I was dealing with a laminate countertop with a particle board substrate that was huge. No way I was going to take out that bad boy in one piece by myself. What better time to put the Saw-Max that Dremel sent to us to the test.
The countertop was ¾” particle board with a build up on the edges to finish out at 1-1/2” thick. The Saw-Max only cuts ¾” deep so I would have to cut twice where the build ups were. I ran the saw across the top once and of course I hit a staple. Murphy’s law #92. So I changed course a little and cut across the rest of the way. Then I held it vertical and cut through the edges of the top. Next I just turned it upside down and cut through the six inch build up on the underneath side.
Now, this saw is not meant to do any kind of extended cutting, like ripping sheets of plywood or things like that, so maybe the thirty inch deep counter top was a bit on the long side. There was a substantial amount of heat buildup around the motor – enough so you didn’t want to put your hand there for very long. Of course, I might have been fighting that blade that I had hit the staple with as well.
The blade has a different twist than the norm as it has no teeth like a regular saw blade. It has little diamond chips like a masonry blade to cut tile and so forth. But Dremel sends you a different blade for tile and masonry, so the configuration for that blade must be different too. Anyway, I was pleased with the overall performance of the Saw-Max and can see where it could really come in handy. It’s lightweight compared to a normal sized circular saw, so it makes cutting in close quarters much more comfortable. The saw comes with an extra blade so you can flush cut to within a quarter of an inch to the side of the saw. Think of this use: setting the saw on its side and cutting off casing or door jambs to within a quarter of an inch from the floor.
I’m going to keep putting the Saw-Max to the test and see how she holds up. So far she is coming through with flying colors and I think you will be pleased once you get one. Just forget about asking for help with the demo. You can find the Dremel SM20-02 120V Saw-Max Tool Kit for around $130 on Amazon.