18-Volt Cordless Recip Saws Tool Test

The adjustable shoe of the Metabo locks in place with two set screws and a hex wrench, which can be stored in an onboard slot. A lever lifts to operate the blade clamp.

2. Large fold-out hooks on the Makita and Milwaukee Fuel allow you to hang the saws from rafters, ladders, or scaffolding. The hooks click into position or stow flat against the tool.

The multiposition shoes of both DeWalt saws and the Makita (shown here) lock in place with a sliding button mechanism.

The blade clamp on both DeWalt saws can hold a blade in four different cutting positions. An additional slot holds the blade perpendicular to the handle, and when the saw is held upside down, this position allows for closer flush cuts without having to bend the blade very far to get it flat to the cutting surface.

The Metabo and Panasonic (shown here) saws have a spring-loaded trigger lock-off switch that must be pushed while pulling the trigger before the tool will turn on. These switches are a nuisance and require you to reposition your grip every time you start up the saw.

The Bosch has fixed-position shoes and a metal blade-clamp collar. The clamp ejects the blade when you twist it and remains open until another blade is inserted, making it possible to change a blade with one hand.

The Hitachi’s tiny spring-loaded lever pivots to release or lock the blade. It’s wise to lock the lever manually, a two-hands operation, rather than rely on the small spring to secure the blade.

The multiposition shoes of the Milwaukee Fuel (shown here) and the Ridgid lock in place with a lever clamp.

LED headlights are found on the Makita, Milwaukee Fuel (shown here), and Ridgid saws. The Ridgid’s light has a separate switch, built into the handle, for flashlight use without running the saw motor, while the other two have a built-in delay that keeps the light on for a short while after a tap on the trigger.

Battery-charge gauges mounted on the battery itself allow you to check power without having to slide the battery into the tool. A tool-mounted gauge, such as on the Hitachi saw, allows checking the charge of any battery once it is inserted.

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