The good news is that this is a high-quality group of tools and any of them could satisfy my needs on site. When it comes to evaluating overall quality, the corded RotoZip and the Craftsman have a nice, tight fit and finish. The handles and accessories attached firmly, the switches are well placed and moved properly, and they have quiet, powerful motors, all of which amounts to two excellent tools.


Credit: Photo: David Sharpe

I also liked the Makita equally well. While it was a little louder than the corded RotoZip and the Craftsman, it just fit perfectly in my hand, and it's a nice saw.

If you are looking for a cut-out saw for more occasional use, Ryobi's cordless benefit, small size, and low price make it a very good option (and the crew's favorite tool). The cordless RotoZip is also a nice saw. It's a little top heavy, but there is no cord to drag around, and I really liked the off switch.

The DeWalt, however, stood out as the winner for me. I really liked its handle system, the switch design was ideal, its compact size and great comfort teamed up to produce the best overall feel, and it has a nice, plush start-up and a quiet motor. It is a tool well-designed for what I encounter in the field.

–John Myrtle owns JM Plumbing & Heating in Hotchkiss, Colo.