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Thread: Sawzall

  1. #1
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Default Sawzall

    It looks like I am going to need one of these to cut through old metal window frames to get them out.

    Any recommendations on a tool for the job or will any do?

    Big? Small? Cordless? Wired?

    What blades?

    All tips most gratefully received.

    I want one that makes cutting as easy as drilling holes in concrete with a rotary hammer drill.
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 04-08-2009 at 11:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Geologist sjsmithjr's Avatar
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    I have three reciprocating saws in my box. An 18v cordless DeWalt, a 15 amp corded Milwaukee Super, and an old corded Black & Decker with a saber grip. The Black & Decker only gets used when the saber grip makes the job easier, which isn't very often.

    I've had the DeWalt for about four years now I think. Great for when a cordless tool is the best option. Will "cook" a battery if you let the charge get to low and try to push the tool. Run time is pretty low if you are working the tool hard. The tool of choice for putting a fresh cut on the Christmas tree every year. The wife occasionally uses it to prune trees. A medium duty tool.

    The Milwaukee Super is a beast of a tool that strikes fear in the hearts of carpenters everywhere. In other words, you can do some serious demo work with it. I've used it to cut cement block and concrete embedded with rebar. Highly recommended.

    Both the DeWalt and the Milwaukee Super will cost you about the same. If I could only have one, I'd buy the Milwaukee.

    I like Lennox Gold blades for most jobs. If I need a carbide coated blade I usually go with a Bosch.
    Last edited by sjsmithjr; 04-08-2009 at 12:29 PM.
    -Sam Smith
    Licensed Professional Geologist - AL, TN, KY

  3. #3
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Thanks. I'll try to find a Milwaukee Super 15 amp then.

    What blades would you recommend for cutting stubborn metal window frames?

    The carbide ones?

  4. #4
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    I saw the window thread
    I was thinking it might be easier to leave the frame in & secure the new windows to the frame (from the inside)
    Then caulk & seal
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  5. #5
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Milwaukee's the right choice.

    There's blades specifically for steel (fine toothed instead of rough).

    Pretty sure they're just regular bi-metal (steel & cobalt), I haven't bothered with the fancy blades before.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
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  6. #6
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
    I saw the window thread
    I was thinking it might be easier to leave the frame in & secure the new windows to the frame (from the inside)
    Then caulk & seal
    How would you secure the new to the frame?

    Besides, this way Ian has an excuse to buy a new toy.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  7. #7
    Extreme DIY Homeowner Scuba_Dave's Avatar
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    The basement windows I bought had a large frame going around the edges. Drill & screw

    But hey, a new tool works
    DIY Handyman (not 4 hire)
    I have enough to do to my own house

  8. #8
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Default Saber saw

    My Milwaukee SawZall hardly ever gets taken out of its case anymore. The DeWalt 18 volt cordless does EVERYTHING that needs to be done. Two batteries and a 12 volt charger for the truck takes care of longevity.

  9. #9
    Geologist sjsmithjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    Two batteries and a 12 volt charger for the truck takes care of longevity.
    I really like my DeWalt too. The only issue I noticed until I let my helper get his hands on it was that the blade clamp would occasionally hang up.

    My helper, on the other hand, quickly discovered that if you work the tool too hard with a battery that is getting low on charge you will overheat the battery, which will now no longer take a charge. A $60 mistake. The second time he did this, I took away his cordless privileges.

    I imagine that anyone with a minimum of tool competency would not experience this problem.
    Last edited by sjsmithjr; 04-09-2009 at 07:19 AM.
    -Sam Smith
    Licensed Professional Geologist - AL, TN, KY

  10. #10
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Thanks guys but I am still tempted by the electric model. It's gonna have to work hard to get these frames out. I doubt a battery could cut the mustard.

    Seen a good price on Amazon for the 15 amp one as well...$149

  11. #11
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    My Milwaukee SawZall hardly ever gets taken out of its case anymore. The DeWalt 18 volt cordless does EVERYTHING that needs to be done. Two batteries and a 12 volt charger for the truck takes care of longevity.

    That's funny. I'm in the same exact situation.

    The only time I pull out the milwaukee is when I got something heavy duty to do. And boy is that tool powerful.

    After strong winds hit my neighboorhood, I saw a guy cutting a tree trunk with it about 18" in diameter.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  12. #12
    Remodel Contractor GabeS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Gills View Post
    Thanks guys but I am still tempted by the electric model. It's gonna have to work hard to get these frames out. I doubt a battery could cut the mustard.

    Seen a good price on Amazon for the 15 amp one as well...$149
    For that metal frame a cordless could definitely do the trick. I have 18v dewalt and it does everything I need. If you already have a cordless set with batteries, then you could probably just buy the bare cordless tool without the batteries for cheaper.
    Gabe

    Don't follow my advice, I only know a thing or two about a thing or two.

  13. #13
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    Ah, now I am just confused.

    Is the Milwaukee just too much of a brute for metal windows?

    At least we've narrowed it down to two!
    Last edited by Ian Gills; 04-09-2009 at 03:18 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Robin Hood Guy Ian Gills's Avatar
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    I have just bought the Milwaukee. These things are coming out!!

  15. #15
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    Try the Lenox Gold blades!
    They are hands down the best blade out there.

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