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paulengr

M18 cold saws vs..,

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Ok so I already have the M18 grinder. I have a nice corded Dewalt for bigger jobs. Also have the M18’saber saw. And a 20 year old Hitachi brand corded Sawzall which does OK for demo work. Also HF electric shears. And Greenlee knockout punches and the Gator Pro punch adapter that I’ve modified to run the stainless punches too (sweet!)So in electrical I often do a lot of panel cutouts. Right now I mark and either drill corners and finish with the saber saw where it fits or the grinder otherwise with a cutoff blade, or else start with the grinder and use the saber saw where I can.

 

I’ve been thinking about swapping the corded sawzall for cordless but it does an awful job for things other than demo work. Been thinking about a cordless cold saw instead.

 

Any thoughts from those who have one compared to the other tools I already have? I’m just about convinced that most of the time the grinder is best at throwing sparks and grinding but for clean cuts and efficient metal removal it’s not the best but the saber saw is hard to get in many spots.

 

 

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We use them pretty extensively in steel fabrication.  The clean cut quality and speed are second to none.  Like with any tool there is a bit of a learning curve.  Plunge cutting can be challenging getting the saw started straight as it'll want to walk a bit if you're not holding on tight.  Blades can be spendy usually ranging from $30-40 but they last a long time and cost per cuts are comparable if not cheaper than grinder disks or recip. blades.  Another thing we've found is the Evolution blades are cheaper than the milwaukee blades and last longer.  Binding cuts can kill blade life so as you learn to use the saw you might go through blades a little faster but as you get better so will blade life. 

 

As far as comparing it to a grinder or recip. saw, if there is room to use the circular saw that's typically what we use but there are situations where the circ. saw just won't fit or reach.  Its much easier to make nice straight cuts with the circular saw than the other two.  For a number of years we had the milwaukee corded 8" saw which is a beast but since getting the m18 fuel version I no longer carry the corded and the m18 does everything I ask of it.  I have had some durability issues with the m18 fuel saw but so far warranty has covered it and even if they didn't and it did break I would still go out and buy another one.  The second time I sent my fuel in for warranty I decided to buy a backup so I bought an ebay m18 brushed model and while it's not as powerful and the runtime isn't as good, it's a plenty capable saw.

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