Aimed at: Light trade, DIY and Garden use.
Pros: easy handling, longish cord and quick release blade system.
It seems to have taken us in the UK a long time to catch up with the potential uses of reciprocating (“recip”) saws compared with the US. Maybe, because more US-Style construction methods and materials have been adopted here, more recip saws will be found in the back of white vans. Certainly, no uPVC window fitter I know is without one, and a friend bought a cordless one recently to do pruning and cutting in the garden.
When choosing a recip saw I look for a number of things – the most important being a quick release blade system. Close behind comes a well-balanced body with the ability to use the blade facing up as well as down and a decently arranged trigger and rear handle.
The Draper 710W recip saw (stock number 28809) has all of these and after using it for a week or so I was more than happy to add it to my “wants” list.
When I tried to analyze quite why I liked this saw so much it amounted to a number of things that all came together to make a tool that is not only easy and safe to use, but is also capable of a wide range of jobs depending on the blades that are fitted.
Compared to many recip saws I have used, the Draper is light – only 3Kgs – and its handling is very much aided by a lozenge-shaped rear handle with a black overmould on the back of it, and generously-sized trigger. The trigger is speed sensitive – the harder you press it the faster the motor will go. This is important because metals generally require slower cutting speeds compared with softer materials.
Although much of the weight is in the front – where the gearbox and motor are situated the front handle is also generous and shaped for easy grip for left and right-handers. A black and grippy overmould enables even gloved hands a secure hold. By applying pressure in the cut with the front hand and guidance from the rear handle – generally accurate cuts can be made – despite the fact that recip saws are not generally used for their accuracy.
A standard quick release blade system is used to attach and remove sawblades. A simple anti-clockwise twist of the ribbed collar releases the blade ready for a new one. This system is an industry standard, so pretty well all recip saw blades on the market will fit this saw – almost every metal, wood, plastic etc. will have a specialized blade for optimum results. If you don’t want to waste a lot of time, my suggestion is that the right blade for the right material is a necessity.
Supplied as standard is a hex key that is used to adjust the blade shoe forwards and backwards so that the full extent of the blade can be used.
With a typical internet price of around £70, the Draper 710W is competitively priced for a quality product. It will cut up to 115mm in wood and 10mm in mild steel – very much in the range for light professional users and DIYers.