A recip with zip

Cuts pipe, flooring and even pumpkins

By Michel Roy

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Every so often a tool comes along that is so useful and adaptable to different jobs that you find yourself reaching for it all the time. I’ve been reaching for Milwaukee’s new Hackzall a lot lately. The Hackzall is a sort of miniature, one-handed, cordless reciprocating saw, and it works really well–especially for jobs in tight quarters. I’ve plumbed a couple of kitchen sinks using it; the ability to cut ABS and thin-walled brass pipe right there, under the sink, was really handy.

The reciprocating action of the blade is smooth and the tool’s relatively small stature makes it easy to manoeuvre and change position to set up a cut. I’ve also used it to cut out flooring for repair, gradually making a tilting plunge cut. Doing repairs on lath-and-plaster walls, the saw did an excellent job of cutting lath without destroying the plaster. It will cut an old-growth fir 2×4 stud in a pinch, although thicker materials tax the 10.8-volt motor and draw down the battery. I’m still marvelling at how quickly and cleanly the Hackzall removed the tops of three pumpkins on their way to becoming jack-o’-lanterns. There are special blades available, but regular recip blades work fine. All in all, it’s a very useful little saw that works especially well in cramped quarters.

Milwaukee M12 Hackzall; for more information, visit www.milwaukeetool.com or call 800-729-3878.


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