Cordless Reciprocating Saw
In recent years cordless reciprocating saws have started to have the power of their corded relatives and they have been huge in the construction industry. When looking at these types of saws, I evaluate ergonomics, power, vibration dampening, and battery life to see if the saw is up to the task of being used for long period without fatigue. The Bosch CRS180K is not a new saw from Bosch but I think it has some nice features for the construction industry. Bosch is continuing to grow both the 18 and 12 volt line of tools with well-designed powerful tools. As we went through this review our focus was on how the saw was performing for each task and how many situations we could put the saw in to reflect the use in the field.
Features & Specs
- 1-1/8 in. stroke
- Variable speed trigger
- 2 speed ranges: 0-2,400 SPM and 0-2,700 SPM
- LockJaw™ blade holder easy one-handed blade changes
- Compact and lightweight
Being comfortable when using a tool will result in better work and more productivity. The Bosch CRS180K has good rubber over-mold on the grip and also at the front of the saw. The design of the forward portion allows for a great grip of the saw when used up right, but also when used upside down. When flipped over, the saw can be used for low clearance cuts when keeping the blade close to level. This is perfect for cutting out the extra wall sections from doors that are in the sub floor while framing. The rubber on the saw worked well bare handed and also good with gloves. While cutting metal, the cutting oil that ended up on the saw did not affect the grip and cleaned up easily. For comfort, this saw is great.
Vibration is something that everyone expects while using a reciprocating saw. The reality is that some saws handle it better than others. While cutting wood or trees with multiple blades, we found that this saw did a good job at vibration dampening. The solid shoe was able to be placed up against the material being cut was very solid helping to reduce some vibration and increase the cutting speed. When tasked with larger metal cuts, I found that the saw had a bit more vibration and the tilting shoe was not helping me keep the metal close to the shoe as I would have liked. When you mix in wood and metal, like we were cutting on the deck framing, the saw was a monster and the vibration was minimal. The tilting shoe was perfect for getting better angles on larger cuts and helped with the speed of cut and keeping the material firmly against the saw. Vibration for this reciprocating saw was very good.
With 2 speeds and a 1-1/8 stroke, the Bosch reciprocating saw has some of the same capabilities as many other saws on the market. The cuts we were able to push through were solid. The saw did very well cutting on its own and we could not speed up the cuts by putting a lot of pressure on the saw. There were very few instances where the blade was pinched and the saw was unable to power through. With both metal and wood, the saw has a good stroke and was able to cut through anything we threw at it. In a few situations, it would have been nice to have a bit more low end torque for when the blade is pinched or when you really lean into the saw. Power was pretty good.
Long Term Use
This Bosch recip saw is a great performer and we really enjoyed using the saw. The fixed shoe was a bit of a letdown because it does not allow you to fully use the blades, especially for metal cutting, and it would be nice for depth control when plunge cutting. The fixed shoe was very solid and that helped with vibration control, so in some cases it is better than a shoe that is not solid. While we were under the deck cutting I was wishing the saw had an included LED light. Some LED lights on these saws are fairly pointless as following your cut is difficult, but there are times when you need that little bit of light to start your cut accurately. Battery life while using the saw was excellent and we enjoyed being able to use the saw for long periods of time without worrying about having to charge the battery.
Overall, the saw performed well. The few improvements we mentioned above do not stop the saw from being one of the better performers in the market. The features for comfort and ease of cut make this reciprocating saw stand out. When set next to the others that we have, this one will be chose quite often over the others we have, just because it is comfortable and will get the job done easily.