Jigsaw vs Reciprocating saw


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Old 03-01-06, 07:14 PM
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Jigsaw vs Reciprocating saw

I'm in the market for a tool to do light demo work, specifically cutting out walls for wiring work and the like.

I have a small B&D rotory tool that has a dry wall cutout tool but my walls seem to be made from something like cement board. It's half drywall and half harder cement like material that my rotory tool can't cut (although it works fine on standard drywall).

So I need something better to cut small patches of wall. Circular saws are too big for the work I'm looking at.

What would be the recommended tool for this job? I know Reciprocating saws can cut just about anything but I need something with a little depth setting (I need to cut roughtly 1 inch and not much more else I'll cut through studs). Can a Dewalt Reciprocating saw be set to a certain depth? Can most jigsaws be set to cut no more than 1 inch?


Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 03-01-06, 07:51 PM
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No, you can't set the depth of cut on a jig saw. The most common way to cut past studs is to rock the saw forward enough to clear the stud, then drop it down when you are past it. This takes practice, so be careful. Many better jig saws have speed control, so a slower speed will reduce splintering and will help in control.
 
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Old 03-01-06, 07:55 PM
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Most jigsaws have no way to adjust the depth of cut, and if you attempt to cut through something where the tip of the blade might bounce off something hard, you'll bend the blade every time. You'll have better luck with a Reciprocating saw, provided the reciprocating saw comes with an adjustable foot, like the Milwaukee ones have. You can also purchase shorter reciprocating blades which might make that easier. From the sounds of it, I'd use the circular saw set to the correct depth, although it will create a lot more dust than a reciprocating saw would. If you're patching in drywall later, you'll want a clean straight cut that would probably be best done with a circular saw.
 
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Old 03-02-06, 04:28 AM
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Taking Xsleeper's comments one step further, you may want to consider one of the cordless circular saws. The blades are smaller, more controllable, lighter in weight, and you can probably do a plunge cut to make cut outs for outlets, etc., as you indicate you want to do. But for demo, never leave home without a reciprocating saw.
 
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Old 03-02-06, 04:48 AM
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You may want to try a Roto-zip. A lot more powerful than a Dremel or other rotary tool. The depth of the cutter can be set also. You could rent one if you want to see if it will work for you. Good luck.
 
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Old 03-02-06, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler
Taking Xsleeper's comments one step further, you may want to consider one of the cordless circular saws. The blades are smaller, more controllable, lighter in weight, and you can probably do a plunge cut to make cut outs for outlets, etc., as you indicate you want to do. But for demo, never leave home without a reciprocating saw.

Yeah, the smallest circsaw that I can find locally seems to be a B&D 8" cordless. It seems rather like a toy to me though and I hate wasting money if it's junk.

I might then consider a reciprocating saw and hope for the best. It seems to be the most versatile tool out compared to a jigsaw and a small circsaw (although a full sized circular saw is next on my list ). I can also use it on an angle and try to control the depth of my cut (although I'll probably end up sratching the wall!)

Thanks everyone!
 
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Old 03-02-06, 05:57 AM
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You could also try an angle grinder with a diamond tip blade. They are a good demo tool too. Be warned they make alot of dust, I'd wear a dust mask and eye protection. It's also a good idea to have a helper follow you with a shop-vac, it will eliminate most of the dust. The angle grinder also makes a great "rough" sander with the sanding wheels you can buy for it. The one I have is a Makita, 4 1/2" I think. It works great except I hate the on/off switch. You have to slide it and push it at the same time, which isn't easy to do. But it was free, so its great. Other brands have a trigger type switch that seems better to me.
 
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Old 03-02-06, 10:55 AM
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I've done the same thing recently using my 18V Ryobi 5 1/2 circular saw. Set the depth, get the wife to direct the shop vac, and go to it. Stright lines for easier patching.

Don
 
 

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