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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:12 pm 
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I thought I'd have a bash at doing a slightly more comprehensive review than the last one, so here goes.

Over many years I've had industrial jigsaws by Black & Decker, Metabo (I've had two Step's, a 564 and a 565 which were unkillable) and Bosch. I've also used various others including the light and heavy deWalts (recent ones, that is, like the DW331), the Makita 4350CT corded heavy duty jigsaw (current model) and a slew of older Bosches. My current weapon of choice for mains use is a Bosch GST135BCE which is bloody brilliant -n almost as good as a Festool, but half the price. So the Mak had something to live up to.

Like the BSS610 and BHR202 I reviewed earlier this is pretty much a full size tool. In fact the front end of the casing, the loop handle and the base are identical to its' corded cousin, the 4350CT. The only areas where it seems to differ is that the motor housing is a bit shorter and instead of having a cord coming out of the back it has an 18 volt battery slot there. This isn't too much of a disadvantage as both the corded and cordless Makitas are pretty short tools - this one is little longer than a Bosch GST135 making is good for getting into tight spaces.

It is a heavy jigsaw, but that's not really a disadvantage as the mass helps keep it firmly planted on the work. Just like the mains version it has an orbital action with 4 settings, 0 and I to III. It shares the same toolless blade change, too, with a horseshoe-shaped acrylic plastic lever wrapped around the front of the saw. This seems flimsy at first sight, but they seem to survive well in real world use. To protect user's fingers there's a wire loop safety guard directly in front of the blade. This is all but impossible to remove so you can forget about using the few wide blades there are out there (like DWs flush cut blade). In reality this makes little difference to the useability of the saw. Other features include a flip on safety button, screw out brush holder covers on either side of the motor (nice touch) and a tilting base (cast alloy with a steel centre insert so it will wear well) which requires a 5mm Allen key to tilt. Not so nice that, the lever cam locking of the Bosch GST is streets ahead, Makita. Makita supply a dust extractor adaptor and a plastic anti-scratch foot with the saw, but the rip fence and locking thumbscrew are extra. Not that I'd use them much if I had them. Like all Makita cordless tools there is the obligatory LED "headlight". This may seem a bit frivolous at first sight, but in real world situations it is tremendously useful - as anyone who's ever had to do any work in an understairs cupboard before the sparkies have finished 2nd fixing can attest. Unlike my corded Bosch there are no secondary side guides on this saw (or the corded version), so care needs to be exercised to ensure that the cuts made in thicker stock are square. To my mind it's no worse that the current corded offerings from deWalt, Metabo or Makitas in terms of blade rigidity.

I use it's a handy saw and has enough power to handle 18mm MF-MDF comfortably and I've had it on 1mm stainless steel cappings (wrapped around an MDF core). To date I can't say how it would do on thicker stuff, like steel tube, but as it is in reality only about 350 watts I'd expect that it would use a lot of batteries. It does have variable speed, controlled by squeezing the trigger harder for more speed and it will saw at almost no strokes (like a slow sewing machine) to 2,000 strokes/min, but I'd sometimes like there to be a dial-in speed control. Used with the 18 volt 3.0Ah battery pack it fair goes through batteries, so if you're using this in a kit again you'll need to have one or two spare batteries.

After 6 months with it I have to give it the thumbs up


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:27 pm 
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Pro Carpenter
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funny enough dont buy the dewalt flush trim blade from tool station i did about 4 years ago
tool station are great and reasonable price but not that blade its around 8-£9 else where

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