Harvest your Christmas tree with DeWALT’s 20V MAX XR Compact Reciprocating Saw

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This DeWALT reciprocating saw package should be under your tree
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A reciprocating saw is an essential part of anyone’s tool kit.

The utility of this device makes it essential. For example I recently had to remove a ton of screws and nails from posts and planks in a deck project on my home. Usually you can use a hammer or crowbar for this but on occasion it’s a real pain in the okole to remove a rusted nail where the head has simply disintegrated. In that case your trusty reciprocating saw–in this instance the DeWALT DCS367–was ideal quickly cut the protruding object.

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It’s also handy for cutting 2x4s, 2x8s or even thicker wood.

If you’re a pro (and I’m not) it’s also wonderful as a demolition tool. You’re not going to get the kind of smooth, finished cut that you’d get from a circular blade but it doesn’t matter if you’re demolishing something. That’s where this tool shines.

For example, in the demo department, you can use a reciprocating saw to disembody pallets or cut a variety of other materials like metal or PVC pipes. On my deck it was quick work to cut a rotten 4×4 post that needed replacement.

You can easily cut through all sizes of wood such as this rotted out 4×4 on my deck. (Rob Kay photo)

What’s also useful, especially in Hawaii, is how handy it is to prune tree limbs or even the ubiquitous hale koa. The other day I whacked a bunch of bamboo from an elderly neighbor’s yard with the DeWALT DCS367. (Of course I used a pruning blade for that job). There are a plethora of blades available specifically for the task. I ordered a 10 piece set from DeWALT on Amazon that provided blades for every task for $20.

Now that we’ve established the importance of owning a reciprocating saw (sometimes called a ‘Sawzall’) let’s talk about this particular DeWALT which has a “brushless” motor upgrade to an earlier version.

One of the most attractive things about this tool was it’s compact size—14.5 inches long and 8.5 inches high. Commensurate with the trim size is its low weight—a little over 6 pounds with battery. That means you can shlep it around without getting a hernia or too tired.

The compact size of this tool comes in very handy for pruning such as this bamboo in a neighbor’s yard. (Rob Kay photo)

It also includes a pivoting shoe, an LED light and a lever-action blade release on the side of the handle. The LED light turns on when the trigger is depressed and remains on for 20 seconds after the trigger is released. The light is bright and points directly to where you’re working.

Perhaps the coolest feature is the capability to set the blade in 4 different positions vis a vis the teeth:

  • pointed down (the most common)
  • pointed up
  • to the left
  • to the right

Think versatility. Think safety too. (Be sure when you’re changing the blade that you do so when the battery is off!)

It also has a rubberized anti-slip grip which helps absorb vibration and reduction of hand fatigue.

Perhaps the coolest feature is the capability to set the blade in 4 different positions. Just flip up the lever (upper left) and swap out the blade.

My bottom line:

This a pro-caliber tool.

From my research, it may not be the most powerful saw on the market but it’s formidable and is comfortable to use. The compact size is ideal for tight spots and, its light weight makes it practical to carry around my property–or anywhere else for that matter.

DeWALT (and I’m admittedly a big fan of this company) makes ergonomic products and this is no exception. I can do everything from whack pesky nails to prune my mango tree.  

The 3 year- limited warranty, 1-year free service, 90 days money back guarantee makes the DCS367 a compelling choice.

Note that this kit (DCS367P1) comes with a battery, charger and carrying case for $288. Another option, if you already have a battery and charger is to get the tool with blades included for $177.

Rob Kay writes a column on technology for the Honolulu Star Advertiser and is a travel writer. He recently returned from Italy where he was researching a family memoir about the Second World War.

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