Roger Bisby finds another hurdle has been jumped in the quest for cordless supremacy.
When we first started down the cordless route I was firmly convinced that some power tools would always be better off if they were plugged in but, bit by bit, that list is getting shorter. The latest one to join the ‘cordless is best list’ is the Sawzall from Milwaukee.
Thanks to the Milwaukee Powerstate brushless motor, and a clever bit of electronics, the company can now say with confidence that their new saw outperforms its corded equivalent in terms of cutting speed.
That is something I never believed possible until I got my hands on it at the launch earlier this year.
The power output is undoubtedly there and the run-time is impressive, with up to twice the run-time of many cordless competitors and, it is said, five times the tool life. Obviously run-time will always be something where corded reigns supreme provided you have mains power on site.
Now comes the geeky bit – and for this you need to get your smartphone out. The Milwaukee One Key phone app allows you to wirelessly link to your Sawzall, so you can set up task-specific functions.
If, for example, you are cutting stainless steel you might ordinarily strip the teeth off a blade in a few minutes, whereas the app allows you to select the material so the saw speed is adjusted wirelessly to the optimal limit.
If, like me, you thought that this is just a bit of clever electronics looking for things to do then the increased blade life is enough to make you change your mind. In my early tests using the saw on full speed, and then controlled by One-Key, I reckon that you can increase blade life by up to five times and also get a better cut.
You can set up to four custom functions for your saw, which helps if you are cutting a certain material all the time and you can also input blade codes to help you optimise a blade. All this is stored in a cloud.
That is just the beginning of One-Key’s functions. The app now allows you to track your tools through a device known as a Tick so you know where you last used or stored them.
If it turns out that your tool has been moved from that area you can report it missing, via the app, and other One-Key users will be automatically alerted when the tool comes within their range. You will then be sent a notification.
Undoubtedly this is going to lead to some interesting dramas when tradesmen discover who is now using their tools on a particular site.
Another great feature of this saw, which I really like, is the fact that the blade stops when it isn’t under load. This is amazing to witness. If you have a plastic pipe beneath a steel one the blade stops as it finishes the cut in steel and prevents it nicking the pipe below.
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