A reciprocating saw can be fun, it means destruction. Who doesn’t like tearing down things? We recently did a review on the Porter Cable Kit model PCL418C-2. This is the reciprocating saw from that combo kit.
Specifications of the Porter Cable PCL180RS
Powered by either the EX/LX Lithium-ion battery
Shoe – Pivots
Stroke Length – 3/4″
Weight – 5 lbs 13oz. That’s with the EX battery
The saw works with either the LX or EX battery. Unless you are making one simple cut, we would recommend using the EX battery as you will get more from the battery. From here on whenever we talk about this tool, we are going to assume the EX battery is attached to the tool. Speaking of batteries, they are spring loaded and slide in on the bottom of the tool.
The length of the tool is not bad and shorter than most which makes using it in tight spots easier. The D-Handle fits the hand nicely and easily allows the user to control the trigger using their index finger. The handle and the front of the tool provide ample over-molded grip for the user to easily control the tool.
One thing we would liked to have seen different is the shoe. While it’s built tough and does pivot, it is not adjustable in length. Yes we do understand Porter Cable decided to go this way and yes it does make sense with this tool. Well I guess we are just use to an adjustable shoe and we need to think outside the box. The saw has a toolless blade change system. On the side of the saw, just lift up a lever and insert the blade. Since the lever is on the outside of the tool, we do need to address this issue. We have seen this design on other tools and never had any problems with the blade change system on the outside of the tool getting in the way or breaking off when performing work.
Operation & Handling
Reciprocating saws are two-handed power tools, so while balance is very important, weight is as well. If you have been reading and following us for a while, we always talk about balance, balance, balance. This is very true with a one-handed power tool. With two-handed tools, you have a little more leverage and give on balance since you are using two hands. Now there are times, which we don’t recommend, you do need to use the saw with one hand while the other hand is peeling back part of a wall, holding something or well I am sure you know what we are talking about. So while we do really like the balance 0f the tool, even with the EX battery, the weight is what caught our eye the most. Weighing in at just under 6 lbs., this is something you can use for extended periods of times and not get fatigued from the tool.
When we were making cuts, we found it very easy to maneuver and work with the tool. The shorter length and light weight was a real plus.
The biggest knock we have on some of the reciprocating saws we tested was all the vibration. Now for a quick cut, no big deal, but for longer uses, this is a real issue. Having a good blade and gloves on can help reduce the vibration, but even then some tools we have tested are just not up to par. Going into this review, we thought the Porter Cable would have a lot of vibration, but as we started cutting, we did notice the vibration was very small. We did try different blades and while we did notice with some of the junker blades we could get it to vibrate more, we felt is wasn’t enough to complain and after all it had to do more with the blade then the tool.
We didn’t cut through a heck of a lot of stuff with this saw, but we did cut through enough stuff to get a good feel for the tool and see how it handled. In the video below we attached a stud to a 2×4 just to show you the tool in action. Not that any tool couldn’t cut through this or not even to put the tool to the test, again just a quick video to show the tool cutting.
Overall this is a great little saw to have around. Since it’s part of the Porter Cable Combo kit , you can’t go wrong. We have tested other combo kits in the past and while they might have a great drill, we have found some of the reciprocating saws to be junk. We were happy to see Porter Cable create a great little saw for the kit and keep their name top notch. For the money, it’s not a bad little saw to have around.
We always like to hear back from our readers on their experience with these tools – good or bad. Do you have experience with these tools? How has the long term use been? What applications have you used the tool for? Is this a DIY or professional grade tool? Let us and other readers know.