Black & Decker Cordless Compact Saw

Don't have a jigsaw, don't need a reciprocating saw? This might be the saw for you.

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Black & Decker Cordless Compact Saw



Home owners, DIYers, and craft makers don't always need the same kind of tools that professional woodworkers or trades people require. The Black and Decker LPS7000 is a good example of a well designed, practical tool for occasional, light duty use.



Much like a drill/driver the LPS7000 has a pistol grip. At 16 ounces it's very light and has a comfortable padded handle with black rubber overmold grips. The 7 Volt lithium-ion battery is housed in the handle, which makes this essentially a 'plug and use' tool. It takes up to 10 hours to fully charge the battery. B&D recommends that you disconnect the charger from the tool once it's fully charged rather than keeping the tool permanently plugged in when not in use. Fortunately, lithium-ion batteries hold their charge for a long time. However, there is no indicator on the charger to tell you when the battery is fully charged, no auto shut off on the charger, and no power level indicator on the saw. Even having one of these three features would be a bonus.



The ABS body looks and feels fairly sturdy. There is a large shoe, made from stamped steel, which not only stabilizes the saw but makes it a bit easier to guide the saw when cutting. The shoe is fixed - it can't be pivoted to cut bevels.
 

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Large shoe makes for stable use
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Quick (one thumb) blade change
To use the saw you depress a lock-off button, and then press the on/off trigger (releasing the lock-off button once the saw starts.) The lock-off button adds an element of safety; young children are highly unlikely to have the dexterity and hand strength to both depress the button and press the on-off trigger simultaneously.



There is no lock-on button or variable speed switch - the LPS7000 runs at 2,050 strokes per minute, with a 1/2" stroke. Even with such a small stroke and only a 7 Volt battery the saw cuts surprisingly fast. It accepts only T shank blades, which are quickly mounted by depressing a blade clamp release lever. Blades can be installed facing forward (as on a jig saw) or backwards (as on a reciprocating saw). The blade clamping mechanism holds blades firmly and securely in place. To top things off there is an LED light that comes on when the on/off trigger is pressed and does a reasonable job of illuminating a cut line.
 

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Lock-off button adds an element of safety
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Sturdy, easy to use, cuts well within its limitations
I used the LPS7000 to cut straight and curved lines on 1/4" and 1/2" plywood and MDF - not a problem. It also did an excellent job on softwood up to about 1-1/4". On ash it cut 3/4" stock fairly well, but began to show its limits on 1" stock. Given that most home owners will be working with thin stock (3/4" and less), this shouldn't be an issue. On any other kind of porous material (drywall, foam core, rigid insulation and the like) it won't have a problem.



While the Black & Decker LPS7000 cordless compact saw isn't a replacement for a conventional jig saw, it does offer reasonably good value to those who occasionally need to cut fairly thin stock (up to about 1" in hard or softwood and 3/8" in plywood), along with drywall, hardboard, PVC piping under 1-1/2" and soft metal under 1/4"). For about $60 you get a lithium-ion powered saw that is well put together, easy to use, and cuts straight or curved lines. Couple that with a two year warranty and you're good to go!

KEY FEATURES:
  • 7 volts
  • 2050 SPM
  • 1/2" stroke
  • 16 oz
  • LED light
  • Quick blade change
  • Cuts wood up to about 1" thick
  • 2 year warranty
MANUFACTURER:Black & Decker
AVAILABLE AT:Home Depot, Lowes
RETAIL PRICE:$59.99
MODEL #:LPS7000
MADE IN:China
Carl Duguay, June 2010
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