FatMax Xtreme Instantchange Handsaw

Here is a handy saw for ripping and crosscuting solid lumber and engineered wood, and for cutting PVC and ABS.

fatmaxhandsaw_lead

FatMax Xtreme Instantchange Handsaw



Around the house, and for a wide variety of work on a job site, a multi-purpose saw is an excellent choice for quick cutting a range of materials without dulling. The FatMax Xtreme Instantchange Handsaw (20-235) will rip and crosscut solid lumber and engineered wood, as well as PVC and ABS.
 
The 20-235 comes with two 15" blades - an 8 TPI rough cut and a 12 TPI fine cut. When installed in the saw there is 14" of usable blade. The teeth are sharpened on three sides, which enables them to cut on both the push and pull stroke. As on all multi-purpose saws, the hardened teeth can't be resharpened.


086-1
Fine cut (12 TPI) at top; Rough cut (8 TPI) at bottom     

I found that both the fine and rough blades cut very quickly, regardless of the material I used. The fine cut blade gave a slightly smoother cut on PVC than did the rough blade. The only significant difference was that the rough cut blade gave a slightly wider kerf. However, the quality of cut is fine for general carpentry - trimming dimensional lumber and the like.


006-17
Fine blade cut on left; Rough blade cut on right      
       
While the teeth are hardened, and the saws meant to be used for general purpose cutting, I think that Stanley should have included blade guards, as I've always found hardened teeth to be somewhat brittle. At least there is a hole in the end of the blades, so you can hang them up when not is use. Still, you'll want to be careful about tossing this saw into a tool box.


084
Compression nut
 
What does set this saw apart is the 'Instantchange' feature. The handle employs a double locking system to hold the blade securely in place. You flip up a locking lever on one side of the handle, and while pressing down on a release button, remove (or insert) the blade. When installing a blade you'll hear an audible 'click' as it snaps into place. Once the blade is inserted flip down the locking lever and you're ready to go. On the opposite side of the handle is a  compression nut that you can turn to compress the handle tightly against the blade. After two or three tries I found that I could install the blade very quickly - in about 20 seconds. Another nice feature is that you can also use the saw to lay out 90° and 45° angles.

001-24
The blade locks securely in the handle   

The 20-235 is a great saw for general purpose cutting, and considering you get two blades for $40, quite well priced. The triple edge hardened teeth cut very quickly, even though the blade, with a 14" stroke, is somewhat short. Still, it fits conveniently in most tool bags or boxes.


KEY FEATURES:

  • 15" (380mm) blade
  • 12 TPI fine cut and 8 TPI rough cut blades
  • Triple ground teeth
  • Quick release tool-free blade change system
  • Aluminum handle with overmold grip

Manufacturer:Stanley Canada
Available From:Tool and equipment suppliers nationwide
Retail Price:$39.99
Model #:20-235
Made In:USA
Carl Duguay, November 2011
Discover more great woodworking reviews!
Subscribe Now and get instance online access to our library filled with exciting woodworking information.
Continue to stay connected to the latest tool reviews with our bi-monthly woodworking magazines!