Bosch and Porter Cable - Canadian Woodworking Magazine


Bosch and Porter Cable

Rotozip by Bosch
The Rotozip has been a standard power tool in woodworker's tool cabinets for over 25 years. It was circa 1979 when the first spiral saw appeared on the market and, as they say, the rest is history.

In December of 2003, Bosch acquired Rotozip and the tool is now known as RotoZip by Bosch. A number of improvements and new innovations can be seen in the new tools.

There are now four RotoZip Spiral Saw models with various features to choose from. I tested the RZ20-2100. This unit has integrated LED work lights, a variable speed control, a metal bezel, a quick release handle, a sealed switch, an adjustable foot, a three-jaw chuck, and a newly designed body. The RZ20 also boasts a 5.5 amp motor.

The Bosch RotoZip (known generically as a spiral saw or spiral hole saw) arrived  in a soft-sided kit bag that also included a bit case, a circle guide, and three cutting wheels (one for masonry, one for metal, and a diamond wheel for ceramics and concrete).

I used the RotoZip RZ20 to cut into gyproc when I had to cut out a large hole in my shop ceiling to gain access to a frozen pipe.. No surprises here. The RotoZip performed perfectly, as expected. It did kick up a lot of dust, but a vacuum accessory pack is readily available.

For those who think the RotoZip is only a contractor's tool, check out the RotoZip web site ( I recently used mine to cut a small shaped hole in a cabinet back. I have also seen some really neat grillwork cut into cabinet doors. The spiral cutting bits do a fine job with little tear-out and the adjustable shoe provides ample visibility for following patterns.

I especially liked the LED lighting. Even through the cloud of sawdust the light kept the cut line visible. In addition, I found the power switch in the handle to be convenient and I liked that when the handle is removed the power reverts to the bump-off switch.


Porter Cable Cordless Drill
Over the last 10 years or so quite a few cordless drills have come and gone. The initial cordless drill was a very crude innovation in comparison to the tools of today. Back then, a four hour charge might get you about an hour (on and off) of usage.

Times have changed, and the newest generation of cordless drills now provide many hours of service after just a one-hour of charge. New battery packs are much more efficient and the new Porter-Cable model 984 is no exception. The Porter Cable 984 is a two-speed range drill with variable speeds in both (0 – 500 and 0 - 1500 RPM).

The 984 kit comes in a blown-plastic case and includes two, 19.2 volt, 2.4 amp hour battery packs, a one-hour diagnostic charger, an ambidextrous side handle,  extra T-handle grips, and a 1/16" - 1/2" keyless chuck with 22 torque positions.
At first sight I thought that the 19.2 volt battery pack would make for an overly heavy cordless drill. I was wrong. Although the 984 is hefty, it is well balanced and therefore the weight is not as noticeable.

The rubber over-mould grips add to the comfort, and as mentioned, Porter Cable kicks in a spare set that are sized as small, medium and large for even more comfort.

GRAHAM McCULLOCH is a woodworker and writer living in Halifax, NS
Graham McCulloch


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