As if a reciprocating saw is not handy enough, Milwaukee is making it more helpful by adding two new reciprocating saw blades to their line-up; one is a scraper and the other is a grout removal tool. Compatible with all Milwaukee Sawzall and Hackzall reciprocating saws, these new accessories convert several slow and strenuous hand tool applications into fast and effortless tasks.
We had a chance to not only see these at the 2010 Milwaukee New Tools Press Event this year but also since they sent some our way, we have been able to spend some extra time with them. The two blades that we received were the 1-1/2″ Scraper Blade model number 49-00-5463 and the Grout Removal Tool, model number 49-00-5450. Both of these blades feature induction hardened edges for durability, a corrosion resistant coating for longer life, and chamfered corners for greater control when they begin to dig in. The grout removal tool has a curved cutting edge that is embedded with coarse carbide grit for fast grout removal. Both blades have standard reciprocating saw tangs which makes them suitable to be used with any reciprocating saw.
We like the way that Dan Wolfgram, Associate Product Manager for Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation sums it up: “The development of these new accessories really transform the Sawzall or Hackzall recip saw from primarily a cutting tool into one that can tackle many common material removal applications. Available in both 1-1/2″ and 3″ sizes, these new scraper blades offer a great solution for removing materials such as linoleum flooring, strong adhesives, paint, glue, thin-set, drywall mud, rust, etc. Likewise, the carbide grit grout removal tool does an excellent job removing grout from 1/8″ up to 3/4″ in width.”
Testing and Use
At first we thought a scraper or grout removal blade in a Sawzall or Hackzall would be unwieldy, but we actually found them to be quite easy to control. The thing to remember with both blades is that a slow to medium motor speed is preferred (and suggested on the packaging too). We found it easy to find the sweet spot once we got used to how the tools handled. On the scraper blade, we do advise using a shorter stroke verses a long stroke reciprocating saw, since the slighter movement offers more control and less chance for the blade to jump or gouge the surface you are working on. This is definitely a two-handed job and you really can get a good feel for the work as you progress, using one hand to support the tool, and the other to guide the blade along the work surface. The one hand Hackzall also seems to be a perfect match to the functionality and purpose of both blades from what we encountered in our testing. The bottom line is that using these two blades are MUCH preferred to doing the job by hand and it opens up your existing tools to a much greater breadth of use, hiving them new life. Anything that does that deserves an award in our opinion. The launch of the new scraper blades and grout removal tool are a nice way of showing that Milwaukee Electric Tool is continuing to deliver, via intensive R&D, innovative accessory solutions to save time and increase productivity on the job site.
The Milwaukee 1-1/2″ Scraper Blade and Grout Removal Tools are both innovations that extend the usefulness of existing tools and can legitimately save time. The reciprocating saw is already a great tool and this will definitely help to make it a favorite tool of many more users. For our Performance rating we gave both of these blades an 8/10 since they offer practical solutions to common job site problems. For our Value rating, they also garnered a 9/10 since the reality is – they hardly cost more then their hand job counterparts yet offer much more performance.