When we attended Milwaukee Tool’s 2010 Press Event to check out their new line of tools and accessories, we were forbidden by NDA to talk about their newest line of SawZall Ax blades. This week, the company released us from that and we can now show off the innovative new wood cutting SawZall Blades. They come in both standard and “The Ax” profiles, which delivers a very fast cut with the ability to survive cross-cut nail impacts. The Ax also has one of the quickest plunge cuts of any blade we’ve seen. Take a look at the design of the individual cutting blades and you’ll see how they are made to ride forwards and backwards over a nail and not catch, breaking the teeth:
The way SawZall blades typically work is to deliver speed, or durability – and you get to pick one. What we liked about the Ax blade redesign was that it recreated the design to allow the blade to pull back over an embedded nail and not snap off the teeth. Fir seemingly the first tim, you get a durable blade that can actually cut quickly. There’s no trade-off – as incredible as that may sound. Check out this video:
Specifically, in terms of design, the most notable change has been the shift from a 6 TPI (teeth per inch) pattern to a faster, more aggressive 5 TPI pattern. To explain how the company increased tooth durability, you need to take a closer look at the patent-pending Nail Guard tooth design. Unlike most blades which will allow a nail to drop completely into the tooth channel, the cutting edge of these new teeth remains engaged with the nail. As you can imagine, there are less fractures and you can cut a lot longer without shearing off teeth. With more teeth intact, the blade cuts faster. It’s a win-win and we got to see it and use it in person to convince ourselves that it wasn’t just make-believe or wishful thinking.
For plunge-cutting, Milwaukee has created a new unique, fang-like tooth at the tip, with an extra large gullet, or gap, that really gives the blade an excellent opportunity to drag across the surface of wood and bury itself at a speed that exceeds anything we’ve seen before when plunge-cutting. It also reduces, in fact nearly eliminates, bouncing and skating of the blade across the wood, causing the Fang Tip design (best. name. ever.) to bite quickly into the wood. We found ourselves actually wanting to do plunge cuts – it was so much easier than it used to be. Check out this video Milwaukee has that shows the Fang Tip in action as it drags across the surface of some wood prior to plunging in. It’s pretty much a 100% improvement over existing technology that we’ve used to-date.
As part of the announcement, Milwaukee sent out personalized blades with stands to the attendees of their press event. It came with our name – in the case “The Thomas Gaige Edition, 1 of 1 – and sits nicely in a desktop holder. This was quite a surprise, and a fun thing to have as a desktop souvenir – of course, we will have to resist the temptation to actually use this blade in a pinch!
The launch of these new SawZall Blades is one of the more impressive accessory announcements we’ve seen all year and we can’t wait to see other manufacturers scramble to keep up – if only because it does nothing but serve the industry as a whole when one company develops a better way to cut. When a company gets better, and more follow, we all benefit.
About Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation
Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation, a Brookfield, Wisconsin-based subsidiary of Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd. (TTI) (HKEx stock code: 669, ADR symbol: TTNDY) is an industry leading manufacturer and marketer of professional, heavy duty power tools and accessories. Products include the legendary SawZall reciprocating saws, M12, M18 & M28 Lithium-ion cordless tools, Hole-Hawg drills, portable band saws, circular saws, driver drills, hammer drills, rotary hammers, grinders, sanders and a line of Test & Measurement and Hand Tools. Accessories include SawZall blades, Switchblade self-feed bits, Big Hawg hole cutters, Thunderbolt drill bits and Shockwave Impact Duty™. For more information on the full line of Milwaukee power tools and accessories, please call 1-800-SAWDUST or visit www.milwaukeetool.com.