LumberJocks

Nice to Have Tool

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Review by Roger Clark aka Rex posted 1177 days ago 11597 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Nice to Have Tool Nice to Have Tool No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

As many of you know, I can’t get to the shop much nowadays due to health issues, but LJs is my daily visit place where I can keep up with all the great posts and projects and also have some fun to make my day.
Anyway, I was thinking about how I could contribute something of real value, so I decided to review tools that I did use when back in the shop.
This review is on the Rockwell Blade Runner which I purchased for less than $100 a while back and used it.

The unit is light, only 23lbs, comes with a wall mount if needed, rubber feet and base holes for permanent fixing down. The throat capacity is about 1-1/2” thick wood (or whatever). It comes with an adequate miter gauge and has miter slots where you can make you own sliders to fit. The blades that come with it are rubbish, but Bosch blades are outstanding replacements – select the blade for the type of work and material you have in mind, changing blades takes a few seconds.

Like any regular LJ, I partially read the instructions and couldn’t wait to give it a test drive …... big mistake. The machine vibrated like hell and almost “walked off” the bench. That’s when I decided to fix it to the bench and also review my Physics memories. Although this tool is basically an inverted saber saw, you have to rethink how the forces affect working with it. The holding pressure of the material is REVERSED and the tool is held steady, but you need the material to be cut to be well braced, otherwise you will get vibration.

The tool does a great job. It is NOT a replacement for your Jig/saber saw or Band saw, but it is a “really nice to have” tool that can save you time and effort on small cuts that would involve a Band Saw blade change or getting the Jig Saw out and clamping down the piece to cut – yes a time saver under certain circumstances.

This tool is not an essential tool to have and does not replace either the Jig or Band Saws, but is is a very useful tool to add to anyone’s arsenal.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.




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Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2037 days



13 comments so far

View Occie gilliam's profile

Occie gilliam

505 posts in 1899 days


#1 posted 1177 days ago

Nice review
you did a great job explaining it, thanks
your buddy Occie

-- OC down in Costa Rica. come down and see me some time. I'll keep the light on for you too-oc@hotmail.com mail.com

View saddletramp's profile

saddletramp

994 posts in 1241 days


#2 posted 1177 days ago

Thanks Roger for the fine review.

-- ♫♪♪♫♫ Saddletramp, saddletramp, I'm as free as the breeze and I ride where I please, saddletramp ♪♪♪♫♪ ...... Bob W....NW Michigan (Traverse City area)

View hairy's profile

hairy

1988 posts in 2135 days


#3 posted 1177 days ago

What a coincidence! I too was thinking about how you could contribute some real value.

Just kidding,Roger. I’ve read about those, it’s good to hear from someone with experience.

-- the last of Barret's Privateers...

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patron

12972 posts in 1944 days


#4 posted 1177 days ago

good review there roger
sharp and to the point
from a beginner curious anxious perspective
(some thing we all are
when we try a tool first time)

don’t know if i will ever get one
(i said that about my wives too)

but you never know

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2037 days


#5 posted 1177 days ago

Thanks hairy, I may have found something I can do woodwork related which might be of value to LJs.
I plan to visit the shop this later this week and find a tool to write about, that’s the best I can do under my present circumstances. Until then, I’m sorry you’ll just have to put up with my daily insanity. :-))

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View devann's profile

devann

1735 posts in 1295 days


#6 posted 1177 days ago

Thanks for the review Roger, good job of it. Does it use a special blade or a standard jigsaw blade?
I made myself something kinda like this a couple years ago. Mine was just a box with my jig saw mounted in it upside down. Turned it on and made a couple cuts with it, shut it off and promptly removed the saw from the box. It cut fine but scared the crap out of me, one of those maybe this is not such a good idea feelings. Mind you my version was just the blade sticking up. I think you need the little arm on top.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2037 days


#7 posted 1177 days ago

Darrell, it takes any “T” blades. Found Bosch to be best. The blades are steadied by some bearings at the blade arm. Don’t forget it’s good for metal or plastic too.
It’s a great tool for when you have some pesky little cuts to make that you’d have to do on the band saw or get the Jig saw out and secure the part to be cut. It just takes a little bit of strife out of your day.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View hairy's profile

hairy

1988 posts in 2135 days


#8 posted 1177 days ago

I’m getting used to it, it’s all good!

-- the last of Barret's Privateers...

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7624 posts in 2655 days


#9 posted 1177 days ago

Thank you, Roger… good review!

I’ve been thinking of making a mount for by Bosch jig saw like a router… upside down in my router table…
Yes, those Bosch progressive blades are SUPER NICE!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2037 days


#10 posted 1177 days ago

Thanks Joe. The only thing you have to watch out for when inverting your Bosch jig saw is that the end of the blade does not have anything to steady it and stop it from “flapping about”. This will make it harder to keep on your cut line.
Maybe you could add some kind of steadying arm that will allow the blade to stay vertical all the time. So put you brain into gear and step on the gas.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View jack1's profile

jack1

1907 posts in 2630 days


#11 posted 1176 days ago

great review. thanks!

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View Echofive's profile

Echofive

90 posts in 1855 days


#12 posted 1100 days ago

My mom is an avid DIY’er and she purchased a Bladerunner. I was able to use it while visiting and making her a project. I was actually quite impressed how easy it was to use. VERY little learning curve, if any. Since I was able to hold my workpiece, it was easier to use than a jigsaw. It also had the versatility of a scrollsaw and/or bandsaw. I admit, it probably isn’t as good as a bandsaw/scrollsaw/jigsaw in the hands of a seasoned pro, but for the money, it’s 3 machines in 1 and did a remarkably nice job.
Here's project I made using the Bladerunner.

-- Chip, Massachusetts

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jettoolfool

1 post in 1088 days


#13 posted 1088 days ago

This is one of the few forums where people work towards a consensus—thanks folks! My own take is that it’s not a bandsaw, scrollsaw, or table saw, but it does a good-enough job to substitute for all of these for most home projects. Just be sure to use good blades (NOT the ones that come with it) and the proper speed for the blade & materials. And the price is right.

cheers

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