|Review by Tennessee||posted 05-23-2012 06:09 PM||2545 views||0 times favorited||2 comments|
I do a lot of woodworking, for over 40 years. My current shop is smaller, so my wood stock is kept in another room, about 20 feet away. Every time I need a piece of stock it is either hog over a big plank into the main shop and cut it, or take a circular saw into the wood room and cut off what I needed from the rack of wood. I tried using battery powered circular saws, but found that I often had a slightly dead battery since I only cut my stock at the beginning of the project, and the battery saws are not very powerful and hang a lot.
When I saw the Versacut, I immediately thought, “This would be great – nice little saw, cut my stock, use it for other things in the main shop from time to time, retire most usage of my circular saws”.
I was wrong.
The idea is great, but first off, your hand is rotated 90’ from the proper position when holding a circular saw. You don’t really realize this when admiring it in a store, or looking at it on a website. This takes most of the power of your hand away. Add the stiff spring they put in these things as a blade retractor, and you have a potentially dangerous scenario. The blade will immediately retract when you do get kickback, but the saw is small but heavy. It will fly back at you since you have about half the power to stop it, should a kickback occur. Been there, got scared…
My biggest hit is the spring. I am older, and with the turned hand I find it just awkward to push down constantly on this thing to cut a piece of wood. It is NOT push once and it stays, you have to hold it down constantly. If you are cutting vertically, like cutting a piece off a wood rack, or cutting up a wall, it gets even harder. I’ve thought about taking mine apart and cutting off some of the spring or putting in a weaker one. But for safety, I didn’t do that.
In my mind, the laser is just about useless. I tried, I really did, to use it since you cannot see the blade, but in reality the angle of the laser puts it a couple inches in front of the blade so your chances of cutting exactly where you want is slim. You probably will be close, but that’s not good enough for me. I usually end up cutting more off stock than I want, and having to trim in the main shop.
The laser button is on the top of the laser housing, right out there where you might accidently, (done this multiple times), turn it on when putting it back into the bag. Take a peek before you zipper the bag back.
The last thing is the silly blade safety latch. You have to raise your trigger finger a little to release the latch so the blade will release and go down, then you push, then lower your trigger finger to find the off-on switch. If you are doing a plunge cut, you have to figure out a way to hit both at once so you have the blade spinning before you lower this thing. Some may find it easy, but for me it again is an awkward situation. More than once I found myself releasing the blade lock and accidently pushing the blade down just a little and then hitting the off-on switch, causing it to jerk and jump.
I kept it, but sadly, I don’t use it much at all. In retrospect, after holding and evaluating the Dremel unit that is similar, I think I would have been much happier with that one.
-- Paul, Tennessee, http://www.tsunamiguitars.com