Moto Saw

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Forum topic by willie posted 05-14-2013 06:00 PM 3665 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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534 posts in 2482 days

05-14-2013 06:00 PM

I go to a lot of auctions and garage sales and have a lot of friends that call me when they find something unusual, but this past weekend brought one of the strangest tools I have seen. A friend called me about an “electric coping saw”. I asked if he meant a scroll saw but he said it was hand held. This saw was made by Dremel back in the ‘40s or early ‘50s from what I can find. It works, but if you’re in a hurry, grab another saw. They say it has 7200 strokes per minute but it just seems to vibrate a lot and make more noise than sawdust. It’s all original with instructions and extra blades. The original owner even made a custom wood box for it, (I doubt if he used the saw building it!). He said he only paid $10.00 for it, new it sold for less than $5.00. Interesting tool! Anyone have any experience with one of these or any other “seemed like a good idea at the time” tools? Here’s some pics.


-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

9 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2999 days

#1 posted 05-14-2013 06:22 PM

Chris Schwarz had one on his blog once.
He had about the same opinion of it as you did.
All buzz, no work. But, an interesting curiosity piece.

View Dakkar's profile


324 posts in 1955 days

#2 posted 05-14-2013 07:54 PM

Dremel still makes one of those. One version is convertible for handheld or tabletop use. I’m not sure what the best use for it is, though. From reading the Amazon reviews, people seemed to find it actually less practical than a non-powered saw. Apparently the blades catch in the wood easily when working handheld. Dremel Moto-Saw

View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2542 days

#3 posted 05-14-2013 07:58 PM

They work by the alternating current in the transformer/choke on top of the handle. Same principle as a loud horn for time clocks. Very small stroke, but 60 seconds by 60 sinewaves (AC), one up and one down, so 60 X 60 X 2 = 7200 per minute. But a VERY small stroke.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3675 days

#4 posted 05-14-2013 08:08 PM

I could see it being useful for thin, delicate materials – matte
board, foam core, lute rosettes, plastics, and so forth. Maybe
shell too.

View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 2066 days

#5 posted 05-14-2013 09:28 PM

I was thinking the same as Loren. I’d like to see it tried on something thin and hard – like turn an ivory piano key into an inlay. Does the vibration bother the hand?

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View willie's profile


534 posts in 2482 days

#6 posted 05-15-2013 01:31 AM

There’s not a lot of vibration to the hand and probably not enough to the blade either. I was seeing what it could do with 3/4” butternut and it did cut it. It seems a bit awkward to control at times but I would guess with some practice that it could serve some useful purpose. I think I’ll hang on to this one just because it puts a smile on my face every time I squeeze the trigger.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View runswithscissors's profile


2768 posts in 2053 days

#7 posted 05-15-2013 06:24 AM

My uncle gave me one of those for Christmas when I was a little kid. The big selling point with them was that you couldn’t hurt yourself. If you pressed your finger against the vibrating blade (of course I tried it!) the skin would just vibrate with the blade. You could adjust it for more “power,” but if you went too far, it got out of phase and made an awful racket. You could speed up the cutting by moving it up and down as you would with a regular coping saw. I made a lot of stuff with it. Its greatest value was in teaching patience.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View willie's profile


534 posts in 2482 days

#8 posted 05-15-2013 04:04 PM

Here’s a picture of the original box, which I don’t have.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View MrRon's profile


4797 posts in 3271 days

#9 posted 05-15-2013 05:59 PM

I had one a long time ago when I was building model trains. It really didn’t work too well for me. Too much vibration and couldn’t follow a line. Nice collector’s item, nothing more.

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