Milwaukee 6523-21 13 Amp Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw with Rotating Handle
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- Includes saw, 1 blade, and carrying case
- 19-inches long, 10 pounds, 5-year warranty
- 5 Year Limited Warranty
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The new Milwaukee rotating handle Orbital Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw provides the ultimate in power and versatility. 360 degree rotating handle locks at 45 degree increments and can continuously rotate without going back to starting position. The trigger can stay on while rotating providing optimal user comfort in various cutting applications. The saw has a high powered 13 amp Milwaukee built motor for fast orbital cutting action. The variable speed trigger provides 0 to 3000 strokes per minute with a 1-1/4 in. stroke. Other features include a speed dial for repetitive cuts, counter balance for smoother operation with less vibration, and gear protecting clutch for longer tool life. A Quik-Lok blade clamp provides fast and easy blade changes. The 6523-21 also has a Quik-Lok cord for easy field replacement and comes with an impact resistant carrying case.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I have only used one other reciprocating saw -a Craftsman 2-speed unit. This Sawzall is, to say the least, a world apart from the Craftsman. First of all, some things I really like about it:
1. SMOOTH. The counterbalance on this thing is amazing. There is very little vibration when it's running free. In orbital mode you can feel a slight vibration owing to the fact that the vertical component of motion is not counterbalanced. Nevertheless, even in orbital mode this saw transmits less vibration into my hands than my truck does at 65 MPH on the highway.
2. The "Cord Lock" feature. I didn't really think this would be worth much, but it turns out its quite convenient. You insert and remove the cord by twisting it to lock/unlock it. Plus it comes with a 10' cord; much longer than most power tools.
3. 13 amps of destruction. That's a ton of power. Note that Makita makes a 15-amp model now, so it's only a matter of time before Milwaukee upgrades to 15 amp (probably about a month after I've had the one I just bought :rolleyes.
4. Clutch protection for the drivetrain. If you suddenly lock up the blade the clutch protects the innards from grenading.
Things I don't like (so far):
1. The plastic shoe adjustment lock (noted in the second picture). This is very thin plastic. Fortunately it's also very flexible, so it's not brittle at all. But I feel this part would be better in aluminum. I've written Milwaukee to suggest this.
Things I'm neutral about:
1. Extensive use of plastic. This thing only weighs about 10 lb, which is great. Unfortunately this weight savings is achieved mostly using plastic. The entire rotating handle is plastic. Don't get me wrong, this tool is metal in the most important parts (motor and gear case), but I'd like to see a nice aluminum or magnesium handle. I don't fault Milwaukee for this, because everyone's making their tools this way now. I don't think there are any all-metal tools left on the market.
2. The 360 degree rotating handle. This thing has the potential to be really convenient, but I haven't used the saw enough yet to form a worthwhile opinion on whether this feature is worth the additional cost (about $10 extra).
I'd like to note that when I first took it out the orbital selector was very difficult to operate. So difficult, in fact, I thought it was defective. It wouldn't be so bad if there was more than just a tiny nub to grab onto. After using the saw for a bit, it did loosen up and it's much easier to slide now.
Also, the saw is built very "tight" from the factory, and the speed variation through the trigger was a little "clunky" for the first 25% of trigger pull. I'm happy to report after using it for a bit that it breaks in nicely and things operate smoother now. It makes sense that it needs to be broken in; I don't think they run them very long at the factory.
Nowhere on this tool is it indicated where it's made. I did finally locate, in small text at the bottom of the cardboard packaging, a line that read "Made in USA". I discovered that Milwaukee was recently (2005) bought by a Chinese company, TTI (Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd.) This brought on intense fear that my beloved Milwaukee might be [gulp] Made in China! I called Milwaukee and asked and they assured me the tool was made in Jackson, MI. It's amazing how rare it is for a power tool to be made in the US anymore.
Cutting performance is, as expected, stellar. Vibration level is very low. I tried the saw out by cutting up an old water heater. Sliced around the circumference with no effort. Then I cut vertically down the entire length of the heater in 2 places. "The Torch" blade that was included was dull 25% through the second vertical run, which really slowed progress. When those Milwaukee blades are sharp, though, look out!
I can't adequately describe how awesome it is to work with such a quality tool. I'm sure the offerings from Makita, Bosch, Dewalt, and Porter-Cable are also great saws, but there's a certain satisfaction in owning one made by the company that invented it.
I was not proven wrong. Less that 30 minutes after I received the saw, I was out cutting down fenceposts with the Milwaukee. As it turns out, the 360 "detail" is not a minor detail, but a very usable facet to this great saw. At 13 amps, it didnt' hesitate cutting through greener posts, and the saw felt great and stable when doing the job. Not a lot of vibration either. When that happened, I rolled on the speed, and the vibration from the fencepost settled down and the cutting tended to go quicker.
If you need to use a saw regularly, or you're the type who buys tools to last a lifetime, you at least need to consider Milwaukee tools. My father was a tool and die machinist who swore by Milwaukee tools. I have nodoubt that these tools will outlast me and not even be slowed down by the home improvements they'll help me with.
I bought this tool from Amazon a few weeks before this review date. At the same time I bought a Makita 15 AMP and Hitachi 13 AMP. The other 2 saws are still working the SawZall is not. I was initially put off by the fact that the Makita was made in China, but it cuts very well and is very heavy duty. The only thing that is weird with the Makita is the mechanism that holds the blade is a bit flakey - but works - you just have to jiggle it sometimes to get the blade in. Also the rubber boot that covers the blade hold mechanism disitegrated quickly and is totally off. The Hitachi is holding up well but has not been used as much as the others to this point, but so far so good.
The Sawzall no longer works. The blade reciprocates in the air but when you try to cut something the blade stops despite the motor running and does not cut anything. The Sawzall it turns out is also made in China, but assembled in the USA. I have an old 11 AMP Sawzall - all metal that has lasted well over 20 years so far - this new unit is not that - nor that quality. The cutting seemed fine when it did work briefly (I am writing this about 40 days after we received the saw - it was used maybe 5 times). Also the blade holding mechanism is better than the Makita.
I called Amazon to exchange the unit they would not saying it was after 30 days. Fact is that Amazon does not support tool sales well, while we get better service from tool companies. So far I would recommend either the Makita or Hitachi - maybe even this unit (we might have gotten a lemon) but I would not order tools form Amazon in the future. Also looks like the price dropped about $20 on the tool from when I ordered it.
There's a reason Milwaukee has the reputation it does, and why the word "Sawzall," is name every other manufacturer strives for. The combination of balance, power, ruggedness, flexibility (adjustable orbital action, speed-dial *and* variable speed trigger... are you kidding me?) and now a rotating handle is amazing. It's like they read our minds on what could possibly be done to make the Super Sawzall better.
I decided to bite the bullet when I moved into a 100-year old house needing major rennovation. If you are remodeling, even one room of a house, this is a worthwhile investment. I can't express how convenient and fundamental to ease of use, the rotating handle is. When you're tearing apart a room, cutting through old studs (they are hard!) and nails is no problem with this baby. The rotating handle not only eases fatigue, it enables you to keep cutting in tight areas without having to contort your body.
I didn't have the problems of tight switches and sliders, that other reviewers did. I like that the blade lock mechanism is beefy enough to operate it with gloves on. Also, the removable cord is a clever idea, and reduces strain on the cord when packing away the saw.
This tool is a classic example of the old adage - Buy the best, and cry only once.
Just as most people comment this thing has more power than most people will ever need. It cuts very quickly and vibration is negligible. It is relatively big for a reciprocating saw but this is the heavy duty model. I am sure the 10 amp model is smaller and lighter and probably a good tool also.
I have mixed feelings about the removable (long!) power cord. It certainly would be easy to replace if needed but it seems like an unnecessary expense to me. I suppose it is easy to cut through a power cord with a tool like this and it could be a good idea. I don't like the fact that you have to remove the cord to put the tool in the case, neither do I like removing the blade every time. The old metal case Milwaukee saws used to come in had enough room to leave a 6" blade in the saw. By the way, the blade remove/install chuck is awesome. I don't know how well it will work when it is dirty and full of sawdust but so far (3 months) it has performed flawlessly.
The handle rotating is a good thing. I don't usually think about it until I have been using the saw for a while (old dog new tricks?) but it is a good way to make it more comfortable to use the saw.
One final thought: IMO The best way to judge tools is to watch the pros. If you are around construction sites much you will notice that most carpenters, electricians and plumbers use reciprocating saws. In my observation they mostly have either Sawzalls or Porter Cable Tiger saws. I think they like the PC because of the ability to move the head to different angles (Milwaukee has a saw (not a recip.) that will fit that purpose but it is another expense.
I would recommend this saw, I can't testify to it's longevity but it sure seems to be very well made. A good-solid tool. The case is my biggest disappointment, there is a nice size storage compartment for extra blades and the case, although plastic is decent, it has metal latches, but as I said earlier I wish that I could just put the tool away without removing the cord and blade every time. Maybe I'm nit-picking but I want to be as thorough and honest as possible.