PORTER-CABLE 12 Volt MAX* ClampSaw Review

12 Volt MAX* Compact Lithium ClampSaw™ Kit (PCL120CRC-2)

Earlier this summer Porter-Cable announced a new 12 volt line of cordless tools with the Porter-Cable 12 Volt MAX Compact Lithium tools. One of the new tools in that line-up includes the all new ClampSaw. The unique design includes an adjustable clamping shoe that allows small diameter objects like pipe to be cut quickly, safely and accurately.

ClampSaw Features

A variable speed trigger provides maximum control while delivering up to 3,000 strokes per minute and a 5/8-inch stroke for fast application speed. A tool free blade collar enables quick and convenient blade changes to save professionals time on the job. Like the other 12 Volt MAX* tools, the ClampSaw also has an LED work light to provide visibility in darkened work areas.

The PCL120CRC-2 will be available in October 2010 at Lowe’s and through the independent channel for a suggested retail price of $129.00. The unit also includes two PCL12BLX Lithium Ion batteries, one PCL12C 30-minute charger, one soft-sided storage case, one 4-inch wood cutting blade and one 4-inch inch metal cutting blade.

All 12 Volt MAX* tools will come with a three-year limited warranty, one year free service contract and 90-day money-back guarantee.

Our Review

The folks at Porter-Cable sent us the new ClampSaw to test and evaluate. This tool is built around their all new 12 Volt MAX* Lithium Battery platform. As you can see in the photo above the kit comes with a soft carrying case, battery charger, two 12 Volt MAX* battery packs, the ClampSaw and two blades (1 metal blade and 1 wood blade).

From our perspective this tool has been designed specifically for mechanical contractors doing tasks such as cutting plastic and metal pipes. Plumbers, Heating & Cooling Installers and Electricians can all take advantage of the compact, light ClampSaw.

Out of the box it looks similar to other compact reciprocating saws but there is one huge difference. The adjustable clamping shoe allows the user to clamp the work-piece for safe, quick cuts. As you can see above the adjustable shoe can be moved in and out to clamp the work-piece and then tightened with the Allen wrench.

As you can see in the photo the clamping shoe is perfect for clamping small diameter pipes. This ultimately results in one hand free to hold the pipe and one to control the tool without the work-piece vibrating out of control.

The 12 Volt MAX* battery packs charge quickly in just under 30 minutes and hold a really good charge. I felt that the 5/8 inch stroke was a good mix for cutting metal and wood. Also the grip and trigger are very comfortable and easy to use.

If there’s one thing I think that could be improved upon it would be the Allen wrench set-screw for the adjustable shoe. Rather than using an Allen wrench I’d prefer to see some sort of built-in tightening device. I think it would speed things up and reduce the risk of losing the wrench.

Overall Impression

The Porter-Cable ClampSaw is a really neat new saw that makes quick order of cutting small diameter materials. If you cut pipe, conduit, shelving material, Uni-Strut or any other similar products then this tool is perfect for you. Don’t let the 12 volt system scare you away as we felt the saw had plenty of power and you get two batteries. This is certainly a well thought out tool that will work beautifully for quite a few trades.

Where To Buy

The Porter-Cable ClampSaw is now available select Lowe’s and also online.

*Maximum initial battery pack voltage (measured without a workload) is 12 volts. Measured under a workload, nominal voltage is 10.8.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

Todd Fratzel is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz, and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.

@tfratzelTodd Fratzel

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1 Comment

  1. Dennis McMillen

    where can you find 12-volt batteries for this tool. I have had it for quite a while and the batteries finality gave out. I bought a couple of Shentec 3000 amh that were really great, but after a year they would not hold a charge and did not compete with the old original porter cable.

    any thoughts

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