DEWALT 20V Max Jigsaw Review
DEWALT 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Jigsaw, Model DCS331L1
20V Max Lithium Ion Jigsaw Kit
Model number: DCS331M1
Power source: 20V Li-Ion
DEWALT continues to role out new tools in their 20 Volt cordless line-up and the latest to hit our shop is Model DCS331L1 Cordless Jigsaw. The newly improved 20V Li-ion battery cell is quickly becoming the tool of choice for Contractors who require long run time, powerful applications and lightweight tools.
I remember not so long ago when most cordless saws were mere toys in my mind. Circular saws and jigsaws used to drive me crazy as they just didn’t have the proper power to work correctly. Those days are thankfully behind us and the new battery platforms are helping cordless tools match the power of their predecessors. The new DEWALT DCS331L1 is no exception.
Features and Specifications
- All-metal lever-action keyless blade change allows for quick and easy blade changes
- All-metal keyless shoe bevel with detents at 0°, 15°, 30° and 45° provides versatility for easy bevel cutting
- 4-position orbital action provides control of cut quality and speed
- Adjustable dust blower keeps line of cut clear of chips
- Variable speed 0-3,000 spm for versatility in a multitude of materials and applications
- Anti-slip comfort grip for increased comfort and control
- Accepts T-shank jig saw blades for professional results
- Weight: 6.8 lbs
- Plastic Carrying Case
- 3.0 Ah Battery and Charger
Power & Performance of a Corded Jigsaw
Last year I found a 12V cordless jigsaw that really blew me away. The Milwaukee 12V jigsaw was the first cordless jigsaw that I’ve used where I finally didn’t miss the power or a corded tool. While that tool is great for small jobs and punch list type work it’s not quite the powerhouse that I need on a larger job. When it comes to cabinet installation, building finished stairs, exterior trim work and things that put a jigsaw through a workout, I want a more powerful platform.
The DEWALT DCS331L1 fills that gap and offers a jigsaw with all the power I need on the toughest jobs with a battery platform that lasts longer and charges quickly.
I tested this jigsaw cutting a variety of materials including cabinet grade plywood, poplar trim, birch stair parts and other various trim materials. In each situation the DCS331L1 provided plenty of power and never showed signs of fatigue.
I often find that a jigsaw’s quality can be summed up pretty fast if you try to cut a 45 degree bevel on a piece of 3/4″ plywood. If you can cut that bevel in a nice straight line without fighting the jigsaw than you’ve got a winner combination. This jigsaw had no problem cutting nice straight 45 degree bevel cuts over long lengths.
I’m on job sites every day and I can tell you even the most organized contractors have tools laying all over the place. Power tools get abused day in and day out yet we expect them to continue performing like the day we bought them. In a day of more and more plastic parts in the tool industry I was really impressed with DEWALT’s heavy duty, metal parts/features. For example, pictured above is the keyless blade change lever which is all metal. That lever will get used over and over and if it was made from plastic it would likely break over time.
The keyless blade change works very well and makes blade changes fast and simple. The jigsaw uses all standard T-shank blades. If I had one small concern this is where I would like to see a spring loaded blade, so that it is pushed out when you release the lever. This would make removing hot blades much easier in the field.
I found the adjustable orbital action lever easy to use. The wide range of options for this feature make it very easy useful on a large range products.
The adjustable surface blower is nice also. I hate having sawdust pile up on the line as I’m trying to cut. This version on the DCS331L1 is very effective and easy to use.
The DCS331L1 comes with a removable no-mar shoe plate. This is nice because you can replace them over time when they where out. I recommend keeping an extra one in your carrying case, use one for delicate finish work and one for utility use, that way you’ve always got a nice one for those really important jobs.
This kit comes with two blades as shown above. The T-shank Precision Wood blade (lower blade shown above) is a fairly standard blade for jigsaws. It worked great and is still cutting very well after several months of use. The larger blade helps keep the saw blade perpendicular to the surface for a nice plumb cut but it also improves the ability to cut straight lines. I’m sure we’ll be seeing many more blades like this in the future.
The heart and soul of this new jigsaw is the 20V MAX battery platform and the LED Battery Fuel Gauge on the 3.0 Ah battery. The battery provides lots of great power and run time. I recently used the jigsaw all day in my wood shop on a single charge while cutting pieces for cabinets. The best feature is the new battery meter that comes standard on new 3.0 Ah batteries. As you can see above you can quickly find out how much run time is left on the battery.
The DEWALT DCS331L1 is a very good quality, powerful cordless jigsaw. Powered by the new DEWALT 20V MAX battery platform it’s an obvious addition to anyone’s tool box that’s switched over to the new platform. I really believe DEWALT has created a cordless jigsaw that’s on par with many of the better quality corded versions on the market. Other than maybe adding a spring-loaded feature to the blade system there’s not much I’d change on this unit. It’s a very well balanced powerhouse that’s sure to make a big splash in the market.
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