Dewalt has recently announced a new 20V Max brushless 3-inch cut-off tool, model DCS438, that’s designed for cutting a variety of materials.
The new Dewalt cordless cut-off tool can cut materials such as metal, drywall, fiber cement, plastic, tile, and stone.
It can deliver up to 550 Watts of max output (tested with a DCB203 2.0Ah battery), and can cut in both forward and reverse blade directions.
The bi-directional cutting action is useful as it lets users push or pull the saw, depending on how they want to control a cut. At least, this is how it was explained when Milwaukee Tool released the first bi-directional cut-off saw 3 years ago.
Dewalt Cordless 3″ Cut-Off Tool Features & Specs
- 3-inch blade size
- 3/8″ arbor size
- 7/16″ arbor adapter
- Brushless motor
- 550 W max power output
- 20,000 RPM no-load
- 0.79″ max depth of cut
- Forward and reverse cutting directions
- Removable dust shroud
- Tool-free adjustable guard
- Adjustable shoe
- Dewalt AirLock dust vac connection
- LED light
- Tool Connect Chip-Ready (for tracking)
- Onboard blade wrench storage
The cut-off tool will ship with 3 cutting wheels – a bonded abrasive wheel, a diamond multi-material wheel, and a diamond tile wheel.
ETA: Q4 2021
Dewalt says that the new cut-off tool will be available as a bare tool later this year. More details, such as pricing information, will be available at that time.
I would think that the bonded abrasive wheel is for cutting metal, the diamond multi-material wheel for cutting drywall, fiber cement, and plastic, and the diamond tile blade is self-explanatory.
So why would you want a tool like this? Cut-off tools are said to be great for cutting sheet materials, such as drywall, tile, and fiber cement, and also cylindrical materials such as conduit, threaded rod, PVC, and other types of building materials.
The cut-off tool was announced at this year’s Fabtech conference, which targets metal forming, fabrication, welding, and finishing professionals. It does seems like a good fit for metal fabrication work, as a compact and light one-handed tool for quick and controlled cutting tasks.
It’s interesting that Dewalt went with the 20V Max battery form factor here, rather than 12V Max. Their max power output has a footnote saying this spec was determined during testing with a compact 2.0Ah battery, but there’s also the option to use larger batteries for longer runtime.
I’ve never felt the need for a compact cutoff tool. For those of you that buy them, is it because you use them regularly professionally for a specific task – or does it do something you can’t accomplish with other tools (e.g. grinder, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, circular saw etc.)?
I have one main use case in mind for this: auto work where I have to cut something off in tight quarters: The main selling point is the guard and being able to easily reverse the direction the blade rotates–that allows one to make sure the sparks are going in a safe direction. It will also be handy for general metal fabrication. I try and keep a grinder with a 5″ cutoff wheel on it at all times for general cutting purposes but there are times where the 5″ wheel is too large to fit, so I could see myself using this side-by-side with the 5″ cutoff tool.
I doubt I’d ever use it for drywall or large sheet goods, I have other tools that would do those jobs much better.
Certainly other tools can do what this can, but I liken it to the usefulness of an oscillating multi-tool; there are just times when it’s a better choice than any of the other tools that can do what it does. I think of it as a “renaissance tool”, good at a lot of things, but not perfect at any one thing.
I find myself picking this up when a recip saw might be a risky choice for a what’s-behind-that-wall situation. I also find it very handy for cutting out square holes in thin sheets (plywood, tin roof, etc.) that I can’t support enough to overcome the vibration of a recip or jig saw.
I have mainly used it for precision tile work in weird spots or when I need it to be dustless (I have the m12 version and it works well to contain dust).
I also used it to cut a line in drywall at a specific mark along 120′ of drywall. It’s nice for little odd jobs too, but other tools can fulfill those needs as well.
Thanks for the feedback everyone. It always seemed like a bit of an odd duck tool to me.
Not that I couldn’t use it, but just that I would prioritize a lot of other tools first – and since I now have cordless circular, reciprocating and jig saws, plus a grinder and oscillating tool, I didn’t feel like there were many scenarios where I couldn’t accomplish the same task effectively, some other way.
On the other hand, if I did a lot of cement board or tile, etc, I can see that perhaps a tool like this would offer enough unique utility to merit a purchase. I just wondered if I was missing the point somehow.
Doing it over though, I don’t think I would acquire my tools in any different order (and I’m still not in a rush to add one of these).
Funny enough, I was thinking this kind of small cordless cutter is the answer to those questions people had from the DeWALT Carbide Edge Blade thread, having trouble cutting concrete backing board. A utility knife has some limits, so, if Carbide blades don’t work on the material, and scalloped blades can’t compensate… Power is probably needed.
Something this small would be ideal to replace all those utility knives getting eaten up by the materials. So I guess I’m including both this DeWALT and the Milwaukee versions in that solution.
Koko The Talking Ape
I use my Milwaukee cut-off tool mostly for cutting metal, like aluminum tubing, threaded rod, or angle stock. I could use a dremel tool, but it would be slow and awkward.
I bought my M12 for the smaller size, the saw shoe attachment, and the advertisement that it could handle tile, Hardie board, and sheet metal. It would up being sort of under powered in my opinion, however.
I have a Ridgid multi-material saw and in remodeling, the best use I’ve found for it is repairing hardwood floors. Dremel has a “wood/plastic blade” for it ( it gets burnt out ridiculously fast because it doesn’t actually have teeth). I’ll use the saw to cut nice straight lines on the flooring pieces I want to cut out, and finish the cuts with an oscillator. Using an oscillator to start long cuts is super annoying because it’s easy to skip the blade around and damage pieces you don’t need to replace, and a circular saw is just too big sometimes. So far that’s the only job that I’ve found the tool to be really helpful, but it’s already been worth the money to me just for hardwood floor repair alone.
I use the Milwaukee version for cutting out sheet metal parts for retrofitting new HVAC units to existing ductwork (i.e., when you need to build up from a new AC coil to the existing plenum). I measure the gaps I need to bridge, draw them with the help of a square, then use a straight edge to cut them out.
I know how to use snips, buy the anal part of my personality demands I do this; it helps make bending the edges easier. And I can do it in about the same amount of time.
I need it to be even more compact because my dad will kill me if he sees the gigantic 6″ cut off that I accidentally bought instead. (He’s a bit of a safety nut.)
I guess I gotta buy my first Milwaukee tool in the meantime. Meaning another $50+ battery cost…
We use the Milwaukee because Dewalt didn’t have one yet. But we use this to cut stainless steel tubing, the disc pictured above works perfect. Our group, does work for Subsea which involves lots of stainless and Inconel tubing. I was waiting for this day! Dewalt hurry and take my money!!!
I love my m12 version . Cut single wall duct when replacing water heaters, also brass toilet bolts. Sometimes things like steel mesh when removing concrete, a nail sticking out of a board. We cut tile very neatly when retrofitting shower valves. Definitely a nice addn. to the arsenal.
I have the m12 version and I use it for everything works good for vinyl flooring for nothcing around stuff and I just used it to cut siding and it was great for cutting the factory notches in the siding I even took it up with me to do the cuts on the second floor .. I was using the metal blade with the grit around the edge and no cut in it .. same one I used for the flooring it tends to melt with the fiber blade .. I have let 2 other people use it and both have gone and bought one of the m12s. I just bought another one and converted it to a belt sander for cutting spot welds on about body work and works for trim work on wood too….. won’t go with out one I keep it in my truck and use it daily
Will be perfect for tile work!! I wish it could run on their tracksaw tracks though.
If you know someone with a 3D printer – they might be able to create a base for it to run on a guide rail.
There is an outfit (Toolcurve) that 3D prints several different adapters to fit tools to run on tracks. They sell their wares on eBay and Etsy – so maybe you could contact them.
I didn’t know about toolcurve. That’s really cool! Thanks!
Koko The Talking Ape
Yeah, thanks fred!
But don’t they need to have a shoe to work with? The DeWalt specs don’t mention a shoe. I have to say, that’s one of the main reasons I prefer the M12 cutoff tool to a regular small grinder. The shoe allows clean 90 cuts, and also lets you set the depth of the cut (I don’t do that often, but it’s nice.) It also gives you something to brace the workpiece against, so the tool is held steady as you cut. The spinning blade pushes the workpiece against the shoe.
That’s a good point – and might make printing some sort of track adapter impossible or at least very difficult
Dewalt’s press release mentions a shoe:
Koko The Talking Ape
Cool, thanks for that!
the text above does indicate a shoe is included
I hate that these tiny cut off saws have no rails. I’m very ocd about jagged edges. I guess I’ll have to use my underpowered Dremel tool 😞
Well, crap. I’m invested in DeWalt, and just picked up one of these *yesterday* from Home Depot (Ridgid) to do some sheet metal work. Had to buy an add’l battery and charger.
FWIW, the Ridgid looks to be fairly close in looks and function with this DeWalt.
I will say those 3″ blades are not very easy to find…
The m12 has an adapter plate that allows all the blades HD sells to be used on it (Dremel max I believe). Otherwise yes, the m12 blades are a special order.
I noticed a few diablo blades in the grinder blade section at HD yesterday. Seems like they’re becoming more popular.
I haven’t had a problem finding the 3” blades. I have bought some cheap ones at Harbor Freight.
They are the same blades that the pneumatic cut-off tools use. I found them in the automotive air tool area.
With grinding and cutoff wheels cheap blades always remind me to wear a quality face shield and leather apron in the event that the rotating disc shatters sending pieces into your face or torso. To be fair – poor technique in use (applying lateral/side loads) of cutoff discs and grinding wheels can cause even a quality item to fail.
All the more reason to avoid these little buggers until they make some rails.
I would assume that Dewalt will sell additional blades.
As MFC mentioned, it should also be compatible with Dremel 3-inch cutting wheels.
I believe the Dremel SawMax wheels will work. The problem with the SawMax and UltraSaw, is that they’re huge tools compared to these small handheld cutters. So, much like I found with the more universal Dremel Oscillating blades and accessories, they should fit the DeWALT just fine. UltraSaw uses something closer to a 4″ wheel though, so those are going to be a pretty big No for anyone getting these cutoff wheels.
I read that it’s not good to mix and match blade sizes though. But I do have the tiny Dremel oscillator pads for my 20v oscillator (which I regret buying…)
The 3″ abrasive blades are extremely common at welding shops and also auto parts stores. They’re commonly used in air tools for metal fabrication and auto body work. I like the 3m Green Corps line.
Yep the 3″ x 3/8″ arbor size wheels are quite common as almost all small air powered cut off grinders use this size.
There are two common thicknesses available 0.035″ and 1/16″ (0.0625″). Which in my experience are always a bit wider than their stated size regardless of manufacturer. For battery powered tools I would strongly recommend using the 0.035″ wheels to reduce issues with stalling and increase battery life..
I like the 3M wheels as well. the green corps are good but their newer cubitron II and silver series are even better both are ceramic alumina abrasive. Personally I think the silver series are the best bang for the buck. they cut fast, last quite long and are not much more expensive than average aluminum oxide wheels.
Those wheels are commonly used with pneumatic cut-off tools, like the ones used to cut muffler hangars.
If you want Made in USA wheels, have a look at Shark PN-12704.
If you don’t care where they are made, have a look at Harbor Freight 61354.
Great – thanks Albert
is it the picture or does the handle look tiny
You’re not imagining it, I see that as well. I’m wondering if this is an Atomic they just haven’t labelled that way. It’s pretty much just a matter of knowing if my hand fits it, and I’m genuinely pondering this. I do enough mods with pipe and metal to make this worth it.
But… As I keep repeating… if it’s Atomic sized, my hand won’t fit the grip. My pinky finger keeps getting pushed off the lower part of the grip. I did try them out in-store when Atomic was released at first. I was greatly disappointed that my bear paws couldn’t fit a DeWALT product with their industry-leading ergonomics.
Now that you guys mention it I agree, it does look like it has a really short grip. I’m not happy about that.
Koko The Talking Ape
Good catch! If the blade is 3 inches, then the handle where your fingers go around it is maybe 2 1/2 inches long So one of my four fingers is not going around it.
Yeah… The only complaint I have about the Atomic line, really. The Max/XR grips always were the perfect size. As long as they put the battery at one end of the grip, and the tool somehow attached to the setup… I could use anything they made in the line. Then Atomic comes along, and they shrink the handle down just enough for a finger to not fit… It’s the one and only complaint I have of these tools. If I can’t hold it, I can’t justify buying it.
I mean… What’re we doing here? Holding High Tea with our Pinkies in the Air? Are we expected to bow, or curtsy, when we greet the Foreman for the day? Will there be a ridiculous decorative tower, holding our supplies as we get to work?
Less grip, for people with big hands, or at least wide hands, means less control over the tool itself. It’s painful to admit, but it’s absolutely true. Sure, some normal-handed people may be entirely capable of operating these things with just two fingers and a thumb… but when you have Bear Paws… you truly do need all fingers for grip, usually because our wrists and forearms are easier to control than our fingers alone.
Koko The Talking Ape
I’ve seen tools which felt okay (to me) with only three fingers around the grip, if I choked up on the handle and left the index finger pointing down the tool, like making a pew-pew gesture. And actually, that puts your palm more in line with the axis of the drill or whatever, and might reduce wrist strain. But it depends on the particular tool. Some won’t accomodate an index finger like that.
Some chefs hold their knives like that, with the blade pinched between thumb and index finger and only the three remaining fingers on the handle.
Yeah, I actually hold my Gyro Screwdriver that way, but it seems designed for that. It doesn’t have a trigger though, it just has a touch button to activate it, something that can be done just by gripping the handle in use. Plus, if you use that on this little 3″ wheel, and happen to be Left-Handed (I’m not, this is hypothetical) then your finger is extending out between the blade and the body, if you can get that index in there at all. That’s not safe.
I’m kinda thinking outside my normal grounded critical thinking on this particular tool… Because I can see the grip extends along the back of the tool to line up better with the trigger… but even then… you are dangerously close to the cutting line, and if your finger extends too far, you’re going to need some kind of safety thimble if your fingers are long.
We actually do need more dimensions on the grip section here. I have aluminum sheets that used to be computer cases (Upcycling… Making stuff from old stuff.) and I would Like to potentially get this tool, assuming it is able to fit my hand, in order to do many of the modifications to use that material for projects. And I do believe folks like Koko here wouldn’t mind an in-use shot with a measuring tape so we could better assess its size.
And Koko? Thank you for backing me up on some of the struggles we face, having big hands. It may not be major struggles, but it is definitely annoying. And to be clear as well… On a lot of my gun-shaped tools… the ergonomics on the DeWALT grip allow for easy swapping to that overlapping position, without losing balance while you push your centre of gravity closer to the core of the motor.
Well MY asiatic fingers would appreciate the smaller hand grip! But I wish they would make accessories like the grip customizable…
I don’t understand the point of these things. They have no torque.
Ah… You have the First Dremel User problem… (Nothing to be ashamed of.)
The urge for most tools is to press as hard as you can, and watch the tool rip through the material like a knife through butter. Goes for Drills, Oscillating Tools, Saws, Etc. But Dremel Rotary Tools are different. Their power is devoted to Speed, not Torque. They can do more with a gentle touch, than any other tool can do with a thousand times the Dremel’s torque.
There comes a point when Torque has diminishing returns. When the gripping work surface has large teeth or bite to them, Torque is absolutely king. But as you shrink down the size of each individual grab point, or tooth, putting more torque to them just pulls the tooth until it breaks faster.
Enter the Dremel Rule. It’s a Speed Tool, not a Torque Tool. These are edge-on-grit wheels. The Tool itself only needs to spin that really, really fast, and no one single grit receives enough pressure to break it off. So, it’s ready to go, without being dulled, for much longer periods of time, and is being spun fast enough to not suffer from thermal warping on contact either. So these edge-on discs have such a huge density of sharp points that running them fast, with a gentle touch, actually gives more “Teeth” time to grip, rip, and dig at the material you’re cutting. And at high speed, that means the cut eats through more material, faster, rather than going through more material with a heavier impact. It is a very precise tool, rather than an aggressive tool.
Many Dremel Rotary users have burnt out motors, and destroyed cutting or engraving bits, because they just push harder out of impatience, and this most definitely is not something the tool responds well to. Until you learn to let the speed do the work, these tools practically burst into flames in minutes.
The alternative would be to get a tool that has a powerful enough motor like an angle grinder and be able to cut at a reasonable speed. Dremels burn up because they are underpowered.
Koko The Talking Ape
Well, they burn up because people make them stall out and overheat. They work fine, albeit slowly, if you let them spin as JoeM says.
And actually, I’m not sure they’re always much slower than a cutoff tool. They don’t eat much material, but the wheels are so thin that it balances out somewhat. I do wish my 3″ wheels could be thinner, but that might be impractical or dangerous.
Maybe sometime I’ll do a comparison between a Dremel and my M12 cutoff, just to see what the speed difference is.
They each have their niche, John. I would never bring a Dremel to do what an Angle Grinder is meant for. Dremel Rotary Tools are genuinely meant for precise cuts, not heavy cuts.
As to the Angle Grinder… You can get all sorts of different third-party attachments for an Angle Grinder… Those things are meant for heavy duty work, and can straight up eat steel with the right attachment wheel. These two products though, aren’t meant to be interchangeable. Notice the high speed of 20K RPM on the new DeWALT 3″ wheel… That puts it in Dremel territory. Definitely meant for thinner stock, and shallow cuts in harder materials. A Dremel could do this as well, since there’s any number of cutting wheels for those, but that costs you depth of cut. Dremel, and other rotary tools like Proxxon tools, have a limited diameter for the wheels you can attach. It’s only around a max of 2″ I believe, depending on the exact model. But the same rules apply. Let the plethora of grit bites do the work at speed, and it will go very fast, and very smooth for you.
Right tool for the right job though. That, we agree 100%. I just have to point out that this 3″ cutting tool isn’t meant to replace an Angle Grinder, as it’s smaller in scale like a Rotary Tool. So, it’s a matter of picking the tool wisely for the job, as you said.
Well that’s ironic for me, I bought the 20v max xr cutoff, when I really needed a precise tool
I have the Milwaukee M12 model and have been very happy with it. I don’t use it everyday it it makes cutting metal, plastic, etc a lot faster.
The DeWalt one looks almost identical to the Milwaukee with similar features.
Dave the tool
I have been eyeing this tool ever since Milwaukee came out with it in their M12 lineup. I have the M12 tools but was afraid the 12v batteries wouldn’t give enough working time so I held off. Ryobi released their 18v same tool this year and I do have a few Ryobi Tools and Batteries. Now that Dewalt has come out with one I am assuming it’s not just a gimmick tool and also assuming the blades will start being made by aftermarket manufacturers like Norton, Diablo, etc which would make the OEM tool manufacturers have to lower their replacement blade prices to compete! I believe I will finally pull the trigger on this Dewalt as I have many in their 20v lineup!
Norton has made the abrasive blades for years under their Blaze and Bluefire lines, probably others too but those are the two I’ve used before.
Best 3 inch blade I’ve used for metal is the 3m blades. They best every other brands that I’ve used in the body shop industry. Cut thru almost any gauge metal with ease. Pricey but with it. You would burn thru so many other brands blades before you use up one 3m.
Yes, I prefer to buy the 3m ones too. I feel the Norton Blaze cuts better but they don’t last as long. 3m are a good balance of performance, durability, and cost.
These are great for anyone who is a fabricator. And also aftermarket companies make adaptors to turn these into mini belt Sanders. Which those are great for any one who works with wood or metal. I’m sure DeWalt will eventually make their own mini belt sander or file belt sander. Glad they are finally catching up with other brands.
I have a M12 cutoff tool that I converted to us as a mini belt sander and it is awesome. I decided to make the marts myself rather tan buy them but you can find kits on Ebay if you want.
I too am surprised they have not announced a 12v one of these, same as I am surprised they have not announced a 20v installation driver.
(not yet anyways)
Anyways, might be tempted on this if it could replace my corded SawMax. Would be nice if it had a depth gauge like the Ryobi.
Koko The Talking Ape
Yep. I guess there’s no mention of a shoe, Stuart? The shoes on the Ryobi and M12 let you set depth of cut. They also provide a kind of brace for cutting rods. You let the wheel hold the rod against the shoe to steady the tool.
Dewalt’s press release says it comes with an adjustable shoe with a dust collection port.
The PR mentions a shoe but doesn’t show one. Since Fabtech was an early showing, more details and imagery will likely be available closer to release.
I’m assuming that the shoe is where the dust shroud and vacuum collection port attaches to.
I see this more like a circular saw with edge guide for “ripping” sheet metal or other metal. Same as that small circ saw they introduced last year.
but this is made for metal – as far as torque I bet it will take to some pressure – but it’s meant to spin fast to cut clean and save time deburing etc.
I have the Milwaukee cut off tool and like it a lot. Just wish it had the ability to cut wood. I’m surprised that Dewalt didn’t make this with variable speeds to slow down the rpms to be able to cut thin birch or plywood.
My understanding is that it is a legal/safety issue. I am no lawyer but I am paraphrasing what I read about the Milwauee tool on another site. Supposedly to be sold in the US as a “wood cutting saw” it must have a spring loaded guard all around the blade like that on a typical circ saw or chop saw. Because there is no such guard it cannot be marketed for that purpose and it’s limited to abrasive blades only. However, it is possible to put wood cutting blades on these saws. They come with a 7/16″ adapter which lets them use the Dremel (I think?) style mini circ saw blades.
Interesting. That makes sense. I didn’t think about it, but they would probably have to also do away with the reversible blade direction too. I’ve seen reviews and videos where they use the Dremel blade. I cut a lot of 1/8” birch and think I may give it a try.
At least in the case of the M12 cutoff tool you can find toothed blades that will fit. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08H5ZLNFJ
The next closest would be 3 3/8″ blades which are too big to fit inside the metal guard.
I don’t particularly recommend it as the speed it really to fast for a toothed blade and the lack of a lower guard is definitely risky but is does work for materials like lexan and plywood.
I never found and smaller sized toothed blades from Dremel that would fit even with the arbor adapter. all of the toothed ones I could find were too big in diameter.
3 Pack 3-1/8″ x 3/8″ x 1/16″ x 36T Carbide Saw Blade for TruePower Mini-Miter Saw #805 search these on Amazon I blew all the carbines chewing through aluminum but I bet they would have been great if used as intended.
Yes those are the blades I linked to in my post. Were you using them in a M12 cutoff tool or the mini miter saw they were intended for?
I would think that the M12 would be way to fast to use a carbide toothed blade in aluminum. At slower speeds they should work as long as you are not too aggressive. The carbide in wood cutting blades is plenty hard for cutting aluminum but the rake/hook angle is a bit aggressive.
I have used my M12 model for all kinds of stuff. Tight spaces for sure. I really like it for duct and gutter work were an osculating or recip would cause a lot more vibration. It cuts clean and smooth. I have done a little tile with it. I picked up some 3″ Dewalt discs for it a year ago at Farm n Fleet (WI) and they fit just fine without having to special order anything.
I see that the Milwaukee kit is selling for $199 at ToolUp, Home Depot, Acme and elsewhere:
I’m still on the fence even with the free extra battery.
I love the Ridgid one — it’s quiet and has great control, and it’s kind-of fun to use. I’ve used it for cutting hardware mesh when building an animal enclosure, cutting thick plastic sheeting and other plastic items, cutting screws to length, etc.
I have the Milwaukee M12 version of this tool. It is good up to a limit.
Even though the Milwaukee version of this has a dust port it doesn’t work all that well and you will quickly decide this is not the right tool for cutting drywall. It is a cloud of dust and you better be wearing a mask. I see a small fence and a dust port is available for the DeWalt as well as on my M12.
Best thing i have found to use mine for is i had to cut off some small sway bar links. The small size and a good blade mean you can cut off things you might not be able to get to otherwise. I have done bits of tile as well.
So when i got my M12 it was the only tool on the market. But now this DeWalt and also a Ryobi is an option. I have all 3 battery platforms (+ Ridgid & Ridgid has one too!) For occasional use tools I tend to go with Ryobi if i were going to buy one today. But i haven’t found 12v vs 20v to be much of an issue with the M12 i purchased.
As for wood use the reason any of these types of tools are not recommended is the speed. The 3 1/2 blades spin at 19,000 to 20,000 rpm, much much faster than a circular saw
Anyone have a definitive release date for this?
Not yet. With the global supply chain and shipping delays, a definitive release date is likely out of the question right now.
I have the Milwaukee M12 and it is super handy but severely underpowered. Even with the 6.0 it bogs down and cuts out if you apply too much pressure. You need to use a real light touch and go slow. I might have to upgrade to this Dewalt if the reviews are good and it has more power.
Looks like these are finally available in the wild. Anyone have one yet? What do you think?
I picked one up today from Home Depot. The stores are getting them in but they don’t yet have a spot on the shelf so you may have to ask for it.
I have not used it yet but I can give initial thoughts:
I purchased the bare tool. It came with a diamond masonry blade, an abrasive metal-cutting blade, and a diamond “multi material” blade, plus a small adapter which I believe mounts Dremel circular saw blades. There is a guard with an adjustable shoe for varied depth of cut, this has a dust collection port on it. It easily unclips from the tool with a locking button. I can confirm that there are gears between the motor and the blade. The motor spins in the opposite direction from the blade, and these gears allow the blade to be moved closer to the edge of the tool so it has a higher depth of cut compared to the Milwaukee M12 version. The dust collecting guard with shoe doesn’t seem all that durable but it’s probably more than durable enough for the kind of work this tool would be for. The tool itself feels feels very solid in the hand, the gear housing is metal, it feels like quality when you pick it up. Ergos are nice, the forward/off/reverse switch is just like most drills, impact drivers, etc. The spindle lock button for changing blades is easy to operate with your thumb and there is onboard storage for the wrench. The grip is short like many of the “Atomic” line tools but it still feels comfortable to me. I have fairly large hands and it felt good to hold with bare hands. I don’t think it would be very comfortable to hold wearing work gloves unless they were the tight-fitting thin type like Mechanix. The LED light is very bright compared to most cordless tools I own and it has a good long delay on it too.
I’ll be putting it through its paces soon; I have a kitchen renovation project that involves a lot of intricate cuts in hardibacker and I’m going to try and use this for that job. I think it will work well for making electrical outlet cutouts, and there are a lot of them to do! I plan on renting a wet saw for most of my tile cutting but I’m sure there will be a few that I need to notch and I’ll try and use this tool for that too. I’m always doing metalwork so I’m sure I’ll have some opportunities to test the abrasive cutting performance soon as well.
Thanks for the info!
Just a bit of a follow-up here. I have been using this tool quite a bit though it’s been all for metal cutting. I haven’t gotten around to my kitchen project yet so I’ve been holding off on a full review until I’ve had a chance to cut more than just steel.
However, I can say that there is a night-and-day difference between the power of this Dewalt and the M12. It’s no contest, the Dewalt is more than twice as powerful. It performed great with the basic abrasive wheel that it came with; with an even thinner 3M Cubitron disc its like a little laser.
Torque Test Channel did a comparison between this, the M12, and a pneumatic grinder and the results are very interesting:
Koko The Talking Ape
I can’t compare it to the M12, but I can confirm that the DeWalt cuts like there’s no tomorrow. I’m going to be using this puppy a lot!