View Full Version : Power Tools

10-17-2005, 08:33 AM
I've seen it mentioned in several posts that Sawzall's are used extensively in the fire service for extraction or access in various situations. I've seen Milwaukee has a Rescue Sawzall in their catalogue.
Are other 'normal' power tools used as well? Do departments make use of cordless or corded tools? Both maybe? Do the new 18 & 24 volt kits have enough guts? Which brands does your department use? Would this equipment be on the rescue rigs, or is it fairly standard on all the trucks?


10-17-2005, 09:12 AM
The one we are currently using is a Dewalt cordless recip saw. We have an adapter that allows it to be plugged in for use incase the battery does not work. A lot of the work we do is accomplished with "normal" hand and power tools. We are just real good at breakin' sh!t.

10-17-2005, 09:15 AM
Milwaukee Recrip. (corded) 2 Sthil Chain Saws and a Sthil chop saw (brain fart...not the proper name) besides that - we have a tool box with most any tool you would ever need......

I'd like to see a 24 volt cordless drill & recrip. as well - but with 60 calls/year the batteries would most likely be dead in very short order due to lack of use.

10-17-2005, 09:17 AM
We bought a couple of no-name cordless kits (drill, saw. grinder, etc) at princess auto, a few years ago with vehicle-x in mind, but any time we have practiced with them, the batteries never lasted, or they just didn't have enough power to do the trick. If it were an actual incident, without a doubt I would grab the jaws, or hack saw if I had to cut something, just because I haven't found anything a whole lot more dependible. The nice part about hand tools, is the noise factor! The less stress on the victim the better of you are.


10-17-2005, 09:50 AM
We have the dewalt cordless we also have an older millwaukee corded I prefer the dewalt.You will find most contractor grade tools are equal to if not better than those "built"for the fire service.The prices just gets jacked because it says rescue or fire or ?LOL.Our pneumatic stuff is all ingersoll rand.

I use tools extensivley on my days off, sorry shameless plug here. Ya cant beat dewalt or bosch IMHO.


10-17-2005, 10:40 AM
We run a corded Dewalt. Not much faith in cordless Battery life is a issue at -40 at that cold battery life is clipped by about 65 to 70 %.

10-17-2005, 11:22 AM
We run a corded Dewalt. Not much faith in cordless Battery life is a issue at -40 at that cold battery life is clipped by about 65 to 70 %.

I think you will find that true only if they are stored in a cold environment.I found that out the hard way.Two batteries shot over the winter in my garage.Talked to a dewalt rep at a big box store about it, he claims that operating in the cold should not affect battery life,just storage.


10-17-2005, 11:45 AM
The Dewalt cordless reciprocating saws work great for cutting posts during an extrication. They also have a great deal of versatility and maneuverability since they are cordless. As the operator of a rescue though, I always try to ensure that the plug in adapter is staged and ready to go as well in the event that the battery craps out at any point on scence. We do carry a spare battery in the charger at all times, but better safe than sorry. Overall though an excellent little tool.


10-17-2005, 11:47 AM
Interesting...seems like most people have a cordless with a backup corded model.

I need to pick up a few new cordless tools in the near future for work.....I've had Dewalt and Canadian Tire MasterCraft 18v (gotta love that warranty!)...and I almost grabbed a Bosch 18v that Home Depot is clearing out....supposedly a lot of the stores got shipments of Bosch to clear out at about 1/2 price if anyone needs a drill.


10-17-2005, 12:42 PM
We have X2 Milwaukee Recip saws, corded. We played around the idea of getting a cordless Milwaukee but when we were product testing all they had was an 18volt.... 1 evening, 4 firefighters and 6 test batteries later we decided to stick to our corded ones for the time being.

Auto Ex 2003 we got to use a DeWalt 24volt cordless sawsall during the compitition. I personally felt that it lacked the guts to cut through the B post I was taking out and ended up kicking it under the car and going with the DeWalt corded sawsall. It could have been, however, that the pit boss forgot to change out the batterys after the last team. I don't know. (side note, we finished 1st for the limited compitition in that scenario).

Last year at auto ex I got a chance to play with a set of DeWalt power tools with special blades. It was a simple skill saw setup but it could rip though sheet metal pretty quick. I wasn't to happy about the lack of a guard for cutting through posts and I didn't like thinking about the blade spinning out in the open, but it seemed to work pretty good as a plan C (beind hydralics and sawzalls). Great for cutting sheet metal in the hood, trunk, roof and door... for whatever that is worth....

One of the things we have on our sawsalls that I don't see very often is a spare blade. Get the a nice blade package or sleave that some models come in and duct take it to the stock of the sawsall nice and tight and throw in two spare blades. That way when one breaks you have the replacement right there. Even faster if you have a keyless chuck like our new-er model Milwaukee.

Other tools that we have include a trusty Air chisel. I was working on getting an impact gun for easy disassembling of a car (IE, creat a purhcase point and undo the bolts holding the door on, etc). Worked well in a course I tool a few years ago (alternative extrication techniques), but we never got a chance to product test anything (mostly because everyone wanted a specific brand that would most likely spend more time working on a FF's vehicle than it would doing rescue work).

Stihl Chainsaw and Stihl Chopsaw. 50% briggs and stratton 50% honda generators; I found the honda's easier to start when cold... and quieter.. though the briggs and stratton were damn near bullet proof.

And in case there is a massive The Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) (http://www.geocities.com/CapeCanaveral/5971/emp.html) directly over top of the scene, we keep 4 agressive hand powered hack saws on the resuce (you'd be surprised how quickly you can take a roof off with them when you have NOTHING else).