Work Is A Little Easier With The Metabo HPT One-Hand Reciprocating Saw
One-hand reciprocating saws are making their way deeper into the 18V market. Milwaukee’s had their M18 Hackzall model out for quite a while and recently brought out a brushless version. Bosch has a compact model that’s been around for a while as well. Now it’s Metabo HPT’s turn as they expand their cordless construction tool lineup. So where does the Metabo HPT 18V compact reciprocating saw fit in?
- Compact design
- Low vibration
- Compatible with T-shank jigsaw blades
- Lifetimetool warranty
When you’re looking at a reciprocating saw’s specifications, the stroke length and speed tell you a lot about theoretical cutting speed. The faster and longer the stroke, the more linear inches the blade covers each minute. looking at several popular models in the compact class, we can see that Metabo HPT’s 3200 SPM is on the high side and its 1/2-inch stroke rate is on the lower side.
On paper, we expect it to cut well in thin-walled metal and PVC and fairly slow in wood, but there’s a reason you still play the game. We made cuts in 2x4s, PVC, and EMT—materials that you’re likely to encounter in the worlds of plumbing and electrical. The Metabo HPT one-handed reciprocating saw handles these materials easily with faster speeds than a hand saw and better access than a full-size reciprocating saw.
The cutting speed is slower than models that top the charts such as Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel, though, especially on those 2x4s. While it’s perfectly capable of doing the same jobs, you’ll notice the difference in speed on some cuts.
The other end of performance for any reciprocating saw is vibration. The aggressive nature of the cut can beat you up and leave your arms fatigued. These compact models aren’t as powerful and by nature tend to have less vibration. While there is a significant decrease over a full-size cordless reciprocating saw, there’s still some here. However, it’s on the lower side compared to the other models we’ve used.
The Metabo HPT design is similar to virtually every one-handed model on the market and it’s on the compact side. It’s a little shorter than most with a significantly narrower profile.
That smaller profile offers some weight reduction. Our scale reads the bare tool dead on 3.0 pounds, more than a full pound less than Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel Hackzall. With a compact battery, it’s still under the 4-pound mark at 3.6 pounds. Pick up almost any other brand’s 18V one-hand model and it’s obvious just how much lighter Metabo HPT’s design is.
Rubber overmold runs from the front grip, over the top, to the main handle. This offers a comfortable gripping surface and provides some additional drop protection. The main handle is a little larger than some and it feels great in my medium-size hands.
Like its competition, the Metabo HPT 18V compact reciprocating saw isn’t long on features. I like the fact that the shoe length easily adjusts without the need for extra tools. With a spring-loaded thumb button, it’s the best design we’ve seen. I wish all my reciprocating saws had a shoe adjustment this easy.
However, it seems like Metabo HPT missed an opportunity by not allowing the shoe to pivot. With the amount of round material we cut with these saws, it’s really helpful to assist in keeping the shoe engaged through the entire cut.
One thing we found a little odd is a part of the battery port protrudes about 1/2-inch past the end of a 1.5Ah battery. It’s not really a problem as the tool will still stand up on its end, but we thought it was worth mentioning. From a feature standpoint, the only other natural progression left is to add a brushless motor somewhere down the line.
- Twist Blade Lock: standard no-frills twist lock for the blade
- LED Light: oriented above the blade, it’s as effective as a bottom-oriented light
When it comes to price, the Metabo HPT settles into the middle of the 18V pack at $129 as a bare tool. That’s on the upper end for brushed models, but still underneath brushless. There aren’t any kit options at the moment.
Metabo HPT backs the CR18DAQ4 with a lifetime warranty.
The Bottom Line
What sets Metabo HPT’s 18V one-hand reciprocating saw apart is its incredibly low weight compared to other models in the 18V class. That’s a big deal for plumbers, electricians, HVAC techs, and other users that turn to a compact design in tight spaces and overhead. If you’re like our team, a little less cutting speed is an easy trade-off to make for lighter weight and lower vibration.
To learn more about the full Metabo HPT power tool lineup, click here.
Metabo HPT One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Specifications
- Model: Metabo HPT CR18DAQ4
- No-Load SPM: 3200
- Stroke Length: 1/2-inch
- Weight: 2.75 pounds(bare), 3.56 pounds(with 1.5Ah battery)
- Length: 13.75 inches
- Price: $129.00(bare tool)
- Warranty: Lifetime