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Old 10-12-2008, 02:24 PM
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Default ROTO-ZIP tool

I am putting in a new hardwood floor in one of the rooms, part of the project requires me to pull the baseboards and cut back the casing so the new wood can slide under the casing. That would require a lot of saw work with an offset cabinet saw or something similar . . . or it would serve as an excuse to buy more power tools

I've wanted a ROTO-ZIP spiral saw for quite a while, seems like it would be useful for a lot of small projects. But with this project I have a bunch of casework to cut so I figured I could justify the tool.

I paid $99 for the basic kit, it includes the tool, some metal cutting blades, some spiral cutting bits, a small plastic case to hold the bits, a right angle cutting adapter and a wide mouth tool bag that is more than large enough to hold all this stuff and a bundle of other accessories they will gladly sell you. For another $29 I picked up the special wood saw blade and the special adapter to use it. That is seen attached in the photos below.

First, the downside, this is a 5.5 amp tool. Basically not a lot of torque. With the cutting blade attached for wood, it was not too hard to bog down the motor when the blade was pushed well into the wood.

On the upside, the tool is really pretty handy and does exactly what I hoped it would do. It does it pretty well too. One the back of the tool body are the on/off controls and the speed control. Both are easy to use, but the on/off control pulls out which seemed somewhat counter-intuitive. I figured you normally press the switch to turn something on, not pull it? But on this tool you pull it.

The wood cutting blade allows for accurate cuts. I was able to get pretty close into the work and only needed a chisel clean up the corners.

I've not used the spiral or metal cutting blades. I suspect that they will work better with the low 5.5 amp motor than the wood cutting blade. Still the wood cutting blade worked pretty well, despite the lack of a high torque motor. For a lot of cuts the torque would not be an issue, but when cutting to maximum depth does test the motors.

Still, its a nifty little tool and I see it as being useful in the future. Sort of like a high capacity "Dremel" tool.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: ROTO-ZIP tool

you can also use it as a low powered router - it'll take standard 1/4" shank router bits, and they used to sell a flex-shaft attachment for getting into tight spaces, not sure if it's still available.
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Old 10-12-2008, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: ROTO-ZIP tool

Yes the Roto-Zip is an awesome tool to use. The kit I got as a gift had the flex shaft included.
The tool works great with a metal blade if you need one or two small cuts made. Real quick, but the blades wear down quick.
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: ROTO-ZIP tool

Well I was on my last cut. The mini-circular saw tool was only able to make 1/2 the cut because I was in a tight corner and the guard prevented it from getting closer. So I figured I'd use the plunge cutting bit. It took a bit of practice but I was able to make about 95% of the cut I needed and then snapped the bit off. Oh well. A little extra chisel work on that one and it was done.

I'm pretty impressed with the tool. Still wish it had a higher amp motor for some additional torque, but for what it was designed to do, I think its plenty adequate.
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:19 PM
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Default Re: ROTO-ZIP tool

I absolutely hate to use my roto zip tool. It always breaks the plunge cutting bit. Must be that I am just not coordinated enough to use one. I finished a circular plunge cut last Friday with my dremel tool as I broke the bit in the damn Roto Zip crap tool again..
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Old 10-13-2008, 12:14 PM
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Default Re: ROTO-ZIP tool

"Sort of like a high capacity "Dremel" tool"

That's a good description of it Bob.

You're correct, the motor is a little on the small side but whenever I'm using it I alwys think, "No matter how "weak" it seems, it's a lot faster and easier than trying to do it by hand". I've also broken my share of spiral bits. That usually happens when I get impatient and try to "force" it to cut faster. Nice and easy and it works every time. Good tool on the whole.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: ROTO-ZIP tool

I like mine. Great for cutting outlet boxes in sheetrock. Board right over it, then use the Rotozip around the outside of the box. Takes a little practice and dont forget where the box is.
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