* Prices may differ from that shown
I do love my power tools, and buying this power saw several years ago was a real indulgent treat! I was building a garden seat, and the prospect of cutting all those various pieces of wood, which included 25x75 softwood as well as up to 100x100 fencing posts by hand was never going to happen. At the time the saw cost me £35 from B&Q where it is currently (Oct 2013) £59.98 on their website, although amazingly it's also showing at £29.99 on Amazon with free delivery.
The saw was sold in a cardboard box rather than carry box, and came supplied with three blades - a standard blade for wood/plastic, a slimmer metal cutting blade and a jigsaw blade.
Mounting the blade is a simple process - each blade has a slot which hooks over a same-shaped spigot on the body of the saw before being turned through 90 degrees to click/lock into place. The spigot is not beyond the possibility wear and tear, though, (happened to a friend) so it's important to take care with this process as a tight engagement is critical to safe and accurate work.
The fact that the blades come off means that the saw body along with the blades can be stored in any standard square power tool case.
The saw comes with a 3m power cable, which is more than adequate for most jobs and allows plenty of room for manoevre, meaning no restriction when actually in use. Operating the saw requires two buttons being pressed simultaneously to get started - one on the underside of the handle (like a trigger) plus a rocker-type switch on top of the handle. The handle is made of sturdy plastic in "Black & Decker" Orange, and is fairly chunky so for smaller hands operating the two switches at the same time isn't easy, but it's not impossible.
The saw continues to operate whist the trigger is being held down, and the speed of the blade can be varied according to the amount of pressure being applied. As soon as pressure is released completely from the trigger, should it be dropped or slip, power is cut to the saw immediately. Also, the saw will not operate if the blade isn't fully/properly engaged.
I was absolutely thrilled with the performance of this saw for the job I bought it for, and for all the tasks I've used it on since. These have included using the metal blade although I have never had a job which called for the jig blade. Apart from my seat and other wood shelving projects, I have used the saw on plastic drain pipes, metal tubing, and also extensively on trees in the garden and sawing logs. I even used it to saw up rolls of loft insulation, which was fun! The power sounds qutie low at 400W, but whilst that may mean it's not up to heavy duty work, it's always been more than adequate for my needs.
I absolutely love this saw and I'm so glad I have it to hand, but there are a few possible issues or potential problems which come to mind.
The main obvious one is that the saw itself is quite bulky, and the blade is quite thick, so the saw isn't ideally suited to jobs which require perfect accuracy or finely finished cuts. Without a small but noticeable groove to start the power saw off, I did have problems with it slipping and obviously then scratching the wood. I usually get cuts started off by 2 or 3mm with the saw by hand (power free) before switching on.
Also, in the actual cutting if you are not fully in control and taking time, cuts can go adrift or off-line and the operation of the saw can get a bit juddery. It's important to stand directly over/behind the cut, as for any sawing, but it's especially critical with the power saw if it's going to be running for any length of time. I use a sawing motion whilst the saw is running and take it slowly, to get the best results from the cuts, which for my own needs I've always been happy with. The other thing to point out is that it's essential that whatever you're cutting is firmly secured or clamped, as the motion of the saw's vibration will cause problem if it's at all loose or free.
The last problem is that I have managed to slightly bend the blade at some point and it now needs replacing. This has only been something my partner noticed this last few weeks when he was using it to cut some fairly sizeable trees down to size - the blade is juddering much more and whilst still effective on the trees, it will no longer be suitable for straight cuts. The blades appear to be retailing around the £10 mark, which is quite reasonable considering the life I've had from the initial one.
This is a great power saw for a small-time diy-er like me, and at under £30 it's excellent value. I use the saw whenever possible rather than using a hand saw, I just don't see the point of hand sawing when I have this tool to hand. I definitely happily recommend this saw to keep amongst your tools, you may be surprised how often you end up calling on it.
I originally purchased this saw around 6 years ago from a local diy store on sale for around £80, over the years this saw has dropped considerably in price and can now be picked up for less than £30 which in my opinion is a fantastic bargain price for such a versatile saw.
The saw comes with two blades, a large saw blade and a jigsaw style blade so you can get what ever effect you need from this saw with the perfect finish.
I originally brought it to cut up a small tree we had cut down in the garden so that it could fit into a burning bin to be disposed of and with me having little upper body strength I needed an electric saw for this which it achieved with ease with the large blade. Since then it has been used many times, I have used the jigsaw blade to get a nice neat cut when doing the cladding in the hall way, laying laminate flooring, loft boards, cutting up plastic and metals too so this really is a very useful tool to have around as it makes so many jobs easier than they would be without it.
You dont need any special tools to change the blades on it either so it is really easy to do but the blades do get hot whilst in use so do be careful.
I find this saw really easy to use and even used it this summer whilst pregnant to cut through roof beams on our garage, cut fence panels and posts for the garden down to size as well as cutting thick shrubs in the garden down with it but my partner struggles to use it as the vibrations from it are really strong so if like him you struggle with these types of tools I would avoid it.
I have only had to buy one replacement blade for it in all these years which was from B&Q but it was more expensive than I thought it would be at £10 but they do last a long time.
The saw has a rubber hand grip on it which claims to be comfortable but it really is not if you are going to use it for a while like I did this summer as it blistered my hands so do wear gloves with it.
This saw comes in a neat plastic case to store it away after use so is ideal to have in any home for anything you would normally use a hand saw for as it makes life so much easier.
I love knocking things together out of bits of wood, whether it be guinea pig runs, wood-stores or even a fairly unpretty (but functional) table. The acquisition of the right sized bits of wood for my purposes is the tricky part, as I find hand-sawing wood tedious and arm-aching. This is where the Black and Decker Scorpion saw comes in.
We bought this power-tool about 2 years ago, mostly because we were given a load of fire-wood, which was all too long to fit in our fire-place. Wandering the power-tool section of a DIY store, we lusted over chainsaws but in the end plumped for this more mild-mannered beast, due partly to price and partly to its adaptability to other tasks, such as having a blade for metal and a jig-saw function. A multi-purpose tool seemed a better bet, especially when we can borrow my Mum's chainsaw on occasion.
The Scorpion is easy to set up and is mains powered. It has about 3 metres of sturdy black cable, which allows enough play for most use.
You don't need allan keys or any tools to change blades. It's a matter of pressing in the button next to the blade to change it and flipping over the guard to change to jig-saw mode.
To work the saw, you co-ordinate pressing the two buttons at the handle, which is a safety feature to make sure you can't accidentally set it going.
It isn't particularly loud, even when sawing, so you don't really need ear-defenders (although if working with metal, you might, as cutting metal's always a ghastly racket). I don't come away from using this with ringing ears: it's pretty quiet for a power-tool.
It's reasonably heavy at nearly 4 lbs, so is more unwieldy than a hand-saw. It's important to get used to handling it, get the feel of its balance before using on anything requiring much accuracy. If you don't have much strength in your wrists, you may find it a little awkward when using for straight sawing. There's very little vibration through the handle as you use it, so no tingling hands for me!
With only 400w of power and a relatively short saw blade, this isn't a tool for tackling really major work or tough/over-sized materials, but it is good for speeding up small-scale sawing tasks. I've used it a lot for quickly sawing fire-wood to size and accurately cutting lengths for my DIY projects and have never had any problems with it. For a guinea-pig hut, it created a nice curved door-way on the jig-saw setting. I've even used it outside to cut down small bushes and low branches too big for loppers.
It produces good fine cuts with little effort and I find it really handy.
The Scorpion is a good DIY product from a well-known brand, Black and Decker. I doubt professionals would rate it particularly highly, but it's a nice effort-saving tool for the hobbyist and casual home DIYer. It's available at £35.73 through Amazon at the moment, which isn't a bad price.
Product Features (as available from Amazon):
* Powered Handsaw
* 400 Watt
* Cuts wood, metal and plastic
* Includes Three Blades
* Suitable for cutting wood, metal and plastic
* Powered handsaw and jigsaw functions
* Tool free blade change
* Comfortable hand grip
* Safety lock
* Blade size [recip saw] 239 - 153 - 134 mm
* Lock-off switch soft grip
* Speed variable
* Cable length 3metres
* 400w motor
* 0-5500 spm
* Lock off switch
Sometimes its just great being a man! And when I bought my Black and Decker Scorpion from a local DIY shop for about £40, that was one of those moments.
I decided to go for Black and Decker as I'd had problems going for cheap makes (Draper) with other tools and felt this was something that needed to last.
The Scorpion is a 400W electric saw which makes sawing jobs fun! It comes with three attachments:
a 'large capacity blade' (ie cutting big bits of wood)
a 'curve cutting blade' (ie cutting shapes)
and a 'metal cutting blade' (ie for cutting metal!)
They slot in easily and safely to the front of the machine and lock in place. Plug your machine in, flick up the safety catch and your away cutting up whatever you want to: trees, telegraph poles, grandma's couch.
The main attachment I've used is the 'large capacity blade' for taking out thick thorny bushes and it is very helpful at getting in somewhere where there is no room to do a sawing action (or you end up with painful thorns if you do). It had absolutely no problem getting through them and did the job in no time.
I've yet to try the 'metal cutting blade', to be honest I can't see any need for me to use that. But who knows when a safe might need to be cracked?
It's just great man fun and my little scorpion has been very reliable so far and there have been no problems and for me it was £40 well spent. Granted if you're a serious workman you'll need something bigger and more substantial but for just having fun around the house and garden this has done the job for me.
I bought my black and decker scorpion about 5 years ago. At the time it was the only electic saw that I could find and I had a big DIY job to do at home.
The saw itself comes with three blades; one for wood, one for metal pipes and plastics and a third somewhat flexible blade for use as a jigsaw. So this is really three saws in one.
The blades can be changed by simply pressing a safety catch on the side, removing the old one and sloting in the new one. The metal and wood blades fit in one direction whilst the jigsaw blade fits in at a 90 degree angle for obvious reasons.
To start the saw you need to press two buttons rather like you do with lawnmowers. Its a safety precaution to ensure it isn't set off accidently. Once the saw has started you can release the safety button and rely on the main button to control the speed. The more you press the faster it goes.
To use the saw you simply make the normal sawing movements (i.e. back and forth) and this combined with the oscillations of the blade allow you to cut through stuff suprisingly quickly. I've managed to put down laminate flooring all around my house and partly boarded up my loft with this machine.
Its a bit on the heavy side as theres a big motor inside and prolonged use tends to make your hands ache. Also because of the fan used to keep the motor cool, you tend to find that dust from the item you are cutting tends to get blown about all over the place.
The jigsaw option is a nice idea but in practice I find that the bulk of the machine tends to obstruct your view of the material you are cutting. So if you are trying to accurately follow a cutting line, you have to bend yourself over the machine at an odd angle to see what you are doing. Its fine for jobs where you just need a hole and are not too bothered about accuracy but if you want a good finish you'd be better off with a proper jigsaw.
The only problem I have with the machine is that the slot where the blade slides in is badly designed. When in use, the vibrations tend to make two screws that hold the slot together come loose. This in turn means that after several months of use (especially on big jobs) you end up with a machine where the saw blades not only move backwards and forwards but they also begin to move from side to side. After a while it gets so bad that I have to send it back for repair. All thats required is to tighten up the screws, but they are placed at such an arkward angle that you'd have to open up the whole unit to do it.
Up and till last year I was lucky enough to have a black and decker dealer nearby and every 12-18 months I'd take the machine to them, they would give me a reconditioned one and repair my saw for the next person to experiance the same problem. I'm on my 3rd saw in 5 years. Unfortunately the dealer has closed and I can see the screws begining to come loose on my current unit. Eventually I guess I'm gonna have to open up the unit myself and try and fix it.
Black and decker have an excellent reputation for producing quality, long lasting products but a silly design flaw in this case has made this saw useful for only the small jobs around the house.
THIS TREE, MY LAD, IS AN EX-TREE
I live in a conservation area, so anything you do to a tree, has, at least in theory got to be approved by the council. However, in our garden, we have what I'm reliably informed is called a Siberian Crab-Apple tree. Or at least we did, but since it hasn't leafed or borne fruit for at least three years (when it did before), what we actually have is a nasty gnarled blackened wooden object that sheds brittle bits, which you only find with the mower or spills blood every time I catch my head on it whilst mowing the grass.
So I'm sorry Hounslow Council, it's coming down before it does someone a real injury.
Of course, the wherewithal to cut down a full-grown tree isn't the kind of thing that this DIYer has in his arsenal. Having resolved to leave the last eight feet of main trunk in place - the ivy entwined round it looks rather nice, the major boughs to be cut can't really be any thicker than 4 or 5 inches at the very most, narrowing down to a thumb's width.
AVOIDING A SELF-INFLICTED 'BOBBIT'
My first thought was to hire a chain saw -? nah, too expensive, and money down the drain. If I'm undertaking something new, I tend to buy a tool for the job in hand, and then I've at least got it to use again.
My second thought along the same lines was to BUY a chain saw - nah, VERY expensive, and anyway, there's something about using a chain saw that sends my blood running cold, and my 'wedding tackle' retreating to within a suitable body cavity for safety. I thinks it's the ease with which you can cut an appendage off in a moment's lapse of concentration, plus the fact that the top edge of the blade is equally capable of whisking a finger away as is the bottom edge.
It was sometime around making a similar statement to the nice man in N&J Tools, Brentford, when the Black & Decker KS890EK 'Scorpion' saw was pointed out to me. Yes, it was £20 cheaper than the cheapest chain saw, and my testicles could relax to their normal jaunty devil-may-care position.
It also looked as if it could do more than chop up logs too.
WHAT YOU GET
Included with the saw itself, you get a tough black carrying case, making even me look like I know what I'm doing. This has space to house the three blades included in the £57.86 price. Each serves a different purpose, but of most interest to me was the Scorpion 'Thick Wood' blade, which looks like a conventional handsaw blade, albeit a short one. Fearing that I might get half way through the job in hand before blunting the blade, I bought another at £12. The other two blades are a 'curve cutting blade', a kind of cruder jigsaw blade for big jobs like cutting the aperture in a kitchen worktop to drop a sink unit in, and a metal cutting blade.
The mains lead is commendably long compared to the skimpy metre or so that you usually seem to get with power tools. At least this lets you climb a step-ladder without dragging the weight of an extension lead up there with you, although a house ladder would be something else.
It would appear that according to my invoice, I get a two-year warranty too.
FEATURES AND OTHER DATA
It is designed to be used two-handed, although as you can imagine, this doesn't lend itself to working safely up a ladder. Fortunately, the switching on and off can be done with one hand, there being a safety catch which you flick with your thumb and a speed/on-off trigger which falls below your remaining* fingers. Once the safety catch is used to release the trigger, there is not need to continue gripping it, unless you release the trigger fully.
*Remaining? I hope that's not prophetic in any way!
Speed is controllable by squeezing the main trigger from a theoretical Zero strokes/minute up to 5,500. Unlike a jigsaw, this one has a very short stroke of 1 cm.
The whole thing is powered by a 400-watt mains motor, drawing 1.8 amps.
AS A JIG SAW
To use the machine as a jigsaw requires it to be tilted through 90 degrees, compared to its conventional 'Oh, I'm a lumberjack' position. To maintain a steady angle, a large moulding swings down to become a 'foot'. It can jigsaw through board some 5 cm thick, which would see off most kitchen chipboard worktops. The blade isn't dainty enough for intricate work since you can only turn a jigsaw tightly if the blade has very little back-to-back measurement. This one is about 1 cm in vertical width, which would leave hefty burn marks (and a smell to go with it) if you attempt the DIY equivalent of a hairpin bend.
Because using it standing on its head, as it were, makes access to the safety catch near impossible, there's a repeat version falling easily to grasp at this angle.
AS A METAL SAW
This only requires the fitment of an alternative blade - it still operates at the same angle as the normal wood saw. It is only recommended that you cut mild metals up to 3mm in thickness. I'd also add that ear-protectors (along with the more obvious goggles) are used, especially in a confined space as this can make an awesome racket.
AS A WOODSAW
This is where I come in. The Scorpion saw blade is recommended for use on soft wood up to 10 cm thick, (about 4"), and although some of my boughs were thicker than this, they weren't MUCH thicker than this, and anyway, they are quite often ovoid in cross-section, which means that you cut the slimmest part, but for a greater depth instead. The instructions don't say anything about how deep the wood can be!
In use, I still found this a fairly arm-aching affair, but nowhere near as bad (or dodgy) as having to work two-handed with a bow saw, whilst teetering on a ladder. I adopted a kind of sawing action, which might sound silly since it's powered, but it seemed to work faster like that, no doubt partly down to the fact that this clears the cut of saw dust quicker than any 1 centimetre stroke of the blade can. Actually, a sawing action makes sense even on thin cuts, as this evens the wear along the length of the blade without leaving one sad little blunt bit nearest the saw.
Blade wear seems reasonable for the kind of wood I'm sawing, especially bearing in mind it doesn't stop with felling the thing. It's then got to be chopped up into logs, which must mean hundreds of cuts.
Noise levels are reasonably low too.
This is a simple procedure. You simply press a button on the side of the main casing, which allows the blade to pivot downwards, from where it can be disengaged from its mounting and pulled out.
FINDING STUFF OUT THE HARD WAY
I don't think anyone would think of cutting from the underside of a projecting bough, even if they were able to stand well clear with the saw at arm's length. This leads to the saw blade becoming stuck in the cut as the weight of the bough hinges downwards.
However, cutting from the top isn't quite the bed of roses you'd think either. It's obviously the place to start, but I still ended up with a stuck blade on more than one occasion. Fortunately, you can disengage the blade, leaving it behind, as described in the last paragraph. The problem lies with the fact that not all boughs are about to break in a vertical direction. Some of them are loaded up with branches in an asymmetric way, which leads them to twist as they fall - it makes sense to lighten the load if you can reach by getting as many of these off in the first place, but of course, if they're beyond ladder reach, they come down with the main bough in question. After a while, i.e. just before I'd bloody finished, I got quite adept at judging how much of a slant from the horizontal was needed on my cutting from the top.
I've still got plenty of logs to chop up, but the blade seems to be holding up, so the spare can live to fight another day. The smaller stuff I'm putting through my neighbour's Bosch compactor to boost the flagging tree-bark on a few of my raised beds.
GLAD I BOUGHT IT?
Yes, I suppose so, and if that sounds like being damned with faint praise, in a way it is. Whilst this saw will be a damned sight more useful than a chain saw, to me at least, it still won't find much work. Sure, I can think of plenty of things I've ALREADY DONE which it could have done better, but that's not the point. Its major task will do doubt be the chopping up of logs. I'm not sure how I come by them, but a bi-annual trip to Norfolk to increase my in-laws' woodpile always seems to happen, so I guess the stuff must come from somewhere.
Anyway, it was still cheaper than the cheapest chain saw, and it doesn't give me a funny feeling 'in my water', or anywhere else either!
After seeing this product on tv my wife bought it for me after the first time I used it the blade was slack, on the third time of using the tool the blade and blade holder flew off. It was held onto the reciprecating arm by 2 3mm screws, both heads had sheared off. I tried to get through to a customer service number at Spennymoor waiting for over 20 minutes each time to no avail, so it goes in the bin, total time used 45 minutes.
The girlf and I have joust bought a house. It's barely 4 years old and so I didn't think I would be doing any DIY on it for the foreseeable future. Why, then, have I spent more time than ever before in B&Q since moving in? It would seem that DIY is an inescapable fact of moving house. The project in question was the boarding of the loft for additional storage. The problem, that the loft boards were 30mm too long. The solution? A saw. Those of you that are familiar with loft-boarding will know that it's chipboard, approximately 20mm thick, sold in strips that measure around 1m x 0.3m. To cut a 30mm slice off the short end is no mean feat. I tried using a regular hand-saw and 4 minutes (and one aching arm) later, I'd done one. Looking across at the pile of boards remaining (another 20), I figured that there must be an easier way. 15 minutes later and I was in B&Q, perusing the wide selection of power tools on offer, pondering over which would be best suited for the job. A jig saw looked too flimsy. A circular saw looked more than a little scary (and not easy to use in the loft!). The only other option was the niftily titled "Scoprion" power saw. resplendent in it's Black & Decker Orange livery and with the picture of a scorpions tail painted on the side, this surely looked the tool for the job. The blade looked long enough to get the job done without being unweildy, the teeth fine enough to cut cleanly. The power cord long enough to give me room to work and the handle comfortable enough to hold for short bursts of sawing. My decision made and the trusty plastic duly 'swiped' I was heading home. Supplied in a tough plastic carry-case, the saw comes with a 3m power cord and three saw-blades. The blades can be changed at the press of a button, simply swinging the old one out of place and snapping the new one home. The blades in question are for general purpose wood sawing (the biggest blade), a ha
cksaw blade for plastics and metal and a jigsaw blade for use on wood when cutting corners etc (like a jigsaw only not quite). The bulk of the saw is made from the standard B&D high-impact orange plastic, slightly bulky but reasonably well balanced, it feels fairly comfortable in the hand. The controls are simple enough, there is a trigger that is squeezed to control the speed of the sawing but before this can be depressed, a safety catch must be released. There are two of these safety catches, one for use when doing regular sawing and the other for use when using the Scoprion as a jig-saw. Once the safety is released, the trigger can be squeezed which starts the saw blade buzzing backwards & forwards. While it only moves a relatively short distance (about 10mm), the fact that it does so up to 6,500 times a minute means that it can cut pretty rapidly. Using a regular sawing motion, the cutting enhanced by the rapidly oscillating blade, I was slicing through loft-boards at the rate of one every 10 seconds compared to the 3 - 4 minutes it had taken with a 'manual' saw. The cut is clean and the sawing action easy to control. The body provides for plenty of grip and the blade can be angled relatively easily. At first it was a little difficult to get used to. The safety switches are awkwardly placed and not the easiest of things to press. The saw also has quite a kick to it when it first hits the surface being cut. Far better to pilot the cut without the motor on before letting rip with the full power of the scoprion, at least this way it's harder for the saw to jump out and skitter along the edge you are trying to cut. Finally, when the last cut is made the saw carries on moving ready to cut into whatever gets in the way, whether that be power cable, a foot or a nice piece of furniture. All of these things combine to make the Scoprion live up to it's name. If you're not careful, it would all too easily have a sting in it's tail
! The motor itself is fairly noisy, luckily it makes such short work of cutting that you shouldn't have it on for long periods of time so ear protection isn't essential. When cutting wood, the sawdust is kicked up a little more than with a regular hand-saw simply because the blade is moving so fast. Because of this I would advise wearing a mask, especially if working in a confined space (like a loft!). I've not yet used it in "jig-saw" mode, but I am confident that it will get by. I don't expect it to be as good as a purpose-built jig-saw, but for rough work it should be fine. Replacement blades retail for between £10 and £15 which is a little more than a new hand-saw would cost but the time savings provided by the Scorpion are immense and can speed up any job that involves a lot of cutting. And besides, its another power-tool. How much more of an excuse do you need?
Bought my Scorpion saw in February 2002 to help me out with a particular problem on a DIY attic conversion project. I needed a tool to cut through the studs in a partition wall, with minimum disturbance, to allow me to insert lintels over doorways. Having watched the advert on TV, I bought the saw, and it was the ideal answer to my problem. In fact, it worked so well, that I began to use it for all my wood-cutting tasks on the project. It was also very handy, using the metal-cutting blade, for cutting slate nails out of my way on the the roof sarking. I made extensive use of the tool, and praised it to everyone who would listen. However........after around six weeks of regular use, I began to be aware of acute "pins & needles" sensations in hands. The feeling just wouldn't go away, no matter how often I clenched and unclenched my hands. A couple of weeks later, I telephoned Black & Decker's customer service line, to find out whether this could anything to do with the tool. I can't go into too much detail here, but suffice to say that, over eight months later, I'm deadlocked in an argument with Black & Decker's Product Liability Loss Adjusters. They have told me, and Trading Standards, that NOBODY else in the UK has had any problem with use of the Scorpion Saw. It occurred to me that some of you guys out there might disagree. If you do, please add your comment/review.
I saw this saw in a DIY shop, and thought it looked like a good buy, I was right. This saw has a variety of extras. This saw has a dual position which allows it to be used as a handsaw or jigsaw. This makes this saw a buy, on it's own, but there is more. There is a variable speed button at the fingertips, which allows you to be able to cut safely and carefully, without bother. It also comes with a dual lock-off switch for safety. Another advantage is the three different blades that are supplied with the product. These blades are used for, cutting wood and plastics, cutting metals and tubing, and the other is used for cutting the smoothest curves ever! The push button blade clamping mechanism, is also an advantage. Along with a manufacter's 2 year guarantee and a three metre cable, you can't really complain!
Includes assorted cutting blades for all kind of materials