Product Type: Black & Decker Power Saw
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A sting in the tale?
Black & Decker Scorpion 400W Handsaw
Member Name: LegendaryMrDude
Black & Decker Scorpion 400W Handsaw
Date: 21/03/03, updated on 21/03/03 (2781 review reads)
Advantages: Speed of sawing, It's a Power tool!
Disadvantages: Cost, Takes some getting used to
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?