Milwaukee has indeed made good on their promise to join DeWalt in entering the hand tool market under their power-tool-famous brand, and one of their new products even made it into our Favorites of 2011 list. This drywall saw caught my attention as well as a potential replacement for my Husky 5-in-1 drywall tool. Honestly, I hate the Husky, except for one thing: it works. It’s ugly, it’s awkward, and it looks like a Swiss Army knife designed for a two-year-old. But it does a great job of making accurate holes in drywall, so it gets a good bit of use around my house.
But when I sit down and really think about it, I spend probably 80% of my time with the Husky using the saw and the rasp. Considering that I have at least a dozen utility knives around the house, maybe a saw/rasp combination makes more sense.
This tool doesn’t exactly require a lot of explanation. It’s a saw, and it’s sharp enough to jab in to make its own pilot hole. The real difference between this and the jab saw I lost years ago is that Milwaukee cut four small slots into the saw’s blade, angling the edges to make what looks to be a pretty effective rasp. (For those of you who don’t accidentally knock holes in your walls often enough to need regular patching, the process generally consists of cutting out a roughly square hole then rasping down the edges bit by bit to square them off and/or make a perfect fit for your patch — or in-wall speaker or whatever it is you’re installing.)
Of course, each rasp style offers some advantages. The Milwaukee’s narrow rasp will work much better for adjusting hole shape in tiny amounts or for quickly widening a small hole. The Husky’s wide, flat rasp does a great job of straightening out long cuts, but is way too big to fit into smaller holes. So in the end, maybe I just need both.
Expect to pay around $10 for these in stores. In the short run, I think I’ll pick one up to toss in my household tool caddy. In the long run, I think I’ll end up ditching the 5-in-1 for a good jab saw, a nice long/flat rasp, and a quality utility knife.