The Ridgid R3002 Fuego Orbital Reciprocating Saw has a variety of features that one should look for when choosing a recip saw. First of all, the saw has a comfortable feel in the hands - not too heavy, but heavy enough to give the saw a bit of ballast when making some heavy duty cuts. The saw has a toolless blade clamp for quick and easy blade changes, a pivoting show, which allows the blade teeth to be used at different positions on the blade, a variable speed trigger and orbital cutting action for faster cutting when a smooth cut isn't a priority. In testing, the Ridgid R3002 made quick work of every cut it was asked to make, and although every reciprocating saw is going to have a lot of vibration, I didn't notice any more vibration being translated to the hands than any other recip saw I've used.
Additionally, it comes with a three year limited service warranty and a 90 day satisfaction guarantee, plus, if you register the tool with Ridgid, their lifetime service agreement kicks in, which covers all defects in workmanship or materials and normal wear items of the original, registered tool owner (including brushes, chucks, motors, switches, cords and more - see Ridgid's website for more information). All in all, I'm rather impressed with this reciprocating saw.
Features and Specifications
The Ridgid R3002 Reciprocating Saw has the following specifications:
- Variable speed trigger
- 3/4-inch stroke length
- No-load variable speed of 0-3500 RPM
- 120-volt, 9-amp AC input
- Weight of 7 pounds
- Includes reciprocating saw, a wood cutting blade, a bi-metal cutting blade, a tool bag and operating manual
Unlike many reciprocating saws that require a blade wrench to loosen or tighten the blade into the blade clamp, the R3002 utilizes a twist-able mechanism that allows for quick and easy blade changes. Simply twist the chuck and slip the end of the blade into the clamp before releasing the chuck.
This allows blade changes to be very quick and easy, and the blades can be inserted with the teeth facing either upwards or downwards for greater versatility.
The shoe on the tip of the R3002 tilts both upwards and downwards for cutting at various angles, and the shoe can be adjusted inward or outward (toward or away from the saw). Since, for safety reasons, one should always keep the shoe against the work when cutting, this allows for different sections of the blade to be used (rather than just a short section of the blade being over-used). By using as much of the blade as possible, you'll save money by needing to buy fewer blades.
On the top of the saw, Ridgid has placed a twist-able selector for choosing the saw's orbital action. When in linear mode, the saw uses a basic, back and forth cutting action, which produces a smoother cut. By contrast, when in orbital mode, the saw will cut faster but the results will not be as smooth.
Additional features include an illuminated electrical plug (which light up when the saw is connected to power) and externally accessible brushes, which can be easily changed without the need to open the tool's housing.
Using the Ridgid R3002
When using the Ridgid R3002 Reciprocating Saw, be sure to read and follow all of the safety precautions that are listed in the operating manual. This includes using safety glasses to protect your eyesight and wearing appropriate clothing to not only protect your skin from debris, but to reduce the chance of baggy clothing getting caught in the tool, which can be very dangerous.
The Ridgid R3002 Reciprocating Saw can be utilized to cut a variety of wood material, including lumber, plywood, medium density fiberboard (MDF), particle board and more. Other construction materials such as drywall, masonite, plastic, sheet steel, pipe, copper tubing, rebar and other steel rods can all be cut using the appropriate blade type.
The R3002 can utilize standard reciprocating saw blades from nearly any recip blade manufacturer. Ridgid recommends blades with 18 TPI (teeth per inch) for hard metals, 14 TPI for soft metals or plastic, and 10 TPI for hardwoods and softwoods.
To use the saw, hold the saw firmly away from your body, with the shoe on the tip of the saw against the workpiece. Depress the trigger slowly to begin cutting, and increase speed as desired while cutting through the wood (or other material). Allow the saw to do the work, rather than forcing the blade through the material.
NOTE: When cutting with 12-inch long blades, use caution, particularly at high speeds, as the blade can tend to whip left and right as speed increases. Ridgid recommends that longer blades be avoided when plunge cutting.