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Rockwell BladeRunner FirstLook

The  Rockwell BladeRunner arrived at the RainyDayMagazine office at the end of 2010. We have finally had a chance to take a FirstLook at the machine. The BladeRunner is a new kind of saw: it combines the features of a jig saw, scroll saw, and band saw. For DIY-ers with limited workshop space, this Rockwell BladeRunner may be the perfect solution.

The first thing we noticed was the weight of the machine. The saw is surprisingly light for its size. One of the reasons is that the base is made of a synthetic material. The other is that the platform, normally made of steel, is instead made of a lightweight alloy. To make the surface more durable, it is covered with a stainless steel skin. The entire unit is less than 18 lbs! If you own other bench-top saws, you know how incredible that is.

The ON/OFF switch and motor speed knobs are located in the support feet for easy access. The miter gauge is designed to slide into the built-in tracks and can be locked down tight for precise angle cuts. Integrated into the base is the carrying handle, as well as various drawers for blade storage and dust collection.

While the weight makes the BladeRunner easy to transport, its design makes it quick to set up. The overhead arm can be quickly and firmly installed with just two machine screws and a hex key. Once the proper blade for the job is inserted, plug it in, and you are ready to go. It is really that simple.

The view from underneath gives an idea the simplicity of the BladeRunner. There is not much there but a big motor. It is centrally positioned and well supported. The thick rubber feet and molded base will isolate any vibration. By using the appropriate t-shank blade, the saw will cut wood, metal, plastic, aluminum, and ceramic tile. From first impressions, this saw is intelligently designed and well constructed. We are eager to try it out.

There are a few accessories (wall mount, circle cutter, frame cutter) available for the BladeRunner. We will take a look at the circle and frame cutters as part of the FirstUse review. We will also talk more about the usability of the machine at that time. We are looking at a few potential projects for the BladeRunner. The project write-ups will be available in the Summer iPad issue of RainyDayRenovations. Look for it in the Apple App Store in July.

NOTE: The ability to wall-mount a saw is unique to the BladeRunner and the mount really should be included. Apparently, Rockwell thinks so as well. All of the the BladeRunners now shipping comes with the wall mount as part of the package. Unfortunately, ours did not come with one. If we find a mount for the saw, we’ll show how to mount it.

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