Thread Number: 43735  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Vintage Craftsman reciprocating saw
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Post# 456505   9/4/2022 at 20:57 (598 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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So, I was a little restless and bored this afternoon, which is always dangerous. I ended up at this little antiques mall nearby, which I hadn't visited in six or eight months. Not much had changed, really except some of the booths were now decorated for Halloween instead of Easter. There's one booth there that makes me feel like I'm back in my grandfather's basement. It's poorly lit and stuffed with vintage tools and electronics. Price tags are color coded with various levels of discount assigned to each color. Today, the sign said white and tan tags were half off. As it turned out, the one thing that caught my eye, an old Craftsman reciprocating saw, probably from the 1960s, judging from the logo, which has the Craftsman word mark inside of an elongated crown, had a white tag. Given its vintage, the build quality on this thing would probably pass for industrial grade by modern standards.

Anyway, the price tag said $15.99, which meant I snagged it for $8. Not bad, especially considering it's a tool I didn't have and occasionally find myself needing. When I got it home and plugged it in, it ran beautifully. It didn't have a blade, but as icing on the proverbial cake, I looked inside this big old red, rolling Craftsman toolbox that had belonged to my dad and found inside an unopened blister pack of five Craftsman reciprocating saw blades in assorted sizes. Talk about something that was simply meant to be.

It's too late for camera work tonight, but I may post some photos of it tomorrow.

Post# 456577 , Reply# 1   9/7/2022 at 17:34 (595 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Photos, as promised...

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So, here are the promised photos of my new (to me) Craftsman 'Recipro Saw', along with the pack of blades I found in my dad's stuff. He's been gone four and a half years and is still looking out for me.

There's a threaded socket on the right side, opposite that side handle, so it looks like the handle can be moved from the left side to the right. Being left-handed, it would be handy (no pun intended) to set the saw up for left-handed use (left hand on the switch and right hand on the side handle), not to mention it would give right-handers who might want to borrow it a taste of what I have to put up with day in and day out ;)

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 456597 , Reply# 2   9/8/2022 at 13:30 (594 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
nice tool!

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Yes, we 'lefties' suffer a lot in a right-handed world.

Post# 456645 , Reply# 3   9/10/2022 at 01:23 (592 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Nice Vintage Craftsman recip saw!Been YEARS since I "saw" one of these!Don't have any older recip saws-Cordless DeWalt and Milwaukee.Both work well easier than a chain saw to cut up storm fallen limbs!

Post# 456652 , Reply# 4   9/10/2022 at 09:19 (592 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Speaking of vintage Craftsman reciprocating saws, this one is on my wish list. This one is a model 900.27210, part of the Industrial series of tools for commercial use, which is similar to Black & Decker's model 3103-09 (this particular Craftsman version was sold from 1980-84).


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Post# 456656 , Reply# 5   9/10/2022 at 12:10 (592 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I have a Coleman branded cordless reciprocating saw that came as part of a cordless tool kit from Pep Boys, I think. Made of the finest chinesium. The kit also has a drill, a small circular saw and a flashlight. It isn't very powerful, so the Craftsman saw will be a nice upgrade. I also have a Black & Decker Zip Saw, which seems to be an attempt to combine a reciprocating saw and a small sabre saw into one unit. It's good for some things but it's definitely not a heavy duty design.

The more I look at this Craftsman saw, the more I realize what an odd design it is, especially after looking at Ben's photo above. It honestly looks like they grafted the business end of a reciprocating saw onto the back end of a hedge trimmer. I'm not sure what they were thinking but I'll be interested to test out the ergonomics of that handle arrangement and see which of the two secondary grips works better.

Post# 456716 , Reply# 6   9/12/2022 at 19:26 (590 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Black & Decker also had similar designs with their home use reciprocating saws, models 7554 (orange or black) and 7574 (antique gold or industrial gray) they had sold between the late 1970s and mid 1980s. Neither one, unlike your Craftsman, had an assist handle.


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Post# 456741 , Reply# 7   9/13/2022 at 20:04 (589 days old) by huskyvacs (Gnaw Bone, Indiana)        

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I noticed that too, they used the same mold as their hedge trimmers to make this - its really strange.

This must have been when they were first invented and that was the only way they could think of to do it.

Post# 456802 , Reply# 8   9/16/2022 at 01:33 (586 days old) by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Just wonderin'

who was making most of the power tools for craftsman back in the 60's-70's?

Post# 456830 , Reply# 9   9/17/2022 at 00:41 (585 days old) by repairman (Woodridge, IL)        

Anything with the 315. prefix from back in the day was made by Diehl Manufacturing.

Post# 456842 , Reply# 10   9/17/2022 at 22:14 (585 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Yeah, basing a reciprocating saw on a hedge trimmer design makes a certain amount of sense from a manufacturing standpoint as the two tools could presumably share a lot of the same parts. Whether or how much it makes sense from a functional standpoint is another question entirely. I'll be interested to find out the answer to that when I get around to giving it a go for the first time.

Post# 456948 , Reply# 11   9/21/2022 at 15:07 (581 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Another Vintage Craftsman Power Tool...

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So, another vintage Craftsman power tool, a router, followed me home from Goodwill last night. It was a little more expensive than the Recipro saw but again, it was a tool I didn't have and I knew I had a set of router bits in the same toolbox where I'd found the reciprocating saw blades. I'd never paid much attention to them, but I opened up the package when I got home. The plastic clamshell box was still in its cardboard sleeve and the bits had obviously never been used. Moreover, the original receipt from 1972 was tucked in under the cardboard. Time capsule!

The funny thing is I remember Dad getting a router back in the early '70s, about the time these bits were purchased, but I don't remember him ever using it and it wasn't with his other power tools that I brought home in 2016.

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