If you’re a woodworker who values versatility as much as value in your tool purchases, Rockwell’s new BladeRunner™ benchtop saw ($159.99) could be quite appealing. Its unique design enables it to perform many of the functions of a jigsaw, scroll saw and band saw in one tool. The machine takes any standard length T-shank jigsaw blade, and it operates like an inverted jigsaw, with a top-mounted control arm and guide rollers that prevent the blade from flexing. Straight, curved or internal cutouts are all possible. Total blade stroke, delivered by the the BladeRunner’s 5 amp variable-speed motor, is 7/8-inch. It will cut wood up to 1-1/2″ thick, 1-1/4″ PVC, 3/8″ aluminum or ceramic tile and even 1/8″ steel, depending on the blade you choose. Blade changes are made easier and without tools using a pull lever.
Workpieces are supported by the machine’s 17″ x 15-3/4″ stainless steel table. Crossing T-slots and a miter gauge/rip fence combination allow you to make crosscuts, angled and rip cuts. BladeRunner’s base is impact resistant, with rubber feet to help dampen vibration. An integral 1-1/4″ vacuum port should help keep the cutting area cleaner. The tool weighs 18 pounds, and its portability and compact size can be enhanced by Rockwell’s Wall Mount accessory — available separately for $29.99 or packaged with the tool for $179.99. It serves either as a means to stow the machine or to create an off-the-bench work center for smaller cutting jobs. Other optional attachments are available for cutting picture frames and circles, and these sell for $29.99 each.