can you see/verify orbital action on a reciprocating saw?

Old 09-06-18, 09:54 PM
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can you see/verify orbital action on a reciprocating saw?

My 8.5Amp corded black and decker got sideways-rained on and brushes were going anyway and it stopped working after rain, I tried cleaning minor rust/corrosion from brushes/motor after rain but didn't fix and wasn't worth perusing further so I threw the innards in the scrap metal and saved the cord for another tool.

I found on ebay a new craftsman 17196 10A orbital for just $36 shipped!

it may have been previously opened but the shoe and everything close up looks like it was never used on anything.

First time owning an orbital sawsall but I can't tell if this thing is defective and not orbiting or not.
Can you physically look at the blade and tell if it's in orbit mode or not?
I tried youtube videos but didn't see what I was looking for.

It has a slow mode dial and I put an extra long blade on but can't tell a difference. If anything it seems to be going up and down a tad 1/8" - 1/4" on both modes. Can't see anything but a blur until the last few pumps when it's slows down either so hard to tell.

I tested both ripping a 2x6 longways but that 2x6 is rotted from outside so was easy either way.

I'm just trying to figure out if I got a defective unit or something.

When I switch to orbital I do see the blade adapter part click up/downward a 1/8" but blade action looks the same.
Old 09-06-18, 10:03 PM
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It looks like it has adjustable stroke setting.
The shorter distance (less blade travel) would be for metal and the longer for woods.
It's pretty hard to see the actual stroke length.

Put a metal blade in there and take it for a ride. Sounds like it's working ok.
Old 09-06-18, 10:03 PM
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The orbital setting does not make a huge adjustment... and you may not be able to perceive it until you get a feel for the saw through many hours of use. You can't usually even tell when cutting through something soft like wood. But you often can tell when cutting a metal pipe for instance. Less orbital will be smoother... easier to control the blade because the saw does not orbit up and down as much as it goes in and out... its more straight back and forth like a hacksaw. While maximum orbital is usually a little too bouncy to start a cut with a fine tooth blade. But maximum orbit will cut faster through soft woods, doing demo and such.
Old 09-07-18, 01:48 AM
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On any orbital action saw I have owned the instructions specifically said not to use orbital action when cutting metal as the mechanism could be damaged.
What do your instructions say?
Old 09-10-18, 05:55 PM
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ok thanks so I guess I shouldn't even be able to see if it's in orbit or not. Maybe when cutting something hard I would be able to feel it.

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