When it comes to reciprocating saws, Milwaukee’s line matches other brands out there due to their power and specs. If you are considering getting a one of its Hackzall mini reciprocating saws, read the article below to find out more.
We’ll be looking at two of the most popular models: the Milwaukee 2420-20 and the Milwaukee 2520-20. Although they do look the same, there are certain distinctions, which are good to know and which I’ll review below.
A Quick Look at the Milwaukee M12 Hackzalls
Each of these two Milwaukee reciprocating saws uses cordless power with the M12 (12V) battery system. They are both compact tools so they are ideal for those who need a small tool to add to their arsenal.
This lightweight reciprocating saw features a variable speed trigger (0 to 3,000 SPM) for easily working on different kinds of materials. At only 11 inches in length and weighing 2.2 pounds, this model has a keyless QUIK-LOK blade clamp so changing the saw blade is a breeze. You can use both Hackzall and Sawzall blades with this unit.
What I like about this tool is that the battery fuel gauge lets you know right away when it needs to be charged. Also, there’s an LED work light to illuminate your way to avoid mistakes when cutting in low lighting. A single charge of its 12V lithium-ion battery (sold separately) will guarantee cuts to around 80 pieces of 1-1/2-inch PVC. Additionally, its compact design makes it easier to use even in awkward positions.
With its 1/2-inch stroke length, it is capable of handling drywall, PVC, wood, and the like. The tool is backed by a 5-year limited warranty.
As a similar low-profile reciprocating saw, the Milwaukee 2520-20 has a brushless motor that extends the tool’s lifespan. This is because the brushless motor reduces tool heat. Furthermore, brushless motors decrease vibration to reduce user fatigue. Its REDLINK PLUS intelligence system improves battery and tool communication to avoid wasted power.
The speed is also variable from 0 to 3,000 RPM and it has an LED guiding light for convenience. While this tool is also at 11 inches in length, it is slightly heavier at 3.2 pounds and has a stroke length of 5/8 inches (bigger than the previous model). The design and the power of the tool are both applicable for deck building projects when cutting common 2×2 or 4×4 pieces.
In terms of convenience, the QUIK-LOK keyless blade clamp is still there to help with faster blade changes. Like the 2420-20 tool, this one is also backed by a 5-year limited warranty.
Milwaukee 2420-20 vs. 2520-20: Similarities
Since they are both from the same manufacturer and similar line of products (M12 Hackzall reciprocating saws), they are bound to have many similarities, such as the following:
These two cordless mini reciprocating saws both use the M12 battery system (12 volts). The M12 battery system uses lithium-ion for a longer-lasting charge. Compared to traditional batteries, these have no memory effect, which means your tool won’t drain automatically when in storage. This is good news for those who only use the reciprocating saw casually.
Keep in mind that even if you do have other Milwaukee tools, you cannot interchange the M12 with the M18 battery system, since they have a different voltage. Nonetheless, there are many tools out there from the same manufacturer that use the M12 battery, which also comes in different sizes. The REDLITHIUM™ XC 4.0 Battery Pack is used by these two tools.
Both these two tools have variable speed control, going from 0 to 3,000 RPM. Having variable speed in a power tool (and not just with a mini reciprocating saw) is useful because you will work easier and faster with nearly any material, whether it’s wood or PVC.
The ability to control the speed of a tool will also reduce the wear and tear of the blade and the mechanical components. You certainly don’t need high speed for a soft material so having the variable speed control proves useful. Not only that – a lower speed will eat up less battery so you can work on multiple tasks at hand.
As compact or mini reciprocating saws, they both have a length of 11 inches. Having a very compact tool is useful for those who work in awkward positions or in tight spaces. The standard reciprocating saw is about 18 to 19 inches, so having an 11-inch tool is much better for those who find themselves in some less-than-comfortable working positions.
If you’re the worker who puts many items in their toolbox then having a compact reciprocating saw is important. You’ll be able to fit other power tools inside, as well as accessories and whatever else you’ll need for your project with little hassle.
Quick blade changes
Thanks to the QUIK-LOK keyless blade clamp, these two reciprocating saws reduce the delay and downtime for changing the blade on your saw. Imagine having to change the blade for different materials – this can be super time-consuming! That’s why a keyless blade clamp will ease that trouble and provide you with more time to work on your projects.
Milwaukee 2420-20 vs. 2520-20: Differences
While they are indeed from the same manufacturer, they have certain differences that make them stand out from each other, such as the following:
The stroke length of a saw is dependent on the materials you’ll be working with, as well as how fast you want to get your job done. Ideally, a bigger stroke length is much better for a reciprocating saw, but if you’re not too meticulous or if you only need a usable reciprocating saw for basic home DIY tasks, you’re going to do just fine with the 1/2-inch stroke length.
The Milwaukee 2420-20 (at 2.2 pounds) is slightly lighter in weight compared to the 2520-20 tool (3.2 pounds).
A lighter weight is important for tool management, especially if you are often fatigued from carrying it all day. Although the weight difference is not so significant if you prefer a much lighter tool to carry around then go for the 2.2-pound model instead.
As for the motor design, the Milwaukee 2520-20 has a brushless motor while the 2420-20 tool does not. This means that the former has less likelihood of overheating or excessive vibration, which will reduce user fatigue and improve the lifespan of the tool as well.
Not all power tools you see on the market are brushless, but just because they are without this feature doesn’t mean they’re a bad tool. It’s just that brushless motors tend to have a longer lifespan due to their cool-running design.
Which of the 12-Volt Milwaukee Hackzalls Should You Get?
While both of these tools are great mini reciprocating saws to consider, if you prefer a longer stroke length, the Milwaukee 2520-20 is for you since it is 5/8 inches, as compared to the 1/2-inch stroke length of the 2420-20 tool. This would be ideal for bigger projects that require a longer saw stroke.
On the other hand, as for the weight, the Milwaukee 2420-20 takes the cake, since it is slightly lighter at only 2.2 pounds versus the weight of the Milwaukee 2520-20 at 3.2 pounds.
To wrap it up, both the Milwaukee 2420-20 and 2520-20 are quality mini reciprocating saws to put in your tool arsenal. Not only are they compact in design but they also pack convenience due to the one-handed operation, variable speed, lithium-ion cordless power, and quick-change system for the blade. Whether it’s a deck project or any woodwork at hand, these two reciprocating saws are worth the investment.