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Milwaukee sawzall problem...anyone else?

patrickofm's picture

Ive been using a 7.5 amp Mil sawzall for a couple of years.  Its decent and has the metal quick change.  Only one problem, every so often (once every 5-10 hrs of use ?) for no reason it stops working, I mean nothing!  When I open th case and test it it works.  So i figure short somewhere I test the wires but I can't find any shorts. I usually fix my own tools, so I put in new bushes,  same problem, so I changed the trigger, nada.  So I bypassed the speed control dial, thought that was it but no.  It,s always the same it works great and then it just won't start I open it up and it works, I've checked all the wires.  I knew a guy had a sawzall for like 12 years and it was still going strong.  It's not like I use the thing every day.  Anyhow this is pissing me off.  The price of the new sawzall that matches this one is like $300.00 it's not the end of the world or anything it's just after messing with it so long I don't want to give up.  Oh yah I've got the stupid detachable power cord, anyone ever had problems with that?

(post #121111, reply #1 of 30)

My supersawzall stops every now and then. Pull trigger tap the metal housing with a hammer. This is what my tool repair shop showed me, it works.

Steve C

(post #121111, reply #2 of 30)

O.K. but what's with that?  This makes no sense to me.  What the.... is Milwaukee up to ?

(post #121111, reply #9 of 30)

Thanks for the tip steve, i went to work this morning, I'm up a ladder notching something, and it stops... so I pull the trigger and whack it on the ladder rung, amazing, it's like I'm The Fonz the thing starts working again.  I swear to god if that thing hadn't started today i would have thrown it in the garbage.

(post #121111, reply #10 of 30)

im gonna have to try that my pal (the one who recently passed) gave me a old sawlzall and i had the trigger switch replaced and it still stops i cant get rid of it cuz it was my best pals so ill just put a hammer in the old metal case and see what happens next time  


At Darkworks  Customer satisfaction Job One..Yea yea were all over it , I ll have it done by next Tuesday Oh yea I need another draw.........

(post #121111, reply #3 of 30)

Pure speculation, but I suspect that you have a bad segment on the communter. If it happens to stop so that the brushes are rest on that bad segment then it won't run. But if it get moved just a bet, which happens when you "work" on it. the it will work.

. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #121111, reply #6 of 30)

My saw started cutting out on me after a couple of years of use.  Turned out to be  the detachable cord.   Only advantage of the detachable cord is the speed of replacement!

(post #121111, reply #4 of 30)

There's a good chance "the stupid detachable power cord" is the problem. I've had the problem with both a Sawzall and a drill with the quik-lok cord. Replaced the cord and problem solved. Next time it goes dead try wiggling the cord up by the plug. Not unplugging the cord before putting the tool in the case seems to really shorten the life of the cord.

(post #121111, reply #5 of 30)

Ya, what is it with the idea of the detachable powercord anyhow? Seems me more on the headache side instead of some supposed benefit.

Thanks jc, now you're going to make me paranoid to stick my saw back in it's case. Roar!

Half of good living is staying out of bad situations.

The other...proper application of risk.




(post #121111, reply #7 of 30)

I don't know what the point of the quik-lok is other than as Bill says, ease of replacement. They sure don't seem to last as long so what's the point? Great saw otherwise.

(post #121111, reply #15 of 30)

I've got a couple of Super Sawzalls and both get worked hard and a lot.  The old one has the fixed cord and the setscrew blade holder, the newer one has the detacheable cord and the quick release blade holder.

I've replaced the fixed cord twice in 12 years (not unreasonable); the newer one is too new to have a problem.

A couple of my Milwaukie drill motors have detacheable cords, as does my rotary hammer.  Never had a problem...the rotary hammer is 7 years old and gets used a lot.



To the guy who likes his Dewalt and hates the Sawzall:  All I can say is he must be unlucky or I've just been fortunate, but My Sawzalls have been pretty brutalized, yet have remained very reliable.














Jules Quaver for President   2004


(post #121111, reply #16 of 30)

I have an old original sawzall (fixed foot, fixed cord and blade set screw) and a new super sawzall, the old one stops every once in a while.  I think it's a dead spot in the commutator - no problem with the new one other than it's way too powerful and it destroys blades like crazy.  I'll take the old one over the new one any day

(post #121111, reply #17 of 30)

My Super Sawzall has been my loyal companion through a multitude of jobs ranging from trimming trees to building decks.  A long time ago, I did a job for a guy that wanted to sell his house as a 2 family.  It was actually a 1 family that had been converted.  The real estate broker told him he needed another exit for the second floor.  The broker gave him my number,  I checked out his problem, talked to the building inspector who told me the easiest way was to put a window in the back bedroom which would allow a person to go out the window to a small flat roof and down a wrought iron ladder attached to the house.   The guy was amazed when he saw the hole I cut in the wall with the Sawzall to put in the window.  Needless to say, he sold the house as a 2 family.   Love that Sawzall!

(post #121111, reply #18 of 30)

My Milwaukee Sawsall whines after being used. I have assumed it has something to do with the electronics in the speed control.

(post #121111, reply #19 of 30)

>> My Milwaukee Sawsall whines after being used.

Can I hire you to write my straight lines?


(post #121111, reply #20 of 30)

I've discovered that if I put the blade in the Super Sawzall with the teeth facing up it is MUCH easier to control.  The Super Sawzall is far too aggressive for any kind of careful work.

Milwaukee sawzall problem...anyone else? (post #121111, reply #26 of 30)

I've found there are only a few good things about the Quik-Lok power cords. One you can change the lenght and not have that

darn extention cord plug getting caught on any little things it wants to.  Second if you have two tools that use it, and one cord

goes, the other is like a spare, especially if you are working out in the boon docks.  I bought the super sawall the year it came out

and I believe I put at least three 10 ft cords on it.  That's how I got here today.  I couldn't find one in stock close by so I ordered

two of them from Amazon.  Now I have a real spare.  You are right except for quick replacement it is sort 'a s stupid idea, but

Milwalkee sells a lot of them, or I would have found one a little easier. If you need one?

I've had a 25........ (post #121111, reply #28 of 30)

for my screw gun and bought another one.  My milwaukee stuff is so old-'72 on the sawzall and  '75 screw gun.

2-25's in that time-came with an eight maybe.  The sawzall doesn't have the quick connect.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


(post #121111, reply #8 of 30)

A reconditioned one I used for Habitat had a problem with a bad switch. In our case, it worked fine and then completely stopped working, different from what you're describing. Still might be a problem with the switch.


(post #121111, reply #11 of 30)

Every Milwaukee sawzall I have ever encountered has been a piece of crap.

 Do yourself a favor, instead of flushing a couple of hundred bucks on another one, just buy a $99 Dewalt, it'll run circles around any milwaukee at any price and last three times as long.

( this only works for sawzalls, I'm not really one of those closet dewalt fetishists)

(post #121111, reply #12 of 30)

I am with the group of tappers,slappers,wackers. If you hit it, it will work. I have 2 3/8 Milwaukee drills with their own problems. They start out strong, but once worked hard, they get so hot you can't touch them, and they slow down. Must be a bearing,but the factory service center insists there is nothing wrong.

Baseboard been VERRRY good to me

Baseboard been VERRRY good to me

(post #121111, reply #13 of 30)

I'm glad you mentioned the Milwaukee heat problem.  I bought a new 3/8 electric drill about 6 mo ago, and I was surprised at how hot the gear box gets after a short while.  Doesn't seem to affedct performance.  And you said it happens after working the drill hard...I think it happens under normal use.


I'm sorry, I thought you wanted it done the right way.

(post #121111, reply #14 of 30)

I had a Milwaukee sawzall that would cut out if you pulled the trigger full bore. As long as I kept it at half throotle it was fine. New brushes, new switch, same thing.Finally chucked it and got a Bosch. What a great saw. A bit heavy, but seems to be bulletproof. IMO, the only good tool Milwaukee makes is the drill, mine is 20 + years and still going strong. If only that carried on to the rest of their line of tools.














(post #121111, reply #21 of 30)

I just bought a super sawzall for this joist sistering I'm doing.  I do notice a gear oil smell from it after a while, but so far it keeps on working. 

My main problem with it is that it can't get out of its own way.  I have to make some cuts parallel to existing 2x10's an inch and a half away.  It would be nice if there were some way to position the blade 1 1/2" or less from one side of the body of the machine.  The handle out the back is also way longer than it needs to be, which is very inconvenient working in closets, etc.


-- J.S.




-- J.S.


(post #121111, reply #22 of 30)

Actually, there is a flush cut attachment that Milwaukie sells for about $12.  Very handy and I find it quite useful in certain situations.  You turn down the lever that releases the blade holder shaft, remove it and insert the offset.

Jules Quaver for President   2004


(post #121111, reply #25 of 30)

Thanks --  I'll try to get one.

Edit:  I checked Milwaukee's web site, they don't seem to make the offset any more.


-- J.S.


Edited 2/19/2003 3:25:06 PM ET by JOHN_SPRUNG



-- J.S.


(post #121111, reply #23 of 30)

I use to have an old AR-15 rifle sport model that had a collapsible stock. Maybe Milwaukee needs to adapt a variation like that to their line up.





(post #121111, reply #24 of 30)

I had the same problem with an older sawzall. 2 trips to the repair shop and still every once in a while it just would not work when the trigger was pulled. Once I lugged it all the way up a ladder, got ready to make the cut, pulled the trigger,.....nuthin!!! I almost threw it off the ladder. I attributed it all to bouncin around in the truck, etc. A tool repair buddy told me to replace the switch complete with the little gray box attached. Apparently this box is some kind of electrionic control and is affected by heat and cold. I haven't had a problem since. This gray box is no larger than a good size vitamin pill, but seems to be the problem. Good luck.



                                                        Salmon Falls Housewrights

Hint:  If it' just stops (post #121111, reply #27 of 30)

Hint:  If it' just stops working, with no sparks and no blown breaker, it's not a short, it's an "open".  The two most likely culprits are the switch and the commutator/brushes.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Same (post #121111, reply #29 of 30)

I borrowed a friend's Milwaukee that does the same thing. After reading these posts and respnses (gotta love the "just smack it" approach!) I'm pretty sure it's the connection of the speed dial to the switch itself. There is a slip-on crimp fitting that wigges. as the sole purpose of a sawzall is to vibrate like Hell, having a slip on wiggly crimp fitting is as stupid an idea as I've ever encountered in a tool design. I tried bypassing the speed dial yesterday but it's got that damn circuit board that somehow affects the starter winding - speaking of bad designs: a micro circuit board inside an already tight fitting switchcase assembly??? I'm going to crimp that fitting like there's no tomorrow and see if that works...I can't just send it back to my friend as is, it's probaly why he loaned it to me:)