Stihl Inc. has rolled out the industry’s first battery-powered cutoff saw, which it is targeting at general masonry, concrete and hardscaping work.
“We’re seeing gas-powered saws with 100 hours of run time on them but 3,000 starts,” said Dan Hull, manager of dealer services for the Virginia Beach, Va.-based tool maker, on Feb. 4 at this year’s World of Concrete show. “It’s like starting your car, going to your mailbox, shutting your car off, starting it back up again and driving back to your driveway.”
The TSA 230 Cutquik, which weighs about 7 pounds less than a gas-powered saw, runs on a 36-volt lithium-ion battery pack common to other Stihl cordless tools and includes a built-in water connection for wet cutting. It accepts a 9-in. cutting wheel and max cut depth of 2.75 in. Max run time on a single charge is 15 minutes. Charging takes as little as 25 minutes.
"That's pretty impressive," said one booth visitor, who watched Hull slice through a brick wall during a booth demonstration.
More contractors are looking to buy concrete tools, such as breakers and saws, that run on electric power, which offers zero emissions. Several tool companies at this year’s concrete show in Las Vegas demonstrated growing lineups of electric tools that were quieter, lighter, easier to use and less messy than their gasoline-powered counterparts.
“Everything that you can use a gasoline-powered saw for you can do with this tool,” said Dan Pherson, Stihl’s industrial product manager. He suggested that contractors consider having a gas and electric saw on the jobsite, though he added that the electric saw can cut through rebar, metal decking and other materials, if needed.
“If you are going to make a 50-ft cut 4-in. deep, you are still going to need a gas-powered saw,” he said. For contractors performing light and heavy work, “You are going to want both,” Pherson added.
The retail price for the TSA 230 plus two high-capacity batteries, a fast charger and a pressurized water tank is about $1,150—not much more than a gas-powered saw. And it has no gas, mixing oil or air filters to replace, Stihl reps explained.
“It’s less wear and tear,” Hull added.