1. Home

Discuss in my forum

Rockwell BladeRunner RK7320 Cutting Machine

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (5 Reviews)

By

Rockwell Blade Runner RK7320 Cutting Machine

Rockwell Blade Runner RK7320 Cutting Machine

(c) 2010 Chris Baylor licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Bottom Line

The Rockwell Blade Runner RK7320 Cutting Machine is a really ingenious idea. It really is a combination of a jigsaw, scroll saw and band saw, all in one variable speed machine. The setup looks a lot like a scroll saw with a larger table, including two miter slots (and an adjustable miter gauge), but it uses standard T-shank jigsaw blades. The head of the unit contains a dust port to which a dust collection hose can be attached, as well as a pair of band saw-like guide rollers.

While there are a couple of features that could use a little tweaking, overall, I was impressed with the versatile Blade Runner.
<!--#echo encoding="none" var="lcp" -->

Pros

  • Versatile machine cuts wood, metal, PVC, ceramic tile and more
  • Dust collection port on top, plus a sawdust drawer on the bottom
  • Quick tool-less blade changes can be done in mere seconds
  • Uses standard T-shank blades

Cons

  • Wide blades, such as the popular Bosch T308B, are too wide and cut into the plastic dust port
  • Operator's manual is poorly organized and hard to follow

Description

  • Lightweight (only 17.6 pounds) and portable with a convenient carrying handle on the side.
  • 5.5 amp variable speed (800-2800 RPM no load speed) motor with a 7/8-inch stroke length.
  • Uses standard T-shank blades of 4-inches or less in length.
  • 15-3/4 inch by 17-inch table top, with two miter slots for the included adjustable miter gauge.
  • Covered by a two-year manufacturer's warranty.

Guide Review - Rockwell BladeRunner RK7320 Cutting Machine

When I first heard about the Rockwell Blade Runner RK7320 Cutting Machine, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the unit and put it to work. The idea really impressed me: essentially a scroll saw that uses jigsaw blades, so it can cut nearly any material one would encounter on a job site. While it may not be able to cut curves as tightly as a scroll saw, it certainly is a lot more versatile.

After putting the unit to the test, I was still impressed. For the most part, the Blade Runner RK7320 delivers as expected. The unit is designed to be lightweight and easily portable, so it doesn't have the heavy, stable table top that would help absorb some of the up-and-down action of the cutting action. The included miter gauge feels a little flimsy, but it holds its angles well, and can be tightened into position in the miter slot.

The overhead arm can be raised for blade changes, and the blade guides within the dust port are kept parallel to the blade when raising or lowering the arm. To change the blade, simply raise the arm, then slide the blade release (a finger slide located on the right-side of the table top) and lift out the old blade or insert a new one.

The on/off paddle switch is located on the front, right-side of the unit, and the adjustable, variable speed dial is located on the front, left side of the unit. In between is a magnetic drawer that holds a few jigsaw blades and an Allen wrench (for saw adjustments), as well as a sawdust drawer near the bottom of the saw cabinet. This sawdust drawer isn't overly large, and it fills up quickly, so be sure to empty it often.

There are a couple of improvements that I'd like to see. First of all, the lower section of the dust port just above the blade could be a little larger to accommodate wide blades. For instance, I tried a few different blades in the BladeRunner, and wider wood-cutting blades such as the Bosch T308B cut into the front edge of the plastic housing if the blade guard was set higher than about 3/4-inch off of the table. This means one could use wider blades for cutting one-by material, but cutting anything thicker will damage the housing.

The other improvement that I'd like to see is in the operator's manual. The manual is in English, Spanish and French, and the text is fine. The problem is that, instead of placing the picture in each appropriate location in the text, instead, there is one set of images at the beginning of the book, with the text to follow. The text refers to the images, but not vise versa.

For instance, I was trying to find out whether I could adjust the dust collection tube forward so that the wider saw blades didn't cut into the tube. I found the image that referred to the tube and overhead arm, but it was only labeled with a very helpful "G" label. I had to hunt through seven pages of fine print to find the text that referred to Figure G (it's near the bottom of the first column on page 12 if you're interested). Better organization would certainly help.
<!--#echo encoding="none" var="lcp" -->
Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 4 out of 5
Rockwell Blade Runner RKT7320, Member JamesPertree

I purchased the Rockwell Blade Runner yesterday. I found the operator's manual to very poorly written and confusing. Much of putting the unit together was done by just figuring it out on my own. Secondly, after installing the blade, I noticed that the arm was canted counterclockwise. There is no way that this cant can be corrected and I'm hopeful this will not damage the unit or cause a possible injury since the stress on the blade could cause it to snap at high speed. I haven't tried out the unit yet, therefore any comment as to it's function will have to wait until later this week.

0 out of 0 people found this helpful.

See all 5 reviews

  1. About.com
  2. Home
  3. Woodworking
  4. Resources
  5. Rockwell Blade Runner RK7320 Cutting Machine - Woodworking Tool Review of the Rockwell Blade Runner RK7320

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.