Making the Most of your Money Buying Private Label Cutoff Saws
Your first question is probably "What is a private label saw and why should I care?" Good question. Here's the answer: A private label saw is one that was made by one company but had it's appearance altered to look like it was made by another company. Sometimes there are small differences in the product, but most often a different color plastic and different stickers are all that make that saw different from the parent brand.
There are a few reasons this might matter to you when buying a cutoff saw. Let's say you found a saw for sale by a local construction company going out of business. Or maybe you found one on eBay that's a steal. Problem is, it's a brand you don't know. If the saw won't run or you need parts (even something as simple as filters), you'll never find them or the parts will be by special order only, and that bargain will soon start to feel like a 30 pound paperweight. Enter the private label saw. If that steal of a cutoff saw you found was a Speedi-Cut for example, you'd be in luck. As it turns out there are several brand name saws that are all made to the same specs as Speedi-Cut, including Makita, Wacker and Dolmar. No kidding. Need proof? Look at the rotating pictures of saws above. Heck, Dolmar's website even lists it as being part of the Makita Group, and they use the same numbering system for the manuals, and the manuals are each the same number of pages (92). Case closed.
I can't quite pin down the cutoff saws from Hilti, Multiquip, Diteq and Husqvarna. Husqvarna and Partner are both owned by Electrolux, and they appear to share some similarities, but are nowhere near identical. But the Hilti, Multiquip and Diteq saws could pass for triplets. Look at the pictures. Look at the specs. For all intents and purposes they are the same saw.
Now I'm not a conspiracy theorist. There are some sensible business reasons to contract to have private label saws made with a different company identity on them. Heck, my wife used to work for a company that made a consumer product for many different private label companies. Making the information about these saws available makes it easier for us as consumers: now we can compare prices on the four versions of the Wacker saw to get the best deal. And we can probably find a parts supplier for one of those brands locally, making buying an unfamiliar brand a lot less risky.
To prove the point, I'm in the process of finding a good deal online for a beat-up cutoff saw by one of the brands listed above, and am going to strip it down to it's bolts and repair anything that needs repairing using parts from the other private label brands of the same make. It might end up looking like an Eddie Van Halen guitar, but it should hum as good as any other saw.
So if you're shopping for a saw and want to know which models are alike across brand names, you can use the information below to help in the decision process.
Cutoff Saw Private Label Brands/Models
14" Makita DPC7301
14" Dolmar PC-7335
14" Wacker BTS 1035
Diamond Products Speedi-Cut SC7314
14" Multiquip HS62
14" Hilti KC 62-14 14" Diteq Efco 962TT - A.
Update: It even appears that Partner is making a private label saw, using different model names. The interesting thing is, the model names seem to stay the same across private label companies. Zent (China) and Knighton (UK) both use the model name GS350 for their versions of the Partner K700 Active III. The specs are identical for each saw.
I like to share valuable information with visitors when I have the opportunity. During some of my research of these saws I ran across some information on several brands and models of saw. The link is to a portion of the site sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security, and the information is geared toward people who have to use cutoff saws in rescue situations. But the content is as worthwhile for people in the construction industry as anything else, so feel free to read the reviews of 6 different cutoff saw brands and models.