Evaluating saws and amplifiers

CarolinaFireJournal - David Pease
David Pease The Reds Team
10/14/2010 -

When I attend fire conferences and shows, I am always on the lookout for new and innovative equipment that would be good to evaluate and write about. I look for things that would make your life as a rescuer easier and safer. While attending the South Carolina Fire and Rescue Conference this past June, I came across a small piece of equipment that I thought was interesting and served a purpose for some of those in the fire and rescue field.


You may or may not be one of these people, but I would be willing to bet you know someone that has a hard time being awakened by their pager, or radio, for calls. I have known quite a few folks that deal with this issue, although I have been fortunate, and sleep light enough that the mere vibration of my phone will wake me. The device I came across was a tone alert and ring tone amplifier by the Unication Group called the Uni-Max. This small unit resembles a pager charger and can either be plugged in or utilizes three AA batteries. The Uni-Max has a volume control on the front along with an alert tome selector. It has a reset button along with an alert time setting switch.

You slide your pager in the top slot and once the pager goes off, the unit will hear the tone and then amplify it through the unit’s speaker. You can choose several alert tones and adjust the volume as needed. The other nice thing is that you can also place your cell phone in the Uni-Max and set it for tone alert or ring, and it will amplify that signal as well. I tried the unit, and it can be set quite loud. There may be a few that could sleep through it, but not many.

For more information on the Uni-Max, go to

Another piece of equipment that I looked at is the new RS35 reciprocating saw from Bosch Power Tools. I had a chance for students to use the saw during a heavy vehicle and bus class the first weekend in June. I wanted to see what their opinion was on the power and performance of the saw. They were pretty impressed with its capabilities and power.

The Bosch RS35 is a corded saw weighing in at just over 10 pounds. By just holding this saw in your hands, you can tell it has the power to get the job done. It has a 15amp motor, turning 2900 RPMs at 120 volts. This, like most of the other Bosch reciprocating saws, has the lock jaw blade release system that allows for the blade to be released by merely turning the ring. It remains in the unlocked position until you insert another blade, which then locks in automatically. This makes for changing blades in the field much easier. The RS35 has a soft grip handle and a system to reduce the vibration utilizing a counter balance also located in the handle. The saw has a variable speed trigger, and a dial speed control to allow for setting the speed of the saw as needed. The saw will maintain a consistent speed even under pressure, maximizing its performance.

This saw is 19 inches long, has a 1-1/4” stroke length and comes with a 10 foot heavy duty cord. This saw would be a great asset to your power tool cache and you should consider using the Bosch demolition blades, as we have found them to be some of the best on the market.

For more information on the RS35 saw you can visit

I will continue to search the globe for the best equipment I can find, so I can let you know what is out there. Well maybe not search the globe, but I will continue to search out the equipment that will help make your job easier and safer. I must say though, that search the globe thing did sound good. Stay safe and always do your research before you make that purchase.

If you have any questions or comments e-mail David Pease at [email protected] and visit the team website at

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Welcome to the Carolina Fire Rescue EMS Journal! We want to provide you with timely online information and breaking news that best equips you to meet today’s emergency challenges. Among our firefighting articles, you will find the latest in firefighter technology, firefighter training, leadership development and the newest products and services presented in an “Act Now” user friendly format.  We want to be your best online source for the fire and rescue information, resources and reviews you need.
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