Letters of Consumer and Social Concern


To the Dewalt Tool Company and President John Schiech

Please be advised that you are in receipt of a letter from the Department of Letters of Consumer and Social Concern

(…and for the convenience of readers of the letters, any and all correspondence from the subject party of the letter can be printed here in response to the letters in question)

My name is Benjamin Shook, Spokesman for “The Department.”  Our business here at the DLCSC is to apprise companies and organizations of social interest of potential areas of improvement, expansion and awareness.

I would like to take this rare opportunity to address a couple of important issues that have recently come to my attention regarding a product manufactured by the Dewalt Tool company.  I am a longtime user of Dewalt tools and have used them widely in my studio (www.benshook.com) as well as advocated for their use and purchase at seminars and presentations around the world.  To date, my studio has spent in the neighborhood of $12,000 on Dewalt products.  In the beginning I even used Dewalt tools as semi-stationary equipment in my wood shop… until the time I could afford to upgrade to 220V technology and ultimately 3-Phase… which are some areas of interest I would like to discuss with you at another time.

As a side note, my studio recently procured a set of DW18V Cordless Impact drivers and the last few weeks have been filled with mirth and elation as to their performance.

Today I would like to raise awareness about a specific product and some shortcomings which came to my attention recently.  The tool in question is the DW321K Variable Speed Heavy Duty Top Handle Jig Saw, pictured below:


I purchased this tool sometime in the year A.D. 2005 and have used it sparingly and always done proper maintenance.  I recently had occasion to use the saw to cut rafter tails for a small outbuilding I designed and built, pictured here:


The dilemmas I ran into with this saw are as follows:

and occurred despite using the most robust and expensive blades (I believe a four pack of 3.25″ ran $12 from Home Depot)

1) The blades wandered errantly through the cuts, drawn from a template regardless of all attempts to correct with blade speed and thrust, creating a nearly impossible flush line through the material and replicability very hard to achieve.

2) No matter how one holds one’s hands upon the saw during the cut, the exhaust fan blows the material directly into the user’s face.

While seemingly minor, these two issues are cause for ample frustration, especially when a fine end product is the goal.  One would think that the model of this saw, its description and its cost would elicit confidence to cut a rafter tail in 1.5″ framing material.

I’m sure this issue has already been brought to your attention and that the engineers at the Dewalt Industrial Tool Co. have already begun correcting the issue.  I have likewise designed several alterations which I think would greatly increase the function of the tool and would cherish the opportunity to share them with you at your convenience.  (I can be reached at ben@benshook.com).

Please receive every best wish and gratitude for years of enjoyment from your tools,

Benjamin Shook

Spokesman for the Department of Letters of Consumer and Social Concern