12V Ingersoll Rand Cordless Reciprocating Saw Review

Ingersoll Rand Cordless Reciprocating Saw FI
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  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Performance
  • Features

Final Thoughts

Removing wrecked body panels can be a pain and sometimes it requires cutting holes to get to the fasteners. This Ingersoll Rand cordless reciprocating saw is a great tool for the job, in fact, this is replacing my air saw.

I would need both hands to count how many air saws that I had over the past decade, which are now dead. So, when Shop Tool Reviews brought the Ingersoll Rand cordless reciprocating saw to me, I almost laughed at it. In fact, I may have. The snickering in my head, or out loud, was quickly silenced with the first use of this Ingersoll Rand C1101 saw.

I own Robert’s Auto Restoration, so as the name implies, we restore cars and trucks. We work mostly with the classic, custom and muscle-car genre, but our business also branches into typical collision/body repair and general re-spray paint jobs. Whether the need is for body repair or custom work, we commonly need a small saw to gain access to fasteners or broaden openings. In the past, tools of choice were an air reciprocating saw (if they ever worked), die grinder with cutoff wheel, or full-size recip saw.

The problem with a cutoff wheel is the shower of sparks and the lateral area to turn the tool when cutting. It’s a pain to turn corners. Air recips, I have a drawer full of them, broken ones. I have cheap ones and not-so-cheap, but they seem to work for a while, then quit. Using a full size recip saw is great for power, however you need lots of room to work. This additional room is not always available. With the Ingersoll Rand cordless reciprocating saw, it stands straight up, over the work being done, so changing direction is easy. It goes without saying that being cordless is a huge plus as well, no hoses or cords to drag around.


Ingersoll Rand Cordless Reciprocating Saw C1101 Features

Ingersoll Rand C1101 QualityIngersoll Rand C1101 QualityWhile the C1101 Ingersoll Rand cordless reciprocating saw is small and light, their is clear evidence of quality. The signature Ingersoll Rand rubber overmolding on the handle aids in comfort and durability. This overmolding is also resistant to typical shop fluids, and we’re sure that it will come in contact with plenty of lacquer thinner, body filler and paint. It’s surprisingly powerful, especially with it only being 12-volts. The C1101 is part of the IQv12 line of 12-volt power tools from Ingersoll Rand. In fact, the close cousin to this tool was just reviewed by Shop Tool Reviews, see the Ingersoll Rand G1811 Belt Sander Review video.

IQv12 – 12 Volt Power and Portability

C1101 Blade Guard and Blade

Blade Guard and Blade Adjustment

Being a 12-volt tool allows the C1101 to be much more nimble than what a larger cordless would be, so it’s a win win, powerful and small. The business end of the IR C1101 cordless recip accepts the typical air saw blades, so it’s not blade proprietary. If you purchase the kit, c1101-K2, it includes a 6-pack of 4″ 14-18 TPI variable blades. A blade guard keeps the blade in check, helps to keep the user’s fingers out, and keeps the distance off the work surface. The blade guard is very easy to adjust, by depressing the red button and sliding the guard where you want it. Blades are changed with the included hex key, which hides itself beside the safety trigger, on the tool.

Locking Paddle Trigger

Locking Paddle Trigger and Hex Key

Noise, or lack there of, is a huge plus with the Ingersoll Rand cordless reciprocating saw. Air saws, when they work, are very loud, hence most exceed the 85db OSHA level. With the C1101, it is much quieter, giving the user a much more pleasant experience. Comfort is another big plus, the overmolding is comfortable, the tool is well balanced, and it’s very easy to navigate and operate under power. Also included on the Ingersoll Rand C1101 is a LED to light your work area while cutting.

Cut It Out

We can talk about comfort and size all day long, but I know what you are asking right now. “Will it do the jobs I need it to do?” As I said earlier, we were very pleasantly surprised. When I’m asked to review or give an opinion of a tool, I’m going to throw it at real-world jobs, and not be timid. Sure, we played around with it in the shop, cutting this and that, but it was a few days before we really tested it.

Exhaust Cutout Opening

Exhaust Cutout Opening

IR C1101 Exhaust CutoutOne of our regular customers came by the other day in new-to-them hot-rod they just bought. The exhaust and exhaust tips are modified, so they are larger than stock. Heat from the exhaust is starting to deform the plastic bumper cover fascia. He wanted to know if I could do anything about it. I grabbed the Ingersoll Rand C1101 cordless recip and trimmed around the tip, giving the exhaust more clearance. The job was completed quick and easy, and the saw had no problem cutting the plastic fascia. The same need arose with a Chevy Impala, adding a larger exhaust, as in the picture. This time, with the fascia off the car, I easily opened up the exhaust opening, and we’ll roll the edge with some heat later.

Heavy Metal

Obviously this is quickly becoming a great tool for the newer cars that have plastic everywhere. However, we work on a lot of lead-sleds, like 50s, 60s and 70s cars and trucks. After successfully cutting on some sheetmetal, we decide to just push the tool beyond the typical. Over in the junk pile is an old chrome bumper from a small truck, so we throw it up on the stand.

IR C1101 Cutting Chrome Bumper

IR C1101 Cutting Chrome Bumper

We really didn’t expect success here, and there wouldn’t be a lot of fault if it failed. Mind blown! This 12-volt tool muscled through the entire bumper, even with a worn out blade. Very little to no force pushing the blade either. The Ingersoll Rand cordless reciprocating saw literally cut all the way through the chrome-steel bumper. Typically, this would not be the tool we would reach for to cut a bumper, but we can’t deny that it succeeded.

Final Thoughts

Ingersoll Rand has a deep heritage in the air tool world. My grandfather, who taught me, and I have been using IR sanders for decades, like the Ingersoll Rand 328B 8 Inch orbital sander. In addition, Tim at STR has been telling me about the IR cordless tools, but I had yet to try them out. With my first chuckles and thoughts out the window now, I fully understand the power from this nimble 12-volt C1101.

I don’t have to persuade anyone in my industry about the need for a tool like this. Furthermore, l encourage anyone to take a hard look at the Ingersoll Rand C1101 reciprocating saw. I won’t go back to an air saw, this will be my go-to for cutting sheet-metal and plastic. The price for the tool is in the ballpark with a quality air saw. Additionally, the tool is covered with a 3-year warranty, and batteries are covered for 1-year. Purchasing the kit, C1101-K2 provides the tool (C1101), 2 – 2.0Ah LiIon batteries, blades and charger.

You can purchase the kit today by clicking here.


Ingersoll Rand C1101 Recip Saw Specifications

  • Part Number: C1101-K2 (kit), C1101 (bare tool)
  • Item Weight 2.1 pounds
  • Product Dimensions 11.7 x 2.4 x 3.7 inches
  • Batteries: 2 Lithium ion batteries 2.0Ah
  • Voltage: 12 volts
  • Included Components: IQV12 Series C1101 Reciprocating Saw, (2) r2.0 Li-on Batteries, 12V charger, (6) Variable Blades
  • Battery Cell Type: Lithium Ion
  • Blade Type: Air Saw Blades
  • Warranty: 3-year on tool and charger; 1-year on batteries


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