7 Best Reciprocating Saws [2020 Review]
Back in the day, if you wanted to prune a tree branch, cut a block of wood, or do some basement orbathroom remodeling, you have to have a regular hand saw. This tool does a fantastic job whether at home or in construction sites.
Builders of yore found that a regular hand saw is simply inefficient or ineffective when it comes to certain types of materials, such as cast iron and steel. But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. So, in 1951, the premier tool company Milwaukee invented and launched the Sawzall Reciprocating Saw.
The Sawzall was (and is) revolutionary. It was the first-ever portable saw which uses a reciprocating mechanism. Tradesmen, hobbyists, and even regular homeowners can now cut through wood, metal, plastic, and other materials without aching arms and shoulders after a few hours of working.
But what makes a good reciprocating saw, and what are the things you should watch out for when choosing the best reciprocating saw online?
- Compact and lightweight design
- Variable speed trigger with 0-2900 SPM
- Pivoting shoe
- Combination set provides a selection of blades for common applications
- Compatible with all reciprocating saw brands
- Variable speed trigger for precise cutting in a wide variety of applications
- "Tool-less" blade change and shoe adjustment
- Long 1-1/8 stroke for faster cutting
- Well-balanced design (only 7.3 lbs.) for reduced operator fatigue
- Built-in dust blower clears the line of cut for greater accuracy
- EVERYTHING TO GET STARTEDPower saw kit comes with a PW Core 20 2.0Ah Lithium Battery and 20V Charger.
- POWERFUL PERFORMANCEWith a 1 inch stroke and up to 3,000 strokes per minute, it expertly cuts through almost any material from fiberglass and PVC to metal and masonry.
- LONGER RUN TIME & BATTERY LIFEThe PW Core 20 Lithium Battery has an innovative temperature management system to keep battery cool and powering on through your project.
- ADJUSTABLE PIVOTING SHOEAllows for greater depth control and more efficient use of the blade.
- EASY BLADE CHANGESThis electric saws tool-less blade change feature makes the process quick and seamless.
- AN ORBITAL SELECTOR SWITCH on the top of the tool lets you activate or deactivate the unique orbital cutting action, which allows you to cut through wood much faster with minimal accuracy sacrifice
- LINE OF SIGHT BLOWER: Keep debris from blocking vision over your job with the onboard blower
- RUBBER OVERMOLD: The grip and side buffers are made of a rubber molding. This prevents scuffing up a clients floor, and gives you a firmer grip when youre working in slippery conditions
- TOOL-FREE FOOT ADJUSTMENT: You can pull the tools foot out, forcing the normally unused teeth near the tips of the blades to come into the cutting action. This feature conserves your reciprocating saw blades, letting you work longer and replace your blades less frequently
- LED LIGHTING: When you pull the trigger to activate the tool, it also activates an LED lighting panel near the front. If you want to use the light without the saw, there is a separate trigger that activates just the light
- Tool Free Blade Change; Battery and charger sold separately
- Pivoting Shoe
- Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts; Nominal voltage is 18.
- Variable Speed Trigger
- Stroke Length: 7/8 Inch
- Heavy-Duty 7.5 amp motor for fast cutting in metal and wood
- Variable speed (0-3,200 spm) trigger for optimal speed According to task
- Pivoting shoe allows for maneuverability around objects while cutting
- Lightweight design and low vibration provide user comfort
- Patented buzzkill technology delivers best in Class in-line vibration suppression
- Variable speed trigger Controls tool speed for cutting specialized materials
- 1-1/8 in. Stroke length provides maximum cutting speed
- Tough 13 amp motor provides power for all applications
Parts Of A Reciprocating Saw
If you consider yourself a reciprocating saw expert because youve used one for many years, then feel free to skip this section. But if youve never seen one your entire life and youre only looking for the best reciprocating saw online so you can give one as a gift, then this section is for you.
So, what are the parts of a reciprocating saw?
Apart from the body itself, the blade is one of the most important parts of a reciprocating saw. There are different types of saw blades. Theres the basic metal cutting blade, bimetal demolition blade (made for cutting through nail embedded in wood), plaster-ripping blade, and the pruning blade.
Some blades are made to cut through sturdier materials, including cast iron, tile, masonry, and bricks. These blades are made of different materials which include carbide and diamond.
Modern reciprocating saws are designed to allow the blade to be attached and detached from the blade holder/collet without using any tool. Older model reciprocating saws, on the other hand, need an Allen wrench or a screwdriver for you to be able to attach/detach the blade from the blade clamp.
The shoe, also known as a blade guard, of the reciprocating saw can be adjusted. This allows you to pull the shoe back to expose and use the other teeth of your blade to change the depth of the cut. The shoe also protects certain parts of the blade from overuse, thats why its called a blade guard.
Reciprocating saw shoes also allow you to control some cuts, as well help you keep the material down while youre cutting it.
Some units have a button or lever to lock or unlock the shoe. But if the tool has a non-adjustable shoe, then its not going to have a locking button.
The handle is located at the rear end of the reciprocating saw. It is usually D-shaped and contains the power trigger, as well as a lock switch. The cord is usually located under the handle for corded models. For cordless models, the battery is located at the bottom of the handle too.
Reciprocating saws are heavy. Plus, the vibration it produces during operation can make it hard to handle especially if you dont have enough upper body strength. The hand or front grip of the saw ensures that you can support the tool with one hand, while another hand is gripping the handle.
The trigger switch is located inside the rear handle. Press the trigger to turn on the saw, and simply release it to turn it off. You can also vary the speed of the saw simply by pressing the trigger. Press the trigger and youll see that the tool runs faster. Release the trigger and the tool slows down.
Reciprocating saws have vents located in front of the handle. Vents ensure that air can circulate properly around the motor. They also prevent the tool from overheating.
Choosing The Best Reciprocating Saws
There are two types of reciprocating saws: the corded reciprocating saw and the cordless reciprocating saw.
Corded reciprocating saws, as the name suggests, have to be plugged into an outlet for them to work. These are powerful albeit light tools. If youre going to work mostly indoors and if you have access to an electrical outlet, then the best corded reciprocating saws are ideal for you.
But if portability is a priority because youre going to work outdoors or the job site doesnt have electricity yet, then its better to look for the best cordless reciprocating saws.
Cordless saws are battery-powered, so you need to make sure that the battery is fully charged before you head out to the job site. We recommend that you purchase a cordless reciprocating straw powered by lithium-ion batteries to ensure their longevity during operation.
Other Features You Need To Check Before You Buy A Reciprocating Saw Online
Check if the saw has an adjustable shoe. An adjustable shoe or blade guard ensures better control, as well as offers greater flexibility when making different cuts.
The stroke length and speed are also important when choosing a good reciprocating saw. Stroke length ranges from 7/8 of an inch to 1-1/4 inches. The rule of thumb is the longer the stroke length, the quicker you can cut through plywood, metal, and other materials.
Cutting speed, on the other hand, can vary from 2,600 to 3,000 SPM or strokes per minute. The best reciprocating saws have a 3,000 SPM and 1-1/8 inches stroke length.
When looking for a good reciprocating saw that can cut faster, check if it has an orbital action. Youve probably used a regular handsaw before, so you know that you need to move your arm back and forth to cut through something. Reciprocating saws are designed to mimic this motion.
Some reciprocating saws, however, now have orbital action. These saws have your usual back-and-forth cutting motion. But with the addition of the orbital action, they can now move from side to side. If you want to cut through wood or any material faster, then choose a reciprocating saw with orbital action.
Other factors you need to consider include the saws variable speed, type of battery, vibration reduction feature, and overall comfort.
- This is one of the most lightweight and compact reciprocating saws in the list.
- Its cordless design ensures that you can bring it to any job site.
- It is powered by long-lasting lithium-ion batteries.
- It has an LED light that illuminates your work area.
- It does not come with a dust blower.
- The battery and charger are not yet included in this particular unit. These items can add up to the cost.
The DeWalt DCS367B 20V Max XR Reciprocating Saw is one of the top reciprocating saws in this list thanks to its impressive performance and portability.
The length of this reciprocating saw only measures 14 inches. Its compact design ensures that you can maneuver it and get into tight spaces that bulkier saws simply cannot reach. It is lightweight at only 5 lbs.
Its portability is one of its main selling points. Its cordless design ensures that you dont need to worry about the job site not having an electrical outlet or your extension cord is not long enough. This makes it ideal for outdoor job sites or even indoor work areas that do not have electricity yet.
DeWalt tools are impressive, but surely, there are shortcomings, too. One of the things I dont like about it is the price. This has a higher price tag than your regular reciprocating saw, but it can be a bummer considering it doesnt include the battery or charger yet.
- It has a longer 1 1/8 stroke so you can cut wood and other materials faster.
- It has its own durable plastic hard case to protect it from dust, debris, and moisture. You can also transport and store it properly without damaging the surface the blade is going to come into contact with.
- Theres no need to purchase another tool to attach and remove the blade, as well as when adjusting the shoe.
- The tool itself is equipped with a dust blower to ensure that the next cut is accurate.
- Its a bit heavy and the vibration can take its toll on your arms, so make sure that you only use it for a few hours at most to protect you from fatigue.
If you prefer a heavy-duty corded reciprocating saw, then the Makita JR3050TZ Recipro Saw might be the best corded reciprocating saw for you. It has a longer blade stroke, ensuring that cutting thick wood or metal only lasts for several seconds.
This corded reciprocating saw already comes with a metal blade and wood blade, so you dont need to purchase another set of compatible blades for the product. It even comes with two extra blades.
Its 11 AMP motor is powerful and durable and can produce as much as 2,800 strokes per minute.
But it doesnt have a variable speed control dial, as well as a lock-on switch. If youre looking for a relatively affordable reciprocating saw, then this might be a good choice for you.
- It is portable. This cordless reciprocating saw is powered by Skils PWRCore 20 Lithium Battery, so you can bring it outdoors and not have to worry about the cord not long enough or snagging somewhere.
- Its powerful motor can produce up to 3,000 strokes per minute. Each stroke can reach up to an inch for faster cutting.
- The shoe pivots, allowing users to control the depth of the blade.
- The 20V charger is already included.
- You have to stop working if the battery runs out and if you dont have spare ones.
- A protective hard case is not included.
The SKIL RS582902 20V Compact Reciprocating Saw offers a good performance thanks to its powerful motor and durable blade that can cut through any kind of material.
But its biggest draw is its portability. It has a cordless design which makes it ideal for outdoor or difficult-to-reach job sites. You dont have to worry about if theres an electrical outlet in the job sites or if your extension cord is long enough thanks to its cordless feature.
Other features that I like include the variable speed trigger and the battery life indicator. It also has a built-in LED light that allows you to see the surface youre working on. This LED light turns on each time you release the trigger.
- It features a 1 1/8-inch stroke length and 3,000 spins per minute. The powerful motor ensures that you can cut through wood, metal, and other materials efficiently.
- It has an orbital action dial on top. This allows you to cut through wood faster.
- It has a built-in blower that clears away dust and debris as you work.
- You can see the area youre working on thanks to the built-in LED lighting that turns on when you pull the trigger.
- It allows greater portability thanks to its cordless design.
- Choose resellers carefully as there are instances when Ridgid would not honor the warranty from certain sellers.
The Ridgid R8642 Gen5X 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Reciprocating Saw is a good tool if youre a DIY enthusiast or you occasionally have household projects. The body is durable and will likely last for many years, while the motor is powerful and efficient.
It has certain features other reciprocating saws do not have, such as the orbital-action switch and the LED lighting that illuminates your work area. The shoe is adjustable, and its cordless construction provides you with maximum portability.
But note that this particular saw doesnt include the battery yet, and that can add up to the cost. Plus, it doesnt have its own case, so make sure that you purchase a separate toolbox/case to protect it from the elements.
- This is a compact and lightweight cordless reciprocating saw.
- The saw is powered by 20V lithium-ion battery.
- It has a powerful 3,000 strokes per minute motor, and 7/8 in. stroke length.
- It is equipped with a built-in lock. You dont need to worry about it accidentally coming on.
- This is one of the most affordable reciprocating saws on the list.
- Unfortunately, the lithium-ion battery and charger are not included.
- It doesnt have a protective case.
Black+Decker has always produced some of the reliable tools in the market, and this reciprocating saw is no different. It has a powerful 3,000 SPM motor, plus efficient operation thanks to its 7/8-inch stroke length. The stroke length is a little less than other saws on this list, but that doesnt mean this saw cant hold its own.
This cordless reciprocating saw is ideal for those who need to work outdoors or those who dont have access to electricity. It has a 2-year limited warranty, but keep in mind that there are only a few resellers authorized by Black+Decker. So, keep that in mind before buying one.
Remember also that the battery and charger are not included, so that can add up to the cost.
- It is equipped with a powerful and efficient 7.5 amp motor.
- You can easily adjust the speed thanks to its variable speed trigger.
- The saw is powered by a 120V cord.
- The wood-cutting blade is already included.
- It has a 3-year limited warranty.
- It doesnt come with its own protective case.
- There are instances when the blade comes loose.
Its easy to cut tree branches, rebars, metal tubes and other materials with this Porter-Cable PCE360 Reciprocating Saw. This is ideal for indoor job sites or wherever you can access an electrical outlet as it is powered by a 120V power cord. You dont need to stop working and wait for the battery to be fully charged as it has a constant power source.
It weighs 6 lbs., so it might be heavy for certain users and the vibration can take its toll on your arms if youre going to use it for several hours. It is also longer than your regular reciprocating saw, so it might be hard to maneuver in tight spaces.
It is affordable, and it includes a wood-cutting blade in the package. But there are instances when the blade comes loose, so make sure that you have attached the blade in all the way to prevent any mishaps.
- It has a powerful 13 amp motor so you can take on the toughest of jobs.
- It is equipped with Skilsaws own Buzzkill Technology to reduce vibration and the resulting fatigue through prolonged use.
- The larger variable speed trigger offers you greater control when cutting.
- Never run out of batteries as this is a corded reciprocating saw.
- It can be heavy.
The SKILSAW SPT44A-00 13 Amp Reciprocating Saw can be a great addition to your tool arsenal should you decide to buy it. Its motor is one of the most powerful in the list (at 13 amp). This tool can cut through the usual material, such as wood, plastic, drywall, and tubing. It can also cut through other materials, such as steel, cast iron, and even thick wood with nails embedded in it.
This might be the most powerful tool in the list, so its worth your money should you decide to get one. But it can be heavy, and its not the most portable tool as it is corded. Plus, it does not have a hard case, so make sure that you keep the box to keep dust, debris, and moisture off from the tool.
In my opinion, the best reciprocating saw in the list is the DEWALT DCS367B 20V Max XR Brushless Compact Reciprocating Saw. It has all the qualities of a good reciprocating saw. Plus, its highly rated, and for good reason.
Its strokes per minute can reach up to 2,900 SPM thanks to its powerful motor. Plus, it features 1-1/8 inch stroke length to ensure a faster, more efficient cutting power. It has a variable speed trigger and pivoting shoe, allowing you greater control of the tool.
You can see your work surface clearly thanks to the tools LED lighting. If youre going to do much of your work outdoors or youre at a worksite that doesnt have electricity yet, then this is the best cordless reciprocating tool for you.
It is compact, making it one of the most portable tools in the list. Plus, it only weighs 5.4 lbs., so you can use it for hours without causing any stress on your hands and arms.
With its DeWalt quality and its features, this is definitely one of the best cordless reciprocating saws in the market and might be the perfect tool for you.
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