When it comes to electric power tools in the workshop, the reciprocating saw is one of the most versatile options available.
Since their introduction, they’ve always been the tough guys and one of the “must have” tools for working out different kinds of projects ranging from demolishing whole buildings to carrying out heavy construction jobs.
In other words, they are basically used by everyone – DIYers and professionals.
If you’re looking for the best reciprocating saw for your next project, then you should be mindful that there are so many brands to choose from, which can make the search a bit overwhelming.
However, you don’t have to worry as we are here to help you overcome the struggle.
We’ve done all the hard work and come up with a short list of the best cordless and corded reciprocating saws currently available in the market. We’ve also provided a detailed buying guide to make your selection a whole lot easier.
Best Reciprocating Saw – Comparisons
Top 10 Best Reciprocating Saw Reviews
Below are the top reciprocating saws currently available in the market at the moment.
1. Makita JR3070CT AVT Recipro Saw – 15 AMP
If you are looking for a reciprocating saw to take on even the toughest cutting jobs, then you cannot go wrong with the JR3070CT. This machine is undeniably one of the best heavy duty tools available in the market at the moment.
As you would expect, the major highlight of this saw is the powerful motor which makes it destructive against almost any type of material. The tool works well for both standard cutting operations as well as heavy duty tasks like demolishing projects.
To complement its powerful motors, the saw also features anti-vibration technology (AVT) as well as a counterbalancing system. So you can be rest assured, you’re fully covered.
Apart from providing enough power, the whole arrangement also ensures you don’t develop tired hands. The counterbalance, in particular, helps to greatly enhance your cutting efficiency.
It will also interest you to know that this unit operates at a very low noise level. The vibration is minimal, and you can expect efficient energy usage.
Another advantage this unit offers is its versatility. With it by your side, you don’t need to get different saws for different tasks.
As earlier indicated, the motor rating is 15 amp, which delivers all the power you need to take on various task. It is equipped with a variable speed setting which can be adjusted via the speed dial to reach up to 2800 SPM.
2. Hitachi CR13VBY 12-Amp Reciprocating Saw
Like most of the model on the list, the CR13VBY is versatile. In other words, it can be used for various materials depending on the job at hand. This eliminates the need to buy a different saw for different jobs thereby saving you some cost.
In addition, the saw offers a quick and easy blade change – thanks to its keyless blade clamp. This also saves you a lot of time on the job.
The addition of the User Vibration Protection technology ensures the unit produces very little vibration. In fact, compared to similar models, the CR13VBY produces 65 percent less vibration, which makes it even more convenient to use. This also ensures you don’t easily develop fatigue in your hands while working.
The saw has an ergonomic design which provides a comfortable grip that is non-slippery and resistant to heat. So you won’t be affected by heat or motion when working with the tool for extended periods.
It will also interest you to know that the saw also has a variable speed setting which allows you to control speed depending on the task you have at hand. This helps to improve the quality of your cuts and reduce wastage.
You can choose from any one of the two cutting modes depending on your project; the straight mode, and the swing mode.
The motor power is 12-amps, while the variable speed can be set up to 3000 SPM which is pretty impressive.
However, the major downside with this saw is the weight and price. At 9.7 pounds, it can be a little heavy, especially when using for a long period. But even though it’s on the pricey side, it’s still worth every penny you pay for it.
3. Bosch RS7 + RAP10PK 1-1/8-Inch 11-Amp Reciprocating Saw
Though it positions on the pricey side, the many interesting features it offers makes it well worth the bill. It is one of the few reciprocating saws that is built with quality and performance in mind. If you can overlook the high price tag, be rest assured you will end up loving the product.
The saw comes with a powerful 11-amp motor. This provides you with enough power to tackle almost any project that requires a reciprocating saw. It also comes with LED lights which serve to enhance the visibility of the cut-line allowing you to achieve more accurate cuts.
In addition to its great power, the saw is also very versatile. You can work on different materials ranging from wood and laminates to metal sheets and PBCs. The handle provides a comfortable grip, which allows you to go for long hours on the job without developing fatigue.
Blade change is also easy and fast – thanks to the tool-less system that comes with the saw. It will also interest you to know that the saw has a universal blade holder and comes with an all-purpose blade. This is the secret behind its great versatility.
However, many users have complained that the saw tends to get hot quickly, which could be a big concern if you plan to use the tool for a long time. To get around this problem, you can take breaks instead of working at full stretch.
4. DEWALT Bare-Tool DC385B 18-Volt Cordless Reciprocating Saw
But it’s not just the company name that makes the Bare-Tool a gem in the world of reciprocating saws. Rather, it is its quality and performance that has won the heart of many woodworking professionals and enthusiasts.
The 18-volt power tool has a cordless design which makes it highly portable. This also makes it easy for you to maneuver. Like other DeWalt tools, it is built with quality and durability in mind. It comes with electric breaks, so you can rest assured it won’t wear out as most cheap models do.
The saw itself weighs only 5.8 pounds, but with the battery, it weighs over 8 pounds, which is still convenient. Instead of only one-speed option, you have the option to choose between 0-2700 SPM which is pretty impressive. This enables you to choose speeds tailored to your specific needs thereby achieving more accurate cuts.
The cutting stroke length is 1-1/8-inch which is aggressive enough to wade through almost any building material. It will also interest you to know that the saw comes with a keyless blade clamp which makes it very easy and quick to replace the blade.
However, the saw doesn’t come with a battery or charger. You have to purchase these separately.
5. Milwaukee 6519-31 12 Amp Corded 3000 SPM Reciprocating Sawzall
The corded device is an improved model capable of handling most ripping tasks. It is made for heavy-duty cutting projects and can take on various materials such as wood, metals, drywall or even concrete.
With the constant power technology, the saw delivers an efficient performance that makes it suitable for handling even the toughest jobs. As the name suggests, it is equipped with a 12 AMP motor which delivers up to 3000 SPM.
The stroke length of the Sawzall is around 1 1/8-inches, while a trigger is provided to enable you to make variable speed adjustments.
Being corded means, you will have uninterrupted power when working with it. Its ergonomic handle provides a comfortable grip. The mere fact this product is made in the US is another reason you should trust its quality.
Regardless of the type of material which you’re going to cut, you’ll always enjoy the fastness of the blade without any kind of interference. As a result, you don’t have to worry about any hindrance while dealing with this saw.
The tool also comes with one of the best overload protections you can think of, which helps to protect the motor and keeps it from early burnout and failure.
6. WORX WX550L 20V AXIS 2-in-1 Reciprocating Saw
It is also very affordable which makes it more attractive especially if you’re shopping on a budget. With the ability to do the work of a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw, this powerful tool allows you to accomplish more with just one tool.
In addition to its versatility, the saw is compact which makes it space-saving. The 20-volt 2-in-1 tool weighs around 4.5 pounds which makes it bearable on your hands especially when working for an extended period. Given its cordless design, it makes it very easy to maneuver and also carry around the workshop.
The saw can deliver up to 3000 SPM while the stroke length is only ¾ inches. As a result, it is best suited for home use. For more advanced projects or to use on a professional level, you might need to go for something more powerful.
The unit accepts normal reciprocating saw blades as well as jigsaw blades (T-shank). Its battery will also work with other Worx tools provided they have 20-volt. Other interesting features offered by the product include LED light, dust blower, switch (for navigating between the reciprocating saw and the jigsaw), and so on.
7. Makita JR3050T 11 Amp Reciprocating Saw
Luckily, we looked around and discovered the Makita JR3050T. This 11-amp corded saw is without doubts one of the best reciprocating saws out there. The mere fact it’s corded means you will have uninterrupted power, which is something very important for professional work.
The saw is less expensive and works well for various kind of jobs, especially those that have to do with remodeling. It has a stroke length of 1 1/8 and provides up to 2800SPM.
Like many high-end models, it also offers variable speed control which makes it suitable for cutting different types of materials such as metal, plastic, wood and so on. In addition, the speed can be adjusted anywhere from 0 – 2,800 SPMbysimply pushing a button.
When compared to many reciprocating saws, the Makita JR3050T model is a much better stroke length which makes it a perfect cutting tool for the demolition projects. You can easily control the speed with the aid of a variable speed trigger, which is normally used on a wide range of reciprocating saws.
In addition, the body of Makita JR3050T corded saw was built to be more durable. In addition, the machine is equipped with a dust blower which helps to remove debris and dust from the work area thereby improving your visibility.
The unit is also equipped with a protective rubber boot which helps to keep dust and debris away from the saw motor.
Overall, the Makita JR3050T is a light powerful tool. You should go for it if you need a reciprocating saw that will not disappoint.
8. Ryobi P514 18V Cordless One+ Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw
It comes with a rubble handle that provides a comfortable grip and helps to reduce the effect of vibration. The handle also features springs which help to secure your wrist while you’re on the job.
In addition, the saw has long battery life. The fast cutting speed will enable you to carry out tougher work easily. It is highly versatile and offers a smooth cutting process. This means you can easily get through just about anything and move at up to 3000 strokes a minute.
Ryobi P514is great for you because you can easily use the unit anywhere and you don’t have any fear about the safety guide.
An additional great feature of this unit is its LED lights which shine during cutting. This enables you to carry your job any time of the day. The handle provides a comfortable non-slip grip – thanks to its rubber notches.
The compatibility of the battery also enables you to cut for longer hours before your next recharge. This makes it comparable to a corded option but with added mobility and maneuverability. The rubber handle also helps to lessen the effect of its vibration.
9. PORTER CABLE PCC670B 20-volt MAX Lithium Bare Reciprocating Tigersaw
Although the device might not be a favorite among the pros, it is a very popular option among homeowners. And its compact ergonomic design makes it a top pick for most woodworking projects in the home that require a reciprocating saw.
In fact, there’s a lot of positive stories on the performance of the saw when used for domestic tasks like basic wood cutting, siding, and even cutting timber.
Like the other models on this list, the PCC670B comes with a variable speed setting which allows you to tweak the speed depending on your needs. This leads to more efficient cutting. You can adjust the speed to reach up to 3000 SPM which is quite impressive for a saw of its magnitude.
As earlier indicated, the tool is part of the 20V Max system. So you have no reason to doubt the performance. And since it is cordless, you can expect to enjoy great maneuverability.
However, the saw doesn’t come as a complete kit.
10. BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B 20V Max Lithium Bare Reciprocating Saw
This battery-powered model of 20V lithium-ion battery provides enough power to the motor which makes it a decent performer. This cell type is stronger and can hold charge longer compared to the standard batteries. Thus, you can use the unit for a lightweight cutting process on any type of material.
Like many high-end models, the saw offers tool-free blade change which makes blade replacement quick and simple and thus saves you time on the job. Variable speed control is provided to let you adjust speed based on the type of workpiece you have as well as what you intend to achieve.
This makes the saw suitable for a wide range of applications. The inclusion of a pivoting shoe also helps enhance the stability of the tool.
Additionally, the BDCR20 has a stroke length of 0.87 inches and provides up to 3000SPM. The stroke length is not the best though when compared to other units. But at 7/8 inch, it should be sufficient enough for most cutting operation.
Furthermore, the handles of the reciprocating saw are quite ergonomic which is made from a soft rubber coat making it extremely comfortable to hold for a longer period. Unfortunately, it’s a bare-tool item which means the battery is sold separately.
How Does It Work?
If you’re looking to make quick cuts through objects like wood, plastic, or metal, then you should be eyeing a reciprocating saw.
Admittedly, a reciprocating saw will not give you the most precise cut, but it will definitely get the job done and fast too. It is just as destructive as it can get, which is why it’s mostly used for demolition jobs.
As its name indicates, reciprocating tools basically work by the “reciprocating” action of its blade. This is accomplished through a push-and-pull motion that results in the disintegration of the surface being cut.
In simple terms, a reciprocating saw is simply the motorized version of a handsaw or hacksaw.
The efficiency of the saw highly depends on the blade. So always aim to use the right blade for the job.
Advantages of Using A Reciprocating Saw
When buying any machine tool, it’s always a good idea to know what to expect so you can make the best use of the device. For the reciprocating saw, it’s no different.
There are many things you stand to gain by using the right reciprocating saw for your projects. Here are the most common ones;
Extremely Powerful and Versatile
As earlier indicated, the reciprocating saw is one of the most powerful electric tools in the workshop and job site. It can cut through almost anything – even nails and pins – with very little effort on your part.
The high degree of the power of a reciprocating saw is also demonstrated in cutting heavy tree branches and in demolition works. In other words, you can use the tool for any task as long as you need to cut something.
This makes it one of the most versatile destructive weapons in the market for accomplishing workshop and construction related tasks.
Fits Any Space
Another incredible advantage a reciprocating saw has over similar power tools is its ability to fit into any space in its part. This is why it’s commonly used for window fittings; something other power tools would ordinarily not be able to do.
Apart from using the reciprocating saw to accomplish some basic tasks which may not be accomplished using other tools, you can also use it in your own way as long as the task requires a cutting function. It doesn’t bother about the kind of material in front of you. With a reciprocating saw, you can face almost anything.
Lightweight and Constant Power
Reciprocating saws usually come in two options – the corded option and the cordless one. One of the biggest advantages of the corded saw is its lightweight, which can be attributed to the fact that it does come with a battery, which greatly reduces the overall weight of the tool.
The lightweight makes it possible to use the saw for a longer period of time without developing tired fingers and arms.
In addition, since the saw relies on your main power source and not batteries, you can use it for as long as you want provided it’s still connected. This removes the down times of charging the device now and then – a common situation when using cordless reciprocating saws.
However, a corded reciprocating saw will allow you to go as far as the length of the cord.
Freedom of Movement
If you decide to go for a cordless reciprocating saw, you can expect to enjoy unlimited movement.
Things To Consider Before You Buy
Here are the key things to look out for when shopping for a reciprocating saw;
The amperage dictates the power of the saw which also determines its performance. A reciprocating saw with high-power is stronger and will provide higher stroke per minute. Therefore, the more amperage this power tool has, the easier it will be able to cut material.
Most reciprocating saws usually have a power rating between 9 to 15 Amps. For heavy duty projects that involve thick materials, you would probably have to go for a high amperage but for smaller applications, a low amperage would do.
It is also important to note that saws with higher amperage tend to weigh more than those with lower power. And they also cost more. So except you have a big project at hand, a moderately powered saw should be ideal.
Corded or Battery Powered
Before buying a reciprocating saw one of the most important features to look out for whether you will go for the one with a power cord or run your machine with battery power. There’re pros and cons to both.
- The power is stable
- Lightweight because of no batteries
- Battery can be charged while using working
- The Cord can serve as a safety hazard tool
- Constant electric outlet while working
- More portability
- Heavier than corded because of the batteries
- Can access anywhere, you don’t need to worry about an extension cord
- Efficiency can reduce when the battery starts to run low
- Wastage of time for working while the battery is charging
Stroke Length and Stroke Per Minute
For a faster and cleaner job, the actual length of the stroke and the strokes per minute (SPM) are two vital things to consider when buying a reciprocating saw. More SPM doesn’t necessarily mean more power, but a higher SPM can allow you to cut through faster.
Reciprocating saw with longer stroke length will make your job easier and faster while cutting through the material. A good saw should have a stroke length around 1-1/8″ and a good stroke per minute rate will cut materials easily and faster.
Variable Speed Control
For flexibility, go for the model that the speed of the blade can easily be adjusted. This is extremely important especially if you plan to work on materials with different densities such as wood, metal, plaster, etc.
Thus with variable speed control, you can easily adjust the speed of the saw depending on the material you are working on. This allows you to work with greater accuracy since you have the ability to tailor speed to the kind of project you have at hand.
Blade Changing Mechanism
The blade in your reciprocating saw can always be changed but how convenient this process will be is very important.
Ideally, you want to choose a model that has a quick and easy blade changing mechanism. A good example is the keyless tool change which offers quick and easy blade change without using any special tool.
Your reciprocating saw should have a shoe adjustment. The adjustable shoe ensures increased stability and provides more control and accuracy during your cuts.
This is very important if you work in an awkward position. You definitely want to have the best saw and posture position when working with the reciprocating power saw. This improves the visibility of the cut line and thus your accuracy.
Vibration and Weight
Vibration and weight are two important features of a reciprocating saw that goes a long way to determine its ease of use as well as its portability.
Heavy reciprocating saws are not only difficult to transport, but also wear you out easily. In the same manner, a unit that produces a lot of vibration would shake a lot in your hands, and this affects the accuracy of your cuts.
Thus, you need to pay attention to the tool weight as well as the motor. You want a saw that is convenient to carry and doesn’t vibrate too much.
Another important consideration you need to make when purchasing a reciprocating saw is the efficiency of the machine. And this largely depends on the blade speed and motor.
Also, you want a saw that can cut both horizontally and vertically, as this gives you more options as to what you can accomplish with the tool.
During cutting operation, you need to be very careful in order to avoid hazards.
Apart from that, you need to ensure that the reciprocating saw you’re using comes with the right safety features.
Although it could be more, there are basically three features you need to look out for – Auto-Stop, Cushion Grips, and Anti-Vibration.
The Auto-shop comes with a trigger which automatically stops the machine when something goes wrong.
The Cushion Grips provides a comfortable grip to users which can be really useful when working for long hours.
Finally, the Anti-Vibration feature helps to reduce the effect of the saw vibration on your hands. This will prevent your hand from shaking whenever you are using the saw.
Some Useful Tips
Here are some useful tips you can apply to guarantee your safety and improve your cutting accuracy when using a Sawzall.
- Avoid blade binding by making sure the saw blade doesn’t reach the material beneath the cut
- To avoid kickback, make sure you stop the saw before you withdraw from a cut
- For a cordless saw, use the recommended charger to charge the saw battery
- Don’t cut with full blade length if you have no idea of what is laying under the covering material
- Don’t use a worn-out blade to avoid stressing the battery
- Lubricate the blade every once in a while for improved efficiency
How To Take Care And Maintain?
Apart from its user-friendliness, another advantage a Sawzall over most other types of saws is the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of maintenance. But notwithstanding, it’s still important that you take cleaning and maintenance seriously in order to ensure the proper functioning of the saw.
For instance, failing to replace a worn-out blade will not only affect the accuracy of your cuts but also the life of the battery as more demand will be made on power. So it’s very important you don’t neglect the maintenance of the tool.
If you use the saw every day, make sure you clean with a brush after using it. Weekly maintenance should also be carried out using a brush. You must get rid of every trace of dust, especially on the saw blade.
Try and sharpen the blade at the end of every month. If the blade is cheap, then you may want to consider replacing it altogether.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it advisable to use an old Ni-Cd charger for my Lithium-ion battery given the fact that they come from the same brand?
A: No, you shouldn’t. Even if you have a charger that fits your new Li-ion battery, don’t mix both together or else you will damage the charger or battery.
Q: What are the most common variables that determine the lifespan of a battery, especially when subjected to heavy use?
A: Many factors can affect the battery life of a cordless reciprocating saw. However, the most common ones are the type of workpiece, the intensity of the cut, blade condition, and the AMP hour rating of your saw.
Q: Can I use an 18-volt charger to charge a saw battery that is rated 20-volts?
A: No, we don’t advise this as it can lead to the damage of the charger or battery. Even if this were to work, the saw battery’s performance would be affected in the long run since it’s receiving a different voltage from the one that was specified for it.
Q: What is the essence of orbital action in a reciprocating saw?
A: The addition of orbital action setting to a Sawzall makes it possible for you to be able to make angular cuts. It also helps to enhance your cutting precision.
Q: Where can I get these products?
A: Simply follow the corresponding links provided.
There you have it – the best reciprocating saw for 2019. We hope you enjoyed the review. We look forward to your feedback.