Versatile and performs well. Long-lasting battery. Withstands hard use. Small size with a lot of power. Setting modes can be changed quickly. Three LED lights make working in dark spaces much easier. 3-year warranty.
Battery not included.
Switch between the jigsaw head to the reciprocating saw based on personal preferences. Adjust the variable speed based on the project. Dust blower keeps workspace clear. Cordless, so no hassle from tangled wires or unattached power sources.
Battery power isn't as long-lasting as other models on our list.
Solid build allows for long-lasting durability. Powerful motor for enhances performance and adjusts speed through the trigger. Incredibly lightweight and compact design makes it easy to work in areas with limited space. Quick and easy tool-free blade changing.
Battery and charger must be purchased separately.
Pivoting blade remains stable as you turn saw over turns and angles. Electric brake stops quickly and efficiently, ensuring the user's safety. Full package includes battery and charger, so customers won't have to purchase their own.
Some troubles with the locking mechanism of the device.
Designed to cut through heavy-duty surfaces easily through its ergonomic shape. Delivers up to 10,000 strokes per minute. Suppresses vibration, reducing fatigue and increasing steadiness. Offers 6 exchangeable blades.
The blades are not as easy to exchange as presented.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
A reciprocating saw is one of the best tools to have on hand when you're doing demolition work because of its ability to cut through just about anything. Whether you’re working with wood, metal, plastic, tile, or composite, almost nothing will stop a reciprocating saw with the right blade.
Powerful, reliable, and tough, reciprocating saws are also great for a variety of other DIY jobs, like cutting sheetrock when installing drywall. A good reciprocating saw is an invaluable addition to your toolbox that will come in handy for years.
One dictionary definition of “reciprocate” is to move backward and forward in a straight line. In essence, that is what a reciprocating saw does. A powerful electric motor drives the blade at over 2,000 strokes a minute for nearly effortless cutting. (Blade length varies and is up to 12 inches in some cases.) With a variety of blades available, there's little a reciprocating saw can't handle.
As with most electrical tools, you have a choice of corded or cordless power with a reciprocating saw. In the past, battery-powered models were criticized for lack of performance, but with all of the improvements that have been made, there is now little difference between battery power and cord power in a reciprocating saw. Indeed, many manufacturers make models that are virtually identical except for the power source.
Here’s are the main factors to keep in mind about of each type of saw.
A reciprocating saw can have a brush motor or a brushless motor. Brush motors cost less and are often found in corded tools. Brushes eventually wear, so this type of motor has some maintenance requirements. Brushless motors require virtually no maintenance, and they usually last longer. Furthermore, they make more efficient use of power. If you’re going for a cordless saw, a brushless motor is preferred, albeit more expensive.
Corded tools are rated by amps. A reciprocating saw that’s capable of most DIY tasks will generally have seven or eight amps. Tradespeople and contractors who rely on their reciprocating saws to make a living would more likely be happy with a reciprocating saw with 11 or 12 amps.
On most reciprocating saws, the blade action is back and forth. However, some also have orbital (slightly elliptical) action. This is designed to deliver more aggressive cutting. That's great for demolition work, but it can be too severe for some tasks. The ability to turn orbital action on and off is a big advantage.
The shoe acts as a blade guide and can be adjustable for both depth and angle. Extending the shoe can help maximize blade life by allowing you to use different sections of teeth.
The speed of a reciprocating saw is usually controlled by the trigger, although an additional dial may be provided. Maximum speed usually lies in the region of 2,500 to 3,000 spm (strokes per minute). A reciprocating saw with a higher speed can cut faster, but this is not always what is needed. A reciprocating saw with variable speed is highly desirable, as you can tailor it to suit the material you’re cutting. For example, with a variable speed reciprocating saw, you could select a faster spm for cutting steel than for cutting wood.
“Stroke” is a figure usually quoted by the manufacturer, and 1 1/8 inches is common. However, the stroke doesn't have a lot of bearing on performance. Blade length, rather than stroke, defines the maximum thickness of the material you can cut. The only real benefit of a longer stroke is that it distributes blade wear more evenly.
One-handed or two-handed operation
Most reciprocating saws are designed to be used with two hands, and rubberized areas provide a good grip. These saws are often quite long, which can create problems in confined spaces. Some saws have their motor at an angle, allowing them to be more compact. They may also be designed for one-handed operation.
Other notable features
The lowest price you’ll find for a reciprocating saw is $40 or $50, and this will be for a corded tool. An entry-level tool like this could be suitable if you're looking for something to occasional use only. However, we generally recommend spending a little more.
Between $70 and $120, you'll find a selection of very good reciprocating saws from trustworthy brands. You'll find high-quality cordless tools in this price bracket, too, but they will almost all be bare tools. A battery and charger cost extra, and these add-ons would likely double the price.
If you're looking for an all-in-one cordless kit that provides a reciprocating saw, battery, charger, and a bag or carry case, expect to pay between $300 and $400.
The Worx WX550L 2-in1 Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw is a very interesting tool. It's not designed for heavy-duty cutting, but it's certainly worth considering if you have a lot of different tasks and want the versatility this saw provides.
Getting a reciprocating saw into tight spaces can sometimes be a challenge, but with the DeWALT DCS387B, that's much less of a problem. The motor is mounted at an angle, so it's quite compact, yet the performance is excellent. For a high-quality brand, it's surprisingly affordable, too.
Q. Is there much difference between 18V and 20V cordless reciprocating saws?
A. No. Technically, the batteries are both the same, but the way the manufacturer describes them is different. 20V is the maximum output — the voltage delivered when the motor starts or when there's no load. 18V is the nominal output — the voltage used when the motor is running normally.
Q. Is a reciprocating saw the same as a Sawzall?
A. This is a trademark issue. The name “Sawzall” belongs to the Milwaukee Electric Tool Company, but it has become synonymous with all reciprocating saws. It's similar to the way lots of people call a vacuum cleaner a “Hoover.” So all Sawzalls are reciprocating saws, but not all reciprocating saws are Sawzalls!
Q. Is a reciprocating saw better than a jigsaw?
A. Actually, a jigsaw is a type of reciprocating saw. They have a similar cutting action. They can even share some tasks. However, a jigsaw has a finer blade, is capable of more delicate work, and mostly cuts horizontally. A reciprocating saw has a thicker blade that is designed for rapid, aggressive cutting, and it is often used vertically. It would be very difficult to use a jigsaw for that kind of job. On the other hand, you wouldn't want to cut a laminate kitchen countertop with a reciprocating saw; they are too powerful for that type of job, and you would almost certainly damage the surface.