Slicing through plywood may seem simple in theory, but it’s far from easy. Don’t take our word for it; ask any battle-tested veteran, and they’ll probably tell you the same thing. That’s because approximating the amount of power needed is only one aspect. The other is about making sure the cuts are even and straight, so you don’t end up butchering a perfectly beautiful piece of wood.
In the past, manual saws were the primary tools used. But as the industry’s demands grew, so did the equipment. Manufacturers needed to keep up with times, and this meant introducing high-powered and electrical machines to make everyone’s lives easier. One such example is the reciprocating saw.
Today, our article will primarily focus on the benefits of such device. Reciprocating saws have long been a staple in every woodworker’s toolbox, shed, or construction site. Its ability to efficiently make insertions, in even the thickest materials, has helped save users tons of time and energy. We’ll also be enumerating what the best reciprocating saws currently available are, as well as its two variants.
Interested buyers currently looking for a quick guide when buying these have come to right place. We’ll discuss everything you need when making an informed decision.
Reciprocating Saw Comparison Table
1. Dewalt DCS387P1 Cordless Reciprocating Saw
- Constructed with a lightweight design for easier maneuverability while cutting through the workpiece
- An LED light illuminates dimly lit areas, giving you a better line of sight when working
2. Milwaukee 2720-20 M18 Reciprocating Sawzall
- Produces incredible power and speed of up to 3,000-strokes-per-minute; great for cutting thick workpieces
- Features a revolutionary Red-Link Intelligence System that prevents this tool from overheating
3. WORX WX550L Variable-Speed Reciprocating Saw
- Shift from reciprocating saw to a jigsaw in an instant; it essentially provides you two tools for the price of one
- Delivers up to 3,000-SPM, which is great for cutting through hard and otherwise thick workpieces
4. Dewalt DCS387B Reciprocating Saw
- Ergonomically designed so that weight is distributed evenly across its 14-inch frame; places very little stress on arms
- Uses a four-blade clamping system that puts the blade in the best position possible
5. Black & Decker BDCR20C Reciprocating Saw
- The handle and body are covered with rubber to provide better control and help minimize vibrations
- Comes with an electric brake to stop the machine in case of malfunction; works to keep your hand safe
6. Makita JR3050T Corded Reciprocating Saw
- Fortified with a durable 11-AMP motor perfect for slicing through wood, plastic, and even thin metal sheets
- Elongated so that vibrations are greatly minimized; remains steady even when being used at top speeds
7. SKIL 9206-02 Variable-Speed Reciprocating Saw
- Despite its price and size, this tool still manages to produce 2,700-strokes-per-minute on the average
- A variable speed trigger with monitor tells you exactly how fast you are going; great for estimating power
8. Dewalt DWE305 Corded Reciprocating Saw
- A category-leading 12-AMP motor is great for heavy-duty applications; delivers nearly 2,900-SPM
- Includes a lengthy 3-year warranty so that your initial investment is protected
9. Milwaukee 6519-31 Corded Sawzall
- Built with counter-weight technology and gear protecting clutch designed for less vibrations and longer life
- Displays a strong commitment to consumers as evidenced by a 5-year warranty package
10. Dewalt DWE304 Corded Reciprocating Saw
- A 10-AMP motor is great for tougher projects; it remains stable so you aren’t distracted often
- A key-less lever-action clamp allows for easy installation and disassembly of blades
Reciprocating Saw Reviews
Cordless Reciprocating Saw
A cordless reciprocating saw, as its name suggests, does not need a running power source to work. Most come with a rechargeable battery pack, giving users the liberty of working anywhere they please. If you’re the type of person that frequently moves from one place to another, then this type of tool certainly fits that lifestyle.
Here are some of the best cordless reciprocating saw options to consider.
It goes without saying that Dewalt is one of the best power tool manufacturers today. And each time they introduce products like the DCS387P1 Cordless Reciprocating Saw, this claim only becomes stronger. At first glance, this model seems just like any other cordless reciprocating saw. But a closer look will prove otherwise.
The Dewalt DCS387P1 is ergonomically designed and great for tight spaces. It spans a total length of 14.5-inches and weighs approximately 7-lbs. Its lightweight frame also helps enhance maneuverability when working, while alleviating stress on your arms and wrists too. You’ll be able to go on for longer hours without needing a break in between.
Cutting strength is another aspect this tool excels in. The Dewalt DCS387P1 Cordless Reciprocating Saw can deliver a maximum speed of 2,900-SPM, which is tough enough to cut through most hardwoods. Blades, however, do not come with this package, so interested buyers will need to pay extra for either a pack of six or ten knife-edges. We would recommend those with a tight budget to look for something more complete. Neither the unit nor its accessories are priced cheaply.
Still, any seasoned woodworker can spot its benefits from a mile away. The four-position blade clamp, variable-speed trigger, and DCB205 lithium-ion battery pack all help to improve your overall work experience. Only a few tools are capable of enjoying this level of excellence, and the Dewalt DCS387P1 certainly can. Without a doubt, it definitely deserves its place as one of the best cordless reciprocating saws on the open market.
You know you’ve made it in this industry when a term you coined is used as common knowledge. The word, Sawzall, actually refers to a line of products saws manufactured by Milwaukee in 1951. At that time, they marketed it as the “first portable electric hacksaw” introduced. Since then, the word grew and has now become almost synonymous to reciprocating saws.
Out of all the models in that collection, the Milwaukee 2720-20 M18 Reciprocating Sawzall is what many would consider as its crown jewel. It is powered by a brushless motor and Red-Lithium XC4.0 battery pack, which lasts longer than your average power unit. The lifespan has been extended too, meaning it will last several years before needing to be replaced. This has the potential to save you a few extra dollars in repairs and maintenance fees.
We would openly recommend the Milwaukee 2720-20 M18 Reciprocating Sawzall to anyone needing that extra dose of muscle. Its 3,000-strokes-per-minute capacity can easily cut through hardwood, PVC, copper sheets, or even materials as hard as metal frames. This power it yields is unbelievable, making it ideal for construction works or other heavy-duty tasks.
The good thing with this tool, though, is that no matter how fast its engine runs, the RED-LINK Intelligence System prevents it from overheating. This revolutionary software from Milwaukee helps raise performance through a total system communication between the tool and battery. As such, you can be assured that it runs smoothly at any given time.
Right now, you’re probably wondering how much such a high-end piece of equipment would cost? Hundreds, maybe, a few couple thousand dollars? You might be surprised because the Milwaukee 2720-20 is priced less than $200! And as an added bonus, a robust 5-year warranty package ensures that you have someone to turn to in case any persistent issues arise.
We can completely understand the apprehension beginners have with spending on a single tool. After all, only time can tell how much their interest lives or whether they end up pursuing this craft. In this instance, buying an affordable entry-level model could be a potential compromise. And among a seemingly endless range of choices, it is perhaps the WORX WX550L Variable-Speed Reciprocating Saw that offers a perfect blend of functionality and inexpensiveness.
New users are definitely its primary target audiences, as evidenced by its competitive price point. However, we could also see it appealing to seasoned woodworkers, as well, particularly those who are seeking a supplementary reciprocating saw. The WORX WX550L is ergonomically constructed, weighing only 4.2-lbs, and snuggly fits in most carrying cases. Contractors, repair specialists, and professional carpenters can all benefit tremendously by what it offers.
In terms of strength, the WORX WX550L Variable-Speed Reciprocating Saw is no slouch, either, producing close to 3,000-strokes-per-minute of power with each motion. This, paired with a carbide blade, easily rips through lumber, aluminum, fiberglass, and a host of other workpieces. Plus, the slight circular movements its razorblade makes ensure greater efficiency while cutting, more accurate insertions, and less pressure on your arms.
Even its axis, which may look ordinary, actually plays a crucial role in the entire woodworking process. This accessory allows the WORX WX550L to pivot from jigsaw to reciprocating saw, within only a matter of seconds. Not only that, but this vertical axis is also compatible with virtually any blade on the market, providing consumers with greater flexibility when doing different tasks. You’d be hard-pressed to find an alternative as successful as this.
Despite all these fancy features, the WORX WX550L Variable-Speed Reciprocating Saw still remains to be an incredibly affordable option. Coming in at just below $100, this is your typical low-risk-high-reward investment. Thus, having considered everything, there’s no question why so many believe that it’s one of the best cordless reciprocating saws available today.
Through 94 years of service, Dewalt has undoubtedly entrenched itself as a global brand in this industry. And probably the biggest reason for this is its wide range of offerings. They have products for every type of user, literally, including those without any prior experience. The DCS387B Reciprocating Saw, for instance, is a perfect option aimed at beginners, thanks to its competitive price and user-friendliness.
Size-wise, the Dewalt DCS387B Reciprocating Saw is quite portable, measuring 14-inches in total length. This tool can be held with one hand, and induces very little stress, even when used for extended hours. We would recommend this to people who only have a small work area, because aside from only taking up very little space when being operated, finding sufficient storage is also super easy.
These practical qualities have made owning the Dewalt DCS387B a real joy. Add in its exceptional cutting potential, and you instantly have a go-to piece of equipment for all your woodworking projects. After all, this device is proficient in functioning from 0 all the way to 2,900-SPM. Its 1.13-inch stroke length likewise helps augment this speed, while a four-position blade clamp put it in best angles possible. You can now kiss those days of laboring through workpieces, goodbye.
The only downside we saw is that both its charger and battery are sold separately. We were initially disappointed, especially since all the other product kits come with this accessory included. Still, it’s hard to be too mad after seeing its reasonable price. The Dewalt DCS387B Reciprocating Saw is tailor-fit for individuals not looking to spend a lot. It can even be bought as a present for dad or basically anybody who’s into crafting wood.
If all these sound appealing, then you better run down to the nearest hardware or visit any reputable online marketplace. People are beginning to learn more about its advantages, and it won't be long before stocks are completely sold out. That's just how it goes for one of the best cordless reciprocating saws on the market.
The final item on our best cordless reciprocating saw category is the Black & Decker BDCR20C. And although it doesn’t originate from the trendiest brand, this model still comes equipped with practical features that users will want to take note of. Paramount, of which, is its ability to thrive in tight spaces.
Like a majority of the models we discussed, the Black & Decker BDCR20C Reciprocating Saw is ergonomically designed, weighing over 4-lbs. The handle and body are constructed with rubberized padding too, providing better control, even when running at high-speeds. And since smaller power tools often have a higher susceptibility to shaking, it incorporates dampening technology to reduce movements significantly. Thus, resulting in greater comfort and less pain experienced by your body.
Prospective customers will also be glad to know that the Black & Decker BDCR20C Reciprocating Saw comes with a variable-speed trigger for controlling the vigor. Doing so allows you to lower the speed on more sensitive projects while maintaining an ability to suddenly power up when needed. This ultimately affords greater versatility for mastering a wider assortment of tasks.
Finally, the inclusion of a handy electric brake, an adjustable pivot shoe, and a tool-less blade feature only supports our earlier claim. The Black & Decker BDCR20C Reciprocating Saw has definitely done a lot to develop the user experience and make them the number one priority. Even though these enhancements may seem commonsensical, but in reality, they really do make a huge difference. Aspects such as safety, tool maintenance, and having a full range of motion, all directly affect your end product. Be sure you always make time to consider these critical aspects.
Functionality, portability, and possessing greater control are only a few reasons why this tool is so well-accepted by consumers. Add in its competitive price and lengthy warranty coverage, and you instantly have an alternative to other high-end brands without giving up much value. Of course, durability might be slightly less; but is it really a deal-breaker considering the amount of savings you enjoy?
Corded Reciprocating Saw
On the other hand, corded models always need to be plugged in a socket. And while your mobility is severely restricted, the added strength and durability help to make up for it. You also won’t have to worry about whether the battery packed is charged, or if there’s any juice left, giving you complete focus on the task at hand.
Workers on industrial or even commercial jobsites would often lean towards performance over portability. That’s because the materials they work with are usually thicker and larger in size, not to mention denser. In these cases, having a tool like the Makita JR3050T Corded Reciprocating Saw could prove to be a real difference maker.
Armed with an 11-AMP motor, the Makita JR3050T yields up to 2,800-SPM of power. It pairs seamlessly with a 1.13-inch blade stroke for smooth insertions in even the heftiest types of workpieces. This includes wood, plastic, and even metal. And because the tool is elongated, its total weight is spread, too, leading to fewer cases of vibrations. We absolutely love its overall construction and how it directly affects the quality of work you could potentially produce.
Unfortunately for most buyers, though, this corded reciprocating saw lacks many of the elements found in other models. The absence of a variable-speed trigger or LED light stings a little bit, but consumers should quickly get over it. These, after all, are only a minor glitch comparison to the level of performance the Makita JR3050T offers. It may indeed lack in quantity, but certainly not on the quality of features, which are all crucial to take your abilities to the next level.
Best of all, the Makita JR3050T Corded Reciprocating Saw costs less than $100, which only adds to its appeal. Users who have yet to fully invest in this craft, or individuals on a tight budget, are among its primary target audience. This also includes professionals seeking a reliable tool, DIY enthusiasts, and repairs workers.Still, whoever decides to buy it is beside the point. What we can all agree with, though, is that this tool is among the very best corded reciprocating saws currently on the market. Any person would be lucky to avail of its service.
You're probably wondering how a corded reciprocating saw could cost so little. Us, too, but we have our own set of theories. After careful examination, though, we realized the SKIL 9206-02 Variable-Speed Reciprocating Saw fails to offer the same level of power and precision that other options are known for. However, what it does provide is a first-hand glimpse into this vocation, without the substantial monetary investment, of course. Doing so allows newbies to dip their feet before making a full-fledged commitment. And spending $40 should be well worth the risk.
Of course, we aren't saying that this product is a steaming pile of rotting garbage. It still exhibits several noteworthy qualities. Just don't expect it to measure up to those high-end models. The SKIL 9206-02 has instead prioritized the basics, choosing to take a more straightforward approach.
This device, despite weighing just slightly below 9-lbs, actually produces sufficient cutting power for its size. It comes furnished with a 7.5-AMP motor capable of delivering approximately 2,700-SPM. On paper, this may not seem like a lot; but we've seen how it's fully capable of ripping through standard-size workpieces, thanks also to a 1.13-inch stroke blade.
In terms of maintenance, the SKIL 9206-02 Variable-Speed Reciprocating Saw is likewise at par with industry regulations. It comes with a variable-speed dial and monitor that displays your exact rapidity. This way, you can control how fast or slow the motor runs. A keyless clamp also simplifies the task of replacing blades, while counter-balance technology reduces shaking considerably. Improving every single one of these facets will allow beginners to concentrate solely on the responsibility at hand, ultimately so they’ll see whether they are passionate about it or not.
After dissecting everything this model provides, you'll begin seeing a trend. Dewalt, a world-class and globally-recognized brand, has always prioritized cutting strength, durability, and user convenience when constructing all their power tools. One could even say that these compose a large part of their branding since consumers have always associated them with quality and excellence. And of course, this same claim can also be said about its DWE305 Corded Reciprocating Saw.
Objectively speaking, what we liked most about the Dewalt DWE305 Corded Reciprocating Saw is its added muscle. It comes with a substantial 12-AMP motor capable of producing up to 2,900-strokes-per-minute. This also uses a pretty standard 1.13-inch blade stroke that's long enough to penetrate through average-sized workpieces. We really appreciated the placement of its blade, especially when working on thick pieces of wood, because it greatly simplified maneuvering and controlling it. Even beginners won't find this task too complicated.
Aside from that, the presence of a variable-speed trigger has considerably helped in managing the tool's expulsion of power. Just like a car's gas pedal, you'll need to add pressure to make it go faster. The only downside, though, is that no screen or monitor is displaying an exact speed. As such, first-time users may take some time before getting used to this setup. We'd advise doing some practice cuts prior to the actual project.
In terms of price, the DWE305 Corded Reciprocating Saw isn't very different from those in its class. Costing less than $100, this model is ideal for either a new or seasoned operator. But with the level quality of features it provides, an experienced user might be able to maximize it more. After all, a robust motor, solid gripping handles, and a functional blade, are the basics one needs to improve this craft. It won't be long before you're cutting up workpieces at a professional rate, all thanks to this.
Although slightly more expensive, the Milwaukee 6519-31 Corded Sawzall remains to be a quality alternative, capable of matching up with any of the best reciprocating saws on our list. And right at the top of its best features is an internal counter-weight mechanism designed for reducing vibrations. This helps heighten your cutting accuracy while also maintaining composure throughout every work session.
Another exceptional element worth mentioning is its high-powered 12-AMP motor, which delivers up to 3,000-strokes-per-minute of speed, and can excel particularly with thin-wall materials. The Milwaukee 6519-31 serves as a prototypical for jobsite applications because of its strength and rugged construction. It even comes with gear protecting clutch that increases its resistance against wear-and-tear and extends the tool's overall life cycle. As such, consumers have shared that it lasts longer than other similar reciprocating saws.
However, one weakness interest buyers will need to take note of is its price. As mentioned earlier, the Milwaukee 6519-31 Corded Sawzall won't come cheap and is actually the most expensive model in its class. We'd advise only seasoned woodworkers – or at least committed hobbyists – to take the leap. Otherwise, it may just end up being a poor decision that won't yield your expected results.
Still, after considering every possible aspect, we've come to the conclusion that the Milwaukee 6519-31 is still one of the best corded reciprocating saws money can buy. As long as it's for the right person, of course. A combination of strength, safety, and efficiency will do wonders for any projects. Add in the quick-lock blade technology and high-impact carrying case, and it suddenly becomes even more appealing.
Users looking for another ultra-affordable option from Dewalt should consider the DWE304 Corded Reciprocating Saw. As a predecessor to our previous feature, the DWE305 Corded Reciprocating Saw, it offers many of the same features, but just at a lower price. And while the $10 reduction doesn't seem so substantial now, you'll realize its worth on when you factor in the expenses of electricity, raw materials, and screws. The fact that you're actually saving money without sacrificing any value is already a win, right?
In what has already been a trademark of this brand, the Dewalt DWE304 Corded Reciprocating Saw comes with a dependable 10-AMP motor. Users can freely use it on most jobsite applications like cutting plywood and metal, repair jobs, and manufacturing furniture. A variable-speed trigger has also been incorporated, giving you better control of how fast this tool goes. Users will be able to reach a maximum speed of approximately 2,800-strokes-per-minute, which is perfect for producing smooth and clean insertions, while reducing your total working time too.
Of course, it still comes with a four-position blade clamp, giving users the freedom to point its 1.13-inch knife-edge to almost any direction. Based on experience, this has been a big boost, particularly for carpenters, because maneuvering the tool is no longer as complicated. Plus, a keyless lever installed in the chuck means you won't need any tools when mounting the blades.
In general, the Dewalt DWE304's range of features won't necessarily jump out of the page. But we've found that this setup is better suited for new users. Having only the basics provides a more authentic experience of this craft, providing a strong foundation for future endeavors. It serves as an ideal practice tool, so to speak, before investing in something substantial. This way, you save yourself the hassle, not to mention time and money, of entering into a commitment that won't bring any joy. As such, it is one of the best corded reciprocating saws for beginners.
Things to Consider When Buying a Reciprocating Saw
Before even finalizing a decision, make sure you consider these factors first. These should definitely help with ensuring that the product perfectly matches your needs. Otherwise, you might just end up owning a reciprocating saw that is collecting dust in your garage. And this is an experience we wouldn’t want, right?
1. Corded vs. Cordless
Obviously, the first order of business is to determine to go cordless or not. This entails looking at your entire routine before deciding which variation is a better fit. Do you always move from one location to another? Are you constantly anxious of losing power? Are there enough electrical sockets around your work area, without having to use an extension cord? All these are perfectly valid indicators that one must take note of.
2. Cutting Strength
This is perhaps the characteristic that consumers most lookout for; and with good reason too. How much power a particular tool provides directly affects not only affects what type of workpieces, but also the tasks it is capable of doing. Therefore, if you’re a professional plumber or contractor, prioritizing a dominant reciprocating saw over one that’s portable makes sense. Especially since you are expected to slice through a wider variety of thicker materials.
3. Minimal Vibrations
It doesn't matter whether you've chosen a corded or cordless model; vibrations can really affect your quality of work. That's why whenever possible, select a unit with a good grip and rubberized molding all around. This way, unnecessary movements are minimized considerably.
Furthermore, the presence of counter-weight or even software-induced technology to provide even more stability is better. Just be prepared to pay extra because these additional features won't come cheap.
We've probably said this over a million times before: prioritize a tool with warranty! Even though it may be more expensive, the convenience of having some entity to turn to in times of need is well worth it. And yes, this must include sudden factory defects, parts replacement, and preventive maintenance. A money-back guarantee, which some brands offer, also goes a long way in protecting your investment. Trust us, when the time comes that an unfortunate incident occurs, you'll be glad that you put a premium on this.
5. Safety Features
The final aspect that needs consideration is your safety. Since anything remotely related to blades or cutting are deemed dangerous, having a blade lock or electric brake helps prevent injuries. Don't sleep on this because you may just end up losing the ability to give a thumbs-up.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do all models come with a carrying case?
Now, only the larger companies include this in their package. Often times, users just produce their own or place it inside a toolbox. Most reciprocating saws are compact, anyway, and won’t take up much space.
2. What type of budget must I set for a quality model?
Allotting $200 for either a corded or cordless device should be enough. This already includes all the major functions we feel you must strongly consider.
3. How long does a battery pack need to charge?
Again, it depends on your chosen option. However, on the average, most battery packs for cordless reciprocating saws take between three to five hours before completely charging.
Don’t fret because of the options; rejoice because you have a choice. And in this age of flexibility, be thankful to have all these best reciprocating saws at your disposal. You have the luxury of finding one that perfectly matches your needs, thus maximizing the tool itself and your money spent. It’s just a matter of reflecting on your lifestyle, prioritizing certain aspects, and making a decision. Follow – and trust – this process, and you should have nothing to lose.