If you are looking for the best reciprocating saw, you probably know that this popular power tool has something in common with a drill and a jigsaw. The hacksaw blade makes not only straightforward but also pendulum movements. It shifts back and forth, rising when moving to its original position. This means that the cutting element does not pass the second time in the same place and the blade is retracted in automatic mode. All these lead to the friction of the hacksaw on the cut surface reducing, which, in turn, facilitates and speeds up the work. Consequently, excessive physical effort and frequent changing of the saw’s removable part are not required.
Decent reciprocating saws have the following useful characteristics:
- These blades can easily get hard-to-reach places.
- Narrow sawing blades are able to make curly cuts. The cutting blade bends easily and can be exploited in this position.
- There is not a large amount of dust, sparks, and scales during the working process.
- It’s safe to use. Exhausting concentration is not required during the operational period.
- If you replace the saw blade with a metal brush, it can remove rust or old coating (there is such an option for some models).
Manufacturers present different models, so before making a purchase, you should familiarize yourself with our reviews, among which you’ll definitely find the tool that meets your demands.
Reciprocating Saw Reviews
Black & Decker BDCR20C — Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw
The saw is quite compact, being only slightly over 15 inches in length. Measuring 7.13 inches by 3.44 inches, it fits into the tight crevices the regular saws can’t get in. It weighs 4.5lbs and can be operated even single-handed. However, the motor is powerful enough to deal with the 2.5-inch tree limbs easily.
This kit will make a great start for your Black+Decker tools collection, as it features a charger accepting the Powerconnect batteries. It includes a Black and Decker reciprocating saw with a 5-inch blade and a 20V power bank that’ll last you over an hour of continuous work.
Working on a stack of logs for two hours, I had to exchange a battery only at the end of my work. I pushed the saw hard, often sawing at the maximum speed. This model is equipped with an electronic brake that stops the motion almost immediately. During idle periods, you can activate the lock so that the trigger wouldn’t be pressed occasionally.
I liked the sturdiness of the saw construction. The blade motion had been even, producing no gaps or jumps, and the cuts were neat. I also tested the saw on a thin metal sheet with another blade, and cut it through easily. The tool’s housing is sturdy, and I didn’t feel it warm up throughout the work.
- A lot of space at the handle makes it convenient for big-handed people to hold and use the tool.
- The speed can be adjusted by putting more or less pressure on the trigger.
- The saw accepts blades as long as 12 inches.
- No case for storing the saw and blades is supplied.
- The charger takes a long to replenish the 6Ah battery—about 4 hours.
The lightweight yet sturdy construction is the first thing I’d like to accent on in this reciprocating saw review. Though solid and fully rubber construction at the spots of contact with the hand, this saw weighs 4.07lbs and can be used single-handed. Still, I’ve found the large front palm space is very comfortable for a user, ensuring a good position for stabilizing and controlling the motion of the tool.
Inside, the device holds a brushless motor, which works quietly, and is just slightly heard within 200ft. Powered with an 18V battery, it moves the blade at 3,000 SPM at no load, with a ⅞-inch stroke length. I tested the saw with the blades of a different length (a 6-inch one for combined works, and a 12-inch one for lumber), and enjoyed the little vibration and stable functioning. Getting through the 4×4 lumber was easy: though the cut was a bit rougher than with the 2-inch boards, it was generally even.
I liked the compact design of this saw when I had to trim the young apple trees and get between the branches. The tool is just 15-inch long and 4.4-inch deep. The base plate is metal and pivoting. Despite being not a loose-motion type, it adjusts to the surface quite well, even when dealing with a round metal pipe.
The tool features the speed adjustment via the trigger pressure and the safety lock. There’s also the LED light right beneath the chuck, letting you see the worksite clearly.
- Toolless blade replacement is possible via rotating the chuck.
- The device implements the REDLINK Plus technology to ensure long battery life and motor protection.
- Good weight-and-size balance is kept with the battery inserted.
- There’s no regulation mechanism for shoe extension.
- The LED light can’t be disabled and stays on for some time after the motor stops.
Video Milwaukee 2719-20
This small reciprocating saw has a good assembly quality. There are metal gears in the mechanism, which protect the construction from a breakage even after falling from a small height. Blades can be affixed horizontally or vertically in order to meet various requirements. The item isn’t heavy (8 pounds), but it might be difficult for some customers to deal with it. It’s a decent choice for those who need the tool with a powerful engine (12 Amps) for heavy work. The DEWALT DWE305 throws some chips/dust around, so it’s better to take care of safety gear. The used cord itself is strong and thick, so bending is excluded, and it is quite difficult to break it (it is coated with hardy polyvinyl chloride). The unit has a soft launch that eliminates starting jerks and protects the tool from wear. It works loud but produced sound does not negatively affect an owner’s general condition.
- There’s a keyless lever for clamping the blades that makes it easy to exchange the header.
- I can control the speed through the required triggers.
- The cord is 6 feet long, which is absolutely enough for most operations in the house (if you want to work outside, it’s better to get an electric generator).
- There’s no protection case for storing.
- The set doesn’t contain nozzles, so such elements should be purchased additionally.
Video Dewalt DWE305
Dewalt DWE304 — Best Corded Reciprocating Saw
Taking the DWE304 saw in hand, I immediately felt its heavy-duty design. The tool is durable and well assembled, as well as large and heavy. The length of the electric saw body is 17.5 inches, and the blade adds another 8–12 inches. This saw weighs 7lbs and should be operated using two hands. One hand holds the tool by the handle pressing on the trigger, and another supports the front part, which is fully rubberized. The saw works evenly: there’s no vibration or feedback from the occasional stucks.
I tested this corded reciprocating saw on 4×4 lumber and thick metal water pipes. I used the wood and metal blades respectively, each of a 12-inch length. The stroke performed by the tool has a 1 ⅛-inch length. The motor in this device is very powerful. Rated at 10 Amps, it can make up to 2,800 SPM. This let me cut through pipes as quickly as through lumber and hardboard with nails. It was seldom that I couldn’t finish the cut in one effort, even with the thick 10-inch twigs.
The chuck design lets you cut not just vertically but horizontally as well. The blade can be inserted in different positions to perform various works and experiment with the cuts. Switching the blade is quick thanks to the side clamp that should be pulled up/released for removing/inserting the chosen blade.
- A sensitive trigger lets you get the exact speed you need for your task.
- A large metal shoe additionally stabilizes and secures the blade motion.
- The rubber coating is slightly overlapping to the front, securing the user’s hand from sliding ahead.
- There’s no safety trigger fixation.
- The shoe isn’t adjustable.
Video Dewalt DWE304
This unit has an important feature: it can be both a mini reciprocating saw and a jigsaw. The tool holder allows you to clamp blades of two types. The powerful engine is located in a rotary head and the electronics are hidden in the handle that makes the unit compact. A special snap button permits you to easily transform the tool from a jigsaw to a lightweight reciprocating saw (4.2 pounds). The unit has some ventilation holes, which reduce the overheating possibility. Cord absence makes it simple to use a tool even on a roof and in the garden. The battery is good for short operations because due to the heavy load it quickly loses charge and refuses to work. It is not suitable for working with hard materials and thick trees (due to the blade thickness and compactness), only for simple housework.
- The forehead contains a backlit that is comfortable for usage in dark places.
- Battery with charger is suitable for all 20V WORX models.
- It is easy to get rid of sawdust by blowing it out.
- There’s no blade back stabilization so during the cutting process the unit leaves chewed up edges.
- The vibration may be too tense.
Video Worx WX550L
A DIYer and even a contractor will benefit from this compact cord-free saw with a good speed and little maintenance required. This cordless reciprocating saw weighs 3.9lbs without a power bank and 4.5lbs with a battery on. Thus, it can be used by anyone in many locations, including on-the-ladder works.
The 5-inch blade coming in the package is quite sturdy and can be used on medium-sized tree limbs and thin plastic pipes. For metal works, you’ll have to get another blade. The good news is the saw’s mechanism accepts multiple blade brands, so it’s easy to get a replacement.
The motor pushes the blade at 3,000 SPM maximum, with a ⅞-inch length of a single stroke. It means the 2-inch branch can be cut in a minute without applying much effort. The pressure on the trigger regulates the speed, and the trigger has medium sensitivity. It doesn’t start at a light touch, but once you start the motor, you can regulate the speed with ease.
The assembly quality of this tool is high. The rubberized parts are grippy, and the saw fits well in the hands. The 20V battery is easy to slide in and out with a single move. It sustained 1h5min of constant operation when working around my paddock. The cuts were clean, and it was good to have a shoe pivot to reach the tricky places.
- The solid housing doesn’t vibrate or jump even when dealing with metal.
- A trigger lock is a sound safety feature.
- The tool keeps the speed high until the battery is empty (no slowing down at less charge level).
- The clamp securing the blade is somewhat cumbersome to use, as it springs back to its position quickly.
- No speed fixation mechanism is provided.
Video Black & Decker BDCR20B
With the reduced length and weight, this mini reciprocating saw can be of multiple applications in cases when the larger tools usually reign. It’s just 11 inches long, so I operated it confidently with one hand while trimming the tree branch above my head. I didn’t feel tired soon, as the saw weighed just about 3lbs (2.2lbs without a battery). I tested it on plastic and metal sheets, and also cut various tree branches with a diameter of up to 4 inches. It did take time to get through a 4×4 lumber piece, but I liked that the saw produced an even and smooth-surfaced cut on various materials.
Though compact, this recip saw is quite powerful and can work at 3,000 SPM (no-load mode). The length of stroke makes ½-inch and is enough for multiple household and garden tasks. The brake is highly efficient and ceases the blade motion immediately once the trigger is depressed.
The shoe plate in the M12 one-handed reciprocating saw is a sturdy one. I performed multiple cuts with the tool, and it didn’t get scratched or went out-of-balance. It can be adjusted to the working surface thanks to the pivot but isn’t regulated by length. The blade is quick to change: just turn the chuck, tuck in the blade, release the chuck, and you’ve replaced it in a second!
- You can work with various blade lengths and teeth per inch.
- I didn’t feel the vibration even while working on metal.
- The battery indicator lets you know when it’s time to replace it.
- The battery gets drained quickly at a high load (lasted about 20 minutes at a lumbering site).
- The device struggles and frequently bogs up on wet wood.
Video Milwaukee M12
This set contains a tool itself, two batteries, four blades, and a charger. It’s priced affordably (many of the competing products are a tool-only offer). Still, this saw weighs 4.7lbs (with the battery onboard), offers many top features, and is rated high among the cordless reciprocating saw reviews.
The housing includes many rubber parts, letting you grip the saw reliably. The handle is designed in a slightly askew way, and I’ve found it quite comfortable for work. There’s a safety-ensuring switch right above the handle, which can be pressed on both sides. It locks the trigger so that the saw wouldn’t start when occasionally applying pressure on the trigger.
The shoe can be adjusted by length and pivoted in four positions. For that, you’ll have to press the two rubber buttons near the front part and extend or draw in the shoe. The motor of this tool performs at a maximum of 2,800 SPM, and the stroke is ⅞-inch long.
This battery-operated reciprocating saw is supplied with two batteries of 2.0Ah 20V and a charging device. The single battery lasted for about an hour of continuous work (trimming my small trees and bushes) and wasn’t completely juiced out. There was one LED light glowing on the front, meaning the charge was below 45%.
When getting to charge the battery, plug in the charger first, wait for a green light, and then insert the battery. It took me less than an hour to have it full and ready to work.
- The tool is supplied with two blades for wood and two for metal (6-inch long).
- The blade replacement is quick: you should just turn the chuck and tuck in the blade.
- The LED light lets you see the workplace through the sawdust.
- The supplied wood blades get dull quickly.
- The tool slightly vibrates at a high load.
Video Hychika 20V
Reciprocating Saw Definition
What is a reciprocating saw? It is a type of electric saw due to which the cutting process (sawing) is carried out by reciprocating movements of the blade. The unit has interchangeable wedges resembling jigsaw blades but only of a bigger size. Such a reciprocating instrument is also called an electric saw, since the sawing principle is similar to a hand saw, only automated. It varies in power, speed, and functions, moreover, the unit size also depends on these parameters. There are low-power, cordless, compact, and also powerful high-speed, network-operated reciprocating models. Modern cordless electric facilities don’t come short of instruments, powered by electricity in the context of performance level. Battery reserve significantly increases and charging time decreases. Pneumatic saws are often used in bulk repair because they have increased wear resistance.
How to Use a Reciprocating Saw?
Pay attention to the following recommendations:
- First of all, it is mandatory to check the manual, choose the right blade (it has to be longer than the object you cut by only 2 inches), and insert it correctly into the chuck. Long and flexible blades are great for flashing anything or getting close to an object in an inaccessible place.
- A reciprocating saw is a rather coarse instrument with strong vibration and, unlike a jigsaw, can damage the material being cut, such as laminate. You should protect the work surface by putting a piece of thermal insulation on the saw’s plane sole and securing it with a tape.
- If you use a reciprocating unit for metal cutting, pay attention that during operation the cutting blade becomes hot. Whereupon it quickly dulls and becomes unsuitable for further use. In order to extend the cutting blade’s performance, use a special lubricant for wedges during operation, which can be easily found in tool stores.
- When working with a saw, it’s important to reduce vibration by pressing the sole tightly to the surface of the material. As a result, by adjusting the height in one direction or another, you can get uniform wear on the cutting blade and significantly extend its performance.
- When sawing thick material, try to alternate the angle of the instrument. This reduces the contact area of the blade with the material, diminishes friction, and accelerates the cutting process.
- Leave a couple of dull blades, they can still come in handy, for example, for cutting plastic pipes. When using the new ones, their sharp teeth can probably cling strongly to the plastic and pull the workpiece out of hand.
What are Reciprocating Saws Used for?
Some people before the unit purchasing ask: “What do you use a reciprocating saw for?” and here’s the answer: specified saw belongs to the class of universal tools with a wide scope. It is able to provide maximum comfort when performing.
- Planned trees pruning in the garden.
- Cutting logs for heating.
- Metal pipes trimming.
- Housebuilding processes (it works with such materials as wood, plastic, drywall, etc.)
- Other maintenance works and carpentry.
This tool is able to quickly and efficiently cut most materials used in the household. Due to the narrow blade of the hacksaw, reciprocating saws can carve along a curved path, which significantly expands its scope. Of course, the user’s experience is required, but with a developed eyesight measurement and the skill to work with similar equipment, you can quickly learn how to cut exactly along the marking line of any complexity. While unit choosing, it’s important to pay attention to ergonomic characteristics, quick saw change mechanism, and vibration isolation presence.