The Top 5 Reciprocating Saws Reviewed
Whether you’re carrying out household maintenance, building your creative carpentry repertoire, or even carrying out some low-level demolition work, a reciprocating saw is an invaluable piece of hardware. If you’ve never used one before, imagine a hand saw’s powerful cutting capability… Only without the hand cramps and arm strain that come from using a hand saw or junior hacksaw. A reciprocating saw uses the same push and pull motion (hence, the name) but without the strain of having to manually move the saw blade yourself.
The great thing about these saws is that they are extremely versatile and superior to manual handsaws in many regards. Not only do they offer excellent cutting power, but their mechanical operation precludes the need to the housing bow that can be incredibly restrictive when using a hand saw.
When using a reciprocating saw it’s easy to cut through a wide range of materials which you would be unlikely to even approach with a manual handsaw. Used in conjunction with a wide range of interchangeable blades, a reciprocating saw can make short work of timber, even when it has embedded nails poking through. In fact, it can scythe its way through just about any material short of stone.
While all reciprocating saws are useful, not all are equal. Here we’ll take a look at 5 of our favorite reciprocating saws and detail the features and abilities that make them great. Whether you’re looking for your first reciprocating saw or the latest of many, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for here…
Best Reciprocating Saws
There are many things that the DeWalt brand does well. But chief amongst them is its ability to create hand tools that are robust and powerful in their functionality, yet elegant and simple in design so that they can be operated even by users who don’t often handle power tools.
The first entry on our list is an extremely powerful and versatile reciprocating saw that offers great versatility that doesn’t come at the expense of ease of use. It offers fast and precise cutting housed in a sturdy yet ergonomically designed housing.
With adjustable stroke length, users can set strokes from ⅛ of an inch to one inch with a blistering stroke speed of up to 3,000 spm. What’s more, with the variable speed trigger, you feel completely in control of cutting speed so you’ll never feel as though the saw is getting away from you.
The DCS380B comes with an adjustable 4-Position Blade Clamp and quick and easy tool-free blade changing making it perfect for everything from plumbing and HVAC repair to hobby carpentry and crafting. Its ergonomic design also allows for flush cutting and wide-ranging positional versatility thanks to the adjustable shoe.
It even houses a bright LED light for complete visibility even when working in dark conditions or inadequately lit areas.
The battery, which uses the brand’s 20V MAX System, boasts 2.88x faster application speed, up to 82% more power, and up to 181% more runtime when compared to previous models through a combination of lithium-ion technology and improved ergonomics.
Please note that the blades, battery and charger are sold separately.
- The 4-position blade clamp allows for flush cutting and increased positional versatility
- Has 1-1/8-Inch stroke length delivers a faster cutting speed
- Variable speed trigger with 0-3000 spm provides increased blade control and faster cut speed
- Pivoting adjustable shoe extends blade life and allows depth of cut control
- Does not come with a blade
Black & Decker are a famously reliable brand who are able to balance precision, power and ergonomics in ways that make for robust tools which are also satisfying to use, no matter what your experience or proficiency with power tools.
This reciprocating saw is designed to exploit the tool’s inherently versatile nature. It comes with a 5 inch blade and will accept blade lengths of up to 12 inches (again, this model has tool-free blade changing) making it ideal for a broad spectrum of cutting needs. It has a pivoting shoe for increased control over cutting direction and a variable trigger which also helps users to feel in complete control of cutting power.
Despite the powerful 3,000 stroke per minute (spm) motor, the Black & Decker BDCR20C never feels like too much tool to handle. It has a compact ergonomic design and a weight of just 4 and a half lbs.
This saw also comes with not just a blade but the 20V battery and charger, too. Part of the brand’s own 20V MAX System, the same batteries can be used for multiple B&D tools.
An extremely potent all-rounder that combines ease of use with impressive cutting power, this model is backed by a 2 year limited warranty. And at an extremely appealing price point, it’s an excellent prospect for pretty much anyone who needs to cut resistant materials.
- Variable speed trigger for increased control
- Pivoting shoe for increased control
- Tool-free blade change
- Part of black+decker 20V max* system
3. WORX WX550L
Like other entries on this list, the Worx WX550L understands that when users buy a reciprocating saw they’re looking for a tool that combines power, versatility and reliability and this is a saw that doubles down on all of those qualities… Combined with a sleek and ergonomic design that makes it look like something Batman might keep in his utility belt.
Worx’ offering has some cool features that make its impressive 3,000 spm motor feel tamed by the user and facilitate easy use. For example, aside from the ergonomic design, light weight (just over 4lbs) and comfortable grip, the saw also features a built in blower which removes dust and debris from the surface and facilitates better cutting visibility.
Because the motor is located on the side, the motor and gearing are in a state of simultaneous rotation. This allows for greater control and precision. It delivers constant power for a smooth cut without the danger of misalignment or going off-track. And with a ¾ inch stroke length you can be assured of precise cutting with virtually any brand of reciprocating blade.
Another cool feature that this tool offers is the ability to slip easily and tool-lessly from reciprocating saw mode to jigsaw mode. So, you get two great tools for the price of one.
Like other entries on this list, the WX550L is powered by a 20V lithium-ion battery that is included along with the charger.
- Pivoting head design converts from a reciprocating saw to a jig saw in seconds
- Motor's side location means no slippage or misalignment - smooth, constant power for a more efficient cut
- Compatible with any standard reciprocating saw and t-shank jig saw blade
- Built-in blower removes dust and debris to increase cutting visibility; No-Load Speed: 3000/min
- Part of the 20V Power Share platform of DIY yard and power tools that share batteries, saving you time and money
4. Ryobi P514
Ryobi are very consistent when it comes to bringing quality handheld tools to the market and this reciprocating saw is no exception. It is one of the most powerful yet versatile and accessible entries on the list and its compact design makes it an approachable tool for virtually anyone; men women and properly supervised youngsters.
With an 18V lithium-ion battery, this saw is capable of impressive cutting speed which varied from 0-3,100 spm, making it the fastest on the list so far. But don’t worry, all that power and speed won’t get away from you. The saw is light in weight, despite its cutting power and its rubberized non-slip handle means that it will cut with precision, even in adverse weather conditions.
The non-slip handle is supplemented by Ryobi’s Anti-Vibration handle which employs dampeners to absorb the vibrations from its motor, making for smoother and more precise cutting as well as reduced wear and fatigue for the user.
This saw also offers fast and easy blade changing without tools. Simply use the lever-actuated mechanism to use any reciprocating saw blade.
Finally, the Ryobi P514 is powered by a lithium ion battery. In fact, it is backwards compatible with older Ryoni lithium ion batteries including the green One+ system as well as older NiCad batteries. If you have one of these already, it can make the eminently affordable P514 even more affordable.
- NON-SLIP HANDLING with Ryobi's rubber grip, letting you keep hold of this tool in poor conditions
- ANTI-VIBRATION HANDLE absorbs shock from the tool's powerful motor giving you improved handling for precision cuts
- TOOL-LESS BLADE CHANGING: A lever-actuated blade changing mechanism built into the tool lets you quickly swap out blades without using any extra tools
- 0 - 3,100 STROKES PER MINUTE makes for smooth cutting for a variety of different jobs
- BACKWARDS COMPATIBLE: This tool can work with multiple types of Ryobi Lithium Ion Battery, from the green One+ system to the older NiCad batteries
5. SKIL 9206-02
SKIL’s offering on this list may not be the most extravagantly designed, but it has a no-nonsense appeal that it’s commendable performance can ably back up. All at an impressive price point that will be appealing to users on a budget or who think that they might benefit from a reciprocal saw, but don’t want to part with the better part of a hundred bucks for something they may rarely use.
This saw offers vibration control through a counterbalance to allow for smooth and precise cutting. This is supplemented by a pivoting foot which bolsters the saw’s stability. This can prove especially useful when cutting through especially tough and unyielding materials. Users consistently comment about how this saw is able to cut through timber like butter.
The saw’s power is owed to an impressive 7.5 amp motor which should prove more than capable for all of your household cutting needs, whether you’re scything through pipes or plasterboard. Its cutting range varies from 800-2,700 strokes per minute which should offer the perfect balance of power and control for most jobs. Even if your blades get bent in the process, changing them is quick and easy. Just use the toolless blade changer and pop in a fresh one.
Please note that this is the only corded entry on the list. While the saw itself is ergonomically sound and light which bodes well for maneuverability, the cord may prove restrictive for some users.
- Powerful 7.5 Amp Motor provides ample power to get the job done
- Tool-Less Blade Change for easy blade changes
- Heavy duty metal gear housing for added ruggedness and durability
- Counter Balance for vibration control
- Pivoting Foot provides additional stability when cutting tough materials
No matter what you need to cut, a reciprocating saw can be a powerful yet easy to wield tool that services all of your cutting needs.
How To Use A Reciprocating Saw
Here is an excellent video by Ace Hardware on how to operate a reciprocating saw:
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