Best Reciprocating Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2018

Best Reciprocating Saw Reviews

Wondering what is a reciprocating saw and how it can help you?

In a nutshell, a reciprocating saws make some the most flexible, multi-purpose cutting tools you can add to your arsenal.

Reciprocating saws have a blade that achieves its cutting action thanks to a push/pull or reciprocating movement. They are also known as saber saws. In fact, the reciprocating saw blades are sold on their own as interchangeable parts of every tool.

If you want to make any rough cuts in building materials or on a demolition site, the best reciprocating saw is a smart choice. In essence, a reciprocating saw is like a mechanized hand saw. There are many reciprocating saw uses, and below we are listing some of the most common nowadays.

The Power Of A Reciprocating Saw

The power of a reciprocating saw allows you to work with more than just wood. From metal and fiberglass through masonry and plaster, these multi-tasking powerhouses cut through just about anything with the right blade.

Due to its intended purpose, reciprocating saws are more commonly purchased for commercial projects. These saws are extremely popular with electricians, plumbers and construction workers.

This is not to say that there’s no place for a saber saw in the workshop at home. While they might not be the fastest or most accurate power saws, their incredible reach and versatility means reciprocal saws are handy to have in your toolkit.

Finding The Best Reciprocating Saw For Your Needs

Today, we’ll walk you through 5 reciprocating saw reviews so you can compare a range of cutting solutions and determine which would suit you best. Whether you prefer corded or cordless, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ll also show you what to look out for when you’re hunting for the best reciprocating saw. Add one to your cutting arsenal and you will never look back! From the famous DeWalt reciprocating saw to many other cordless reciprocating saw models, the full reviews are coming below.

But before that, let's list the main reciprocating saw types you can choose from.

  • corded
  • cordless
  • orbital cuts

Reciprocating saws with orbital functionality cut in more of an oval or elliptical shape than purely up and down on a single plane. You’ll get a more aggressive action and cut more quickly with an orbital setting.

Top 5 Reciprocating Saws Reviews 2017 - Comparison Chart By Mitersawjudge.com

With so many reciprocating saws on the market, choosing one can be confusing. We’re here to help.

Check out 5 of the very best reciprocating saws right here then read our impartial reviews…

Detailed Reciprocating Saw Reviews

1. DeWalt DWE304 10-Amp Recipracating Saw

First up in our look at the best reciprocating saws is a powerful 10-amp model from DeWalt. DeWalt has a hard-won reputation for providing extremely capable power tools at a reasonable price-point.

If you’re looking to undertake fairly heavy-duty cutting at home or on the jobsite, the DWE304 is a smart choice. Reciprocating saws come into their own for home improvement projects, plumbing work, cutting pipes and a wide range of other applications so they are real multi-tasking workhorses.

 Check out the main features of the DeWalt DWE304 before we drill down on where this superb reciprocating saw stands and falls…
DEWALT DWE304 reciprocating saw

This saw is a beast, has never let me down. Got a little warm after hours of work, but that is to be expected. I have started to rely more on Dewalt and I have not been disappointed yet.

By Rob W.

Main Features

  • 10- Amp motor
  • Variable speed control
  • Key-less blade clamp
  • 2800 SPM
  • Variable speed trigger
  • 4-position blade clamp

The 10-amp motor is powerful enough to let you cut through most materials with ease. It maxes out at 2800 strokes per minute so you get all the performance you need in a compact unit. It weighs around 9 pounds so you won’t be burdened down in exchange for such power.

The range of materials you can work with is, in fact, one of the key selling points of this awesome reciprocating saw. Whether it’s wood studded with nails, metal, drywall, fiberglass, plastic or composite materials, the DeWalt churns through just about anything you put in its way.

This is a corded saw so think carefully about whether this style suits you. To salt the wound, the cable is a scant 7 feet long which doesn’t afford much room for maneuver. The reward you get for needing to be close to a power source, though, is superb cutting power whether through wood, plastic or even harder materials.

DeWalt offer a very wide selection of blades for just about any application you could imagine. These are very inexpensive so think about what kind of cutting you’ll be doing and buy accordingly. There’s no need to go and buy large quantities in one go but you can build up a collection over time so you’ve got all main bases covered.

Changing these blades presents no problem with a blade clamp meaning you won’t need to reach for your toolbox. The 4-position clamp lets the teeth of the blade sit in all directions letting you flush cut in even the tightest spot with complete control and accuracy. This is a great feature on a tool at this price point.

The stainless steel shoe will hold up to even rough treatment. This shoe is easily adjustable.

You’ll get a stroke length of 1 1/8 inches so you can get through mountains of work in next to no time. You’ll also enjoy precise cuts so it’s not just speed you get but precision too.

The variable speed trigger makes tweaking things is incredibly easy. You’ll be able to run your saw at anything up to 2800 strokes per minute which is more than enough for even heavier-duty applications.

There’s nothing in place to combat vibration but you do enjoy orbital action with the DeWalt. Make sure to wear gloves and you’ll mitigate this vibration to some extent.

You don’t require much by the way of extras with a reciprocating saw. The tool itself is what you are paying for. That said, DeWalt throws in a bag and 1 metal cutting blade which is a nice bonus. Be aware in advance that the bag is the soft variety that doesn’t offer much at all by the way of protection. If you plan to take your saw out on site, you might want to sort out a hard case instead.

The trademark bright DeWalt yellow means that you won’t risk misplacing your saw on site and you’ll be able to spot it with ease even from a distance. There’s little worse than dull power tools that blend into the background.

The DeWalt comes with an impressive warranty. You’re covered for 3 years, there’s a 1-year service contract and a 90-day refund so you can buy in complete confidence. You can’t ask for much more than that.

 We’ll take a glimpse now at the principal advantages and drawbacks of the DeWalt before we deliver our verdict and move on to our next reciprocating saw review…

Pros

    • 1 1/8-inch stroke length for fast cutting
    • Powerful 10-amp motor kicks out 2800SPM no-load speed and is ideal for heavy-duty work at home or on site
    • Outstanding value for money considering the build quality, performance and brand heritage
    • Ergonomic trigger allows you to make speed adjustments quickly and easily
    • Change blades with ease thanks to key-less blade clamp
    • Highly versatile: work with wood, plastic, metal or rubber
    • Blade clamp packs 4 positions for your convenience
    • Work with a vast range of materials from metal to nail-embedded wood, plastics through to fiberglass
    • Class-leading 3-year limited warranty takes the sting out of your buying decision

Cons

  • Case provided offers little protection so think about arranging an alternative

Conclusion

If you are looking for the best reciprocating saw, the DeWalt DWE304 is well worth popping on your shortlist.

You’ll get a winning combination of affordability, durability and raw cutting power in one compact package. Whether you’re a contractor or working at home, the DWE304 will solve most regular cutting needs in fine style.

 The crowning glory is the first-rate warranty and refund in option in place so you’ve got no worries at all. Check out this reciprocating saw today even if you have some hardcore projects in mind. It will not disappoint.

2. Black+DeckerBDCR20B Lithium Reciprocating Saw

Next up is a great 20V cordless reciprocating saw from the industry giant BLACK+DECKER.

When it comes to top-tier power tools without breaking the bank, this manufacturer never disappoints. This reciprocating saw is priced so low it’s almost too good to be true but you won’t dip out on quality in return for getting such a bargain.

Not everyone wants a corded saw and this cordless model gives you great flexibility while still performing well across an array of cuts for the double win.

 Check out the main features before we explore this great reciprocating saw in a little more detail…
BDCR20B reciprocating Saw

Lots of power, great battery time. I've since bought a drill that uses the same batteries and am glad I went with this line of B&D power source tools. I've had mixed experiences with B&D power tools in the past, but what I've bought in this power-source line (trimmer, sawzall & drill) has exceeded my expectations.

By Curtis J.

Main Features

  • Bare tool so you’ll need to buy 20V battery and charger separately
  • Trigger is variable speed
  • Cordless
  • Tool-free blade changing
  • Variable speed control
  • 7/8 inch stroke length

Cordless reciprocating saws give you plenty of added scope when you are working in tight spots. If you want flexibility, speed and cutting power in one affordable package, the BDCR20B is hard to beat. Kiss goodbye to being tethered to a power outlet or tripping over trailing cables and say hello to complete freedom of movement.

This saw is sold as a bare tool. You will need to buy the battery and charging unit separately. Take this into account when budgeting. If you have a number of BLACK+DECKER tools, this can actually save you money in the long run. Simply swap out the battery depending on which tool you need and save money by picking up the bare tools for a win-win.

As long as you have the battery and charger in place, this reciprocating saw comes with a blade included so you can get going straight out the box.

The 20V battery works efficiently even in extreme temperatures. Although it’s rated at 20 volts, that’s when the saw is not in use. This drops to 18 volts when you fire it up so be aware of this slight discrepancy before you buy. We are not a fan of this kind of advertising so, while it’s no deal-breaker, it’s worth flagging.

Changing the blade is a cinch with the BLACK+DECKER. Tool-free changing is super-simple so you won’t break your workflow needing to stop and fiddle around. All you need to do is lift up the nifty little latch and swap out the blades then you’re good to go.

The cutting stroke is fairly short at 7/8 of an inch. This will allow you to cut with control and precision. You can tweak the speed up to a maximum of 3000RPM so you can keep your cuts accurate even on thinner wood. It will cut less aggressively at slower speeds stopping you from damaging your work.

The variable speed functionality is great news if you want to switch from cutting through wood to pipes, for example. You can just make adjustments to the pace and carry on about your work without needing to stop and change out the blade.

Not only do you get the ease of a cordless tool, the BLACK+DECKER is a mere 4 pounds so you can work for hours without straining your arms. This is great news if you have ambitious projects in mind where you’ll need to toil away fro extended periods.

The shoe guide pivots which makes it straightforward for you to get the perfect angle whatever type of cut you have in mind. It also ensures that the blade remains straight even if you’re cutting at an angle.

There’s not really a great deal to say against this saw when you consider its intended purpose. As long as you know in advance that you’ll need to buy a battery and charger separately, we can’t really knock that. Bare tools are commonplace these days and can actually be a money-saver.

The saw does generate a fair bit of vibration. This comes down the handle and straight into your hand. The obvious solution is to invest in a decent pair of gloves. It’s also advisable to take regular breaks so you don’t end up in any discomfort.

 Whether you’re trimming your trees or cutting the roots, sawing off bolts or carrying out some home DIY, the BLACK+DECKER makes a highly adaptable addition to your toolkit.

Pros

  • Fast, accurate cuts with 7/8-inch cutting stroke
  • Complete convenience of cordless tool without losing out on power or performance
  • Swap out blade without needing to reach for your toolkit
  • Variable speed control for maximum versatility up to 3000 SPM
  • Ultra-lightweight at 4 pounds so work for long spells without fatigue setting in
  • Pivoting shoe for extra adaptability
  • 20-volt battery gives you enough juice to get most jobs done in one go

Cons

  • Need to buy the battery and charger separately so factor this into your buying equation
  • Battery rated at 20 volts but when in use it only kicks out 18 volts so slightly misleading advertising

Conclusion

If you want an all-purpose reciprocating saw with none of the restrictions of a corded model, think long and hard about the BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B.

Everyone has different requirements from a reciprocating saw. If you are mainly planning to do small jobs at home or you want a portable saw to carry from job to job, the BDCR20B fits the bill perfectly. This saw is not cut out for extended and heavy-duty applications on the job site but the price tag reflects that.

With a 2-year limited warranty, you can buy with complete peace of mind knowing BLACK+DECKER has you covered.

 Check out this excellent reciprocating saw today. It delivers in fine style.

3. Bosch RS7 Reciprocating Saw

Next up is the consistently well-reviewed RS7 from Bosch, a trusted brand in the construction industry offering top-notch tools at very keen prices. While it might not be the very cheapest reciprocating saw you can buy, it will serve you well whether you’re a home DIY enthusiast or you need something for the job site.

 With a powerful 11-amp motor and impressive cutting length, you get a first-class saber saw without breaking the bank.
Bosch RS7 Reciprocating Saw

This saw is pretty fantastic. It's very powerful, and the chuckless quick release system on it is really pretty good. Getting blades in can be a bit fiddly, but not bad, and they're very secure once locked in.
Now, if you've never used a sawzall before, you need to know something: a sawzall is not a beast to be contained. You are holding a tiger by the tail with one of these, and this one is QUITE powerful.

By Jeff C.

Main Features

  • 11-amp motor
  • LED lights
  • Variable speed trigger
  • 1 1/8-inch blade
  • Key-less blade change system
  • 10 blades included

The handle on the RS7 is designed so you can work throughout the day without feeling cramped and blistered. You can also enjoy great grip and control as you are cutting. Comfort is critical with power tools.

The 11-amp motor on the Bosch is poky enough to deal with most regular cutting needs. You can work confidently with a broad spread of materials. One of the key selling points with reciprocating saws is their ability to carve with ease through anything from wood to plastic, metal to composites. The Bosch takes everything in its stride.

LED lights to illuminate the cutting line come in very useful. This is a nice touch on a fairly inexpensive saw. Often, the kind of jobs you need a reciprocating saw for are in gloomy areas so you’ll be able to enjoy a clear line of sight however dull and dim the conditions.

You’ll get a pack of 10 blades thrown in for good measure. 3 blades are for wood, 3 for wood with nails and 4 are ideal for cutting metal. This gives you everything you need to get going directly out the box without needing to hustle to the hardware store. That said, it might be a wise move to invest in some heavier blades as the ones supplied, while fit for purpose, are relatively lightweight.

Swapping out the blades is simplified thanks to a key-less blade chuck. You won’t need to worry about misplacing any parts and you can substitute the blade while barely breaking your stride. The blade release function can be slightly awkward until you’re accustomed to the way it works so be patient starting out.

As with most reciprocating saws, the variable speed trigger permits for fine-tuning when it counts. You can dial back the power – or ramp it up! – according to what you are cutting and how you are cutting it. You’ll be able to move from cutting wood to slicing your way through denser materials like metals or concrete without needing to mess around.

There’s no hard case provided so think about buying something suitable if you plan to take your Bosch out of the workshop and onto the job site.

As a corded saw, you’ll obviously be restricted to working within range of a power outlet. On the upside, the cord is more than long enough to give you ample room for maneuver for most jobs you might have in mind. If you’re looking for a cordless instead, consider the BLACK+DECKER above or the Porter Cable below. Both are fine saws well worth checking out.

The only real downside of this awesome reciprocating saw is that there’s little to bring down the vibration. The cushioned handle goes some way to help but it’s still less than ideal. The obvious solution is to invest in a decent pair of work gloves since this issue is something most reciprocating saws have in common.

 Take a look now at a snapshot of the advantages and drawbacks of the Bosch before we round out this reciprocating saw review and move on to the next great model on our list…

Pros

  • Powerful 11-amp motor gives superb performance whatever the application
  • Long blade length of 1 1/8-inch normally associated with more expensive reciprocating saws
  • No misplaced tools with key-less chuck allowing for seamless rapid blade change
  • Cutting zone lit by dual LED lights so perfect for working in dim environments
  • Slice through any material with ease so a real multipurpose saw
  • Keep control at all times with variable speed trigger
  • Minimal kickback which is something that can blight many reciprocating saws

Cons

  • Very little vibration dampening but this is a common bugbear with reciprocating saws
  • Blade release can be a little fiddly until you get used to the way it operates

Conclusion

If you want a commercial-grade reciprocating saw at a keen price point, the Bosch RS7 will repay your further investigation. It’s ideal for any of a range of cutting jobs you might need to undertake at home while it’s also rugged enough to take out on the job site.

 You will get the performance you’d normally need to pay much for and a highly adaptable addition to your demolition tools. Check out the Bosch RS7 today!

4. Porter Cable PCC670B Reciprocating Tigersaw

Next up in our look at the best reciprocating saws is another accomplished cordless from Porter Cable.

With a powerful 20V lithium-ion battery behind it and all the convenience of a cordless, if you want a rugged reciprocating saw for your home workshop, this is hard to beat.

The nature of much of the work you do with reciprocating saws means you’ll often be working in cramped, confined areas and there won’t always be a handy power outlet. Cordless saws like the PCC670B are the sensible alternative to bigger corded models. With tools like this, it’s all about intended usage so think carefully about what works best for you.

 We’ll glance now at the pros and cons of this tiger saw before exploring its functionality in a bit more depth…
Porter Cable PCC670B Reciprocating Saw.

I really like this saw! Ive used it to cut off dozens of dead branches around the house. It does chew through batteries so you need to buy the larger capacity ones to really hog through wood.
It comes with one universal type blade, I would highly recommend buying a pack of better ones for your specific application.

By Ian M.

Main Features

  • 20V lithium-ion battery power
  • 1-inch stroke length
  • 3000 RPM
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Tool-free blade change
  • Ultra-compact

If you are looking for a compact and lightweight saber saw to use in awkward spots, the Porter Cable hits the spot. It not only performs admirably but looks the part too. So many power tools are simply drab hunks of metal but Porter Cable have taken the trouble to produce a mean-looking saw that will grace any workshop or toolkit.

This saw is good for small commercial projects as well. It’s designed with general builders and plumbing contractors in mind. As long as you don’t buy it with the intention of using it day and night for hardcore job site projects, it’s a rugged saber saw that delivers fully.

Bear in mind, as with many of these cordless saws, you’ll need to pick up the battery and charging unit separately as they are not included with this bare tool. This saw forms part of Porter Cable’s 20V Max System. While you might need to spend a little more upfront, if you choose to invest in a range of their tools then you’ll save money over time. Simply use the same charger and battery and pick up the bare tool each time at a fraction of the cost of buying the whole package every time.

Thinking of the charger, you’ll be able to fully charge your saw in 20 minutes or so which is a real bonus. The lithium-ion battery offers great performance and the charger has an integrated fan to protect the battery as you give it some juice.

The maximum no-load speed is 3000RPM and you’ll get a cutting length of 1 inch. This is sufficient for most regular cutting duties. This saw comes with variable speed functionality so you’ll be able to match the speed to the application and get superior results every time. Whether you are hacking down branches or cutting pipework, use the nifty little trigger and dial the pace up or down accordingly.

Changing the blades is fuss-free thanks to the pivoting shoe. You don’t need any special tools to hand. Twist and insert your blade into the shoe and you’re good to go. This is particularly useful if you’re working in a commercial setting where time is money. There are no tools required when you’re making adjustments to the shoe either so this is a very user-friendly saw across the board.

Porter Cable placed comfort uppermost when designing this saw. The cushioned grip is easy on your hands and the overall weight, at less than 4 pounds, means you can wield it for long spells without feeing the burn. There’s no sense in getting tools like this as a labor-saving device if they end up being uncomfy to use.

Although it’s a lightweight and highly maneuverable reciprocating saw, the Porter Cable boasts top-notch build quality and it’s extremely rugged. There’s a metal motor housing in place to prevent any rogue dust and debris from working its way inside and wreaking havoc. The over-molded handle affords you outstanding control not just comfort. Buttons feel solid and built to last.

 We’ll briefly outline the main advantages and downfalls of this neat little saw before serving up our verdict and moving on to our final reciprocating saw review…

Pros

  • Plenty of power with 20V battery so cut through most materials with ease from wood through to metal
  • Adjust speed easily with trigger to fine-tune your cutting up to a maximum of 3000RPM
  • Swapping your blade couldn’t be easier and you won’t need any tools to do so
  • Metal motor housing is rugged and built to last
  • Lightweight unit in spite of its durability with comfy handle so work for long spells without discomfort
  • Steel buttons are responsive and durable while also preventing you accidentally turning saw on, an ideal safety feature
  • Suitable for a broad spread of applications and materials so you get a lot of versatility along with wonderful value for money

Cons

  • Not cut out for heavy commercial projects although you will be able to use it for lighter work on site
  • Need to buy battery and charger separately

Conclusion

If you want a solid, no-nonsense reciprocating saw at a competitive price-point, Porter Cable might have the answer. You’ll get the convenience of a cordless without a drop in power or performance and a lightweight unit which is nevertheless rugged enough to last for years.

 As long as you don’t want to punish it day and night on ambitious projects, this saw is durable enough to serve for commercial use as well as home DIY. Check out the Tiger Saw. It won’t disappoint.

5. SKIL 9216-01 Reciprocating Saw

Rounding out our look at the best reciprocating saws is the 9216-01 from the mighty SKIL. You’ll get all the brand heritage of a household name without the eye-watering price tag. Whether you’re a home DIY enthusiast or a professional looking for a recip saw for lighter work on site, the SKIL is tailor-made.

For a hard-hitting workhorse that’s built to go the distance, you’ll find that this reciprocating saw is a consistent bestseller with just cause.

 We’ll take a quick peek at the main features of the 9216-01 before we take you through its core functionality in greater detail…
SKIL 9216 Reciprocating saw

Very amazing saw. I didn't think it would be this good. The name has been around for years. I have had other brands, that cost more, and didn't last. Low cost. Very Good Quality.

By Bruce W.

Main Features

  • 9-amp motor
  • Power-on safety indicator
  • Pivoting foot
  • Counter-balance
  • Heavy-duty tool housing
  • Tool-free blade change

For cutting down shrubs or slicing through wood, the SKIL reciprocating saw takes no prisoners. You’ll even be able to work with metals, plastics or composites as long as you don’t go over the top and expect it to perform miracles. It will serve its turn on the job site but it’s important to keep your expectations reasonable.

A corded model with a 9-amp motor, you can vary the speed in line with what you are cutting through for fast and precise results. Simply flick the trigger and shift the RPM up or down accordingly. Although corded tools cramp your freedom of movement to some extent, the trade-off is a marked increase in power over cordless alternatives.

This saw is prone to switching on accidentally but the handy power-on indicator should alert you to any unwanted activation. This kind of safety touch is essential on a tool as potentially lethal as a reciprocating saw. It’s just rather a shame that SKIL did not address the issue of accidental activation as the power-on indicator is barn door syndrome.

When you are working on harder materials or cutting deep, the pivoting foot is a nice bonus. You’ll get more traction and stability. This saw is perfectly able to deal with harder, denser materials so this foot really comes into its own.

Changing the blades, like with most saber saws, is extremely easy and tool-free. The last thing you need on the job site is a complex procedure and the need to scrabble for your toolbox. This saw comes as a bare tool so you’ll need to think about investing in some decent blades.

For such a reasonably priced saw, build quality is truly impressive on the SKIL. The steel casing means this saw can stand up to plenty of rough and tumble without giving up the ghost. The motor is nicely protected from the bugbear of sawdust that can cause mayhem and reduce the lifespan of your equipment. Despite this, it weighs only a fraction over 8 pounds so you can work for a long time in one stint, even working overhead, without fatigue setting in.

SKIL offer a 1-year limited warranty. You’ll also get the option for a full, no questions asked refund during the first 30 days if you buy this saw and you’re not completely satisfied. You can’t really ask for too much more than that and you’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a road test!

 We’ll give you a quick rundown now of where this reciprocating saw excels and where it could do better before letting you know our overall verdict…

Pros

  • Potent 9-amp motor for even challenging applications
  • Safety first with power-on indicator to minimize accidentally activating the saw
  • No need for equipment to swap out blades quickly so save time and effort while focusing on the job at hand
  • Added stability with pivoting foot so get superior cutting results every time
  • Durable with metal tool housing to protect the motor from dust and debris working its way into the innards
  • Variable speed for more control across applications

Cons

  • Can switch on in error quite easily so despite the power-on indicator, there could be more attention to safety features
  • Not suitable for sustained and really heavy-duty work on site

Conclusion

If you want a well-built reciprocating saw that can serve you well in the garden, for DIY projects or on the job site, think seriously about the SKIL. Whether you want to work metal or masonry, composites or plastic, the 9216-01 is worthy of a place on any shortlist of the best reciprocating saws.

From trimming trees through to light demolition work, you’ll be able to handle most cutting tasks you have in mind with consummate ease.

 You’ll get a sizeable motor capable of delivering all your cutting needs and, since covered with steel real estate, this saw will last for years. For a dependable reciprocating saw equally at home for DIY or professional contracts, you really can’t go wrong with the 9216-01.

Who Needs Reciprocating Saws?Best reciprocating saw reviews

Reciprocating saws are used very widely throughout the construction industry.

 If you are looking to make rough cuts in a variety of materials, the versatility of a saber saw is tough to beat.

Whether you’re installing windows or skylights, working as an electrician or a plumber, the best reciprocating saw is absolutely invaluable.

While they do come into their own for commercial work, reciprocating saws come in equally useful at home. Whether it’s simple DIY projects or small demolition jobs, woodworking or home plumbing, the best reciprocating saw wears many hats.
Best Reciprocating saw reviews

Buying Guide

Now that you have an overview of reciprocating saws and you have examined the 5 reviews, it’s time to think about buying one.

 There are several important factors to take into account which we will outline in our buying guide.

It always pays to read plenty of user reviews so you can get a real feel for the product. Generally, people tend to be honest when they have already spent their money. They are eager to share good experiences but equally keen to point out anything that doesn’t work so well.

Take your time, honestly analyze your needs and you should have no problem getting the very best reciprocating saw.

Here are some crucial points to think about first…

  • Blades
    Much like jigsaws, reciprocating saws come with a large variety of blades. Whether you need to slice through wood, brickwork, plastic or metal, there’s a blade for the job. There are even blades capable of cutting through concrete or cement. From pruning branches in the garden or home DIY right through to commercial applications, pop in a dedicated blade and you’re good to go whatever the material. Blades will need changing on a regular basis. Look out for a saw with a blade lock so swapping out blades is tool-free. 
  • Stroke length
    The longer the stroke you make, the quicker the cut. The bulk of reciprocating saws cut anywhere from ¾ of an inch through to 1 and ¼ inches in terms of stroke length. With some saws, it’s possible to make adjustments here for real adaptability. As long as you have a good idea about what you’ll be cutting, the stroke length should fall into place.
  • Amperage
    The greater the amperage, the more powerful your saw will be. Generally, reciprocating saw fall in the range of 8-15 amps. As a general guideline, anywhere around 10 amps should be adequate if you want the saw for home DIY or small projects. At the upper end, you’ll have all the raw power you need even for prolonged and heavy commercial projects. Think about what performance you will need and buy accordingly.
  • Shoe adjustment
    Reciprocating saws with an adjustable shoe provide you with even more control. If you opt for one of these models, check that the blade adjustment works smoothly and accurately. You’ll be able to use many different positions and enjoyed enhanced functionality without needing further tools. Not only will you be able to cut in varied positions, you’ll also get great blade visibility.
  • Strokes Per Minute (SPM)
    The speed of a reciprocating saw is calculated in strokes per minute (SPM). As a rule, saws rated at higher amperages will deliver swifter cutting. When you are cutting, the faster the blade moves, the better the cut it produces. As well as being able to work more rapidly, you’ll also get better control with a blade that moves quickly.
  • Variable Speed Control
    While it’s not strictly necessary, having variable speed control on your reciprocating saw is a nice touch. You’ll be able to manipulate precisely how quickly you want to cut. If you just plan to use your saw from time to time for very small jobs, this feature is not so important. If, on the other hand, your saw will see heavy commercial action, the added flexibility will be welcome.
  • Weight
    For most jobs that call for a reciprocating saw, you’ll be using it for long periods so comfort and weight play an important part. You are likely to be using the saw overhead as well. It’s paramount that you can handle the weight without straining yourself. Only you know what your limitations are physically. Make sure that you get a reciprocating saw that’s not too heavy to handle. Saws designed to be perfectly balanced will take some of the feeling of weight away but ultimately you need to be comfortable wielding your saw for extended sessions.
  • Orbital or Straight?
    A standard reciprocating saw blade moves up and down. An orbital version operates in more of an elliptical shape. In addition to being much more aggressive, you’ll be able to make faster cuts. Think about the type of work you will be doing and whether or not an orbital saw might be the best bet. 

Usage and Maintenance Tips

safety

Using a reciprocating saw couldn’t be much easier. It really is a case of cut-and-go.

As long as you choose the blades wisely according to the material you’ll be cutting, operation is rudimentary. Angle in the blade in where you want to cut and away you go.

You should always wear proper safety gear when you’re working with power tools. A reciprocating saw is no different. Obviously, the blades are incredibly sharp and the potential is there for an accident at any time. Think about wearing safety goggles and gloves along with suitable protective clothing. You can’t be too careful.

Just as they are super-simple to use, maintaining a saber saw requires very little effort. You shouldn’t find much sawdust or debris accumulates on the blade so you just need to wipe it down when you’re done and there’s nothing much more to worry about.

CLOSING WORD

We very much hope you’ve found these reciprocating saw reviews useful and informative.

If you think carefully about exactly how you’ll use your saw and you take your time researching, getting the best reciprocating saw is not really so difficult.

For home DIY or a huge range of applications on the job site, reciprocating saws aren’t the quickest or most precise but they are worth their weight in gold. For many cuts just not practical with other power saws, a saber saw steps in to save the day.

Please feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions or feedback at all. We love to hear from our readers and we’re more than happy to help.

To round out, here are 10 FAQs to clear up some of the most common queries about these versatile, capable power saws…

FAQ:

1. ARE CORDLESS RECIPROCATING SAWS ANY GOOD?
Yes. With some power tools, cordless variants are much weaker. However, cordless reciprocal saws have more than enough power for the job but the added bonus of being extremely portable. The only real downside is needing to recharge the batteries. That said, for heavy commercial duties, there’s no substitute for a corded saw.

2. WHAT BLADE IS BEST?
There’s no right or wrong answer to this. The blade you choose should depend on the material you want to cut. Some blades are designed to slice through wood while others are more suited to metal. Blades with more teeth per inch (TPI) give you a smooth but slower cut. You’ll be able to cut more quickly but with rougher results using a blade with fewer TPI. Blades with 6-20 TPI are best for cutting wood. For harder materials, go for blades with 14-36 TPI.

3. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A RECIPROCATING SAW AND A SABER SAW?
Nothing. They are one and the same. Many appliances go by different names and the reciprocating saw is no different.

4. WHAT TYPE OF CUTS CAN YOU MAKE WITH A RECIPROCATING SAW?
You can make pretty much any type of rough cut which is one of the main selling points of the reciprocating saw. Since the blade is larger than that of a jigsaw, you can easily make curved cuts with a large radius. Straight cuts are a breeze.

5. CAN YOU BEND THE BLADE FOR SOME TIGHT CUTS?
Some blades will bend, yes. This can come in handy for pipework and working in awkward spots. Reciprocating saws are highly versatile.

6. WHAT SORT OF MAINTENANCE AND UPKEEP IS REQUIRED WITH A RECIPROCATING SAW?
Almost none. One of the real beauties of these power saws is that you don’t need to undertake any real maintenance. If you take care of it and don’t drop it or batter it around, your reciprocating saw should last for years with no real effort needed for its upkeep.

7. ARE THE BLADES EASY TO CHANGE?
Extremely easy. Some models will demand an Allen wrench while others offer tool-less blade replacement. Either way, swapping out the blade is super-simple.

8. WHAT ARE AUTO-STOP BRUSHES?
With this feature, your saw can stop automatically. Depending on how you use your saw, this could come in very handy.

9. ARE RECIPROCATING SAWS ONLY USED BY CONTRACTORS?
Absolutely not. While they are a very popular choice for professionals throughout the construction industry, reciprocating saws come in very useful at home as well. For small cutting projects, they replicate the flexibility of a handsaw but without demanding much physical effort in return.

10. WHY DO SOME MODELS HAVE A ROTATING BLADE OR HANDLE?
This is purely for the sake of convenience. Sometimes, when you are sawing in awkward, restricted spaces, this feature comes fully to the fore and saves the day.

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