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.
- orbital cuts
The limitations of any corded power tool are obvious. You need to be close to an electrical outlet. Often, the cords supplied are rather short sending you reaching for an extension cable. Corded tools normally deliver better power than battery-operated cordless alternatives. If you are looking to undertake heavy cutting on the job site, buying a corded reciprocating saw could be the best move.
Cordless reciprocating saws have many advantages. Portability is uppermost. You can take it anywhere you need to cut without needing to rely on a power source. You’ll enjoy superior cutting actions since you can cut either vertically or horizontally. Cordless saws come with variable speed settings and orbital action for enhanced control. You’ll also generally get longer cuts. On the downside, you’ll need to stop and wait for the battery to charge when it runs out of juice. For overall convenience, cordless reciprocating saws make a wise choice.
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. For many, the DeWalt reciprocating saw is a true leader and the best saw money can buy today.
From our perspective, the DWE304 is a smart choice if you’re looking to undertake fairly heavy-duty cutting at home or on the job site,
- 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 just 7 pounds.
Most people looking for a cordless Dewalt reciprocating saw should know that this is a corded saw - and think twice about whether the style suits them. The reward you get for needing to be close to a power source is superb cutting power whether through wood, plastic or 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.
Changing blades is no problem with a blade clamp meaning you won’t need to reach for your toolbox.
The 4-position blade 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 and the reciprocating saw blades on it are of high quality.
When it comes to extras, you don’t need much with this DeWalt reciprocating saw, as it throws in a bag and 1 metal cutting blade which is a nice bonus.
You’ll get a stroke length of 1 1/8 inches so you can work quickly if you’re using this saw on the jobsite.
The variable speed trigger makes tweaking things is incredibly easy.
There’s nothing in place to combat vibration but you do enjoy orbital action with the DeWalt.
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.
- 1 1/8-inch stroke length for fast cutting
- Not suitable for really heavy commercial work
If you are looking for the best reciprocating saw, the DeWalt DWE304 is well worth popping on your shortlist.
You’ll get a great 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.
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.
Not everyone wants a corded saw and this cordless model gives you great flexibility while still performing well across an array of cuts.
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.
This is sold as a bare tool. You will need to buy the battery and charging unit separately. Take this into account when budgeting. The 20V battery works efficiently even in extreme temperatures.
Changing the blade is a cinch with the Black + Decker. Tool-free changing is quick and easy.
The cutting stroke is short at 7/8 of an inch. This will allow you to cut with control and precision.
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.
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.
- Fast, accurate cuts with 7/8-inch cutting stroke
- Need to buy the battery and charger separately
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. With a 2-year limited warranty, you can buy with peace of mind.
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.
With a powerful 11-amp motor and long cutting length, you get a first-class saber saw without breaking the bank.
- 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 100-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.
LED lights to illuminate the cutting line come in very useful. This is a nice touch on a fairly inexpensive saw.
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.
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.
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.
There’s no hard case provided so think about buying something suitable if you plan to take your Bosch out of the workshop.
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.
- Long blade length of 1 1/8-inch normally associated with more expensive reciprocating saws
- No misplaced tools with key-less chuck for blade change
- Cutting zone lit by dual LED lights
- Slice through any material with ease
- Powerful 11-amp motor gives superb performance
- Keep control at all times with variable speed trigger
- Very little vibration dampening
If you want a commercial-grade reciprocating saw at a keen price point, the Bosch RS7 will repay further investigation.
You will get the performance you’d normally need to pay much for and a highly adaptable addition to your demolition tools.
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.
- 20V lithium-ion battery power
- 1-inch stroke length
- 3000 SPM
- Variable speed trigger
- Tool-free blade change
If you are looking for a compact and lightweight saber saw to use in awkward spots, the Porter Cable hits the spot.
As a relatively compact and small reciprocating saw, this model is good for small commercial projects as well. It’s designed with general builders and plumbing contractors in mind.
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.
The maximum no-load speed is 3000 SPM and you’ll get a cutting length of 1 inch. This is sufficient for most regular cutting duties.
Bear in mind, as with many of these cordless saws, you’ll need to pick up the battery and charging unit as they are not included with this bare tool.
Porter Cable placed comfort uppermost when designing this saw. The cushioned grip is easy on your hands and the overall weight, at under 4 pounds, means you can wield it for long spells without feeing the burn.
- Plenty of power with 20V battery so cut through most materials with ease
- Adjust speed easily with trigger to fine-tune your cutting
- Swapping your blade couldn’t be easier
- Metal motor housing is rugged and built to last
- Lightweight unit with comfy handle so work for long spells without discomfort
- Steel buttons prevent you accidentally turning saw on
- Not cut out for heavy commercial projects
- Need to buy battery and charger separately
If you want a solid, no-nonsense reciprocating saw at a competitive price-point, Porter Cable might have the answer.
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, the 9216-01 from the mighty SKIL.
For a hard-hitting workhorse that’s built to go the distance, this reciprocating saw is a consistent bestseller with just cause.
- 9-amp motor
- Power-on safety indicator
- Pivoting foot
- Heavy-duty tool housing
- Tool-free blade change
For cutting down shrubs or slicing through wood, the SKIL reciprocating saw takes no prisoners.
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.
This saw is prone to switching on but the handy power-on indicator should alert you to any accidental activation.
When you are working on harder materials or cutting deep, the pivoting foot is a nice bonus. You’ll get more traction and stability.
Changing the blades, like with most saber saws, is extremely easy and tool-free.
- 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
- Added stability with pivoting foot
- Durable with metal tool housing
- Variable speed for more control
- Can switch on in error quite easily
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.
You’ll get a sizeable motor capable of delivering all your cutting needs. It’s covered with steel real estate meaning this saw will last for years. For a dependable saw equally at home for DIY or professional contracts, you can’t go wrong with the 9216-01.
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.
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…
Usage and Maintenance Tips
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.
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…