The 10 Best Reciprocating Saws

Updated February 02, 2018 by Chase Brush

10 Best Reciprocating Saws
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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Whether you're facing a tough DIY project or are a construction professional, you'll find the perfect reciprocating saw for your next job in our selection. They're ideal for making holes in walls, cutting PVC piping, fitting windows or hacking through just about anything, including nails, screws and even tree limbs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best reciprocating saw on Amazon.

10. Black & Decker BDCR20B Max

The Black & Decker BDCR20B Max has a 7/8-inch stroke length and runs on a 20-volt lithium ion battery, both of which make it a convenient option for those instances when you need to move all around a job site and make moderate-duty cuts aplenty.
  • lightweight but solid construction
  • easy blade removal
  • doesn't come with blade or battery
Model BDCR20B
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. DeWalt DWE357 Compact

The DeWalt DWE357 Compact is a corded 12-amp tool that can slip into tight spaces and won't run out of juice, like most small, battery-powered saws. At 3,000 strokes per minute, it offers nearly the same cutting power as most conventionally-shaped models.
  • good for electricians and hvac techs
  • keyless blade clamp
  • may vibrate more than other units
Model DWE357
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Bosch RS7 11 Amp

Cut at almost any angle with the Bosch RS7 11 Amp, which runs on AC power and features a pair of extra bright LEDs that provide sufficient illumination to work in the dark or wherever lighting is dim. It also boasts a great power-to-weight ratio.
  • variable speed trigger
  • soft-grip front handle
  • blade release mechanism is finicky
Brand Bosch
Model RS7
Weight 11.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Skil 9216-01 9 Amp

The Skil 9216-01 9 Amp has a pivoting foot that rests against flat or rounded surfaces to give you added stability while cutting. Its sturdy metal gear housing ensures that this is a tool that will last through years of frequent use.
  • power-on indicator light
  • powerful and efficient motor
  • would benefit from a safety catch
Brand Skil
Model 9216-01
Weight 8.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Black & Decker RS600K 8.5 Amp

The Black & Decker RS600K 8.5 Amp is a versatile tool that allows for precision cuts time after time. Its sixspeed control can go from zero to 2,400 strokes per minute, allowing you to blaze through tough, labor-intensive jobs or finesse your way through delicate projects.
  • six-foot cord and carry case
  • blades to cut wood and metal
  • two-year warranty
Model RS600K
Weight 11.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

5. Makita JR3050T 11 Amp

The Makita JR3050T 11 Amp's winning feature is an internal dust blower system that clears debris from your cutting line, offering improved visibility and safety. The large, two-fingered trigger can be locked on to help provide a more consistent, accurate cut.
  • ball and needle bearings extend life
  • comes with blades and rugged case
  • good value for price
Brand Makita
Model JR3050T
Weight 13.1 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Bosch PS60-102 12 Volt

Whether you need to cut through wood, metal, or plastic, the pint-sized, but potent, Bosch PS60-102 12 Volt is suitable for a host of applications. It's not as large or strong as its full-sized counterparts, but it fits in one hand and won't cause fatigue.
  • pistol grip-style handle
  • trigger switch for safety
  • overload voltage protection
Brand Bosch
Model PS60-102
Weight 6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Milwaukee 6519-30 12 Amp Sawzall

From a respected name in power tools, the Milwaukee 6519-30 12 Amp Sawzall is engineered for extreme cutting power, boasting a strong 1-1/8-inch stroke. It's also designed to last, with many owners enjoying more than a decade of reliable service.
  • made in the usa
  • counterweight cuts down on vibration
  • gear-protecting clutch
Brand Milwaukee
Model 6519-30
Weight 5.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Porter Cable PCC670B TigerSaw

The Porter Cable PCC670B TigerSaw has a high performance drive train for aggressive cutting power that blasts through the toughest construction materials, such as hardwoods, laminated plywood, and various piping. A tool-free release makes it easy to swap blades on the go.
  • fits into tight spaces
  • long-lasting charge
  • contoured handle for comfort
Model PCC670B
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. DeWalt Bare-Tool DC385B

With a precise 1-1/18-inch stroke length, an adjustable four-position blade clamp, and a powerful 18-volt battery power source, the DeWalt Bare-Tool DC385B can handle any professional-grade job with ease. It especially makes quick work of heavy brush and shrubs.
  • up to 3000 strokes per minute
  • adjustable open-top shoe
  • double oil-sealed shaft
Model DC385B
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

One Of The Toughest Tools In The Shed

Many tools are purpose built and should be used only for their intended application. This is true with everything from a drill bit designed for use only with tile, as it is for a saw blade custom designed to grind its way through concrete or stone. A trim hammer has no more business being used to break up a patch of asphalt as does a sledgehammer being used to drive finishing nails and brads.

Then there are other tools that can be used for a variety of purposes with good results, provided the person using the tool knows what he or she is doing. A miter saw can be used to cut PVC piping just as readily as it can be used to cut lumber, for example, and a good pair of pliers can be used to loosen screws, tighten bolts, twist pipes, and so much more.

Finally, we come to the reciprocating saw. It's little wonder that this mighty tool is frequently (and affectionately) referred to as the sawzall, for indeed it saws through almost all materials with ease. (For the record, the term Sawzall is actually trademarked by the Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation.)

A reciprocating saw uses a single slender blade that protrudes from the front of the unit and is pushed and pulled in and out at high speed. When fitted with the right blade type, a "recip saw," as they are often called in certain circles, can cut its way through an impressive range of materials.

There are reciprocating saw blades designed to be used for cutting metal including copper, steel, and cast iron. Others have blades that power through all types of wood. There are also blades that can handle cement board and fiberglass, and then there are multiple purpose blades that are suitable for use cutting many types of material.

Before we talk about the right reciprocating saw for your needs, a few words must be said about safety. It's imperative you always wear thick safety gloves when operating this potentially dangerous power tool, as your hands will be only a few inches away from a sharp, fast moving saw blade. Protective eye wear is also important, as that reciprocating saw can throw up bits of wood, metal, and other debris.

Choosing The Right Reciprocating Saw For Construction

In skilled and steady hands, a reciprocating saw can be used for multiple applications, even for precision work. If you need to cut pipes that must fit tightly together or you need to cut lumber to be used in framing, then make sure to choose a saw with multiple speed control settings. Using a slower cutting speed can help you control your blade as you bear down on the tool. Using a higher speed lets you apply less pressure and focus on holding the tool steadily and safely.

A reciprocating saw is also one of only tools around that can cut a material flush against a flat surface. You can remove a chunk of wood or bar protruding from a wall, for example, by using a longer blade and allowing the blade to bend slightly against the wall as you press it down against the material to be cut away.

Though there are several high quality battery powered reciprocating saws on the market, note that a battery can add lots of extra weight to a tool. For those delicate cutting jobs where precision is key, consider an AC powered option as it might be lighter weight, and consider one of the overall smaller reciprocating saws.

Just keep in mind that the blade you choose for the material you're cutting will often be as (or even more) important than the saw you're using. Fortunately, most reciprocating saw blades are quite affordable. This low price is a good thing, as you should replace your reciprocating saw blades frequently, to avoid accident and maintain efficiency.

Choosing The Right Reciprocating Saw For Demolition

It's when used for demolition that a reciprocating saw truly shines. When fitted with the right blade, a good reciprocating saw can chop right through lumber, nails, wires, and more. Demolition contractors love reciprocating saws precisely for this versatility: there is no need to switch tools when cutting through old framing beams, pipes, drywall, and any other building material that is being removed.

A robust battery powered reciprocating saw is a fine choice for demo work, as the nature of demolition often means frequent movement around a worksite. On the other hand, a 12 amp AC powered reciprocating saw translates to plenty of power for cutting through thicker, tougher materials. It's for you to decide of which mobility or potency is more important.

Ironically, some of the smallest reciprocating saws can actually be the best choice for demolition work. As a demo job often has to be conducted from the top down, with a house or building that's being leveled first having its roof and rafters removed, for example. The lighter a tool is, the easier it is to bring it up a ladder or lift safely, and the less operator fatigue it's going to cause. Smaller tools are also, of course, easier to fit into tight places, like the cabinet under a sink.

When doing demo work with a reciprocating saw, do keep in mind that while many blades can cut right through many materials, not all reciprocating saw blades are created equal. A blade that was designed for metal can cut through wood, but not as efficiently, for example. A blade designed for wood may well not be able to get through metal, and certainly won't do so without grinding its teeth down well past their useful point.

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Last updated on February 02, 2018 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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