Best Reciprocating Saw / Sawzall Reviews 2018 [Update]
A reciprocating saw, commonly known as Sawzall is one of the most versatile tools today. Any job out there requires you to remove a bit of chunk of materials that may be in excess. Be it window installation, cutting tree branches, plumbing or anything else.
With the wide array of reciprocating saws in the market today, choosing the best one can be a hard task. Nonetheless, we have simplified the job for you by reviewing some top best reciprocating saw.
Reciprocating Saw 2018 - Comparison Table
Milwaukee M18 Hackzall One-Handed Reciprocating (Editor's Choice)
DEWALT DWE305 12 Amp Corded Reciprocating Saw (Editor's Choice)
Top 10 Best Reciprocating Saw / Sawzall Reviews
In this reciprocating saw reviews, you will get more than a glimpse of the best sawzalls that will give you reliable performance.
1. DEWALT DCS367B Brushless Compact Reciprocating Saw
When picking out a reciprocating saw, you have to decide if you prefer power or mobility. To that end, you have to determine if you want a battery-powered model or one that plugs into an outlet. For the most part, cordless Sawzalls are lighter and much more maneuverable, but they don’t provide as much strength or stamina, which can be limiting. In this case, the DeWalt DCS367B is a cordless model, making it both compact and easy to use.
As with all DeWalt products, strength and simplicity are the name of the game. To that end, you get a variable speed triggerthat provides you with up to 2,900 strokes per minute.
Usually, the higher stroke count allows you to cut through tougher materials (as long as the blade you’re using is also rated for it).
While 2,900 spm is not the highest, it can still allow you to cut through both wood and metal. The ability to adjust the speed is also necessary to ensure that you don’t damage both your piece and the saw itself.
Changing the blades on this machine is super easy. It comes with a keyless clamp, allowing you to swap them quickly and without any specialized tools to remember. It can work with both wood and metal blades, and it has four positions to allow for the proper length.
Finally, this saw has an LED light in the front so that you can see where you’re cutting more easily. When working in tight or confined spaces, it’s vital to be able to see properly so that you don’t make a cut that’s too crooked or messy.
- Durable steel and plastic construction
- Tool itself weighs just five pounds
- Variable speed trigger - 0-2900 spm
- LED light for visibility while working
- Soft grip ergonomic handle
- Pivoting shoe stabilizes your cut
- 1 ⅛ inch stroke length for faster cutting
- Ideal for wood or metal cutting
- Keyless blade changes
- Four position clamp for versatility
- Not designed for heavy duty cutting
- In rare cases, the motor may stop running suddenly
2. BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B Lithium Reciprocating Saw
As far as consumer-grade power tools are concerned, Black + Decker is the perfect brand for DIY enthusiasts. The company makes some high-quality devices, although they are not usually built for professional use. That being said, if you’re looking for a compact and effortless reciprocating saw, this is a fantastic option.
The first notable thing about this saw is its speed. It offers up to 3000 strokes per minute with a variable speed trigger to make it easy to adjust. With a ⅞-inch stroke length, you can cut through almost any material, including plastic.
This unit comes with a blade already, but you can easily swap them out as needed. It has a tool-free blade change clamp, although it doesn’t offer a variety of positions to allow for better cutting.
Since this is a cordless saw, it weighs under five pounds and is easy to manage. While we would prefer for it to come with an LED, it does have a pivoting shoe. This feature allows you to work in a wider variety of angles to get the right cut every time.
Overall, this reciprocating saw is ideal for DIY enthusiasts who need something to work around the house. Also, if you plan on doing some light carpentry or metalworking projects, this is a Sawzall that can do it all. It even comes with a two-year limited warranty.
- Battery-operated saw
- Pivoting shoe works at different angles
- Comes with a blade
- Lightweight design is less than 5lbs
- ⅞-inch stroke length
- Variable speed trigger- 0-3000 spm
- Soft grip comfort handle
- Tool-free blade change
- Can vibrate a lot while working
- Limited battery life
3. PORTER-CABLE PCC670B Lithium Bare Tiger Saw
As you can see, most of the cordless reciprocating saws don’t come with a battery pack included. This is an unfortunate standard in the industry, but it also means that you should plan accordingly when buying your saw. This unit from Porter-Cable is another lightweight option that makes DIY cutting a breeze.
What helps this machine cut through a variety of materials is the drive train, which is brushless to reduce the overall wear and tear you can experience. Also, it offers up to 3000 strokes per minute with a variable speed trigger, making it even more adaptable.
As with all cordless reciprocating saws, this thing is lightweight and easy to handle. The contoured molded grip makes it more comfortable to work with a variety of angles, and at four pounds you don’t have to worry about fatigue setting in.
There are a few other features that we liked about this saw. First, it has a pivoting shoe that enables you to work faster and with more stability. Second, it has a tool-free blade release for quick changes, and it has a one-inch stroke length, enabling you to cut through a wider variety of materials.
Finally, this particular saw has a three-year limited warranty.
- High-performance drivetrain
- Variable speed trigger - 0-3000 spm
- Compact design is only four pounds
- Shoe pivots to work at a variety of angles
- Contoured over-molded handle for comfort
- One-inch stroke length
- Tool-free blade release
- Sleek design fits into tighter spaces
- Not meant for cutting thick materials
- Short battery life when at highest speed
4. Milwaukee M18 Hackzall One-Handed Reciprocating Saw
No matter what kind of reciprocating saw you get, you have to hold it with two hands if you want to ensure that you’re getting the right cut. However, with this Hackzall from Milwaukee, that’s no longer the case.
The Hackzall is designed to be both lightweight and balanced enough for you to use it with just one hand. This not only ensures that you can work faster and easier, but it enables you to work in a wider variety of positions without any issues.
You may also notice the name Hackzall. Although many people refer to reciprocating saws as Sawzalls (for their remarkable versatility), the fact is that it’s technically a proprietary name from this brand.
The stroke length of this saw is ¾ inches, and it operates at up to 3000 strokes per minute. These features allow you to cut through almost anything, from wood to metal to PVC. Just be sure to use slower speeds for harder material and faster speeds for soft pieces.
Another proprietary feature of this saw is the LED light. This enables you to see better while working, especially when you’re in cramped or tight positions. Having an LED ensures that you get a proper cut, no matter the circumstances.
- One-handed operation
- Soft grip handle reduces vibrations
- Expertly balanced to reduce fatigue
- Blade included for convenience
- Compact and lightweight design
- Quik-Lok blade clamp
- LED light for illumination
- Variable speed trigger - 0-3000 spm
- ¾-inch stroke length
- Dual gear motor system
- Weighs only 4.45 pounds
- Ideal for wood, PVC, and metal
- Lightweight unit ensures less fatigue
- Batteries can take a while to charge
- In rare cases, the motor may burn out with continuous use
5. DEWALT DWE305 12 Amp Corded Reciprocating Saw
So far, all we’ve been looking at are cordless reciprocating saws. While these units are lightweight and maneuverable, they are not as powerful. This means that you can only cut through certain materials, and they are not designed for heavy-duty use.
The DWE305 from DeWalt, however, is a much better option if power is most important to you. Although the trade-off is that this system is heavier (and requires an outlet), you get a more robust 12-amp motor instead of a 20-volt option.
The power and performance of the 305 are evident in how well it cuts. You can work through almost any material, from metal and wood to drywall and fiberglass. You will notice a significant difference if you compared this to the cordless DeWalt we saw above.
Otherwise, this machine comes with all of the standard features. It has a pivoting shoe to allow for better angling. It comes with a tool-free blade clamp with four positions so that you can get it just right. It offers up to 2900 strokes per minute with a length of 1 ⅛ inches for versatility.
Finally, as with all DeWalt products, you get a three-year warranty for this product.
- Powerful 12-amp motor
- Made of heavy-duty components
- Reliable brushless motor
- Variable speed trigger - 0-2900 spm
- 1 ⅛-inch stroke length
- Four position blade clamp
- Pivoting shoe works at multiple angles
- Tool-free blade changes
- Works on all materials, including drywall
- Soft grip handle improves comfort
- Three-year limited warranty
- Weight may be tiring for some users
- In rare cases, the motor may overheat
6. TACKLIFE Corded, Variable Speed Trigger Sawzall
This next model from TackLife is another corded reciprocating saw, meaning that it offers more power and versatility than any of our battery-operated units. However, when compared to other corded saws, this one is built for more casual use.
A 7-amp motor provides enough power and performance to ensure that you can work with a variety of materials. However, since it’s not as robust as other units (such as the DeWalt above), you shouldn’t try to use it for heavy-duty cutting.
When comparing performance specs, you’ll notice that this saw operates at up to 2800 strokes per minute. However, what makes it more versatile is the fact that it has a locking mechanism for the variable speed trigger, allowing you to work faster without getting tired.
One proprietary feature of this saw that is really neat is the fact that you can reposition the handle as you see fit. You can bend it up to 90 degrees in either direction, enabling you to work in tighter spaces. The handle is also ergonomic and helps you get a better grip on your project.
Another cool thing about this reciprocating saw is that it comes with a durable plastic carrying case. This allows you to keep the tool and all accessories handy without damaging anything in transit.
- Robust 7-amp motor
- Durable steel and aluminum components
- Adjustable speed between 0-2800 spm
- Two LED lights for visibility
- Soft grip handle reduces vibrations
- Durable carrying case provided
- Quick-change blade clamp
- Speed locking mechanism reduces fatigue
- Pivoting shoe adds versatility
- Adjustable blade length - up to 1 ⅛ inches
- Customizable handle position
- Heavier than most models
- Not as powerful as other corded saws
7. Ryobi P514 Cordless One+ Variable Speed Sawzall
When it comes to cordless power tools, no one does it better than Ryobi. This brand is well-known for making all kinds of battery-operated machinery, and best of all, you can use the same batteries for each unit.
Thus, if you already own a Ryobi power tool, chances are you’ll be able to use the same battery for this reciprocating saw. Even if you have to buy one to go with this device, it’s well worth it, thanks to the brushless motor and high-speed system.
Compared to other saws we’ve seen, this one has the best spm rating. With a capacity of 3100 strokes per minute, you can power through a wider variety of materials. That being said, higher speeds will kill the battery faster, so plan accordingly.
Overall, this saw comes with all of the standard features. These options include tool-free blade changing, a soft grip handle, and a variable speed trigger. One critical distinction, however, is that it’s also designed to reduce vibrations while working. Fewer vibrations mean that you don’t get tired as quickly.
- Durable yet lightweight plastic and metal
- High-powered battery lasts longer
- Adjustable speed settings - 0-3100 spm
- Handle is comfortable and easy to carry
- Soft grip comfort handle
- Tool-free blade changing
- Non-slip grip keeps the saw secure while working
- Anti-vibration handle
- Three blades included
- Weighs only four pounds
- Battery drains faster at high speeds
8. DEWALT DCS387B Compact Reciprocating Saw
This model is an upgraded version of the DCS367B we saw at the beginning of our list. That being said, you can expect to have all of the same features and benefits that you would expect from DeWalt, only with a stronger motor.
Also, as with the other saw, you will have to buy additional parts to make it work for you. Let’s see what you can expect from this reciprocating saw. Performance-wise, this reciprocating saw comes with a variable speed trigger that goes up to 2900 strokes per minute. It has four positions for the
blade, with the longest option being 1 ⅛ inches. This customization allows you work on a wider variety of projects with ease.
Other features include a pivoting shoe to work at more angles, an LED light to see better while cutting, and a soft grip handle. Also, because it’s DeWalt, you can expect to get a remarkable three-year limited warranty.
Overall, this is a great cordless saw, but be prepared to buy all of the accessories for it (i.e., battery, charger, blades, etc.). This version is just a bare-tool product, not a full-service model. However, that shouldn’t be a deal breaker, since this is still a high-quality machine.
- Built to be both tough and compact
- Lightweight design is just 6 lbs
- Soft grip handle reduces vibrations
- Pick your speed between 0-2900 spm
- Adjust the blade position in 4 places
- Change blades without extra tools
- Work at a variety of angles with a pivoting shoe
- LED light shows your work better
- 1 ⅛-inch blade length
- Three-year limited warranty
- May be too heavy for some users
- Bare tool has no accessories included
9. Milwaukee 6538-21 Sawzall Reciprocating Saw
At an amazing Amperage of 15 Amps, you expect incredible power and a hell lot of vibrations. The hell lot of vibrations does not happen all thanks to the patented counter balance mechanism that does an incredible job in absorbing the vibrations.
This makes the Milwaukee 6538-21 15.0 Amp Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw very easy to use. The manufacturer uses a clutch mechanism that protects the gears when the blades bind.
The high impact forces would in the absence of the clutch have no otherwise but cause the destruction of either the clutch or the gears. The clutch saves you much trouble in replacing the gears or the saw all together.
Some people are real fans of products from the USA. This is one such product. The variable speed allows for versatility in the application of the saw. The constant power tech maintains a constant speed for a fine finish cut.
- Easy to use
- 15 Amp Motor with overload protection
- Constant power technology
- Made in the USA
- Gear protecting clutch
- Speed control
- The shoe release lever should be made from a durable metal and not plastic
10. DEWALT DC385B Cordless Reciprocating Saw
DEWALT BareTool DC385B 18-Volt Cordless Reciprocating Saw allows ripping the best out of it through excellent performance.
The DEWALT DC385B 18-Volt Cordless Reciprocating Saw has four blade clamp position that gives great versatility and allows for flush cutting. The 1-1/8 stroke length gives aggressive strokes that cut through all types of building materials.
The 18 volts power supply power the motor through 0-3000 SPM. The rubber handles give you a sure grip of your saw and also feels comfortable even after long hours of use.
The shoe is adjustable which further increases the versatility of this tool. It also allows for tool-less blade changes using the lever action blade clamp.
- Three years limited warranty
- 0-3000 SPM
- Adjustable shoe
- Sure grip rubber handles
- Four-position blade clamp
- The blades are not up to per with the quality of the saw
How To Choose The Best Sawzall For The Money
It is pretty easy to tell out the reciprocating saw theoretically. That is what I am doing presenting to you a theory of my practical experiments with the different reciprocating saws and these are the factors that I use a measuring gauge.
When selecting the power you will first need to understand what you need from your tool. What you need depend on the materials that you will be working on. If it is heavy grade metals then you need a best reciprocating saw that has the amperage on the upper ratings say 15 Amps.
If you need a best Sawzall saw to work on metals that will not offer much of resistance, then you can choose a lower amperage as the ones with upper ratings will just cost you more probably for nothing.
When working with any reciprocating machine, you better expect some vibrations. These vibrations are allowable just to a certain degree. There is a level of vibrations that will just stand between you and a perfect job. You should check for the measures put in place to counter vibrations. Such measures are the counter weight balance mechanism and the user vibrations protection.
When it comes to performance, you should not judge a certain saw unfairly. A fine example, you cannot put the 15 Amps saw on the same scale with a 7.5 Amps saw. We gauge the different saws sometimes depending on the best in that category. From above the PORTER-CABLE PC75TRS 7.5, Amp Reciprocating Saw is the best in that category.
Materials will always determine the durability of a best Sawzall. Check to see that all the sensitive components are from durable materials. Some manufacturers use plastic on components that require the use of metal. That will be a downside on the construction of that saw.
Also on durability, we also consider the durability of the gear and the motor. I give accolades to manufacturers who include the gears and motor protection features. The clutch has the capability to protect both the gears and the motors. The motor overload specifically protects the motor.
Comfort is an important thing to consider especially when working for log hours. I would recommend that before you commit to pay for a saw at least get a feel of how comfortable it is.
You could say the money guarantee has got you but that is also a process that will waste time. A soft grip handle that fits the size of your hand will do you a lot of good. The weight of the reciprocating also plays a role in determining the comfort and ease of use. Sometimes you will have to make a compromise between the weight and the tasks that a saw can handle.
There are obvious things that allow for versatility. One is the multiple clamp positions. You will find that the standard clamp positions are four which allows you to make flush cuts. Out of the box, the manufacturer can allow you to get some versatility by including blades for the different tasks. These blades should not be just blades but quality blades that ensure for durability.
In life, you will most likely find yourself caught between what you can afford and what you want. There is nothing wrong with that just stick to what you can afford, with time you will be in a position to acquire what you want. Just do not give away too much regarding quality.
Length of power cord
There are two versions of these best saws, the corded and the cordless. Each of them has their advantages and disadvantages. For the corded ones, it is important you check the length of the power cord so you can get some free movement around the work area.
This seems like the least of considerations, but it also has great significance. Most people find how to stuff on YouTube and the internet but what happens if you cannot get that? You need a clear instructions manual not to end up disliking a saw for not knowing how to fix could be a petty thing.
How to Use a Reciprocating Saw
Adjusting the Orbital Action
The first and most important thing that you need to keep in mind about orbital saws is that they can cut through just about anything. Before you start sawing though, you need to adjust the orbital action of your saw. The first and one of the most important things that you should do is adjust the orbital action of the saw for the type of material that you are going to be cutting.
Attach the Blade
Next, you need to position your saw blade against the guide roller. Flip the blade change lever so that you can insert the blade, and use the lever to adjust, secure, and tighten the blade so that it fits perfectly into the saw.
Mark Your Line
Before you get started with the saw, you may want to make sure that you mark the lines that you are going to cut into your material. Use a wood pencil or some kind of utensil that lets you mark the path that you want to cut in the desired material, just so that you don’t have to do any guesswork while you are sawing.
After you have selected the correct orbital action for what you are sawing and you have attached the blade, you are ready to start cutting. You want to be sure that the very front edge of the base plate of your saw is touching the edge of the material that you are about to be sawing into.
Make Adjustments As You Go
You can do this before you start sawing and then adjust the settings as you go to get the best cut possible for the material that you are working with. Feel free to adjust the rotary action and speed of the blade to make sure that you can get the desired cut. Then, keep sawing along the line that you drew, and feel free to make more adjustments as you go.
How to Cut a Shape in the Middle of A piece of Material?
Make Your Line
Now that your blade and your saw is set up and adjusted, you want to once again make sure that you have drawn the line that you are going to cut along for your circle. If you want it to have a perfect circular curve, make sure that you use some kind of perfectly cylindrical object that you can draw around to make your line. If you want to use a different shape, use an object that has the shape and dimensions that you need.
Drill a Hole
Before you actually start cutting, you need to make sure that you drill a hole into the inside edge of the shape that you are about to cut. This will give you your access point of where you are going to insert your reciprocating saw.
Insert the Blade and Start Sawing
If you are cutting an object in the middle of the material you are using, you probably want to use a jigsaw blade. A jigsaw blade will give you the ability to cut the shapes and the angles that you need to cut. Trace your saw along the line that you just drew so that you get the perfect cut.
Changing Your Saw Blade
Different materials and sawing situations may require different kinds of blades. For instance, if you are cutting wood, you are going to need a different saw than if you are cutting through metal. To change the saw blade, all you will need is the blade itself and typically an Allen key to release the blade that’s already in your saw.
What Can You Do with A Reciprocating Saw?
Some of the best uses for a reciprocating saw include
- Changing out PVC piping or adjusting the length of PVC piping
- Cutting through tree branches that are in the way
- Fitting a window perfectly for your home
- Adjusting the length of metal piping for plumbing or construction purposes
- Cutting through nails that are peaking out boards or materials that you are working with
- Creating custom works of carpentry such as furniture, design, or even art for your home
As you can see, the potential applications of a reciprocating saw are limitless, and you can use them to accomplish so much whether you are a professional craftsman, carpenter, working in construction, or just like doing handy work around your home.
Because there is such a difference between cordless and corded reciprocating saws, we can’t tell you that one particular model is the best of all of them. Instead, we’re going to break it down based on power options, so choose according to your needs.
Best Cordless: Milwaukee Hackzall. This is a fantastic piece of machinery that enables you to cut through a wide variety of materials with ease. Not only that, but the one-handed design ensures that you have both flexibility and power at your fingertips, all without getting too tired in the process.
Best Corded: DeWalt DWE305. We already love the DeWalt brand, but this corded model is the epitome of reciprocating saws. Although it doesn’t have the fastest speed, it has one of the better motors out there and will get the job done, regardless of time constraints or the material you’re using.