We spent over 26 hours researching and testing 10 different kinds of reciprocating saws and found that battery size, battery type, and weight were most important. The DEWALT 18 volt cordless reciprocating saw scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. The one stroke length and 2900 SPM provided fast and efficient cutting. The design is compact and lightweight, making it easy to use even on tough jobs. The anti-slip, comfort grip made handling and using the saw comfortable and easy. This saw can be used to cut through a variety of materials and is a must for any professional carpenter.
Reciprocating Saw Comparison
Reciprocating Saw Buying Guide
What is a Reciprocating Saw?
Reciprocating saws are designed to help you make rough cuts in building materials and for demolition. The saw’s motor will send a great level of power to the blade, and this allows you to cut through a wide variety of materials such as metal, fiberglass, stucco, masonry, wood, and plaster. This tool is immensely popular for construction, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical jobs. When you add features to this device, it only opens the possibilities even further. When you’re looking to purchase a reciprocating saw you should consider several factors. It’s important to decide how much tool movement you will require, and consider the accessibility of power outlets. Also, you should assess the weight and size of the unit, as well as the length of time the tool will need to operate. Be sure to always compare convenience against power capabilities.
Recommended Power Levels and Speed
If you’re a professional demolition expert, then you should select a reciprocating saw that has plenty of power. You can find cordless versions, and these offer you a great deal of maneuverability, as well as the convenience of being able to shift around a location without unplugging the device. But keep in mind that the tool will begin to lose power as the battery runs low. A corded reciprocating saw will give you full power at all times, and access to power that ranges from less than 5 amps to over 15 amps. Keep in mind that a tool with over 10 amps will give you enough power for jobs that require heavy duty cutting.
If you need more maneuverability than a corded reciprocating saw, it’s important to purchase a cordless saw with high power levels such as an 18 volt or 24 volt device. You may also want to consider bringing an extra supply of batteries with you during your job to ensure completion. You can purchase a tool that receives its power from lithium ion batteries, as these will give you a longer running time.
There are many things that are beneficial about a cordless reciprocating saw, such as the device’s portability, enhanced cutting actions, and variable speed settings. When the saw is cordless you can transport it to any location because it does not require a power source. Additionally, the saw can be used without a heavy generator or inconvenient extension cord. Here are some other benefits that a cordless reciprocating saw will provide to you:
- Enhanced Action: You get more action with a cordless saw, because you can cut with the tool horizontally and vertically. It will also make tough cuts quickly without the fear of cutting through a power cord.
- Variable Speeds: The cordless saw will have orbital action and variable speeds, and this will allow you greater control of the tool. The control features also allow you to select your preferred setting for more effectiveness and comfort.
- Better Stroke Depth: Any cordless reciprocating saw will give you longer strokes at levels measuring 1-1/4”. These longer strokes will give you aggressive and fast cuts, while also being able to make shorter strokes of 3/4”, which are ideal for plunge cuts.
Comfort and Convenience
Most jobs that require a reciprocating saw will require several hours of continuous work. That’s why it’s so important that the tool is comfortable to use. You may, at times, be working with the tool overhead, and this can quickly cause fatigue from holding the tool at an upward angle for long periods of time. If you work with the saw overhead quite often, then you may want to find a cord unit that is lighter in construction, as a cordless unit will have a battery and therefore be heavier in weight. If you’re working in compact spaces then you’ll want to find a smaller tool with improved maneuverability. Also, look out for an adjustable blade in addition to a rotating blade and handle. These extra features will give you a saw with a natural grip that can be used at a variety of angles.
Keep your eyes out for a saw with a well-balanced design, as this will give you greater control while making the saw feel lighter when in use. Finding a cushioned grip will ensure that you are comfortable at all times, and this will help you through long, sweaty jobs. Power tools that vibrate are going to increase fatigue, so a reduced vibration feature will help you to work longer with the tool, and finish the job more quickly. You’ll also find that less vibration is going to increase the tool’s accuracy.
When you work with a reciprocating saw, you are no doubt performing demanding jobs that gradually eliminate the saw blade. You want to select a saw with a tool-less blade changing feature, as this will enhance the saw’s efficiency and make for easier replacement. Some other enhancements that are helpful include a flexible rubber cord, which will increase the saw’s maneuverability, and a lighted plug that lets you know if the tool has power. It’s also a fine idea to have a cord storage area to increase tidiness, as well as a portable container for easy transport of the device. Take a look at these other enhancements that are available:
- Adjustable Shoe: When you have an adjustable shoe you are afforded more control and stability. These have numerous positions for enhanced use, and they can be adjusted without any need for a specialized tool. This will also offer you blade visibility and the opportunity to cut in various positions.
- Orbital Maneuverability: If you purchase a reciprocating saw with orbital action, you’ll have a tool that can move both horizontally and vertically for super fast cuts. This will also give you consistent sawing speed no matter what the tool’s position might be. When you have variable settings, you can cut materials such as meta at slower speeds for more effectiveness.
- Storage Case: A storage case will help to keep the tool protected when it’s being transported. The case will also keep accessories with the saw at all times. If you buy a case with a hard exterior then the protection is only enhanced.
- Tool-Less Blade Replacement: This feature allows you to replace the unit’s blade more quickly and efficiently. You also are saved from the inconvenience of bringing an extra tool on the job site to make a replacement.
- Variable Speed: When you have variable speed you can select the proper speed according to what material that you’re cutting. This enhancement will give you improved precision and more consistency when you’re cutting.
- Auto Stop Brushes: When you have auto stop brushes the saw can stop automatically. And, when the brushes wear out, this feature will activate and prevent damage to the saw’s motor.
- Speed Regulation: This will cause the saw to retain its speed during use. That means that the saw will not slow down when it is cutting.
- Metal Gear Housing: If you add metal gear housing to your saw, you’ll experience enhanced motor protection and more durability. This feature also helps to prevent the motor from burning out during any kind of heavy duty use.
A reciprocating saw is an indispensable tool, but there are a lot of them out there to choose from, and this can be daunting for consumers. When you’re ready to purchase the perfect reciprocating saw for you, then choosing one of these top rated saws is a smart choice. These are the tools that consumers agree are the very best, and they’re superior due to their durability and precision. Should one of these not be right for you, then it’s smart to consult this buyer’s guide to find the saw that will suit your unique needs and requirements.
- Dewalt: http://www.dewalt.com/
- Rigid Orbital: https://www.ridgid.com/
- Black & Decker: http://www.blackanddecker.com/