How to find the best Reciprocating Saw aka Sawzall of 2017?
A reciprocating saw (also called sawzall, saber saw, hognose saw and recip saw) is an essential tool to any workshop as it allows you to perform quick cuts that don’t necessarily need to be perfect in its design.
Why You Need a Reciprocating Saw
Electric reciprocating saws (just like jigsaws) can be utilized to performed curved cuts on the end of lumber or on thinner sheets of wood, however, jigsaws have a more narrow and shorter blade which makes these cuts easier to perform but that leads us to the best reciprocating saws which have wider, longer and thicker blades which is designed to grind through the material much more quickly (and if necessary to a greater depth as well).
What factors that I really like about reciprocating saws is that they usually come with large and powerful motors and the exterior casing of the saws are quite durable which means you won’t need to worry about damaging the internals of the reciprocating saw even if you were to drop it.
One factor mentioned above that I’d like to briefly touch on is the motor/power.
Many times in the past I’ve introduced reciprocating saws to wood workers who haven’t used a good reciprocating saw in the past (as they never thought that they’ve needed one) and they’re always surprised at the power capabilities and performance. Then they are racing to find new uses with their big list of projects.
If you end up purchasing a reciprocating saw you’ll quickly learn that it’ll become an essential part of your workshop arsenal and I’m sure you’ll quickly be thinking of new projects and ways to take advantage of its power along with the convenience that it provides of being able to perform cuts quickly.
The Benefits of Purchasing a Reciprocating Saw
- Much safer to use compared to circular saws. Reciprocating saws make overhead jobs much easier to complete and are easier to grip and hold during the cut(s) that you’re performing.
- Much more versatile in their use in that you can get the blade on the saw in to hard-to-reach spaces and behind material(s) that are “fixed” in placement. With a Sawzall, you’ll be able to reach spaces that other types of saws could never reach making this kind of saw a “must have” for any serious woodsman.
- They are perfect if your project requirements include you needing to cut holes (or slots) in the middle of sheets of wood or even walls.
- Highly capable of allowing you to perform flush cuts around material(s) that are adjacent which would normally block other types of saws from making the cut.
Now that you have a better understanding of what top reciprocating saws are capable of and know why you need one for your workshop, let’s get to the review list of the best 5 reciprocating saws in 2017!
Best Selling Power Reciprocating Saws Reviews & Comparison of 2017
What is the best reciprocating saw in 2017 for your specific cutting needs?
Now that you finally understand the benefits and the tips of buying, using and maintaining reciprocating saws that will help you cut any type of wood and take your woodworking to the next level, it is the time for our features reviews of the best reciprocating saws in the industry.
We tested features that are important to any real DIYer like: Shoe adjustment, design, orbital models, variable speed limit, vibration, blade change system, trigger spring tension, bells and whistler, SPM, UVP.
Some of those models are corded and some are the best cordless reciprocating saw with high battery voltage. Some are sawzalls and some in this list are just normal power recip saws. Some are cheap low cost models and some are high-end recip saws.
Here are some of the best options today.
1. Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 FUEL Super SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw Kit with 1 Battery
Few years ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to a tool event where manufactures showcased their latest and greatest products and I accompanied a friend of mine who has owned a local tool shop for over 20 years.
After having some hands-on testing of the M18 I decided to purchase one for myself so I could conduct a more in-depth review on its capabilities and after a few weeks of usage on 7 different projects this finest Sawzall held up quite well and I honestly have no disappointments. The M18 is still well ahead of other newer recip saws.
What’s important to understand about this particular saw is that it’s one of the first of its kind to go head-to-head with competing “corded” models by providing the power that was once thought only possible with the best corded reciprocal saw models.
I personally tested this goal of theirs and used this sawzall on multiple types of construction materials and it shreds through them like there’s no tomorrow! Quite literally, this saw cuts through materials like a hot knife through butter!
By purchasing the Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 reciprocating saw, you’ll receive a saw that:
- Provides insanely quick cutting speeds (the best sawzall in its class, not the best reciprocating saw in general) with an increase in both the power and durability.
- Boasts a Brushless motor which if you didn’t already know will provide you with consistent power, a reduction in heat and better energy efficiency which will allow you to use the saw for a longer duration of time.
- Has been optimized for performance with the technology to detect overload on the saw which will alleviate the chance of damaging the sawzall.
Let’s start with the weight which in all honesty is quite a great attribute of this great Sawzall as it only weighs 8.9 pounds which when you’re using both hands is quite easy to grasp, manage and handle (thanks to the great handle/grip).
The M18 boasts a 1 1/8″ stroke length with up to 3,000 strokes per minute (multiple speed settings available).
One thing that I suggest is that you purchase the kit so you receive not one but two 4.0 batteries as if you purchase this great recip saw alone you’ll one receive one. Purchasing the kit is great for contractors and those who move from “job site” to “job site” as you’ll have more mobility with the power that you need.
Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Features and Functionalities
Quik-lok Blade Mechanism One of the first features that I want to discuss is the “Quik-lok” blade changing feature which provides a slide (which is spring loaded) located towards the front-end of this awesome sawzall. You can insert the blade either forwardly or reversed although sideways insertion isn’t possible. With this mechanism, you can work being rest assured that the blade being released won’t occur so this is a great feature for accident-free woodworking on projects.
Rafter Hook Workspace organization to me is important as it helps me to better focus on the project at hand. The Rafter Hook was a tiny yet convenient addition by Milwaukee as the built-in hook allows you to hang this extraordinary sawzall up for later use so finding a resting spot for the saw couldn’t be easier.
2. DEWALT DCS380P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion Reciprocating Saw Kit
Power and efficiency is what sum-up the DEWALT DCS380P1 20V MAX recip saw and yet again, Dewalt has done a fantastic job at combining power with the usage time that us “saw enthusiasts” have come to expect!
Dewalt has listened to consumers and have instituted a blade clamp system which offers 4 different positions so position versatility is quite great meaning you’ll be able to accommodate more project requirements.
One aspect of this reciprocating saw that’s worth writing home about is the cutting speed which competes with any other saw within its class!
The stroke length which is 1-1/8″ is an improvement over previous Dewalt models with faster cutting speeds of up to 3,000 strokes per minute which will grind through whatever material you’re working on.
When you purchase the Dewalt DCS380P1, you’ll receive a reciprocating saw that:
- Boasts a blade clamp system which provides the ability to use 4 unique positions.
- Has a 1-1/8″ Stroke Length.
- Provides an innovative “Variable Speed Trigger” with settings that provide up to 3,000 strokes per minute.
- Has a “double oil sealed shaft” which helps to keep debris and contamination out.
- Has shoe that pivots and adjusts.
The blade control is second-to-none and I didn’t experience any flexing of the blade even on thick wood and it demonstrated no signs of hesitation/resistance.
Of course, durability was a top-priority of Dewalt when building and designing this saw which is why they implemented a show that both pivots and adjusts which greatly increases the life-span of the blade while allowing you to control the depth of your cuts.
When you factor in the “double” oil sealed shaft that deflects debris you’re presented with a recip saw by Dewalt that will surely provide you with years of use!
Between its power, its cordless ability which makes working on “out of the house” projects easier and its rubber molded comfort grip; The Dewalt DCS380P1 20V MAX reciprocal saw is one of the best recip saws that I’ve used and I would highly recommend it to those looking for versatility and mobility!
3. DEWALT DW311K 13-Amp Reciprocating-Saw
The DEWALT DW311K reciprocating saw is a powerful 13-amp saw that’s designed for both personal and professional jobs with the versatility of accommodating any of your job requirements.
With the DEWALT DW311K, you’ll maybe have the best reciprocating saw, with variable speed control of 0-2,700 strokes per minute! Unlike some other great reciprocating saws on the market, the DEWALT DW311K speed setting(s) can be adjusted without your hand ever leaving the saw with a single push of a button.
What’s great about the easy-to-change speed controls is that you can change the settings quickly per your requirements as you’re working on the job which allows for a seamless transition when changing from one task to another.
This leading reciprocating saw variable speed settings will delivers power that’s great because of this option as you can quickly switch from lower speed settings (if you’re cutting metal) to higher speed settings for materials such as plywood.
When you purchase the Dewalt DW311K, you’ll receive a reciprocating saw that:
- Boasts a thin and sharp saw that’s built to standards that cuts through material quite easily.
- Is powered by a powerful 13 AMP motor which is powerful enough to handle any task that you put it to the test to.
- Takes advantage of Orbital blade movements which will allow you to perform faster (and easier) cuts.
- Has a stroke length of 1-1/8″ with strokes per minute of up to 2,700.
- Has a keyless and adjustable show which makes switching out the blades effortless.
With the Dewalt DW311K, Dewalt decided to go with the industry standards with a stroke speed of 1-1/8″ which essentially means that you’ll be able to use this perfect reciprocating saw to perform cuts even on commercial material so if you’re planning on using this saw for “around the house” projects then this model will certainly meet any of your project demands.
After using this saw, which might be the best reciprocating saw, to perform multiple cuts on an array of materials, I can say full heartedly that it’s a highly capable saw that truly doesn’t hesitate to grind through any material that you’re using it on.
The one inch thick blade never posed to be an issue in regards to its thickness as it boasts a 13-amp powered motor with a large cutting capacity and it performed incredible well on plastic, wood and metal (the three materials that I tested it on).
The Dewalt DW311K Provides Incredible Power and Awesome Durability Power is the number one factor that most top reciprocating saws shoppers take in to consideration and the Dewalt DW311K is one of the most powerful saws that I’ve gotten my hands on to review.
First of all, it’s powered by a 13 AMP motor and its outer shell/body is very durable which Dewalt designed for abuse as this saw was intended for on-site work where the recip saw will be exposed to rough environments.
What’s also impressive about the Dewalt DW311K is that even under heavy workload, the motor doesn’t choke or bog down and the torque is consistent making it the best reciprocating saw to purchase if you’re constantly cutting tougher material.
The Dewalt DW311K Blade System Another great feature of the Dewalt DW311K is that it includes a variable keyless shoe which doesn’t require the use of any tools to adjust.
I actually was able to change out the blade on the saw with only one hand and did so in under a minute which to me is important when I’m working on a project that needs to be done in a timely manner.
Unlike some other saws, the movement of the blade isn’t straight. On the Dewalt DW311K, the blade has orbital movement which actually makes cutting through material much easier. If you find yourself needing to cut through material such as metal you can easily and quickly change out the reciprocating blade for another type.
4. Bosch CRS180K 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Reciprocating Saw
Next up on my list is the Bosch CRS180K, an unbeaten reciprocating saw manufacturer that I’ve been a fan of for years as they also do a great job at building quality products and they always use some of the highest quality blades that I’ve seen.
With the Bosch CRS180K, you’ll have the option of switching between two speed options with a stroke of 1-1/8″ and will be able to take advantage of the power at a fraction of what some other awesome reciprocating saws cost.
While there were a couple of cases where even the optimal reciprocating saw blade pinched and briefly stopped, overall, I’m very happy with the performance that I received and the strokes went quite smoothly when cutting through both wood and metal material.
While the power is exceptional, the only area that I wish this best reciprocating saw did better in is in the “low torque” department so that blade pinching doesn’t happen.
The Bosch CRS180K performs quite well and I enjoyed reviewing it on the few projects that I used it on. Depth control is easy to manage and the fixed show placement was quite solid which immensely reduces any vibration that could be caused from usage.
Get the Bosch CRS180K and you’ll finally have a saw that:
- Has a compact design/size making it easier to reach tight areas.
- Has a Lock-Jaw blade mechanism which makes changing the blades out an effortless task.
- Is lightweight by design making it easier to manage and maneuver the saw for cuts.
- Provides a 1 1/8″ stroke which allows you to perform cuts quicker since more material per stroke is being removed.
- Boasts two separate speed settings so you can make adjustments based on the material that you’re cutting.
One thing that by now I’m sure you’re wondering is the battery life. On a full charge I was able to have nearly four hours of use from the saw which for me is perfect as I typically don’t use my best reciprocating saws for more than a couple of hours at a time (thanks to my back).
5. DEWALT DCS387P1 20-volt MAX Lithium Ion Compact Reciprocating Saw
Dewalt is a household name their brand is known for their quality craftsmanship and ability to put-out high-quality saws that will last for a lifetime if properly cared for.
The Dewalt DCS387P1 20V Max XR is quite a powerful reciprocating saw with an impressive 2,000 revolutions per minute!
While it’s more powerful and capable then most of the jobs that you’d probably use it would require, it’s nice to have such a powerful and capable to be the best reciprocating saw that will handle anything that you put it to the test to.
I used this saw and tested it on high-speed drilling projects and masonry type work and it really performed much better than I could’ve ever hoped.
As I find myself working on quite a few projects that are both personal and client related jobs, it’s nice to have an ideal reciprocating saw that can quite easily go from wood working jobs to masonry projects which makes it the perfect choice for contractors!
By purchasing the Dewalt DCS387P1 20V Cordless Reciprocating Saw you’ll receive a saw that:
- Has a compact design that’s lightweight and durable.
- Versatility as you’ll be able to fit the saw blade in confined areas allowing you tackle any job.
- Provides a Blade Clamp with 4 unique positions which allows you to perform flush cuts.
- Has a 1-1/8″ stroke length who allows you to perform faster cuts (increased cutting speeds).
- Boasts what’s called a “Variable Speed Trigger” with 0-2,900 spm.
It’s worth noting that the Dewalt DCS387P1 20V Max performs at very quiet noise levels which is due to the brushless motor which also provides the benefit of being more energy efficient.
Being energy efficient for me was a huge plus as it’ll provide you with a longer duration of usage so you’ll be able to spend more time working and less time charging the battery.
Since I have a tendency to work outside of my garage and sometimes around the house (where power outlets aren’t available), the cordless ability is one of its greatest features as I’m not bound to work in a certain area which also makes this great for contractors who move from job site to job site.
Whether you’re on a job site, outside around the house or working on a deck/patio this versatile reciprocating saw will surely not disappoint as you’ll have the freedom to work anywhere that your project requires you to be.
Perfect for Masonry Project with Multiple Speed Settings The Dewalt 20V cordless reciprocating saw is the perfect solution for masonry projects as it offers 3 unique speed settings for high-speed drill settings of up to 24,000 bpm! Although keep in mind (just as with any other saw), a specialized masonry bit must be used to prevent the occurrence of cracking/chipping in the concrete and so the breakage can be avoided.
Best Reciprocating Saw Conclusion
So, now that I’ve reviewed the best reciprocating saws, which one do I think is best sawzall? Well, taking in to consideration the cost, features/functionalities and power capabilities, my choice is going to be the Dewalt DCS380P1 20V Max as the power is unmatched with up to 3,000 strokes per minute!
I’ve been using reciprocating saws for years and have extensive experience when knowing which saws are worth buying and the Dewalt DVS380P1 takes my number one spot as this saw has a blade clamp system that has four unique positions, a “double oil sealed shaft” which deflects debris and contamination and boasts a show that pivots.
With all of these great features being provided in one saw it was an easy choice to make!
Even though we didn’t mention great tools like the Makita JR3050T here, we hope our guide was able to provide you with some valuable insight on your journey to purchasing a saw and be sure that you check out some of our other in-depth review guides on saws to see which ones will work best for your projects!