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 carry out quick cuts that don’t necessarily need to be perfect in its look and features.
Why You Need a Recip Saw
Electric reciprocating saws can be utilized to performed curved cuts on the end of lumber or thinner sheets of wood, however, jigsaws have a more narrow and shorter blade which makes these cuts less challenging. That leads us to the best reciprocating saws which have wider and extended blades which is crafted to grind through the material much more rapidly (and if necessary to a greater depth as well).
One major factor that I like about reciprocating saws is that they usually come with big and powerful motors and the exterior casing of the saws are quite durable. This means you won’t need to worry about damaging the internals of the tool even if you were to drop it.
One aspect 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 woodworkers who haven’t used a good one in the past (as they never thought that they’ve needed one) and they’re always shocked at the power capabilities and potentials. Then they are racing to look for new uses with their countless of options for projects. To get more ideas for projects, check our beginners’ list.
If you end up purchasing one you’ll quickly learn that it’ll become a necessary part of your workshop arsenal and I’m sure you’ll swiftly be thinking of new projects, plus tips and ways to take advantage of its power along with the big convenience that it provides of being able to perform cuts quickly.
The Benefits of Purchasing a Reciprocating Saw
- Reciprocating saws make overhead jobs pain-free to complete and are trouble-free 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 into hard-to-reach places and behind material(s) that are “fixed” in placement. With a Sawzall, you’ll be able to reach spaces that wide of other kinds of saws could never reach. Indeed, this kind of saw a “must-have” for any serious woodsman.
- They are ideal if your requirements include you need to cut holes (or slots) in the middle of sheets of wood or even drywalls.
- Highly capable of allowing you to perform flush cuts around material(s) that are adjacent which would normally block other types of saws from doing the cut.
- Lower price when you buy compared to different sorts of saws.
Now that you have read and got a better understanding of what those power tools are capable of and know why you need one for your workshop, let us get to the review, comparison, and tips about those models.
Top 10 Reciprocating Saws
We spent 27 hrs on research, screening, and editing, to review the top picks to give you tips on this buying guide. Whether you’re facing a hard DIY or are a construction professional, you will have the ultimate reciprocating saw for your next endeavor in our selection. They are great for cutting PVC piping, fitting windows, making holes in walls or hacking through just anything, including screws, tree limbs, and even nails. When visitors buy our self-chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.
1. Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 18-Volt FUEL Super SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw Kit with 1 Battery
A few years ago I was fortunate enough to be invited to a tool event where manufacturers 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 this model I decided to buy one for myself, so I could conduct a more in-depth review on its capabilities. After a few weeks of use on 7 different DIY projects this finest Sawzall held up quite well and I honestly have no disappointments. The Milwaukee 2720-21 18-Volt is still well ahead of other newer recip saws.
What’s important to understand about this particular model is that it’s one of the first of its kind to go head-to-head with competing for corded reciprocating saws by providing the power that was once thought only possible with the best-corded models.
I tested this goal of theirs and used this Sawzall on a variety of types of construction materials and it shreds through them like there’s no tomorrow! Quite literally, this reciprocating saw cuts through materials like a hot knife through butter!
Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Features
- It provides insanely quick cutting speed (the best Sawzall in its class) with an increase in both the power and toughness.
- Comes with a charger and a case
- Brushless motor which if you did not already know will deliver you with consistent power, a reduction in heat and better energy efficiency which will allow you to use the tool for a longer duration of time.
- Has been optimized for working with the technology to detect overload on the tool which will alleviate the chance of damaging the Sawzall.
- Pivoting shoe and integrated LED light.
Let’s start with the weight which in all honesty is quite an admirable attribute of this first-rate 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 soft handle/grip). It also has an LED light that can help with a dim workspace.
This reciprocating saw offers a 1 1/8 inches stroke length with up to 3,000 strokes-per-minute (multiple speed settings available).
One of my main tips is that you buy the kit so you get not one but two 4.0 batteries as if you purchased this recipe saw on a buy-one-take-one sale. Not only this, but you will also get a charger.
Purchasing the kit is suggested for general-builders and those who move from site-to-site as you’ll have more mobility with the power that you need.
Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Features and Functionalities
Quik-Lok Blade MechanismOne of the first features that I want to discuss is the “Quik-Lok” blade alternating property which provides a slide (which is spring-loaded) located towards the front-end of this impressive Sawzall.You can insert the blade either forwardly or reversed although sideways insertion isn’t possible.With this mechanism, you can work and be rest assured that the blade being released won’t occur so this is a brilliant characteristic for accident-free woodworking on DIY projects.
Rafter HookWorkspace 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 couldn’t be simpler.
2. DEWALT DCS380P1 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Reciprocating Saw Kit
Power and efficiency are what sum-up the DEWALT DCS380P1 20V MAX recip saw. Yet again, Dewalt has done fantastic work at combining power with the handling time that us “saw enthusiasts” have come to expect, which we’ve seen this with their best-performing scroll saws, table saws, and miter saws.
Dewalt has listened to consumers and has instituted a blade clamp system that offers 4 different positions so position versatility is quite outstanding, meaning you’ll be able to accommodate more requirements.
One aspect of this model 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 inches is an improvement over previous Dewalt Recip saws models with quicker cutting speeds of up to 3,000 strokes/minute which will grind through whatever material you’re working on.
Dewalt DCS380P1 Features:
- Blade clamp system which provides the faculty to use 4 unique positions.
- Has a 1-1/8″ Stroke Length.
- It provides an innovative “Variable Speed Trigger” with settings that supply up to 3,000 hits every min.
- It has a “double-oil sealed shaft” which helps to keep debris and contamination out.
- Pivoting shoe.
- Comes with a case.
The blade control is second-to-none and I haven’t confronted any flexing of the blade even on thick wood and it demonstrated no signs of hesitation/resistance.
Of course, robustness was a top-priority of Dewalt when building and designing this reciprocating 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 sealed shaft that deflects debris you’re presented with a recip saw by Dewalt that will surely allow you a long-term use!
Between its cutting power, its cordless function like in Dewalt DCS386B makes its work on “out of the house” applications less-challenging 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
This DEWALT power tool is a powerful 13-amp saw manufactured for both personal and professional jobs with the versatility of accommodating any of your job requirements.
With this, you’ll maybe have the best reciprocating saw, with a variable speed control of 0-2,700 strokes per minute! Unlike some others on the market, its speed setting(s) can be adjusted without your hand ever leaving the tool with a single push of a button.
What’s amazing about the easy-to-change speed controls is that you can set the settings fastly per your requirements as you’re working on the assignment which allows for a seamless transition when moving from one responsibility to another.
This leading reciprocating saw variable speed settings will deliver plenty of power that’s good because you can quickly switch from lower speed settings (if you’re cutting metal, nails or pipe) to higher speed settings for materials such as plywood. You might find the tool handy in any of these beautiful DIY plywood projects.
Dewalt DW311K Features:
- Possesses a thin and sharp saw that’s built to standards that cut through the material quite easily.
- It 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 achieve more speedy cuts.
- Has a stroke length of 1-1/8″ with strokes-per-minute of up to 2,700.
- It has a keyless and adjustable show which makes exchanging of the blades effortless.
With this model, 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 reciprocating saw to do cuts even on commercial material so if you’re planning on using it for “around the house” DIY projects then this model will certainly meet any of your operational demands.
After using it to do numerous 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 owns a 13-amp powered motor with a large cutting magnitude and it performed incredibly well on plastic, drywall, wood, pipe, and metal (the three materials that I tested it on).
The Dewalt DW311K Provides Incredible Power and Awesome DurabilityPower is the number one factor that most top reciprocating saws shoppers take into consideration and this is one of the most powerful saws that I’ve gotten to personally review.
First of all, it’s powered by a 13 AMP motor and its outer shell/body is very heavyweight which Dewalt designed for abuse as this tool was intended for on-site work where the recip saw will be exposed to rough environments.
What’s also noteworthy about this saw is that even under heavy workload, the motor doesn’t choke or bog down and the torque is consistent making it the greatest reciprocating saw in this price range to purchase if you’re constantly cutting tougher material.
The Blade SystemAnother fascinating trademark is that it includes a variable keyless adjustable shoe that doesn’t require the use of any tools to adjust.
I was able to change out the blade 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 promptly.
Unlike some other saws on this buying guide, the movement of the blade isn’t straight. Here, the blade has orbital movement which makes cutting through a material without much hassle. If you find yourself needing to cut through material such as metal and nails you can easily and quickly change out the reciprocating blade for another type.
Sawzalls Comparison Conclusion
So, now that I’ve reviewed the best reciprocating saws, which one do I think is best Sawzall? Well, taking into 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 min!
I’ve been using reciprocating saws for quite a while and have extended experience when knowing which saws are worth buying and the Dewalt DVS380P1 takes my number one spot as it 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 did not mention great tools like the Makita JR3050T here, we hope our buying guide was able to impart with you some valuable insight on your journey to purchasing a reciprocating saw.