How to find the best Reciprocating Saw aka Sawzall of 2018?
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 Reciprocating Saw
Electric reciprocating saws (just like the best 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 less challenging but 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 really 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 reciprocating saw 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 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 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, click here.
If you end up purchasing a reciprocating saw 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
- Much safer to use compared to circular saws. 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 on the reciprocating saw in to 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 needing 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 (like: https://www.sawinery.net/best-miter-saw/) 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 top reciprocating saws are capable of and know why you need one for your workshop, let us get to the review, comparison, and tips about the best 5 reciprocating saws in 2018!
The 10 Best Reciprocating Saws
We spent 27 hrs on research, screenshoting, 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 in order to support our work. Skip to the best reciprocating saw on Amazon.
1. Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 18-Volt 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 yrs.
After having some hands-on testing of this reciprocating saw 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 reciprocating saw is still well ahead of other newer recip saws.
What’s important to understand about this particular reciprocating saw is that it’s one of the first of its kind to go head-to-head with competing corded reciprocating saws by providing the power that was once thought only possible with the best corded reciprocating saw models.
I personally 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!
By purchasing the Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 reciprocating saw, you’ll obtain a saw that:
- Provides insanely quick cutting speed (the best sawzall in its class, not the best reciprocating saw in general) 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 reciprocating saw for a longer duration of time.
- Has been optimized for working with the technology to detect overload on the reciprocating saw 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 dim workspace.
This reciprocating saw offers an 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 recip saw on a buy-one-take-one sale. Not only this, 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 Reciprocating saw Features and Functionalities
Quik-lok Blade Mechanism One 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 with the reciprocating saw being rest assured that the blade being released won’t occur so this is a brilliant characteristic for accident-free woodworking on DIY 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 reciprocating saw couldn’t be simpler.
2. DEWALT DCS380P1 20V MAX Lithium Ion Reciprocating Saw Kit
Power and efficiency is what sum-up the DEWALT DCS380P1 20V MAX recip saw . Yet again, Dewalt has done a fantastic work at combining power with the handling time that us “saw enthusiasts” have come to expect, similar to what they have down with chainsaws: https://www.sawinery.net/best-chainsaw/.
Dewalt has listened to consumers and have instituted a blade clamp system which offers 4 different positions so position versatility is quite outstanding, meaning you’ll be able to accommodate more requirements.
One aspect of this reciprocating saw 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.
When you buy the Dewalt DCS380P1, you’ll receive a reciprocating saw that:
- Blade clamp system which provides the faculty to use 4 unique positions.
- Has a 1-1/8″ Stroke Length.
- Provides an innovative “Variable Speed Trigger” with settings that supply up to 3,000 hits every min.
- 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 wasn’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 which makes working 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 reciprocating saw 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 variable speed control of 0-2,700 strokes per minute! Unlike some other reciprocating saws on the market, its speed setting(s) can be adjusted without your hand ever leaving the reciprocating saw 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.
When you buy the Dewalt DW311K, you’ll receive a reciprocating saw that:
- Possesses 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 achieve more speedy 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 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 this reciprocating saw for “around the house” DIY projects then this reciprocating saw model will certainly meet any of your operational demands.
After using this reciprocating saw, which might be the best reciprocating saw, 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 incredible well on plastic, drywall, wood, pipe 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 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 reciprocating saw was intended for on-site work where the recip saw will be exposed to rough environments.
What’s also noteworthy about the this saw 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 in this price range to purchase if you’re constantly cutting tougher material.
The Blade System Another fascinating trademark is that it includes a variable keyless adjustable shoe which doesn’t require the use of any tools to adjust.
I actually was able to change out the blade on the reciprocating 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 on this buying guide, and others, the movement of the blade isn’t straight. Here, the blade has orbital movement which actually makes cutting through 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.
4. Bosch CRS180K 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Reciprocating Saw
Next up on my list is the Bosch CRS180K 18v, an unbeaten reciprocating saw manufacturer that I’ve been a fan of as they also do a good job at building distinctive reciprocating saws and they always use some of the highest caliber blades that I’ve seen for a reasonable price.
With this saw, you’ll have the option of choosing 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 recip 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 (e.g. nails).
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.
This Bosch operates quite well and I enjoyed reviewing it on the few applications that I used it on. Depth control is easy to manage and the fixed-show placement was quite solid which immensely help to lessen any vibration that could be caused from utilization and therefore reducing fatigue.
Get this and you’ll finally have a reciprocating saw that:
- Has a compact form for easy-peasy reaching into tight places.
- The tool comes with a charger and sturdy case
- Has a Lock-Jaw blade action which makes exchanging the blades out an effortless chore.
- Not heavy, is lightweight, hence easier to manage and maneuver the reciprocating saw for cuts.
- Provides a 1 1/8″ stroke which allows you to execute cuts quicker since more material per stroke is being removed.
- Has 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 in this 18-volt saw. On a full charge (using the quick charger) I was able to have nearly 4 hrs of use from the reciprocating saw which for me is highly-necessary 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 precision and quality craftsmanship and proficiency 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/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 be handling anything that you put it to the test to.
I used this reciprocating saw and tested it on high-speed drilling applications and stonework or demolition 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 a dependable reciprocating saw that can quite easily go from wood working jobs to masonry projects which makes it the exemplary choice to choose for general builders!
By purchasing the Dewalt DCS387P1 20V Cordless Reciprocating Saw you’ll have a saw that:
- Has a compact build that is lighter than similar models and tough-built.
- Versatility as you’ll be able to fit the reciprocating saw blade in confined areas allowing you tackle any job.
- Provides a Blade Clamp with 4 unique positions which allows you to complete flush cuts.
- Has a 1-1/8″ stroke length who allows you faster cuts (increased cutting speeds).
- “Variable Speed Trigger” with 0-2,900 spm.
It’s worth noting that the Dewalt DCS387P1 20V Max reciprocating saw 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 reciprocating saw for me was a big plus as it’ll provide you with a longer duration of running so you’ll be able to spend more time working and less time charging the battery.
Since I have a tendency to work with the reciprocating saw 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 like with a corded reciprocating saw which also makes this great for contractors who move from jobsite to another.
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 solution for mason-work 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 reciprocating saw), a specialized stone/brickwork bit must be used to prevent the occurrence of cracking/chipping in the concrete and so the breakage can be avoided.
6. Hitachi CR13VBY 12-Amp Reciprocating Saw
Hitachi Koki is a manufacturer with not short tradition in producing various professional-grade power equipment and electric power tools. Hitachi product lines are based on product quality and reliability.
Hitachi CR13VBY reciprocal saw is known as a product for heavy-duty and very efficient use. For a medium range price, you should choose this model if you need a stable and very reliable saw for a tough assignment it solves all your problems.
With the impossible to imagine 65% reduced vibration transferred to the one using it, after lot of others reciprocal saws I used, this was the feel that I was holding the best saw with the least vibration. This is a new technology called UVP (User Vibration Protection) to reduce the transferred vibration.
With a possible 3000 strokes in a minute, the Hitachi CR13VBY is very reliable for heavy-duty work and different materials.
The Hitachi CR13VBY Reciprocal Saw features:
- UVP (User Vibration Protection) system reduces vibration by 65%.
- 12 AMP motor with 0-3000 spm for fast and diverse cutting.
- Variable speed with dual action – reciprocating and swing (2x faster).
- Stroke length of 1-1/4 inches with a blade-swap system.
- Specially crafted D-shaped soft handle for maximized comfort.
Very interesting features are the fast and effective change of blades which is tool-less, and also the variable speed. The saw has 2 varieties of cutting mechanisms. One is a straight mode, used for a wide variety of materials and the other is “swing” mode, which has less rebound effect as compared to traditional orbital action, and which is more efficient in working with wooden materials.
This saw has. The ergonomic shape makes the Hitachi CR13VBY easy handling and ideal for daily use. With the UVP and comfort of usage, it makes you adore it more than other saws in this buying guide. I know that a lot people pay attention to the maintenance of the saw, but Hitachi has a solution for that too. It is the triple sealed dust and water resistance that protects the tool and increase its duration.
7. Makita JR3070CT AVT Recipro Saw – 15 AMP
Makita is a well-known manufacturer of industrial tools and good quality power tools and it exists on the market for more than 100 years.
The reciprocating series are getting innovated every time the new product appears and this particular Makita reciprocating saw has plenty of new features. When it comes to the new features, 2x fewer vibration thanks to AVT (Anti-Vibration Technology) is something that beats the competition.
This saw has a superpower of maximum 2800 strokes and less vibration at the same time, which brings the winning combination for somebody looking for both possibilities with tall values. It is known by its slogan: More Work, Less Vibration.
The good thing that makes this roughly versatile is that with a four-way blade positioning you can use it literally on any material. I have tried it on metal and wood and the cutting power was unbelievable.
What I have noticed, and I am sure anybody who have this saw will too, is that it’s a very powerful machine and very secure at the same time.
By purchasing Makita JR3070CT you will get a saw with these characteristics:
- 15 AMP power with a variable speed control (2800 spm).
- Anti-vibration technology with 2x less vibration, for less operator’s fatigue
- Clutch assembly for gear safety and running at a constant speed.
- Long stroke for swifter cutting ( 1-1/4″).
- Tool-less blade change for 4 different adjustments.
- Dustproof design keeping the dust away from inner parts of the tool.
If you are detail oriented, with interest in the two previously emphasized features (strokes speed and vibration), this saw has one more very interesting component – it’s designed in a way that doesn’t let the dust enter the tool.
One thing that came to me before I used the Makita JR3070CT was that it’s heavier than other saws (9.7 lbs) in our buying guide, but sincerely it hasn’t make any difference. When it comes to usability the saw is suggested for carpenters, farmers, electricians and for all who would use it for demanding cutting applications, demolition work or remodeling.
8. PORTER-CABLE PCC670B Bare Reciprocating TIGERSAW
Porter-Cable has a reputable name in the power tool industry for more than 100 yrs. Its line of construction tools are known for providing unparalelled performance without breaking the bank.
Porter-Cable PCC670B is a versatile saw that any DIY-er and artisan would love, mainly due to its heavy power, lighter weight and capacity to make cuts even in cramped and tight areas.
It was one of the smallest recip saws I’ve ever gotten to use, but it is compatible for aggressive cutting, which surprised me. I was impressed with the High Performance Drivetrain of this cutting tool, with maximum of 3,000-SPM. Porter-Cable also made it so easy it to switch from one speed to another with the saw’s trigger control.
By purchasing Porter Cable PCC 670B Bare Reciprocating Tigersaw You’ll have a cutting tool that:
- Has a 12 AMP powerful motor.
- Compact design of about 14 ½” for use in small gaps.
- Provides 20V lithium battery with lower self-discharge for prolonged run time.
- Features a tool free blade-change procedure for fast and easy-switch of blades.
- Comes with a variable speed trigger
If you are a DIYer or a pro that needs to work on tight spaces for a relatively not short time, PCC670B is a good saw for the price. I found the weight and size remarkable, as I was able to successfully use just one hand at times. The contoured handle was indeed comfortable, too!
Many sawzalls already have easy blade changing, but I’ll still give bonus points to PCC670B for it—all it took me was a few seconds to have a new blade in place without any sweat.
9. Black & Decker BDCR20B Bare Reciprocating Saw
Black and Decker is known for offering a wide-range of affordable home tools and has stepped up their game in terms of power tools vital to the every day handyman, even with lower price ranges. The BDCR20B is an example of that in this case, a reliable saw often tagged as one of the current best sawzalls.
Cutting power and speed are the main elements being highlighted in BDCR20B Bare reciprocal saw. Aptly so, as reciprocating saws cutting operation greatly depend on these two features. Black & Decker packed this model with 3000 SPM motor which the buyer can take control of. Depending on the cutting engagement at hand, the included variable speed trigger and electric brake can customize the power and speed of this reciprocating saw.
Getting a Black & Decker BDCR20B Reciprocating Saw will ensure you of these:
- Cordless tool with 20V battery.
- Not heavy, Very lightweight saw at 4lbs for easy cutting.
- Pivoting adjustable shoe for better cutting line with angles.
- Convenient tool-less changing of blades.
- Stroke length of 7/8 inches that is handy for delicate cutting jobs.
The BDCR20B recip saw are safe and convenient for beginners who have projects everywhere, as this provides the alternative to do the cutting job away from a power source. With a 20V battery, it doesn’t have a problem with high-strokes rate, ensuring a powerful cutting tool even when not directly connected to the outlet.
This saw delivered a good operation and accuracy, but I found the stroke length of 7/8 inches lacking, as this is less than the 10 inches and above standard stroke length in most of sawzalls today. While the shorter length is ideal for more precise control in detailed projects and you can use this to cut through most things, it could give a disadvantage for some professionals.
But if you need a reciprocating saw for personal use and cutting for small household projects, BDCR20B is a lighter saw that can do most tasks, even cutting pipe.
10. SKIL 9216-01 Reciprocating Saw
Skil has a long history of high-performing carpentry tools, deeming it one of the most trusted brands in the power tool industry.
Skil 9216-01 Reciprocating Saw embodies Skil’s known expertise in crafting a cutting tools that can handle tough jobs. It’s powerful 9 amp motor and 2,700 RPM make it hardwearing for any kind of work—transforming cutting into a breeze even for a newbie. Its power allows this saw to make cuts in any surface.
This model is user-friendly saw too, giving the alternative to set speed and also designed ergonomically to make it handy for both professionals and beginners.
By purchasing Skil 9216-01 Reciprocating Saw You will get a cutting tool with these attributes:
- Variable Speed Control for easy manipulation of speed rate.
- Power on indicator as a safety feature.
- Metal gear housing for resilience.
- Counter-balance and pivoting foot for sturdy cutting line stance.
- Soft-grip feature for comfort.
First thing I like about Skil 9216-01 Reciprocating Saw is the sturdy housing it has, which is very important as naturally, one would like to use a tool for many decades. While in use, I noticed the distinction in the vibration in cutting with a counter balance, as it was considerably lessened, which absolutely reduces the end-user’s fatigue. This is really helpful for long hours of cutting assignments, especially for professionals.
The 9216-01 model is another tool added to this best list because it delivers what it promises. The power and ease of use are its key features, yet Skil did not hold back in adding details that will help the purchaser: tool-less blade switching, soft-grip, pivoting foot, among other. This is definitely a recip saw that any type of builder or craftsman would be pleased to have.
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 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 this reciprocating 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 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 and be sure that you check out some of our other in-depth review buying guides, comparison and tips on saws (like scroll saw models or table saw one: https://www.sawinery.net/best-table-saw/) to see which ones you should buy that will work best for your projects!