Need a powerful tool that can cut through just about anything? That’s exactly what a reciprocating saw, also commonly referred to as a Sawzall, is designed for. These saws are rugged beasts made to rip through tough materials including various metals, woods, and more. The most common use of these machines is demolition work, but they serve other purposes as well.
Reciprocating saws are sold as either cordless or corded models. They vary greatly in total power, amperage, and additional features. As if that wasn’t enough, there are also hundreds of these tools on the market today from a large variety of manufacturers. This makes deciding on a single saw extremely difficult. There are tons of different options, the prices vary quite a bit, and each one is a little unique.
Don’t let all of that scare you off, though. Consumer Essentials is here to help make your decision a bit easier. Below you’ll find a list of our favorite reciprocating saws as well as a full buying guide. Use the list and the information provided to make an educated decision and pick out a saw that fits your personal needs and budget.
Don’t want to waste time researching each saw individually, trying to find consumer reviews for each one, and figuring out what makes one better than the other? Well, then don’t! We’ve done all the hard work for you. We’ve tested dozens of Sawzalls for power, durability, functionality, and more so you don’t have to.
Above is a list of what we believe are the five best reciprocating saws on the market today. We built this list by compiling our reviews of more than 30 different saws to determine which ones performed the best and provided the most value for the money. Use this list and know that when you buy one of these saws that they are proven to be the powerful beasts you need on the job site or at home.
Full Guide to Buying the Ideal Reciprocating Saw
Having a tough time figuring out which features you need, what type of saw you want, and what sets each saw apart from the others? We get that. Technical specifications can be hard to sort out. Plus, there are just so many different saws on the market that it can be daunting just trying to pick one. That’s why we created a short guide to help you learn about the most important aspects of a reciprocating saw.
Knowing more about the tool will help you figure out exactly what you should be looking for. Below, we outline the most important aspects of the Sawzall and explain what you need to keep an eye out for. This will help significantly cut down the number of options and get you to a point where you can make a decision on which saw will be best for your projects and your wallet.
Reciprocating saws are designed mostly for one task – cutting through nearly anything. In order to pull that off, they need to have a good amount of power. That said, you definitely want to consider the motor of any saw you want to buy. Most have a motor capable of generating 7 to 15 amps of power. As you would expect, the higher the number, the more powerful the saw will be.
If you just need to cut through some thin pieces of wood, you can probably settle for a saw that has a lower-grade motor. If, however, you want to cut through tough metals or very thick pieces of wood, you’re definitely going to want to consider purchasing a more heavy-duty model with at least a 10 amp motor.
Just like any other saw, having multiple speed options is fairly important with a reciprocating saw. Why? Well, because different speeds work better for different materials. With metal, for instance, you need a saw that can run a bit slower. This is due to the fact that cutting through metal is very demanding and if the saw is running at too quick of a pace it can actually cause the motor to overheat. An overheated motor is never good. Run it like that too long and you’ll soon be having to replace the entire saw which is very costly.
Look for a model that has variable speeds. This will allow you to work on different projects without having to worry about damaging the saw. Tougher materials, like metal, require slower speeds. Thinner or weaker materials such as thin plastics or wood can be cut with greater speeds as they don’t require as much power to cut through.
Cord or Cordless
Another big thing you’ll need to decide on is whether you want a corded or cordless versions. Both have their pros and cons.
Corded models generally have more powerful motors and are better suited for large projects. They also limit your motion a bit, too, though, because they require a long power cord to be plugged into an outlet. These corded saws are ideal for commercial work and cutting through extremely thick and tough materials.
Cordless models are more popular among hobbyists and homeowners. This is because they generally provide enough power to cut through things such as small tree limbs and wire fences. Plus, being cordless, they’re extremely portable. The bad thing, however, is that they run on rechargeable batteries that often die fairly quick. Another drawback to these is that when the battery juice starts to run out, the power of the saw usually declines rapidly. Perhaps the only exception to this is the DeWalt model we named as our number one choice. That saw provides ample amounts of power, good battery life, and more.
Finally, as with any tool, you should always consider the budget you have to work with. While most models are priced nearly the same, the prices of reciprocating saws do vary a bit. The higher-end models that pump out tons of power and have all the bells and whistles can cost anywhere from $100 to $200 or more. Cheaper variants, on the other hand, that have slightly less power and not as many bonus features typically run between $50 and $70 each.
You need to decide what features and power you need, but your overall budget may limit your selections a bit. Either way, you should come up with a maximum price you’re comfortable with and then narrow down your choices from there. Again, if you need a powerful saw that can cut through tough materials with ease you’re probably looking at spending $100 or more. If you just need a device that can cut through a few small tree limbs and maybe some thin wiring, you can definitely use a cheaper model with a less powerful motor as these materials don’t generally take a lot of power to cut through.