A Buyer’s Guide To Selecting The Best Reciprocating Saw

A Buyer’s Guide To Selecting The Best Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a handheld tool commonly used for remodeling and demolition purposes. You can use this saw to cut through many different types of materials, including PVC, nails, metal and wood.

Reciprocating saws are popularly used for HVAC, plumbing, construction and electrical jobs. They can also be used for other jobs depending on the added features. When purchasing a reciprocating saw, you need to consider several factors.

For example, you need to decide on how much tool movement you require and the accessibility of power outlets. Additionally, you must also assess the size and weight of the unit.

Users must also compare the convenience offered by each unit according to its power capabilities. Rest assured, this handy guide will cover all the necessary aspects you should consider in order to make the perfect purchase.

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Our Top Recommendations: Best Reciprocating Saw

When it comes to purchasing the best reciprocating saws, we recommend you opt for a reputable brand. It is essential you choose from the following top names in the market. Here are some of our top picks:

Best Dewalt Reciprocating Saw

First we are going to take a look at best Dewalt reciprocating saws.

Dewalt DC385K2 Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit

DeWalt has produced some of the best cordless reciprocating saws in the market and this particular model is certainly loved by all. The reciprocating saw is rated at 18V and can reach maximum speeds of 3,000 SPM.

This kind of power is suitable for cutting through wooden joists, prune trees, PVC pipes and lots more. The power tool has stroke depth of 1-1/8 inches. It also features a pivoting adjustable shoe for greater blade visibility.

What’s great is that the saw is light and compact, which means you can use it for several hours without feeling tired. It weighs about 5.8 lbs. and is perfect for working in tight spaces and corners. Customers also liked the 4-position blade clamp and liked how the tool was versatile and fit for a variety of jobs.

The DEWALT DC385K2 may have some minor issues but overall, it is a great reciprocating saw. On the downside, the power tool does not feature a battery gauge, which means there is no way to tell if the battery power is low and you need to recharge.

Here are notable features of the power tool:

Features

  • The reciprocating saw features a lever-action keyless blade clamp with 4 unique positions for flush cutting.
  • Up to 3,000 strokes per minute with fast cutting speed along with 1-1/8-inch stroke length
  • Includes anti-slip comfort grip for added control and comfort
  • Includes 2 high-capacity XRP batteries that offers 40% more run time compared to other batteries in the market.
DEWALT DC385K2 18-Volt Ni-Cad Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit

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Dewalt DCS387P1 Compact Reciprocating Saw Kit

If you are in search of a compact reciprocating saw, the Dewalt DCS387P1 is certainly an excellent choice. Rest assured, this sturdy device packs sufficient power and offers exceptional performance. The model has a short and lightweight design that is great for DIY projects. You may experience more vibration with the saw but the overall performance is great.

Thanks to its small size, you can fit it through tight spaces not to mention the compact model offers better control compared to other reciprocating saws in the market.

The compact size can fit between studs which is why it is popularly used by people in construction. Additionally, the reciprocating saw also features a variable speed trigger that offers increased blade control for better cuts.

Additionally, the trigger is larger enough for easy operation. The built-in LED light is positioned on the front of the saw and is perfect for users who want to work in low light conditions. Not to mention, the dual blade insertion allows users to install and change the blades vertically or horizontally.

Some notable features of the reciprocating saw include:

Features

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • 4-position blade clamp that is ideal for flush cutting
  • 1-1/8" stroke length for faster cutting speed
  • Provides speed trigger
DEWALT DCS387P1 20-volt MAX Lithium Ion Compact Reciprocating Saw Kit

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Best Milwaukee Sawzall Reciprocating Saw

Now let's see the best product from Milwaukee.

Milwaukee Sawzall 6509-22

The Milwaukee Sawzall 6509-22 is among the most popularly used reciprocating saws among contractors and professionals. Most customers agree the Sawzall line of saws includes the best saws available in the market. The Milwaukee Sawzall line has built a large following amongst contractors and professionals.

Some say the Sawzall line of saws is the best line of saws available today. This particular model has been designed to offer quality cut over speed. The reciprocating saw is designed for tough jobs and offers ample amount of raw power. The moving parts of the tip of the saw feature a sturdy shoe.

To enhance rigidity, the shoe supports a metal bracket on each side. This is designed to keep the shoe perpendicular to the blade, resulting in a better cut. Additionally, the shoe tilts up and down, which supports the saw when it is fed through a cut. The reciprocating saw offers the right amount of resistance.

Here are some notable features of the Milwaukee Sawzall 6509-22:

Features

  • Offers 11-amp reciprocating speed with up to 2,800 strokes per minute
  • Features a rubber boot for an enhanced grip with a center pivot adjustable shoe
  • 3/4-inch stroke length with a lightweight design that weighs 7 lbs.
Milwaukee 6509-22 Sawzall 11-Amp Reciprocating Saw in packaging

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Best Makita Reciprocating Saw

Another popular brand is Makita. Let's see what is their best product.

Makita JR3070CT Reciprocating Saw

Makita is widely known for producing outstanding power tools and the Makita JR3070CT Orbital 15 AMP Reciprocating Saw deserves all the praise it can get. The power tool is specifically designed for handling tough jobs, cutting and demolition work.

The power tool also comes equipped with anti-vibration technology. This ensures you can conveniently do all your work without any disturbance. The product also features an internal counterbalance system that results in a better, faster and more effective cutting experience.

The Makita JR3070CT features a 15 AMP motor with superior electronic speed control. The reciprocating saw maintains constant speed when cutting though any material. Additionally, the long strokes ensures the ability to cut faster. The device works at up to 2800 strokes per minute and can conveniently cut through any material.

Additionally, you can also control its speed using the variable speed dial. The reciprocating saw offers six different speeds which means you can conveniently select one for proper saw application.

Here are some notable benefits of this reciprocating saw:

Features

  • Features electronic speed control so you can alter the speed according to the nature of the task
  • Can be used for both orbital and straight cutting action
  • Variable speed control dial that allows you to match the speed according to the application
  • Results in long 1-1/4" stroke for faster cutting
  • Features a built-in clutch that significantly reduces gear damage
Makita JR3070CT AVT Recipro Saw

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Best Bosch Reciprocating Saw

Finally, let's take a look at the best Bosch produt.

The Bosch CRS180 18-Volt Reciprocating Saw

The Bosch CRS180 is among the most popularly used reciprocating saws in the market. The device is powerful and compact, which makes it great for operating on tight spaces. The lightweight product only weighs around 12 lbs., which means you can use it for several hours without straining your arm.

The well-built device allows you to adjust the speed of the saw according to the material you are up against. The jaw also features a low-jaw blade holder with an easy blade change system.

The reciprocating saw also features a tray that is designed to hold the individual tools in place. The charger and battery can be purchased separately.

Here are some notable features of the product:

  • The compact size of the reciprocating saw makes it great for working in tight spaces
  • 2-speed feature allows you to adjust the speed according to the material you are working with
  • Features a low-jaw blade holder for easy blade change system
  • The inlay tray holds plenty of tools in place to store items, such as batteries, chargers and more
  • The saw is compatible with every Bosch 18-Volt Lithium-Ion battery
Bosch CRS180BN Reciprocating Saw Review

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Reasons To Invest In A Reciprocating Saw

Want to invest in a reciprocating saw but cannot decide whether it will be a suitable investment for you or not? Here are some important tasks you can complete using this power tool:

Change PVC Piping

PVC pipes are often placed in locations that are hard to reach with a regular saw. This is why a reciprocating saw is great for modifying piping. You can conveniently use the tool for cutting through pipes and making appropriate changes.

Making An Indentation On Walls

You may have to make an indentation in the wall if you are remodeling a unit or need to place wiring on the walls. Fortunately, a reciprocating saw is perfect for the job, especially if the job requires you to work at odd angles.

Cutting Tree Branches

A reciprocating saw is the perfect tool if you want to cut branches in the yard or initiate small gardening projects by yourself. The tool is easier to use when compared with an axe that requires plenty of manpower.

Man using reciprocating saw

Cutting Through Nails And Pins

Do you find it difficult to remove nails and pins? Well, rest assured a reciprocating saw is the perfect tool for the job. With this tool in place, you do not have to worry about pulling out stubborn nails and pins.

Cutting Through Different Materials

Thanks to a reciprocating saw, you do not have to worry about cutting through different materials. The power tool is quite flexible and has the ability to cut through materials, such as PVC, wood and other metals.

Fitting A Window

The reciprocating saw can be effectively used for cutting and fitting windows. Reciprocating saws are particularly useful for working in stuffy and uncomfortable places.

Factors To Consider Before Investing In A Reciprocating Saw

Want to invest in the best reciprocating saw in the market? Here are a couple of factors you need to consider:

Corded Reciprocating Saw

Corded reciprocating saws are powerful and are best suited for heavy-duty tasks. While they may be inconvenient to use because of the extension cord, at least you won’t have to about battery life and a bulky design.

Man using reciprocating saw

Most corded models are light in terms of weight because they don’t have a battery. The only downside is the length of the power cord can hinder free movement. This can become a serious problem if you do not have an electrical socket nearby.

Cordless Reciprocating Saw

While both corded and cordless reciprocating saws are compact and portable, cordless options have an edge since you do not have to plug them into an electrical socket. Like other cordless power tools, this device runs on batteries and does not require an extension socket to work.

Benefits Of Choosing A Cordless Reciprocating Saw

While selecting the right power tool, consumers will appreciate the many advantages of a cordless saw. The device offers portability, enhances cutting action and lets the user select from various speeds.

Some notable benefits of choosing a cordless reciprocating saw include:

  • Easy Portability: Thanks to its cordless nature, the power tool can be conveniently transported to practically any location since the saw does not require a power source. Additionally, by investing in a cordless machine, you do not have to worry about carrying a heavy extension cord or a generator.
  • Enhanced Action: A cordless reciprocating saw offers more action as you can use the device vertically and horizontally, according to your convenience. The power tool allows you to make tough cuts without risking the safety of your hand.
  • Variable Speeds: A cordless saw offers variable speeds and orbital action. This provides users greater control over the power tool. Cordless options offer more leverage to the user to select their preferred setting for more comfort and effectiveness.
  • Better Stroke Depth: Most cordless saws in the market permit longer strokes. These strokes result in fast and aggressive cuts. Rest assured, most cordless devices are also capable of shorter strokes that are required for plunge cuts.

Disadvantages Of A Cordless Reciprocating Saw

Now that we have talked about the benefits of using a cordless reciprocating saw, it is essential we highlight its disadvantages as well. One of the most notable problems with this type of saw is the limited battery run. A cordless reciprocating saw requires you to frequently recharge the battery.

This can prove inconvenient for some users. Not to mention, you can waste a lot of time while waiting for the device to charge. Another disadvantage is that this type of saw is typically bulkier and heavier compared to other kinds of reciprocating saws in the market. This is primarily because of the large battery.

Man using reciprocating saw

This might cause your hand to tire more quickly when using a cordless device. Additionally, the bulky design may prevent you from using the saw in tight spaces. Furthermore, if you are on a tight budget, a cordless reciprocating saw may not be the best option. This is because cordless power tools are pricier as compared to tools with electrical cords.

Additionally, you may also have to spend extra money on chargers and backup batteries. This can significantly add to the final cost of the saw.

Amperage

Amperage is a term used to determine how powerful the reciprocating saw is. Typically, the higher the amperage, the more powerful the machine is. Most reciprocating saws produce about 9 to 15 amps of power.

If you are a contractor, you will benefit from a 15 amp power tool or perhaps something even more powerful. However, if you only require the saw for DIY projects, an 11-amp saw may get the job done.

Stroke Length

When investing in a reciprocating saw, you cannot undermine the importance of stroke length. Most saws in the market feature a stroke length that runs ¾ to 1 ¼ inches while some models are adjustable. We suggest you consider the project you will be using the reciprocating saw for before investing in one.

Reciprocating saw blade

Blade Change Mechanism

Using a reciprocating saw requires you to frequently change the blades, which can have an impact on your overall experience. This is why many manufacturers are designing reciprocating saws with unique blade locks that do not require a wrench to be changed. The blade change mechanism may vary depending on the model.

Orbital Vs. Straight

Handymen can choose between an orbitable reciprocating saw and a straight one. An orbital model moves in an oval or elliptical shape instead of just moving up and down. This produces faster and most aggressive cuts. On the other hand, a straight reciprocating saw moves along a single plane, back and forth.

Variable Speed Control

When opting for a reciprocating saw, opt for a device with variable speed control. This will ensure you can adjust the speed of the blade cuts. Variable speed control along with the material you are cutting through can have a huge impact on your performance.

Shoe Adjustment

Shoe adjustment offers users more control over the depth of the cut, making it more stable overall. Ensure the adjustment mechanism is precise and smooth.

Strokes Per Minute

Most reciprocating saws in the market run between 2300 and 3000 stokes per minute. Higher amperages typically result in higher strokes per minute.

Man using reciprocating saw

Weight

If you are not too careful, a bulky reciprocating saw can strain your arm, especially if you intend on using it for long periods. Opt for a power tool with an ergonomic design to minimize the strain.

Tips For Using A Reciprocating Saw

Here are some tips you should keep in mind if you want to invest in the right reciprocating saw:

Choosing The Right Blade

The reciprocating saw is the right tool for a variety of cutting jobs. However, if the blade is not strong enough, you might have gotten your hands on the wrong tool. Select the blade according to the material you intend on cutting. We recommend you invest in a material specific blade.

The blade you choose makes all the difference in the performance of your reciprocal saw. If you want to cut through construction lumber that has a number of embedded nails, you need to use a thick demolition blade, which is wide and thick.

Remember, the blade you choose for cutting through lumber should be able to resist bending. If you need to cut metals during the project, it is best to invest in a blade that can handle all sorts of materials. You can choose to work with a blade that has more teeth. Even though such blades do not cut the material aggressively, but they are easier to control.

Use The Variable Speed

It is essential you take advantage of the variable speed function. Start slow and then increase the speed for a better cut. This offers users more control while using the reciprocating blade.

Man using reciprocating saw

Know Your Cut

Examine the material before you start to make the cut. Ensure the blade does not hit any other kind of material when you are using the blade with full force. This is especially important if you are plunge-cutting into a drywall and are not sure what may be behind the wall. Additionally, ensure you do not cut into any electrical wires or plumbing.

Maintain Proper Balance

Hold the reciprocating saw firmly in your hands to prevent it from slipping off your grasp. Additionally, ensure the grip is dirt and grease free. The blade should also be sharp enough to get the job done without any problems. Dull blades can be a threat to your safety as they cause users to apply additional force.

Also, avoid cutting through concealed surfaces if you do not know what you will find on the other side. It is a good ideato wear gloves while operating the saw.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this handy guide has offered you all the information you need regarding selecting the best reciprocating saw. For more information about the products, consider checking out customer reviews online. You won’t be disappointed. Good luck!

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