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The Best Reciprocating Saws (2019)

By: Darion Robinson

While reciprocating saws may help you in certain situations that chainsaws can, their compactness usually makes them far more convenient. As they are lighter, you can easily carry them to a worksite unlike with a chainsaw. In addition, reciprocating saws come in different styles. However, the concept is usually the same as they can be used in cutting metals, wood, and even plastics with ease while offering you convenience. Despite their simplicity and their usefulness in your workshop, the difficult part usually comes when you wish to choose the best reciprocating saw. Should you go for this blade or that one? We review the best of the best in reciprocating saws that will be perfect for your next woodworking project.

Top 7 Reciprocating Saw Reviews

dewalt reciprocating saw dcs380b

Powerful. Convenient. Versatile. Those are just three of the top things that the DeWalt DCS380B has to offer you when looking for a reliable reciprocating saw. It comes with a variable speed trigger that ranges from 0 SPM to 3,000 SPM, and this allows it to chip through wood or even metal fast and easy. 

Besides its perfect stroke length coupled with its impressive speed, it is worth mentioning that all this comes at a reasonable price. To most, the DeWalt DCS380B would seem like the perfect saw, but a quick look at some of its features will tell you if it can suit you too.

Features

Double Oiled Sealed Shafts

These help in resisting contamination and generally increasing the durability of your reciprocating saw.

Variable Speed Trigger

From 0 SPM to 3,000 SPM, you have a lot of control over how fast you would want to cut through your material. Such control over the blade also prolongs the life of your saw since it enables you to start cutting at slower speeds when dealing with tougher materials.

Overmolded Comfort Grip

Using the saw for long hours can be harmful to your health, especially if you are not comfortable while holding the saw. The DeWalt DCS380B’s rubber grips offer you both comfort and control over the saw.

1-1/8″ Stroke Length

True, there are saws with much better stroke lengths, but the DeWalt DCS380B’s 1-1/8″ stroke length delivers a fairly fast cutting speed.

Pivoting Adjustable Shoe

This helps in extending the blade’s life in addition to giving you more control when it comes to depth-of-cut.

Pros

  • It is a multispeed reciprocating saw and thus features variable speeds for different scenarios
  • It is comfortable thanks to its rubber overmolded comfort grip
  • It packs a high-quality battery

Cons

  • It doesn’t come with a blade, a battery, or a charger
  • It is cordless and thus needs to be charged occasionally
black+decker reciprocating saw bdcr20b

If you’re shopping for cordless reciprocating saws that also double as lightweight and easy to use, there are high chances you might be drawn to the Black and Decker BDCR20B. It is not only a lightweight and simple to use reciprocating saw, but it is also versatile making it more than necessary in your workshop.

It features a powerful 3000 SPM motor which has been hooked to an electric brake pedal so that you can have more control over the machine. In addition, you’d be happy to know that unlike other reciprocating saws, the Black and Decker BDCR20B offers tool-free blade changes further making it easier to use.

Features

Lightweight

We can’t stress this enough. Weighing in at just 3.9 lbs., the Black and Decker BDCR20B is super light, and that allows you to do plenty of things. For one, you will be more comfortable handling the BDCR20B as it will take time before you get fatigued.

Reduced Vibrations

Reciprocating saws are always going to vibrate, but with the Black and Decker BDCR20B, you may get a little bit less vibrations thanks to its dampening technology. It cuts out most of the vibrations so that you can focus more on your work.

Precision Control

There’s a reason the Black and Decker BDCR20B was fitted with the 7/8-inch blade. One of those reasons is to provide some more cutting precision and even control. For longer blades, there would be less kickback.

Pros

  • It offers a tool-free blade change which greatly improves convenience
  • It is a lightweight tool and you can thus use it for longer hours comfortably
  • It vibrates less than some of its competitors that don’t use dampening technology
  • It comes with one blade free of charge

Cons

  • The battery is usually sold separately
makita jr3050t recipro saw

Makita is always a great pick whenever you’re looking for a tool that is perfectly balanced on both price and quality. That is what you get with the Makita JR3050T 11-amp reciprocating saw. This reciprocating saw comes with a variable speed dial that ranges from 0 – 2,800 SPM. 

It is not the fastest saw out there, but it does find itself in the hands of pro users either way. With an overall length of 17-3/4 inches, its weight (7.3 lbs.) goes a little over that of the Black and Decker BDCR20B. However, it’s worth noting that it still remains a versatile tool that is sufficient for general contractors and builders.

Features

Variable Speed Motor

The Makita JR3050T can deliver speeds ranging from 0 – 2,800 SPM in addition to having a 1-1/8-inch blade stroke which offers super-efficient cuts.

Ergonomic Body Design

If you were wondering why the Makita JR3050T is slightly bulkier than the Black and Decker BDCR20B, then its high time you knew what contributes to the weight. This reciprocating saw features a protective rubber boot which tends to seal the motor from dust and debris. 

Dust Blower System

Few reciprocating saws incorporate an internal dust blower system that can help you clear debris from the line of cut. As the Makita JR3050T features a dust blower system, you can expect improved visibility while working with the tool.

Tool-Less Blade Change

Cutting various materials can be a time-consuming task, especially. if you have to use your tools to change the blades each time. However, the Makita JR3050T saves you this precious time as you can change its blades without requiring your tools.

Pros

  • Its versatility enables it to be used for sawing through many different types of materials
  • It is fairly lightweight despite the work that it can do
  • It packs a powerful motor

Cons

  • It does not have one of the best blade lock systems
dewalt reciprocating saw dwe305

Thought we were done with DeWalt reciprocating saws? Well, not before we featured the DeWalt DWE305 corded reciprocating saw. This 12-amp powerhouse can deliver a maximum blade speed of 2.900 SPM.

It is not the highest we’ve reviewed so far, but it can get you through all sorts of construction and demolition tasks throughout the day. Whether you intend to use the DeWalt DWE305 on rubber, metal, wood, or even plastic, this saw will cut and grind with ease and your work will be done before you know it. A look at some of its features will explain why it could be a good pick for you.

Features

Powerful Motor

A 12-amp motor is powerful enough to handle most of the tasks that you might have in mind. Yes, that includes heavy-duty applications too. In fact, the DeWalt DWE305’s motor was built for these heavy-duty applications.

Variable Speed Trigger

Cutting through metal, wood, or plastic will require different speeds, and you can do just that with the DeWalt DWE305. You can get precise control when you control the saw’s speed using the trigger.

Keyless Lever-Action Blade Clamp

No, you won’t be spending hours trying to change your blades so that you can move to a different material. With the DeWalt DWE305’s keyless lever-action blade clamp, blade changes will be fast and easy.

Fast Blade Speed

The DeWalt DWE305 delivers 2,900 strokes per minute (SPM). Coupled with its 1-1/8″ stroke length, you would be cutting through most materials in record time.

Pros

  • It is a lightweight reciprocating saw and can thus be used for long durations
  • It comes with a 3-year warranty
  • It has a comfortable and shock absorbing handle
  • It is a relatively fast saw that can deliver blade speeds of up to 2,900 SPM

Cons

  • It does not come with a carrying case or even spare blades
milwaukee m18 reciprocating saw

The Milwaukee 2720-21 reciprocating saw is one of the most feature-packed saws on the market. Some of its technologies such as the power state brushless motor and the RedLink Plus intelligence system all work to ensure that you get optimized performance out of your reciprocating saw.

As a cordless reciprocating saw, however, the Milwaukee 2720-21 may come with some shortcomings that are common among many other cordless saws. With that said, you should not get too excited about the saw’s REDLITHIUM XC battery packs which can deliver more power. This is because there exist corded saws that outperform the Milwaukee 2720-21.

Features

Extended Battery Capacities

Call it a shortcut, but it is a neat little feature that allows the Milwaukee 2720-21 to stand out from the rest. With the REDLITHIUM XC 4.0 and XC 5.0 extended capacity battery packs, you can ensure that your saw lasts a little longer than it would. This is because the packs can deliver up to 2 times more run-time.

Integrated LED Light

For a corded reciprocating saw, inclusion of LED lights for visibility is pretty standard, but it makes a big difference when it is on a cordless saw like the Milwaukee 2720-21.

Brushless Motor

The Milwaukee 2720-21’s powerstate brushless motor helps the saw deliver maximum power with ease and helps the saw to live a little bit longer.

Soft Contour Grip

Comfort is important when using any type of reciprocating saw. The soft contour grips on the Milwaukee 2720-21 help provide maximum grip while also ensuring your comfort. This means that you can keep on working for long durations until you get nothing but perfect cuts.

Pros

  • The LED lights increase visibility in dark working areas
  • It is easy to change blades, and adjustable shoes on this reciprocating saw
  • The saw’s REDLINK Plus intelligence system prevents it from overheating and overloading

Cons

  • The saw is fairly expensive
  • Most users who would prefer to use it on one hand might find it heavy
worx wx550l

The Worx WX550L 2-in-1 reciprocating saw is a neat saw to have for one main reason – you get the control and precision levels of a jigsaw for free. While branded as an easy-to-use machine, this reciprocating saw is no different than what you would get out there from other saws.

A no-load speed of 3,000 SPD, for instance, is something we already witnessed with the Black and Decker BDCR20B. The variable speed trigger, on the other hand, has become mainstream such that it would be a loss on your side if you grabbed a saw with a fixed speed setting only.

Features

Improved Blade Compatibility

One thing you are going to like with the Worx WX550L is its blade compatibility. It recognizes almost every blade brand. This means that whenever cutting PVC pipes, steel, or even wood, you will have plenty of choices as to which one can deliver a cleaner cut.

20V Power-Sharing

The Worx WX550L’s axis get powered by a 20V lithium battery. However, if you have other Worx tools, you can share the 20V battery with other tools via the Power Share feature. This can save you a lot of time and even money in the long run.

Multi-Set

Worx WX550L’s 20V axis makes it more adaptable than most other reciprocating saws on the market. This is because it can double as a reciprocating saw and a jigsaw, and this enables you to finish your work objectives faster than you would have.

Pros

  • The saw’s swivel head design allows it to be changed from a reciprocating saw to a jigsaw in a matter of seconds
  • The saw is compatible with most standard saws as well as T-bar jigsaw blades
  • It has a built-in fan which ensures the tool remains clean
  • Its power share technology saves you a lot of time

Cons

  • Observing your cut can be a hassle as there isn’t enough space to observe the cuts.
porter-cable reciprocating saw pcc670b

If you’ve wondered about the power of a full-length reciprocating saw, you’d be mind-blown about what a compact reciprocating saw like the PORTER CABLE PCC670B can do. Unlike most other saws out there, this reciprocating saw is light and somehow addresses different needs than those that you’d normally look for in a full-length saw.

The PORTER CABLE PCC670B is capable of delivering up to 3,000 SPM that is ideal for aggressive cutting. In addition, its 1″ stroke length may not be the longest out there, but when coupled with 3,000 SPM, this little saw can go beyond your expectations quite easily.

Features

High Performance Drivetrains

If you are in need of aggressive cutting speeds, then the PORTER CABLE PCC670B can surely help you with its 1″ stroke lengths and up to 3,000 SPM.

Compact Design

It is not always about weight. Saws with compact designs can help you in various ways such as by allowing you to get access to tight spaces.

Tool-Free Blade Release

This is added convenience for you. The ability to pull out a blade without requiring a tool is a sure bonus as changing blades will be quick and painless. You will thus waste less time when switching from one material to another.

Variable Speed Trigger

There’s practically no point in having a tool-free blade release system if your saw does not have a variable speed trigger. Variable speed usually allows you to gain more control over your cutting, especially when dealing with different kinds of material.

Contoured Ovemolded Handle

Intend to work for long hours? The PORTER CABLE PCC670B’s overmolded handle is optimized for more comfort so that you can work on your piece without getting tired too quickly.

Pros

  • It is a lightweight and portable reciprocating saw
  • Changing blades is painless and quick

Cons

  • The battery and charger are sold separately

Before You Buy A Reciprocating Saw

In all honesty, “best” is usually relative to your needs especially when it comes to power tools like reciprocating saws. This is because different people have different uses for the reciprocating saws, and it is natural for some to be better in certain situations. However, there are “global” features that you should look out for too, especially if most of your work will involve using reciprocating saws for a good part of the day. With that said, here are a few of the features you should look out for before purchasing a reciprocating saw:

Power

It’s easy to pick a reciprocating saw with the highest amp rating because it seems like the best. The truth, however, is that reciprocating saws that are rated 10amps and more are usually more ideal for construction or demolition jobs. As such, if you pick such an amp and use it around your home, you’d have used up extra cash for power you aren’t using. If you are not into big jobs, a reciprocating saw rated between 5 and 9 amps is usually ideal.

Multi-speed Settings

Reciprocating saws can often cut several different types of materials ranging from thin and thick metal to wood and plastics. The kind of speed required for each of these materials usually differs, and that is why most reciprocating saws have multi-speed settings. The different speed settings usually correlate with different tasks. If followed to the latter, your saw’s longevity and efficiency increase.

Corded or Cordless

This is more of a preference matter. Corded reciprocating saws are usually more reliable and powerful as they get their source of power from the power outlet. However, they are less mobile than their counterpart cordless reciprocating saws. On the other hand, cordless reciprocating saws are also not as powerful as corded variants, and they are less reliable since they depend on batteries.

Ergonomics

If you’ve ever seen a cheap corded saw, you would’ve noticed that most of their handles are made of uncomfortable plastic handles which poorly distribute shock from the reciprocating saw while it is in use. Well-built reciprocation saws will have either rubber or foam on the handles as this is more effective in minimizing stress on your hands and wrist.

Weight

Reciprocating saws are built to be used in various angles. Some of these may require you to reach overhead, and if you’d be working like this for long hours, it would be best to get a mobile reciprocating saw. Heavy reciprocating saws are usually more desired in heavy duty sewing as they usually minimize vibrations on top of giving you more control over the machine

If you’re buying a reciprocating saw for just a single task, a good thing to do before purchasing it is to assess what else you might need to use the saw on then assess if it would pack enough power for the job. For example, if you’re purchasing the saw to cut wood but wouldn’t mind taking on slightly bigger loads in future, then you should get a saw with slightly more power.

All in all, choosing a reciprocating saw is fairly easy, especially if you know what you already want. The key usually lies in having an idea about the different kinds of places that you intend to use the saw in. If, for instance, you are going to be using the saw to cut wood which may have other materials in them such as nails, then a variable speed saw would be a good pick. This is because with a variable speed saw, you get to choose precise speed settings that would help you achieve better cuts. Other than that, choosing the right speed for a certain material would also improve the life of your reciprocating saw.