Even if you haven't had the chance to use it, you've seen your parents and grandparents sawing through wood with a classic, manual saw. It does get the job done, but it's a real hassle to work with: it tires you and consumes so much time.
Nowadays, there are newer and modernized saws that have revolutionized the way people approach any woodworking project. There's a motorized unit for every type of action, including standard wood sawing.
So, the focus of this article is reciprocating saws - machine-powered products that use the concept of push-and-pull to go through any piece of wood. Naturally, we tried to find the best reciprocating saw right now and came up with eight different results, with each one being special in its own regard.
Stay with us and find out about the intricacies of Amazon's best reciprocating saws!
Table of Contents
- Top 8 Reciprocating Saws: Short Summaries and Reviews
- #1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Reciprocating Saw - The Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw
- #2. BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw - Runner-Up
- #3. Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Reciprocating Saw - The Best Corded Reciprocating Saw
- #4. Ryobi P519 18V One+ Reciprocating Saw - The Best Compact Reciprocating Saw
- #5. SnapFresh Cordless Reciprocating Saw - The Best For Freelance Woodworkers
- #6. CRAFTSMAN CMES300 Reciprocating Saw - The Best Versatile Reciprocating Saw
- #7. Makita JR3051T Hognose - The Best Durable Reciprocating Saw
- #8. PowerSmart Corded Reciprocating Saw - The Best Reciprocating Saw Kit
- How to choose the best reciprocating saws ? Buyer's guide
- Final thoughts
Top 8 Reciprocating Saws: Short Summaries and Reviews
Since there are various reciprocating saws with different designs and basic builds, we've included a list of our units' properties, so you know what you'll be facing up ahead. Here it is!
$$$ - DEWALT 20V MAX XR Reciprocating Saw 5 lbs - You know what you're getting into when you make a deal with DeWalt. This one is the best cordless reciprocating saw out there and the best overall pick on our list. It has an excellent battery life, a powerful motor, and an ergonomic build. Do you even need more?
$$ - BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Reciprocating Saw 4.5 lbs - DeWalt is a subsidiary of Black+Decker, so there's no reason to skip out on this one. As a part of the 20 V Max system, this unit will give you absolute control over your workpiece in terms of precision and power.
$ - Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Reciprocating Saw 7.05 lbs - It's well known that corded products always have a bit more strength than cordless ones, so here's our first corded reciprocating saw. It is a bit heavier, but its abilities are there to compensate.
$ - Ryobi P519 18V One+ Reciprocating Saw 3.89 lbs - Ryobi is well known for its great deals, warranty-wise, and the 18 V ONE+ system. Aside from this, the P519 can offer you quick and efficient cuts in less time than what most corded reciprocating saws can do.
$$ - SnapFresh Cordless Reciprocating Saw 3.46 lbs - Do you want lightning-fast charging and great battery life? If you're a freelance woodworker who carries his own equipment, the SnapFresh hognose will be perfect for you. Also, it's very affordable!
$$ - CRAFTSMAN CMES300 Reciprocating Saw 7 lbs - No matter what type of material you're trying to cut through, the variable-speed settings on the CMES300 will make sure you do it in the most efficient way. Based on its quality, we can't believe how affordable it is!
$$ - Makita JR3051T Hognose 7.3 lbs - Can you believe that this corded reciprocating saw has a 12.0 amp motor that delivers 3,000 strokes per minute? Yeah, we neither!
$ - PowerSmart Corded Reciprocating Saw 8.22 lbs - Even though it's the heaviest piece of equipment on this list, the PowerSmart saw is efficient in any type of operation. Also, its design will make you feel like this thing doesn't even have a motor!
Many people often rate a product based on the manufacturer, which is oftentimes a bad thing. Just because a quality manufacturer made a product, it doesn't necessarily mean it's good.
Well, in the case of DeWalt, it maybe makes sense since we're yet to see a power tool from their collection that sucks. So, here's the DEWALT 20V MAX XR Reciprocating Saw.
You might know that Black+Decker has many subsidiaries that also produce power tools and electronic machines. Such is DeWalt, and it's probably one of the most famous companies in the world when it comes to woodworking. Buckle up, and let's see what this powerful tool has to offer.
Here's a little on the key traits of this reciprocating saw. It has a strong, brushless motor that can ramp up to 2,900 RPMs on the max variable-speed setting. It fits a 14-inch blade with an overall tool length of 14.5 inches and a 1-1/8-inch stroke length.
It's obvious that the numbers will match its quality since it's probably the best item on the market right now, but what makes it stand out?
Firstly, it's a part of the 20 V MAX system that features almost all DeWalt's units and many other products from the Black+Decker line. Their batteries can be shared, and most accessories can be swapped amongst the packages.
Secondly, this unit has a 4-position blade clamp, which is crucial in time saving and efficiency. It lets you swap reciprocating saw blades in a matter of seconds, and you won't lose power while doing it. Moreover, it even comes with an LED to light up dark areas.
Honestly, this is a complete reciprocating saw kit that we've seen so far, and its efficiency is off the charts. If you're still in wonder if you should get it stop.
- 20 V MAX system
- Powerful brushless motor
- Great battery life
- Design additions – LED light, blade clamp, anti-vibration handle…
The next item doesn't take us very far, and you'll probably see this one recommended a lot as a counterpart for the DeWalt saw. It's none other than Black+Decker with the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw.
We won't bore you with details about Black+Decker since their name speaks for itself. The main thing we want to address is the battery that they produce for most of their products and the incredible runtime and charging time it possesses.
The nominal voltage is 18 V, and the maximum can be cranked up to 20 V without a workload. Even when you're cutting at 3,000 RPMs while working your way through tough materials, you'll still get around 1 to 2 hours of solid cutting without any interruptions.
The design is quite interesting, to be honest. It's very lightweight, weighing only 4.5 lbs, but it looks really bulky, especially the housing compartment for the motor. They've managed to integrate tool-free blade changes, a pivoting blade shoe, and a built-in electric brake in this thing while maintaining balance for accurate cutting.
As expected, it comes with a 2-year warranty, the same as many DeWalt tools, but it actually costs a lot less. In fact, this is one of the cheaper products on our list. We tried it for pruning, and it really works well; we didn't even need pruning scissors for tough-to-reach branches.
Now, it's a strong unit, so the charging time is a bit long, around two to three hours. So, if you're planning to seize a sunny day to work around the house, make sure you charge it on time before you start.
- Lightweight design
- A pivoting shoe and a built-in electric brake
- 2-year warranty
- Blade speed
- Long charging time
Heavy-duty cutting requires some heavy-duty power, which you'll undoubtedly get if you purchase a corded reciprocating saw. Here's the best one, the Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Reciprocating Saw.
It's all about the build with this thing; each part is carefully structured and put together to work flawlessly at a high cutting speed. For example, the 7.5 amp motor is supported by a strong housing with ventilation openings to prevent quick heat-up.
Moreover, the front of the reciprocating saw has a rubber boot and an adjustable shoe for easier maneuvering. It's compact and can reach narrow and tight spaces if you're trimming small branches and doing some delicate wood cutting.
Despite being such a powerful device, it actually emits very low vibration levels thanks to the counterbalance of its ergonomic design. Accordingly, it also has a rubberized grip and a blade clamp to make it extremely easy to use.
This is the point when you start to think: What's wrong with it? Nothing, really. There are some small flaws, like the fact that it doesn't hold up against metal that well. Also, it's a bit bulky, so it might take you a while to get used to its size.
Honestly, the price tag for the best corded reciprocating saw of this caliber is truly unbelievable. Most saws can't even perform as well as this one, and they are much pricier, so our advice is to consider this one as your next cutting buddy.
- 7.5 amp motor
- Ventilation openings prevent heat-up
- Compact/can reach tight spaces
- More power than cordless models
- A bit large
- Not that efficient against metal
Up next is a bit different unit than the previous ones. It's small, compact, yet quick and efficient in the way it cuts. It's not the best, but it's definitely one of the top products. Here's the Ryobi P519 18V One+ Reciprocating Saw.
The same way Black+Decker and DeWalt have their lines of powerful batteries, Ryobi also has the 18V ONE+ collection of products. They feature almost every device from woodworking and metalworking to gardening and cleaning. If you own another Ryobi device, this is the tool to consider.
According to the manufacturer, this unit was made with an increased productivity factor that can cut at 3,400 SPM, which is 60% more efficient than what other saws of this caliber can offer.
This can be attributed to two things: the incredible motors that Ryobi makes and the fact that it's really small, which reduces heating and improves the overall running time.
Now, you can't expect to do demolition work or cut metal with this reciprocating saw, but it'll be quite efficient when you have to cut wood and softer metal materials.
We do have to address the cut control, which is phenomenal. Due to its size and ergonomic build, which offers one-handed use, the control you'll get is quite extraordinary, even without adjustable shoes.
If you're going to prune branches and do smaller work around the house and the yard, this is, without a doubt, the reciprocating saw to get. Additional tools might be necessary if you plan on doing some heavier projects.
- Extremely efficient
- Cutting control
- Low vibration
- Great for wood cutting
- Not for a job site/ heavy-duty projects
There is an abundance of cordless reciprocating saws, which makes it really hard to pick the right one. Essentially, you have to think about what you'll use it for and work from there. In this case, if you're a woodworker who carries his own equipment to the field, the SnapFresh Cordless Reciprocating Saw will be perfect for you.
So, why is this a freelancer's favorite tool? Firstly, it's the charging time. Most cordless saws take around two to three hours to be fully charged, while SnapFresh's battery will get you to 100% in an hour. Also, it's a 2.0 Ah/ 20 V battery that offers a lot of running time, which is crucial when working on the field.
In terms of properties, we have to mention that the speed is set to 2,800 SPMs at a no-load speed and that the sound pressure level is only 82.2 dB(A), which makes it really quiet.
We actually had the opportunity to personally test it, and it works really well with wood, pipes, and all sorts of metals. It has a tool-free blade change, a very lightweight design, and a one-handed build.
Now, it's not really that great for heavy-duty cutting, which is surprising given the price. Honestly, we'd like to see a lower price in the future, and that's the only objective flaw we have. Aside from that, it's quite easy to use and master.
- Charging time
- Great battery life
- Really quiet
- It comes with a metal-cutting blade
- Expensive for this range
The previous items were some of the lightest saws made for home and DIY projects, so it makes sense that we should include at least one true heavy-duty reciprocating saw. It's the CRAFTSMAN CMES300 Reciprocating Saw review.
First off, this saw has the highest speed out of any unit on this list, the exploding 3,200 RPMs running from a 7.5 amp motor. Similar to the Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Reciprocating Saw, it also has a 1-1/8-inch stroke length, great vibration control, and a quick tool-less blade change.
Since you'll be working with both wood and metal, you'll mess with the variable-speed settings a lot. The nature of the material will determine the way the saw will move, which is why the manufacturers from Craftsman have made an over-molded handle for easier use and more control.
Despite your assumptions, it's not that large, and it's actually not the heaviest item in this article. It weighs 7 lbs, and the blade that comes with the bare tool has 24 teeth, which is perfect for cutting pipes and metals.
It's not the most compact tool, but it gets the job done easily. Honestly, the only flaw we've seen is that many customers have complained about the quality of the included blades, but it's to be expected since this is a bare tool and you only get one blade per order.
- The best heavy-duty reciprocating saw
- Great control
- Vibration control
- Blade quality
Here's another powerful, corded reciprocating saw that's become a customer favorite due to its long lifespan. It's the Makita JR3051T Hognose.
Let's skip over the main properties since you already know what to expect from a Makita product. Practically, all you need to know is that the cutting speed is 3,200 RPMs in combination with a perfect stroke length and that the blade is much better than what you'd expect from most saws.
It's a corded unit, so it's no wonder that it features a 12.0 amp motor that powers the entire thing. But, the real reason why people purchase this reciprocating saw is the build.
It's probably the most durable reciprocating saw on the market for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the housing is made from quality steel with a design that protects the most important ventilation openings from dust and debris.
Secondly, it has felt seats and rubber that protect the reciprocating saw from water, which is huge for a corded device. It's one of the best units for demolition work and metal cutting, surpassing what most battery-powered saws can only dream of.
The only thing we'd add is the price, and we feel that a corded saw should be a bit more affordable. It's not a deal-breaker, but that's the only bad thing we have to say about this terrific unit.
- Great power
- Protection against water infiltration
- Quality manufacturer
- A rafter hook
We're down to the final reciprocating saw on this list, so we'll try to bore you just a little bit longer. Most of these offers are bare-tool deals, so here's a kit with a great reciprocating saw. It's the PowerSmart Corded Reciprocating Saw review.
So, before we start listing what's in the box, let's do a quick overview of this saw's features. It's a 7.5 amp unit that runs at 2,800 SPMs with a 1-1/8-inch stroke length. It uses a solid lithium-ion battery that offers the user around 1.5 hours of run time, which is okay given the capacity of the motor.
The real problem is the weight, which is roughly around 9 lbs. It's heavy, and you won't be able to use it with one arm, but the upside is stability, which is really great.
When it comes to accessories, here's what's in the pack aside from the tool: a hex key, a blade for cutting metal, carbon brushes, a 2-year warranty, and the standard wood blade.
The cool thing is that most metal blades are not that high-quality when they come in the package, but that's not the case here. PowerSmart has made sure that its customers get the best if they invest in them.
In terms of the quality of the tool, it's great, but it's not the best. Honestly, if you want pure quality, you should try DeWalt reciprocating saws, but this is still a decent tool for home use.
- The best reciprocating saw kit
- 2-year warranty
- Lesser quality than in the previous units
How to choose the best reciprocating saws ? Buyer's guide
If you're new to the world of reciprocating saws, we hope that the reviews helped you to understand it all a bit better. If not, here's the buyer's guide to clear things up a bit.
1. Corded or cordless?
Naturally, this is the first thing you have to face when choosing a new reciprocating saw. In essence, you can sum it down to this: corded is power, and cordless is practicality.
A corded saw will usually have a strong motor, above seven amps, that runs at high RPMs or SPMs. Such devices can be very efficient with metals and PVC pipes, aside from wood. Yes, cordless saws can cut through them, but at a much slower pace, and you always have to worry about energy consumption.
On the other hand, battery-powered units are great for on-the-road projects and reaching into narrow spaces to cut branches. So, it's all about what you're getting the saw for.
One of the most common uses for reciprocating saws is pruning and cutting tree branches. It's also used for cutting through boards, pipes, and metals while doing some projects, but the bottom line is you'll need a compact unit.
However, getting a compact cordless saw can affect your efficiency, so the best solution would be to get a moderate-strength corded saw if you'll be doing work around the house. For example, the Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Reciprocating Saw is perfect for such actions, and it's affordable.
This might not look like a big one, but it's crucial, especially for corded reciprocating saws. They tend to be heavier than battery-powered ones, which plays a huge role in how you approach a project. You generally want to find a bit lighter one but with enough strength to cut through branches without getting your hands tired.
Our advice is to look for corded saws with a long-enough cable that weighs around 6-8 lbs. It's not that heavy, and you can still use them with one hand if the design allows you to.
Try to envision your future projects and what type of tools you'll need. Reciprocating saws are quite versatile, and they are used all around the world in different industries. Since the term can be applied to scroll saws and jigsaws, it can be quite confusing regarding which model to get.
Most corded reciprocating saws are great for branch-cutting, pruning, cutting through pipes, and vertical chopping of boards. It's also the most common application, so keep that in mind.
Warranty is always a huge part when choosing any product.
In this case, the best reciprocating saws have 2-4 year deals, but it could be even more depending on the offer and the manufacturer.
What is a reciprocating saw?
Essentially, a reciprocating saw is a device that operates on the push-and-pull method of cutting, with a brushless or brushed motor, depending on the build. You can use it for many purposes, with the most common being pruning.
Is a reciprocating saw worth it?
Absolutely yes! Before reciprocating saws, almost everyone used pruning scissors or various manual saws to finish the job in twice as much time. These devices helped speed things up in a more efficient manner.
How to use a reciprocating saw?
There really isn't any science to it. Plug it in, set the preferred speed setting, and get to cutting!
What is a reciprocating saw good for cutting?
Reciprocating saws can cut both wood and metal, but with the proper blades and additions, you can even cut plastic with precision.
What is the best electric reciprocating saw?
The best corded unit is by far the Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Reciprocating Saw, and the DEWALT 20V MAX XR Reciprocating Saw takes the crown of the best cordless one.
What's the best corded reciprocating saw?
We only have a huge number of words to praise the Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Reciprocating Saw.
We did see some units with stronger motors, but the composition and the build of this unit are quite remarkable. It has the perfect balance of size and power, and it's affordable, so what more could you want?
This should be enough for you to find your candidate for the best reciprocating saw.
We saw corded and cordless models, so there's something in here for everyone. Using these models was really a delight, and we hope you'll share our opinion if you were to buy one.
Thanks for reading!