Updated: October 12, 2016

Reciprocating Saw Reviews:

When you go to buy a reciprocating saw keep in mind that they are one of the few saws that are used for rough cuts and mostly demolition style work. You'll want a reciprocating saw with plenty of power to get you through any type of material such as wood, plaster, fiberglass, masonry, stucco, drywall, metal, and composites. I had a room redone in my house last summer and the workers breezed through the drywall by using reciprocating saws and had the job done in no time. Besides construction, reciprocating saws are also used for plumbing, HVAC, and electrical work. Prices on reciprocating saws are from $50 to about $300 and will vary depending on the features you want. You'll need to consider power, weight, size, maneuverability, and comfort. We have supplied a basic buying guide down below followed by reviews of the top rated reciprocating saws.


Buying Guide - There are 2 types of reciprocating saws - corded and cordless. Power levels will vary by saw, but generally speaking corded reciprocating saws give you 5-15 amps of power. Those involved with professional demolition jobs who need lots of power should go with saws that have 10 amps or higher. When it comes to cordless saws, overall power may not be as good as those with cords, but your range of movement will be greatly enhanced. For heavy-duty cutting with a cordless reciprocating saw, look for models with higher voltage options (18V or 24V). Cord-free working environments can arise and having additional battery packs or lithium-ion batteries will let you do plenty of work without worrying about running low on power. Unlike other wood working saws (circular, band, table, etc.) where you take the wood to the saw, a reciprocating saw goes to the wood so to speak. When working with reciprocating saws all day long you appreciate a saw that is lightweight and easy to maneuver. If you have overhead cuts to make throughout the day, you want to reduce fatigue with a lightweight saw to avoid injuries from "just being tired". Corded saws are lighter than cordless saws since you can eliminate the battery pack, but your overall maneuverability could be hampered by the cord. You'll need to weigh the options and decide what features are best for your work environment. Reciprocating saws with adjustable and rotating blades and handles are ideal for those working in tighter quarters or who need to saw around objects. There are some reciprocating saws specifically designed to be more compact and lighter giving you greater control. Cushioned grips are a great comfort to have on a saw and anti-vibration features will definitely keep some of the wear and tear you put on your arms and shoulders to a minimum. Other features to consider are adjustable shoes, orbital action, variable speed control (VSC), and a tool-less blade change. VSC is a nice feature when you need to adjust the cutting speed based on the type of material. Variable speed control is more accurate and consistent with dial controls compared to trigger controls. Orbital action lets the blade move up and down (as well as back and forth) giving you the most aggressive cut possible. With orbital action you can increase your overall cutting speed. Find reciprocating saws that have tool-less blade changing ability so you can increase your efficiency and switch blades without wasting time. One of the biggest complaints amongst users of reciprocating saws is that the saws go through blades very fast. Saws that come with blade kits have a variety of blades for different applications. An adjustable shoe lets you control the depth of cut and makes the saw more stable. Users also say your are better off with a rubber cord than a plastic cord. Plunge cuts are best suited for shorter stroke length (3/4") while faster cuts are possible with longer stroke depth of 1 1/4". Commercial and professional users should look for a saw with metal gear housing for the utmost in reliability and durability. A speed regulator on a reciprocating saw will let you have sustained power and speed even under the toughest of conditions. The top brands in reciprocating saws are Milwaukee, Porter Cable, Makita, DeWalt, Bosch, Craftsman, Black & Decker, and Skil. Most experts agree that Milwaukee makes the best reciprocating saws and we have noted a few below. In terms of the best reviews online, we found very informative customer feedback on Amazon.com, Epinions.com, and Mytoolstore.com. Milwaukee is the best name in reciprocating saws and DeWalt saws listed prominently too. Consumer Reports did reviews a few years back on bundled packs of saws sold by manufacturers but nothing specifically on reciprocating saws. Where should you buy a reciprocating saw? Home Depot carries all the top brands like DeWalt and Milwaukee in their stores and you can go online to Sears.com or Amazon to pick up your favorite. You can browse the best selling reciprocating saws here.

Best Reciprocating Saw:

The Milwaukee 6523-21 Super Sawzall 13 Amp Reciprocating Saw with Rotating Handle ($175) is top rated on almost every site we visited and reviews were nothing but positive on this model. Even our local Home Depot said that this saw is asked for all the time. The Milwaukee reciprocating saw offers more than enough power with a 13 amp motor and the 360-degree rotating handle lets you cut in all environments. You get 1 1/4 inch stroke for aggressive cutting action and the variable speed action allows between 0-3000 stroke per minute. The patented Quik-Lok blade clamp system lets you change blades quickly and easily. The grip is comfortable and the adjustable shoe has 6 positions to choose from. The saw comes with 2 blades and a quality carry case. The 5-year warranty from Milwaukee tells you they are sticking behind their product. Many customers wanted to go with the Bosch reciprocating saws, but reviews led them to Milwaukee. Some users mention the saw is a bit heavy, but the rotating handle and lack of vibration will make using this saw a breeze. Other top selling Milwaukee reciprocating saws include the Milwaukee 6509-22 Sawzall 11 Amp Reciprocating Saw, Milwaukee 6536-21 Super Sawzall 13 Amp Reciprocating Saw, Milwaukee 6515-20 Sawzall 18-Volt Ni-Cad Cordless Reciprocating Saw (Bare Tool). You can view all the Milwaukee reciprocating saws on Amazon.com here

Best Value Reciprocating Saw:

For the best value in a reciprocating saw, users say the Milwaukee 6509-22 Sawzall 11 Amp Reciprocating Saw ($110) has a slightly less powerful 11 amp motor (compared to the 13 amps listed above) but still performs admirably. At just 7 pounds, this saw is lightweight and durable with variable speed of 0-2,800 strokes per minute. If you want power, then go with the larger Milwaukee saw listed above (6523-21). Otherwise, the 6509-22, with a 3/4 inch stroke length, will take on almost any job. Owners say this saw is versatile and great for the occassional home improvement project when demolition is a major part of the work. One user says we was able to destroy drywall all day with this saw and he never got tired. Other consumers describe this saw as the "best for the money" and a "demolition necessity".

Budget Reciprocating Saw:

For DIY homeowners who don't need a top of the line reciprocating saw, Home Depot sells the popular Ryobi Reciprocating Saw - Model P510 ($50). Features include a variable speed trigger with electric brake, toolless blade clamp, 0-3000 strokes per minute speed, and the 18 volt battery supplies plenty of power. There is no orbital action but the weight of the tool is around 6 lbs and the 7/8" stroke length is plenty for most projects. Users say the saw can cut through metal, plastic, and wood without a problem. The only drawback is that the battery is not included and overall battery life can be limited. Another saw under $100 is the top rated DEWALT DW304PK Heavy-Duty 10 Amp Reciprocating Saw.

Cordless Reciprocating Saw:

Want the maneuverability of a cordless saw with all the power and performance? The DeWALT DC385K 18-Volt Ni-Cad Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit ($190) is the #1 ranked cordless reciprocating saw based on user reviews and expert opinions. This heavy-duty reciprocating saw will give you up to 3000 strokes per minute with stroke length of 1 1/8". The keyless blade clamp feature makes swapping out blades easy and fast. The anti-slip grip gives you the confidence to run the DeWalt all day. Owners like the cordless portability but some mention that the battery life is limiting with 30-45 minutes of power (buy a backup battery). Users say the variable speed trigger lock works fine and the saw is both compact and lightweight. Great piece of equipment for carpenters, general contractors, or plumbers. See the entire list of top rated cordless reciprocating saws online.