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.