Best Reciprocating Saw in 2022 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Choosing the best reciprocating saw shouldn’t have to be a challenge. If you understand the basics of what you are looking for, this can certainly help the decision process. If you aren’t quite sure exactly what to look for or where to start, we’ve got you covered.

These saws are handheld tools and they are typically used for things like plywood, drywall, and more. They are really all about the power. This little handheld saw often has just as much power as a miter saw, circular saw, or even some table saws.

Reciprocating saws are a power tool by nature. With all of that power in a small handheld power tool, there are other essential aspects that will be very important to consider as you look for the best reciprocating saws around.

In this guide, we will share with you all of our top picks for reciprocating saws. We will also cover the things that you should look for and share a detailed buyer’s guide to help you every step of the way.

How to Choose From Reciprocating Saws

how to choose from reciprocating saws
Image by Daniel M. Hendricks from Flickr

Before you start looking at the options, there are some definite things you will want to make a point to look at before you buy. These are the elements that will stand out and make a reciprocating saw worth the investment. It’s the details that let you know it’s a quality saw in the end.

Take a look.

Saw type

The first thing to familiarize yourself with is the fact that there is more than one type of saw. You ultimately have 3 options. This boils down to a corded, cordless, or compact saw.

Cordless reciprocating saws

A cordless will be the most convenient simply because you don’t have to worry about outlets, cords, or plugs at all. As long as the battery is really great, you won’t sacrifice much power to go cordless. On the same note, corded is still more powerful overall.

If you decide to go with a cordless option, just be sure to check out the battery. Does the power tool come with a battery, do you already have the required battery, or do you need to purchase a battery?

Corded reciprocating saws

The next option is corded reciprocating saw types. As the name indicates, this type of reciprocating saw has a cord attached to it. You can often extend the reach of that cord with an extension cord if needed.

If you want all of the power and no hassle of a battery, this is the way to go. You can work for hours without worrying about a charge and they tend to have more power since they are not reliant on a battery. The downside is, you may need to work somewhere that has no outlet and that could be a problem.

Compact reciprocating saws

Finally, you have compact models. These can be corded or cordless, it just depends on the design. The term compact ultimately means that you can operate it with one hand. It’s a bit smaller than your typical reciprocating saw and it weighs less too.

Since these are designed to be smaller, they don’t always have as much power. However, they might be more convenient in some cases, especially if you are working in a tight space.

How Will You Use Your Reciprocating Saw?

How Will You Use Your Reciprocating Saw
Image by Mark Hunter on Flickr

The next thing that you need to think about is how you will be using your saw. When reviewing the best reciprocating saws on the market, you need to understand your intended use to make a decision that suits your needs.

Are you working on demolition projects? Maybe you install doors, windows, or even outlets and simply need to be able to work with plywood or drywall. Maybe you have some other use in mind.

This is totally going to be on you. If you have any idea of how you will use the saw, this might be helpful in determining the best fit for your needs.

Speed – Variable speed trigger

When you look at the speed of a reciprocating saw, it’s measured in strokes per minute. This is also referred to as SPM. This is how quickly the blade strikes when you turn the saw on. Most reciprocating saws now are built with a variable speed trigger. This trigger basically allows you to control your speed with your finger.

The downside to a variable speed trigger is that it’s all activated by the pressure of your finger. This means it might be hard to keep your speed consistent. The upside is that consistent speed might not make much of a difference with the typical work of a reciprocating saw.

The other type of variable speed you might find is a dial. This means that you have to stop and move the dial when you need to adjust the speed. While the variable speed trigger may take some getting used to, it is often the preferred choice here.

Orbital action

Not every reciprocating saw will give you the ability to use orbital action. However, it’s pretty neat if you do find one with this ability. Ultimately, the orbital action will allow the saw blade to move in an orbital (or circular) motion, as well as the up and down motion.

If you really want straight, precise cuts, this is probably the way to go. Because of the motion of the blade, the cuts tend to be more precise and look a lot cleaner as well. It will also help you cut faster with a better cut in the end.

There is a lot to consider here. There is more to know but these are the prominent factors that will ultimately help you make a great decision. Be sure to check out the buyer’s guide later for some additional preferential details that could be useful as well.

The Best Reciprocating Saws Reviewed

Now that you’ve got some basic information, it’s time to take a look at the options. Keep in mind there are a lot of different reciprocating saw choices out there. Choosing the best reciprocating saw really needs to be based on your needs and your uses. We’ve simply tried to narrow it down to the best quality for you to choose from.

Let’s take a look!

1. Best Overall: DeWalt Reciprocating Saw DW305

DEWALT Reciprocating Saw, Corded, 12-Amp (DWE305)Check Latest Price

The DeWalt reciprocating saw is one of the best out there. In fact, if you look at the listing, you will notice that this saw is rated as a 5-star option and has nearly 3,000 reviews on Amazon. It’s also an “Amazon’s Choice” product for these reciprocating saws. You can purchase just the bare tool saw or upgrade to a package that comes with saw blades too. It’s whatever you prefer!

This corded reciprocating saw is built for heavy-duty cutting. It is one of the best corded reciprocating saws you will find with plenty of power and a comfortable design overall. The powerful motor is 12 amps and allows you to handle aggressive cutting like a champ. The cutting tool blade clamp gives you four different positions to work with as well.

This has a 1-1/8 inch stroke length so it’s pretty versatile and it cuts fast. These power tools from DeWalt offer a variable speed of 1-2900 SPM. Again, you get faster cutting but you also have great control, even with tough materials.

The variable speed here is controlled with a trigger and the handle sports an ergonomic design to reduce fatigue during use. You can use this for just about anything you need from demolition work to small branches and options in between too.

Specs:

Motor: 12 amps
Speed: 0-2900 SPM
Type: Corded
Stroke: 1-1/8 inch
Best Use:Heavy duty but versatile

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Blades: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Vibration control: 10
  • Variable speed trigger up to 2900 SPM
  • Blade clamp with 4 positions
  • The important features are simple and reliable
  • Low vibration but plenty of power
  • The best corded reciprocating saws available
  • The weight distribution is a bit awkward and you will definitely need two hands. This is not a compact tool so that should really be expected.

Why We Like It: When it comes to power tools like this, you want the power and you want cutting speed. DeWalt brings us both of these things together for you and makes it work well for quite a few different types of use. It’s heavy and it gets the job done.

2. Budget Pick: Black + Decker Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit

BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit (BDCR20C)Check Latest Price

If you want something affordable while still being capable, Black + Decker is the best cordless reciprocating saw on a budget. It’s a well-made power tool and a quality reciprocating saw to boot. This one is in the category of cordless saws so it’s pretty simple to work with and you have the convenience of no cord. It falls into the brand’s 20V max battery line, which has the best battery technology to support this power tool.

This is a kit so it comes with the battery pack. However, you can also purchase a battery separately if you want a backup. The design is not considered compact but it is lighter weight and could be easier to handle than most two handed models. You can even cut overhead and might be able to get away with one handed use in some cases.

You can cut wood or metal materials if yo use the right saw blades. This is very good for trimming small branches. This has a pivoting shoe that helps you get the most control of your wood cutting needs. The blade shoes also improve your tool free blade change too.

The cutting power is based on the battery but it’s overall reliable here. Your charge should last decently but having a backup battery is a great idea too when you use cordless reciprocating saws.

Specs:

Motor: 20V battery
Speed: 0-3000 SPM
Type: Cordless
Stroke: 7/8 inch
Best Use: Cordless models are best for light duty and small branches

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Power: 9
  • Blades: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Vibration control: 8
  • The best cordless reciprocating saws on a budget
  • Can handle some heavy duty use
  • Easy to handle for precision cuts
  • Could be used in tight spaces
  • Variable speed from 0-3000 SPM
  • This is not built for demolition work and really heavy use
  • The vibration control could be better

Why We Like It: This particular option is the best cordless out there. It’s simple and functional. You can work for long periods if you have an extra battery on hand. Accurate cutting is more obtainable thanks to the pivoting shoe and the lighter weight.

3. Best Value: Makita JR3051T Reciprocating Saw

Makita JR3051T Recipro Saw - 12 AMPCheck Latest Price

If you want a really great bang for your buck, check out this option from Makita. It can be used for aggressive cutting or more simple options. It’s designed for faster cutting with all of the cutting power you need in these power tools. Makita is well-known for making tools that work reliably and they are delivered here.

Their design is a variable speed controlled by a trigger. It has a longer stroke so you get a bit more versatility and reach from the tool. The motor is plenty powerful for just about any use. This even has a rafter hook that can help you out when you cut overhead or at odd angles.

This is heavy but it also has a slightly compact design. As far as corded versions go, this one really delivers in power and versatility. It’s a tool that you can put to work for long periods and not grow tired in the process. It is even designed to do all of the power tools things without a lot of extra vibration.

To top it off, you can appreciate the blade clamp that allows for positional movement, especially with the longer stroke length. The reciprocating saw blades can move in an orbital manner too. You can change the blade through a tool free blade change method.

Specs:

Motor: 12 amps
Speed:0-3000 SPM
Type: Corded
Stroke: 1-3/16 inch
Best Use: Heavy duty and versatile

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Blades: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Vibration control: 10
  • Powerful and reliable build
  • Includes a tool hook for added security
  • Saw blades universal capability
  • Pivoting shoe gives you better overall performance
  • Tool free blade change design
  • People have issues not receiving all of the parts and may have to reach out if this happens

Why We Like It: With variable speed and plenty of power and orbital action, you simply can’t go wrong with this reciprocating saw. The blades are sturdy and universal and the tool is designed to be easy to handle while still being powerful and reliable for a lot of different uses.

4. Skil Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw

Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Variable Speed Reciprocating SawCheck Latest Price

Skil is known for making quality tools for less money. This particular option is a compact model and it packs just a little bit less power. While it’s not as powerful as some, it’s still pretty capable. It’s great for precision cuts and low vibration. It’s really best for lighter use but the blades can handle a variety of materials too.

It’s simple and reliable and this is another great option if you need something budget-friendly. These saws deliver if you know and understand the potential limitations. The gears are all housed in heavy duty metal, which helps with vibration control. The metal conduit gives you durability and control.

While this is more compact, it is not categorized with one handed reciprocating saws. The length and weight will likely still require 2 hands. The saw blade can be changed easily and without tools.

You also have a variable speed trigger but they don’t really disclose exactly what those speed ranges are. The feedback all mentions that it is high speeds and designed for fast cutting so keep this in mind. Skil does answer in a Q&A that the ranges are 800-2700 SPM.

Specs:

Motor: 7.5 amps
Speed: 800-2700 SPM
Type: Corded
Stroke:1-1/4 inches
Best Use: Medium duty

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 9
  • Power: 8
  • Blades: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Vibration control: 9
  • Long stroke makes this reciprocating saw more versatile
  • Offers a variable speed trigger designed for fast speeds
  • Easy to handle
  • Stable and reduced vibration
  • Easy to use and operate
  • You will need to acquire different blades as the included blade with the tool is not great

Why We Like It: The metal conduit housing is secure and sturdy. You have a stable and reliable tool here. The reciprocating saw blades can easily be removed and changed for the best use of the tool. With a variable speed trigger and the design for speed, you have a lot of options.

5. Porter Cable Reciprocating Saw PCE360

PORTER-CABLE Reciprocating Saw, Variable Speed, 7.5-Amp, Corded (PCE360)Check Latest Price

This last option comes from another reliable brand. Porter is a compact model reciprocating saw and while it isn’t a cordless reciprocating saw, it has a lot of versatility and capability. It’s another lighter option but it has the ability to get to superior high speeds as well.

These reciprocating saws have a simple variable speed trigger that takes you from 0-3200 SPM. The variable speed trigger can be operated best with two fingers. This saw is a reliable tool for long periods of work. It’s designed to weigh less and vibrate less so your hands are likes like to fatigue like they do with some reciprocating saws.

The blades are easy to change and you don’t even need a tool for the blade mechanism. The pivoting shoe around the blade also allows you to maneuver and set up your saws however you need.

This works best for medium duty but it’s also great for cutting fast. It can cut both wood and metal with the blade design. Just be sure to change your blade for the material!

Specs:

Motor: 7.5 amps
Speed: 0-3200 SPM
Type: Corded
Stroke: 1-1/8 inches
Best Use: Medium duty

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Power: 8
  • Blades: 10
  • Durability: 10
  • Vibration control: 10
  • Very easy to use as far as reciprocating saws go
  • The blade is easy to change and adjust
  • With the right blade, you can cut any material
  • Good stroke lengths for the blade
  • Easy to use and lightweight
  • Some users had issues with the blade popping out easily if not clamped just right

Why We Like It: This reciprocating saw is simple and reliable. It’s very easy to use and it is even lightweight. It’s still quite capable in line with reciprocating saws. Once you understand the blade, it’s reliable for the long haul. The variable speed trigger brings it all together.

Buyer’s Guide

Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide
Image by Makita File:Makita JR3070CT Reciprocating Saw from Wikimedia Commons

Now that you’ve seen the best reciprocating saws on the market, there is more to consider. These saws have a lot of detail to think about. We talked about the important aspects of narrowing it down but let’s go one step farther here. This part of our guide is more about understanding the details and knowing how to choose those for your needs.

Blade details

Every reciprocating saw uses a blade. The details of that blade might vary. You’ve seen us mention the length of the stroke. This is ultimately how deep the blade will go when you are making a cut. This lets you know how thick of a material you can work through.

With that in mind, you need to know that the saw can handle the material but you also need to know whether the blade you need will be compatible as well. There are different types of blades. Here is a quick overview.

Wood

The most common blade used here is for wood. The thing is, this type of saw actually cuts far more than wood. The wood blade really works for things like branches as well as plywood or lumber.

In this case, it’s all about the TPI. Wood blades have 5 or 10 TPI on the blade. That’s the teeth per inch. The reason this is the number for wood is that often you can get a smoother cut. It works best at slower speeds but this is the way to see smoothness.

Reciprocating saws are not really designed for smoothness so it’s nice to know that adjusting the blade might give you some smoothness.

Demolition

A common use for these saws is demolition. This is where something like sheetrock or drywall might come into play. It’s not even just demolition. It’s needed to make cuts through thick and challenging materials. And you need to do it quickly.

With this design, you don’t need a smooth cut. You need power and you need speed. it doesn’t matter if the cut from the blade is rough. The teeth count on this blade is usually about 6-11 TPI.

Metal

Did you know that you can use these saws to cut metal? The reciprocating tool doesn’t always get the credit it should. People simply don’t realize how capable it is. This is not nearly as common but it is certainly an option.

These blades have 10-24 TPI depending on just what you are working with. Think of things like nails, screws, conduits, pipes, and more.

Combination or Specialty Options

While the above are the most common, it doesn’t stop there. There are combination blades and specialty blades too. The combination options are most common for demolition use. These basically have more than one TPI on a single blade. One side might be 6 while the other side is 10. Or one end of the blade has 6 and the other has 10.

It makes the blade more versatile for more items so you could cut drywall, plywood, and nails all with the same blade.

Warranty

Another item that you should definitely pay attention to is warranty coverage. The truth is that when things are made in a factory, something can go wrong. A really great tool might have a defect or an issue when you get it.

You spent hard-earned money on that tool so you want to be covered in case something goes wrong. What if something breaks that shouldn’t? What if you decide you hate the tool and it doesn’t work as you expected?

A warranty or a guarantee can definitely help here. A warranty would cover defects and issues with the tool itself. A guarantee would cover you if you don’t like the tool once you get it.

Safety

Safety first, right? This machine really doesn’t have much to it that just shouts safety. You don’t hear about a lot of safety features and it’s more because of the design of the tool already. Something like a blade brake could be useful. Otherwise, you will need to be certain to take your own precautions.

Obviously, keep clear of the blade. You also should not have the blade running when you aren’t cutting as this opens you up to more risk. From there, be proactive about safety. When you are using the saw, plan to wear work gloves and safety goggles. These will go a long way to protect you from flying debris and the blade.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a 12-amp reciprocating saw powerful enough?

Yes! A 12-amp saw is among the most powerful options. This is about right for heavier use and things like demolition. It’s a lot of power in a handheld tool. 12-15 amps are a good range for high powered needs. Not everyone needs this much power but it is certainly enough power for just about anything.

What amp reciprocating saw should I get?

How many amps you need really depends on what you will be doing. If you want something really powerful, stick to the 12-15-amp range. However, if you plan to use light or medium-duty, you can go much lower.

9-11 amps are good for medium use and DIY projects. 7-9 amps work well for trimming small branches and doing lighter things with your saw.

What size of reciprocating saw do I need?

The size really comes down to the power and the stroke. A higher or longer stroke refers to a longer blade and a better reach with your blade. Then you also have the speed and the power. Ideally, we recommend looking for a stroke of 1-1/8 of an inch or more. If it’s close to this, you will probably still be alright but this is a reliable average to look for.

As far as speed, you really want to be able to manage a range. A starting place of 0 is great and if you can get close to 3,000 SPM on the high end, this is also quite helpful.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the best reciprocating saw, don’t forget to think of the quality of the tool but also of your needs. What works well for one person may not be the right solution for another. Think about the things you will be doing and what you need to be able to accomplish and go from there.

We hope that you can find a really great option here!

Expert Tip

Choose something that will be comfortable for you. Remember that you might be using this saw extensively. You don’t want to have to worry about fatigue and exhaustion or simply not even being able to handle the saw.

Did You Know?

Did you know that a simple blade change can quickly change the function and capability of your saw? Make sure you find something that is easy to change so you can get to work on whatever materials you need!

Amazon Recommends:

SaleBestseller No. 1
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit (BDCR20C)
  • Cordless reciprocating saw features tool-free blade change
  • Pivoting shoe for increased control
  • Part of BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* System
SaleBestseller No. 2
RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Reciprocating Saw (No Retail Packaging/Bulk Packaging) (Bare Tool, P519)
  • Up to 3,400 strokes per minute (SPM) for smooth, fast cutting
  • Up to 3,400 strokes per minute (SPM) for smooth, fast cutting
  • 60% faster cutting than previous model (P514)
  • Easy blade change lever for quick and easy blade changes
  • Adjustable, pivoting shoe for optimized cutting control
SaleBestseller No. 3
Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw
  • Powerful 7.5 Amp Motor provides ample power to get the job done
  • Tool-Less Blade Change for easy blade changes
  • Heavy duty metal gear housing for added ruggedness and durability
  • Counter Balance for vibration control
  • Pivoting Foot provides additional stability when cutting tough materials

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