What Is the Best Reciprocating Saw in 2020?
Reciprocating saws are fantastic tools that are right at home in practically anybody’s workshop, from professional tradespeople to DIY enthusiasts alike. They’re incredibly useful because they slice effortlessly through materials many saws can’t and make easy work of demolition projects.
Below we review the top models on and give you our top picks for the best reciprocating saws for different needs. We’ve also put together and reciprocating saw buying guide to go over key features and help you decide which one is right for you.
Reciprocating Saw Reviews
In our quest to find the top reciprocating saw on the market, we reviewed several highly rated models. Here are the ones that stood out above the competition.
The DeWalt DCS380B is distinguishable by the yellow and black body all DeWalt products have and delivers the excellent durability users expect from this brand. This cordless model’s motor reaches speeds of up to 3000 SPM, which cuts through wood and metal with ease. It’s one of the best cordless reciprocating saws out there and can handle pretty much whatever you throw at it.
The DeWalt DCS380B comes with a 20-volt battery that allows for thirty minutes of cutting on tough tasks and up to four hours for lighter applications. It has a 1-1/8” stroke length, which is the maximum standard for this saw type, and four-direction blade mounting to attain any kind of cut you need. It can get into all sorts of tight areas with ease.
Lastly, it features a keyless blade change and adjustable shoe for more control. The only negative to speak of is that this is a bare tool, so it doesn’t include a blade, battery, or charger which you’ll have to buy separately. If you’re already using other DeWalt cordless tools, that shouldn’t be a problem; you’ll just have to buy the blade.
- Ergonomic design
- Professional quality
- Extremely powerful
- It’s a bare tool, so it doesn’t come ready to use right out of the box
DeWalt’s tools stand out so much we had to include a corded option from this manufacturer. The DWE305 reaches speeds of up to 2900 SPM and combines with a 1-1/8” stroke length to cut quickly with fewer passes. The 12-amp motor is perfect for heavy applications, from wood to plastic, fiberglass, and more. At just eight pounds, it’s reasonably lightweight.
Like the previous DeWalt model, this one has four-direction blade mounting and a variable speed trigger that you can change mid-cut. Keyless blade change makes swapping blades a breeze, and there are a variety of blades that you can use with this tool.
The DWE305 also has an ergonomic design with a soft rubber handle for added comfort, which has the bonus of reducing vibration. Overall, it’s one of the best electric reciprocating saws on the market, and it’s an excellent pick if you want something reliable with great features.
- Reasonable price
- Excellent cutting power
- Does not include spare blades or a carrying case
For those looking for a budget option, BLACK+DECKER’s BDCR20B might fit the bill. This cordless model delivers plenty of power and performance in a small package. It has fewer bells and whistles than other reciprocating saws, but it provides excellent value for money.
The nominal voltage of this model is 18, but the max voltage is 20, so it has plenty of power to do what you need it to do. With speeds of up to 3000 SPM and a 7/8” stroke length, BLACK+DECKER offers excellent cutting precision and control with this model. The blade changing system is tool-free, which is a convenient feature that’ll keep your projects moving.
It also has a pivoting shoe and variable speed trigger, as well as dampening technology that reduces vibration for more comfort. While the blade is included, it’s worth noting that this tool doesn’t come with the battery so you’ll have to get that separately unless you’re already using Black and Decker tools.
- Tool-free blade change
- Affordable price
- It’s a bare tool, so you’ll have to purchase the battery separately
The Makita JR3050T features an 11-amp motor that’s robust enough for practically any professional application, but it’s also entirely at home in a DIYer’s workshop. This corded model weighs in at just 7.3 pounds, which means it’s manageable for all-day use.
It reaches speeds of up to 2800 SPM, and the 1-1/8 inch blade stroke can cut through any material quickly and smoothly, reducing the need for multiple passes. Makita has included a tool-less blade change for easy swapping of blades, and the saw is incredibly comfortable in your hand.
You can use the variable speed trigger to control the speed, all while the internal dust blower system clears dust and maintains visibility. We appreciate this feature, which not all saws have, that makes using it more comfortable. It also includes a long eight-foot cord, and we can safely say that Makita delivers professional quality at a reasonable price.
- Excellent, long-lasting design
- The internal dust system maintains a clear line of sight
- Professional power
- Includes a carrying case
- Some users note it vibrates more than other models
All of the models we’ve reviewed up to this point have been reciprocating saws. But what if you’re looking to purchase a jigsaw, too? The Worx WX550L Axis is a cordless, battery-powered reciprocating saw that offers users the unique ability to have these two tools in one. Just pivot the head, and the unit converts into a jigsaw.
Aside from its incredibly handy two-in-one design, the tool has other fantastic features. It’s compact and light but still delivers speeds of up to 3000 SPM with a ¾” stroke length. A variable speed trigger allows for precise control in whichever mode you’re using, and the tool-less blade change makes swapping out the blade quick and easy.
Users like that it has an orbital mode for challenging reciprocating tasks, and they especially appreciate the built-in blower, which keeps your work area free of dust and improves visibility. If you’re looking to maximize your cutting capabilities, this tool is an excellent choice.
- Two-in-one jigsaw and reciprocating saw capabilities
- Lightweight design
- Bare unit doesn’t include battery and charger
- It’s a bit noisier than comparable models
Choosing the best reciprocating saw from this impressive lineup was a tough job, but ultimately, we felt that two models stood out above the rest.
In the best cordless reciprocating saw category, DeWalt’s DCS380B model took the top prize. We were impressed not only with its power, which is often difficult to achieve in cordless models, but also with its extended battery life. And as you would expect from DeWalt, this reciprocating saw has all the handy features users want.
And our choice for the best corded reciprocating saw was the Makita JR3050T, which beat the competition for delivering unmatched power suitable for both professionals and non-professionals at a reasonable price. We also liked details like the internal dust blower system and an incredibly long cord that makes it comfortable to use.
Reciprocating Saw Buying Guide
Below we go over the key features to consider when buying a reciprocating saw to make sure you get the right saw for you.
What is a Reciprocating Saw and What is It Used For?
When you need to demolish something, the best tool for the job is a reciprocating saw. It cuts quickly through all kinds of materials, significantly reducing teardown time.
Unlike circular saws or table saws, precision in this tool’s cuts is less critical. A reciprocating saw’s job is to make the cut you need as quickly as possible.
And as long as you use the correct blade, this tool can cut through pretty much anything including lumber with nails in it, plasterboard, and all your common metals including cast iron.
What is the Difference Between a Sawzall and a Reciprocating Saw?
Sometimes you’ll hear people refer to reciprocating saws as sawzalls. They’re really the same thing. Many decades ago, Milwaukee brand introduced their reciprocating saw that was called the Sawzall and the name has stuck even when referring to reciprocating saws from other manufacturers.
Types of Reciprocating Saws: Corded Versus Cordless
The two main types of reciprocating saws are corded and cordless, or in other words, whether you plug them in or use a rechargeable battery.
Corded saws have long been a favorite since they deliver consistent power without the need to fuss with batteries or charging. You just plug the tool in and go, though there is the inconvenience (and sometimes restriction) of dealing with the cord.
Cordless models have become popular, thanks to the freedom they give you to work wherever you need, especially if there are no power outlets available. They’re ideal on remote job sites, though they suffer from limitations like reduced run time and power.
The limitations of cordless saws are becoming less and less as technology advances, and manufacturers are getting closer to leveling the playing field between the two types.
Features to Consider
To find the best reciprocating saw for your needs, you should keep several features in mind.
A saw’s power is expressed in amps, which generally range anywhere from five to fifteen amps. Amperage is the best indication of whether or not a saw is well-suited to a particular task.
For example, if plenty of construction and demolition work is in your future, you should purchase something with no less than ten amps. But if you primarily plan to use the saw for light household applications, something under ten amps should work fine.
Strokes per minute, or SPM, are a measure of the speed of a reciprocating saw. SPM essentially tells you how fast the model will cut, and the number typically ranges from 2700 to 3000 SPM. The higher the number, the faster the saw cuts.
In general, we recommend products of 2900 SPM or higher, regardless of your skill level. Both casual users and professionals alike will benefit from faster cutting speeds, so this is one area you shouldn’t skimp on if possible.
Along with stroke speed, stroke length is a typical measurement you’ll find on every reciprocating saw. It refers to the reach of the blade; in other words, stroke length tells you how far the blade moves, not its actual length. It ranges anywhere from 7/8 to 1-1/8 inches.
On its own, stroke length is not the most crucial feature. What you should pay attention to is the combination of speed and stroke length, which gives you an idea of how efficiently the saw cuts.
Multiple Speed Settings
While it’s great to have a saw that can cut extremely fast, there will be times when you want to go a bit slower. In these cases, it’s useful to be able to control the speed of the saw. Look for a model that has multiple speed settings, which allows you to adjust the speed to suit the application at hand. We like dial controls, which offer even more accurate speed control.
Tool-less Blade Change
You can change the blades on any saw to suit the task at hand, but depending on the product, this process can be more or less convenient. Many manufacturers design products that require users to use a special tool to change the blade. This process is often awkward and time-consuming.
It may seem like a small thing, but look for a reciprocating saw that doesn’t require a tool to change the blade. This feature is often referred to as tool-less blade change, and it makes swapping out blades much faster and easier.
Will you be doing lots of overhead work or extended use with your reciprocating saw? If so, having a lightweight saw can make all the difference in your overall comfort. On the other hand, if you plan to do heavy-duty sawing, you should look for a heavier saw, which reduces vibration and fatigue.