When it comes to slicing through a giant pile of old construction lumber or pallet wood like butter, nothing is as satisfying as a reciprocating saw. Used to quickly and easily cut through any material shy of solid rock (I’m not kidding), a good reciprocating saw is the preferred tool of professional construction workers and do-it-yourselfers alike for remodeling and demolition.
While cordless reciprocating saws are gaining in popularity, saws with cords are still more popular due to their reliable power supply. Browse our list of 13 corded reciprocating saws to discover what options might work best for you and your next project.
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1. Dewalt DW311K 13 Amp Reciprocating Saw with 10 BladesPros:
- Carry case and ten blade set included
- Professional contractor grade
- It's got rubber-covered grips in all the right places
- It's a little heavy at more than 12 pounds
- Carry case needs to be larger
- Blade release slightly difficult to operate
DeWalt is well-known for its high-quality power tools. The DeWalt DW311K Reciprocating Saw is definite proof of that claim. This heavy-duty saw features a 13A motor with a 2,700-strokes-per-minute capacity and orbital action. Combined with the 1 1/8-inch stroke length, this recip saw is designed for hacking through material quickly. The shoe easily adjusts the depth of your cut and the blade clamp is made of stainless steel. Both are keyless.
Weighing more than 12 pounds, this reciprocating saw is no lightweight. There is a definite heft to this power tool. The DeWalt DW311K is a serious tool for actual work and will slice through nails, rebar, and steel pipe with ease. There are rubber surfaces all over the place for a firm grip whether wearing gloves or not.
This recip saw comes with a carrying case and a set of ten blades of various types. I would prefer a case that was a little roomier for blades, eye protection, or, heck, the cord, but that’s a small gripe.
The DeWalt DW311K should be a serious contender for your heavy-duty demolition needs. There are loads of less powerful reciprocating saws out there that you may just use once in a while or lend to your neighbor; if that’s what you’re looking for, move along. This saw is all the power you should need for any mayhem you wish to unleash on that pile of construction lumber.
2. Skilsaw SPT44A-00 13A Reciprocating SawPros:
- "Buzzkill" tech greatly reduces vibration
- Enough power to shred through anything
- "Stay True" 180-day guarantee
- Blade lock requires two hands to operate
- No case included
- No blades included
Whoa. I mean…whoa. Just LOOK at this power tool. It just feels mean; like it wants to go after that steel pipe. Or that bedroom wall you need to take out. Like, NOW. I’m what you would call smitten with this thing.
Good thing that the Skilsaw SPT44A-00 13A Reciprocating Saw has the bones to back up all that surface beauty. The 13 amp motor is going to slice through anything you got like butter and something called “Buzzkill Technology” removes a significant amount of the vibration during use so you can make controlled cuts for longer without your arms melting off. That’s made more true with the rubberized barrel.
This recip saw lacks a few of the bells and whistles, though; there’s no rotating handle, no carrying case or blades that come with it and the tool-free chuck isn’t as easy to use as it could be but I’m nitpicking. You’re going to want to buy some quality blades of your own anyway.
They say the devil’s in the details and this is especially true with the design of the Skilsaw SPT44A-00 Reciprocating Saw. Between that slick looking logo (Skilsaw is the contractor grade label and Skil is the do-it-yourself home grade label) and the “Stay True” mark embedded on the front of the housing, someone earned their pay making a quality recip saw that looks AND operates like a champion.
3. DeWalt DWE357 12 Amp Compact Reciprocating SawPros:
- Can get in confined spaces easily
- 12 amp motor packs a punch
- Blade can be situated in vertical or horizontal positions
- Front grip could use a wider lip
- Vibrates a bit more than a standard recip saw
- Not meant for precise cuts
Unique in its design and application, the DeWalt DWE357 Reciprocating Saw offers a solid power tool with a compact size while delivering the same 12 amps of cutting power as standard-sized recip saws. This thing is light at less than seven pounds so it’s perfect for working overhead, underneath a sink, or in a small closet. The keyless chuck features four positions, making it possible to insert blades vertically or horizontally for even better access to tough to get to places.
The motor housing looks a little chunky but features an ergonomic handle and nose with a soft rubber cover (DeWalt calls it “over-molded”) that makes using the DWE357 really comfortable. One detail to note is that the nose is truncated a bit so users should pay attention to hand placement during cutting. The saw handles flush cutting easily. There have been some comments on this item that there is more vibration than regular 12 amp saws however keep in mind that blade type and position have a great deal to do with controlling vibration as does speed of cutting.
The DeWalt DWE357 comes with a soft case, is made in the USA, and is a great alternative for your next reciprocating saw.
4. Milwaukee 6519-31 12 Amp Sawzall Reciprocating SawPros:
- Variable speed up to 3,000 SPM
- Counter-weighted mechanism for reduced vibration
- Includes carrying case
- Blades sold separately
- 1 1/8" stroke length doesn't wear out blades as fast but offers less control than 3/4"
- Space in the carry case for protective eyewear or blades would have been a plus
If you pick up the Milwaukee 6519-31 12A Sawzall, there is a very good chance that it will be the last reciprocating saw that you’ll ever buy. Milwaukee invented the Sawzall brand way back in 1951 so they know what this tool is meant to do. This 12 amp monster will slice through whatever you can throw at it then simply laugh while putting it away in the included carrying case because the day’s work was all too easy.
The extra-rugged, classic red and gray colored housing (with that cool Flash Gordon-type lightning bolt) will protect for years against the worst job site conditions including dropped onto concrete surfaces. The gear protecting clutch absorbs high impacts when cutting, cushioning the motor and other internal machinery. This reciprocating saw features a high-quality Quick Lock system that will allow fast and easy blade changes. The variable speed trigger is smooth and when you squeeze that hammer down full, prepare for 3,000 SPM power as you cut through wood and metal like nothing else.
Milwaukee has the best reciprocating saw you deserve, ready to take on any tough project you have to offer, and it’s made in the good ol’ USA which isn’t too shabby.
5. Galax Pro 7.5A Reciprocating SawPros:
- All black with lime green accents looks sharp
- Cushioned grip and handle
- Inexpensive to say the least
- Included blades are fairly useless
- Chuck quality isn't the best
- Reports of blades popping out while using saw
What we have here is an inexpensive (read: cheap) piece of hardware that will do the job a reciprocating saw is supposed to do for most light work for most households. Should you pick this up if you’re a construction pro slaying the dragon every day? Most likely not. Will this do if you’re looking to cut some PVC pipe or maybe take care of an old tree branch once in a while? Yup.
The Galax Pro 7.5A Reciprocating Saw checks all the boxes. It’s got a 2,800 SPM variable speed motor, a standard 1 1/8″ cutting stroke, cushioned grip and handle, and a tool-free chuck to change out the blade. It comes with one wood and one metal blade but from the looks of it, you’re going to burn through them in no time flat.
So here’s what you do if you’re in the market for an inexpensive (read: cheap) recip saw. Buy some quality blades and don’t sweat it; this saw should be just fine for most of what your average homeowner is going to need. The cushioning encompasses the entire barrel which is impressive and you have to appreciate a tool that wants to be like Batman with its 99% black color scheme. I happen to really like the green accents too.
Don’t get this reciprocating saw and compare it with one that costs close to $100 or more. It’s not a fair comparison.
6. Makita JR3050T 11 Amp Reciprocating SawPros:
- Longer nose provides more grip
- Great shoe and blade clamp design
- Special bearings will make motor last longer
- No orbital cutting option
- Included case needs to be a little larger
- Only one blade included
The Makita JR3050T Reciprocating Saw is a good balance of a lot of things: weight, power, durability, and price. Featuring a variable speed 11A motor that delivers 2,800 strokes per minute with a 1 1/8 inch blade stroke, the JR3050T will deliver performance all day long. Makita engineered this saw with all ball and needle bearings that will ultimately make the motor last longer with less maintenance over its lifetime. The motor brushes are easier to get to and maintain, another plus. It would have been nice to have an orbital setting with this saw but I’m splitting hairs. At less than eight pounds, this recip saw is lighter and more maneuverable than other tools so keep hacking away at those 2x4s all day long, cowboy.
Here’s something cool: the JR3050T has an internal dust blower system onboard to throw debris out of your cutting path so you can see where you’re going a little easier. A heavy-duty shoe and tool-free blade change system is firm, maybe a little too firm. You’re going to need to muscle that collar around but once you get the hang of it, the mechanics work great for quick blade change and removal.
Quick sidebar: I’m always leary of how “quick and easy” these tool manufacturers think you need to change blades. Slow and steady seems to make more common sense but that’s just me. Moving on.
Makita never tries to fool anyone into believing their housings aren’t made of plastic and that’s a good thing. I’m happy to say that the brilliant blue body is very durable and has a protective rubber boot on the elongated snout to seal the motor and bearings from dust and debris while also providing a large area for a better grip.
7. Skilsaw SPT44-10 15 Amp Heavy-Duty Reciprocating SawPros:
- 15 amps of power will cut through anything quickly
- Orbital setting switch
- Great overall design including rubber nose covering
- Using this all day will take some serious arm strength
- Why are the carrying cases never big enough?
- I'm not kidding about your arms; start your push-ups now
If you’re not a professional in the construction field or you don’t know what you’re doing when it comes to serious home remodeling, I’m afraid I must ask you to leave the room. It’s okay, there’s the door. The Skilsaw SPT44-10 15 Amp Heavy-Duty Reciprocating Saw offers such immense cutting power that it might damage the minds of lesser craftspeople. This beast sports a 15 amp motor with something Skilsaw calls “Buzzkill technology” that stops the vibration at the source instead of throwing it to you, turning your arms to jelly. And while it’s big, it’s tremendously well-balanced with immense power to cut through pretty much anything…including car doors. Check out the photos at the link above for proof that this reciprocating saw is no joke.
The variable speed setting dial is a great feature allowing for precise cuts and better finish work. If you feel the need for more speed, then turn it up, man. What’s that? You’re telling me that you want even more power than that? Okay, fine: flip up the orbital setting on the side of the barrel and look out because someone just arrived to put in a hard day’s work.
This reciprocating saw has all the bells and whistles, too. A keyless blade chuck, 180-day quality guarantee, 2,900 SPM, and a comfortable, cushioned grip all add to the heavy-duty profile of the Skilsaw SPT44-10 Reciprocating Saw. This saw is meant for doers that aren’t messing around. It’s big and beautiful and it will leave carnage in its wake.
You’ve been warned.
8. Bosch RS428 14 Amp Reciprocating SawPros:
- Lighter and shorter than competitors
- Durable motor housing with ample rubber grip
- Best weight to power ratio in its class
- No tool hook
- Slower cutting speed than other models in the same class
- You can't turn off the orbital cutting feature
When it comes to Bosch and its RS428 14-Amp Reciprocating Saw, there hasn’t been much in the way of innovation over the last few years. That’s because while most of its competitors have stepped up to 15-Amp saws or gone down to 13 Amps, Bosch has chosen to stick with 14 Amps and a compact design. Why fix something that’s not broken?
The Bosch RS428 is a top contender in the land of recip saws with 13 Amps of power. It’s shorter, lighter (less than 10 pounds!), and more powerful than most all of that class of power tools and it’s price-competitive as well. The saw features a pivoting adjustable shoe that’s tool-free for easy blade changing but there are some notable omissions on this model of saw. There is no variable speed dial, no LED light, and no rafter hook. None of these is a deal-breaker for me (the LED typically gets covered with dust anyway) but I miss the hook for easy hang storage on the wall.
The Bosch RS428 features a 2,900 SPM rate and a 1-1/4″ stroke length which, while decent, is slightly slower than some of the other saws out there. It also has a constant orbital action which will definitely help slice through wood but may add more vibration to cutting metal. Still, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the RS428 has vibration control designed into the hardware.
The Bosch RS428 is a solid reciprocating saw that should be considered more like a top contender in the 13-Amp division than anything else. The saws that use 15-Amps are faster and more powerful than this saw but the RS428’s compact design, lighter weight, and performance make for a really good power tool.
9. Ridgid R3031 Fuego One-Handed Reciprocating SawPros:
- Tri-beam LED lights
- Cloth carrying case and blade included
- "Thru-Cool" motor technology
- Carrying case features blade storage however there's no Velcro or zipper to keep them in place
- There's a little blade wobble...but not bad
- Uneven motor brush wear
Ridgid is one of those hidden gems in the power tool industry, like that kid that gets picked last for kickball then easily rounds the bases every time. This cool little item, the Ridgid R3031 Fuego One-Handed Reciprocating Saw, doesn’t immediately impress as something that’s going to work as hard as it does. However, once it’s plugged in and running, it immediately starts impressing with its power, ergonomics, and capability. It has a 6 amp, 3,500 SPM motor with something called “Thru Cool” technology which allows airflow through the center and out the sides. This, according to Ridgid, provides more than 50 percent more power than the previous iteration. The reviews I looked at online agreed that this little saw does indeed have more umph.
While not designed to take on an entire demolition project, the Ridgid R3031 offers up a great solution for do-it-yourselfers and pros that need a smaller tool for tight spaces and finish work. The ability to use this reciprocating saw with just one hand is a definite plus; those of us who have ever needed to clamp down material then manage a much larger recip saw can attest to that. Because of its size, this little guy makes precise cuts and there’s less kickback, vibration, and fatigue.
The tri-beam LED to help you line up cuts and illuminate your workspace is a really nice touch. On top of all that, the package includes some blades and a cloth carry bag (with space for the blades!). The Ridgid R3031 is a great little addition to your power tool inventory and a companion to a larger recip saw if you need it.
10. Milwaukee 6538-21 15 Amp Super Sawzall Reciprocating SawPros:
- Highest overload protection of any saw
- Constant power maintains constant speed
- Gear-protecting clutch for long tool life
- It's gonna cost you
- Big and heavy (but it's incredibly heavy-duty
- No room in the case for anything but the tool
No list of reciprocating saws would be complete without at least a couple of items from Milwaukee. And, oh boy, what an item this is. Milwaukee’s 6538-21 Super Sawzall is what every little construction worker dreamed about getting for their birthday. You have some rebar you need divided? No problem. This saw will go through piles of it like butter. What happened to that wall? The Super Sawzall happened to it, that’s what.
This thing is no lightweight. At almost 14 pounds, it’s got some definite heft to it so get ready to feel the noise. When you go to work, this reciprocating saw is going to be your new best friend when it comes to demolition. The big red switch on top of the housing turns on and off the orbital setting on the fly and the variable speed knob on the handle helps get you the precision or power you need for whatever you’re slicing through.
Milwaukee invented this tool and copyrighted the Sawzall name so you know they understand what these tools should do. Other aces up their sleeves include the highest motor overload protection in the industry, technology to maintain constant speed under load and a patented gear-protecting clutch that saves the life of your machinery.
The Milwaukee 6538-21 Super Sawzall has all of that and it looks rad on the job site too. If you’re looking for a heavy-duty cutting monster, well, here you go. Take note that while the saw comes with a carrying case, it doesn’t come with any blades. Before you can let this beast off the chain, you’re going to need some quality blades. Go get ’em!
11. Porter-Cable 7.5 Amp Reciprocating SawPros:
- Variable speed trigger
- Nose grip pattern optimal for comfort
- Weighs only six pounds
- No case or blades included
- Safety lock too far from trigger
- Blade shoe makes cutting visibility difficult
This particular reciprocating saw is a great bargain for those looking for a quality tool at an affordable price. Made by Porter-Cable, this saw offers up a decent 7.5 amps of power, variable speed up to 3,200 strokes per minute, and a pivoting blade shoe that adjusts for depth. The rubber coating on the nose features a ribbed pattern for a better grip. I especially like the thick handle and large trigger; the proportions of this power tool are appropriate for simple, ergonomic use.
There’s something to be said for a really good, reliable piece of equipment that doesn’t demand a high price. The Porter-Cable Reciprocating Saw does what you bought it for; simple, everyday use in cutting through wood, sheetrock, and metal. This brand has sort of been off in the shadows waiting for someone to ask it to dance but based on comments I saw online, the folks that own this model absolutely love it because of the performance and price.
Note: this saw does not come with blades so you’ll need to pick some up.
12. Skil 9216-01 9 Amp Corded Reciprocating SawPros:
- Great size for the average person to take care of jobs around the home
- Good value to power ratio
- Cheap enough to use on just about any cutting job and not worry about abusing it
- Included blade is poor quality
- Blades sometimes won't stay inserted in chuck
- Heavier than typical household models but without the power needed for true commercial use
If you’ve not ever used a corded reciprocating saw before and you’re thinking about picking one up to take care of cutting jobs around the house and yard, you may like the Skil 9216-01 9 Amp Corded Reciprocating Saw. It may lack the power needed for true commercial work but it will be more than adequate for work around the house and yard. Lumber, metal pipe, PVC, or tree limbs won’t be a match for this recip saw.
The Skil 9216-01 runs smooth, doesn’t overheat, and features enough power for the average household. Speed can be changed with the variable speed dial near the thumb when held by the right hand. The barrel makes up more than half of the tool and overmolded with rubber for a solid grip while working.
This corded reciprocating saw is heavy. Heavier than your typical light work recip saw that can be found at discount hardware stores. Those saws offer up a lot less amperage, however. If you’re using the Skil 9216-01 all day, that might be of some concern but you probably won’t even notice for a few hacks here and there.
Blades may be inserted using the tool-free chuck; make sure that the blades are inserted firmly or you may find they escape during tough cuts. The front foot plate is made of steel and will hold up well under duress. The saw comes with one all-purpose blade however it’s of questionable quality so make sure you stock up with blades for that next job.
13. Black+Decker 8.5A RS500 Reciprocating SawPros:
- Quick Clamp offers tool-free blade change feature
- Great starter recip saw
- Tough and rugged
- Quick Clamp feature is tight for the first few uses
- Grip rubber may wear easily
- Slightly heavy
The Black+Decker RS500 8.5A Reciprocating Saw is a great power tool for a beginner or the average homeowner offering up plenty of power for light to medium jobs. There are better tools to use for garden pruning but I’ve seen plenty of online reviews stating this saw is perfect to cut gnarled tree limbs and bushes. The 8.5A motor with variable speed (maxes out at 2400 SPM) won’t shake you up too much when used properly. Rubber grips provide some comfort during use. The RS500 has a decent cord length and features a “Quick Clamp” at the front for easy changing of the blade. The classic orange and black color scheme looks sharp, too.
Why Do I Need A Reciprocating Saw?
A reciprocating saw, also known as a hognose, a recip saw, or a Sawzall (Milwaukee's brand name), can easily slice through pretty much anything: plastics, lumber loaded with old nails, and all common metals such as aluminum, copper, steel, and cast iron. This highly useful power tool is prized for its quick severing ability by homeowners, construction pros, and first responders.
Blades are easily inserted into the front implement and when turned on, moves the blade back and forth at blazing speed. Every workshop should have a reciprocating saw because there is no other tool that can cut through anything you can think of in the blink of an eye. Like any power tool, a reciprocating saw deserves the utmost of respect through safe operation and wearing safety equipment. If you don’t pay attention while using it, the saw WILL harm you.
What Should I Look For In A Reciprocating Saw?
There’s one important question that you need to ask yourself when looking to purchase a reciprocating saw: what do you need it for? Yes, okay, you need it to cut things; but beyond that, reciprocating saws can be used for a wide variety of cutting applications.
What projects you have in mind will go a long way in helping determine which model to get. Size, ease of use, and power all come into play when choosing a reciprocating saw.
Size: Where will you use your saw? They come in handy, especially when needing to cut out pipes or lumber in small areas. Even the largest recip saws can fit tight workspaces better than any other type of saw.
Compact reciprocating saws are fantastic for the smallest of work areas but expect to spend a little more for this convenience. Depending on what you have planned to do, that cost might well be worth it.
Ease of use: Any power tool worth your time should offer a balance of power and weight to avoid user fatigue. You may be using your reciprocating saw for most of a day, weekend, or longer and the last thing you want is for your arms to fall off because of an abundance of vibration.
Variable speed motors can help reduce that vibration and prevent your teeth from chattering. The saw should feel good while using it, with a decent heft while not being too heavy. Recip saws are useful but dangerous; how’s the grip on the model you’re looking at? Are the handles padded? Are there a sufficient number of safety implements in place to protect your digits?
Power: Reciprocating saws are meant to take a fair amount of abuse because of their primary function as a demolition tool. Your saw motor should be tough with enough power to cut through what you’re using it for.
Some larger models can cut through thick steel but is that really what you need? Any recip saw will be good for light household jobs. If you will be using your power tool for more than that, consider a saw with at least a nine to ten amp motor.
Are Reciprocating Saws Safe to Use?
Never, ever use a reciprocating saw without proper safety gear. That means eye protection and, if you’re working in a confined space, a full-face shield worn over your safety glasses. Don’t be that person who thinks they’re too cool to wear the gear. Check out these Solidwork Safety Goggles and own that look.
Reciprocating saws don’t mess around so make sure you have a really good set of work gloves.
You’re also going to need a real extension cord rated for your saw’s amperage. Do yourself a favor and don't use whatever is lying around in your junk drawer (you know who you are). Make sure to keep the power flowing with a decent product made for what you’re doing with an exterior-grade extension cord rated for 15 amps.
Recip saws are only as good as the blades you use with them. If you cheap out on the blades, all the money you spend on your saw won’t matter. Recip saw blades are mostly universal (the shank can fit in any standard reciprocating saw chuck) so you shouldn't have an issue using a different brand than your saw.
Also, consider that there are different blades for different jobs. Standard low-tooth blades are appropriate for most woods however if you’re cutting through construction lumber with countless nails or screws, use a demolition blade that won’t bend as easily (and won’t make you curse as much).
Cutting metal is a different story. For metal cutting, use a relatively coarse blade with fewer teeth for thick metal. A blade with more teeth, say 24 teeth per inch, will cut thin metal and tubing slower but with more accuracy. Increase the life of your blade by using cutting oil on it before going to work.
Not all metals are created equal. There are carbide-tipped blades for cast aluminum and diamond-grit blades for cast iron. Most manufacturers have more information on their websites regarding their reciprocating saws and the proper blades to use with them for these applications and more like ceramics, cement board, or sheet metal.
If you're purchasing a reciprocating saw as a gift, it's always nice to pick up a couple of add-ons to make the tool work right out of the box. Consider giving blades, an extension cord, or eye protection with the saw! You wouldn't give a battery-operated toy to a kid without the batteries, would you?
Now go hack away at that wall you've been looking to remove!
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