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Best Corded Reciprocating Saws 2020 – Top Picks & Reviews

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a corded sawzallA longtime favorite of DIY enthusiasts, pro woodworkers, and construction workers alike, the reciprocating saw has earned a place in many workshops. Named for the push-and-pull cutting motion of their blades, the “hognose” or “recip saw” is even included in the loadout kit for many emergency rescue service vehicles.

Just as suitable for cutting through plastics and metals as they are wood, a corded reciprocating saw should be on the “to buy” list of any handyman. Finding the best saw can be quite the hassle, though – so we did the testing and research necessary to bring you this comprehensive list of reviews for the best corded reciprocating saws available today.

So, when you’re ready to learn everything you need to choose the best saw for your needs, read through these reviews and the accompanying buyer’s guide. By the end of this article, you’ll feel confident in your choice to buy a corded recip saw or look for a different tool for the job.

At a Glance: Our Top 3 Picks in 2020

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

IMAGE PRODUCT
Best Overall
DeWalt DWE305(Rating: 4.9/5)
  • Handle is comfortable and shock-absorbing
  • Lightweight
  • Easy access speed control
DeWalt DWE357(Rating: 4.7/5)
  • High-quality and powerful
  • Easy to handle
  • Compact
Best Value
SKIL 9206-02(Rating: 4.5/5)
  • Can handle all small to medium sized jobs
  • Quick speed setting
  • Tool-less blade change
Milwaukee 6519-31(Rating: 4.2/5)
  • Soft and comfortable to hold
  • Has an internal clutch mechanism
  • Comes with a hard-wearing carry case
WEN 3630(Rating: 4.0/5)
  • Quick-release blade holder
  • Pressure sensitive trigger
  • Adjustable foot plate

7 Best Corded Reciprocating Saws

1. DeWalt DWE305 Corded Reciprocating Saw – Best Overall

DEWALT DWE305

As one of the most respected names in power tools, DeWalt has big expectations to live up to with each of its tools. For their DWE305 corded reciprocating saw, we’re glad to see that their reputation for producing well-designed, powerful tools at a reasonable price is completely true.

A tremendously powerful 12-amp motor provides up to 2,900 strokes per minute (SPM) for this outstanding reciprocating saw, making full use of its 1⅛” stroke length. For even the toughest of jobs, the DWE305 makes them seem laughably easy – even cutting through ¼” rebar without batting an eye.

The sensitive variable-speed trigger lets you dial in how much power you need for any given job, and a 4-position blade clamp backs up this versatility by allowing for flush cutting. And when you need to change blades, that’s easily accomplished with the keyless blade clamp.

Overall, the only potential downside for the DWE305 is its slightly heavier build. Weighing nearly 8 pounds, it may be a little bit much to handle for people of smaller builds.

Pros
  • Exceptional cutting power
  • Easy to use variable speed trigger
  • Able to perform a huge variety of cuts
  • Quick and simple keyless blade changing mechanism
  • Reasonably priced
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with spare blades or a carry case

2. DeWalt DWE357 Compact Reciprocating Saw

 

DeWalt DWE357 Compact Reciprocating Saw

It should come as no surprise that our #1 pick has stiff competition. But in this case, the best alternative may very well be another DEWALT saw! The more expensive DeWalt DWE357 reciprocating saw offers all of the same benefits as its cousin the DWE305, but in a smaller and more manageable size. But is the reduction in size and weight worth the added cost?

A 12-amp motor providing 3,000 strokes per minute on a variable speed trigger makes the DWE357 a powerful option for even the toughest of jobs, and a 1⅛” stroke length makes for fast and efficient cutting. Indeed, the keyless blade clamp makes changing blades mid-project just as quick and simple.

At just 14½ inches in length and weighing only 6.8 pounds, the DWE357 has a clear advantage over our #1 pick at fitting into smaller spaces and reducing fatigue from carrying. Whether that’s worth the significant added cost is a question that depends more on your budget, though.

Pros
  • Same great cutting power as our top pick
  • Precise and easy to use variable speed trigger
  • Simple and quick blade change mechanism
  • Compact and lightweight design
Cons
  • Quite expensive

3. SKIL 9206-02 Reciprocating Saw – Best Value

SKIL 9206-02

Because of their use in such a wide variety of settings and professions, reciprocating saws come with an equally wide range of prices and cutting power. If you’re looking for a reciprocating saw for smaller projects around the home, you almost definitely don’t need the 12- or 15-amp monster saws meant for a construction site.

In fact, with just a 7.5-amp motor, the SKIL 9206-02 may be the best possible saw for home improvement and DIY projects. As a result of this reduction in power, it’s also available at a much more reasonable price – making it our choice for the best corded reciprocating saw for the money.

Capable of handling any small- or medium-sized project you throw at it, the SKIL is also equipped with a counterbalance for vibration control and a tool-less blade changing mechanism for quick adjustments. Overall, it’s an ideal saw for home use and easily takes the title of “best value”.

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use
  • Integrated counterbalance reduces vibration and fatigue
  • Quick and easy blade changes
  • Fantastic price
  • Great for DIY projects
Cons
  • Not suitable for heavy duty construction work

4. Milwaukee 6519-31 Reciprocating Saw

Milwaukee 6519-31

Powerful and capable, the Milwaukee 6519-31 provides stiff competition to the other reciprocating saws in our review. Its 12-amp motor produces 3,000 strokes per minute, with a pressure-sensitive trigger to vary the speed. Perhaps most importantly, its top-of-the-line vibration reduction technology makes it much more comfortable to use for longer workdays.

The quick-release blade latch makes for simple and efficient changes mid-project. It also comes with a carrying case for easy storage and transport. Overall, it’s a great saw that competes with the best on our list in every way but one: Price. Simply put, unless you absolutely need a carrying case, the Milwaukee doesn’t offer anything to differentiate it from our top picks.

Pros
  • Powerful motor with a gear protecting clutch
  • Carrying case for easy storage and transportation
  • Pressure-sensitive trigger for quick speed adjustments
  • Easy access blade changes
Cons
  • Most expensive saw on our list

5. WEN 3630 Reciprocating Saw

WEN 3630

The WEN 3630 is an example of a reciprocating saw that tries hard to bring useful performance at a great value but doesn’t quite live up to the task. Its 10-amp motor provides good but not great power, and the pressure-sensitive trigger is somewhat sluggish to change the blade speed.

What the WEN 3630 does offer that may make it more useful to a small group of people is an 8-position pivoting head. This allows for adjustments every 45 degrees, in a complete circle. However, since reciprocating saws are not meant for detailed work, this feature is a small bonus at best.

Pros
  • Lightweight and inexpensive
  • Good power for the price
  • Pivoting head may be useful for niche jobs
Cons
  • Hard plastic handle is uncomfortable to use
  • Uncomfortable vibrations
  • Blade locking mechanism isn’t 100% reliable

6. Makita JR3050T Corded Recipro Saw

 

Makita JR3050T Corded Recipro Saw

At first glance, the Makita JR3050T seems to offer quite the combination of attributes for a reciprocating saw. An 11-amp motor may not be the best on offer, but still has plenty of power for anything short of heavy demolition. Plus, it comes with a carrying case. What’s not to like?

The JR3050T really isn’t a bad saw. It’s just that the other saws on our list outperform it on every feature, and often at the same price or better. With only minor differences in everything else, there’s just not anything that makes this saw from Makita stand out above the crowd.

Pros
  • Good power
  • Comes with a carrying case
  • Lightweight and easy to use
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer any unique benefits over other saws in our review
  • Requires Makita brand blade replacements

7. SKILSAW SPT44A-00 Reciprocating Saw

SKILSAW SPT44A-00 Reciprocating Saw

If you’re looking for the most powerful reciprocating saw for heavy-duty construction and demolition, the SKILSAW SPT44A-00 is up to the task. Boasting an incredible 13-amp motor, it’s capable of producing up to 3200 strokes per minute of cutting power with a 1⅛” stroke length. And with a best-in-class vibration dampening technology, you’ll be able to keep up with whatever the worksite throws at you.

Changing blades on the SPT44A-00 can be a little bit tricky in comparison to most of the other saws on our list. Given its entirely reasonable price though, this is a small downside for an otherwise amazing and powerful tool.

Pros
  • Most powerful saw in our review
  • Best in class vibration suppression
  • Easy to use variable speed trigger
Cons
  • Takes a while to change blades
  • Heavy

Buyer’s Guide

When you’re considering which corded reciprocating saw is best for you, there’s one key question that you have to ask: What sort of jobs will you be using it for?

A powerful recip sawBecause they can be put to use for such a wide variety of tasks, narrowing down what type of projects you plan to use your recip saw for is an important first step in choosing the right model. If you’re not sure exactly what you might end up using your saw for, take a look at the “common uses for reciprocating saws” section to get a fresh perspective.

Then, we’ll cover three different areas that you should always pay attention to while looking at a reciprocating saw: Power, ergonomics, and overall size. With all those things in mind, you’ll be able to narrow down your options to the perfect saw for you.

Common Uses for Reciprocating Saws

DIY types and professionals alike enjoy the reciprocating saw for its combination of ease of use and rugged functionality. But just what types of projects can you use a corded reciprocating saw for? Here are a few of the most common uses for this type of saw:

  • Cutting plastic and metals that other saws can’t handle is a specialty of reciprocating saws, making them a favorite on construction sites. This includes cutting through wood with nails embedded in it.
  • Precise cuts in tight spaces, such as those required for plumbing and pipefitting. Compact reciprocating saws are especially good for this purpose.
  • Plunge cuts are a piece of cake – just change your recip saw’s blade to one with a sharp point. This makes cutting drywall a cinch.
  • Overhead cuts are often only possible with a reciprocating saw – other saws aren’t designed to be used anywhere except on a level surface.

Cutting Power

Perhaps the most useful element of any reciprocating saw is its rugged, durable motor. With the best models being powerful enough to cut through rebar with ease, you’ll never regret spending more on a recip saw that has greater cutting capability.

For the best possible performance, look for saws with at least a 10-amp motor; any smaller will limit their utility to DIY and at-home projects but keep them out of the running for heavy construction jobs. To tame the sometimes-strong vibrations of larger motors, it’s wise to also seek out a saw with variable speed settings.

Ergonomics

Being a hand-held tool, it’s important that any reciprocating saw feel really good in your hands. This means choosing one that has a good balance of weight compared to power – and vibration controlling features to limit fatigue on your hands.

Size

Even the largest of reciprocating saws are still better able to fit into tight spaces than other saws. However, for the absolute most convenient fit in any workspace, you’ll need to spend a few extra dollars on a compact reciprocating saw. In our experience, the reduced weight and increased utility are well worth the small extra cost.

Conclusion

After careful consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of every corded reciprocating saw in our review, we’re confident in recommending the DeWalt DWE305 Corded Reciprocating Saw as our #1 pick. It’s a whole lot of saw at a reasonable price, with enough power for even the most heavy-duty projects.

If you’re on a tighter budget, look towards the SKIL 9206-02 Reciprocating Saw if you want the best corded reciprocating saw for the money. While it has a significantly less powerful motor than our top pick, it’s still perfectly well-equipped to handle any job you might encounter during home DIY projects.

We appreciate you taking the time to read this guide, and hope that it’s given you everything you need to choose the best recip saw for your needs!

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