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Reciprocating saws are versatile tools that belong in the arsenal of every professional tradesperson and DIY hobbyist. They can slice through materials that most saws cannot, and they can reach into the smallest nooks and crannies. The problem is, there are hundreds of corded reciprocating saws on the market. Which one should you choose?
Luckily for you, our team know a thing or two about power tools. Our corded reciprocating saw reviews were designed to make your decision considerably easier. We have also included an in-depth buyers guide to make sure you have all of the knowledge required to choose the best corded reciprocating saw for your needs.
At A Glance: Our Favorite Picks in 2019
The DWE305 from DeWALT is a 12-amp powerhouse of a corded reciprocating saw that will power through any task you throw at it. The maximum blade speed of 2900 strokes per minute is sufficient enough for all heavy-duty work including construction and demolition. The 1-1/8″ stroke length combined with the blade speed makes cutting any material quickly and with fewer passes. We tested the DeWALT on plastic, metal, drywall, wood, and rubber and it passed through them all with flying colors. The speed control is located next to trigger for easy access, and the speed can be changed mid-cut.
The 4-position blade clamp ensures that every cut is flush and true to the line. It’s also lightweight, coming in at just 8 lbs. The rubber handle is soft, easy to grip and does an amazing job at reducing vibration. If you find that reciprocating saws leave your hands feeling sore, consider choosing the DeWALT. The level of comfort is superior to everything else on the market.
Overall, the DeWALT DWE305 is our worthy top pick. If you need a reliable all-rounder that can handle any cutting work, this is the saw that we would recommend.
The Makita 11-amp reciprocating saw is a lightweight, high-performance saw that is ideal for cutting any material including wood, metal, drywall, plaster, and plastics. It’s also powerful enough for use on demolition sites. The blade speed range of 0-2,800 strokes per minute, coupled with the 11-amp motor makes it versatile enough to suit any task. It’s also comfortable to hold and weighs just 7.8 lbs. The 1-1/8″ blade stroke provides a fast, smooth cut without the need for multiple passes.
One feature that we enjoyed was the dust blower. It’s the little things that make a tool great, and the dust blower does an excellent job of clearing your view of debris and dust, improving accuracy and precision. The trigger is also large enough for two fingers which is always beneficial when working for prolonged periods of time. Overall, the Makita is a powerful and versatile reciprocating saw that will support you in whatever type of work you do. It’s not as powerful or as comfortable as the DeWALT but don’t let that discourage you from choosing this one. It’s a very close second.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly reciprocating saw that is powerful enough for everyday DIY tasks, the SKIL is the one we would recommend. It’s only powered by a 7.5 amp motor, but it’s more than capable of handling all small to medium-sized jobs. It’s not ideal for high-level construction work, but for cutting wood, soft metals, drywall, rubber, fiberglass and other similar materials, it’s a beast.
The speed trigger allows you to change the speed setting quickly depending on the task at hand. The handle is not as comfortable as the DeWALT’s, but the counterbalanced design helps to reduce the amount of vibration that your hands have to deal with.
One neat feature that we were surprised to see on this budget-friendly saw is a tool-less blade change. Although the SKIL doesn’t come with any blades, we found that it only takes a few seconds to change them over when needs-be. Also, the pivoting foot does a great job of providing stability when cutting through more difficult, more rugged materials. Overall, it’s a great corded reciprocating saw that is worth every penny.
We have been a fan of the Milwaukee Sawzall series for years. Milwaukee does a great job of building affordable power tools that get the job done efficiently. With the 6519-31, Milwaukee promised more power, longer stroke lengths, increased comfort and better value for money. Did they live up to their promise? Absolutely.
The Milwaukee Sawzall boasts a 12-amp motor and blade speeds of up to 3000 strokes per minute. The addition of a counterweight helps to reduce the vibration on the handle and trigger, and the rubber grip is soft and comfortable to hold. What’s great about the Sawzall is the internal clutch mechanism that Milwaukee has added. The clutch will protect the motor and gears from unnecessary wear and tear, meaning your saw will last considerably longer than others on the market.
The Sawzall also comes with a polyurethane case to make transporting it around a breeze. For the price they are asking, the Sawzall exceeds all expectations. It’s a reliable reciprocating saw that will genuinely surprise you.
Although the quality of Chinese manufacturing has come on leaps and bounds over the past couple of decades, there are still specific products that lack the star quality that make them worthy of purchasing. Unfortunately, the WEN 3630 is not one of them. The thing just didn’t work how we expected it to.
First of all, let’s compliment the design. The black and orange color scheme is cool, but that’s about where the compliments must end. We gave the WEN a good honest test, and we are in no way biased towards any particular brand or product. With that being said, the WEN is possibly the worst corded reciprocating saw we have ever used. The blades wouldn’t stay in no matter how careful we were. The trigger was getting jammed and is uncomfortable to squeeze. The adjustable shoe was shaking uncontrollably, so much so that it threw off our concentration. The quick-release trigger was stiff and difficult to press. Overall, it just didn’t tick any boxes for us. Save yourself the money and the frustration and look straight past this one. It’s not worth it.
Although your budget is a key player in the decision-making process, it’s actually not the most important factor to consider. There are hundreds of choices on the market, each with their own specifications and features that make them unique. Understanding what to look for is crucial if you want to find one that suits all of your needs.
Here are a few things to keep in consideration when shopping for a corded reciprocating saw.
The power output of a power tool will determine how well it will work for specific tasks. The majority of corded reciprocating saws will fall in the range of 5 to 15 amps of power output. The higher the amperage, the more you can expect to get out of the saw. Smaller amperage saws (5-6 amp) are ideal for small to medium jobs that require slightly more power than you can produce with a hand saw. For construction work and demolition work, nothing less than ten amps will do the job properly. For more intensive work, consider choosing a saw with the highest rating possible.
One of the most important factors to consider is the design of the saws handle. Cheaper corded reciprocating saws will usually have plastic handles that are uncomfortable to hold whereas the more expensive saws will utilize rubber, foam and other shock-absorbing materials to minimize the amount of stress placed on your hand and wrist. Reciprocating saws vibrate heavily, so a good ergonomic handle is crucial for your own safety.
Different speed settings are required for different tasks. Having the flexibility to choose between different speed settings allows you to choose the most efficient setting for the current task at hand. For example, a thin plumbing pipe will require a slower speed than a concrete wall. Choosing the best speed setting will not only improve the longevity of your saw, but it will also save you the stress of working inefficiently.
The biggest benefit of using a reciprocating saw is that they are mobile and can be used in places that other types of saws simply can’t reach. If you are frequently working on tasks that require a lot of reaching overhead or prolonged use, the weight of the saw should be the main priority for you. On the contrary, if your work involves a lot of heavy-duty sewing, you might want to consider a heavier saw to minimize the vibration and to improve control.
Cordless reciprocating saws are increasing in popularity, but at the same time, corded reciprocating saw sales are also increasing. In most industries, cordless generally means better, but that’s not the case when it comes to power tools. Let’s take a look at the benefits of choosing a corded saw over a cordless one.
Cordless reciprocating saws are limited in their power output. Their batteries can only produce so much power. Regardless of whether you’re working on a small DIY project at home or a professional demolition site, a corded reciprocating saw is always going to produce more power than it’s cordless counterpart.
Building on the previous point, the ability to produce more power with a corded reciprocating saw provides you with more versatility to tackle a wider range of tasks. Cordless saws will eventually hit their capacity, and if that capacity is not enough to power through your task, you are stuck. Choosing a corded saw means that you always have enough power at hand to blast through any task regardless of the magnitude.
Batteries are heavy. Working with a reciprocating saw that holds a huge battery on it’s back can quickly sap your energy if you are using it for a prolonged period. Corded reciprocating saws are more powerful, but also considerably lighter.
If you have ever used a cordless power tool and had the battery run out on you mid-way using it, you know how frustrating it can be to have to wait for the battery to charge up again. Corded reciprocating saws have a constant supply of power. No more charging!
While it’s not always the case, corded reciprocating saws tend to be cheaper than their cordless counterparts. Cordless tools require more parts, more technology and more effort to produce, ultimately raising the price considerably. If you want to save some money but still get the job done properly, a corded reciprocating saw is the best option.
We always enjoy testing and reviewing reciprocating saws. They are a lot of fun to use. With that being said, while we were putting together these reviews of corded reciprocating saws, there was one clear winner. The DeWALT DWE305 is without a doubt the best reciprocating saw on the market, so if you’re still struggling to choose, we would recommend sticking with that one. It’s the most powerful, the most versatile and the most comfortable to use.
The Milwaukee Sawzall and the Makita tick all of the boxes too, but they fall short of the DeWALT in one or two departments. When you consider that the prices are all similar, it would be a poor decision to choose anything else.
Hopefully, our reviews and buyers guide has helped to ease the stress of choosing the best reciprocating saw. It’s not an easy decision to make, but we are confident that you are better equipped now.