The Best Reciprocating Saw (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Reciprocating Saw Review GuideMany people who have never used a reciprocating saw sometimes think of them as a “Sawzall”, which is actually a registered trademark of an Milwaukee Electric Tool Company that makes reciprocating saws. Using high-powered electric motors, today’s reciprocating saws offer generous stroke lengths and razor sharp blades to quickly cut through wood, drywall and other materials.

Whether used in demolition work in anticipation of home renovations or for cutting plywood, sheetrock and other forms of paneling to size, today’s advanced reciprocating saws can give any home renovator or builder the ability to rapidly make accurate freehand cuts through a wide variety of materials.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Reciprocating Saws of 2016

DEWALT DW310K 12 Amp Heavy-Duty Reciprocating SawDEWALT DW310K 12 Amp Heavy-Duty Reciprocating Saw
Bosch RS7 1-1/8-Inch 11 Amp Reciprocating SawBosch RS7 1-1/8-Inch 11 Amp Reciprocating Saw
PORTER CABLE PCC670B 20-volt MAX Lithium Bare Reciprocating TigersawPORTER CABLE PCC670B 20-volt MAX Lithium Bare Reciprocating Tigersaw
Black & Decker BDCR20B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Bare Reciprocating SawBlack & Decker BDCR20B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Bare Reciprocating SawBlack & Decker$$4.5
DEWALT Bare-Tool DC385B 18-Volt Cordless Reciprocating SawDEWALT Bare-Tool DC385B 18-Volt Cordless Reciprocating SawDewalt$$$4.6
Ryobi P515 ONE Plus 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Reciprocating SawRyobi P515 ONE Plus 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Reciprocating SawRyobi$$4.5
DEWALT Bare-Tool DCS380B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Reciprocating SawDEWALT Bare-Tool DCS380B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Reciprocating SawDewalt$$$4.6
Milwaukee 6519-30 12 Amp Sawzall Reciprocating SawMilwaukee 6519-30 12 Amp Sawzall Reciprocating SawMilwaukee$$$$4.6
Ingersoll Rand 429 Heavy Duty Air Reciprocating SawIngersoll Rand 429 Heavy Duty Air Reciprocating SawIngersoll-Rand$$4.5
Makita XRJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Recipro SawMakita XRJ03Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless Recipro SawMakita$$$4.6

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

The basic concept of using a thin metal blade with sharp teeth to manually cut through thick materials like wood relies on strong men pushing and pulling the cutting edge of the saw through the wood. The out and in stroke of each cut each balance the saw’s cutting action using reciprocal forces. Generally speaking, a modern electric reciprocating saw will feature a comfortable handle and rigid case made out of durable materials.

When the trigger is activated, a horizontal saw blade at the end will begin to rapidly extend and withdraw, allowing the user to push the sharp cutting edge of the reciprocating blade to move downwards to make the cut into the material. Some industry old-timers refer to reciprocating saws as sabre saws or even “recipro” saws as a contraction.

Since most electric reciprocating saws made today come with a comfortable pistol-type construction, they offer home builders and retrofitters the ability to make quick, mobile cuts through a wide variety of different surfaces and materials.

Power reciprocal saws were first developed with the rise of wind power in the late Middle Ages in central Europe, but today’s modern electric reciprocating saws give home builders and restorers maximum portability and power in even very tight spaces to make quick, precise cuts through a wide variety of different materials. Using a convenient two-hand design similar to most modern drills, a top-quality reciprocating saw is designed for smooth ambidextrous use by any home repair and restoration enthusiast or builder responsible for providing their own tools on a job site.

Rigidly encased in long-lasting advanced polycarbonate materials, today’s reciprocating saws are designed to give decades of reliable service on both construction and demolition jobs.

What are the Different Types?

Reciprocating saws use different-sized motors to power the blade up to sufficient speed that it can safely cut through denser woods and other materials, in addition to cordless versions. Different manufacturers design their reciprocating saws to make different stroke lengths, which will determine how far the user can penetrate into the material. Quality manufacturers of brand-name reciprocating saws know that variable-speed trigger controls and simple blade release buttons make using reciprocating saws simple and easy to keep using on even longer jobs.

Most quality sawzalls are tested for their SPM rate, or the speed at which they can extend and withdraw the saw blade in one minute. Many manufacturers add special features to their reciprocating saws, such as bright lights to illuminate cutting surfaces or specially-engineered ergonomic handles to improve comfort and control during use.

Why Own a Reciprocating Saw?

Drywall, sheetrock and paneling can transform the interior of a room into a more pleasant and well-defined atmosphere. But cutting these bulky sheets of material can be difficult without a power saw designed to swiftly and accurately slice through wood, sheetrock and paneling with ease.

Instead of having to pay for expensive outside contractors and home improvement firms, homeowners can cut and hang their own drywall, trim their own windowsills, and make precise cuts at difficult angles through almost anything in the house. Many of today’s reciprocating saws use batteries to give users the ultimate in mobility and portability.

By owning your own reciprocating saw, you know you can always dependable cuts through nearly any hard surface anywhere in the house with ease. Ergonomic two-handed pistol-shape designs make operating today’s electric reciprocating saws intuitive and comfortable.

Which Products Should You Consider?

PORTER CABLE PCC670B 20-volt MAX Lithium Bare Reciprocating Tigersaw – This elegant handheld red and black sawzall from PORTER CABLE contains a powerful 20-volt battery that drives the blade along a one-inch stroke length at up to 3,000 SPM. The PORTER CABLE PCC670B Tigersaw is rugged enough to easily rip through hard and thick material with ease at the pull of the ergonomic trigger. Designed to work in conjunction with the manufacturer’s other products using the proprietary 20V Max System.

Bosch RS7 1-1/8-Inch 11 Amp Reciprocating Saw – This well-engineered saw from Bosch features a long 1-1/18-inch stroke length that can be illuminated by a pair of ultra-bright LED lights. A one-touch button tool-less release button allows users to quickly swap out blades. Designed with a rugged polycarbonate case and soft grip for improved ergonomic control, the Bosch RS7 uses its powerful 11-amp motor to power the saw blade through almost any durable material in the house.

DEWALT DW310K 12 Amp Heavy-Duty Reciprocating Saw – This high-power saw in the company’s signature bold yellow-and-black colors features a generous 1-1/8-inch stroke length at up to 2,700 SPM. Designed to be used seamlessly by both left and right-handed home builders and restorers, the DEWALT DW310K is equipped with a rugged 12-amp motor that can drive the reciprocating saw blade through wood, rubber, insulation, drywall and other durable materials with ease.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Sawzall for You

  • Cutting Power – People all over the country rely on reciprocating saws to cut through a wide variety of home materials including wood, metal and plastic.
  • Speed Control & SPM – Experienced users of power tools know that controlling the speed of how fast the saw is slicing through the material is extremely important, and advanced models of reciprocating saws offer the perfect balance of speed and control.
  • Changing Blades – Even the strongest reciprocating saw blades will wear out after put to hard use, and home builders and renovators prefer using reciprocating saw blades that can be easily removed when worn out and quickly replaced with a fresh blade.
  • Stroke Length – The stroke length measures how far the saw blade extends horizontally through the cutting material before contracting back towards the body of the saw during one cycle of the reciprocating cutting motion of the saw.

Cutting Power

The PORTER CABLE PCC670B – With a powerful 20-volt battery driving the saw blade, any home builder or renovator can easily slice through drywall, paneling and other dense materials with complete mobility and range of motion in tight spaces.

The Bosch RS7 – Because the Bosch RS7 is designed with a rugged but ergonomic two-handed grip design, it can use its powerful motor to rapidly slice through wood, rubber, metal and other dense materials with ease.

The DEWALT DW310K – The engineers at DEWALT designed the DW310K to be rugged enough to effortlessly slice through even the thickest layers of insulation, sheetrock, paneling and thick rubber.

Speed Control & SPM

The PORTER CABLE PCC670B – Using a highly-engineered two-handed grip design, the PORTER CABLE PCC670B Tigersaw features an ergonomic trigger design that can send the saw blade tearing through dense materials at up to 3,000 cuts per minute.

The Bosch RS7 – The rugged handle is coated with a patented soft grip cushioning technology to reduce user fatigue while operating the variable-speed trigger to power the Bosch RS7 at up to a generous 2,700 SPM.

The DEWALT DW310K – A simple trigger squeeze variable speed control gives home builders and restorers the ability to cut nearly anything, even in tight corners and difficult angles, at up to 2,700 SPM.

Changing Blades

The PORTER CABLE PCC670B – This well-balanced reciprocal saw has a tool-free one-button release mechanism that makes swapping out saw blades intuitive and fast.

The Bosch RS7 – No tools are necessary to swap out or replace blades using the simple one-touch button release system.

The DEWALT DW310K – An advanced keyless adjustable shoe allows both no-tool swapping of blades as well as adjustable depth of cut, which can contribute to the longevity of the saw blade.

Stroke Length

The PORTER CABLE PCC670B – This advanced electric reciprocating saw features a generous one-inch stroke length, more than enough to cut through dense wood, support beams and other hard materials.

The Bosch RS7 – The Bosch RS7 features a lengthy 1-1/8-inch stroke length to power the saw blade through nearly any dense material in the house.

The DEWALT DW310K – With a very generous 1-1/8-inch stroke length, the DEWALT DW310K is designed to easily slice through very thick layers of insulation, rubber, wood and other tough materials.

Conclusion: Our Reciprocating Saw Reviews

The PORTER CABLE PCC670B 20-volt MAX Lithium Bare Reciprocating Tigersaw – Best Low-Cost Reciprocating Saw

PORTER CABLE PCC670B 20-volt MAX Lithium Bare Reciprocating TigersawThis advanced electric reciprocating saw from PORTER CABLE has a well-balanced ambidextrous operating design that allow any home builder or renovator to quickly slice through just about anything with supreme confidence and ease. Able to spin up to 3,000 strokes per minute, the powerful 20-volt battery allows users to operate with complete mobility and independence.

An ergonomic trigger and well-balanced handle allow users to intuitively control the speed to allow for greater precision and improved comfort.


Looks great right out of the box and is able to last for hours when fully charged. Rugged drivetrain on the motor makes this one of the most durable reciprocating saws on the market today. Speed control is very intuitive and the one-inch stroke length will let you cut through just about everything in no time flat at all.


Because this sophisticated tool relies on a battery to operate, repair and demolition jobs are interrupted while the user has to swap out and begin recharging the old battery before recommencing work.

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The Bosch RS7 1-1/8-Inch 11 Amp Reciprocating Saw – Best Reciprocating Saw for the Money

Bosch RS7 1-1/8-Inch 11 Amp Reciprocating SawThe multinational industrial firm Bosch offers high-quality engineering and advanced technology in all of their products, and the Bosch RS7 is no exception. Using a durable but ergonomic handle with variable speed control trigger, this electric reciprocating saw features a powerful 11-amp motor to effortlessly cut through wood, rubber and metal.


Perfectly balanced to be used ambidextrously in complete comfort. Long blade stroke lets you cut through really thick materials easily. The included dual lights are super bright and let you see what you’re cutting even in dark and tight corners. Simple button release lets you pop out the old blade and put in a new one, letting you get right back to work with minimal interruption.


The design of the Bosch RS7 belies its high-quality German engineering background, and has a far more functional and minimal look than other more modern-looking designs from others manufacturers.

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The DEWALT DW310K 12 Amp Heavy-Duty Reciprocating Saw – Best Reciprocating Saw Overall

DEWALT DW310K 12 Amp Heavy-Duty Reciprocating SawFrom one of the leading global manufacturers of rugged and dependable power tools, the DEWALT DW310K allows any home builder or restorer to quickly and easily make cuts through wood, rubber, sheetrock, plywood and other dense material in the home. The adjustable keyless shoe makes swapping out blades simple and rapid, and users can greatly extend the length of the saw blade’s life by adjusting the depth of cut. The variable speed control trigger is easy to control even while wearing work gloves, and can power the DEWALT DW310K at up to 2,700 strokes per minute.


Feels perfectly balanced in both hands even if you’re left-handed. Bold yellow-and-black design tells everyone on the job site that you’re using a quality tool. Beefy 12-amp motor can power the saw through just about anything short of concrete. Simple and easy to adjust the depth of the cut on the fly, thus saving you from wearing out your saw blades too quickly.


Although the DEWALT DW310K is designed to cut through some forms of metal, it is not powerful enough to always be able to slice through thick steel pipes, cast iron or other especially durable materials.

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In Conclusion

Today’s powerful electric reciprocating saws allow every home builder and restorer to make deep and accurate cuts into wood, rubber, insulation, sheeting, and other dense materials around the house. Although these high-powered reciprocal saws can slice razor-sharp blades at thousands of strokes per minute with ease, they are designed to be operated with comfort and ease by even beginning home improvement students.

Advanced rugged cases with intuitive speed control triggers that can be accurately controlled even when wearing work gloves allow contractors, builders and home restorers to rapidly slice almost any dense material on the job site, including rubber, wood, tubing, insulation and duct work.

While many manufacturers of reliable power tools offer adequate models, the DEWALT DW310K demonstrates its superiority with a long stroke length and powerful 12-amp motor that can tear through nearly anything with control and accuracy at up to 2,700 strokes per minute. The signature bright yellow-and-black design of the DEWALT DW310K means that you’ll never lose your reciprocating saw in the clutter of a job site, and the adjustable shoe will help you adjust the cutting depth for improved finesse and enhanced saw blade longevity.

With an ironclad warranty package from the manufacturer that includes a three-year limited warranty, a 90-day money-back guarantee, and a one-year free service contract, every contractor, builder and home restorer can depend on the unparalleled quality of the DEWALT DW310K 12-amp Heavy-Duty.