Best Reciprocating Saws of 2017 –  Reviews & Buying Guide

Reciprocating SawSometimes we need our tools to build something and sometimes we need them to tear things down. This is where demolition tools come into play. There are tons of different demolition tools available for wrecking, but today we are going to focus on finding the best reciprocating saw for your needs. Nearly everyone who has remodeled a home has used one and for very good reason.

So, what exactly makes reciprocating saws so useful? Well, for one, they can rip through nearly anything short of stone or brick – from wood with nails to PVC pipes, this saw will get it done. It is also good for more precision based jobs; such as fitting a window or cutting into drywall to rewire something. Even for yard work and trimming your trees, these saws can work wonders and cut the time it takes to get the job done in half.

However, if you are going to get a reciprocating saw, you should look for the best reciprocating saw. Not only is this important for the quality of your saw but for your safety as well. With power tools, you should never sacrifice quality. So, in this guide, we will help you learn everything you need to know – from buying tips to reviews of some of the best reciprocating saws.


Our Top 5 Reciprocating Saw Picks

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONS
ITEM WEIGHT
USER RATINGPRICE
Makita JR3050T
Makita JR3050T
27 x 11 x 5 inches
7.3 pounds
4.8/5
$$$
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DEWALT DCS380B
DEWALT DCS380B
6.1 x 18.3 x 4 inches
5.8 pounds
4.6/5
$$$
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PORTER-CABLE PC75TRS
PORTER-CABLE PC75TRS
22.8 x 4.1 x 7.6 inches
8 pounds
4.6/5
$$$$
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BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B
BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B
15.6 x 3.4 x 7.1 inches
3.8 pounds
4.6/5
$
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DEWALT DW310K
DEWALT DW310K
19.8 x 4.6 x 10.9 inches
8.5 ounces

4.3/5
$$$$$
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There are plenty of options out there when it comes to reciprocating saws. So many, in fact, that it can be a little overwhelming. However, it does not have to be. To help you narrow down your choices, we have listed reciprocating saw reviews of the five best options currently available. In our buying guide below, you will also find some tips you need to know when you are buying a reciprocating saw.

#1 DEWALT DW310K – Our Top Pick

DEWALT DW310KOur top pick is the DeWalt DW310K; a reciprocating saw that has it all. This black and yellow reciprocating saw boasts 12 amps of power, which is more than enough power for even professional use.

This power comes from a corded source. This means that it is plugged into the wall and attached with an 8-foot cord. There are upsides and downsides to a corded tool. They come with less room to maneuver but they are also lighter than a typical battery model, and you do not have to worry about a battery dying in the middle of a job. Your choice will come down to personal preference. For myself, I will usually choose a corded model as I prefer an extension cord, if needed, over the additional weight. Scroll down to number #2 on our list, if you prefer a battery powered saw.

The DeWalt DW310K saw also has a variable speed trigger with a range of choices between 0 strokes per minute (SPM) up to 2700 SPM. A keyless blade cover also allows you to make changes as you work without having to stop and pull out special tools. With an anti-slip grip to help you keep control, this reciprocating saw will be completely under your control and open to adjustments – even in the middle of a job.

DeWalt does not skimp on the service they provide to their customers either. First of all, you get a 90-day money back guarantee, so if you experience any problems or are simply dissatisfied, you have time to return them. A 3-year limited warranty is also included as well as a 1-year free service contract, so if you need any repairs on your saw, DeWalt will help you without any charge. This is pretty good coverage.

There are a few downsides. The case is plastic so might get banged up over time and there has been a reported tendency for the blade release to jam. Overall though, this is a well put together, well priced and easy to use reciprocating saw.

Pros:

  • Case included
  • 3-year limited warranty
  • 1-year free service contract
  • 90-day money back guarantee
  • Highly adjustable
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Case is plastic
  • Blade release tends to jam

#2 DEWALT DCS380B – Best Cordless Option

DEWALT DCS380BThere are a lot of pros and cons to both cordless and corded saws, but in the end, it is up to personal preference. If you think a cordless option is best for you, then we recommend the DeWalt DCS380B. This 20-volt reciprocating saw has the same black and yellow appearance as most DeWalt products and the same excellent durability. Our top two products are DeWalt for a reason, after all.

This saw is powerful, with a variable speed trigger that can go from 0 SPM to 3,000 SPM letting it cut through wood and even metal with ease. This cutting speed is enhanced by the saw’s long stroke length of 1-1/8”, which is the maximum standard for these types of saws. If you are working in an environment with limited clearance, though, don’t worry. The DeWalt DCS380B saw has a 4-position blade clamp to help you out.

There is one significant downside to this option which contributed to its position in second place. It does not come with either the blade, battery or charger. That is all extra which is a bit disappointing.

However, there are plenty of extra features that will help your comfort and convenience as well. For convenience, this saw has a keyless blade change, and an adjustable shoe to give you even more control. With an over-molded rubber grip, you also won’t have any problems with comfort or control.

Pros:

  • 3-year warranty
  • Multiple speeds with a dial
  • Soft, molded grip
  • Powerful
  • No cords to struggle with

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with a blade
  • Doesn’t come with a battery
  • Doesn’t come with charger
  • Battery powered – needs to be charged

#3 PORTER-CABLE PC75TRS – Best for The Money

PORTER-CABLE PC75TRSWhen it comes to making a purchase, you want to get the most for your money no matter how much you are paying. We chose the Porter-Cable PC75TRS as the reciprocating saw that will give you the best value for your hard earned cash. This light-duty saw is perfect for any around the house needs or light professional work.

The Porter-Cable PC75TRS has a voltage of 7.5 amps, which isn’t incredibly powerful but is definitely enough for the average user. As far as SPM goes, this reciprocating saw has a speed trigger that ranges between 0 SPM and 3,200 SPM. Much like our second place pick, the PC75TRS has a 1 and 1/8 inch stroke.

Once again, you will have to decide how you feel about corded saws with all their benefits and drawbacks. This one has a 6-foot long PVC cord, which should be plenty long and durable.

One less ambiguous downside of this product is that the blade cover is tooled, so it takes slightly longer than a tool-free model. Luckily, though, it is operated with an easy twist tool, so it isn’t too hard to remove the cover.

The reason that this saw is the best for the money is mainly that it is perfect for the around the house needs of the average user. It will not hold up to any sort of heavy duty professional work.

Pros:

  • Corded – no battery has to recharge
  • Good for light-work and the casual user
  • Powerful enough for everyday work
  • Variable speed trigger and other adjustments allow for customization to the job at hand

Cons:

  • Corded – you have to work with limited room
  • Tooled blade cover
  • Won’t hold up to professional, heavy-duty use

#4 Makita JR3050T

Makita JR3050TThe next reciprocating saw on our top five list is the Makita JR3050T. This saw is corded, much like the DeWalt model we looked at earlier. Likewise, when it comes to price and quality, this Makita JR3050T is a great choice.

First, let’s look at power. It runs on an 11-amp motor, which is strong enough for even heavy-duty professional use. It has an overall length of 17 and ¾ inches and has a variable speed dial that ranges from 0 SPM to 2,800 SPM. Slightly less than other saws that we have looked at but it will not make a noticeable difference to most users.

The cord on this model is 8 feet long, which is pretty much the longest you will see on one of these. This saw has several adjustable features to make even your hardest jobs easier. We have already been over the variable speed dial, but there is also a tool-less blade cover. This allows for on-the-fly changes without stopping to use a special tool. Another cool feature is a built in dust blower system to remove dust and debris from around the blade. Finally, it comes with a handy case.

There is a warranty, but it is not that impressive at just a single year. There is also no orbital movement which reduces the potential of this tool somewhat. All in all, though, this is a really quality piece.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Durable
  • 1-year warranty
  • Built-in dust blower system for cleanliness
  • Storage case included

Cons:

  • Corded – limited mobility
  • No orbital movement

#5 BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B – A Great Bang For The Buck

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20BThe BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B is inexpensive, of course, but it is not cheap. By that, I mean that while you may not have to pay much, you will not be sacrificing much value either.

This is another battery powered model, but notably, it comes with a lithium battery as standard. These types of batteries are stronger and tend to hold a charge longer than the standard battery.

With 20 volts of power, this saw has the power to do whatever you need it to. Thankfully, though, this reciprocating saw does all this while being lightweight at only 3.8 pounds. It also has a stroke length of 7/8 inches. This is the minimum stroke length that manufacturers use as the standard, but it will not affect how the saw performs at all.

Good points include the ability to make quick changes thanks to a tool-free blade cover. It also features a pivoting shoe and a variable speed trigger that has a maximum speed of 3,000 SPM.

Unfortunately, though, this is what is referred to as a bare-tool item. This means that the battery is sold separately. However, a standard blade is included. There is one other downside. It vibrates pretty heavily when in use but not to the point that it would affect your work. All in all, this reciprocating saw is fantastic value for money.

Pros:

  • Lithium battery lasts longer
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Powerful
  • Tool-free design
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Battery not included
  • Charger not included
  • Strong vibration

Factors to Consider When Buying a Reciprocating Saw

In this section, we will answer some questions that you may have as well as give you some tips for buying the right reciprocating saw. Our top 5 reviews will set you in the right direction, but you also want to have a good grounding on what’s important in the world of reciprocating saws.

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Corded Reciprocating Saw
When it comes to power sources, there are two options: corded or cordless. For now, we are going to focus on a corded option and the benefits and drawbacks that it offers.

First, the good. Since they are corded, they don’t have the extra weight of a battery, and they have unlimited run times because you won’t have to recharge it after a few hours. This lightweight design is perfect for long, overhead or awkward angle jobs.

Unfortunately, the cord does limit movement. This can make it difficult to maneuver some jobs and – if you aren’t careful – the cord can be cut while you are working. If you purchase a corded model, it is a good idea to look for a saw with a rubber cord rather than plastic since these are a little more flexible and reliable.

Benefits and Drawbacks of a Cordless Reciprocating Saw
The first benefit of a cordless reciprocating saw is pretty obvious; you don’t have to keep it plugged in and aren’t limited by a cord. This is extremely helpful when it comes to maneuvering difficult areas and situations since you won’t be fighting with a cord.

However, this freedom does come with a price. Since it isn’t plugged in, the power source will be a battery pack. This not only makes the saw heavier but it needs to be kept charged as well. If you think that a cordless model is the best option for you, we suggest a model with a lithium-ion battery since they have a much longer battery life than a standard option. Lastly, batteries often come separate from the saw, so keep that in mind.

What Power Level Should I Look For?
When it comes to the proper power levels, it really depends on the job at hand. For example, remodeling a house may need more power than simply cutting through PVC piping. Of course, if you are buying a saw for professional use, you will want something a little more powerful to handle any job that comes your way.

Corded and cordless saws offer the whole gamut of power level options although many users find that corded saws have a more consistent power level. There are many different power levels, starting at less than 5 amps and all the way to 15 amps and above. If you are a professional or have a heavy-duty job like a house demolition, then anything over 10 amps will definitely provide you with the power you need.

Is Speed Important?
Speed for a saw equals out to the number of strokes that it can make in a minute – this is usually how it is measured. The higher the speed, the faster you can cut through material. While a casual user may not need a higher speed for the occasional odd job, you should look for the highest speed they can afford if you will be using it on a regular basis or sporadically but intensively.

What is Stroke Length and Should I Look for a Certain Length?
Stroke length is the reach that the blade has. It is important to note that this is not the blade length but rather how far the blade moves. This feature usually doesn’t make much of a difference, though, because it usually has a small range of between 7/8 inches and 1 and 1/8 inches.

Things you should Know

Of course, there are some things you need to know before starting your quest for the perfect reciprocating saw. Below we have listed some of the best tips we have as to what to look for in a reciprocating saw including features for your comfort as well as ones that will make your job that much easier.

  • Auto-Stop. This is one of the most important features to look for when it comes to safety. An auto-stop is usually a trigger within the saw that will stop it automatically if something goes wrong. If there are any errors or some kind of malfunction, the saw will turn off automatically to protect you from harm. Most of these will also turn off when a saw’s brushes wear out to protect the motor from debris and damage.
  • Cushion Grips. The name tells you the purpose here. They will not only make your grip more comfortable, though, they will also help you keep your grip even during long, hot jobs. Often comfort trickles down into safety. Anything that enables a comfortable and even grip promotes safety.
  • Anti-Vibration. This feature will reduce how much the saw shakes in your hands to a minimum, helping to relieve some of the fatigue you would feel without it. Again, comfort equals safety in this regard.
  • Variable Speed Control. Being able to control the speed of your reciprocating saw is extremely useful in helping you adjust your tool to the job at hand. This is even better if the control is a dial because it will give you a more accurate and consistent choice of speeds.
  • Tool-less Blade. The blade in your saw can always be changed but how convenient this process is varies between products. Some models call for a special tool to remove the blade while other require no tools at all. A blade that requires no tools will not only be easier to change, but it will also be faster when you’re in the middle of an important job as well.
  • Orbital Action. When we think of saws, we often think of a forward and backward “sawing” movement. However, orbital action adds another dimension. Rather than just moving forward and backward, this allows the blade to move up and down as well. In a demolition tool, this allows for a more aggressive and effective approach.
  • Adjustable Shoe. An adjustable shoe allows for increased stability and offers you more control. It also helps by giving clear visibility to the blade and cut line. This feature pairs well with a tool less blade model so you can make easy and quick adjustments.
  • Lighted Plug. A lighted plug will simply let you know if a tool is powered up. For a corded model, this would just be when it is plugged in and turned on, but for a cordless model, it may notify you of the battery level or when it needs to be charged. This is a great feature to protect you from your saw stopping in the middle of a job.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, you have a lot of choices available to you in the marketplace. No matter what your price range, model preference, or even size preference is, there is a reciprocating saw out there for you. Our reviews of reciprocating saws are perfect quickly finding an option that suits you. With our buying guide, you can also confidently explore all there is out there.

This is a burgeoning sector of the market right now, with new models coming on line every year. I hope we have helped ease your buying decision and given you the tools you need to find the tool you need!