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Reciprocating saws are among the most popular DIY/craft cutting tools. They aren’t built for precision, but for getting a cutting job done quickly and efficiently.
Still, finding the perfect reciprocating saw in 2020 can be a daunting task. This is why we’ve come up with a list of reciprocating saw recommendations for your convenience. Every item on this list makes for a good choice but finding the perfect one is always the name of the game.
Here are the best reciprocating saws of 2020.
Best Reciprocating Saws Reviews
Black and Decker BDCR20B
This is a cordless 20V reciprocating saw with a 7/8” stroke length and a variable speed trigger. It’s designed for contractors, craftsmen, and DIYers.
Black and Decker is a notable name in the world of crafting. The BDCR20B is no exception when it comes to reciprocating saws. It’s cordless, which means that it runs on battery power. The time saved and power that this saw’s lithium-ion battery provides are amazing. Running at 20V, it’s designed to operate normally even in extremely hot or cold temperatures. Being cordless, it’s naturally very flexible.
The BDCR20B doesn’t have a very long stroke. You’ll find reciprocating saws on the market with much bigger strokes than 7/8”. However, if there’s one thing you should know about long-stroke saws, it’s that they’re quite the power guzzlers. With a 7/8” blade, BDCR20B delivers more precise control over your work.
BDCR20B’s light weight and compact design allow it to get into places most regular saws would never venture. You also get a variety of speed settings, which allow you to make more precise cuts. This also helps prevent damage to your work-piece.
One of the biggest problems with lightweight reciprocating saws, however, is that they tend to vibrate a lot. The heavier a saw is – the more its weight keeps it in place. However, despite the fact that Black and Decker BDCR20B is very light (four pounds), it’s equipped with dampening technology that does a great job of reducing vibrations. This means even more precision, more comfort, and less fatigue.
You also don’t need any tools to change the blades on this tool. A quality power tool with this convenience is truly a rarity on the market.
If you’re looking for a reciprocating saw for your DIY projects, a small, cordless one is always a good idea. The BDCR20B is not only that, but also features solid voltage that works great, even in extreme weather conditions. Its construction is very lightweight, meaning that it’s extremely easy to handle. This is very important when it comes to reciprocating saws and similar tools.
Despite the dampening technology, the BDCR20B is still very lightweight. This means that you should expect a lot of vibration. Therefore, using gloves when operating this Black and Decker tool is recommended, which can be a bit annoying.
- Easy to use
- Variable speeds
- Long-lasting battery
- No extra tools needed
A lot of vibration
This 12-amp corded reciprocating saw is powerful, yet compact and lightweight. It may not look the part, but it can cut through some of the toughest and most heavy-duty materials.
Milwaukee 6519-31 features variable speeds of 0-3,000 SPM (strokes per minute). Variable speeds are very important if you want a saw that’s able to cut with precision and care, while also being able to go heavy-duty and handle demolition jobs. The 6519-31 is precisely this kind of a saw.
Still, this Milwaukee model remains compact and lightweight. It even has a handle that’s ergonomically designed, allowing you to use this tool comfortably for hours on end, without exhaustion.
Most lightweight reciprocal saws are plagued by a common problem – excessive vibration. The 6519-31, however, is fitted with a counter-weighted mechanism that significantly reduces vibration while in use. This also means a lot in terms of saving power – without excess vibration, all energy is directed where it should go – to the actual blade.
With the Milwaukee 6519-31, you don’t have to worry about getting extra tools to change blades. The tool is built with a mechanism that allows you to change blades effortlessly.
While 12 amps may not sound like too much to a layman, every DIY enthusiast, contractor, and craftsman knows that this is a lot of power, especially for a tool of this size. Variable speeds that go as high up as 3,000 strokes per minute are staggering. Add versatility to the equation, as well as other cool perks you get with the 6519-31 and you’ve got one solid, quality, powerful reciprocating saw.
One of the biggest downsides of this Milwaukee tool is that its pivoting shoe isn’t adjustable. This means that this tool doesn’t get quite the amount of access as other tools that feature a pivoting shoe. Still, the 6519-31 compensates with its small size.
- Very powerful
- Lightweight and compact
- Easy to use
- Variable speeds
Nonadjustable pivoting shoe
Ryobi is a brand widely known for its quality tools – the P514 cordless reciprocating saw is another example of this. Versatile and powerful, Ryobi P514 is every craftsman’s dream.
Don’t let this tool’s compact design fool you – under the hood, it’s quite a beast. Yes, this actually means that it can be used by everyone, even children (provided they’re supervised).
The P514 has an 18V lithium-ion battery and a capacity to reach speeds that go as high as 3,100 strokes per minute. This saw is very powerful and capable of tackling even the most heavy-duty cutting endeavors.
But does this mean that it can easily get away from you? Well, no. It’s lightweight and is fitted with a rubberized non-slip handle for additional precision. In addition to the non-slip handle, the P514 comes with an anti-vibration handle, which we have to thank for Ryobi P514’s brilliant handling capabilities.
Like most top-of-the-line reciprocating saw models, the P514 doesn’t require any additional tools when you need to change the blade. Instead, it has a safe, strong, and convenient lever-actuated mechanism.
You won’t find too many reciprocating saws out there that are this compact and easy to handle, while still being very powerful. Powered by an 18V lithium-ion battery and capable of reaching 3,100 SPM, the P514 is one of the best reciprocating saws that you can find on the market. It’s very easy to handle and anyone can use it.
Unfortunately, the power and SPM have made their marks on Ryobi P514. Owing to that amount of power, the battery runtime on the P514 remains short. In fact, you don’t even get a battery with the saw when you buy it, which is something to keep that in mind. Still, it isn’t much of a tradeoff, when you consider its speed and power.
- Very powerful
- Anti-vibration system
- Variable speeds
- Easy blade change
- Battery doesn’t last long
- Battery isn’t included
Porter Cable PCC670B
Porter Cable PCC670B is a very versatile cordless reciprocating saw. If you’re searching for a convenient tool for tight spaces, this one’s a great choice. But it can do so much more.
Like most modern, quality reciprocating saws, the PCC670B doesn’t require using a special tool to swap its blade or adjust the shoe. The free release feature enables you to change blades quickly, using nothing but your hands. Just twist and insert the new blade in the pivoting shoe. Don’t worry about the shoe’s grip, either – the blade sits tightly in the shoe at all times.
Porter Cable PCC670B is very compact and weighs less than 4 lbs., which is incredibly light. Additionally, it’s very comfortable and intuitive to use, courtesy of its brilliant ergonomic design. Thanks to this and the contoured handle, you’ll be able to attain great control over the device.
Under the compact and convenient design lies an impressive motor, capable of reaching as much as 3,000 SPM, which is quite something. Of course, you can adjust the blade’s speed, depending on the material that you’re cutting.
Packed with the PCC670B reciprocating saw is a 20V lithium0ion battery that boasts a lower self-discharge compared to a regular battery. This means that you get a constant supply of power while using the saw. And don’t worry, this battery will keep things going for quite a while.
A combination of compactness, light weight, power, and a long-lasting battery like this one is very rare out there. Porter Cable PCC670B is a reciprocating saw that can tackle a wide variety of different tasks, from small projects to those on the heavier side.
Unfortunately, despite its strong, fast motor and battery capabilities, Porter Cable PCC670B isn’t brilliant for heavy-duty tasks. It can take them on, but the results will vary. Another downside with the PCC670B is that you don’t get the battery and charger with the saw – they’re sold separately.
- Powerful motor
- Great battery
- Ergonomic design
- Not great for heavy-duty endeavors
- Charger and battery sold separately
Ingersoll Rand 429
This is one of the lightest cordless reciprocating saws available out there – and it certainly gets the job done. Despite its size, it’s capable of tackling a variety of cutting tasks
The first thing that comes to mind with the 429 is its really small size. At 1.32 pounds, some inexperienced DIYers may not take Ingersoll Rand 429 seriously – a big mistake, as this tool is actually heavy-duty and capable of tackling various materials.
With this small product, you get 6 cutting blades made of steel, to use at your convenience, and in accordance with your needs. Inside the box you get 2 hex wrenches and an adjustable blade guide. A blade guide isn’t something you get with reciprocating saws very often.
Now, let’s talk about strokes per minute, as this is where the 429 truly excels. It can achieve a maximum of 10,000 SPM. A ridiculously high number, as most reciprocating saws don’t go beyond 5,000. This is adjustable, which makes the Ingersoll Rand 429 even more convenient.
If you’re concerned about vibration due to the 429’s light weight, you needn’t worry too much. As vibration reduction technology is applied to all models.
Quite clearly, the biggest upshot to getting this model is a whopping 10,000 SPM, which opens up a world of opportunities and options. The Ingersoll Rand 429 is a fantastic tool for a wide variety of different projects.
The biggest downside here is that this tool relies on air power. So, you’ll need to get an air tank if you want to use it.
- Very lightweight
- 10,000 SPM
- No battery required
Needs an air tank
Although reciprocating saws won’t set you back too much, you still need to take certain aspects into account when choosing an ideal one for you. You should also make yourself aware of what you’re actually looking for in a reciprocating saw. Here are some hints to help you decide when making the final choice.
Regardless of what kind of project you want to take on, you shouldn’t buy a reciprocating saw from anyone but a reputable brand. If you’re using a reciprocating saw that hasn’t undergone proper safety tests, you’re risking serious harm to yourself or others.
The brands mentioned on the list above are all reputable and instill trust in their users.
There are three main reciprocating saw types.
Cordless saws use battery power to allow you to use them in areas with no power socket access. Battery-powered saws are far from weak and slow, although it’s not uncommon for the batteries to be sold separately from the product. This can be very frustrating and will set you back more than you probably planned
Corded saws use a non-battery power source to work. Although it can be annoying to be bound to a power socket, these are generally cheaper and can run indefinitely.
Air-powered saws are a great cordless, non-battery solution. They are also known as pneumatic reciprocating saws. The downside here is that you’re going to need a suitable air compressor in order to charge these tools. They are incredibly powerful, though.
Corded reciprocating saws should work with any kind of a wall socket. Cordless saws, however, will likely require specific batteries, not just in terms of voltage, but also shape and size. Be careful when you’re buying a cordless reciprocating saw, as the batteries may not be included.
Air-powered reciprocating saws are “charged” using a fitting compressor.
Voltage is a relatively simple factor in reciprocating saws. The higher the voltage/amperage, the stronger the tool is. This is why finding a perfect reciprocating saw for every DIY or crafting occasion is a journey, really.
As a rule of thumb, the saws that have a higher voltage/amperage are more advanced and complex to use. So, start with more basic saws and progress to those with higher voltage or amperage, depending on whether you need a corded or a cordless tool.
Another thing to take into account is how long you need to work for. If you need a reciprocating saw that will handle a full day of work, go with one that features a lower voltage and is lighter. If you need a reciprocating saw occasionally, you’re better off picking up one with higher voltage or amperage.
Quick Blade Change
Using a hex wrench to change your blades may not seem like a lot of work, but it gets very old, very quickly. Working with reciprocating saws usually entails using various blades for a single project. Having to swap the blades using the hex tool is tedious and time-consuming.
This is why an increasing number of reciprocating saws are resorting to mechanisms that allow for quick, tool-less blade changes. Another cool thing about quick-change adaptors is that you don’t have to think about potentially losing the extra tool.
Strokes Per Minute
The speed of a reciprocating saw is measured in blade strokes per minute. The faster a reciprocating saw cuts, the faster you’ll finish your cutting projects. However, certain materials work better at different speeds, so getting a reciprocating saw with adjustable speed is the best way to go. If you really want to go into details with your projects, you may even have to use different speeds on the same piece of material.
As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t go lower than 3,000 SPM with reciprocating saws. Plus, you should make sure that the speed is adjustable.
Reciprocating Saws FAQs
How do you use a reciprocating saw?
First of all, you need to select the blade for the project that you’re working on. This mostly depends on the material in question, as some blades are great for wood, while others do a better job on plastic. If you didn’t get the right blade as a part of a set with the reciprocating saw that you’ve bought, you should browse around the manufacturer’s website and order one.
Once you’ve selected the blade that you want to use, insert it into the chuck. Depending on your reciprocating saw, use a hex tool or your hands.
That’s it, you can start cutting. Of course, there’s a whole lot that you’ll learn along the way, but the process, in essence, is relatively straightforward.
How to use a reciprocating saw to cut wood
You’ll need a wood blade if you want to efficiently cut wood with your reciprocating saw. Follow the above-mentioned guidelines, choose a wood blade and start cutting. However, there are a few things you should pay attention to when cutting wood. On your speed dial, select the highest setting for wood. Press the trigger and start bringing the blade down slowly.
You’ll feel the blade slowly gliding through wood, even with the slightest of pressure applied. Don’t expect a perfect job straight away. It takes time to get used to using reciprocating saws, even if you have prior wood cutting experience with a different tool like a circular saw.
How do you cut straight with a reciprocating saw?
Reciprocating saws are about power first and accuracy second. Don’t expect perfectly straight lines. With that said, you can cut a fairly straight line using any reciprocating saw if you know how to do it.
After you’ve set it up, angle the saw very slightly downwards and pull the trigger. You’ll feel the saw start to rip through the material. Don’t use your arms when making straight cuts. Use your entire body, as it’s much more stable.
That’s pretty much it. Try and be as precise as possible and over time you’ll get better.
Can you use a reciprocating saw to prune trees?
As mentioned, the best reciprocating saws aren’t about accuracy, but about efficiency. Therefore, using a reciprocating saw to prune trees is absolutely possible. It’s very simple; just use a wood blade and get an extension so that you can reach the tall branches. Oh, and set the speed to maximum. Carefully cut through branches and make sure that no one is around.
Don’t use impromptu solutions to come up with extension arms. Reciprocating saws can be very dangerous if not used properly.
What does a reciprocating saw do?
Reciprocating saws are very efficient cutting tools that can easily cut through a vast variety of materials. They’re straightforward to use for everything from remodeling to demolition. Keep in mind that these saws aren’t precision-focused tools – they’re there to get the job done.
Although there are numerous factors to consider when picking a reciprocating saw, the most important one is SPM.
The Ingersoll Rand 429 has a whopping maximum of 10,000 strokes per minute, which makes it the most efficient tool on the list. Another cool thing about this saw is the fact that it’s neither battery-powered nor corded. The 429 uses a pneumatic mechanism to yield brilliant results. Keep in mind that you’ll have to find a fitting air compressor to charge it properly.
If you’re looking for a battery-powered reciprocating saw, the Ryobi P514 is a great choice. At 3,100 SPM, it’s capable of tackling most cutting tasks. However, it’s nowhere near the efficiency of the Ingersoll Rand 429’s 10,000 SPM.