Best Reciprocating Saws to Make Demo Work Quick and Fun in 2018

A reciprocating saw (also referred to as Sawzall or sabre saw) is useful for both homeowners and professionals. Widely used in construction and demolition (or even tree pruning), a good reciprocating saw is also an invaluable tool for home DIY projects such as remodels, plumbing repair, and window replacement. It can do the work of several manual saw types, but with a lot less effort.

This tool is not meant for fine or detailed cuts but instead uses a fast push and pull blade motion to quickly cut through many types of materials; from wood, drywall, PVC, or metal. Because of it’s design, a reciprocating saw is often the only type of saw that will make cuts in hard-to-reach places.

The best reciprocating saw these days is a cordless model with long battery life that’s powerful enough to make quick work of any cut and light enough to use for extended periods. Why use a crowbar or manual saw for demo work when a reciprocating saw is so much faster, easier, and FUN to use? Here are four excellent models to consider.

TOP PICK

Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Fuel Sawzall

When you want the best, Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel cordless Sawzall is the obvious choice. While the stroke length of 1-1/8″ and speed of up to 3,000 strokes/minute is on par with the other models below, the brushless motor provides constant power with less overheating.

The entire tool has been designed to provide more power, durability, and life than its competition. With the brushless motor, you can expect it to run up to twice as long as many competitors and last up to five times as long due to fewer moving parts. The REDLITHIUM XC 4.0 Extended Capacity battery pack offers excellent running time and the REDLINK PLUS intelligence system that keeps the saw running at peak efficiency. If you’ve never tried the brushless “Fuel” line of Milwaukee tools, you’re in for a treat.

Long-time customers of Milwaukee show little surprise at the power and accuracy of this saw, while new users find it easy to control. As expected from the best cordless reciprocating saw currently on the market, owners of this model are quick to point out the durability and long battery life, as well as how quick and easy it is to change blades. Some users have even reported that the saw’s weight allows it to move through some cuts one-handed.

The 2720-21 M18 Fuel lives up to the Milwaukee reputation for quality, making it very rare to find a direct complaint regarding the tool. Instead, most of the problems have been with shipping. Some third-party sellers have been known to substitute a carrying bag for a hard case. A few users have noted that the tool uses ghost power, causing batteries to slowly drain if not removed between uses. This detail has been known to confuse consumers who are used to leaving the batteries in their power tools while storing them.

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RUNNERS-UP

DeWalt DCS380B 20V MAX Li-Ion Reciprocating Saw

DeWalt is one of the top names in power tools, and the DCS380B reciprocating saber saw lives up to this reputation. Featuring a 4-position blade clamp with 1-1/8 inch stroke, pivoting adjustable shoe, and variable speeds up to 3,000 strokes, this saw has excellent accuracy and speed. The comfort grip and double oil sealed shaft further improve durability and ease-of-use.

The multi-position blade design is very popular with owners, who report long battery life and excellent power. The tool is slightly lighter than the Milwaukee Fuel above, but plenty durable with owners regularly using it for heavy projects. Satisfied customers range widely from home and garden use to construction workers.

Some users have reported the grip is not as comfortable as Milwaukee’s so if you plan on using it for extended periods, keep that in mind. Also, while powerful, the battery doesn’t have the longest life so it’s a good idea to have a spare on hand so you’re never having to wait for a charge.

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Milwaukee 2625-20 M18 18-Volt Hackzall Cordless One-Handed Reciprocating Saw

When looking for the top mini reciprocating saw, it doesn’t get much better than Milwaukee’s 2625-20 Hackzall. This model is small and light enough to be handled one-handed without losing control or versatility. It can also fit into much smaller spaces, while the on-board LED provides improved lighting. The QUIK-LOK tool free blade clamp is compatible with both Sawzall and Hackzall blades, while the tool itself can use both M18 Compact and XC High Capacity batteries for maximum compatibility with your other power tools.

Running at variable speeds up to 3,000 strokes per minute and a stroke length of ¾ inch, this small saw can cut through everything from wood to metal. We love how the handy the Hackzall is and how you can use it in places you’d never think a regular Sawzall would fit.

Owners frequently mention the longer battery lifespan and easy handling of the 2625-20. They note that the power is comparable to a full-sized corded Sawzall. The many extra features have also met with positive response, and many who have purchased this tool as a backup have ended up making it a part of their main toolkit.

Several users have noted that this model has a low resistance to water. Additionally, there have been problems with third-party sellers who have provided false warranties or placed the tool loose in a cardboard box, resulting in shipping damage. Always make sure to buy from a reputable retailer to avoid these potential problems.

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DeWalt DWE305 12-Amp Corded Reciprocating Saw

Sometimes and old fashioned corded saw is the best option. The reason might simply be price or not having to worry about portability or charging batteries. DeWalt’s DWE305 features a powerful 12-amp, variable speed motor capable of up to 2,900 strokes per minute and a stroke length of 1-1/8 inches for improved working speed. A 4-position blade clamp allows for flush cuts, and features keyless, lever-action blade changes. This saw can be used to tackle a wide range of materials, including wood, drywall, rubber, fiberglass, and even light to heavy gauge metal.

Owners of this saw love the safety-oriented turning head, as well as how easily blades can be replaced. While corded models are range limited, users have noted the benefits of having a constant power supply for long and difficult tasks over a battery that slowly drains and slows the blade. Finally, users of all skill levels are quick to comment on the power and handling of this model over others they’ve tried.

Probably the biggest complaint with the DWE305 is that it doesn’t include a case or bag. You’ll need to purchase one separately if needed although most of us probably just keep the tool in a tool chest drawer. The weight of the saw may also be an issue for some when compared to some of the lighter cordless models. Finally, it seems like DeWalt has stopped including a starter blade with the tool which is kind of puzzling. That said, most included blades aren’t exactly the best quality so you’d probably be better off purchasing the blade(s) you want/need.

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