Imagine a saw that can cut through almost any material and reach all of the difficult nooks and crannies, this is what the best reciprocating saws can do for your construction work!
DIY enthusiasts and professional trades-persons should consider this versatile tool a must-have for their personal arsenal, whether it's for a simple at-home hobby or professional construction job.
Finding the right kind of model for the type of job your working on, or something you can use on the daily, is a tricky job that involves a lot of time and research that you don't have.
There's no need with this comprehensive list of the top 5 reciprocating saws on the market, you can finally own a product that can be used for almost any sawing job.
1. Bosch Cordless
Featuring a variable speed capability the Bosch Cordless Reciprocating Sabre Saw is a powerful tool for use around the garden or larger properties for quick and coarse cutting jobs requiring a bit of grunt. It’s ideal for cutting branches, firewood, and miscellaneous building and demolition jobs.
It will cut wood, metal, plastic, chipboard rubber and plasterboard so it’s a great tool to have in your arsenal. The saw uses the universal Bosch 18V Lithium-ion battery pack which is interchangeable between all their small power tools.
Three green LED’s let you know when your battery power is getting low and is ready for a recharge. The saw can cut up to 100mm of wood depth and 20mm in steel. It has a variable stroke rate of between 0 – 3,100 strokes per minute.
Replacing and changing blades for different purposes is easy with the SDS quick-change system. The saw arrives with one 200mm blade suitable for wood and metal.
The tool has a low vibration rate as well as a good slip-resistant soft-grip handle. Weighing only 2.5kg it is easy to use for prolonged periods. With its slim design (43.4*19.4*9.4cm) the saw can manage flush cuts in hard to reach areas.
2. Stanley FATMAX FME365K
The Stanley FATMAX Orbital Reciprocating Saw (Model No FME365K-XE 1050W) is a true value for money power tool for a range of applications. The saw is a corded tool and has a powerful 1050W motor which supplies a lot of grunt to its cutting and sawing power.
The motor delivers a rate of strokes between 0 and 3,500 per minute which you can control depending on the application. This and the 28mm stroke length is fast and efficient, cutting through most applications like a knife through butter.
It features a tool-free adjustable shoe which allows you to control the depth of your cutting, which extends the life of the blade.
The orbital pendulum action delivers fast cutting action in wood particularly because the blade rotates as it strokes, making for faster and better cutting. It can cut up to 275mm in wood, up to 117mm in metal, and up to 150mm in plastic.
Changing the blade is easy and also tool-free. The saw weighs 3.74kg and is comfortable to hold and use for long periods of time.
The saw has a long 4m rubber kink-proof cord for ease of use around a garden. It comes with a sturdy carry-case for safe storage.
3. Black+Decker BDCR18N
The Black + Decker Cordless Reciprocating Saw (Model No BDCR18N-XE18V) is another of their range of cordless 18V battery power tools using the interchangeable 18V Lithium-ion battery pack.
Being cordless you can take this tool anywhere on your property, large or small without the worry of tangling power cords or running out of length.
This saw can be used to cut wood, metal and plastics. It’s a really useful tool for DIY-ers and gardeners. It has a reciprocating stroke length of 22mm which allows for cutting through some large branches and other applications such as metal pipes etc.
An anti-slip soft-grip handle and compact, lightweight (2.3kg) and well-balanced design mean that this is a comfortable tool to use for long periods. And it’s easy to control as well with a pivoting shoe that can be rested against a jamb or other surface for even more control when needed.
The tool-free blade change makes it quick and easy to swap blades if you’re doing a multi-purpose job. The bladed can be set in two positions to suit your needs.
The saw comes with one 6TPI blade but black + Decker has several other blades available for this saw for other applications.
Related: Top Log Splitters
4. WORX WX550.9
The WORX AXIS Combination Reciprocating Saw & Jigsaw (Model No WX550.9) is a versatile power tool to include in your armoury.
This is a cordless tool which is part of the WORX 20V AXIS range of power tools which accept their 18V Lithium-ion interchangeable battery. Use the one battery for all your small power tools – save money, room and time.
This tool is two saws in one: a reciprocating saw which can be quickly switched into a precise jigsaw in seconds. This can be used for a multitude of household tasks.
The pivoting head design converts the saw and is compatible with both reciprocating saw blades and T-type shank jigsaw blades.
A tool-free blade-changing clamp system makes this quick and easy. The jigsaw can cut into wood up to 50mm, into PVC pipe up to 50mm and into metal up to 4mm.
The reciprocating saw can cut into wood up to 100mm, into PVC pipe up to 127mm and into metal up to 75mm.
This makes it a very versatile tool to have on hand. An inbuilt dust-blower increases visibility as you work by removing all dust and debris as it appears in your work area.
The saw is very light and compact (22.8*13.1*18cm) so it will work even in tight spaces like bathrooms and under sinks. All DIY-ers need this tool.
5. GIANTZ Reciprocating Saw
The GIANTZ Cordless Reciprocating Saw is an extremely well-priced power tool for the home handyman. When a manual saw won’t do the job a power saw is a must-have. They’re a quick and easy solution to many small cutting jobs around the house or for a serious DIY-er.
With a powerful 2000mAh capacity, pure copper motor and 20V Lithium-ion battery pack on board this reciprocating saw really have a lot of grunt to make light work of most cutting jobs. It can be used to cut through wood, metal, plastic, plasterboard, chipboard and even bone.
The tool is designed with an upgraded thermal system including multiple vents to ensure that it doesn’t overheat with prolonged use.
A soft-grip handle and well-balanced weight make for comfortable handling and good control. And the compact size means that you can use this in even tight spaces like under the kitchen sink.
Its precision blades are sharp and durable and can cut clean curves as well as straight lines. A stroke length of 25.4mm allows for large diameter cutting. A self-locking chuck ensures safety at all times. The saw comes with two blades, the battery, a charger and a hex wrench.
Related: Best Line Trimmers
How to choose best reciprocating saws?
If you want to choose the best saw but aren't sure what to actually look for, we put together this easy to use buyers guide.
As for actually using a reciprocating saw, have a read of this article.
Most of the reciprocating saws we have looked at today are cordless and you'll often need to purchase an additional battery as most don't come with this.
Motors on these units are either brushless or brushed so you may want to check which option is on your model as brushless motors are more expensive but more reliable. They offer longer life, higher efficiency and prevent thermal overload.
You'll find most models come with 18V although you can get ones with 20V. However most of these claims are a marketing ploy and the noticeable difference between a reciprocating saw with an 18V battery vs a 20V battery (the maximum you can buy) is minimal.
Most batteries are inter-changeable with other appliances. So if you're a Bosch user, it can pay to have all Bosch equipment so you don't need to buy batteries for all the brands you own.
Stroke Length & Speed
Reciprocating saws offer stroke speeds and stroke lengths. The common length is usually around 1-1/8 inches, with a range of 1 to 1-1/4. Speeds are often around 2,500 to 3,400 strokes per minute depending on the model.
To compare the best cutting speed you'll want to take the inches per minute by mulitplying the length and speed of the strokes.
In our experts opinion, good friend and carpenter Bill George, "you want to go with at least 1-1/8" stroke lengths with at least 3,000 RPM."
Changing the blade on some models was time consuming and took specialist tools to get the job done. However these days most providers offer one click changes, or inbuilt wrenchs that can help you to change the blade quickly.
If you want to quickly change the saw blades, a quick lock feature will be very handy. If you're a normal user, one blade is often sufficient so there's no requirement for this.
Variable Speed Trigger
You may want a variable speed trigger which allows you to choose the stroke per minute rate and this can be handy for certain users or projects. "Choosing a slower speed for metal per say, rather than for wood," Bill says.
Nearly all the pro reciprocating saws we looked at offer a variable speed function, allowing you to choose from 0 to the top speed.
You're going to be using this saw in some difficult situations so you'll want something that's comfortable to use and lightweight. "Most saws are around 2-4kg but there's a big difference between a 2.5kg saw and a 3.5kg saw, especially if you're like me, and a bit lighter than some other tradies", says Bill.
How much do reciprocating saws cost?
Bill says, "you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $500 depending on the brand, model and size of the saw you need". He goes on to say that from our research, you can pick up a high quality model such as the Giantz for as little as $100 with free delivery."
Do your own research and use our article as a guide in your reciprocating saw buying process. You can find something to suit your budget.