The Best Reciprocating Saws for Any Project

The Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall makes quick work of your DIY projects

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A reciprocating saw is a handheld electric saw with a blade that moves in a backward/forward cutting motion. This useful tool makes demolition work easier thanks to its ability to slice through wood, metal, drywall, piping, or nails. 

We evaluated reciprocating saws based on power, features, and reliability. Our top choice, the Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall, has all the power, versatility, and features you are likely to need, and includes the battery.

Below, our picks of the best reciprocating saws.

Our Top Picks
In This Article

Best Overall: Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Fuel Sawzall Reciprocating Saw Kit

4.5
Milwaukee M18 Fuel Super Sawzall Recip Saw Kit

 Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re looking to purchase a reciprocating tool that's durable and long-lasting, we recommend the Milwaukee Super Sawzall Kit. With the name that has become synonymous with all reciprocating saws on the job site, the Sawzall lives up to the hype as a reliable and strong-cutting machine. This kit features a 12.0 battery, a battery rapid charger, a contractor carrying bag, and an M18 Fuel Super Sawzall.

The Super Sawzall uses an included 18-volt lithium-ion battery that carries 150 cuts per charge and delivers the power of a 15-amp corded saw. This saw is compatible with all M18 Milwaukee batteries and features a 5-year tool and 3-year battery warranty. This Sawzall includes an easy on-off orbital action and a 1.25 -inch stroke length. The saw only weighs 8.8 pounds, and it includes a variable speed trigger with 5-speed options. You can easily change the Quik-Lok blades to switch between materials on a complex job. This Milwaukee kit is the best overall reciprocating saw for home renovation projects or virtually anything else because it's tough, convenient, and versatile.

Best Budget: BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C Reciprocating Saw

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C Reciprocating Saw

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If you’re not a contractor, you probably don’t need to spend hundreds on a reciprocating saw. The Black+Decker 20V MAX Lithium Reciprocating Saw is a compact, cordless, affordable tool that you can use around the house for countless projects.

The recognizable orange and black saw features a 20-volt lithium battery part of the 20-volt Max Black+Decker Max system. With this saw, you get a variable speed trigger and a pivoting shoe, both of which improve control for your cuts. The blade speed runs anywhere between 0 and 3,000 strokes per minute (spm), with a stroke length of nearly 1 inch. The blade allows for tool-free changes and one-button unlocking. This budget-friendly reciprocating saw comes with the blade, battery, and charger—rare in most sets.

Best Corded: DEWALT DWE305 12-Amp Corded Reciprocating Saw

DEWALT DWE305 12-Amp Corded Reciprocating Saw

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Don’t worry about having your batteries charged or ensuring you have the right one—use a simple and powerful corded reciprocating saw for your demolition needs. The Dewalt DWE305 is an excellent saw at a reasonable price.

This Dewalt corded saw sports a 12-amp motor with a 1.125-inch stroke length and a 0 to 2,900 spm variable speed. The entire saw is 17.5-inches long and uses a variable speed trigger for absolute control. You get four-blade cutting positions and a keyless lever-action blade clamp, which both give you absolute customizability. You can purchase this Dewalt tool with a variety of blades as well.

Best Cordless: Makita XJR04Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw

Makita XJR04Z Cordless Reciprocating Saw

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Many of the best reciprocating saws are cordless now. Just insert the batteries, and you can work on any project without worrying about how long the cord will stretch. If you're looking for something convenient and powerful, check out the Makita 36V (18V X2) LXT Brushless Recipro Saw.

Using an 18-volt LXT lithium-ion battery, this saw has a variable speed motor with speeds between 0 and 2,300 spm for low speed and between 0 and 3,000 spm for high speed. When you purchase the Makita Brushless Recipro Saw, you also get a fast-cutting 1.25-inch blade length, tool-less blade replacement, and a variable speed trigger control. The saw is water- and dust-resistant with vibration reduction and specific attributes to prevent overheating and overloading. Makita has a three-year warranty and sells the battery separately.

Best Blades: DEWALT DCS367B Max XR Brushless Reciprocating Saw

DEWALT DCS367B Max XR Brushless Reciprocating Saw

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Buy one of the best reciprocating saws and get a full set of blades at the same time. The Dewalt DCS367B 20V Max XR Compact Reciprocating Saw comes with six blades, including ⅝-, 6-, 10-, 14-, 18- and 24-teeth per inch options allowing you to slice through metal, wood, and wood with nails in a breeze. This starter set of blades is ideal for most jobs.

In addition to the blades, this set comes with an excellent saw. The cordless Dewalt reciprocating saw uses a 20-volt battery to power its brushless motor for variable speed cutting between 0 and 2,900-strokes per minute. You get a 1.125-inch stroke length, tool-less blade replacement, lever-action four-position blade options, and a LED light for dark cutting. This saw also sticks out from the crowded field for its lightweight feel, contributing to its maneuverability.

Best for Wood: RYOBI 18V ONE+ Brushless Reciprocating Saw

RYOBI 18V ONE+ Brushless Reciprocating Saw

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Depending on the scope of the project and what material you're working with (wood, metal, drywall, piping, or nails), you might need to adjust your blades. For cutting through wood, using a blade with large teeth spaced apart will work better than small teeth close together. You'll also need a strong motor to power the blades. For the perfect combination of wide teeth and a powerful motor, we recommend the Ryobi P517 Brushless Reciprocating Saw.

The Ryobi P517 Brushless Reciprocating Saw is cordless and compatible with Ryobi 18-volt batteries. This lightweight, 5.6-pound tool has an efficient brushless motor that can run up to 2,900 spm with a variable speed trigger. When you purchase the Ryobi P517, you also are getting an anti-vibration handle, tool-less blade replacement, and a great pivoting shoe for any surface. This reciprocating saw is ideal for chomping through the wood, but, of course, you can fit it with the right blade and devour other materials as well.

Best Compact: Milwaukee M12 12-Volt Hackzall Reciprocating Saw

 M12 12-Volt Lithium-Ion HACKZALL Cordless Reciprocating Saw

Courtesy of Home Depot

Sometimes big jobs require small saws. The Milwaukee Hackzall Cordless Reciprocating Saw is the little brother of the better-known Sawzall and the perfect option for effective cutting in small spaces. This compact tool uses a 12-volt battery to power the 3,000-strokes-per-minute motor to slice through PVC, drywall, wood, and more.

The Hackzall has a small stroke length at 0.5 inch, but it has plenty of features like Quik-Lok tool-less blade changing, an LED light, and a battery fuel gauge. This tool can use any M12 battery and uses either Hackzall or Sawzall blades. At only 11 inches in length and 2.6 pounds, this compact tool is easy to store in any work bag, toolbox, or truck cab.

Best Set: DEWALT DCS387P1 Saw Kit

DEWALT DCS387P1 Saw Kit

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Many of the best reciprocating saws for remodeling your house are sold in pieces. When you buy the saw, you’re only buying the tool—battery, charger, and blades sold separately. However, the Dewalt DCS387P1 20V MAX Cordless Compact Reciprocating Saw Kit is a powerful option that includes a great reciprocating saw, as well as a battery, charger, and carrying bag.

This set includes the Dewalt 5-amp battery that is the longest-lasting in the series and compatible with other Dewalt tools. The 20-volt tool will slice through wood, metal, or anything else with its reliable motor. Like many reciprocating saws, this Dewalt option includes a tool-less blade replacement, trigger switch, variable speeds, and an LED light.

What to Look for When Buying a Reciprocating Saw

Cord or Cordless

Reciprocating saws come in corded and cordless versions. Cordless versions don’t have power cords to trip over or require access to electrical outlets. But they are generally heavier and more expensive than their corded counterparts and require batteries to keep them running. Corded versions are cheaper, lighter, and will keep running as long as they are plugged in.

Size

Reciprocating saws come in various sizes, from one-handed and compact models to large, heavy-duty versions. Smaller versions are easier to use and work best on softer materials. Larger saws are more cumbersome to handle but are necessary for cutting through more heavy-duty materials. Choose the reciprocating saw that is tailored to the work you need to get done.

Orbital Action

Not all reciprocating saws come with orbital action. Designed for cutting through wood layers, this feature adds an elliptical motion on top of the standard back and forth movement of the reciprocating saw blade. Choose a reciprocating saw with orbital action if you want to cut through wood more quickly. 

FAQ
  • How do you use a reciprocating saw?

    A reciprocating saw is a handheld electric saw with a blade that moves in a backward/forward motion. This common tool makes it easier to cut and rip out wall materials and plumbing and work around windows and doors during demolition work. Make sure you use the correct blade and take all the necessary safety precautions before using this or any power tool. 

  • Are reciprocating saw blades universal?

    Generally speaking, yes. The majority of blades for reciprocating saws are universal. They use a universal shank size that fits most tools. Keep in mind that certain brands work best with corresponding blades, but you can pretty much get the job done using any blade.

  • Can a reciprocating saw cut metal?

    Yes. When working with a reciprocating saw, it’s important to use the correct type of blade depending on what material you are cutting through. A reciprocating saw fitted with a fine-tooth blade is best for cutting through metal.