If you’re a serious DIYer, your holy grail is probably remodeling a room or your home. But, as anyone who has ever watched a renovation show knows, doing a renovation or remodel can be an immense challenge. It’s important to plan and try to anticipate any surprises — and of course, you have to make sure you have the right tools.
One tool that you may not use very often in your workshop but will have right by your side when doing a remodel is a reciprocating saw. A reciprocating saw is often called a Sawzall, which is the brand name of the tool produced by Milwaukee. The reciprocating name refers to the push-and-pull motion that a reciprocating saw utilizes. A reciprocating saw has a blade that moves back and forth quickly. These blades are interchangeable, giving you the ability to cut through just about anything. Reciprocating saws are nimble enough to be used to cut metal pipes in a plumbing or HVAC system. Or, you can cut through walls to fit a window.
The reason a reciprocating saw is unlikely to be a tool you regularly use in your workshop is that they lack the precision of other kinds of saws. You can create straight cuts, but it would be difficult to move this kind of saw in a delicate way. That’s why they’re primarily seen as demolition saws. However, their practicality extends beyond cutting through walls and pipes. They’re a great tool to use for yard work, for example, when you might need to prune branches.
If you’re tackling a renovation or remodel (or you need something to inspire you to take on a project) then we’ve rounded up some of the best reciprocating saws. They’re great options for yard work or professional contractors, too.
1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Reciprocating Saw
DeWalt makes tools that are trusted by the pros but are easy enough to use and reasonably priced for DIYers. This saw is cordless, making it a great option for doing yard work, where an outlet may otherwise be out of reach. It has 20V maximum power and a variable speed trigger for more precise cuts. One of the best features is the clamp, which can hold a blade in four different positions, rather than just up and down like many saws. This features makes it more adept at reaching tighter spots.
Pros: Four-position clamp makes it easier to reach tight spots. Cordless. Pivoting shoe. Includes an LED work light.
Cons: Tool only, battery and charger are not included.
2. Milwaukee SAWZALL Reciprocating
Like Kleenex or Band-aid, Sawzall has become shorthand among some DIYers for any reciprocating saw. Milwaukee revolutionized power tools with the Sawzall reciprocating saw in 1951, and they remain a go-to for many. This model is cordless, has a built-in LED, and cuts at a ferocious 3,000 SPM. The motor is brushless. Brushless motors have fewer moving parts, meaning there’s less friction, which translates to more sawing time.
Pros: Brushless motor. Battery-powered for greater reach. Built-in work light.
Cons: Expensive. Tool-only, the battery is separate. The blade release mechanism is made out of plastic and can get worn down.
3. BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw
If you’re looking for an affordable tool that still delivers, consider Black + Decker’s cordless reciprocating saw. Like many of the other options on this list, it consists of only the tool, so the battery pack would need to be purchased separately. That said, the tool is so affordable that it’s still a great value. The pivoting shoe allows for more precise and convenient control, and it delivers a maximum 20V of power.
Pros: Affordable. Features a variable speed trigger. Tool-free blade change.
Cons: Battery not included. It can vibrate quite a bit when in use.
4. WORX 20V 2-in-1 Reciprocating Saw and Jigsaw
If you’ve got a small garage (or you just like a good value) then you probably prioritize tools that can do multiple things. This reciprocating saw from WORX doubles as a jigsaw. You can set it to reciprocating or orbital for different kinds of jobs, and the pivoting head allows you to angle it horizontally or vertically. Plus, unlike many of the other options, this pick includes the battery and charger pack.
Pros: Doubles as a jigsaw, can be set to reciprocating or orbital motion. Battery and charger pack included. Built-in dust blower clears the working area while sawing.
Cons: Battery life could be better. Not as heavy-duty as top brand saws.