A reciprocating saw has million-and-one use in a wide range of applications. From construction to demolition, a recip saw can be the go-to tool for making rough cuts, flush cuts, and even plunge cuts into all sorts of materials.
One reciprocating saw model that has constantly received praise from customers and industry experts is the BDCR20B from BLACK+DECKER. This tool was released in 2014, but it remains one of the most sought-after reciprocating saws by people just getting into the DIY game. The performance and vibration-control of the BDCR20B are unparalleled by any reciprocating saw at its price range. Keep reading if you’d like to know what makes this tool a great investment.
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Upon purchasing the BDCR20B kit, you get the reciprocating saw, and a single-edge saw blade. You need to purchase the battery and battery charger separately. If you get this tool and do not have any B+D batteries and chargers at home, make sure that you purchase the right B+D 20V Li-Ion battery and a compatible charger.
The first thing we noticed about the BDCR20B is its offset motor. This design truly helps in keeping vibrations at a minimum compared to inline, straight reciprocating saw designs. It’s also a lot easier to handle when using a single hand.
Though not unique, the BDCR20B is a cordless reciprocating saw. Although the battery increases the weight of the tool ever-so-slightly, you get maximum portability and control in whatever environment you’re working in. The BDCR20B uses a 20V Li-Ion battery that lets you work up to 30% longer than comparable reciprocating saws. A single charge can last anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes depending on the speed setting.
The motor delivers up to 3,000 strokes per minute (SPM) which is quicker than the average reciprocating saw. This tool comes with a touch-sensitive trigger, so you have control over how quickly the blade moves back and forth.
Along with the speed of the blade, the length of each stroke plays a role in how quickly a reciprocating saw can cut through your material. The BDCR20B’s blade travels 7/8 of an inch. For a reciprocating saw, this is quite short compared to other entry-level models that have 1- or 1-1/8-inch stroke lengths.
It’s unfortunate that the blade travels less than an inch, but there’s a silver lining. The short travel distance means you have greater control when doing delicate cutting jobs. So making flush cuts for windows, doors, and floorboards are manageable with this tool.
Tool-less Blade Change
If you want to swap blades, all you need to do is pull the lock lever on the left-hand side of the tool near the nozzle. After putting in the new blade, just let go of the lever and you’re all set. Most reciprocating saws have this feature, so it’s not anything new, but it’s still nice to have.
A reciprocating saw’s shoe is the metal piece found at the nozzle-end of the tool. The shoe holds your work material in place as the blade saws back and forth aggressively. Without the shoe, you’d more than likely tear through the material at a weird angle, ruining the piece beyond hope of saving. The BDCR20B’s shoe can pivot up and down to grab a better hold of the piece as you work.
The weight of the tool has a lot to do with how maneuverable it is. After all, you don’t want to be carrying around a 10-pound tool when doing overhead sawing or while maintain your balance on a ladder. The BDCR20B weighs only 4 pounds without the battery in place. With the battery, it weighs just under 4-1/2 pounds which is quite lightweight and shouldn’t cause fatigue when working with one or both hands.
What’s great about this recip saw is that the offset-motor design really keeps the length of the tool to a minimum. The shortness of the tool comes in handy when maneuvering the tool between pipes when remodeling kitchens and bathrooms, as well as cutting the right branches in landscaping projects.
From what we’ve learned about the BDCR20B from B+D, we can conclude that finding a better reciprocating saw at this price category is going to be a challenge. This is one of the best entry-level reciprocating saws we’ve ever had the fortune of reviewing.
First of all, it’s a cordless model that makes landscaping, woodworking, and plumbing jobs much easier and quicker to complete despite the short 7/8-inch stroke.