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Reciprocating Saw Saws

DEWALT DCS387B vs DCS367B vs DC385B vs DCS380B

Reciprocating saws are one of the most versatile tools you could own. It can be used for construction, renovation, demolition, and even landscaping. With a wide assortment of attachments available, you can turn this cutting tool into a sander or scraper.

DEWALT Bare Tool DC385B

In this article, we’re going to compare four reciprocating saws produced by one of the most popular manufacturers – the DEWALT DCS387B, DCS367B, DC385B, and DCS380B. At first glance, these models are practically indistinguishable from each other, but what’s packed in their plastic casings differ vastly. So between these four DEWALT reciprocating saws, which of them reigns supremeLet’s find out together.



Cordless

DCS387B, DCS367B, DC385B, and DCS380B
There’s been debate on whether uninterrupted power from corded-electric tools are better than the maximum portability you get from cordless. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on which side of the debate you’re on), all of these reciprocating saws are cordless, so there’s no dilemma in choosing corded vs. cordless.

Motor

DCS387B, DC385B, and DCS380B
The two types of motors available in reciprocating saws are brushed and brushless. These three come with brushed motors which, generally speaking, are the less efficient type of motor. They will require periodic brush changes, but it depends on how often you use the tool.

DEWALT Bare Tool DC385B Reciprocating Saw Review

DCS367B
The DCS367B comes with a brushless motor which doesn’t heat as quickly as brushed. It also gets rid of heat much quicker than brushed motors which can help increase the tool’s lifespan. It’s a bit more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the investment if you use reciprocating saws on a daily basis.

Conclusion: We prefer brushless to brushed motors, but it really comes down to how often you use the tool. If you take the reciprocating saw out once or twice a month, then a brushed motor reciprocating saw will be fine since the need to replace brushes will be few and far between. However, if you use a reciprocating saw every day, then a brushless model would be the better option.

Battery Power

DCS387B, DCS367B, and DCS380B
The type of battery that a cordless tool uses can be used to determine how much power it contains. Bigger batteries usually keep tools running for longer, but runtime really depends on a number of different factors. These three reciprocating saw models use 20V batteries.

DC385B
This is the only tool of the four that uses an 18V battery. This is about the average size battery that you may find in most cordless reciprocating saws.

DEWALT DCS367B Review

Conclusion: Do not mistake voltage for power. The only difference between the two batteries is that 20V can hold a bigger charge than an 18V. Basically, the 20V batteries that the DCF387B, DCS367B, and DVS3808B use have a larger power capacity than that the DC385B’s 18V. Efficiency is another story.

Speed

DCS387B and DCS367B
The speed of the reciprocating saw’s blade is measured in SPM or strokes per minute. This indicates how many times the blade moves forward and backward every minute. Both of these models can reach a maximum speed of 2,900 SPM.

DC385B and DCS380B
These models have a maximum speed of 3,000 SPM. The 100-SPM difference between these two and the previous models is insignificant.

Conclusion: Even though 100 SPM isn’t that large of a difference, we still prefer the 3,000-SPM DC385B and DCS380B simply because they’re faster. The good thing is that all four of these models have variable speed triggers, so you have full control over how quickly to cut through materials.

DEWALT DCS380B

Stroke Length

DCS387B, DCS367B, DC385B, and DCS380B
Cutting efficiency doesn’t just rely on the speed of the blade but also how far the blade travels. This is called the saw’s stroke length – the longer the length and the higher the SPM count, the more efficient the tool is. All four of these DEWALT reciprocating saws have a stroke length of 1-1/8 inches.

Conclusion: So when we look at both the SPM and length of the stroke, we find that the DC385B and DCS380B are both more efficient at cutting the same stock at the same thickness than the DCS387B and DCS367B. It’s not a tremendous difference in time, but professional handymen would appreciate anything that can shave a few seconds off of repetitive work.

Design

DCS387B and DCS367B
One thing that we really love about these two reciprocating saws is their offset motor design. The motor is in a compartment that’s angled downwards and out of the way. It reduces vibrations and is comfortable to hold using two hands.

DEWALT DCS380B Reciprocating Saw

DC385B and DCS380B
The DeWalt DC385B and DCS380B both have an inline motor. The motor and handle are pieced together in a straight line that extends all the way to the nose. This design is great for one-handed operation.

Conclusion: Choosing one design over the other is based on your personal preference. The offset-motor design is naturally more vibration-resistant than the inline-motor style, but it doesn’t work as well in cramped areas.

Additional Features

DCS387B, DCS367B, DC385B, and DCS380B
The great thing about all four of these reciprocating saw models is that they come with a wide range of additional features that make them easy to use.

The first thing is the adjustable shoe. You’ll need a pivoting shoe in order to hold down your workpieces as you saw aggressively through the material.

The next feature is bright LED lights which illuminate your work area. The light is located near the nose-end of the tool and shines a bright beam to increase visibility in dark spaces.

Third is the 4-position blade clamp. One of the positions allows users to make flush cuts by holding the blade directly against an adjacent surface.

Finally, all four of the reciprocating saws come with tool-less blade changing systems for easy swapping of blades and other attachments.

DEWALT DCS387B Reciprocating Saw

Verdict

So of the four models, which of them is the bestUltimately, it comes down to one crucial consideration: how often you use the tool.

If you need a reciprocating saw for regular use in your line of work, then we recommend getting the DeWalt DCS367B. Its brushless motor is the magic sauce that makes it able to withstand extended periods of use. The offset-motor design is also something that’s worth mentioning since it not only makes it more comfortable to grip with both hands but also significantly reduces vibrations.

If you need a reciprocating saw for landscaping or other once-in-a-while jobs, then we’d recommend picking up the DeWalt DCS380B. The thing that sets this tool apart from the other two brushed models is its work efficiency (SPM and stroke length). However, this is more of a technical advantage than a practical one since a 100-SPM disparity (3,000 SPM compared to the 2,900-SPM DCS387B and DCS367B) in speed doesn’t mean much in the grand scheme of things.




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Reciprocating Saw Saws

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B Reciprocating Saw Review

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.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B 20V Max Lithium Bare Reciprocating Saw Review

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.



Bare-Tool Kit

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.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B Reciprocating Saw Review

Design

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.

Cordless

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.

Variable Speed

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.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B Reciprocating Saw

Stroke Length

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.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B

Adjustable Shoe

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.

Tool Weight

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.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B Review

Compact Size

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.

Verdict

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.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B 20V Max Lithium Bare Reciprocating Saw Review




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Reciprocating Saw Saws

DEWALT vs. BLACK+DECKER Reciprocating Saws

There are two saws we’re going to be looking at today; The DEWALT DC385B, and the BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B. These are both reciprocating saws.

Both of these saws have their own distinct advantages and merits. We’ll be looking at what these are, exactly.

However, before we can really get into that, let’s define what a reciprocating saw actually is!



The Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a saw that is, more often than not, machine-powered. Now, the actual cutting that the saw does takes place using a specific kind of motion.

This motion is known as a “reciprocating motion”, and it consists of the blade pushing itself and then pulling itself. Most reciprocating saws use some kind of crank to aid in the motion itself.

What Are Reciprocating Saws Good For, Exactly?

Many people use their reciprocating saws to do a variety of things. For example, a reciprocating saw is great for making indentations – angular cuts – on walls and other, very similar, surfaces. This is due to the nature of the reciprocating motion.

Others use it to cut things like PVC pipes. Usually, PVC piping is located in smaller and more narrow spaces, where most saws have some trouble reaching. But, with a reciprocating saw, PVC pipe is easy to cut.

Due to the durability and sheer power of most reciprocating saws, they are also used for cutting tree branches. Specifically, thick tree branches. If you own a good reciprocating saw, you don’t even need an axe to cut down tree branches.

Nails can be cut through with reciprocating saws, as well. Same goes for many other materials, including a variety of metals.

DEWALT DC385B

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that this is a cordless reciprocating saw. Cordless saws may have their own disadvantages – such as needing to have their battery recharged on a regular basis – but at the end of the day, they are truly convenient.

Along with that, the DEWALT DC385B weighs just under 5 pounds, giving you a great deal of mobility while sawing.

Now, this is an 18-volt saw. It has been designed to cut just about anything, and even though it is small and a bit unassuming, it can do just that.

Using a very powerful motor, the blade can be driven up to 3000 strokes per minute. This means that you can use it for, as mentioned above, any material.

Other saws may be able to deliver more strokes per minute, but you are sacrificing that extra power boost for the mobility and convenience offered. Along with that, the blade that the device comes with is extremely powerful.

As for the blade clamp, it has four positions and allows for flush cutting. It is enhancing the versatility of the device.

Handling the saw is easy since you have rubber handles that are designed to be easy to grip, without your hands slipping.

Ultimately, the biggest problem with this saw is that it doesn’t come with the batteries you need to use it.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B

Just like the DEWALT DC385B, the BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B is a lightweight and versatile reciprocating saw. It only weighs 3,5 pounds. You can easily hold it and move it around, due to the well-designed and ergonomically pleasing handle.

Along with that, changing the blade is an easy process, since you don’t have to use any tools to change the blade.

The battery voltage is 20 volts, at max. But, the nominal voltage is 18 volts, just like the DEWALT DC385B. This is more than enough power for the device.

As for the motor itself, it is efficient. Same goes for the blade. With the motor, you have a maximum of 3000 strokes per minute – same as the DEWALT DC385B. You can use this motor in conjunction with the speed trigger, as well as the electric brake. This gives you some extra versatility and mobility, making the whole sawing process a little more convenient and easy.

Just like the DEWALT DC385B, it can cut through any material.

Now, at the end of the day, the same flaw that was present in the DEWALT DC385B is present in the BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B.

It doesn’t come with any batteries or the charging kit for the batteries. For some people, this isn’t a concern. But for many people, it is, at the very least, a small annoyance.




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Reciprocating Saw Saws

BLACK+DECKER vs Milwaukee Reciprocating Saws

A reciprocating saw, also referred to as a recip saw for short, can be a handy tool for a wide range of different projects. Plumbers, electricians, woodworkers, and even demolition men can find a recip saw to be a valuable tool in their arsenal. It doesn’t provide the precision that you’d get from table saws or even band saws, but if you need rough cuts done in tight spaces and in a jiffy, then a reciprocating saw should be your go-to tool.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B vs Milwaukee M12 2420-20

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B

Today, we’re going to compare two reciprocating saw models from two popular power tools manufacturers – the BDCR20B from BLACK+DECKER and the M12 2420-20 from Milwaukee. Like any tool coming from these two companies, both of these reciprocating saws have received numerous positive reviews. So if you had to choose one over the other, which would it beLet’s find out.



Power and Speed

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B
The first thing to consider when shopping for a reciprocating saw is how powerful the motor is. Both of these models are cordless, battery-operated tools. The B+D uses a large 20V battery that moves the blade at a speed of up to 3,000 SPM (strokes per minute). Plastic pipe, tree branches, and even thick boards are no match for the awesome power of the BDCR20B. This unit has a variable speed trigger to deliver less speed when necessary.

Milwaukee M12 2420-20
The Milwaukee uses a 12V battery, but despite being weaker than the B+D, it also generates up to 3,000 SPM. The lower voltage of the battery simply means it provides fewer runtime minutes (more on this later). As the B+D saw, this also comes with a touch-sensitive trigger than increases and decreases in speed depending on how far you pull the trigger.

Conclusion: When looking at how each of these tools performs, we can say that there aren’t any significant differences. They produce the same amount of speed – up to 3,000 SPM – and cutting power. We found that any board the B+D can cut, the Milwaukee can cut as well, and vice versa.

Milwaukee M12 2420-20 Reciprocating Saw

Milwaukee M12 2420-20

Stroke Length

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B
Strong length has a lot to do with how quickly the recip saw can cut through your workpiece so even though both of these tools have the ability to cut boards of the same thickness, they complete the cut at different times. The B+D has a stroke length of 7/8 of an inch.

Milwaukee M12 2420-20
The Milwaukee has a stroke length of only ½ of an inch. It may not seem like much of a difference, and in truth it won’t matter as much since it can still cut through branches, plastic pipes and wood boards. It only becomes an issue if time is a factor.

Conclusion: So if you’re looking for a recip saw that can cut quicker, then between these two, the B+D is the more efficient tool. After running a few tests, the time difference between cutting through the same-sized boards is measured only in seconds, but over the long run and when working with numerous boards, the time can add up.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B Reciprocating Saw

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B

Tool Weight

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B
The weight of the tool has more to do with comfort than performance, but one could argue that a lighter tool is easier to use. The B+D, fully assembled, without its 20V battery, weighs roughly 3-1/2 pounds. This is lightweight enough to operate using a single hand.

Milwaukee M12 2420-20
The Milwaukee is even lighter than the B+D. Without its battery, the bare tool weighs roughly 2-1/2 pounds. Like the other tool, this one can also be held in one hand to make rough cuts through plastic and wood.

Conclusion: So between these two lightweight models, which is the better optionThe good thing about this tool is that unlike other saws, weight doesn’t play much of a factor in maintaining stability or fighting against vibrations. This means the lighter the tool, the easier it’ll be to maneuver in tight spots. Therefore, the Milwaukee would technically be the better option, but honestly, how much more fatigued will you be when using the “heavier” B+D?

Milwaukee M12 2420-20

Milwaukee M12 2420-20

Runtime

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B
When it comes to using cordless tools, the more frustrating thing can be getting into the groove of things only the find that the low battery indicator is telling you to halt your work. After a few test runs, we found that the B+D has a maximum runtime of about 40 minutes per charge. For an energy-consuming recip saw, this is actually pretty impressive. The number of boards and pipes you can cut per charge depends on the thickness of the material.

Milwaukee M12 2420-20
The Milwaukee’s 12V battery provides 30 minutes of use at most. We can see a huge difference in downtime since apart from providing fewer minutes of usage per full charge, you also need to wait for the battery to charge up before using it again. Fortunately, the Milwaukee has a quick charger that’ll fill a 12V battery to maximum capacity in less than 30 minutes.

Conclusion: When looking at both runtime and downtime, we find that the Milwaukee is the more efficient tool. Sure, it gives you 10 minutes less of usage compared to the B+D, but its quick charger means you can get right back to work in hardly any time at all. If you want to get the most use out of these tools, we recommend investing in more than one battery. However, one thing to note is that these are bare-tool kits, meaning you have to purchase batteries separately or take them out of any B+D or Milwaukee tools you already own.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B

Verdict

So when looking at the BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B and the Milwaukee M12 2420-20, which of the two would be the better overall recip saw to ownSince they both perform identically in terms of what they can cut, and they’re also extremely lightweight (3-1/2 pounds and 2-1/2 pounds respectively), the only thing to consider is how time-efficient each of these tools is.

In our humble opinion, we would say that the Milwaukee M12 2420-20 is the better overall recip saw, but not by a wide margin. The main thing that the Milwaukee has going for it is the quick charger which compensates for the ten fewer minutes each charge provides. Despite having a shorter stroke, the tool can cut more pieces of wood and plastic over the long run.

Milwaukee M12 2420-20 vs BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B

Milwaukee M12 2420-20




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Reciprocating Saw Saws

Best Reciprocating Saw under $100: Buying Guide

Reciprocating saws, a.k.a. recip saws or sawzalls aren’t the most accurate type of power saw in the world, which is what makes it perfect for demolition, renovation, landscaping, and prepping lumber. What it lacks in precision and finesse, it makes up for in portability, maneuverability, and power.

Best Reciprocating Saw under $100

Reciprocating Saw under $100 Buying Guide

Getting your hands on a versatile tool doesn’t require you to talk to the bank and set up a payment plan. Some reciprocating saws sell for less than a C-note, albeit with slightly worse specs than their costlier counterparts. However, budget-friendly doesn’t mean cheap, poor-quality tools in this sense. You can get most demolition, renovation, and landscaping projects are done with a budget-friendly sawzall. All you need is a little bit of knowledge of what constitutes a high-quality, budget-friendly reciprocating saw. This guide will tell you all about it.



Corded vs. Cordless

Budget-friendly reciprocating saws can come as either a corded or cordless model. We can get into the whole “uninterrupted power” vs. “maximum portability” spiel, but it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Just note that corded models typically pack beefier motors that produce better cutting abilities, and cordless models can be powered by batteries of between 9 and 20 volts. Each charge can provide roughly 30 minutes of work at maximum speed (more on speed later).

What is The Best Reciprocating Saw Under 100 Bucks?

Mini-Reciprocating Saw

If you need something that’s super inexpensive, can fit into cramped spaces, and can easily be operated in a single hand, then consider mini-reciprocating saws. These tools can navigate through pipes and in corners easily. They’re usually cordless for extra convenience. However, if power for thicker schedule pipes or boards is what you need, then forget about these mini saws.

Weight

Perhaps you’re not in the market for a mini-reciprocating saw but instead are looking for a lightweight, full-sized model. Don’t you fret; they have those, too. Reciprocating saws can anywhere from a couple pounds all the way up to 15 pounds or so. Typically, heavier models deliver more power, but they’re also considerably more expensive. The good thing about reciprocating saws is that even the budget ones are lightweight and can be operated using one hand. It’s just the shape of the tool that can get in the way and block your vision.

The Best Reciprocating Saws

Strokes per Minute

The speed of the blade is measured in SPMs or how many times the blade moves forward and backward every minute. Higher SPM ratings mean chopping through lumber, pipes, and conduits quicker. The good thing is that most models, even budget-friendly ones, can reach up to 3,000 SPM. Many $100-or-less recip saws only reach about 2,500 SPM, so we recommend avoiding these and opting for a faster model.

Stroke Length

Apart from the speed of the blade, another thing to consider is how far the blade travels forward and backward. Longer strokes can cut through any material much quicker, especially when they can reach up to and beyond 3,000 SPM. We’d suggest finding a Sawzall that travels at least 1 inch, but if time isn’t a factor, then a 7/8-inch stroke will suffice.

Best Reciprocating Saw

Blade Changing System

While we’re on the point of time, one thing you may want to consider is how the recip saw changes blades. Most modern reciprocating saws have a tool-less blade changing system which can be done using a single hand if necessary. However, most high-quality budget models require using a key or other apparatus to detach and re-attach blades and other attachments. Once again, if downtime is a big concern, then get a reciprocating saw that requires no keys or tools to swap out blades.

Batteries and/or Blades included?

Many of the budget-friendly reciprocating saws are a tool-only kit, meaning that it doesn’t come with a blade or battery for cordless models. If you’re replacing an old recip saw and have blades and spare batteries lying around then a bare-tool kit would probably be the better option, assuming that the battery is compatible with your new reciprocating saw, however, if you’re a first-time buyer or want to get straight to work after spending $100 or so, the try and find a model that includes at least one sawing blade and a battery pack.

Best Reciprocating Saw under 100

Attachment Compatibility

Reciprocating saws are extremely versatile tools in the sense that not only can it cut wood, plastic, metal, and even concrete, but it can do a wide range of different jobs. For instance, you can use it to sand the wood if you purchase a sanding pad attachment. You can use chipping and scraping tools on a recip saw to get rid of dried cement and paint. You just need to be aware of what sort of attachments are compatible with your saw.

Vibration Control

Sawzalls are not known for being dainty cutting tools. No, they deliver full power and create earthquakes that send shocks up your arms and shoulders. However, more recent models don’t vibrate nearly as much as their ancestors, but it’s still a good idea to be on the lookout for vibration-control features. A rubber grip would be a good place to start, but things like a separation of the body and handle can also help keep vibrations in check.

Reciprocating Saw under 100

Adjustable Shoe

The shoe is the metal piece found on the nose of the saw. It’s used to give stability to the workpiece when hacking and sawing through it, so it doesn’t wobble around. In some projects, you may find that the piece you’re working with is fixed at an angle, and unless you can maneuver the tool, your arm, and your body at an awkward angle, you’ll want an adjustable shoe. You can reposition the angle of the shoe based on the angle of your work piece.

Final Remarks

Reciprocating saws are versatile tools that can cut through practically any material. It doesn’t provide the accuracy of table saws or circular saws, but when tearing down drywall or sawing bushes and hedges, does it matterThere are budget-friendly reciprocating saws available if you don’t feel like spending more than a Benjamin. They’re powerful enough to do a lot of what a more expensive model can do, despite their weaker motors. Our guide provides you with information regarding certain specs and features to consider when shopping for a reciprocating saw under $100.

Reciprocating Saw Guide




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Reciprocating Saw Saws

Reciprocating Saw vs Circular Saw

The number of power saws available today is truly baffling. How in the world are you supposed to determine what type of saw you need when you’re literally bombarded with dozens of different optionsOne of the more commonly asked questions is regarding two types of very different saws – reciprocating saws and circular saws.

Reciprocating Saw vs Circular Saw



What is a Reciprocating Saw?

Reciprocating saws are a kind of machine-operated saw in which the blade moves in a forward-and-backward motion (reciprocating) to cut through materials. It’s one of the most versatile tools you could own since the lightweight design and thin construction allows it to fit in places where most tools couldn’t.

The saw’s design does not allow for much precision since the tool does not come with any fences or guides. On the front-end of the tool is a shoe – a metal piece that juts forward – that rests against the surface of an object you’re cutting. The shoe keeps it in place while the blade pushes and pulls through the piece.

Circular Saw vs Reciprocating Saw

When to use a Reciprocating Saw

When we say that a reciprocating saw is versatile, we MEAN versatile.
First of all, whatever this tool lacks in precision, it makes up for in extreme cutting power. The rapidly reciprocating blade can be used for demolition projects such as tearing through drywall and sawing wooden beams.

The power of the motor also allows the blade to cut through plastic and metal. This is especially handy when remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. Also, reciprocating saws with LED lights will help improve visibility when working in dark, cramped places like under the sink or in bathrooms without running electricity.

Another place where reciprocating saws flourish is outdoors, specifically for landscaping jobs. Although the go-to tool for trimming hedges and bushes is a chainsaw, a reciprocating saw can offer just as much value with very little risk. The blade is shorter and can reach tight spaces such as between branches and twigs.

Reciprocating Saw

There are certain specialized tasks where a reciprocating saw could prove to be the ideal tool to use. When fitting windows, you’ll need a tool that can fit in cramped areas and work in corners. With a reciprocating saw, you can take the tool to the window and make cuts where needed.

What is a Circular Saw?

Circular saws are a handheld electric or gas-powered saw that uses a circular blade to cut materials such as wood, plastic, and metal. Blades are swapped depending on what sort of material you plan on cutting. The blade is offset to the side which may cause some visibility problems for some people. However, the shoe or aluminum guide has a mark which indicates the position of the blade.

This tool, though versatile, is made only for straight cutting. The blade is not flexible, so when it’s inside the material, you cannot swing the tool around to get a curved cut.

Circular Saw

The main benefit that you get from using a circular saw is its compact size and light weight. Circular saws are mainly used in woodworking to produce straight rip cuts and crosscuts on boards that are too large or too heavy for your table saw. The main benefit of circular saws is their lightweight that allows you to take the tool to the material and not the other way around.

When to use a Circular Saw

In many instances, the things that a circular saw can do can easily be done by a miter saw, or table saw. The main difference is that neither of those saws is as portable as a handheld circular saw.

Circular saws are designed to rip cut and crosscut through boards of virtually any size. Before running rough lumber through a jointer or planer, you can cut the board down to size using a circular saw. This is especially handy when dealing with huge boards that won’t be supported on a table saw’s or miter saw’s work surface.

Reciprocating Saws

Another huge benefit of circular saws is being able to make plunge cuts in the middle of your workpiece. This is one of the things that a circular saw can do that table saws and miter saws can’t. However, making plunge cuts requires holding the blade guard back to expose the blade as it enters the piece. This can be dangerous, but with a little common sense and practice, it’s pretty easy to do.

The ability to make compound cuts (angled and beveled cuts) is arguably the best thing that a circular saw can do. By tilting the blade, you can run the saw into the material at any angle to cut on two planes. Sure, you may not need to do it as frequently as you’d like, but it definitely covers the main points of a compound miter saw.

Circular Saws

Reciprocating Saw vs. Circular Saw – Which do I need?

The type of saw you need truly depends on what you’re doing. For instance, if you need a saw of woodworking projects, then a circular saw will provide you with precise cuts for producing beautiful pieces of wood-based art. A reciprocating saw is mainly for prepping rough lumber and not for cutting perfectly straight edges.

The versatility of a reciprocating saw is mainly for home renovation and demolition projects. If you’re redoing your floors, remodeling bathrooms, or want to demolish drywall, a reciprocating saw is the safest saw to use. It can also be a cost-efficient and safe replacement for a chainsaw to trim hedges and cut twigs. The way the tool is designed allows for maximum control through bushes and branches.

Reciprocating Saw

Final Remarks

Not every project will require the use of a circular saw and a reciprocating saw, so if you don’t need to use both regularly, it’s important that you know which of the two tools will help you more. In a nutshell, reciprocating saws can do demolition and construction jobs to a certain extent, whereas circular saws are mainly for constructing wood-based crafts. Take some time to get familiar with each of the tools before making a final purchase decision.

Circular Saw




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Reciprocating Saw Saws

Reciprocating Saw vs Sawzall: What’s the Difference?

If you have a large construction project on your to-do list or just need a multi-purpose tool to use around the home, then consider purchasing a reciprocating saw. This saw is an extremely versatile tool that can handle a number of different tasks, so you don’t need to waste time switching between tools.

Reciprocating Saw vs Sawzall

However, if you’ve looked online, you may have come across the term “Sawzall” and have seen that apart from the name, there’s really no difference between a reciprocating saw and a Sawzall. You may be asking yourself, “What the dilly-o?” In this article, we’ll explain what the dilly-o is. We’ll talk about what each of these tools is and what the different applications where they would come in handy.



What is a Reciprocating Saw?

A reciprocating saw is a handheld saw that uses a reciprocating blade to make straight cuts through wood, plastic, and even metal. Pulling on a trigger activates the motor that’s driven either by electricity – corded or batteries – or compressed air.

Reciprocating saws can come with blades that are between 3 and 12 inches with 6 to 12 TPI (teeth per inch). More teeth produce a cleaner cut which is useful for measured cuts through dense metal, and fewer teeth on the blade produce a more aggressive cut for prepping rough lumber. The shoe at the blade-side end of the blade made of either rubber or plastic rests against your workpiece to prevent it from jumping around and ruining the cut.

What is the best reciprocating saw?

Reciprocating saws aren’t exactly known for their precision and finesse way of slicing through materials. Since there aren’t any fences or attachments to guide the reciprocating blade, the accuracy of the cut depends entirely on your forearms and a keen eye. However, its lack of precision doesn’t make the tool any less valuable. This tool will become helpful in making rough cuts on tough pieces of lumber and plastic for further processing.

What is a Sawzall?

The Sawzall is a reciprocating saw. The term “Sawzall” is a registered trademark of Milwaukee, a popular power tools manufacturer from Wisconsin, for their lie of reciprocating saws. Over time, the term “Sawzall” has been used to mean any reciprocating saw of any manufacturer. Milwaukee also has a line of reciprocating called HACKZALLS. It’s easy to see why Sawzall is used to refer to any reciprocating saw. This type of saw is designed to cut through anything and everything.

How does a Milwaukee SAWZALL Compare?

As we mentioned earlier, a Sawzall is mainly understood to mean reciprocating saw, but when taking a look at Milwaukee’s line of SAWZALLs, there are two unique features worth noting.

First of all, swapping between different blades or attachments is extremely easy thanks to the proprietary QUIK-LOK technology that Milwaukee has implemented in their SAWZALLs. This keyless feature makes attaching and detaching blades quick and easy which significantly reduces downtime.

What does Orbital mean on a Sawzall?

Secondly, many of the models in the SAWZALL line come with REDLINK PLUS technology which prevents the tool from overload. This communication system keeps the battery (cordless models) and tool in sync so the motor won’t burn and the battery won’t experience a premature decline in power capacity.

What can a Reciprocating Saw/Sawzall do?

This is an extremely versatile tool commonly used in a wide range of different professions. Whether you’re a plumber, an electrician, a carpenter, or even an average DIY kind of guy, a reciprocating saw provides a ton of value. In this section, we’ll go over some of the most standard uses of a reciprocating saw/Sawzall.

Cutting PVC and Metal Pipes

Slicing through hard plastic and metal pipes is entirely possible with a reciprocating saw. The best thing about this type of saw is that it’s compact enough to navigate through cramped spaces so installing pipes and electrical wiring is a cinch. We recommend attaching a double-faced blade with a sharp tip to make flush plunge cuts in walls.

Can a Sawzall cut metal?

Trimming Bushes and Branches

If you have a reciprocating saw in your arsenal, you can toss away the hedge shears collecting rust and dust in your shed. Once again, it’s the compact size and small nose that makes this tool so valuable, even to gardeners and landscapers. You can push the nose of a reciprocating saw through dense leaves to access hard-to-reach branches and twigs to give your hedges and bushes a beautiful look.

Attaching Windows and Doors

One of the biggest pains in the world is installing a window frame or doorframe just to find that the window or door doesn’t fit. Instead of taking the whole thing down and giving it a run through your table saw or belt sander, you can take a reciprocating saw with a normal blade and shave the tiniest layers off. The saw’s blade will fit into the tightest corners to give your windows and doors a flush finish.

Destroying Stuff

One of the best and most enjoyable uses of a reciprocating saw is causing destruction. Because the cuts left by this tool aren’t the prettiest, you can use a reciprocating saw to tear down drywall, wooden beams, metal sheets, bricks, and even ceramic or stone tiles, provided you have the right type of blade. Basically, with a reciprocating saw can be used in home renovation projects.

Is a jigsaw the same as a reciprocating saw?

Removing Tiles

We mentioned earlier that a Sawzall can remove tiles, but this is only possible with a scraping blade. This blade uses a push-and-pull motion for tearing through dried glue and lifting ceramic or linoleum tiles. This is a lot easier on the arms and lungs compared to bashing away glued-on tiles with a hammer. It takes a lot of the dust away in common demolition jobs.

Slicing Nails and Pins

There might be times when redoing drywall that you run into a hanging nail. Instead of pulling it out with the claw of a hammer and destroying the wall in the process, use a reciprocating saw to cut it cleanly off and flush with the wall.

Replacing Drywall

Tearing through drywall can be an extremely tedious task if you don’t know whether there is any electrical wiring behind the wall. Unless you have the right tools, you could end up sawing through the wires which would cost you quite a bit to fix. Instead, you can fit a drywall blade into the nose of a reciprocating saw. This blade will tear cleanly through drywall but not the wires residing behind it.

Sawzall vs reciprocating saw

Sanding

If you didn’t already know, what makes a Sawzall so versatile is the different attachments that fit into the nose. There are different blades and attachments for different tasks. With this saw, you can take advantage of the back-and-forth motion to sand away rough edges on newly cut pieces of wood or plastic by using a sanding attachment.

Scraping

If you’ve got residual dried cement or glue on a spot that you need to get rid of, a reciprocating saw can do the trick. With a handy scraping attachment, you can scrape away even the toughest, most caked-on messes in no time at all. Once again, the quick back-and-forth motion of the saw gives it the ability to scrape almost anything off of most surfaces.




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Reciprocating Saw Saws

Best Reciprocating Saw Reviews

Table saws, circular saws, and miter saws are all great tools to have in the workshop. The only problem is that they require a ton of set up; not just for the tool but also for the workpieces. Of course, you need to go through a ton of steps in order to produce clean, accurate cuts. But what if a certain job doesn’t ask for exact cutsWhat if you’re looking to demolish rather than constructWell, there’s a saw that can do those things – the reciprocating saw.

Best Reciprocating Saw Reviews

A reciprocating saw, a.k.a. a recip saw or a Sawzall, is a type of handheld saw with a protruding forward-facing blade. The blade moves in a back and forth motion to cut through any material, including wood, plastic, metal, and even concrete. With the right attachments, you can turn this cutting tool into scraping and sanding tool. Versatility is something that a reciprocating saw is most known for.



Reciprocating Saw Buying Guide

Like with any power tool, before purchasing a reciprocating saw, it’s always a good idea to do a bit of research to ensure that you’re getting the best model for your buck. In this section, we’ll go over the various factors that you need to consider when shopping for a reciprocating saw.

Electric vs Pneumatic Reciprocating Saw
There are both electric and air-powered reciprocating saws available. Both have their own pros and cons which we’ll discuss very briefly.

Which reciprocating saw is best?

Electric Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating saws that are fueled by electricity can fall into two categories – corded-electric and cordless.
Corded-electric reciprocating saws draw power from a power outlet, so you have a source of uninterrupted power. You don’t have to wait for batteries to charge; simply plug the tool into an outlet and let ‘er rip. Of course, portability is an issue since you’re dealing with a power cord. Corded models tie you down to the nearest power outlet, but you can extend your range of motion with a reliable extension cord.

Cordless reciprocating saws solve the problem of portability by bringing the storing electricity within a rechargeable battery. Sawing on top of ladders or outdoors is no problem since you don’t need to worry about cables and cords limiting your movement. Even though cordless reciprocating saws need a battery to function, they hardly weigh a thing so you can navigate freely through cramped spaces or work at awkward angles without struggling.

What is the best battery powered Sawzall?

Pneumatic Reciprocating Saw

Air-powered tools are known for their awesome power, whether it’s a pneumatic impact wrench or impact driver, and a pneumatic reciprocating saw is no different. The power of compressed air produces long strokes for quicker cuts through hard materials. The only downside is that you need to hook it up to an air compressor in order for the tool to work. The good thing is that since compressed air is cold, the tool can’t overheat so you can work all day and night without rest. Another good thing is that pneumatic reciprocating saws can work with the PSI and CFM capacities provided by basic portable air compressors.

Cutting Speed and Variable Speed

The speed of the blade determines how long it’ll take to cut through your workpiece. Many electric reciprocating saws are capped at a speed of 3,000 SPM (strokes per minute), but many pneumatic models can go beyond that. In our opinion, for most cutting and sanding jobs, 3,000 SPM is more than enough without overkill.

However, when cutting through metal, you don’t want to push the tool to go at its maximum speed since it’ll dull the blade quicker. Instead, keep an eye out for a reciprocating saw with a variable speed feature, whether it’s a dial, a button to change gears, or a touch-sensitive trigger. This feature will let you cut through any material safely.

Stroke Length

The reciprocating speed of a blade can only do so much to quicken the cutting speed. In order to make the most out of 3,000 SPM, you need to take a look at the stroke length or the distance at which the blade travels back and forth. In all honesty, many cutting jobs won’t be finished quicker with a 1-1/2-inch stroke compared to a ½-inch stroke, but when working with large-diameter or wide pipes and boards, a longer stroke will help you finish quicker without needing to rotate or move the workpiece as much.

How many amps do I need in a reciprocating saw?

Weight

Since reciprocating saws are handheld tools, you don’t want the tool weighing you down as you work in high places or cramped spaces. The good thing is that most reciprocating saws weigh less than 10 pounds, and there are even cordless models that weigh less than 5 pounds, even with the battery attached. Most reciprocating saws are lightweight, but since “lightweight” is relative, make sure that you feel comfortable holding and operating the tool in one or both hands.

Anti-Vibration

There’s no denying that a recip saw is a rugged tool, but with ruggedness comes vibrations that can send tremors up the arm and shoulders, making using a recip saw an unenjoyable experience. There are ways to reduce how wildly the tool vibrates in your hands such as pressing the shoe – the metal apparatus that juts forward past the nose of the tool – against your material. This’ll also help in preventing the piece from jumping all over the place.

Something to keep an eye out for is a separation of the handle and the tool. This significantly reduces the ferocity of vibrations felt in the hand despite the tool itself producing localized earthquakes. Other things to look for are a rubber grip, an adjustable shoe, and proprietary anti-vibration technology.

Is a reciprocating saw the same as a Sawzall?

Final Remarks

Reciprocating saws are awesome, versatile tools for removing pieces of material quickly, albeit a bit dirtily. You can always go over the newly cut edge with a sheet of sandpaper to smooth out any roughness, or better yet, mount a sanding attachment to the tool’s nose and sand away. Looking for the right recip saw for the job requires understanding the benefits and drawbacks of the various reciprocating saw types (corded, cordless, and pneumatic).

You should also pay attention to the speed of the cut, the length of each stroke, and the weight of the tool. Comfort should be a high priority since reciprocating saws aren’t known for being delicate, quite tools. Anti-vibration features like adjustable shoes and a separated handle will also help in keeping vibrations down to a minimum and increasing the overall precision of the cut.