corded reciprocating saw

Best Corded Reciprocating Saw Reviews and Buying Guide 2019

Best Corded Reciprocating Saw Reviews 2019

With Summer in full effect, a lot of people are eager to get outdoors and work on that project they have been putting off since the cold and rainy months of winter and spring. Of course, sometimes you have to tear down the old before you can put up something new. This is where the best corded sawzall would come in handy. That is why we have put together a list of 5 best corded reciprocating saw reviews as well as a helpful buyer’s guide and FAQ. While the DEWALT and Makita stole the show, there are more effective saws or better values to be found if you keep reading.

DEWALT DWE305 12 Amp Corded Reciprocating Saw – Best Seller

dewalt reciprocating saw dwe305
https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DWE305-Amp-Corded-Reciprocating/dp/B00N5FLVM8
DEWALT is one of the biggest power tool manufacturers on the planet and has maintained that position for the overwhelming majority of its existence. While there was a bit of a bumpy patch shortly after the company was purchased by the Stanley Black & Decker tool conglomerate, it has recently been rebranded as that company’s professional-grade lineup of power tools. This shift led to DEWALT improving its standards and once again ascending to the top of the power tool market as one of the best-selling brands available.

Tear it Down
Because of the specific nature of reciprocating saws, it actually bucks the trend of most other types of power saws. To point, nearly every type of power saw will advertise its power and cutting speed as these features are easier for most people to understand. However, most power saws do not necessarily need to be the most powerful or fastest cutting to accomplish their tasks as well or better than their competitors. This is not the case for reciprocating saws which generally require more power and cutting speed due to their use in demolition and with a wide range of materials. Thankfully, the DEWALT DWE305 is the most powerful reciprocating saw on our list with a 12-amp motor. On top of that, the DEWALT corded reciprocating saw also has the second-fastest cutting speed of 2900 spms.

Ease and Baggage
When considering professional-grade power saws, it is often important to remember that the tool will likely not be made easy for general consumer use. This is not to suggest that it will perform poorly in such a capacity, but there are a number of aspects that may turn the average homeowner off to a professional-grade reciprocating saw. In this instance, the DEWALT reciprocating saw is the heaviest product that we reviewed which will increase user fatigue. It also happens to be one of the more expensive power saws that we reviewed, though it does feature a number of qualities to make using it more effective. For example, the four blade positions may not be the most that we saw, but the inclusion of the flush cut position is definitely one of the more important for professional demolition.

Pros

  • The most powerful reciprocating saw reviewed
  • Has a faster cutting speed
  • Has variable speed control
  • Has a keyless blade change
  • Has four blade positions
  • Is ergonomically designed

Cons

  • A more expensive reciprocating saw
  • The heaviest reciprocating saw reviewed

Makita JR3050T 11 Amp Reciprocating Saw – Top Pick

makita reciprocating saw jr3050t
https://www.amazon.com/Makita-JR3050T-Amp-Reciprocating-Saw/dp/B0009OR91U/
Makita is often considered one of the top-performing professional-grade power tool manufacturers on the market. While this reputation is well-earned, it generally boils down to the fact that Makita’s history positions it to provide more power than most. Specifically, Makita started as an electric motor manufacturer and parlayed that experience into making some of the most powerful professional-grade power tools on the market. While this often comes with some negative qualities as well, the common downsides often associated with Makita power tools are not applicable to their corded reciprocating saws.

Uncommon Qualities
While the Makita JR3050T has plenty of power to accomplish its tasks, it is also one of the few reciprocating saws we encountered to feature a few qualities which make using it significantly better than most of its competition. For instance, this is one of the few reciprocating saws on the market that comes with a built-in dust blower. This is especially important for a reciprocating saw because it is generally used for demolition which is an instance where dust and debris are not only expected but pretty much required. Of course, it does not hurt that the Makita corded reciprocating saw is also the second-most powerful tool on our list with an 11-amp motor and an adequate cutting speed. One thing that is a bit disappointing, and uncommon, is the fact that the Makita reciprocating saw is one of the few that we found which does not use an orbital cutting pattern. While this allows the JR3050T reciprocating saw to make more precise cuts than its competitors, generally you are better served using a different type of power saw for those tasks in the first place.

Great Build
As a professional-grade power tool manufacturer, Makita meets a high standard of expectation, but the Makita reciprocating saw actually goes a step further than many of its competitors. Drawing from the company’s historic specialization with electric motors, this reciprocating power saw uses an all-ball and needle bearing construction. This allows the JR3050T reciprocating saw to achieve higher rates of torque for increased cutting power. On top of that, this type of construction also ensures that the motor’s components are more durable too. However, the Makita reciprocating saw also features a number of ergonomic design qualities to help ensure that the saw is easy to use, like the reduction of overall product weight when compared to many of the other corded reciprocating saws on the market. This will allow you to use the Makita reciprocating for longer periods of time without having to worry about as much user fatigue compared to heavier models with a less stable build design.

Pros

  • A more powerful reciprocating saw
  • A lighter reciprocating saw
  • Has variable speed control
  • Has all-ball and needle bearing construction
  • Is ergonomically designed
  • Has a built-in dust blower

Cons

  • A more expensive reciprocating saw
  • Does not have an orbital cutting action

SKIL 9206-02 7.5-Amp Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw – Best Value

skil reciprocating saw 9206
https://www.amazon.com/9206-02-7-5-Amp-Variable-Speed-Reciprocating/dp/B008J1GNEO/
SKIL is an interesting company in that, like some of the other products on our list, it is actually owned by the Stanley Black & Decker conglomerate, though the evolution of the brand does not follow some of the other products we saw. In this instance, the SKIL brand, which was once considered to be a professional-grade power tool manufacturer, has been repurposed as a top-tier consumer-grade power tool manufacturer. This carries with it some important implications, but arguably the most important aspects regard the overall performance of the reciprocating saw. That said, as a consumer-grade model, the SKIL reciprocating saw does at least provide one of the best values that you can find.

Balanced Control
When considering a consumer-grade reciprocating saw, you will likely want to make sure that the power tool does not overwhelm the user while also providing a great deal of value. The latter aspect of this consideration swings drastically in favor of the SKIL as this is easily the least expensive reciprocating saw on our list. However, the SKIL 9206-02 reciprocating saw also goes a step further by using a heavy-duty gear housing. This will help ensure that none of the dust and debris caused during demolition can get into the gear works and gunk up the components. Even better, the SKIL reciprocating saw is also one of the few on the list that comes with built-in counterbalances to reduce the amount of vibration the SKIL generates while cutting. Considering some of the flaws inherent in any consumer-grade power tool, this is a prescient feature that further cements the SKIL as one of the best values you can find in the reciprocating saw market.

Unfortunate Combos
One thing to consider when purchasing a consumer-grade power tool is the fact that it will not be able to take on the same kind of workload as a professional-grade power tool. Whether the consumer-grade model is simply not able to provide the necessary power or whether it is unable to perform for the expected duration a professional job demands, the consumer-grade market is meant more for the average homeowner. This element shows itself with the SKIL 9206-02 reciprocating saw most notably with its power rating. At only 7.5 amps, the SKIL reciprocating saw is easily the least powerful model that we reviewed. While this is not inherently the worst quality for a demolition power tool, when you consider that this is also the heaviest reciprocating saw on our list, one has to wonder where all of that extra weight is coming from or for what features it goes to.

Pros

  • The least expensive reciprocating saw reviewed
  • Has a heavy-duty gear housing
  • Has counter-balance anti-vibration
  • Has a pivoting foot
  • Has toolless blade change
  • Has variable speed control

Cons

  • The least powerful reciprocating saw reviewed
  • The heaviest reciprocating saw reviewed

Milwaukee 6519-31 12 Amp Corded 3000 Strokes Per Minute Reciprocating Sawzall w/ Variable Speed Trigger – Runner Up

milwaukee reciprocating saw 6519-31
https://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-6519-31-Strokes-Reciprocating-Variable/dp/B003FXD6L4/
Those familiar with the power tool market might be a bit surprised to see the Milwaukee reciprocating saw so far down on our list. This is largely because Milwaukee is another manufacturer known for producing some of the best received professional-grade power tools available. To be fair to Milwaukee, the 6519-31 reciprocating saw is still an incredibly well-performing power tool that will serve its owner effectively. However, when comparing it to some of the other options available, there is a single quality that drives it so far down on our list: value.

Feel the Power
Like some of our other top-performing reciprocating saws reviewed, the Milwaukee 6519-31 reciprocating saw is more than powerful enough for professional jobs. For one, this product is tied for the most powerful reciprocating saw on our list with a 12-amp motor. On top of that, the Milwaukee reciprocating saw also clocks in at the fastest cutting speed we found with 3000 spms. Considering the Milwaukee 6519-31 reciprocating saw provides the top-rated power and speed specs, one might wonder what could drive its value down so much. Unfortunately, the biggest problem with this sawzall is one of the most basic when comparing products: price. The Milwaukee reciprocating saw is by far the most expensive product on our list, and this expense is only further inflated by the exclusion of saw blades which must be purchased separately.

Excellent Build
Of course, if you do not mind spending a good bit more on a demolition power saw, the Milwaukee will reward you in a number of other ways too. For instance, one of the issues with the high price is that it inherently reduces the overall value of the product, but the Milwaukee 6519-31 reciprocating saw seeks to alleviate this a bit by ensuring that its motor gear clutch keeps the components in good working order much longer than most of its competitors. On top of that, this is easily one of the easiest professional-grade reciprocating saws to use for an extended period of time. First, the Milwaukee sawzall is one of the lighter products we reviewed which is a bit surprising considering how powerful it is. Even better, this corded reciprocating saw also features internal counterweights to help reduce vibration and further extend your use before suffering fatigue. Finally, while a number of reciprocating saws make it a point for their blades to be easily changed, few products accomplish this as effectively as Milwaulkee’s QUIK-LOCK feature.

Pros

  • The most powerful reciprocating saw reviewed
  • Has the fastest cutting speed reviewed
  • A lighter reciprocating saw
  • Has vibration reduction counterweights
  • Has a QUIK-LOCK blade change
  • Has a motor gear clutch

Cons

  • The most expensive reciprocating saw reviewed
  • Does not come with blades

WEN 3630 10-Amp 8-Position Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw – Also Consider

wen reciprocating saws 3630
https://www.amazon.com/WEN-3630-8-Position-Variable-Reciprocating/dp/B072FR2BXM/
WEN is definitely a bit of an unusual company in a couple of ways. For one, the brand has actually been around since the early 1950s which provides a wealth of experience. However, for a company with such an extensive history, it is a bit surprising that they do not have as much name recognition. Part of this may be due to the fact that the company was purchased by Great Lakes Tool Manufacturing, Inc. in 1995. That said, WEN does not seem to have suffered the same drop off that a number of other subsidiary brands do following purchase. Of course, part of this might be the fact that WEN was and still is a consumer-grade power tool manufacturer.

Absolute Control
Since it is a consumer-grade brand, the WEN corded reciprocating saw is not really expected to handle heavy-duty demolition jobs. Instead, your average homeowner likely has a few smaller tasks to do around the house and are more interested in how easy it is to use the product. Thankfully, the WEN 3630 reciprocating saw offers some of the best control we found and is actually the only corded sawzall on our list that has a completely adjustable head with 360-degree pivoting. As if that were not enough, the adjustable shoe is also one of the few that allows a consumer-grade sawzall to make near flush cuts. When you combine those two features with the keyless blade change and the ergonomic rubber grip handle, it is fairly easy to see why the WEN 3630 sawzall is often considered one of the easiest to control.

Troubling Flaws
While WEN may provide one of the easiest and most pleasant use experiences in the reciprocating saw market, it is still not without its flaws. One of the more noticeable issues comes from its somewhat lack of power which sits at the second-lowest on our list at 10-amps. That said, this is not significantly less powerful than most of the top-performing sawzalls that we found and will not unduly slow you down. On the other hand, the fact that the WEN also has the shortest cutting stroke may potentially present more problems that are a bit more difficult to overcome. The slightly lower power can be accounted for by cutting slower, but the shorter cut stroke will compound this by inherently cutting slower still. As such, you may feel like it takes twice as long to cut something with the WEN compared to some of the better-performing professional-grade reciprocating saws on our list.

Pros

  • A less expensive reciprocating saw
  • Has a 360-degree pivoting head
  • Has a rubber-gripped handle
  • Has an adjustable shoe
  • Has a toolless blade change
  • Is easier to control

Cons

  • A less powerful reciprocating saw
  • Has the shortest stroke reviewed

Best Corded Reciprocating Saw Buying Guide 2019

Power
It cannot be underscored enough how important the cutting power of a high-quality reciprocating saw is. Since the reciprocating saw is primarily meant for demolition, the odds of running into difficult materials is exceptionally high. On top of that, you also have to consider the fact that demolition projects also often require you to cut a wider range of materials than most other projects which will generally use one or two materials which need to be cut. That said, most sawzalls will provide enough cutting power for their given market which makes understanding that market a key point when selecting your reciprocating saw.

For instance, we have used the terms “professional-grade” and “consumer-grade” quite often when discussing the different products on our list, but what does that actually mean in regards to a sawzall’s cutting power? A quick glance at our reviewed products will show a reasonably wide range of power ratings which are rated in amps. However, exactly how much benefit do you gain when using a 12-amp reciprocating saw compared to a 7.5-amp model? The good news is that demolition generally does not require the same level of precision as construction. As such, using a lower powered model will not often restrict your ability to carry out the necessary task. Instead, the amperage and associated cutting power will often determine how quickly you can cut through something which is a vital factor for professionals and merely a convenient factor for the average consumer who is not paid by the hour nor have to worry about a boss telling them to hurry.

Cutting Speed
Despite the name, cutting speed actually refers to how fast the reciprocating saw blade moves rather than an actual rating of how fast it cuts. The actual cutting speed in functional terms will include things like the cutting power and the cutting torque generated. That said, the speed of the blade will still play a vital role in the effectiveness of a reciprocating saw, especially for a professional contractor. This is because the cutting speed will be directly tied to the saw’s ability to cut through different types of materials.

While a reciprocating saw can cut through wood without issue, demolition will often require you to cut through other materials as well. These materials can range from soft stone to even softer plastic to, counterintuitively, soft metals. As such, the ability to change the cutting speed of the saw blade to best match the materials that you are trying to cut will be a necessity for almost any professional job site. For the average homeowner, this quality is likely not as relevant unless you intend to cut metal pipes or tubing for renovation or repair.

Ergonomics
Ergonomics is generally seen as a secondary or tertiary concern for power tools, though some are more reliant on these features than others. That said, it is important to remember that professionals will generally worry about the ergonomics of their tools a bit less than consumers who are not used to the rigors of professional construction. Of course, this does not mean that professionals do not care about the ergonomics at all as even high-end reciprocating saws almost invariably include rubber grip handles at the very least.

That said, there are a number of other ergonomic qualities which can help professionals during long days. For instance, getting a sawzall that is lightweight without sacrificing cutting power can be worth that lightweight frame in gold. This is especially true for crews that specialize in demolition and will be using the reciprocating saw for an entire workday for days on end. To this same end, internal counterweights that reduce the amount of vibration generated by the saw will also go a long way towards reducing the fatigue of use.

FAQ’s

What to use a reciprocating saw for

Though it may not necessarily look like it from first glance, a reciprocating saw is not actually used for constructive purposes. While most types of saws are designed to cut workpieces that will eventually be used for building something up, the engineering of a reciprocating saw actually functions to serve the opposite purpose. Instead of using a reciprocating saw to cut workpieces, this tool is instead designed for demolition and deconstruction.

Keep in mind, the idea of demolition can extend a bit further than you might initially consider. For instance, an incredibly common use for reciprocating saws is in cutting down small trees and bushes or trimming smaller limbs. Sawzalls are especially effective for this purpose because they are often much easier to use than even small chainsaws. This ease shows itself in the general size and torque generated when compared to a chainsaw, can often be extended to weight, ergonomics, and other factors as well.

It is worth noting that you can use a reciprocating saw for constructive purposes as well, but this type of power saw is not actually designed for precision. Of course, there are always exceptions to general rules, and a reciprocating saw that either uses or makes available a pendulum cutting action as opposed to an orbital cutting action will often be more precise. Another element that allows sawzalls to be used for construction is the ability to make flush cuts, though this is not a universal feature within the product market. Finally, reciprocating saws can serve as extremely versatile power tools for making initial or rough cuts which will later be refined with more precise tools.

What are the most important reciprocating saw features?

While every power saw needs to provide solid cutting power, the generally destructive nature of sawzalls actually place this quality at a priority. With many other types of power saws, once you reach a cutting power threshold, more power simply makes cutting quicker and can help extend the lifespan of the product. However, a reciprocating saw needs to cut through a wide variety of materials and be able to switch materials without missing a beat, most notably when cutting wood with fasteners embedded.

Of course, even if a sawzall has the power to cut through a variety of materials, it also needs to be able to adjust its cutting speed as well. This is because different materials are best cut at different speeds, with metals and plastics best cut at slower speeds than hardwoods. This is a big part of why most sawzalls have a variable speed control function, whether by the trigger’s pressure sensitivity or a dial. While other qualities may improve the overall value of the product or make it easier to use, the cutting speed, its variability, and the cutting power are the most important features to consider.

Why choose a corded over a cordless model?

Since our list explicitly focuses on corded reciprocating saws, it is a good idea to know why and when you would prefer a corded model over the cordless. To be clear, the maneuverability of cordless power tools often make them an attractive alternative to corded models, but this is generally due to convenience for consumers of logistics for professionals. Were the environment to be equal, there are not many reasons to prefer a cordless model over a corded model–especially for sawzalls which require significantly more torque than the average power saw to accomplish its task.

In terms of the benefits of a corded reciprocating saw model, the tool is generally able to generate more cutting power than a comparable cordless model. Aside from the cutting power, the corded sawzall’s power source pretty much guarantees that you do not have to worry about the tool powering down like it may when running off of a limited battery pack. The battery pack itself presents the issue of increasing the overall cost of the power tool which then lowers the overall value. Of course, if you have a job where no outlet exists and extension cables are insufficient, you will likely need a cordless model anyway.

Conclusion

As we can see, even though sawzalls are generally used for breaking things down rather than building them up, there is not a single product that is going to be the best for everyone’s needs. If you only have some light demolition work around the house or occasionally need to trim some branches, you can get by with a less powerful, and less expensive, reciprocating saw than a professional contractor renovating a hardwood house.

For the professional, we think the Makita offers the best of all worlds with great cutting power that is only complemented by an excellent build quality. This allows it to provide a better all-around value than the other professional-grade reciprocating saws we reviewed while staying within the same price range–though the best-performing model is the Milwaukee.

For the DIYer, the SKIL sawzall is easily the least expensive product on our list, but it is also the heaviest and least powerful. Of course, if you only need the reciprocating saw for light work, the SKIL is more than sufficient for most homeowner tasks. On the other hand, if you need something with a bit more power but still do not want to splurge for a professional-grade model, the WEN offers a solid range of features that make it easy to control without giving up too much in the power department.