The reciprocating saw is an important tool for both DIY and professional use, but you need to know the characteristics of the various models available on the market to understand which ones offer the most appropriate performance for your needs.
In the buying guide we will go into further detail on the topic, while in the ranking you will find a fairly detailed analysis of the models that have been the most successful on the market.
The most popular with buyers are above all the Bosch Professional GSA 1100 E , thanks to its excellent value for money, and the Einhell TE-AP 18 Li-Solo , an economical product intended mainly for the amateur user segment.
7 Best Reciprocating Saws for Pruning [2022 Updated]
Below you will find the seven most requested reciprocating saws among all those currently available on the market; The Bosch Professional and Makita, in particular, stand out for their excellent characteristics.
DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw
According to the opinions of numerous satisfied buyers, it seems that the Bosch Professional GSA 1100 E is the best reciprocating saw of all the ones we have reviewed in our ranking.
- The cordless reciprocating saw is compact at only 12.5-inch front to back
- 37% Lighter than the DCS367 Reciprocating Saw (tool only)
Even if from the point of view of performance it is slightly inferior to the Stanley saw that we will examine later, in fact, in terms of value for money the GSA 1100 E is undoubtedly one of the best reciprocating saws of 2021; its performance is suitable to satisfy even professionals, but the low price makes it easily accessible even to DIY enthusiasts and the most experienced and demanding hobbyists.
It has a 1,100 Watt power motor that allows it to easily cut both wood and plastic as well as laminar and profiled metal. The package also includes the case and two blades with universal coupling, one for wood and one for metal.
Convenient: The quality-price ratio is nothing short of excellent, especially considering the type of performance offered by the device; this aspect, in particular, has made it one of the best-selling models online.
Professional: The power and level of performance are of a professional category; the GSA 1100 E, in fact, is able to face even the intensive use and the harsh working conditions of construction sites.
Well equipped: The package includes the convenient hard case, for storage and transport, and two saw blades with universal coupling: an S 2345 X for cutting wood and an S 123 XF for cutting metal.
Blade attachment: This is the only flaw of the Bosch reciprocating saw, because it is somewhat inaccurate and makes assembly and disassembly a little laborious.
Ryobi P519 18V One+ Reciprocating Saw
If you are wondering where to buy a reciprocating saw at low prices, for amateur and home use, then we suggest you take a look at the Einhell TE-AP 18 Li-Solo.
It is in fact the cheapest model examined in our ranking, and is battery-powered and belonging to the series of Power X-Change Einhell power tools, which have the advantage of all sharing the same type of battery. Its distinctive features reside above all in its compact dimensions, which make it extremely easy to handle, and in its versatility of use.
Being an economic model it is recommended exclusively for hobby use, of course, but it is still able to cut both wood and metal simply by replacing the blade. The only flaw, unfortunately, consists in the meager supply of accessories; the package includes only a demonstration blade for cutting wood in fact, the battery and the charger are optional to be purchased separately.
Power X-Change: The common power supply system especially rewards those who already own other Einhell cordless power tools belonging to the same line, who will then be able to use the batteries they already have.
Compact and light: The small size, the weight of just 1.6 kilograms and the ergonomic handle with Softgrip make it extremely handy and increase the comfort of use.
Economic: The price is negligible to say the least, and therefore easily accessible even for those who have a limited spending budget. The performances, however, are limited to the amateur and hobby use area.
Accessories: Those who do not already own Power X-Change batteries will be obliged to buy them separately, along with the charger.
The Makita reciprocating saw is also battery powered and, like the Einhell examined above, it uses a system that allows it to use the same type of cell used by other Makita battery power tools.
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Unlike the Einhell, however, the structural qualities and performance level of the DJR186ZK are on a completely different level; this saw, in fact, is a real mule because it is able to pass from the light use of DIY to the intensive use of the professional field without any problem and without variations in the pace of work.
Makita’s proposal, therefore, is extremely appreciated both for its versatility and for the typical qualities of sturdiness and reliability that have helped to consolidate the fame of this Japanese brand. The only flaw consists in the absolute absence of accessories; the package does not include battery and charger, in fact, and not even a demonstration blade.
Robust and reliable: The quality of Makita power tools is well known to those who own at least one, and the DJR186ZK reciprocating saw is certainly no exception; those who have had the opportunity to use it defined it with words like “mule” and “train”.
Versatile: Its performance adapts without problems to any range of use, from amateur and hobby to intensive and professional; the tool does not pull back in any situation.
Coupling and shoe: The blade coupling system is extremely precise and greatly facilitates assembly and disassembly operations; the shoe is also adjustable to adapt to the cutting needs.
Accessories: The only equipment is the case. Battery, charger and blades must necessarily be purchased separately, further affecting the cost.
WORKSITE Reciprocating Saw
The PSA 700 E is another reciprocating saw produced by the Bosch company; as you can easily guess from the green color of the body, however, this model belongs to the series of Home and Garden power tools intended for amateur and hobby use.
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The PSA 700 E represents a qualitatively better alternative to the Einhell examined previously, and as such it is intended for a user group that, although located in the amateur segment, is much more demanding as regards the quality of the equipment.
This reciprocating saw, in fact, is compact and easy to handle like the Einhell, but offers a higher level of performance both in terms of cutting capacity, which reaches 150 mm in wood and 10 mm in steel respectively, against 100 millimeters in wood and 6 millimeters in steel of the TE-AP 18 Li-Solo. The quality of the materials and the assembly are also clearly superior.
Performance: Despite being a reciprocating saw intended for hobby use, the PSA 700 E offers a respectable level of performance, above the standard average of the other models belonging to the same category.
Bosch quality: Both the manufacturing materials and the assembly are of high quality, and there is nothing new under this given the reputation of the German firm Bosch. The PSA 700 E has the advantage of having a reliability above the standard average.
Easy to handle : Thanks to the compact size and the ergonomic handle, the comfort of use and handling are increased; after all, it is specially designed to be used in the amateur field.
Price: The cost of the power tool is higher than that of the models produced by the competition and this, unfortunately, makes it not very competitive on the market.
DEWALT 20V Max Reciprocating Saw
The Black + Decker reciprocating saw is another economic model that stands out for its good value for money, especially considering that it is intended for purely amateur use. It is part of the Black + Decker Lithium line of power tools, powered by an 18 Volt lithium battery that is interchangeable and can also be used with different power tools, which however belong to the same series.
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Its characteristics do not differ from the standards of the economic range models; the tool is compact and relatively light, therefore easy to handle, and although limited in performance it is functional and able to best satisfy those who do not have intensive or professional use needs.
Even in this case, however, the package is spartan and without battery and charger, which must therefore be purchased separately; the only accessory supplied is a 15 cm long demonstration blade, intended for cutting wood.
Compact and light: The weight is just 1.7 kilograms; adding the compact size and the ergonomic handle you get a light and very handy tool.
Versatile: By changing the type of blades it is possible to use the Black + Decker universal saw to cut different types of material, from wood to metal; but always from the point of view of amateur use.
Gardening: People who bought it found it especially suitable for gardening; in fact it is ideal for pruning branches that are not too thick and for cutting logs to use as firewood.
Accessories: Also in this case the package does not include the battery and the charger, so those without them will have to buy them separately, increasing the overall cost.
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw
Don’t be fooled by the fact that the Stanley FatMax reciprocating saw is only in sixth position, because it is a professional model that has nothing to envy to the other models of similar category with which we have subjected it to comparison.
- Variable speed trigger for increased control
- Pivoting shoe for increased control
The FMC675D2-QW is powered by an 18 Volt lithium battery and is specially designed for installation, cutting and demolition of wood and metal, therefore it is solid, resistant and has adequate power to meet the needs of professional use , even at an intensive level.
Unlike the models produced by competing companies, moreover, the Stanley Fatmax offers the further advantage of having a set of accessories that includes the case, two 2.0 Ah lithium batteries, the battery charger and a universal blade. The only flaw is the cost, unfortunately, which is proportionate to the quality and the supply of accessories, and therefore decidedly high.
Professional: Like other power tools produced for Stanley’s FatMax line, the FMC675D2-QW reciprocating saw has been designed to offer professional-level performance.
Complete: Unlike the cordless power tools produced by competing companies, the Stanley FatMax has the advantage of being sold with a range of accessories that even includes two batteries and the relative battery charger, in addition to the case and a blade.
Pivoting shoe: Thanks to this feature, the blade can also be oriented with an accentuated inclination, so as to be able to offer the same functions as a jigsaw.
Price: The fact that it is well proportioned to the accessories and professional characteristics of the power tool does not mean that it is consistent and not very accessible.
DEWALT 20V MAX* XR Reciprocating Saw
We conclude our ranking with an electric reciprocating saw powered by cable instead of battery, the Valex SG 1000E, which is driven by an 850 Watt motor.
- DEWALT 20V reciprocating saw has up to 2.5x more runtime
- Compact 14.5-inch length fits in between studs and in other tight spots
It should also be noted that it is characterized by a modest level of performance, which makes it suitable mainly for home and amateur use; in its small way, however, it is functional and relatively reliable and, by fitting the right blades, it is able to cut wood, plastic, metal, bricks and other materials.
From the structural point of view it is well made, it is very solid, it has a safety switch and is even equipped with a swivel head; but the price is above the standard average, which represents a negative point if we consider that the Valex saw is sold without a case, packaged in a simple cardboard box and with a set of accessories consisting of only two blades, one of which of little effectiveness.
Resistant: The manufacturing materials are very solid and robust, which is saying something considering that the Valex saw is a power tool intended exclusively for hobby use.
Swivel head: Another point in favor is the swivel head, which not all models intended for hobby use are equipped, including those produced by the most renowned companies.
Powerful: Thanks to its 850 Watt motor, it is able to cut any type of material from wood to stone; obviously you have to use suitable and good quality blades, the ones supplied are not.
Cost: Unfortunately the price is much higher than the standard average; apart from this, moreover, it does not have a case and the blades supplied are of mediocre quality.
How to choose the best reciprocating saws
Once you know what the main features of this power tool are, it will not be difficult for you to understand which reciprocating saw to buy, so let’s go into the topic further.
The economic models and the speed controller
To understand how to choose a good reciprocating saw you must first keep in mind two fundamental aspects. The first concerns the cheaper models, usually intended for amateur use, which in some cases may be without the speed regulator. The latter is an essential component for the versatility of use; the fixed speed models, in fact, are cheap but generally have limited applications and can only be used for cutting wood.
The second concerns battery-powered reciprocating saws, which in most cases are sold without. This choice is mainly due to the fact that the various companies in the sector, Makita, Bosch, DeWalt and so on, usually produce standard batteries that can be used to power different types of power tools, which is why in most cases the latter are proposed in packages that do not include the battery and the relative charger and therefore can be more advantageous from an economic point of view.
The “controversy” of battery models
The assumed economic advantage, however, is such only for those who already own other power tools of the same series and can borrow the relative battery without having to buy it. For those who do not have it, however, this advantage does not exist as they are still obliged to buy it separately. The dilemma that arises at this point therefore, especially for those aiming to buy an economical reciprocating saw, is the following: it is better to buy one that costs little and the relative battery and charger separately, for a total cost that varies between 160 and 200 euros, when there are higher quality models on the market including batteries and chargers available for the same amount or a little more?
The answer to this question is therefore obvious; even if you do not have particular needs for use, in fact, it is always advisable to buy a tool complete with all the accessories which, in the face of an increase in expenditure of a few tens of euros, guarantees a better quality and yield.
How to use the reciprocating saw
The blades and the speed of travel
To use a reciprocating saw correctly, you must first use the specific type of blade for the material you intend to cut, and then adjust the stroke speed of the power tool accordingly. This premise is important because the speed regulator is not present on all models, as it should be; on the market, in fact, there are low-cost products intended for amateur use that are designed exclusively for cutting wood.
In these instruments the speed is fixed and consequently they are not very versatile; in principle, however, the medium-high range reciprocating saws, regardless of whether they are intended for hobby or professional use, all have the speed adjustment control.
Speed is decisive for the type of material to be cut; for cutting wood it is possible to adjust the saw to high speeds, but when cutting metal or plastic it is preferable to use low speeds, to avoid overheating the blade or fraying the material.
The change of the blade
The blade assembly and disassembly operations must always be carried out with the power tool switched off, even better if completely disconnected from the power supply or without the battery pack, in order to guarantee maximum safety. The replacement of the blades, however, is relatively simple and quick to complete, thanks to the quick coupling, even if in the cheaper models this could present some games that slightly complicate the operation.
How to use the saw when cutting
Since the saw blade to dogfish performs a reciprocating motion by moving back and forth at high speed, during the cutting operation it is important to support the shoe of the power tool directly in contact with the surface of the material and applying a slight pressure, so as to avoid that the blade can transmit kickbacks to the tool during the stroke and get stuck in the material to be cut.
The only exception to this rule occurs when you need to make cuts flush with the wall, for example when you need to cut a section of pipe that protrudes from the wall. The reciprocating saw is the ideal tool in these cases, because the blade is as resistant as it is flexible and bends with extreme ease, so it can be leaned against the wall laterally, using the side edge of the shoe as a support point, and make the cut fast and smooth.
What is the reciprocating saw?
It is a particular type of saw derived from the jigsaw, of which it is nothing more than a variant. While in the jigsaw the blade is oriented vertically, in fact, in the reciprocating saw it is positioned horizontally, and precisely because of this characteristic it is often referred to as a front jigsaw.
The manual version of this tool is extremely simple and consists of a fixed blade with the handle at the rear end; the electric version, on the other hand, is equipped with a universal attachment that allows you to replace the blade. Consequently, electric reciprocating saws are much more versatile as regards the possible applications; the universal coupling, in fact, allows not only to mount blades of variable length but, depending on the type chosen, to be able to cut any type of material: wood, plastic, fiberglass, steel, brass, aluminum, iron and even stone and bricks.
In addition, in the medium-high range reciprocating saws, the head with the blade attachment is orientable and allows the power tool to be used both with the blade in the frontal position, and therefore in the “catfish” mode, and by turning it towards the as low as a normal jigsaw.
What is the reciprocating saw used for?
The reciprocating saw is a power tool intended primarily for cutting wood and other materials. This tool is extremely useful both in the professional field, for example in joinery and carpentry for renovation and construction works, and in the amateur field in DIY. Its primary intended use at a professional level, however, mainly concerns the field of demolitions.
How does the reciprocating saw work?
The operating principle of the reciprocating saw is in all respects the same as that of the jigsaw. The electric motor is specially designed with a system of gears that allow the continuous rotation movement to be transformed into an alternative stroke movement that allows the blade to move back and forth at high speed.
The maximum stroke speed varies from model to model according to the engine power, and can also be adjusted according to the type of work; wood cutting can be performed at high speeds for example, while to cut metal it is preferable to use a lower speed in order to avoid overheating of the blade. It is important to underline that some electric reciprocating saws, especially the cheaper ones, have a fixed speed and therefore have less versatility of use.
How much does a reciprocating saw cost?
Overall talking about the cost of a saber saw can range from 45 to 900 Euros and over. In the economy segment, where there are mostly models intended for amateur and hobby use, the prices vary from 45 to 95 euro; a saw for professional catfish good level, however, the cost can range from 150 to 500 Euros.
It is important to underline that the battery-powered versions of this power tool are often sold without a battery and charger; this happens above all with the models of the economic range intended for hobby use, which to maintain a competitive price drastically reduce the accessory equipment of the tool.
The battery and the charger, however, can cost around 100-120 euros, and this is an extremely important detail that you must be aware of if you are preparing to buy one of these power tools for the first time. The purchase of a reciprocating saw sold without a battery, in fact, is convenient only for those who already own one compatible with the chosen model.