A good reciprocating saw is indispensable when carrying out some remodelling or demolition. A relation of the jigsaw, reciprocating saws are the bruiser of the family. If you're of a deft touch you could probably get some decent lines out of a reciprocating saw, but for the most part, these saws are at home when taking things down - be it trees, partition walls or timber framing.
Makita's DJR186Z is a supremely powerful reciprocating saw. It possesses a higher than high cutting speed of 2800 strokes per minute, and has a stroke length of 32 millimetres. Makita are well known for their reliability, if you pull this tool out you're going to get plenty of admiring and envious glances.
To use the Makita you can either press and hold the trigger, or lock it off with a lever if you're doing some sustained cutting. The speed is variable, and easily controlled during use. I like the electronic braking system, demolition can get pretty hairy, so it is good to know the saw has a handle on what is going on.
The crank mechanism has been newly designed for the tool, and it minimised the amount of blade deflection off the material and chuck whilst cutting. This also reduces the amount of vibration passing through.
Speaking of vibrations - all this demolition work is prone to induce a lot of vibrations. So the Makita has been designed with an ergonomic handle, complete with rubber moulding, to prevent too much travel through to your hands and joints.
Once you've torn through a saw, you need to change it. The Makita has a very simple tool-free blade changing mechanism. Squeeze, pop, click, repeat. Given that this is designed for destruction, it is nice to know you have a full metal gearbox dishing out the torque.
Repairing the Makita is easy as the motor is brush-based. The carbon brushes are replaceable and Makita will help you find the right replacement as and when you need it.
Makita DJR186Z Features
- High strokes per minute - 2800
- Tool-less blade changing
- Anti-vibration grips and technologies
- XPT protected
- Replaceable brushes and an all-metal made gearbox
The XPT System (XPT stands for Extreme Protection Technology) protects the saw from water and dust - so you can use this thing outside, in the rain, or if you accidentally snag a water pipe, at least your saw will still work, you numpty.
The shoe only faces in one position, certain reciprocating saws will let you move the shoe so as to be more flexible in cutting. Unfortunately there is no work light on the saw either.
Makita DJR186Z Conclusions
The Makita DJR186Z is a solid reciprocating saw. It is built for tough work, with the XPT protection and replaceable brushes, you'll be able to keep this saw going for quite a while.
Due to the heavy nature of the work, Makita have quite rightly featured electronic brakes and vibration-reducing technologies in the saw. It's cutting capacity is sure to be useful for those working on remodelling properties, and they're likely to get a lot of fun and games out of it.
Makita DJR186Z Technical Specifications
- Strokes Per Minute - 2800
- Length of Stroke - 32 mm
- Capacity Through Wood - 255 mm
- Capacity Through Pipe - 130 mm
- All-metal gearbox
- Single position shoe
- Anti-vibration handles and moulding
The Bosch AdvancedRecip 18 is a reciprocating saw for the worker who needs to tear down some damn walls. Taking things apart is what the AdvancedRecip does best. This tool can make deep, dark cuts in wood, steel, plastics, chipboard, rubber and plaster. It works extremely efficiently and you can easily wield it with one hand thanks to the considerate ergonomic design.
The saw is ideal for making quick, coarse cuts in gardening work - cut those branches and chop that firewood, as well as obliterating materials in the building and demolition business. The motor can pump out strokes at a rate of 3100 per minute.
This reciprocating saw is capable of cutting through up to 100mm of wood, 20mm of steel and 20mm of plastic.
Bosch 06033B2400 AdvancedRecip18 Features
- Anti-vibration technology
- Cuts through thick wood, sheet metal and plastics
- Compatible with batteries from Boschs' Power4All range
- Intelligent electronics prevent burning out the motor or making dangerous cuts
- Lightweight and versatile when cutting in a range of positions
Designed with handling in mind, this cordless reciprocating saw has a soft grip and anti-vibration technology built-in. This internal counterbalance makes holding the saw easy by reducing vibrations.
Weighing only 2.5kg, you can happily wield it whilst up a ladder or in a tight spot. The ergonomic shape allows you to hold the saw in numerous ways, this is ideal for working at odd angles.
The SDS system makes changing blades simple and speedy once you've worn through a set.
Battery level is displayed by a set of LEDs on the tool. It isn't compatible with batteries from Boschs' Professional range though. It does work with the Power4All battery packs, which feature across a large range of Bosch Home and Garden tools.
The Electronic Cell Protection works to slow the motor and protect against overheating if you're cutting through dense material. This protects the battery and the mechanism - improving the longevity of the saw.
Bosch 06033B2400 AdvancedRecip18 Conclusions
The AdvancedRecip18 is a handsome and powerful reciprocating saw. You'll comfortably handle many different tasks using wood, metal and plastics. It has excellent power and anti-vibration technology. The shareable battery is another boon, should you have some tools in the Power4All category.
All in all the AdvancedRecip18 is a good tool to have whether you're a builder or the owner of an overgrown garden.
Bosch 06033B2400 AdvancedRecip18 Technical Specifications
- Battery voltage/type: 18 V/lithium-ion
- Battery capacity: 2.5 Ah
- No-load stroke rate: 0–3100 min-1
- Stroke length: 23 mm
- Weight (without battery): 2.1 kg
- Weight (with battery): 2.5 kg
- Cutting depth in wood: 100 mm
- Cutting depth in steel: 20 mm
Ryobi RRS1801M ONE+
This reciprocating saw from Ryobi is perfect for cutting through worktops, floorboards, piping, metal, branches and drywall. The cut speed can be controlled easily and the adjustable shoe lets you dial in the perfect stroke length. Complete with vibration-dampening technology and lithium-ion batteries, this cordless reciprocator will let you keep cutting and trimming without fatigue.
The Ryobi can handle wood at thicknesses of 180mm, and sheet metal at 20mm. It has a high rate of strokes per minute - a dizzying 3100.
As a part of the ONE+ range, the RRS1801M uses 18 V lithium-ion batteries which can be swapped and shared between hundreds of other tools, it is the world's largest battery sharing system. Ryobi make more than toolbox full of great quality and low-cost power tools you should check out - we've examined their cordless screwdriver, circular saw and drill sets.
The variable speed control is located where your thumb can reach. Modulating between low and slow and fast is easy and quick. The saw has a 22mm stroke length, and you can add long blades to the Ryobi which we found useful in the overgrown jungle that is the back garden.
Ryobi RRS1801M ONE+ Features
- 22mm stroke length and adjustable shoe
- Anti-vibration technology on the inside and the outside
- Safety brake for stopping dangerous cuts
- Part of the ONE+ range, the largest battery sharing platform in the world
Adjusting the front shoe will help you if you're removing specific depths of boards from a wall, and protect the blade for longer. An electronic brake serves to protect your hands and the tool itself should you encounter some immovable hidden object.
Reciprocating saws are designed for demolition. So it is important that the machine protects you whilst churning through tough stuff. The Ryobi has anti-vibration padding and an internal counterweight to take some of the buzz out of cutting.
The battery-powered tech means this Ryobi is at home in the garden or in hard to reach places. Sometimes the saw is sold as body only, you'll need to make sure you add batteries and a charger if you don't already own something from the ONE+ set.
Ryobi recommends using a 2.5Ah battery with this saw, this is calculated in terms of the relationship between motor size and overall tool weight.
Ryobi ship the saw with a range of blades, for internal and external use, and also a sanding accessory - making this tool more than a saw, its a versatile power tool and one of my favourites. And they even throw in a tool bag.
These blades as compatible with many, most, other reciprocating saws. So if you're working on-site with this, you can help a mate out by chucking them the sander.
Ryobi RRS1801M ONE+ Conclusions
Ryobi makes quality tools but they sell at a low price. Their reciprocating saw is a stellar effort, it has proper anti-vibration technology, a healthy (and shareable) battery, as well as a good range of included accessories.
There's nothing this saw won't handle, I think the weight and the cutting power combine to give a highly manoeuvrable reciprocator that'll last for a good long while in a professional and home-setting.
Ryobi RRS1801M ONE+ Technical Specifications
- Weight - 2.3kg
- Max Wood Cut Depth - 180 mm
- Max Metal Cut Depth - 20 mm
- No-load Speed - 3100 spm
- Stroke Length - 22 mm
- Voltage - 18 V
- Battery Share - ONE+ System
DeWalt's DSC367NT is an ultra-tough reciprocating saw, which laughs in the face of steel, wood and stone. The extremely compact design belies an extremely powerful motor, capable of cutting through up to a foot of wood. Powered by DeWalt's XR lithium-ion batteries and weighing 3.2kg, if you're serious about demolition, this is seriously the tool for you.
Inside the body of the DCS367N is a brushless motor, this superb piece of engineering dishes out 2900 strokes per minute. The gearbox is all metal, which lasts for longer and dissipates heat more effectively. The pulling power of the motor, and the sharpness of the blades will let you plough through 100mm of steel piping, 160mm of PVC and 300mm - yes one foot - of wood.
DeWalt DCS367NT Features
- Compact and mobile, the thoughtful design allows use in tight spaces and with one-hand
- A powerful motor capable of cutting the toughest stuff out there
- Safe and controlled with speed variation, a lock-off switch and electronic brake
- 3-year long warranty
- Comes as standard in the T-Stak Box III
- Handles wood, stone, metal and more
The stroke length itself is 28.6mm, this is augmented by a 4-stage blade clamp, which permits cutting from any angle. The shoe can be fixed or you can allow it to pivot. Finding the optimum angle to make stable cuts doesn't mean being uncomfortable or off-balance.
When it comes to anti-vibration technology, the DeWalt has a rubber-coated grip - in the classic company colours of black and yellow - and internal counterweights to soak up the vibrations.
If those vibrations are getting too much, it is a sign the saw is at its limits. There is an electronic brake which will automatically start if you head into uncharted territory.
Unlike some other cordless reciprocating saws, the DeWalt has a built-in LED light. Considering the cordless nature, you can well imagine getting into some dark and confined spaces, so it is an immensely useful feature to have in reserve.
Being fully rubber-coated also means the DeWalt is moisture-proof. While not totally waterproof, this resistance to the elements will preserve the internal components for longer and allow you to keep working even when the weather is a bit drizzly.
DeWalt are one of the few manufacturers who consistently ship their tools in hard cases. The DCS367N reciprocating saw comes in the T-STAK Box III, this will safely house the saw and the battery pack while you transport or store it.
DeWalt DCS367NT Conclusions
This reciprocating saw is a real tough beast. It cuts the most difficult materials out of any other featured in this guide, and it does it with great efficiency. You can cut for a long time, and then quickly change the blades and the batteries.
I like that the saw comes with a proper hard case, and that it has an in-built light. DeWalt make high-quality tools, and this is reflected in the price. But you won't be disappointed if you opt for this option.
DeWalt DCS367NT Technical Specifications
- No-load Stroke Rate - 2900 spm
- Wood Cut Depth - 300 mm
- Steel Cut Depth - 100 mm
- PVC Cut Depth - 160 mm
- Stroke Length - 28.6 mm
- Battery Type - XR Lithium-Ion 18 V
- Weight - 3.2kg
- Built-in LED work light
Worx, they’re a Chinese-American company who in the formative years sold tools and parts for tools to brands like Black & Decker. They branched out and took themselves to be a brand almost 15 years ago. They’re generally a consumer hardware company, this 20 V offering is a decent implementation of the reciprocating saw.
A Worx reciprocating saw is unsuitable for heavy cutting of stone or masonry, you’ll manage steel but stop there. Where the Worx really excels is in the lower ‘weight’ categories. Cutting through plasterboard, wood (whether that’s boards or branches it doesn’t matter), PVC piping or plastic is easy.
Through wood, the maximum cut depth is 177mm, through steel the maximum thickness is 12mm. With a stroke length of 22m, the WX508 is ideal for light work.
The saw has a tool-less system for changing blades - press the shoe, pop them out and plug in the new. We like to use a large blade for cutting back hedges and bushes, the Worx can work like that too.
This adjustable pivoting blade guard can be used to measure stroke depths and ensure the right cut is made. You can encourage angles and different lines of flight whilst zipping through MDF.
Worx have a Powershare battery range, as any serious toolmaker needs to these days. The 20 V battery can be used with many other Worx tools, the range is always expanding.
There are a range of different pendulum settings to make cuts smoother. Switching between these is done using the dial on the left-hand side. The trigger is located in such a way to be easily held down for a decent duration - but there is also a lock-off switch within easy thumb reach.
On the other side of the body sits the speed control. Variable speeds are vital is you’re going to cut through dense and hard materials. The Worx can clock up to 2,900 strokes per minute, miaow, so it is nice to be able to slow things down when you try to cut some hardwood.
WORX WX508.9 Features
- Variable speed control for refined cutting
- Adjustable footplate for picking your lines better
- An integrated work light to illuminate the cuts
- Anti-vibration padding and rubberised grip
The WX508 has a very lightweight finish, coming in at only 2.13kg. The body is designed for one-handed use, but has quality grip coating all over to ensure you can hold with two hands if necessary. These coatings do some work on reducing vibration emissions, although it isn’t the smoothest machine we’ve tried.
On a safety note, there’s an electronic brake to stop things when they get almost out of hand, and the safety cut out will take care of things when they get really out of hand.
Inside is a full metal gearbox. No plastic there. And the motor is brushed, so it could potentially be repaired, although Worx do not make this is clear and easy as Bosch or Makita tend to do.
WORX WX508.9 Conclusions
Worx have made a reciprocating saw which can compete with the big boys when it comes to the small stuff. But that’s the limit here. The WX508.9 will not cut it for those looking to do some heavy work, in either its wood cutting capacity - 177mm - its stell cutting capacity - 22mm - and its non-existent masonry abilities.
However, not everyone is a stonemason. For the price, and those after a way to keep the garden in order, this is a steal. Worx have an expansive and affordable range of tools which you can utilise all with the same Powershare battery system.
WORX WX508.9 Technical Specifications
- Battery Type - Lithium-Ion
- No-load Speed - 3000 spm
- Maximum Wood Cut Depth - 177 mm
- Maximum Steel Cut Depth - 12 mm
- Stroke Length - 22 mm
- Brake - Electronic
- Weight - 2.13kg
- Brushed/Brushless - Carbon Brushes
- Gearbox - All metal geared
Black + Decker 18V
The 18 V reciprocating saw from Black & Decker is a compact and feather-light way to cut through wood, metal and plastic materials. This cordless saw is well-equipped to handle jobs around the home and moderate work on the site thanks to its safety features and power output.
The blades can be fixed between two positions, for making cuts into different materials and at different speeds. The shoe on the front of the saw is safe to rest against the cut surface, this added pressure increases the control and accuracy of cuts.
Once a blade is finished, or you want a different set of teeth, the designated button for release takes all the hassle out of replacement. Push and they pop out, push the new set in and they automatically lock.
For cutting, the trigger gives a stroke speed between 0 and 3000 per minute. The length of the stroke is 20mm, this cannot be altered, however.
The body has been designed with comfort and control in mind. The rubber mouldings reduce vibration transmissions and the non-slip coating elsewhere allows you to grab hold with both hands if you need the stability and strength.
Being cordless, this saw is ideal for pruning and cutting back trees and bushes in the garden.
The 18 V lithium-ion battery is part of the Black & Decker Cordless platform, all batteries of the same voltage in this range are interchangeable across a range of power and garden tools.
These tools can be bought as bare-units, or with a starter pack and additional batteries. There are three different types of lithium-ion within the 18 V range. 1.5Ah, 2.0Ah, and 4.0Ah - these give you a choice between power and length.
Black + Decker 18V Features
- A tool-less blade change system
- Choose between two blade positions for accuracy and control
- Rest the pivoting shoe against the jamb for power and precision in cuts
- Vary your speeds between 0 and 3000 strokes per minute
Black + Decker 18V Conclusions
This Black and Decker 18 V reciprocating saw is not ideal for those doing heavy cuts and work. It is more suited to the keen DIY worker or gardener. I like the way you can pivot the shoe, and rest it against the jamb in order to maximise control in cuts. And I like the feel and shape of the saw in my hand.
The downside is its lack of functionality settings and the short stroke length. There are two positions to set the blade, but they’re still belied by the fact you can only reciprocate 20mm in each stroke. No lock-off switch attests to the fact that this is not a saw for the professional.
Black + Decker 18V Technical Specifications
- Power Rating - 18 V
- Plug Voltage - 230 V
- Stroke Length - 22 mm
- No-Load Speed - 3000 spm
Einhell TC-AP 650 E
Einhell’s TC-AP reciprocating saw is a highly versatile and compact tool, it demonstrates Einhell’s attention to detail and quality of manufacture very well indeed. The electronic speed control, the tool-less blade change, the adjustable soleplate and the wide range of cutting jobs it can handle make this a great addition to your home tool kit.
The Einhell reciprocator is powered by 650 watts of electrical current. The blade has a no-load stroke speed of 3000 per minute, when deployed at its maximum speed. You can modulate this down to 500 strokes per minute using the variable speed control.
Each stroke runs 20mm in length, this gives the Einhell a cutting depth of 150mm through wood or 10mm through steel - piping for instance. Einhell do expect you to use this saw with wood and metal, proven by the shipping of specialist wood and metal blades.
These blades are easily swapped, without tools, through the use of the blade release button located on the left-hand side of the snout of the saw.
Einhell TC-AP 650 E Features
- Up to 3000 strokes per minute
- Weighs 2.8kg
- Can cut through 150mm of wood
- Large ergonomic handles for comfort and accuracy
- Comes with specific wood and metal blades
Weighing in at 2.8kg, this is slightly heavier than the aforementioned and comparable Black and Decker reciprocating saw, though I prefer the Einhell for the reasons I’m about to launch into.
The Einhell has great control over the depth of cut, this is tool-less and is mediated by the soleplate. The correct touch and you can alter the depth for consistent cuts. Although the power and depth of the Einhell isn’t as great as the Bosch or Ryobi above, this sort of control makes it more amenable to professional work.
The large grip area has an ergonomic handle and non-slip coatings. Designed to be wielded with one hand, the soft grip rubber and padding makes two-handed cuts simple and comfortable.
All the body is concocted with anti-vibration in mind. Reciprocating saws are used in heavy and coarse cuts, so it is important to have these features. Onboard are some sensitive electronic sensors which will automatically detect the appropriate blade speed for the job - this is dependent on the vibrations you’re putting back into the system.
Einhell TC-AP 650 E Conclusions
Einhell have produced a good mid-range reciprocating saw, the cordless saw does not feature a battery share feature, but it does cut very well through wood and metal - with the option to dial in specific depths and speeds.
This is a specific, yet universal cutting machine. You won’t find it getting through masonry or stone with the preset blades, but it has the power within to do this still - unlike the similarly statistically endowed Black & Decker 18 V. This tool can stretch to more professional usage should you need it.
Einhell TC-AP 650 E Technical Specifications
- Input Power - 650 W
- No-load Speed - 500 - 3000 spm
- Wood Capacity - 150mm
- Steel Capacity - 10mm
- Weight - 2.8kg
Milwaukee C12HZ-0 M12
Milwaukee produce heavy-duty, portable power tools for the professional user. Their C12HZ is a reciprocating saw, designed for control and manoeuvrability in the tightest of spaces. The motor can clock 3000 spm and the blades can cut through wood and steel. You can work with any Milwaukee-branded M12 batteries. Inclusion of REDLITHIUM-ION tech means you can cut for up to 20% longer than other lithium technologies.
Measuring only 238mm, the Milwaukee is a highly compact saw. You can fit any SAWZALL blade into Milwaukee’s FIXTEC blade clamp. These blades will find themselves tearing through materials at up to 3000 strokes per minute.
A built-in counterbalancing mechanism reduces vibration and the speed at which the saw can cut through metal.
Milwaukee C12HZ-0 M12 Features
- Short design reduces reactionary torque from the motor
- The handle is slim and coated with rubber to neutralise vibration
- Ideal for confined cuts due to brushless motor and short body length
- Only weighs 1.1kg
A built-in LED light serves to illuminate the area in front of you. Handy if you accidentally cut the power. More LEDs run along the side to display the remaining charge left in the battery. This is called REDLINK PLUS Intelligence, and it is the most American thing we’ve reviewed thus far on handytoolshome.com
On-board in the electronics department are sensors to detect vibration and work rate. These feedback information and adjust the flow of power. Preventing overloads and improving durability. Speaking of durability, the Milwaukee is comfortable working in temperatures as cold as -20 degrees, Celcius.
The weight of this saw has to be felt to be believed, it is only 1.1kg in weight. The battery adds a little bit more, but it is way below anything else. You do lose some stroke length, this is not the longest by any means, but you gain a whole lot of manoeuvrability and functionality.
The motor is a Milwaukee-designed POWERSTATE Brushless thing. These dish out far more rotational torque, something that’s augmented by the short body length. This really is a tool for the confined cuts.
Milwaukee C12HZ-0 M12 Conclusions
The Milwaukee C12HZ is a fantastic small reciprocating saw. The battery life is astounding, even in extreme cold conditions, and the cutting power is to be admired for such a small machine.
It is semi-specialist, some might prefer a saw with a longer stroke length, but you will still get some big cuts out of this saw, it might just take a little longer.
Milwaukee are confident you’ll like it as they have a warranty that goes to 3-years if you register with them within a month of purchase.
Milwaukee C12HZ-0 M12 Technical Specifications
- No-load Speed - 3000 spm
- Stroke Length - 16mm
- Blade Clamp - FIXTEC/SAWZALL
- Battery Indicator - Yes
- Work Light - LED
- Length - 238mm
- Charge Time - 30 minutes