Reciprocating Saws Buying Guide: Overview, Benefits, and Features to Consider

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

A reciprocating saw is a hand-held, motorized saw with a thin, short blade that pushes and pulls in a reciprocating motion to cut a material. This tool is often used in construction, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical jobs, demolition work. A reciprocating saw’s blade has a serrated blade and is meant to be used on vertical surfaces.

The Benefits of Using Reciprocating Saw


A reciprocating saw comes in a cordless or corded type. Both types of reciprocating saws are portable and compact. Because they are compact, the saw can be stowed away in small spaces and be transported to any location with ease. The cordless reciprocating saw is the most portable of the two varieties. The unit does not need to be plugged because it runs on batteries. The device does not require a heavy generator or extension cord to work.


Reciprocating saws are very versatile. They can cut through most construction material horizontally and vertically. Of course, a cordless unit is even more precise because there is no cord that gets in the way for tough cuts. That said, both units are perfectly capable of making any job easier.

Variable Speeds

Reciprocating saws come in basic and feature-filled types. The type of reciprocating saw to get will depend on what you will use the unit for. However, almost all types of reciprocating saws offer variable speeds and orbital action. The controller allows users to regulate the speed of the cutting action with ease.

Improved Stroke Depth

Reciprocating saws can make long and short strokes. The long stroke provides faster, more aggressive cuts while shorter strokes are needed for plunge cuts. With a reciprocating saw, you can make longer strokes at levels that measure 1 ¼ inches and short stroke at ¾ inch.


Any job becomes easier with a reciprocating saw. The saw can cut through most construction materials including wood, drywall, and even bricks. It can cut down the job by several hours through continuous work.

Important Features to Consider When Shopping for Reciprocating Saws

Amp Rating

Amp rating measures the strength of a reciprocating saw’s cutting action. The higher the amp rating, the more powerful the saw. Most reciprocating saws have amp rating that varies between 5 and 15 amps.

Variable Speed Options

The variable speed option adjusts the unit’s stroke per minute. You want a reciprocating saw that you can control according to the job for ease of use and precision.

Orbital Blade Movement

The orbital movement allows the reciprocating saw to make quick cutting action due to the elliptical blade motion. The movement is very effective in cutting wood.

Hand Grip

You want a solid reciprocating saw with a non-slip handgrip for safety and comfortable use. You want the handgrip to be slip-proof and ergonomically designed to make a satisfying cutting action. Reciprocating saws come in different handgrip styles to choose from.

To find the right unit for you, we recommend trying out every unit in person. Note that the wrong handgrip style could make holding the device harder. Check how the device feels when you hold it. If your wrist or hand hurts after holding a certain unit for a few minutes, then you are less likely to maximize its use during an actual job.

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