Cordless Saw Reviews

Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw Shootout!


If you’ve been with us for a few years, you may remember our Heavy-Duty reciprocating saw shootout from a while back. Things really haven’t changed much in how the classic demo saw is used, but the saws themselves have changed drastically, particularly thanks to battery technology. Whether you’re here to see how your favorite brand did or are looking for the best cordless reciprocating saw for your needs, we’ve got eight of the most popular brands lined up with their highest performing cordless saws.

Normally, you’d see us go with something like an 18V shootout and keep it to a clearly defined class. However, high performance and new technology are changing the landscape for cordless tools, including the reciprocating saw. Milwaukee has their One-Key system in full force along with their M18 High Demand 9.0 amp hour battery. DeWalt FlexVolt technology series launched earlier this year and is rocking with a 60V Max platform for their top performer. Makita brings their brushless motor technology and pairs it with their 18V X2 line to offer 36V performance.

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Determining the Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw

There are a ton of ways to figure our which saw should top our list, but we’ve dialed in what our Pros find to be the most important traits. It all starts with cutting performance. We’ll put each saw through both wood and metal cutting applications to see how fast they can get the job done.

From there it’s about ergonomics – and there are several things to talk about. Vibration is the most important in this category. Even the best cordless reciprocating saw can leave you feeling beat up by the end of the day and Pros are likely to sacrifice a little bit of speed for a less vibration.

Weight is an important ergonomic consideration as well and pairs up with the feel of the saw in your hand. The more natural the saw feels, the more likely you’re going to be using it correctly and working with the shoe to dial-in efficient cuts.

Finally, there are the features. With technology and design taking us to new heights, features are more than just a rafter hook (though I really like having a rafter hook). There are features on several of these saws that directly affect their performance and/or ergonomics.

Keeping it as Fair as Possible

To control as many variables as we can and keep the evaluation all about the saws, we’ve turned to Diablo to give each saw the same blade. For wood applications, we’re using the Diablo Demo Demon Carbide-Tipped Recip Blades.

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There are plenty of good reasons to go with the Steel Demon starting with durability. Diablo claims up to 20 times the life of a bi-metal blade in nail-embedded wood applications thanks to their carbide blend. That same blend gives these blades the ability to cut through tough materials like fluted masonry nails designed to attach wood to concrete walls.

They feature a variable tooth design in a 6/9 TPI configuration that helps reduce vibration while increasing cutting speed. Vibration is also reduced and stability is enhanced with a full 1-inch blade body. It wraps up with a plunge cutting tip for when the edge of the material isn’t your primary target.

We initially wanted to go with the Diablo Steel Demon Carbide Tipped recip blades, but they actually proved to be a bit heavier duty than the metal application we chose. These are great for cutting through thick metal cutting applications, including Hulk-esque materials like cast iron. The carbide blend and aggressive tooth pattern allow them to dig in where other blades can literally only scratch the surface. In the end, a standard bi-metal blade in a variable 14/18 TPI configuration was the best option for this test.

Keep your eyes open for our reviews on both the Diablo Demo Demon and Steel Demon Carbide Tipped recip blades soon!

Next Up: Voltage, Amp Hours, and Watt Hours

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RLE
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RLE

It would be cool if you would do an exhaustive comparison including all cordless sawza’s available in the U.S . What’s the point of the article if you don’t include all brands?

Yoshivan
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Yoshivan

That’s very weird that Dewalt 20v reciprocating saw was not mentioned here. That’s the best because of the 4 position blade holder! I didn’t buy the 60v Flex it’s because they somehow installed only 2 position blade holder which is so lame.

Kip Keppoler
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Kip Keppoler

I just purchased the Dewalt Flex volt reciprocating saw and I believe it will be a great saw for big demo jobs. If I had it to do it again I would buy the smaller Dewalt recip saw. When I purchased the saw at Home Depot the Flex volt was sold as a kit with battery, charger, and bag. The 20 volt recip saw was sold as bare tool only. When you add the cost of the battery, charger, and bag there was maybe a $20.00 difference in cost between the two. My motto in this case is “go Big… Read more »

Michael Petrik
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Michael Petrik

Great review! I wonder if the results would have differed if all the saws had the same battery. Since the 18V is the common denominator, they all get a 18V 5ah battery, then run the tests again?

Joachim Osmundsen
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Joachim Osmundsen

Thanks for the test! I really encourage you to try out the new Bosch brushless recip saw with the new 6,3 or 7,0 battery – it will surprise you!