DeWalt DWE305 Reciprocating Saw Review Corded Saw Reviews

10-12 Amp Reciprocating Saws

Cutting Speed
Vibration Control
Feature Set
Size
Value
Final Thoughts

While there's room for improvement, we're not disappointed in DeWalt's cutting speeds compared to other models in the same power class. It can use an upgrade in vibration control and you'll want to consider whether the shoe design blocks your sightline too much. It's a popular reciprocating saw that will get the job done, but there are a couple of less expensive models you might also want to consider.

Overall Score 3.6 Head-to-Head Results

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DeWalt DWE305 12-Amp Reciprocating Saw Review


Years After Its Initial Launch, the DeWalt DWE305 is Still a Top Seller

Corded tools age more gracefully than cordless models and the DeWalt DWE305 12-amp reciprocating saw is one of the top-10 sellers on Amazon currently. It’s one of the only models to include a 4-position blade lock system and it sports a unique shoe design. We tested it head-to-head against other reciprocating saws in the same power range to see how its performance compares.

Pros

  • 4-position blade lock
  • Most compact in its class
  • Lever-action blade release
  • Comfortable grip on main and front handles

Cons

  • Poor vibration control
  • Unusual shoe design blocks visibility
  • Very basic feature set

Recommendation

While there’s room for improvement, we’re not disappointed in DeWalt’s cutting speeds compared to other models in the same power class. It can use an upgrade in vibration control and you’ll want to consider whether the shoe design blocks your sightline too much.

It’s a popular reciprocating saw that will get the job done, but there are a couple of less expensive models you might also want to consider.

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DeWalt DWE305 Cutting Speed

Similar saws range from 2800 – 3000 SPM and 1 inch to 1-1/4 inches for the stroke length. This DeWalt reciprocating saw sits right in the middle with a 2900 SPM no-load speed and a 1-1/8-inch stroke length.

To see how it does under load, we put the saw through three tests to see how fast it cuts in wood, thin metal, and thick metal.

 

In our nail-embedded wood test, most of the group posted averages between 20 and 22 seconds. DeWalt’s 20.60-second average was right in the mix near the front, though Metabo HPT’s CR13VST wrecked the curve for everyone with a 12.86-second average. Adding an orbital action mode would certainly help the DWE305’s standing.

DeWalt DWE305 Reciprocating Saw Wood Cutting

DeWalt wasn’t as competitive in 2″ EMT, though. Its 9.10-second average was on the slower side, with the entire group ranging from 6.36 seconds (Milwaukee 6519) to 10.92 seconds (Ridgid R3002).

DeWalt DWE305 Reciprocating Saw EMT Cutting

 

The DWE305 recovered some cutting through thicker #5 rebar. Its 12.27-second average was in the top half of the group. Makita’s JR3050T posted the fastest time (8.23 seconds) and Ridgid remained the slowest (18.74 seconds).

Overall, this class bounced around quite a bit as we cut different materials, but DeWalt was fairly steady all the way through. That makes it a good choice when you know you’re going to be cutting multiple materials.

Vibration Control

Vibration control on a reciprocating saw is key if you’re using it on more than just an occasional basis. To see how the saws in DeWalt’s class stack up, we cut through a variety of materials and our 3-member testing team each ranked them. We put those scores together and averaged them to get a final result.

The DeWalt DWE305 reciprocating saw struggled in this area, scoring just 64 points. It had some company, though, with Ridgid’s R3002 earning the same score and Bosch’s RS325 rounding out the bottom with 50 points. If vibration control is an important area for you, Makita’s JR3050T is the best in this class.

Feature Set

Some folks just need a reciprocating saw to cut and others expect more bells and whistles to improve their experience. DeWalt is on the basic side when it comes to extra features, but it does have a couple of things worth pointing out.

Of the saws we tested, only DeWalt uses a blade lock system that lets you install the blade in four positions. The ability to cut left and right without twisting the saw to a different position helps keep your hands in a more natural position. Like other reciprocating saws, you can also clamp the blade for up or down cutting.

DeWalt DWE305 Reciprocating Saw Review

The DeWalt DWE305 has a unique fixed shoe on the front. It houses a lever-action blade release that we greatly prefer to a shaft-mounted twist lock. The downside of the design is that it gets in the way of your sightline when you’re trying to cut out a section with reasonable accuracy.

 

We really like the handle form factor on this model. The main handle has some of the hand-fitting curve we enjoy on DeWalt’s drills and drivers along with its standard rubber overmold.

DeWalt DWE305 Reciprocating Saw Grip

The front handle area shrinks down from the main body in a way that gives you a really secure grip, even if you have smaller hands. Together, it’s one of the better handle designs of all the saws we tested.

Missing Features

There are a handful of features you can find on other saws in this class and some that none of them include. Here’s what’s missing:

  •  Orbital action
  • Variable speed dial
  • Pivoting, tool-free adjustable shoe
  • Rafter hook
  • LED light
  • Spring blade ejection (none of the saws in this class have it)
  • Smart controls (only available on Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel Sawzall with One-Key)

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Size and Weight

One of the reasons to go with a less powerful saw is to get a more compact and lighter weight saw in your hands. For overhead use or occasional use, you can hold off fatigue longer.

 

The DeWalt DWE305 12-amp reciprocating saw is the most compact of the group. It’s only 17.5 inches long while Milwaukee’s 12-amp Sawzall is the longest at 19.2 inches. Makita’s JR3050T (17.8 inches) is the only other model to come in under 18 inches.

The 305 manages its weight well, too. At 7.5 pounds, it’s right in the middle with the group ranging from 6.8 pounds (Ridgid) to 8.7 pounds (Metabo HPT).

Price

Prices for saws in the 10 – 12-amp range from around $65 for Prosumer brands through $120 for the top of the line. It’s definitely the bargain price class consider some 15-amp models run as high as $199.

DeWalt settles comfortably in the middle with a $99 price tag.

Get it on Amazon Get it at Acme Tools

The Bottom Line

While there’s room for improvement, we’re not disappointed in DeWalt’s cutting speeds compared to other models in the same power class. It can use an upgrade in vibration control and you’ll want to consider whether the shoe design blocks your sightline too much.

It’s a popular reciprocating saw that will get the job done, but there are a couple of less expensive models you might also want to consider.

DeWalt DWE305 12-Amp Reciprocating Saw Specs

  • Model Number: DeWalt DWE305
  • Strokes Per Minute: 2900 SPM
  • Stroke Length: 1-1/8 in
  • Tool Weight: 7.5 lbs with cord
  • Length: 17.7 in
  •  Warranty: 3 years
  • Price: $99

Features

  • 12 amp motor designed for heavy-duty applications
  • 4-position blade clamp allows for flush cutting and increased versatility
  • Keyless, lever-action blade clamp
  • 0-2,900 SPM and 1-1/8-inch stroke length
  • Variable speed trigger

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