For quick rough and ready cutting it’s hard to beat a sawzall and if you’re willing to trade a little bit of power for convenience then a cordless model is your best friend. These tool come in a wide variety of different configurations, and they make up part of the essential tool kit of any DIYer who’s planning on doing big projects. We highly recommend the Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Sawzall.
This is a professional quality saw which is equally at home for DIYers and professionals if you’re willing to lay down the money.
Top 5 Cordless Sawzall & Reciprocating Saws
|DEWALT DCS387P1||0-2,900||6.4lbs||Check Price|
|Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 FUEL||0-3,000||8.9lbs||Check Price|
|Ryobi P515 ONE Plus||0-3,100||4.2lbs||Check Price|
|Bosch CRS180K||2,400/2,700||6.75lbs||Check Price|
|Bosch PS60-102||0-3,600||2.6lbs||Check Price|
1. Best Overall
Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 FUEL
The Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 is a no nonsense, full sized sawzall. It comes with a brushless motor as well, which reduces the chances of it overheating during prolonged use.
It’s definitely not lacking for power, coming with a variable speed trigger that smoothly controls from 0-3,000rpm and a 1 1/8” stroke. You’ll be able to power through just about anything with this saw in your hands.
The hard case which comes with is logically laid out and has a slot for a second 18V 4.0 mAh battery if you decide you need another one.
Unfortunately you might want to purchase another battery to fill the case out. Simply put, the stock charger does take a while to charge.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful motor
- Well-designed case
- Ergonomic handle
- Brushless motor
- Superior electronic controls
- Long charge time for batteries
2. Best Compact Reciprocating Saw
The DeWalt DCS387P1 is a compact sawzall which allows you to work in confined spaces. It’s not quite one handed, but it certainly doesn’t need a whole lot of room to operate in.
The variable speed trigger allows for a large amount of control, with the speed ranging up to 2900spm with a generous 1 1/8” stroke. It definitely doesn’t lack for power and it’ll compete with the best of them despite its diminutive size.
It also comes with a pivoting shoe and LED work light which makes it ideal for places where a small size and a variety of cutting angles is necessary.
It also boasts some pretty exceptional battery life, coming with a 5.0 mAh battery.
It can be a little bit “jumpy” for those used to the balance of a normal sized reciprocating saw due to the changed weight distribution however.
If you want a compact saw that cuts just like the big boys, the CDS387P1 kit is exactly what you’re looking for.
Pros and Cons
- Quick release blade change
- Variable speed trigger
- LED work light
- Compact design
- Long battery life
- A lot of vibration
- Balance can take time to get used to
3. Best For Tight Spaces
Ryobi P515 ONE Plus
The Ryobi P515 ONE Plus is a unique little tool. It’s one of the smallest sawzalls around and most people should be able to handle it in one hand if necessary. It doesn’t boast a lot of power but it makes up for it in many “around-the-house” situations.
This is a true one handed tool,
While the variable speed trigger lets you ramp up to 3,100spm don’t confuse it with being one of the more powerful saws, it only has a 7/8” stroke length. Of course, it also boasts an extremely ergonomic trigger and only weighs 4.2lbs which can more than make up for it.
There’s only one problem, however, which is that you’ll have to pick up the battery separately. This offsets the lower cost a bit, but if you already have a Ryobi 18V battery it makes it a bargain.
If you need a saw to handle tight spaces and aren’t concerned with heavy duty usage, this saw is pretty much ideal.
Pros and Cons
- Super compact design
- Ergonomic trigger
- Well built
- Anti-vibration handle
- Low powered
- Doesn’t come with battery
4. Great Alternative
The Bosch CRS180K is a workhorse saw which won’t disappoint, although it’s not perfect. This full sized sawzall has two speed settings with its variable speed trigger. You can ramp up to 2400 or 2700 max spm depending on what you’re working on.
It also has a quick blade change mechanism to allow you to quickly and easily replace blades or switch types to match the job at hand. It also only weighs 6.75lbs, keeping down fatigue for longer jobs.
The saw uses the Bosch FatPack battery, a 4.0 mAh for a longer life. As a bonus, the battery charges in around an hour or so, so you won’t have to invest in a quick charger to get the most out of the saw.
As a workhorse saw, this offering from Bosch is ideal and comes in at a great price.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful stroke
- Two speed settings
- One handed blade changes
- Quick charging battery
- Variable speed trigger
- No hard case
- No safety buttons
5. Best On A Budget
The Bosch PS60-102 provides you with a hacksaw sized tool that can easily handle all of the tasks you’d perform with a non-powered variation of the tool.
It’s definitely underpowered, with a variable trigger that goes from 0-3600spm at a 3/5” stroke. While the exceptional speed makes up for the short stroke length a little bit, this tool isn’t for heavy duty cutting.
It’s exceptionally light, however, weighing only 2.6lbs. This makes it exceptionally maneuverable for anyone who might pick it up. For light cutting tasks around the house it simply can’t be beat, and anyone working under counters is sure to find it indispensable.
For the at-home handyman who needs a replacement for a cumbersome hacksaw, the Bosch PS60 offers welcome relief from having to put out a whole lot of effort for little gain.
Pros and Cons
- Small size makes it versatile
- Super lightweight
- LED worklight
- Good battery capacity
- Heats up
What is a Cordless Sawzall / Reciprocating Saw Used For?
A sawzall is the common name of a reciprocating saw. They’re not quite as precise as some other tools, like a circular saw or table saw, but they provide a lot of power by pushing and pulling the blade using a unique mechanism.
For the most part sawzalls are used for rough cuts on thick pieces of wood or thin pieces of metal. They’re not the right tool for making a precise frame, but for demolition or just hacking a length off of something they’re pretty much the perfect solution.
Essentially, anything you would use a hacksaw on a sawzall will cut faster. They aren’t quite as precise as a hacksaw, however, since they’re also a lot more powerful and novices will take a while to get the hang of using one fluidly.
There are a ton of different blade types available, but most jobs you’ll engage in will use one of the following three types:
- Wood blades- make quick work of wood. They’re generally used for rough cuts on thicker pieces of wood. A long one can make short work of pretty much any lumber you’ll come across.
- Metal blades- Metal blades are made to cut metals, they come with designs and materials which are meant to cut either ferrous or non-ferrous metals. Make sure you use the right one for each material type.
- Bi-metal or demolition blades- These are used on wood which might have nails in it. They’re the go to blade if you’re planning on using a sawzall as part of your strategy to rip something down.
They’re a great tool to have around, and their design will let you cut at differing angles from the more precise types of saws. This makes them especially handy for fieldwork and the cordless capabilities of modern saws simply adds to this effect.
What Should I Look for In a Cordless Sawzall?
There’s a number of qualities which you’ll need to look for when you’re picking out your new tool. Don’t cheap out, these tools have the potential to seriously hurt you in the event of a failure.
The power of any electric tool is measured in the amperage which goes through the circuit. The higher the amperage the more power the saw will have, it’s pretty simple. Cordless saws will almost always run less than 10A.
It isn’t the only factor when it comes to getting things done with one of these saws, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on.
The length of the stroke and the amount of strokes per minute also play an important factor in how quickly the saw will cut. The higher the spm the quicker things will cut and a longer stroke will let the blade cover more ground each time the motor revolves.
A good cordless sawzall will have a variable speed trigger which will allow you to control how quickly the blade is going depending on how hard you’re pulling the trigger. That’s the key piece to look out for, since it gives you more control over the saw.
Quick Change Adaptor
A quick change adaptor is a huge boon in the field, allowing you to change out your blades quickly and efficiently. Hex-bolt adaptors are serviceable, but if you’re using your saw heavily you’ll find yourself frustrated when you have to sit down for a couple of minutes to change the blade out.
The life of the battery is a function of the output and the mAh that the battery stores. The longer your battery lasts, the longer you’ll be able to use your saw. Higher power cordless saws will be usable for less time in most cases, except for those brands which have advanced batteries powering them.
Whether you want to make the trade-off for power or not will largely depend on your intended use for the saw.
Blades are the real meat of a cordless sawzall. Many people who aren’t frequently using them will find out that the robust construction of even low-end sawzalls meets their needs readily… provided that they’re using high-quality blades.
Low quality blades dull quicker, making your saw run harder and reducing its lifespan. Particularly cheap blades might even be made with inferior metal and be prone to breaking when put through a lot of stress.
Make sure that whatever saw you end up with can use the industry standard, as some brands have tried to corner the market on their blades by using proprietary attachments. You’ll want to avoid these in order to maintain the versatility of your tool.
Weight is less of a factor with sawzalls than with some tools, since they’re designed to be used with both hands, but you still need to take it into account when you’re picking a model out. A lighter saw is easier to maneuver.
As a general rule, battery powered models will tend to be a bit heavy since the power source is attached to the tool.
When you’re planning on using a sawzall for an extended period, you’ll want to pay a bit more attention to the ergonomics surrounding the grip. It’s not quite a “key feature” if you’re only pulling it out of the toolshed once in a while for a few cuts, but if you plan on using it extensively it will help keep your hands in good shape.
Most modern tools pay quite a bit of attention to these details, but some are inevitably better than others.
The Ideal Cordless Sawzall & Reciprocating Saw
For most people, the ideal sawzall will look like the following:
- High amperage
- Long stroke length and high SPM
- Long battery life
- Good ergonomics
- Has a quick change adaptor
You’ll obviously have to make some concessions no matter which one you go with, so think carefully and you can end up with the right saw the first time.