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.
Best Overall !
This is a professional quality saw which is equally at home for DIYers and professionals if you’re willing to lay down the money.
|Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 FUEL|
|Ryobi P515 ONE Plus||0-3,100||4.2lbs|
What is a Cordless Sawzall 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
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.