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How to Choose the Best Reciprocating Saw


Universally appealing to everyone from the most serious craftsmen to the most average homeowner, a reciprocating saw will help you accomplish a nearly endless number of tasks. Choosing a recipro saw, though, it a bit more complicated than using one. Here are a few quuik steps to help you define your search for the most optimal reciprocating saw.

Consider what you plan to do with the tool. It’s always wise to allow your degree and type of use to determine the tool that will best suit you. If you use the tool rarely and only to trim your hedges or for other small maintenance operations, you likely don’t need a too extravagant saw, however, if you find yourself always cutting branches or demolishing other household spoils for disposal you probably require a more industrial tool. For heavy-users and tradesman cutting through everything from thick studs to metal pipes, you’ll certainly want a recipro saw with a bit of gusto behind it.

Decide between a corded or cordless saw. Being free to roam where ever you might go, a cordless power tool offers substantially more mobility; this is especially helpful in a recipro saw where much of its use occurs in the great outdoors. Corded tools, on the other hand, have a constant stream of high power without relying on a battery. They also tend to be a bit lighter. With the constant improvement in battery technology, however, this weight difference is becoming more and more negligible. In the end, it’s more a choice of preference – I tend to gravitate towards cordless in the reciprocating world.

If you have a favored manufacturer this can significantly narrow your search. However, before you jump at the first brand you recognize, or, perhaps even one you know well, you should do a bit of cross-comparing to ensure you are getting exactly what you need at a price you can stomach. Remember though that no two tools are built alike, typically, each manufacturer will excel in building a particular tool. For the most exceptional recipro saws, I always look to Milwaukee and Makita.

To make sure you don’t spend too much (or too little), be sure to set a budget. Being familiar with pricing and with your own price range helps ensure you make the best investment. It’s also important to keep in mind that an inexpensive saw is usually inexpensively made and might not be worth your hard earned money. Similarly, an expensive tool is usually so for being meticulously manufactured.

You should also consider the importance of a good warranty. Ensuring you’re investing in a quality, trusted product, having a good warranty is a great thing to keep in your tool box. Most industrial brands include a one year warranty on corded tools, around three years on cordless tools, and one year on batteries and chargers.

If possible, it’s also good to hold and tinker a bit with a recipro saw before you make your purchase. Being able to personally handle the saw before making a commitment ensures you are totally happy with the tool and its weight, balance, etc. It’s certainly okay if you can’t personally meet the tool before-hand, just something to consider. Using a power tool that doesn’t fit you is like wearing a pair of too small boots or a hat that falls over your eyes; having a good fit with your tool is, in my opinion, nearly as important as wearing the right prescription.

In the long run, finding the best tool is a bit of a process, but it’s one you certainly won’t regret undertaking. The right recipro saw is out there for you somewhere and with a bit of homework, it’s as good as in your capable hands.

Specializing in tool parts & web communications, Mallory joined M&M Tool 4 yrs ago adding to their over 150 yrs combined experience. For over 70 yrs M&M Tool has provided the best service to the tool industry with replacement parts, sales, & service to woodworking products, machinery & power tools. Visit M&M Tool’s power tool recommender to find the equipment that best suits you.