Sawzall is an iconic brand of reciprocating power saws used for cross-cutting and ripping of wood, metal, and pretty much any solid material. The different saw lines from Sawzall have become a standard choice for many carpenters, remodelers, and artisans because they can cut anything from thin plywood or laminates to thick metals. These reciprocating saws are ideal for demolition jobs, remodeling, and heavy construction work, so it's no surprise that they are the go-to tools for construction professionals and DIYers. But with so many different saws from Sawzalls out there, it can be difficult to know which one to buy. That's why we've done all the hard work for you. In this article, you will find a list of some of the best sawzalls in 2021 and some tips on how to select the best for your construction needs.
The DEWALT Max Reciprocating Saw is a durable and versatile option for craftsmen and remodelers. It executes impeccable cutting and features blades that can easily adjust to about four positions to fit a wide range of cutting requirements. In addition, this sawzall is a highly ergonomic choice, courtesy of a rubber grip that ensures comfort and total control when in use. Plus, it comes with a double oil sealed shaft that reduces contamination.
Its built-in variable speed trigger with 0-3000 spm means users can also control its speed and cutting depth. Overall, this reciprocating saw is one of the best the market can offer, and choosing it is not a choice you’re likely to regret.
It is excellent for tight spaces
It is energy-efficient, so its batteries last longer than most
This product comes as a package deal, with options to select and buy other accessories such as extra batteries, circular saw, an 11pc blade set, and many more. It is battery-powered and features a unique design that allows users to adjust its cutting speed and depth at will.
At a dimension of 15 x 3 x 15 inches and a weight of 4.5 pounds, the BLACK + DECKER Reciprocating saw kit is a portable model, which allows for easy control and less arm fatigue. In addition, this cordless sawzall allows for tool-free blade change – a feature that many construction workers and craftsmen always look out for.
It is simple to couple and use – no complex instructions required
A highly durable framework and cordless design
Suitable for tight and close proximity cutting
Some units may heat up after only some minutes of use
The SKILSAW Reciprocating Saw is a league above others thanks to proprietary buzzkill technology that suppresses in-line vibration. It runs on electricity, weighs 9 pounds, and features variable speed trigger controls to customize cutting speed.
This sawzall offers an impressive 1-1/8 inch stroke length for maximum cutting depth even at the fastest speeds. And with a 1-year warranty and solid build, this reciprocating saw is also one of the most durable options in the market.
It creates super low vibration when in use, thanks to buzzkill tech
It supports one-handed, tool-free blade change, courtesy of a highly ergonomic lock and release mechanism
Suitable for automotive recycling and demolition activities
Cheap in comparison to other brands that offer the same power and functionality
With a dimension of 16.19 x 3.5 x 7.63 inches, a total weight of 4 pounds, and a cordless design, the PORTER-CABLE 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw is one of the most portable and lightweight sawzalls in the market. It is a battery-powered model, requiring just one Lithium-ion battery to function.
This reciprocating saw features a variable-speed trigger for enhanced speed control and a contoured handle for handling comfort. Plus, it aggressively cuts 1-inch stroke lengths at 0-3,000 spm. In addition, it features a 20V Max System, which is as good as it gets for high-performance cutting.
It is suitable for tight spaces
Energy and time-efficient
Excess vibration and noise when in use
Some users claim it gets hot, generates a funny smell, and breaks down after one year of service
This product is a 2-in-1 model in the sense that with just a push of a button, you can convert it from a jigsaw into a reciprocating saw and back within seconds. It supports orbital cutting and comes with a built-in dust blower for enhanced cutting visibility. In addition, it features a 0.4A Charger, 1.5Ah 20V Battery, and 0V Axis.
You’ll also discover that this super saw can cut through almost anything. It slices everything from plastic, wood, metal, and ceramic to aluminum, copper, roots, fiberglass, and tiles. And at only 4.6 pounds, it is one of the most lightweight options in the market.
Compatibility with other outdoor power and lifestyle tools
Its design is highly ergonomic
It doesn’t have blade back-stabilization, so its cuts aren’t exactly neat
The Best Sawzalls Buying Guide
The Sawzall is a popular power tool commonly used in construction and demolition. It cuts through wood, metal, concrete, bricks, and other solid materials like hot knife through butter - a functional "saw-all" trait from which its name was derived. The versatility of this equipment means it is perfect for all kinds of jobs. You can use them to cut through drywall, steel beams, pipes, rebar, and more!
Sawzall is a popular brand of reciprocating saws. It features an electric motor-powered blade that moves back and forth at a 90-degree angle to the handle. These machines have a long list of uses, but they're most commonly used in the construction and demolition industries.
Sawzalls come in different sizes, models, brands, and prices, each with various perks and let downs that influence their functionalities. This buying guide will enlighten you on how to get the best sawzalls for your needs and answer some frequently asked questions about these power cutting tools.
What Are the Factors to Consider When Buying a Sawzall?
You can't afford to rush a buying decision or make a sawzall purchase out of ignorance. Not just because these machines are relatively expensive but also because they could make or mar the quality of your construction, repair, or demolition project. You need to understand the factors and elements that control the performance and use-case of a sawzall before buying one, all of which you will find below.
Orbital blade movement
Average reciprocating saws function only via a back and forth sawing movement. The best sawzalls, on the other hand, can switch to orbital cutting - a more aggressive cutting technique that uses elliptical motion to cut through solid materials.
However, note that with more aggressiveness comes higher vibration, so you might want to stick with the ordinary back and forth sawing mode for cutting PVC and thin metal.
Variable speed options
The best Sawzall models feature a variable speed trigger for adjusting cutting speed (cs). The cs of a sawzall is measured in spm (strokes per minute), and as you probably already know, different projects require varying cutting speeds. So, it’s a no-brainer to go for a sawzall that can adjust its speed to suit different tasks.
The amperage of a sawzall is directly proportional to its power. In simpler terms, the higher the amperage of a reciprocating saw, the higher its power and cutting aggressiveness. In light of this, it's best to go for sawzalls with 15 amps (the highest) if you want to enjoy sawzall cutting at its best. However, you can go for low-amperage sawzalls (between 7 and 9 amps) if your project requires little power.
Blade length and width
Your choice of sawzall blade length and width depends on the target material. For example, 6 x 3/4 x .050, 9 x 3/4 x .050, and 12 x 3/4 x .050 blades are suitable for cutting wood and plastic; 5 x 3/4 .050 for plaster; 9 x 3/4 x .060 for pruning trees and high alloy steel and 4 x 3/4 x .032, 6 x 3/4 x .032, and 9 x 3/4 x .039 for fiberglass, ceramic tiles, stone, marble, and cast iron.
However, instead of worrying about blade length and width, you can always buy third-party blades of any size and length and retrofit them to your sawzall.
Note: All the dimensions are written as L X W.
Level of noise and vibration
Noise and vibration are two inevitable phenomena in a working sawzall. However, they come at different levels, and this is what matters. The best sawzalls come with buzzkill technology or another proprietary tech that minimizes noise and vibration without compromising cutting efficiency and aggressiveness, and they should always be your choice. On the other hand, sawzalls with excess vibration and noise will deplete your concentration and cutting accuracy, and affect your arms in the long run, so avoid them at all costs.
The grip ergonomics of a sawzall affects how well you'll be able to control it, which in turn affects accuracy. Plus, it also determines comfort levels when in use. In this case, select only sawzalls with a contoured over-molded or rubber handle. Or better still, hold the sawzall yourself and confirm that it feels comfy before purchasing it.
Ease of blade change
This is a feature that has become quite sought-after in recent times, and with good reason. Gone are the days when you needed tools or had to waste time switching between blades. The best sawzalls today feature innovative lock and release mechanisms that enable one-handed, tool-free blade changes. Those are the models you should go for.
A built-in dust blower is a feature found only in elite sawzalls. It blows away debris and dust from the working area, thereby giving you better visibility. You should definitely consider it.
Weight is another essential factor to consider when choosing a sawzall, especially if you'll be working in a hanging position or for a relatively long time. A lightweight sawzall (typically weighing between 4 to 5 pounds) will not cause arm fatigue or exhaustion as quickly as a heavy model will. So, if comfort when working with a sawzall is a priority, go for lightweight models.
Battery-Powered or Electric?
Choosing between a battery-powered and electric sawzall boils down to your circumstances. For example, if access to electricity is a significant challenge, battery-powered models seem like the obvious and smart option. Also, battery-powered sawzalls are usually cordless - a design that confers portability and maneuverability. This makes them the most preferred choice if you'll be cutting tight or relatively small spaces.
Best Sawzalls FAQs
Q: What makes a cordless sawzall last long?
A: The operational duration of a sawzall relies highly on battery power. So, the higher the mAh of a battery, the longer a cordless sawzall will function.
Q: How do I take care of my sawzall?
A: Sawzalls don't require much maintenance practice. Just ensure that you store it in a cool, dry place, avoid dropping it on solid surfaces or in liquid, lubricate it regularly, and remove dust and debris from its vents.
Q: How does a sawzall work?
A: Sawzalls cut through solid materials like wood, metal, and plaster through a back and forth or orbital cutting motion. All you have to do is control the movement with your hands.
Q: What does anti-vibration mean on a sawzall?
A: Anti-vibration in a sawzall can be a phenomenon or tech that reduces the vibrations generated by the machine.
Q: How much do sawzalls cost?
A: A sawzall's price depends on its brand, model, and in-built features. Average models with limited functionality may cost as low as $30, while the high-end versions with premium functions may cost $120 or more.
The Woodsmith Review Team’s product reviews and in-depth guides are here to help you choose the best tools and gear to build great-looking projects confidently. The content is created by The Woodsmith Review Team. Woodsmith’s editorial staff is not involved. Woodsmith is reader-supported: When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.