Not many tools work well on both sides of the creative fence - constructing and deconstructing. Among power tools, few can match the versatility of a reciprocating saw in both arenas.
Because other power tools such as circular saws and drills are often perceived as more useful, a reciprocating saw typically isn’t the first tool a DIYer buys. But if you do any kind of home renovation, regularly break down lumber or have a lot of trees on your property, it’s definitely one to consider adding to your arsenal.
The reciprocating saw debuted more than a half century ago when Milwaukee introduced the Sawzall, which was essentially a horizontal jigsaw. (“Reciprocating” simply means an alternating or back-and-forth movement.) To this day, some builders and remodelers refer to any reciprocating saw as a Sawzall, the trademark name for Milwaukee’s tool.
The original model was a low-power, single-speed machine with no frills and few blade choices. By comparison, today’s reciprocating saws are bursting with features. You can get as much power as you need, and variable speed is commonplace. Corded and cordless models are available. Tool-free blade changing is quick and easy, and there’s a blade to suit nearly every cutting task.
Prices for reciprocating saws range widely. You can find corded models for as little as $20, but they’re best avoided. A good midrange corded saw of 10 amps or less usually sells for $50 to $100; upping the power increases the price. Cordless models start at $80 to $100 (although a few, such as the little Black & Decker Handisaw, cost less than $50).
Because they’re linear tools that cut from the tip, reciprocating saws don’t need much room to operate. This makes them perfect for remodeling and renovation because they easily fit where other saws won’t: between joists, in crawlspaces and attics, under sinks, etc. And they do it more safely because...
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