Last updated: August 10, 2021
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Welcome to our big reciprocating saw test 2022. Here we present all the reciprocating saws we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best reciprocating saw for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a reciprocating saw.




Summary

  • A reciprocating saw is the right choice for you if you are looking for a universal saw. Depending on your intended use, you can choose a saw with a mains power supply or with a rechargeable battery.
  • The strengths of a tiger saw lie in the flexibility of the saw blade, which makes it possible to saw in hard-to-reach places (for example, directly on the wall).
  • Before you decide on a particular model, you should check the material, the weight, the size, the handling and the number of strokes.

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Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a reciprocating saw

What is a reciprocating saw and when should you use it?

Sabre saw, also called recipro saw, tiger saw, universal saw or electric foxtail, is a hand-held electric saw. It can be used as a universal saw for almost any kind of dismantling of existing structures made of wood, metal, ceramics, concrete and other materials. These can also be screwed or nailed down. The choice of the right saw blade is decisive for the type of use. A reciprocating saw is suitable for both fine and rough cutting work. The tiger saw is characterised by its resilience and its flexibility, which allows you to saw in places that are difficult to access (for example: sawing off drain pipes directly on the wall).

Electric saws in general are used for all kinds of cutting work, as well as for cutting out various shapes or angle cuts. In addition to the reciprocating saw, there are a large number of different electric saws for these versatile jobs. Here is a small selection:

  • Jigsaw
  • Hand-held circular saw
  • Chop saw
  • Scroll saw (electric scroll saw)
  • All types of circular saws

Almost all of these saws can be used to process a wide variety of materials. It is important to choose the right saw blade for the job. The biggest advantage of the reciprocating saw is its almost universal applicability. With the right saw blade, the reciprocating saw can trim trees, cut through metal pipes and even cut ceramics.

It is also suitable for shortening metal pipes, cutting out wooden frame doors and windows, opening cable ducts and simply cutting all kinds of materials. The reciprocating saw has also proved particularly useful for dismantling old buildings, scaffolding or market stalls for quick and pragmatic use.

What type of reciprocating saw you should choose!

Basically, saws come in different versions. Sabre saws are generally battery-powered or with a power pack and mobile. Electric saws in and of themselves are also available in stationary versions, such as a circular saw. The decision as to which type of electric saw is most suitable lies in the environment of the work.

A reciprocating saw with a power pack enables continuous work over a longer period of time. Likewise, this type is recommended on construction sites where a continuous power supply is guaranteed.

The reciprocating saw is ideal for mobile work. You can choose whether the power supply is provided by a rechargeable battery or a mains adapter. Both variants have their individual advantages.

On large construction sites, building shells or in confined spaces, the battery-powered version is recommended. It should be noted, however, that the time-consuming recharging of the battery can interrupt the work again and again.

When deciding which version of the saw to buy, consider whether you need the greatest possible flexibility (e.g. for work on a construction site), whether you have to work in a confined space or whether there may be no power connection available.

Säbelsäge auf Baustelle

Which reciprocating saw you choose also depends on the area of use. On a construction site, for example, a version with a power supply is recommended. (Photo: Tracy Fox / 123rf.com)

How much does a reciprocating saw cost?

Sabre saws are available in different price categories from as little as 50 € to 900 €, depending on performance and equipment. Cheap models from 50 € are usually without any accessories worth mentioning (often without a battery) and only equipped with a minimum of wattage.

Sabre saws in the medium price segment from about 90 €, on the other hand, are often sufficient for normal household use. In this range, there are many offers where the power is in the medium wattage range and various accessories (for example, replacement saw blades) are already included.

In the high-price segment, you will mainly find high-wattage reciprocating saws equipped with various special features and a larger scope of delivery. Generally speaking, electric saws can be purchased for less than € 50. However, there is no upper limit.

What are the alternatives to a reciprocating saw?

In addition to reciprocating saws, there are other electrically powered saws. These are the jigsaw, the hand-held circular saw, the chop saw and the scroll saw. We have summarised the properties and fields of application of these saws in a table:

Type of saw Properties Suitable materials
Jigsaw A jigsaw is a hand-held tool with a single-sided saw blade. With this saw, openings can be precisely sawn out A jigsaw saws through wood, board materials, plastic, aluminium, sheet metal and plaster.
Hand-held circular saw Unlike a classic circular saw, the hand-held circular saw is not stationary. It can therefore be used more flexibly Depending on the saw blade used, a hand-held circular saw can cut through wood, metal, plastic and even natural stone.
Chop saw Chop saws enable clean and precise angular cuts The chop saw is mainly used in woodworking.
Scroll saw The scroll saw is a filigree form of the fretsaw. With a scroll saw, wood, metal and plastic can be processed.

Decision: What types of reciprocating saws are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two types of reciprocating saws:

  • Battery-powered reciprocating saw
  • Mains-powered reciprocating saw

Depending on where you use it and what features you value most, one of the two types is more suitable for you. In the following section, we would like to help you find out which type of reciprocating saw is best suited for you. For this purpose, we will introduce you to the two types of reciprocating saws mentioned above and clearly present the advantages and disadvantages of each.

How does a battery-powered reciprocating saw work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As with many electrical devices, there is also a battery-powered version of reciprocating saws, which promises a high gain in mobility and flexibility - especially in confined spaces. Worries about a power cable are forgotten, a decisive advantage especially in dangerous places. What's more, most battery-powered tools are also lighter (but usually less powerful) than their corded counterparts.

Advantages
  • Suitable for confined spaces
  • Does not need an active power socket nearby
  • Better handiness due to lighter weight
  • Useful life is extended with multiple batteries
Disadvantages
  • Charging takes time
  • Usually less power
  • Not always available by recharging

However, the battery power limits the working time, which can be extended with (already charged) spare batteries. In this way, you can continue to use the reciprocating saw effectively while the exhausted battery is being recharged. A battery-powered reciprocating saw should have a minimum capacity of 30 watt hours to ensure adequate operating time.

How does a mains-powered reciprocating saw work and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The classic variant is the mains-powered reciprocating saw. All you need is a power source and you're ready to go. However, this can also be your downfall if there is no power socket nearby. In an emergency, extension cables can help you to use the reciprocating saw. However, they also potentially restrict freedom of movement due to "cable clutter".

Advantages
  • Available at all times
  • Usually more power
  • Extension cables increase the operating range
Disadvantages
  • Higher weight

  • Cannot be used without a power source
  • Less freedom of movement

Combined with the extra weight of a mains-powered reciprocating saw, this is a considerable vice and carries a high risk of tangling.

On the other hand, you usually get more power than with battery-powered saws. A mains-powered reciprocating saw should have at least 700 watts of power, although it makes more sense to have too much power than too little for the sake of durability.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate reciprocating saws

In the following, we will show you which criteria you can use to compare and evaluate reciprocating saws. This will make it easier for you to get an overview and decide on a suitable and effective reciprocating saw. In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Material
  • Size, weight and handling
  • Stroke rate - pendulum stroke
  • Energy output
  • Features and accessories

In the following, you can read about the respective criteria and find out why it makes sense for you to purchase a reciprocating saw under these aspects or not.

Material

Depending on the material to be processed, special saws or all-round saws, such as the electric foxtail, can be shortlisted. With all-rounders, such as the reciprocating saw, you can use different saw blades depending on the material and thus process different materials.

Size, weight and handling

To be able to choose the right tiger saw, you can take a guideline of a weight between 2 - 4.5 kg; electric saws in general still need to be differentiated between hand-held and stationary devices. The lighter the reciprocating saw is in the hand, the easier it is to operate and the more precise the cut. Saws with higher energy output are correspondingly heavier.

With hand-held machines, the general rule is: the less weight the device has, the easier it is to work on the materials. However, bear in mind that the weight of a machine is also directly linked to its power. The lighter the machine, the lower the power.

Stroke rate - pendulum stroke

Depending on the material you want to work on, it makes sense to take a closer look at the stroke rate of the saw. The higher the stroke rate, the faster you can work with the reciprocating saw. For very hard materials, it makes sense to work with a lower stroke rate, while a higher stroke rate can be used for soft materials. For working with wood, it can be useful to use a pendulum reciprocating saw.

This means that the saw blade not only oscillates vertically, but also moves forwards and backwards. The forward and backward movement helps the saw to eject the chips better and thus protects against a possible blockage. For saws in the mid-price segment, the maximum stroke rate is approx. 2500 rpm. In principle, it is always advisable to test the saw with a lower stroke rate for softer materials and to set a higher stroke rate if necessary.

Before buying, consider what type of material you primarily want to cut. Depending on the hardness of the object to be sawn, you should adjust the stroke rate, the saw blade and the power of your reciprocating saw.

Power output

Choosing the right wattage ultimately depends on the type and amount of work you are doing. Basically, the harder the material, the higher the power should be. When deciding on a reciprocating saw, you should therefore make sure that it has a wattage of at least 700 watts. A good average, which is also met by most devices in the mid-price segment, is approx.

1050 watts. Generally, there are also electric saws with 600 watts or less. To make the right choice, consider what material you intend to work on. For hobby craftsmen, a good average will suffice. For details on the respective saws, see the respective page.

Bei Unsicherheit bietet es sich immer an, eine Säge mit höherer Leistung zu kaufen. Denn zu wenig Leistung führt im Endeffekt dazu, dass das Gerät kaputt geht.

If you are unsure, it is always a good idea to buy a saw with higher power. Too little power will ultimately lead to the tool breaking down.

Features and accessories

Of course, additional features should not be underestimated when making a purchase decision. What accessories are included? Is the tool supplied in a case? Are replacement saw blades for different materials included?

Depending on the brand of electric saw, there are also special features, such as infinitely variable stroke rate control or a pendulum stroke function. Electric saws come with many accessories: tool box, LED display, laser, saw blades (number, type and tool for changing), etc.

If you would like to take a closer look at the topic, we recommend that you consult customer reviews on various sales pages or testimonials from various forums. These come directly from practice, are often written by professionals and address topics and questions that are often not answered by manufacturers.

Image source: 123rf.com / Ольга Глебская

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