New Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall Reciprocating Saw (2821) – What’s Been Upgraded…

Reciprocating Saw vs. Sawzall: Are They the Same?

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Reciprocating saws are handheld yet powerful, making them a favorite amongst gardeners and construction companies. If you’re also searching for the best amongst its line, you have probably come across the term “Sawzall.”

Now, you may be confused and torn which to choose. To clarify the misconceptions, this reciprocating saw vs. Sawzall comparison will explain what you need to know about these tools.

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

A reciprocating saw is a handheld saw and portable machine powered by a powerful motor that works through a reciprocating motion or the blade going up and down.

There are corded and cordless models of this machine-powered saw, allowing users to choose what compliments their working style.

The device takes its namesake from its way of operating, which is on a reciprocating motion. The blades are similar to a jigsaw with a comfortable handle and are commonly used for surfaces that are complicated to reach with a regular saw.

Reciprocating saws work on a push-pull mechanism and can generally deliver straight cuts on various materials like wood, plastic, and even metal.

This powerful saw has an array of blades, and different types of teeth count. The more teeth on the saw, the cleaner your produced cuts will be.

Unlike other saws, a reciprocating saw doesn’t have fences or attachments to the blade, which is why the woodsman’s finesse and delivery of cuts are based on the handcraft work. Hence it’s still a powerful tool as it can cut tough pieces of plastic and lumber.

What is a Sawzall?

People often confuse Sawzall as a different type of saw, but it’s only a brand of a reciprocating saw. This brand’s line has echoed its name as the best reciprocating saw in the market.

Though not commonly known, this renowned tool is the brainchild of Milwaukee Company and has a registered trademark.

It was known as the best reciprocating saw, which explains why it is most commonly referred to as a “Sawzall.” Milwaukee also has its line and models of reciprocating saws named Hackzalls.

Similarities Shared by Reciprocating Saws and Sawzalls

Design and Build

If you’re on a search for a powerful tool in building and designing, you’ve come to the right place. Reciprocating saws have different models and lines to choose from. The differences between these units are mainly speed, delivery, and weight.

They range from lightweight to heavy-duty models for different kinds of saw workers. These varying features are an advantage for more precise and picky users.


Reciprocating saws come in two types. A corded reciprocating saw runs through an electric source, while lithium-ion batteries power the cordless one. A cordless reciprocating saw also has a pivoting shoe for increased control.


The namesake of reciprocating saws came from its unique mechanism. It is built and structured with different tools, such as crank, scotch yoke drive, barrel cam, or captive cam. It works in a back and forth motion. Other types fall into the reciprocating saws category like the saber saw, scroll saw, and rotatory reciprocating saw.

It’s also best used for demolition works and heavy-duty operations due to its relatively powerful delivery. There are also different versions specially made for lightweight projects.

Exclusive Features of a Sawzall

The Sawzall is the more common and upgraded variation of the reciprocating saw. This version of the reciprocating saw has a bit more definite and modern features that prioritize user convenience at most.

The Sawzall also works more efficiently, and its abilities make it a better option than the regular reciprocating saws. It also has some special features, making it more convenient than the regular reciprocating saws.

It includes a forward-mount supported point and rubber grips that make the tools easy on the hand and less prone to hand fatigue.

It is also smaller than common reciprocating saws but doesn’t compromise power. This is a reason why a Sawzall is also considered a balanced and optimized model. Apart from these notable characteristics, it can also change blades depending on your use.

New Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall Reciprocating Saw (2821) – What’s Been Upgraded?

As mentioned in our Milwaukee Pipeline Episode 3 new tools roundup post, Milwaukee is coming out with a new M18 Fuel Sawzall cordless reciprocating saw, model 2821. Here, we’ll talk about some of the reasons why you should care about this upgrade.

Although it might not seem like a substantial upgrade at first glance, Milwaukee is launching this new M18 Fuel Sawzall reciprocating saw as a replacement to their original M18 Fuel Sawzall.

Milwaukee’s M18 Fuel Sawzall first launched in 2013, and at the time, it was described as being the most powerful 18V cordless reciprocating saw on the market.

The original M18 Fuel Sawzall lost its title when even more powerful brushless-motor reciprocating saws followed in its way, including the Milwaukee “faster than 15A corded” M18 Fuel Super Sawzall.

But, it has and continued to be a very popular reciprocating saw, offering a fair compromise between power, size, and runtime.

Just by appearances, you can tell that the new Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall (2821) is different from its predecessor (2720). But, most of the upgrades and improvements won’t be very obvious by appearances alone.

Milwaukee has also managed to earn some new titles for the upgraded M18 Fuel Sawzall, boasting that it is now the fastest cutting in class, compared to competitive fixed orbit 18V and 20V max reciprocating saws.

significant for users within Milwaukee’s M18 and M18 Fuel platform, those who aren’t looking at competitive models but within M18 options exclusively, the new Sawzall was designed to be the most durable Sawzall recip saw yet.

Keep in mind that the M18 Fuel Sawzall launched 7 years ago. That’s a lot of time for field testing and failure analysis, not to mention advancements and engineering efforts that contributed to other Milwaukee tool developments over the past few years.

As if greater durability wasn’t enough, Milwaukee made the new M18 Fuel Sawzall lighter, too – the new model is more than 1/2 a pound lighter than its predecessor.

Lighter weight should mean less fatigue.

Here’s a snapshot of the new saw’s features:

  • Brushless motor
  • Pivoting shoe
  • Extendable shoe (can you believe that some saws still don’t have this?!)
  • Tool-free Quik Lok blade change – now more durable
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Metal-reinforced battery rail
  • 3000 SPM
  • 1-1/4″ stroke length
  • Adjustable Shoe
  • Anti-Corrosion Blade Clamp
  • Rafter Hook
  • LED light
  • Weighs 6.8 lbs bare tool, 8.4 lbs with 5Ah battery
  • 5-year warranty

The new Milwaukee 2821 M18 Fuel Sawzall will be available as a bare tool (2821) and 1- and 2-battery kits, (2821-21, 2821-22). The kits will come with a charger, carrying bag, and (1) or (2) XC 5.0Ah batteries.

Did you notice something in the specs? I missed it at first too, but a reader pointed it out – this new model has a longer cutting stroke than the first-generation model, now matching the 1-1/4″ stroke length of the M18 Fuel Super Sawzall.

Pricing: 199 for the bare tool (2821-20) 319 for the 1-battery kit (2821-21), 419 for the 2-battery kit (2821-22) ETA: November 2020

Also Coming Soon: Sawzall with One-Key

A One-Key version will also be available, and it will be replacing Milwaukee’s 2721 model.

Pricing: 259 for the bare tool, (2822-20) 469 for the kit (2822-22) ETA: January 2021


The newest M18 Fuel Sawzall has been upgraded to be lighter and more durable, and it has a small bump-up in cutting stroke length.

Milwaukee says this is the fastest cutting reciprocating saw in its class.

They also say that this 2nd generation model was:

built from the ground-up with key durability improvements to enhance its life amid the harshest jobsite conditions.

Also keep in mind that roughly 7 years have passed since Milwaukee launched their first M18 Fuel Sawzall, model 2720. Milwaukee Tool has developed quite a few new cordless power tools since then, including Sawzall-family reciprocating saws of different styles. A lot can change in cordless power tool and brushless motor tech in a few short years, and undoubtedly some of those improvements and advancements undoubtedly made their way into their newest brushless Sawzall.

I’d bet that this new Milwaukee 2821 Sawzall will go on to become the defacto standard for the next 5 years.

Yes, there are more powerful saws, and yes there are smaller and lighter ones as well. This will be the one to get if you want a balanced user experience.

18 Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Since this one lacks an orbital mode, I bet the Super Sawzall would be faster in wood. Performance with metal might be more comparable.

I’d think this would be the better all-around saw, and the Super Sawzall for more demanding tasks. The Super Sawzall has an orbital mode as James mentioned, and was also designed around their HD and High Output batteries. This one is smaller and lighter. 6.8 lbs without battery vs. 8.8 lbs. The M18 Fuel Super Sawzall is kitted with a 15-cell 12Ah battery, this new M18 Fuel is kitted with a 10-cell 5Ah battery. F150 vs. F250 Mac vs. Mac Pro 3/8″ ratchet vs. 1/2″ Nail hammer vs. framing hammer There’s a point of inflection where using a lower-powered tool requires more effort, time, and user fatigue to accomplish a task than a higher-powered one. It comes down to the question – what do you want to use the tool for? For all-around tasks, I’d want this M18 Fuel Sawzall. For high frequency heavier cutting tasks, maybe the Super Sawzall. I’ll see if I can get some more specific examples.

LIGHTER. The Super Sawzall is very powerful, but man, its friggin heavy! 9 pounds may not seem like much, but I find myself needing to use one hand to stabilize material or pull something back here and there. Using it one-handed shreds my forearms. That being said, unless you need orbital mode, I’d probably just go with the new standard sawzall for the weight difference alone.

Exactly my experience too. And I still have my original steel case removable cord Sawzall if I were to consider its weight (no battery) as a needed advantage. Time marches on.

I agree. The super is more of a niche tool considering the other versions are plenty capable for most tasks. Funny, I have the m12 non-fuel hackzall and the m18 super – opposite ends of the spectrum! I think I did that wrong.

I’m amazed how some people don’t seem to consider or care about weight of their tools, especially when using them all day. I think it’s too often a macho type of thing. I do understand that some workers are particularly strong and it really doesn’t matter to them but that’s really the exception.

milwaukee, fuel, sawzall, reciprocating

Why I rarely use a 12ah battery on any tool. On occasion the chainsaw, otherwise I stick to 8 HO, 5, 3 HO, and 2s. The 12 typically stays in stationary tools, and more of a just in case. Besides weight, I’d rather have three 8’s than two 12’s in order to rotate out batteries and always have one charging /or another tool at the ready to go.

milwaukee, fuel, sawzall, reciprocating

The anti-corrosion blade clamp will be nice; I wonder if that would be available as parts/compatible with the gen 1 saw. I’ve had mine rust shut a couple times, once so badly that I had to tear the saw down to take it apart. Lesson learned to spray it periodically with WD-40, but definitely a nice upgrade. A 25% stroke increase is nice, for sure.

If I had to guess, I’d say probably not, but I just emailed Milwaukee Tool with your question to be sure. The stroke length increased from 1-1/8″ to 1-1/4″, which is about 11% longer.

I wish, too. I have the 1st gen fuel saw and I recently had to break free/ lube the blade clamp. Something about cutting out old galvi. pipes with some water left in them near the same time as cutting wood, drywall and plaster. I also have an well used older corded sawzall in storage that the only issue is a messed up blade clamp( I found a replacement a few years ago, used with the metal box)

I didn’t know my sawzall had an extendable shoe until someone pointed it out. It’s a brilliant feature especially since you rarely cut things anywhere near blade depth.

For some cutting the extendable shoe can help you stretch blade life. If you’ve worn out the teeth close to the shoe with repetitive cutting of the same-sized material – then extending the shoe will expose fresh teeth. It is also useful when you encounter situations where the tip of the blade might encounter a wall or some other obstacle – an reducing the depth of cut will help. A modern reciprocating saw that did not have this feature would be a “no-buy” for me

It bothers me seeing people, especially “construction professionals” not using the shoe. In some cases it’s like night and day when what you’re cutting is in the middle of space and vibrating like crazy, or the blade is jumping around. It’s one of the reasons I was turned off a long time ago by DeWALT recip saws. I used a corded one without adjustable shoe and found it way less usable.

BRAND NEW Milwaukee SAWZALL (2821 20). First Look & What’s in the Box

I noticed two things that aren’t covered in the marketing material or by Stuart (at least I didn’t notice it). 1. They changed the shoe release from that “super stiff” lever to a push button…sweet, because I get tired of taking off gloves or peeling a nail back on the super sawzall. 2. The battery holder has a higher offset where the battery gauge is located. Is this a sign of bigger/different batteries to come? As far as I’m aware, all batteries fit in the current model.

I saw the button design, forgot to mention it – whoops! It’s too soon to comment on – it might work easier or harder than the larger folding lever on the older model. Having less exposed movement is probably a good thing regarding durability, but is it as user friendly? I don’t know what can be surmised from the battery compartment design. It doesn’t necessarily indicate new batteries, could just be an optimization of some kind.

These are great improvements. However, what is in store for the Super? I mean, this is nice and all, but there are some features on the Super that can make your job a lot easier, especially in the Demo phase of the job.

The original was no doubt durable. I’m sure I’ve made miles of cuts with mine and the only issue is the blade clamp is a bit finnicky and needs oiling to work right, which makes it collect debris even more quickly.

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Home » Latest Tool Reviews » Head-To-Head » Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw Head-To-Head | 2022

Best 18V-24V Cordless Reciprocating Saw Head-To-Head |2022

Over 70 years ago (1951 to be exact) Milwaukee Tools introduced the first reciprocating saw called the SAWZALL. Since then technology has advanced dramatically. Currently, there is a plethora of full-size cordless reciprocating saws that are being used on millions of job sites every day!

Demolition contractors, plumbers, electricians, carpenters, mechanical contractors (both residential and commercial), and even firefighters are among the users. We can’t think of another power instrument that touches so many diverse trades than the reciprocating saw.

Cordless Reciprocating Saw Line Up

Fifteen manufacturers sent us their best cordless reciprocating saw on their 18v-24v platforms. We received the following 17 reciprocating saws for this Head-To-Head.

Hart Reciprocating Saw

Kobalt Reciprocating Saw

Makita Reciprocating Saw

Metabo HPT Reciprocating Saw

Milwaukee Sawzall Reciprocating Saw

RIDGID Reciprocating Saw

Skil Reciprocating Saw

WORX Reciprocating Saw

Note: Bosch was asked to participate in this Reciprocating Saw Head-to-Head, however, they declined.

Head-to-Head Testing Format

For our Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw Head-to-Head, our team looked at a total of 9 criteria, which are listed below. Each criterion was ranked independently, and the “Overall Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw” was determined using a combination of the test results.

We wanted to develop various speed tests related to several significant trades for this Cordless Reciprocating Saw Head-to-Head. We created tests that appeal to the following users and added to the standard testing criteria we always add in our Head-To-Head tests.

  • General Contractor / Demolition [timed cut test]
  • Plumbing / Heating Contractors [timed cut test]
  • Electricians [timed cut test]
  • Features
  • Ergonomics
  • Size
  • Noise
  • Price
  • Best Value

Testing Blade Information

All reciprocating saws were fitted with task-specific, brand-new Milwaukee Nitrus Carbide blades before testing, which shifted the FOCUS away from the blades and more toward the saws.

  • Timed Test 1: Gas Pipe for plumbers.
  • Timed Test 2: Unistrut for electricians.
  • Timed Test 3: Nail Embedded Wood for Carpenters and Remodelers.

NITRUS CARBIDE teeth on these reciprocating saw blades allow you to cut longer, and faster. Compared to standard carbide tooth blades, Milwaukee claims that the NITRUS CARBIDE technology outlasts existing carbide-toothed reciprocating saw blades by 3-times. Milwaukee uses 25% more Carbide per tooth on their NITRUS CARBIDE blades.

Battery Pack Guidelines

For this Head to Head, we requested manufacturers send us two of their batteries in the 4.0Ah to 6.0Ah range. This was to even out the playing field as some of these companies have very large batteries for these saws.

Testing Format Information

For the Nail Embedded and Uni-strut testing, we suspended a 10-pound weight from an anchor strap on the forward grip of each reciprocating saw to ensure that each saw received the same cutting pressure.

The cut began with both hands on the saw, the front hand was released to let the 10-pound weight draw the blade through the cut. Also, some of these saws include a variable speed option. We performed the tests using the highest factory-applied speed setting.

Jig Information

Tool Box Buzz has spent countless hours designing, building, and tweaking our test jig which allows us to remove human error in some of our testing.

To ensure a repeatable even cut, the jig is composed of 4 extruded aluminum towers that act as vertical rails for a mounting platform that holds and constrains the saw. At the heart of the jig is a 3D-printed fractal vise that can move around irregular surfaces of the saw to provide even horizontal clamping force. Additional straps are used to hold the saws in place.

All of the saws were fitted with new Milwaukee 6-inch TORCH blades. ( 7 TPI with Nitrus Carbide Teeth) – 48-00-5261

A timing system is used on the jig that takes advantage of two carefully positioned micro-switches that control the start and stop time of the cut. Our process was to raise the saws above the material with an attached rope, start the saws at their highest setting and use a Velcro strap to keep the saw trigger in the “full-on” position. The saw is carefully lowered into the cut and the micro-switch timing starts as the cut sequence is initiated. At this time the weight of the saw and the weight of the mounting platform ~20lbs was the cutting force exerted into the cut.

Gas Pipe Speed Test | Winner – FLEX

This gas pipe test is designed for plumbing and heating contractors. Using 1-1/2″ cylindrical black steel schedule 40 gas pipe. We utilized the new Milwaukee Torch blades suitable for the thick metal in each saw and timed three cuts using our testing rig. We used Rockwell Jawhorses to hold the pipe at the desired height while we cut.

The winner of the gas pipe test was the FLEX 2271-Z with an impressive average time of 4.71 seconds. Second place was the Kobalt KRS-224B with a time of 5.15 seconds and third was the Milwaukee One Key 2822-20 with 5.63 seconds. The slowest saw that actually finished the test was the WORX coming in at 16.42 seconds.

This test, combined with the weight of the testing jig proved to be a challenge for some of the saws and a borderline torture test. The strong cutting force really gave the more robust saws their moment to shine.

Hart, Kobalt KXRS, Metabo HPT, Porter Cable, Ryobi, and Skil could not complete the test and received a DNF [Did Not Finish]. The Metabo HPT and Kobalt saws were overloaded and went into thermal overload, a feature designed to protect the motor, automatically shutting the saw down. The Porter-Cable and Skill saw motors were also overloaded, but do not have thermal overload protection, so the testing team stopped the test.

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MfgFLEXKobalt KRS 224B-03Milwaukee 2822-20Milwaukee 2722-20HiltiMakita 18vMetaboCraftsmanDeWALT 20vRidgidWORXHartKobalt KXRS 124B-03Metabo HPT 18vPorter CableRyobiSkil
Cut 1 Cut 2 Cut 3 Average Rank
4.58 4.72 4.83 4.71 1
4.91 5.32 5.21 5.15 2
5.75 5.8 5.35 5.63 3
5.44 6.28 6.58 6.10 4
6.88 6.59 6.78 6.75 5
8.3 8.44 7.74 8.16 6
9.62 8.79 10.4 9.60 7
10.07 10.94 11.38 10.80 8
10.96 11.01 11.1 11.02 9
13.66 14.78 13.92 14.12 10
15.87 16.15 17.25 16.42 11

Unistrut Speed Test | Winner – FLEX

For electricians and mechanical contractors, Uni-strut is a standardized formed structural system used for light structural support, frequently for supporting wiring, piping, or mechanical components. In each saw, we utilized new Milwaukee TORCH, (6″ 7 TPI w/ Nitrus Carbide Teeth) – 48-00-5261, blades and recorded the average time for three cuts. We used a 10lb weight on an anchor strap and let the weight do the cutting.

The winner of this test was the FLEX 2271-Z with a speed of 3.67 seconds. Kobalt KRS in a close second with 4.23 seconds and third place went to the Makita 18v at 4.48 seconds.

Every saw was able to complete this test. The slowest saw of the group was the Ridgid R8647B coming in at a whopping 23.42 seconds.

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MfgFLEXKobalt KRS 224BMakita 18vMilwaukee 2822Kobalt KXRS 124B-03Metabo HPT 18vDeWALT 20vMilwaukee 2722MetaboCraftsmanHiltiHartWORXRyobiSkilPorter CableRidgid
Cut 1 Cut 2 Cut 3 Average Rank
3.89 3.93 3.2 3.67 1
4.22 4.99 3.47 4.23 2
4.91 4.25 4.29 4.48 3
4.05 5.23 4.89 4.72 4
5.25 6.08 4.97 5.43 5
6.95 5.16 4.6 5.57 6
7.27 5.81 6.89 6.66 7
6.86 6 7.26 6.71 8
7.32 6.14 7.2 6.89 9
6.34 9.01 7.15 7.50 10
9.4 8.4 10.99 9.60 11
8.86 10.3 11.93 10.36 12
9.73 13.05 11.9 11.56 13
18.66 12.44 9.94 13.68 14
21.68 15.28 17.02 17.99 15
26.2 17.98 23.11 22.43 16
17.85 30.83 21.57 23.42 17

Nail Embedded Wood Speed Test | Winner – Makita 18V

For our nail-embedded wood test, we took three 2×10 joists, fastened them together, and added five (5) 3-1/2″ nails into each 2×10 for a total of fifteen (15) nails. We used a 10 lb weight fixed to an anchor strap at the front of each saw and then plowed through three nail-embedded 2x10s with each cut.

This simulates heavy-duty demolition cutting for carpenters, remodelers, and general contractors. In each saw, we utilized a new Milwaukee WRECKER (9″ 6 TPI with Nitrus Carbide Teeth) – 48-00-5272, blade suited for nail-embedded wood, and timed three cuts.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall Vs Super Fuel Sawzall at Home Depot!

The winner of this test was the Makita XRJ05Z with an impressive speed of 28.69 seconds. The team commented on how easy the Makita is to install the blade and the surprising cutting speed.

Two-hundredths of a second [.02] slower was the FLEX at 28.71. Finishing up in third place was the Milwaukee Super Sawzall 2722-20 with an average speed of 29.62.

Porter Cable had the longest cut time at 129.51 seconds. Skil was the only saw that did not finish a cut in the test [DNF], stopping a few seconds in.

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MfgMakita 18vFLEXMilwaukee 2722-20RidgidMetabo HPT 18vDeWALT 20vMilwaukee 2822-20Kobalt KRS 224B-03Kobalt KXRS 124B-03CraftsmanMetaboHiltiRyobiWORXHartPorter CableSkil
Cut 1 Cut 2 Cut 3 Average Rank
28.13 26.92 31.01 28.69 1
29.55 28.21 28.38 28.71 2
29.8 29.84 29.22 29.62 3
30.81 28.67 32.98 30.82 4
32.66 32.08 28.56 31.10 5
34.64 30.98 29.97 31.86 6
33.7 30.77 31.96 32.14 7
37.31 36.96 34.85 36.37 8
35.53 40.39 34.79 36.90 9
43.32 36.44 36.2 38.65 10
47.52 42.29 41.86 43.89 11
47.36 55.29 37.08 46.58 12
61.82 72.51 70.09 68.14 13
72.29 95.95 83.53 83.92 14
94.8 93.35 DNF 94.08 15
129.51 DNF DNF 129.51 16

Features | Winner – Milwaukee 2722-20 One-Key

Comparing tool features from different brands is challenging, but “the devil is in the details.” We feel that a feature assessment is necessary and the entire team discussed these features and scored them. Each feature was worth 1 point. The total number of points available was 7.

  • Rafter hook
  • Orbital action
  • Blade release lever
  • LED Light
  • Shoe plate
  • Variable speed
  • Standout Features

The winner of the feature section is the Milwaukee One Key 2822-20. This saw had a total of 7 points, with a perfect score. This saw was well-balanced, and has a super comfortable grip and over molding, a solid rafter hook, and a smooth spring lever for blade changing. The crew noted that the back-light for electronic controls needs to be brighter or a different contrast for working in sunlight operations.

There was a two-way tie for second place, the Milwaukee Super Sawzall, and the Ridgid with 5 points each.

milwaukee, fuel, sawzall, reciprocating

The only saw that did not have any of these features was the Porter Cable, which resulted in a 0 score.

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MfgMilwaukee 2822-20Milwaukee 2722-20RidgidFLEXHiltiKobalt KRS 224B-03Makita 18vWORXKobalt KXRS 124B-03MetaboMetabo HPT 18vRyobiCraftsmanDeWALT 20vHartSkilPorter Cable
Rafter Hook Orbital Action Release Lever LED Light Adj. Shoe Speed Modes Feature Score RANK
1 1 1 1 1 1 6 1
1 1 0 1 1 1 5 2
1 1 1 1 1 0 5 2
1 1 0 1 1 0 4 4
1 0 1 1 1 0 4 4
1 0 0 1 1 1 4 4
1 0 0 1 1 1 4 4
0 1 1 1 1 0 4 4
0 1 0 1 1 0 3 9
0 0 1 1 1 0 3 9
0 1 0 1 1 0 3 9
0 0 1 1 1 0 3 9
0 0 0 1 0 1 2 13
0 0 1 1 0 0 2 13
0 0 1 1 0 0 2 13
0 0 0 1 1 0 2 13
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 17

Rafter Hook

Almost all of the saws with rafter hooks were metal hooks and a swivel mount. The Hilti was the only exception with a narrower, ABS plastic style hook.

Variable Speed

All the reciprocating tested had variable triggers, but only five allow for an upper RPM limit setting. Of those five, the Milwaukee Super Sawzall has a variable analog speed dial. The Milwaukee One-Key reciprocating allows three preset settings on the tool and additional customization RPM controlling and settings through the One-Key AP.

Stand-Out Features

Standout features are ones that other saws do not have and should be thought about when making a purchase.

Milwaukee ONE-KEY

The Milwaukee 2722-20 is the first reciprocating saw in its field to wirelessly link to a smartphone and track, manage, and customize a tool’s usage and location. With Unlimited Tool Customization, you can connect to the device and access preset setups for particular materials and fasteners, or you can fully customize the output speed and power for the current application. The custom profile is then saved to the tool’s memory after the desired output performance has been attained, making the connection to the smartphone unnecessary. Up to 4 unique profiles can be conveniently accessed from the tool’s memory with the touch of a button. Additionally, your personalized profiles are kept in the Cloud and accessible at any time.

Using tools across your network of jobs and users is completely visible with integrated tool tracking, which ONE-KEY offers. The app will track all ONE-KEY compatible devices within a 100-foot radius of your phone.

All devices are traceable regardless of whether the battery is charged or on the tool because the capability is built into the instrument rather than the battery.

The program will automatically keep track of the last time a tool was in its vicinity, making it easier to find missing tools and improving crew responsibility. If you’re having problems finding a misplaced tool, ask anyone with the ONE-KEY app for assistance in broadening your search.

Additionally, the One-Key also has fixed orbital action. This means you can not turn it on or off. Unlike the Super Sawzall, which has a selectable orbit, the One-Key detects the best orbital action for cutting material.

HILTI On!Track

The HILTI 22V Nuron tools generate data which is then stored on the Nuron batteries and sent securely to the Cloud during every charge without any operator interaction. NURON batteries have an internal memory card that can simultaneously store information from up to 12 tools.

When the batteries are plugged into the charger, the data is automatically uploaded to the Cloud via cellular networks without any setup required. This allows users to make data-driven decisions based on site-specific tool usage patterns. Using Hilt’s ON! Track software on app and web customers can track this information by user or job site or leave it at a tool level, whichever they prefer.

Together with services like Hilti Fleet Management [paid subscription service] tool data can be used to reduce downtime and optimize tool cribs to boost customer productivity.

While this is an excellent feature, the team feels it needs to do more for the majority of Pro contractor users who are unable or unwilling to subscribe to the Hilti Fleet Management services.

DeWALT Flexvolt Advantage

DeWALT FLEXVOLT Batteries can unlock more power and better performance with Flexvolt Advantage 20v Max tools. The FLEXVOLT ADVANTAGE technology-equipped tools are aware of the battery’s connection and alter their power output accordingly. When combined with FLEXVOLT batteries, DeWALT 20V MAX tools with FLEXVOLT ADVANTAGE technology give end users greater power.

Ergonomics | Winner – Milwaukee 2822-20 One-key

The ergonomics evaluation in this section is purely subjective and based on the opinions of the testing crew. After a full day of running performance tests, the team sat down and ranked each tool in several categories on a score of 1-10 [1 being the best]. For the ergonomics evaluation, the team evaluated the following criteria:

The Milwaukee One-key reciprocating saw came in with a six score and never dropped below 2nd place in the four tested categories. Hilti saw came in 2nd with an eight score. Third place went to the flex with double the points of the first two saws with a score of 15.

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MfgMilwaukee 2822HiltiFLEXKobalt KRS 224B-03MetaboWORXDeWALT 20vKobalt KXRS 124B-03RyobiMetabo HPT 18vMilwaukee 2722RidgidSkilHartMakita 18vCraftsmanPorter Cable
Vibration Grip Blade Change Shoe Adjustment Total Score Rank
2 2 2 1 7 1
3 1 2 2 8 2
1 3 6 5 15 3
5 3 8 1 17 4
5 6 2 4 17 4
5 7 2 3 17 4
7 1 1 10 19 7
5 5 8 1 19 7
3 4 2 10 19 7
1 4 8 7 20 10
5 3 9 5 22 11
4 5 3 10 22 11
3 5 7 7 22 11
10 5 1 10 26 14
10 6 6 5 27 15
10 5 7 10 32 16
9 6 7 10 32 16

Subjective Vibration

Each evaluator ranked the tools based on perceived vibration for this category while performing each performance test. The average ranking was used for the final vibration ranking.

Vibration standouts:

The FLEX and Metabo HPT saws had minimal vibration. The FLEX saw includes active vibration control with FLEX’s “Shockshield Vibration Suppression.” According to FLEX, it reduces vibration by 40%. In our testing, without knowing this information, the entire crew all commented that the FLEX was one of the saws with the least vibration. Impressively it did this without bogging down or a reduction in power.

FLEX was “smooth as silk” to operate. ~ Rob

Grip Comfort

The crew collectively assessed how the grip surface, hand shape, and over-molding felt. Grip comfort is probably the hardest to score as a team due to the wide range of shapes and sizes of hands the team members have.

Grip Standout: DeWALT and Hilti

The team felt that the DeWALT and the Hilti saws had the most comfortable grip.

Ease of Blade Change

Every tool in this category included a tool-free blade change design. The comparison focused on the ease of changing blades. The entire team favored the external spring-loaded lever used to change the blade. The rest of the saw uses a spring-loaded twisting collet to change the blade.

Blade Change Standouts: DeWALT and Hart

Both the DeWALT and Hart saws use a spring-loaded lever to release or insert the blade. This lever was easy to operate with or without gloves.

The FLEX and Makita collets lock open and allow the blade to be inserted without twisting. The issue the team had with the collets was that many were difficult to grip, impossible to operate with gloves on, and the collet could sometimes get “buried” inside the housing of the tool, necessitating you to pull the trigger to reach the collet.

Shoe Plate Adjustment

Of the tools that had shoe plate adjustment the ones that did were controlled by either of the following:

It’s 2022, and onboard hex keys for shoe plate adjustments seem archaic but not having an adjustable shoe plate is silly. – TBB Crew Scott

FLEX has a push button on the front of the tool’s housing. During the testing, this button was recessed and got stuck inside the housing- making it impossible to adjust the shoe plate. Upon further inspection, there did not appear to be any debris build-up. The consensus was that the fit and finish of this mechanism needed to improve.

The two Kobalt Saws – have an ergonomically placed, single button, that adjusts the shoe easily. The shoe extends to the furthest point but does not come out of the tools. The team liked that, but this button could inadvertently be hit while in operation.

The Milwaukee M18 One-Key saw has two buttons, on each side, to easily release the shoe plate completely. Dual controls need to be pressed at the same time, making a using mishap unlikely.

Size | Winner – Porter Cable

To compare the saws’ overall size (compactness), the length ranking and the weight ranking were added together. The tools were ranked from smallest to largest and least heavy to heaviest. Smaller more compact tools are easier to operate in tight spaces and weight is always a fatigue factor.

Let’s face it, a saw lighter in weight and packs a punch [power] transcends into unicorn status! Weight is a huge consideration, after the performance, when using a reciprocating saw. The larger size saws translated into performance in our testing, we sure wish it were the opposite.

You often operate a reciprocating saw overhead, and the task can quickly cause fatigue. During the evaluation process, each reciprocating saw was weighed on our digital scale WITHOUT a battery. There are so many variations of battery packs on the market; some operators may choose a smaller battery pack for overhead tasks, and some may not.

Porter Cable took the size category measuring 15″ in length and weighing in at 4.35 lbs as a bare tool. Second place was the Skil which is 16″ in length and 4.83 lbs. Third went to Hart with 17-1/2″ and 5.00 lbs respectively.

The longest-length saw we tested was the Milwaukee One Key at 21-1/2″, placing it in last place when added with a weight of 8.80lbs. The heaviest saw was the FLEX, weighing 10.67 lbs which when added to its length of 18″, ranks it 15th out of 17 saws.

Noise Saw | Winner – HILTI

OSHA allows 8 hours of exposure for noise levels up to 90 decibels, but the exposure limits drop rapidly at 95 decibels and higher. Hearing protection should be worn when operating a reciprocating saw because they are extremely loud.

We used a decibel meter to measure the saw’s dB level in a no-load situation at a set distance of the same height as a user’s ear spacing to test these saws consistently. The crucial point is that the saws were always compared against each other, despite decibel measurements being relative to any setting. We evaluated these saws in a no-load capacity; nevertheless, when the saws are loaded, the noise level increases and the cutting material dictates the noise level.

The saw that was the quietest was the HILTI Nuron at 87 dBs. The second quietest saw was the Metabo at 92.0 decibels. The loudest reciprocating saw we tested was the Hart at 102.8 decibels.

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MfgHiltiMetaboPorter CableCraftsmanSkilWORXMetabo HPT 18vDeWALT 20vMakita 18vRidgidFLEXMilwaukee 2722Kobalt KXRS 124BRyobiKobalt KRS 224BMilwaukee 2822Hart
Noise dB Rank
88.1 1
92 2
92.7 3
93.5 4
93.7 5
94.7 6
98.6 7
99.4 8
100.3 9
100.3 9
100.5 11
101 12
101.9 13
101.9 13
102.1 15
102.1 15
102.8 17

Best Reciprocating Saw Price | Winner – Porter Cable

Price is always a consideration when deciding which saw is best for a user. For each of the saws “as-tested,” we’ve given the current bare tool pricing discovered online at the time of writing.

The price of a tool can sometimes be the deciding factor in whether or not to buy it. We can all agree that price is an essential factor to consider when purchasing tools, especially for those of you who are just getting started in the trades. We also understand that most contractors are brand loyal and will prefer to stick with their current battery platform rather than branch out and build a new line of cordless instruments.

The reciprocating saw that cost the least was the Porter Cable coming in at 62.00 bare tool. The second cheapest-priced saw was the Skil at 89.99 [this is the kit price]. Both of these saws fall into the DIY category for saws.

The most expensive saw we tested was the Hilti Nuron which came in at 299.00 bare tool.

We did not include the price in our overall score as we felt the lesser-priced DIY saws would penalize the higher-priced, better-performing Pro-rated saws. We have pricing in its own section for you to use as you need to. Most of these saws may be found at your local big box stores, and almost all of them can be found online like ACME Tools or Amazon.

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MfgPorter CableSkilCraftsmanWORXHartKobalt KXRS 124B-03Metabo HPT 18vKobalt KRS 224B-03RyobiDeWALT 20vMakita 18vMetaboRidgidFLEXMilwaukee 2722-20Milwaukee 2822-20Hilti
Price Rank
62 1
90 2
99 3
109 4
115 5
129 6
139 7
149 8
149 8
169 10
179 11
179 11
189 13
199 14
249 15
259 16
309 17

Best Value Reciprocating Saw | Winner – Kobalt KRS 224B-03

This category winner often resonates with almost everyone, because shines on the tool that performs well in our tests, while not breaking the bank. The best value reciprocating saw is the Kobalt KRS 224B-03. which came fifth place overall [out of 17 tools] and is the fifth least expensive saw, priced at 129.00 [bare tool]. This saw came in 4th place in Features, top 10 in the nail-embedded cutting test, second place in gas pipe testing, and fifth in the uni-strut cut test. It’s a solid-performing, well-priced tool and one that anyone would be happy using.

Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw | Winner – FLEX

It’s evident to the team that Flex is pushing hard on the gas pedal to enter the Pro market. This imposing saw is fantastic!

The Flex reciprocating saw was a clear winner in our testing process, with 37 awe-inspiring points. Flex shined in our performance testing, coming in 1st place in the gas pipe testing, 1st in uni-strut testing, and 2nd in nail-embedded wood.

It came in third in ergonomics and fourth in features. It is a large, stunningly powerful saw with low vibration; the team feels Flex has room to improve the blade change [collet] mechanism.

Second place was the Milwaukee One-key coming in with 44-points. A stand-out winner in ergonomics, with robust features and performance that never dipped below 5 in any cutting speed tests. The Milwaukee is a feature-rich, comfortable, robust saw. If the Flex is a suped-up, Hyper-fast, and smooth-riding Chevy, the M18 Sawzall is clearly a Mercedes. Its only flaw was the hard-to-see controls in direct sunlight.

Third place goes to the Metabo 602267850. The Metabo performed held its own in every category, and their smaller footprint and lower decibel ratings propelled them to score higher in the ranks. This saw could use some improvement on vibration and the team was not a fan of the battery eject button, which is not easy to manipulate.

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MFGFLEXMilwaukee 2822MetaboMakita 18vKobalt KRSHiltiKobalt KXRSMilwaukee 2722WORXMetabo HPT 18vDeWALT 20vCraftsmanRidgidRyobiSkilPorter CableHart
Noise Size Ergo Features Wood Cut Gas Pipe Unistrut Total Score Final Rank
11 15 3 4 2 1 1 37 1
15 13 1 1 7 3 4 44 2
2 4 4 9 11 7 9 46 3
9 9 15 4 1 6 3 47 4
13 10 7 4 9 2 5 50 5
1 16 2 4 12 5 11 51 6
15 7 4 9 8 12 2 57 7
12 17 11 2 3 4 8 57 7
6 6 4 4 14 11 13 58 9
7 11 10 9 5 12 6 60 10
8 11 7 13 6 9 7 61 11
4 5 16 13 10 8 10 66 12
9 13 11 2 4 10 17 66 12
13 7 7 9 13 12 14 75 14
5 2 11 13 17 12 15 75 14
3 1 16 17 16 12 16 81 16
17 3 14 13 15 12 12 86 17

The MOST Comprehensive Information Available

Our ALL Pro contractor team put some serious time and effort into our Best Reciprocating Saw Head-to-Head evaluations to provide you with the most comprehensive information available.

These tests and evaluations are tough, take a lot of time, but are limited in scope. We cannot do long-term ROI testing that would determine longevity. However, the team does see a few of these tools “punch above their weight,” in our testing only to smoke out or leave us with questions about their longevity down the road. Many of those tools are also not considered pro brands.

We get lots of Комментарии и мнения владельцев about how we make the final rankings. There are dozens of ways to compare tools; we share ALL the data from our tests, so you can re-rank the tools however you want. If you don’t care about an item we ranked? No problem. Remove that from the matrix above and re-rank them.

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