7 Best Budget Reciprocating Saws (Skil, Kobalt, Dewalt…)

Last Updated on October 30, 2023 by Barry Gray

If you are trying to remodel your home, trying to tear down your walls without a reciprocating saw is futile. My favorite thing about reciprocating saws is how versatile they are. They can cut through any type of material, making your job a lot easier!

Reciprocating saws can cost anywhere between $60 to more than $400. And with so many options out there, choosing the best one can get a bit overwhelming.

Here are 7 of the best budget reciprocating saws for your DIY woodworking needs. All of them are priced below $200.

reciprocating saw after being used

I have also included a guide towards the end to help you choose the best reciprocating saw for your needs. Let’s dig in!

Best Budget Reciprocating Saw Under $100Skil Compact Reciprocating Saw (RS582902)

  • Type: Battery powered
  • Power: 20V
  • Maximum strokes per minute: 3000 SPM
  • Stroke length: 1 inch
  • Variable speed: Yes
  • Weight: 5.9 lbs

The Skil Compact Reciprocating Saw is powered by a PWR Core 20 2.0 Ah Lithium battery and is a powerful tool. Apart from the battery and a 20V charger, the reciprocating saw kit also includes a wood cutting blade and a hex key. Boasting a 1 inch stroke and a maximum speed of 3000 SPM, this tool is capable of cutting through anything – from fiberglass and PVC to wood and even metal!

The reciprocating saw has a variable speed trigger which lets you adjust the speed easily while working with different types of materials. The adjustable pivoting shoe gives you greater depth control and lets you use the blade more efficiently. This device features a tool-less blade change feature, which makes things easier for you!

The battery has an innovative temperature management system, so it remains cool for longer periods of time, giving you a 25% longer run time and battery life. The battery also has a touch feature that lets you know how much charge is left. There is also an LED light which you can use to illuminate your work area. It also comes with a lock switch

This reciprocating saw is easy to handle and is compatible with any Skil device or battery. However, it does vibrate quite a bit and the battery doesn’t last as long as expected. 

Pros

  • Can cut through many materials
  • Powerful tool for the price
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Adjustable pivoting shoe
  • Tool-less blade change feature
  • LED light
  • Easy to handle and use

Cons

  • Vibrates quite a bit
  • Battery doesn’t last as long as advertised

My Thoughts: This is one of the most affordable reciprocating saw kits you will find. It is well worth the money and gets the job done. It is also compatible with other Skil tools, so if Skil is your go-to brand, you will benefit a lot!

Best Budget Reciprocating Saw for Professional UseKobalt XTR Variable Speed Brushless Cordless

  • Type: Battery powered
  • Power: 24V
  • Maximum strokes per minute: 3100 SPM
  • Stroke length: 1.25 inch
  • Variable speed: Yes
  • Weight: 4.24 lbs

The Kobalt XTR Reciprocating Saw is a powerful saw featuring a brushless motor with a rapid cut 1.25 inch blade stroke. It has a speed that maxes out at 3100 SPM, which is more than what other reciprocating saws offer. The variable speed trigger allows you to adjust the speed easily. 

My favorite feature about this reciprocating saw is that it has an orbital mode that allows for faster cutting as well as versatility.

The tool has a quick release lever which allows you to eject the blade and replace it without using any tools! However, the device doesn’t automatically eject the blade, which means you need to be careful while ejecting the blade, since it might run hot after being in use. 

I love that it has an anti-vibration technology to reduce user fatigue. The built-in LED light comes in handy when you want to illuminate your workplace. It also cuts through various types of materials with ease. A perfect reciprocating saw for professional use.

The downside is that you need to buy the battery and charger separately. The good news is that the 24V Lithium-ion battery can handle temperatures from -4 to 140 degree fahrenheit, lasting a long time. 

Pros

  • Powerful
  • Great for professional use
  • Easy to handle and use
  • Brushless motor
  • Orbital mode
  • Anti-vibration technology
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Tool-less blade change
  • Built-in LED light
  • 5 year warranty

Cons

  • Blade doesn’t auto-eject
  • Battery and charger not included with the product

My Thoughts: This is one of my favorite reciprocating saws. For the price, this tool is a steal and has several features that make it very attractive. If you need a reciprocating saw for some moderate to heavy-duty work, I definitely recommend this one!

Best Budget Reciprocating Saw for Cutting Any Type of Materials – Ingersoll Rand 429 Heavy Duty Air

  • Type: Air powered
  • Maximum strokes per minute: 10,000 SPM
  • Stroke length: ⅜ inch
  • Variable speed: Yes
  • Weight: 1.32 lbs

The Ingersoll Air Reciprocating Saw can cut curved and flat surfaces in any type of materials – right from plastics, fiberglass, and composite materials to aluminum and even sheet metals.

However, if you want to cut through pieces of wood of different thicknesses, you need to buy fine blades, coarse blades, or extra coarse blades, depending on the thickness

The tool comes with an air reciprocating saw, 6 high-speed steel cutting blades, and 2 hex wrenches. With a maximum speed of 10,000 SPM, this offers one of the fastest speeds when it comes to reciprocating saws.

However, the downside is that this tool is completely dependent on air power since the pneumatic sawing motion is enabled by an air compressor. Then again, air powered tools are versatile, safe, and have an unlimited power supply, so this fact has its advantages and disadvantages, too. 

This reciprocating saw comes with a positive blade retainer and an adjustable blade guide to increase its durability. The lock-out lever adds a layer of security.

Weighing a little more than 1.3 pounds, it is very lightweight as well, making it easier to use this tool in tight spaces. It also provides less vibrations and is excellent for body shop repair, muffler and exhaust work, and sunroof installations. 

Pros

  • Can cut curved and flat surfaces
  • Can cut through a variety of materials including plastics, fiberglass, composite materials, aluminum, and sheet metals
  • Capable of attaining a maximum speed of 10,000 SPM
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Air powered, so unlimited power supply
  • Easy to use
  • Positive blade retainer and adjustable blade guide
  • Lock-out lever for added safety
  • Produces less vibrations
  • Quiet operation
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

  • Solely dependent on air power
  • Needs separate blades to cut through wood
  • Sometimes it stops in the middle of operation and doesn’t immediately start back up again
  • Doesn’t have a quick blade change feature
  • Blades tend to slip out sometimes

My Thoughts: This is one of the best reciprocating saws to cut tough materials such as metals with. It is super lightweight and offers a quiet operation, too. Being an air powered tool, it has its advantages and disadvantages, so make the choice depending on your needs. 

Best Budget Reciprocating Saw for Beginners – Black + Decker Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit (BDCR20C)

  • Type: Cordless
  • Power: 20V
  • Maximum strokes per minute: 3000 SPM
  • Stroke length: ⅞ inch
  • Variable speed: Yes
  • Weight: 4.5 lbs

This kit comes with a reciprocating saw, a reciprocating blade, a 20V battery, and a charger. This reciprocating saw is compact as well as lightweight and is perfect for beginners.

It comes with a variable speed trigger, allowing you to control the speed easily. It also has an electric brake which works as a built-in stopping mechanism, adding a layer of safety to the device. 

The blade is easy to change and doesn’t require the use of any tools. The shoe blade also pivots, giving you more control over turns and angles. This means more stability and more accurate cutting. It also comes with a locking trigger, which means the tool won’t start even if you accidentally press it. 

The design is also lightweight and the tool has an extended rubber cover to strengthen your grip. However, this reciprocating saw is not ideal for big projects. Moreover, the 1.5 Ah battery doesn’t last very long. But these features make it a great tool for beginners who are just learning the ropes. 

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Perfect for beginners.
  • Comes with a blade, battery, and a charger.
  • Variable speed trigger.
  • Safety features: electric brake and locking trigger.
  • Pivoting shoe blade.
  • Rubber cover provides for a firm grip.
  • 2 year warranty.

Cons

  • Vibrates a bit.
  • Battery doesn’t last too long and takes a bit to recharge.
  • Not suitable for big projects. 

My Thoughts: If you are new to woodworking and want a budget-friendly reciprocating saw while you learn the ropes, this one will be a great fit for you! It is easy to use and will take care of most light-duty jobs. 

Best Budget Compact Reciprocating Saw for One Handed Use – Dewalt Xtreme Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit (DCS312G1)

  • Type: Cordless
  • Power: 12V
  • Maximum strokes per minute: 2800 SPM
  • Stroke length: ⅝ inch
  • Variable speed: Yes
  • Weight: 3.04 lbs

This kit includes a reciprocating saw, a 12V MAX 3.0 Ah battery, two blades, a charger, and a tool bag. With a length of 12.12 inches, this compact tool weighs just a little more than 3 pounds and is ideal for one handed operation. It comes with a brushless motor and an adjustable shoe, which means it can be used easily even in tight spaces. 

The reciprocating saw comes with a maximum speed of 2800 SPM and offers fast and efficient cutting. The variable speed trigger lets you control the speed according to your needs. The brushless motor also reduces vibrations a lot, leading to reduced muscle fatigue. 

The Dewalt reciprocating saw has a tool-free blade release which lets you change blades quickly without the use of any additional tools.

The LED light is a nice touch and comes in handy when you are working with small spaces that need illuminating. This is a great tool to use for light-duty jobs, but it is not very suitable for moderate to heavy-duty loads. The battery doesn’t last too long, either. 

Pros

  • Brushless motor
  • Compact
  • Ideal for one handed operation
  • Can be used in tight spaces
  • Reduced vibrations
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Tool-less blade change
  • LED light
  • Fast and efficient cutting
  • 3 year warranty

Cons

  • Battery doesn’t last too long
  • Not suitable for cutting metal
  • Only suitable for small jobs

My Thoughts: If you need a compact reciprocating saw to cut in tight spaces, this one would be a great fit. I love that you can get the whole kit for less than $200. I would suggest using this tool as an addition to a more powerful full-size reciprocating saw. 

Best Budget Reciprocating Saw for The MoneyBosch PS60-102 Pocket Reciprocating Saw Kit 

  • Type: Battery powered
  • Power: 12V
  • Maximum strokes per minute: 3000 SPM
  • Stroke length: 1 inch
  • Variable speed: Yes
  • Weight: 5.59 lbs

True to its name, this reciprocating saw has a compact pocket design, making it easy to use in tight spaces. Its ergonomics allows you to use it overhead as well as one-handed. With a maximum speed of 3000 SPM, the brushless motor offers fast cutting and is tough enough to cut materials such as copper and conduit

The reciprocating saw is well-built with a good design. It has a front rubber wrap which protects the internal parts of the tool from dust and debris. It also features a soft-grip top and body that allows you to hold the tool comfortably in multiple positions. Its bumper design also reduces vibrations. The lock-off switch prevents accidental startups and the LED light helps illuminate tight spots that you need to work on. 

I love that this reciprocating saw comes with an electronic saw brake which stops the blade quickly. It also has a tool-free blade change design and a battery fuel gauge that allows you to see how much battery is left. The tool, as a whole, offers protection against overheating and overloading and even has an electronic cell protection (ECP), so you can use it safely without any fear. 

Pros

  • Compact pocket design
  • Can be used overhead, in tight spaces, and one-handed
  • Brushless motor
  • Reduced vibrations
  • Tough enough to cut through copper and conduit
  • Front rubber wrap
  • Comfortable to hold and use
  • Electronic saw brake
  • Lock-off switch
  • Battery lasts well
  • Tool-free blade change design
  • Offers protection against overheating and overloading
  • Battery fuel gauge
  • LED light
  • 1 year warranty

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy-duty jobs
  • Blade is a bit small
  • Small strokes
  • Complaints of trouble engaging and disengaging the safety

My Thoughts: This reciprocating saw kit has several features that make it a great little tool to own and use, especially when you have to work in tight spots. However, it is not suitable for full-scale demolition work, so it is best to use this as a back-up. 

Best Budget Corded Reciprocating SawMakita JR3051T Reciprocating Saw

  • Type: Corded
  • Power: 12 Amp
  • Maximum strokes per minute: 3000 SPM
  • Stroke length: 1-3/16 inch
  • Variable speed: Yes
  • Weight: 7.3 lbs

With a powerful 12 Amp brushless motor, this reciprocating saw is capable of attaining a maximum speed of 3000 SPM. It has a long stroke length of 1-3/16 inch. The variable speed trigger gives you control over the speed depending on the material you are working on. The product comes with a wood cutting blade and a metal cutting blade. This tool produces less vibrations and has a 2-finger trigger for added convenience. 

This reciprocating saw is well-built with a durable body design. It is doubly insulated and has an ergonomic rubber grip that provides added comfort for the user. It comes with rubber and felt seals that keep dust and water away from the tool, ensuring a longer life. 

The shoe is fixed but can pivot and it is easy to change blades without using any tools. There is also a tool hook to secure the reciprocating saw when not in use. My favorite feature about this tool is that the blade can be inverted, which helps with flush cutting applications. However, it doesn’t come with a carrying case, so it might be a hassle to transport it. 

Pros

  • Powerful brushless motor
  • Variable speed trigger
  • Reduced vibrations
  • 2-finger trigger
  • Well-built and durable
  • Comfortable to hold and use
  • Blade can be inverted
  • Twist lock blade holder
  • Tool hook

Cons

  • Carrying case is not included
  • Complaints of the hook and metal blades not being included

My Thoughts: This is a great reciprocating saw for home use. It runs well and is very easy to use!

Now that we have looked at 7 of the best budget reciprocating saws, it’s time for an in-depth guide!

How To Choose The Best Budget Reciprocating Saw for Your Needs 

reciprocating saw project

When it comes to choosing a budget reciprocating saw, I always look for ones that are priced below $200. It is even better if you get an entire kit instead of just the bare tool for this price! 

Apart from price, here are some of the other things you need to look for when choosing a reciprocating saw.

Power Source 

Much like most of the other tools out there, there are cordless and corded reciprocating saws.

If you are going to be working for longer periods of time AND if you have electrical outlets nearby, I recommend going for a corded tool.

Cordless ones are best when you need maximum portability. For example: working outdoors in areas that don’t have plugs. 

There are also air powered reciprocating saws that are powered by – you guessed it – air! Like the Ingersoll Rand 429. These do a very good job of cutting through metal and are great for when you are working outdoors in a place with lots of air. 

Speed and Stroke Length 

The speed of a reciprocating saw is measured in strokes per minute (SPM). A higher SPM means a faster speed. However, instead of choosing a tool with the highest SPM, you need to choose one that is the optimal speed for the materials you want to cut. 

Most decent reciprocating saws offer a maximum SPM of 2800 to 3000, which is more than enough to get the job done. But an important thing to note is whether the reciprocating saw offers a fixed or variable speed. Always go for one with a variable speed because different materials need different speeds, so this will allow you greater control. Moreover, it makes it easier for you to work with different types of materials. 

The stroke length refers to the depth of the cut the reciprocating saw can make. These range from ½ inch to 1.5 inches. Thicker materials need a longer stroke length. Most reciprocating saws offer a decent stroke length, so you don’t need to worry about this too much unless you plan on working with some unique materials. 

Orbital Action 

Orbital mode refers to the reciprocating saw’s ability to move in an elliptical pattern apart from the push-pull motion. This increases the speed, making it easier to cut through wood or harder materials. However, it reduces the accuracy.

Not all reciprocating saws have an orbital mode, so if you need to cut through thicker materials faster, it might be a good idea to look for a tool that has this feature. 

Other Features 

  • Blade type. Sometimes, a reciprocating saw might need separate blades to cut through materials like metal. So make sure the blade type is capable of cutting through the material you need. 
  • Size. Reciprocating saws come in various sizes. There are heavier ones that are more suitable for heavy-duty work and there are compact ones that can be operated one-handed. The latter is useful when you want to reach tight spots, so choose a size based on your needs. 
  • Vibration control. Reciprocating saws that produce less vibrations are better since they also reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Tool-less blade change feature. This lets you change the blade without the use of any tools! Very convenient. 
  • LED light. Having an LED light comes in very handy when you are working in dark spaces and need to illuminate your workpiece. 

Apart from these, make sure the tool you choose has safety features and a durable design that makes the tool comfortable to hold and easy to use.

I hope this article helped you in choosing the best reciprocating saw for your needs. Happy demolishing!

Photo of author

Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.

Leave a Comment