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5 Different Types of Reciprocating Saws (Learn Their Differences) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate advertising programs.   We may earn from qualifying purchases.  (Learn More).

Are you interested in getting a reciprocating saw? Do you want to know the various types of reciprocating saws available for you in the store?

If your answer is yes, then you will love to read this article. You will not only get to know the types of reciprocating saws available, but you get to learn the functions and parts of a reciprocating saw too.

When you are done with this article, you will be able to differentiate between the different types of reciprocating saws and decide which type of variation will be a great fit for your task. Let’s get to it.

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

The reciprocating saw is a common power tool used to cut through wood, metal, bricks, and other objects. The saw is designed to use a push and pull motion to cut through some of the toughest materials in the world of wood and steelwork.

The reciprocating saw can be described as a large knife with a long sharp blade that is moved back and forth rapidly by a motor located in the saw. It uses a trigger mechanism like most other saws. All you have to do is simply place the blade on the material and apply pressure on the trigger button located near the handle.

The reciprocating saw has two main types. The corded reciprocating saw and the cordless reciprocating saw. The reciprocating saw is also called the hognose or the recip saw.

The advantages and uses of a reciprocating saw

  • The reciprocating saw can cut through some of the toughest materials out there including steel and concrete due to the shape and aggressive nature of the blade.
  • The power of the reciprocating saw means it can cut small trees and prune large branches.
  • The saw is lighter than most other power cutting tools. The recip saw weighs between 3-5 pounds only.
  • It can cut materials between tight spaces like pipes because the blade protrudes at the tip of the saw.

What are the components of a reciprocating saw?

The reciprocating saw comes in different models. Some of these models have components or parts that are specific to their model. However, the following components are found on every reciprocating saw.

  • The blade: the blade of the reciprocating saw comes in different sizes, thickness, and with a different number of teeth. Thin blades are suited for cutting metal and pipes because they have more teeth which make them finer. Larger blades are suited for cutting wood because they come with fewer teeth which makes them more aggressive.
  • The saw chuck: this is the small space at the front of the saw that allows you to insert the blade. It also holds the blade firmly while cutting.
  • The trigger: this is the button that allows you to start cutting. The amount of speed generated by the motor depends on the degree of pressure you apply on the trigger.
  • Speed range selector: this knob allows you to pick the highest speed that the blade will reach while working. So, if you apply much pressure on the trigger, the blade speed will not exceed the selected range.
  • The electrical cord: this is the long cord that is plugged into the power outlet to generate power to a corded reciprocating saw.
  • The lock-on button: this button is usually located near the trigger button. It allows you to continue cutting at the current blade speed even if you take your finger off the trigger.
  • Vents: this is usually on the side of the saw. It serves as a window that prevents the saw from overheating by allowing heat to escape.
  • The rear handle: this is the grip located at the back of the saw. It is usually made of plastic or rubber

Different Types Of Reciprocating Saws

There are different types of reciprocating saws out there. So what makes one differ from another? Generally, reciprocating saws vary based on their motor-power, shape, weight, and power source. Below is a list of the most common types of reciprocating saws.

The Corded Reciprocating Saw

The corded reciprocating saw is designed with a cord attached to the back of the saw. As long as the cord is plugged into an outlet with a constant power supply, the corded reciprocating saw can be used continuously.

It can cut metal, cut concrete, and make cuts in walls. The power of the corded reciprocating saw is measured in “amps” and they range from 7 amps to 15 amps.

Related Read— Best Heavy-Duty Corded Sawzall

Cordless Reciprocating Saw

This is also called the battery-operated reciprocating saw. It usually comes with a built-in battery slot which allows the user to fix in the battery to power the saw.

The cordless saw is suited for outdoor use, especially in places where there is no power supply. Though it doesn’t have continuous power as the corded variation, it is still the most widely-used type of reciprocating saw.

The power of the cordless reciprocating saw depends largely on the battery power which ranges from 12 volts to as high as 36 volts. Check our review.

Mini Reciprocating Saw

This is a small reciprocating saw. It is designed with a 12-inch blade. It is largely recommended for cutting in tight areas where larger reciprocating saws wouldn’t fit.

The Air Reciprocating Saw

This is also called the “pneumatic reciprocating saw.” It looks like a big office pen. The air reciprocating saw relies on an appropriate air compressor for its power.

These saws are suited for professional and industrial use only. The air reciprocating saw is used in gas companies, chemical and biological companies, refineries, and so on.

The power of the air reciprocating saw depends on the capacity of the air compressor which is measured in “CFM (cubic feet per minute). The CFM can range from 4 CFM for moderate cuts to 30 CFM for industrial cuts.

Related Read— Reciprocating Saw vs Jigsaw

The Compact Reciprocating Saw

This is also called the one-handed reciprocating saw. They are specifically designed for use with one hand. The lightweight of the compact saw, its moderate cutting power and one hand grip make it a top fit for cutting in tight spaces.

As with other reciprocating saws, the compact saw also comes in corded and cordless variations. This reciprocating saw is a top choice for many plumbers and electricians who work with tight spaces and light materials like cords, wired, and pipes.

The power of the corded compact reciprocating saw is measured in “amps” and can range from 5 amps to 10 amps. For the cordless compact reciprocating saw, the battery ranges from 12 volts to 18 volts.

These are the common types of reciprocating saws you will find out there. If you know about any other, kindly let us know in the comment section.

Related Read— Reciprocating Saw vs Circular Saw

Factors to Consider When Picking a Reciprocating Saw for Your Task

You need to consider the following factors before you buy or rent a reciprocating saw

  • The type of task you need the reciprocating saw for.
  • The amount of money you are willing to spend on the reciprocating saw.
  • Your preferred power source: do you want a corded or cordless reciprocating saw.
  • Your work station: do you need a reciprocating saw for home use or industrial use?
  • The duration: do you need the reciprocating saw for a short or long term project?
  • Your level of experience with reciprocating saws: if you are a beginner, don’t go for complex reciprocating saws. The mini reciprocating saw would be suitable.
  • The weight that is comfortable for you: though reciprocating saws are light power tools, some are lighter than others.

Overall, the type of reciprocating saw you go for ultimately depends on you.

Let us know if this article helped you to pick out the right reciprocating saw for your task by leaving a comment below. You can also check out other articles on this website. Have an amazing reciprocating saw-shopping experience.

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We’re a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

The Tool Geeks Team

We're a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

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