Reciprocating Saw vs. Sawzall | What is the Difference?

Reciprocating Saw vs. Sawzall | What is the Difference?

Reciprocating saws and Sawzalls are two of the most commonly used power tools for cutting through a wide variety of materials. While these tools may look similar, they actually have a few key differences that set them apart. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between reciprocating saws and Sawzalls and help you determine which tool is right for your needs. Reciprocating Saw vs. Sawzall: Know the difference! Cut through the confusion with our expert guide to help you choose the best tool for the job.

We’ll explore their features, benefits, and limitations to give you a better understanding of the unique qualities of each tool. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, knowing the differences between these two tools will help you make an informed decision and select the best option for your specific cutting needs.

What are a reciprocating saw and a Sawzall?

A reciprocating saw is a powerful portable device that helps you to cut different materials like wood, metals, and plastics. These cuts are straight cuts that are carried through reciprocating blades and powerful motors. Each saw has a different blade depending on for which purpose you are using it. The device took its name from the push and pull this blade makes, called reciprocating action. These blades range from 3 to 12 inches, each with different teeth per inch.

On the other hand, A Sawzall is somewhat similar to a reciprocating saw. In 1951, one of the most famous product producer companies, Milwaukee, registered a saw with the name of Sawzall people started calling each and every product as Milwaukee or Sawzall. From there, the concept of using Sawzall and Reciprocating saws as one.


Now the bigger question is what the differences between these two are. To answer it in a few words, they both are the same things, and only the brand is different. The Sawzall is made by Milwaukee Company, making it a more standardized product than the other saws. The company is using different and new technologies to make new products which is why they are ahead of everyone else.

Nevertheless, other companies are also using similar technologies to manufacture saws which is why there would not be that much difference between the saws in the near future.

These were differences in Reciprocating Saw vs. Sawzall; now, there are a lot of similarities between the two. The main similarities are given below.

Power supply

A power supply is a must thing for a reciprocating saw. Without a proper power supply, you would not be able to make real differences in cutting. The differences in power depend on the cordless or corded power supply. The corded power supply is more than cordless; however, if you use a brushless motor, they can also be effective in cordless saws. Although they are a bit expensive but productive.


For productive work, you need very powerful batteries. Different voltages battery available on the market can work best in a reciprocating or Sawzall saw. These batteries range from 12V, 18V/20V, 24V, 36V, and 60V. The more the voltage, the better would it works; however, it depends on the demand of the saw and the work it has to perform.

Cutting speed

Most people like reciprocating saws due to their speed cutting. They have the fasted speed in terms of cutting. The speed of the saw depends on the speed length and speed stroke. When both of these are perfectly right, you will have a faster speed. So ensure these two features in a reciprocating saw next time you buy it. The better the speed, the better the saw would be.

Variable speed

Although high speed is important for better sawing, sometimes it does not work on cutting certain materials. It is because the nature of every material is different. Some need high speed, and some need lower speed for cutting. Therefore, the reciprocating saw must have a variable speed.

The variable speed gives you control over the material you are cutting. For metal, you can use less speed than wood, which requires very high speed. Before buying the product, ensure that the reciprocating saw has a variable speed otherwise, it will not work as a versatile product.

These are some of the amazing features that a reciprocating or Sawzall saw can have. Based on these versatile features, most people like these saws. Now, after discussing its features, we will give you a clue about the usage of the reciprocating or Sawzall saw.

Usage Comparison in Reciprocating Saw vs. Sawzall

There is a lot of usage of these saws, which is hard to write in an article however, the most important uses of Reciprocating or Sawzall saw are given below.


Cutting is the fundamental usage of a reciprocating or Sawzall saw. It will help you cut different things like plastic, metals, tree branches, shrubs, etc. The cutting depends on the level of the blade. The harder the blade, the better would be cutting. You can even cut larger trees with it if the blade is strong enough. At times, you have to change the broken blade of a saw to improve performance.


Plumbing is another area where the reciprocating or Sawzall saws can help you in. These saws will help you in cutting through walls, pipes, and concrete, removing old pipes, plumbing lines, fixtures, and valves. Additionally, these saws can cut through iron, lead, copper, brass, plastic, etc.


Not only cutting but the reciprocating or Sawzall saws can be used to cut glue, mastic, and other related adhesive materials. Nevertheless, for this, you would have to change the blade of the saw because you cannot scrape away these things with ordinary blades. You would hardly find such a function in any other saw. This is a unique feature of the reciprocating or Sawzall saws.


In conclusion, choosing between a reciprocating saw and a Sawzall ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific cutting needs of the job at hand. While they share some similarities, they have unique features and benefits that set them apart. By understanding the differences between these two tools and considering factors such as power, speed, and ease of use, you can make an informed decision and select the best tool for your cutting needs. Whether you’re a professional contractor or a DIY enthusiast, having the right tool for the job can make all the difference in achieving a clean and efficient cut.

Matt Hardy

Hi, this is Matt and I've been working in construction for over 10 years. I'm a big fan of power tools and I love nothing more than testing and reviewing them to help others make informed purchasing decisions.