Cordless Reciprocating Saws Almost Come of Age
While they're not up to the challenges of full-time demolition, cordless saws are a great option on a roof or in a crawlspace.
Synopsis: This tool survey features eight cordless reciprocating saws ranging from 14.4v to 24v, explaining their advantages and disadvantages compared to corded saws and comparing each saw’s specifications, cutting ability, and run time.
A dozen years ago, my satisfaction with my first 9.6v Makita cordless drill convinced me that cordless tools were the wave of the future, and I plunked down nearly $300 to buy a 12v, 6-1 ⁄2-in. cordless circular saw. But I can’t think of one single job where that saw earned its keep. For the most part, it has remained in its box, a reminder of the limitations of technology and my own gullibility.
But like The X-Files’ Fox Mulder, I want to believe, and I am convinced that eventually the technology of cordless tools will catch up with the promise. As this new crop of cordless reciprocating saws demonstrates, that day is almost here.
Cordless saws don’t keep up with their corded cousins
I like the idea of being able to take my reciprocating saw up on a roof or down into a crawlspace without having to drag a power cord behind me. What I don’t like is the idea of having to crawl back out again with the job half-finished, looking for another battery. This problem is an issue with these saws; their run times are no more than five minutes. In general, cordless saws are heavy because of the battery, have shorter strokes and run more slowly than corded saws. Also, cordless reciprocating saws aren’t available with orbital action, a feature that significantly increases a corded saw’s cutting efficiency.
Except for the convenience of not having to be attached directly to an AC power supply, none of these cordless saws can compete with even the most modest corded reciprocating…