Corded vs Cordless Reciprocating Saw | Complete Answer

You’re probably here because you want to know the difference between corded and cordless reciprocating saws. We get it, we really do. There are so many options out there that it can be hard to make a decision on what type of tool you should purchase for your next project.

That’s why we put together this guide to help you understand the pros and cons of both types of tools so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your needs.

In short, Corded reciprocating saws offer more power and are typically less expensive than their cordless counterparts. However, they require an electrical outlet and can be more cumbersome to use.

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Cordless reciprocating saws are more expensive but offer the convenience of portability. They also tend to have less power than corded models.

Keep reading to find out more!

What Is A Reciprocating Saw And What Are Its Uses?

A reciprocating saw, also known as a Sawzall or simply saw, is an electric power tool that allows its user to cut through solid materials by using a vibrating, thin-bladed saw. 

Their design is similar to a jigsaw in that the blade moves up and down quickly during operation to help the cutting process. Reciprocating saws are often referred to as Sawzalls because of their first popular use as a tool for cutting through trees and steel derricks during the oil industry’s initial boom in Oklahoma after the Great Depression.

So, unless you just want to buy a reciprocating saw as a collector’s item, they’re mainly used to cut steel, wood, and concrete.

However, there are plenty of other applications these tools can be used for including breaking locks for tactical or riot control purposes (more on that later), removing nails from wood during construction or deconstruction projects, cutting through sheet metal ductwork in order to install new ventilation systems, removing old wooden window frames for replacement, removing old pipework in houses or commercial buildings, and so on. 

Anyone who has used a reciprocating saw knows that they are extremely versatile tools with plenty of strength behind them to handle most standard cutting tasks you might encounter depending on the type of Sawzall being used.

Now that we’ve established what they are and what they’re used for, let’s go over some of the pros and cons of using corded reciprocating saws.

Which One Is Better For You?

Corded reciprocating saws are much more powerful than their cordless counterparts because they draw power from an electrical source instead of battery power.

This extra juice allows them to make cuts through almost any type of material with minimal slowdown or struggling (provided the blade isn’t dull).

Cordless models are much more limited in terms of speed and power, but they can be used anywhere regardless of whether or not there’s an electrical supply nearby. 

Another benefit of corded models is that you don’t have to recharge them before use. Cordless saws require a battery pack to operate without one, so if the battery is dead or lost, you’re out of luck. 

How To Choose The Right One For Your Needs?

To decide which reciprocating saw is right for you, there are a few different factors to consider.

First off, you need to decide how much money you’re willing to spend on a new tool. Cordless models will be more expensive simply because they require rechargeable battery packs which can add up in price very quickly.

Also, corded reciprocating saws tend to be more powerful, so they can cut through tougher materials than cordless models. 

As for which type you should choose between AC/DC (alternating current/direct current) reciprocating saws and battery-powered ones, it all depends on what your needs are. If you need a Sawzall for hefty daily use at a job site, AC/DC models are better because they won’t constantly need to be recharged.

If you need something lightweight and easy to transport, battery-powered reciprocating saws are best because they are designed for lighter-duty tasks. 

Whether you choose corded or cordless is up to you and your specific needs, but we recommend getting a corded reciprocating saw if you plan on using it regularly simply because they work better.

Corded Reciprocating Saws Pros

  1. Much more powerful than cordless models due to the fact that they draw power directly from an electrical source. 
  2. They can cut through almost any material without slowing down or struggling. 
  3. Are designed for heavy daily use on construction sites.
  4. You don’t have to recharge them before use.

Corded Reciprocating Saws Cons 

  1. They are more expensive than cordless models because they require electrical power from an outlet instead of a battery pack. 
  2. They can be bulky and difficult to transport from one site to another.

Cordless Reciprocating Saw Pros

  1. Portable
  2. Easy to Use
  3. Multi-Purpose

Cordless Reciprocating Saw Cons:

  1. Less Powerful
  2. Shorter Battery Life


So, which saw is the best for you? If you don’t mind being tethered to an outlet and have a higher budget, the corded reciprocating saw is probably your best bet.

However, if you need more freedom of movement and are willing to sacrifice some power, the cordless version is a great option. Whichever saw you choose, make sure to read the safety instructions carefully and always wear appropriate protective gear while using it.


How long does the battery last on the reciprocating saw?

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the type of battery, the capacity of the battery, and the size of the saw.

For example, a smaller reciprocating saw with a lower-capacity battery may only last for a few minutes of continuous use, while a larger saw with a higher-capacity battery may run for an hour or more.

In general, however, you can expect a reciprocating saw to run for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour on a single charge. If you need to use the saw for longer periods, you may want to invest in a second battery or a charger that can be used to keep the first battery charged.

Can a cordless reciprocating saw cut metal?

Yes, a cordless reciprocating saw can cut metal. However, the saw will work best if the metal is thin and soft. If you’re trying to cut through thick or hard metal, the saw may not be able to handle it.

In addition, you’ll need to use a blade that’s designed for cutting metal. These blades are usually made of high-carbon steel or carbide and have a teeth per inch (TPI) rating of 18 or higher.