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Sawzall vs Reciprocating Saw – What’s the Difference?

By: David S. Miles | Last Updated: January 20, 2024

A reciprocating saw is popular among construction companies and gardeners. This a versatile power tool that performs various tasks such as metal cutting, wood cutting, pruning, or even trimming. It goes hand when you have DIY projects.

However, in every discussion on Reciprocating saws, one cannot avoid Sawzall. In today’s article about Sawzall vs Reciprocating saw, we will know how useful these power tools are and the difference between a Sawzall and a reciprocating saw. Let’s begin…

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

A reciprocating saw is a portable device that performs straight cut through wood, metal, and plastic. It uses a reciprocating saw blade and a motor powered by electricity- battery or corded, and compressed air.

A reciprocating saw’s powerful motor helps the blade go up and down, making straight and deep cuts. The process of push and pull of the blade is called reciprocating action. Needless to say, the device took its name from the action it performs.

What is a Sawzall?

Sawzall is a brand of reciprocating saw. The renowned power tools manufacturer Milwaukee registered the name Sawzall in 1951. It became so famous that people started calling every reciprocating saw by the name Sawzall or Milwaukee Sawzall. However, the brand continues to shine, echoing its name in the market.

The Difference: Sawzall vs Reciprocating Saw

the reciprocating saws vs Sawzall

Now, the obstinate question arises if there is any difference between a Sawzall and a reciprocating saw.

Well, Sawzall and other reciprocating saws are the same. Yet, as a famous brand, Milwaukee Company has produced different Sawzall models and developed the technology to a different level. A Milwaukee Sawzall is light-weight and easy to handle.

However, other manufacturers are also trying to develop this technology. This is the reason you don’t have to regret it when you buy a standard reciprocating saw, regardless of its brands.

Common Features of Reciprocating saws

There are some standard features of Sawzall or other reciprocating saws that indicate the reciprocating saws’ sustainability and productivity.

Power Supply

A reciprocating saw depends on the power supply, whether it is corded or cordless. If you prefer a cordless one, then you should try a saw with a brushless motor. They are expensive, yet they are efficient and sustainable. However, if the budget is your concern, you can go for a cordless saw with a brushed motor.

Battery Platform

To understand how much work a cordless reciprocating saw can perform, look at the battery’s features. You will find reciprocating saw batteries with multiple voltages such as 12V, 18V/20V, 24V, 36V, and 60V.

Also Read: Top 5 Cordless Reciprocating Saws.

Stroke Length and Stroke Speed

The cutting speed of a reciprocating saw depends on its stroke length and stroke speed. Make sure you buy a reciprocating saw with a perfect stroke length and speed.

Orbital Action

To enjoy the tool’s highest speed, you should go for a reciprocating saw with orbital action. But, cutting metal using orbital motion is destructive.

Speed Trigger

A variable speed trigger gives you control of the tool. You can use less speed when cutting metal, and more speed when cutting wood. Make sure the reciprocating saw has a variable trigger before you buy one.

Uses of a Sawzall or Reciprocating Saws

A Sawzall or reciprocating saw can perform numerous task which includes the following:


You may ask that how destruction can be considered a feature of a useful tool. Well, when you need to tear down old drywall, beam, ceramic, and glass to make a new building or leave the place empty, a reciprocating saw can perform in such projects.


A gardener can cut off overgrown shrubs of trees with a reciprocating saw. It also comes in use when one to prune and trim branches and twigs of trees.

PVC and Metal cutting

Cutting PVC pipes and metal pipes are not a concern for you if you have a reciprocating saw. You will find it useful for other construction purposes as well.

Emergency Situations

A reciprocating saw can be used in saving people in emergencies such as fire outbreaks.

Cutting nail and pin

It can cut nails and pins when you need to redo drywall.

Read Also: Top 5 Corded Reciprocating Saws.


Every brand of reciprocating saws offers some unique features, although it performs almost the same that other reciprocating saw does.

Given that the Sawzall is the first brand of reciprocating saw, other saws come along with some common features. Hopefully, the article has given you a clear idea about the reciprocating saws vs Sawzall.

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