Corded vs Cordless Reciprocating Saw – What’s the Difference?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 17, 2022
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Reciprocating saws are one of the most powerful and destructive demolition tools out there. If you want to cut through solid objects & materials, then this is the right tool for you. But picking up the perfect reciprocating saw as a beginner can be very difficult & confusing as there are a lot of factors that come into play.

Corded-Vs-Cordless-Reciprocating-Saw

When it comes to corded vs cordless reciprocating saws, things get more confusing. Both these options come with benefits and some drawbacks to meet different working needs.

We will break down everything that you need to know regarding corded & cordless reciprocating saws so that you can pick the most appropriate one for yourself.

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What Is a Reciprocating Saw?

Reciprocating saw is regarded as one of the most powerful cutting tools in the construction & world. There are versatile uses of reciprocating saws. They are professional-level cutting & demolition machines that use reciprocating blade movement for cutting through any object or material.

Meaning, the blade of the machine uses the push-pull or up-down method to cut anything. These blades are significantly sharp and are able to go through even the sturdiest of objects.

The performance of the blades highly depends on the blade’s teeth. You can find various types of blades for cutting through different types of objects.

While there is various type of reciprocating saws out there. If you want to divide them into groups depending on their power differences, then there are two types of reciprocating saws out there –

  1. Corded Reciprocating Saw
  2. Cordless Reciprocating Saw

Although these two types of saws have a lot in common, there are quite a few differences between them as each of them serves different purposes for different scenarios.

Corded Reciprocating Saw

As the name suggests, a corded reciprocating saw utilizes a cord connected to an electric source which allows the device to power itself. There are no fancy parts in this type of reciprocating saw. It is just a plain and simple saw, quite similar to other corded tools you have in your garage or toolbox.

Overall Build

The build of a corded reciprocating saw is similar to any other corded saw that we encounter in our day-to-day life. With its robust and tough build, the saw can withstand the test of time easily. Its size is a bit large compared to the cordless version of the reciprocating saws but not too large.

Weight of the Saw

A corded reciprocating saw is heavy, to say the least. Compared to the other types of reciprocating saws, corded reciprocating saws are very heavy. This can be a disadvantage for beginners, as the heavier the saw is, the tougher it is to balance accurately.

Power Supply

A corded reciprocating saw is powered via a direct connection to any electric port. For that reason, the power source of a corded reciprocating saw is almost limitless, as long as you can keep the electricity running.

This makes a corded reciprocating saw stand out, compared to any other reciprocating saw, as it can keep a steady performance until you turn off the power yourself. For cutting sessions that involve solid materials, having maximum power is extremely helpful, and a corded reciprocating saw delivers just that.

A corded reciprocating saw is also preferred if you are planning on using a reciprocating saw for a long session. That is because, with a corded reciprocating saw, there is no risk of losing power level while working.

Mobility

This is the part where other types of reciprocating saws are placed higher than a corded reciprocating saw. Due to the saw having a dedicated cord, your movement is restricted and limited.

So, if you are cutting a long object, then it becomes very difficult. The most annoying part of these scenarios is that you need to find an electrical port every time you reach the limit of its cord.

Pricing

The overall price of a corded reciprocating saw is lower compared to cordless and other types of reciprocating saws. That being said, the price of a reciprocating saw highly depends on the extra features that come with the saw.

These features are put there to help you cut more efficiently and accurately. But at the same time, they increase the overall value of the saw. Now, if you don’t want the extra features, then without any doubt, a corded reciprocating saw is the most budget-friendly option.

Cordless Reciprocating Saw

This type of reciprocating saw is the complete opposite of a corded reciprocating saw.  A cordless reciprocating saw uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. They are more beginner-friendly but are placed on the costlier side of the market.

Cordless reciprocating saw

If you are a minimalist or travel with your tools, then a cordless reciprocating saw would be the right pick for you.

Overall Build

A cordless reciprocating saw is sturdy and has a strong build. But it is not as robust as a corded reciprocating saw. That being said, it can survive extreme conditions without any problems. While that’s true, be careful not to damage the battery area too much.

Weight of the Saw

Some people have a misconception that as a battery is in the saw, a cordless saw is heavier than other types of reciprocating saws.

Compared to other reciprocating saws, cordless reciprocating saws are the lightest. As the saw needed to incorporate a battery within it, the materials chosen for the saw are light weighted, thus making the overall weight light as well.

This makes it easier for users to control the saw’s balance and accuracy.

Powe Supply

For power supply, a cordless reciprocating saw utilizes a lithium-ion battery which is rechargeable and contains a good amount of energy. So, once it’s completely full, you can expect a long battery life.

That being said, if you want to cut through strong and solid objects, then the battery won’t last long. And as the power will slowly start to decrease, it is not the best option for a long period of cutting sessions.

Mobility

Cordless reciprocating saws are known for their mobility. As they are both lightweight and don’t have any sort of cord to limit the movements, you can be at ease while working. If your job requires you to travel with your tools, this is the reciprocating saw type.

Pricing

The overall pricing of a cordless reciprocating saw is higher compared to other types of reciprocating saws. But as mentioned before, added features play a huge role when it comes to pricing.

Corded Vs Cordless Reciprocating Saw: Which Is Better

The answer isn’t as easy as it seems. Because both have their own field to shine. If you are looking for a reciprocating saw that will deliver immense power for long time sessions and have superior durability, then corded saws are the best.

But if you want mobility and easier grip on the saw, cordless reciprocating saws are the better option.

So, if you are a beginner, then pick a cordless reciprocating saw, but if you already know your way around a reciprocating saw, then go for the corded one.

Final Thoughts

Picking a winner between corded vs cordless reciprocating saws isn’t easy as it seems as different people have different preferences. We have shed insight on both of these types of saws and compared them functionally in this article.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new equipment, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.
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