Saber Saw vs Reciprocating Saw – What Are the Differences?

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  March 16, 2022
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Let’s get this straight! Due to their similarities, people often confuse saber and reciprocating saw. But, their difference is widely visible, and depending on the area of work, one is the better choice than the other. Finding a winner between saber saw vs reciprocating saw can be very critical, as using the right type of tool is crucial for conducting perfect handyman and construction works.
But don’t worry, because in this article we will break down everything that you need to know about saber saw & reciprocating saw. This will help you decide which one would be the right pick for your kind of project.

What Is Saber Saw?

Saber saw is a sawing and cutting tool that uses reciprocating motion like a reciprocating saw to cut & saw through objects. As a Saber saw uses the same motion as a reciprocating saw, they are often considered as a variation of reciprocating saw. But there’s more to a Saber saw than that. While reciprocating saws are robust and large, Saber saws are timider and focus on balance & accuracy instead of just producing a huge amount of cutting power. This doesn’t mean that a Saber saw doesn’t have the necessary power to cut through objects. It just isn’t as powerful in demolition as a reciprocating saw. A Saber saw balances it out where it lacks power by being more precise and easier to balance.  Due to its small form factor and lightweight, users can control a Saber saw more precisely. It can even be used with one hand, but we suggest using it with both of your hands if you are starting. The motor of a Saber saw isn’t the best. With the corded version of the saw, you can get a decent power output with max power settings. But the situation is quite worse for the cordless version of a Saber version. Do keep in mind that this motor power comparison is based on how a reciprocating saw’s motor performs.

How a Saber Saw Work?

The working process of a Saber saw is quite similar to a reciprocating saw. Unlike reciprocating saws, when you power a Saber saw, it doesn’t provide a kickback. But if you hold it lightly, then you could lose control and drop it. So, be very careful when using any of the tools.
Saber saw
As they are light weighted, controlling is quite easy in this case. You just have to keep your focus and work through the object you want to cut, and you will be fine. That being said, there are very few blade variations for Saber saws. This is specifically noticed in longer blades. If you are looking for precise and balanced cutting, a Saber saw is a far better option than a reciprocating one.

What Is a Reciprocating Saw?

A reciprocating saw is a cutting and sawing tool that uses reciprocating motion to cut through different materials. It uses the push-pull or up-down method to cut through an object with sheer power. Very few power tools can provide the amount of power that that this tool can provide. The optimal performance of this type of saw highly depends on the type of reciprocating blade being used. There are many types of blades for various types of material when these saws are concerned. Reciprocating saws are very durable and have a robust build to them. As they pack quite a power, the motor of these types of saws requires a good amount of energy via electricity or powered batteries. The overall power of the saw comes from the motor, but the type decides where that power comes from. For the corded saws, the motor will be powered via electricity. But for the cordless ones, it is powered by lithium-ion batteries. Due to having a huge power output, the saw lacks in the area of accuracy & precision. They are very hard to balance. And if you are not careful enough, you will lose control over it almost immediately, which can lead to fatal injuries. The size and length of the blade also have a huge impact on the balance of a reciprocating saw.

How a Reciprocating Saw Works?

Reciprocating saw can be divided into two types – corded reciprocating saw, and cordless reciprocating saw. Depending on the type of saw, the overall power, and balance output can be different. After you power a reciprocating saw, it starts with a powerful kickback. Therefore, the users should be prepared, and balanced with their entire bodies. If the user can balance the saw, then the cutting process will be very easy. Because the blade will work through any surface without any problems, provided that the right type of blade was picked for the surface.

Differences Between Saber Saw & Reciprocating Saw

As we can see, although both saws use reciprocating motion, there are quite a few differences between them. The major differences between a Saber saw, and a reciprocating saw is –

Power Output

A reciprocating saw generates more power compared to a Saber saw. This is because the motor of a reciprocating saw is bigger and more powerful than the motor powering a Saber saw.

Precision & Balance

Here, Saber saw beats reciprocating saw by a mile as reciprocating saws are very hard to control, but Saber saws aren’t.

Weight & Durability

A reciprocating saw is more durable & robust when compared with a Saber saw. The reason behind this is that reciprocating saws have stronger & solid armor than a Saber saw. For this reason, the weight of a reciprocating saw is also greater than a Saber saw. This weight is a downside as it makes the reciprocating saw harder to balance & control.


If safety is concerned then a reciprocating saw is far dangerous than a Saber saw. As reciprocating saws are hard to control, the risk of accidents is large if it is being handled by someone who has never used it before.


In general, a reciprocating saw is costlier than a Saber saw. But this scenario can change depending on the number of added features the saws have.

Final Verdict

So, who’s the winner if a saber saw vs reciprocating saw is considered? The answer is both because both of the saws are exceptional in their way. If you want raw power and have good control, then reciprocating saw is the best option. But if you want more precision and control over your cuts, then Saber saws are the best. Therefore, in the end, it all comes down to what type of scenario you are in. So, pick wisely!

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Tools Doctor, content marketer, and dad. I love trying out new equipment, and together with my team I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with tools & crafting tips.