57 years ago Milwaukee invented the reciprocating saw so it is no surprise they still have the best tool in the game. The Milwaukee Sawzall has been copied by almost every competitor out there and although there are some other good tools, Milwaukee is still numero uno.
Popular Mechanic conducted the comparison below a few months ago which I though did a pretty good job creating real testing subjects with multiple materials. The two tests were named the “Nail Biter” and “PM House Sandwich”
The Nail Biter – Two 2 x 4 pieces hammered together with an entire box of 16d common nails.
PM House Sandwich – Smashed together 1/2-in. drywall, 2 x 6 lumber, 1 x 4 lumber, 1 1/4-in. PVC pipe, steel conduit, two 12-ga. cables, two pieces steel strapping, insulation.
Milwaukee 15 Amp Super Sawzall | $187.50, OhioPowerTool.com
Blade Damage: A /// Smoothness: A- /// Power: A- /// Overall: A-
The Nail Biter: Two pieces of wood and a whole pile of nails were no match for our winner—it took just 6 seconds to slice through the 2 x 4s with a remarkably smooth and straight cut.
PM House Sandwich: The Milwaukee ripped through all 10 layers in just 14 seconds. The almost-pristine blade that emerged impressed our team of testers.
Craftsman Professional 12 Amp Variable Speed | $110, craftsman.com
Blade Damage: A- /// Smoothness: B+ /// Power: B /// Overall: B+
The Nail Biter: In the showdown’s biggest surprise, a Craftsman bested a DeWalt saw across the board for the first time in recent PM history. Slicing the wood took just 8 seconds.
PM House Sandwich: Again, the Craftsman proved to be a pleasant surprise, carving through our sandwich in just 16 seconds with hardly more effort than the champion Milwaukee needed.
DeWalt DW311K Heavy-Duty 13 Amp | $170, dewalt.com
Blade Damage: B- /// Smoothness: B /// Power: B /// Overall: B
The Nail Biter: Cutting the lumber took 11 seconds—and required a fair amount of force to push the blade through the boards.
PM House Sandwich: The DeWalt split our sandwich in 23 seconds, and required far more muscle. The blade sustained about three times as much damage as the Milwaukee’s.
Black & Decker Firestorm 9.5 Amp | $80, blackanddecker.com
Blade Damage: C- /// Smoothness: D+ /// Power: C- /// Overall: C-
The Nail Biter: Our least expensive tool barely cut it, taking 25 seconds to complete the task—more than twice as long as the second slowest finisher—and requiring an enormous amount of effort.
PM House Sandwich: This saw is simply not powerful enough for most demolition jobs. It finished slicing in 29 seconds, but the rickety feel left our hands sore, and the blade was rendered unusable.
Test Results from Popular Mechanic
No Surprise that the Milwaukee Super Sawzall took the prize. I wish these tests could be done over and over to see which tool lasts the longest and I’m sure the Milwaukee would stand completely alone on top.
The tools themselves are obviously the most important consideration to overall performance but do not overlook the importance of blades and accessories. See the Ice Hardened Sawzall Blade Comparison Video. These were both done using the same Sawzall, so keep that in mind next time you buy blades.
At Ohio Power Tool the primary focus is professionals that rely on their tools everyday to make a living. In an effort to provide the best deal, on the best tools with the best accessories the Milwaukee 15amp Super Sawzall 6538-21 is on sale for $187.50 (currently lower than any big box or well known internet retailers). In addition to simply providing a great price the deal also includes a free 14 Piece Ice Hardened Blade Kit 49-22-1131 ($29.98) which features six 9” Torch Blades.