5 Best Reciprocating Saw Blades – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide 2020
Reciprocating saws make a lot of jobs easier, whether you’re tearing down a house or just want to make your yard look great. However, it’s not easy to shop for replacement blades online.
Manufacturers aren’t shy about inflating what their blades can do while downplaying any potential downsides. If you want to get a deal on a great set of reciprocating saw blades, but don’t know which sets are good deals and which are junk, you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve created these reviews with you in mind. We break down every set and show you its strengths and weaknesses, so you can find the set that works the best for you. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide, so if you’ve never bought replacement blades, you can learn everything you need to know before you buy.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Milwaukee 12-Piece Reciprocating Saw Blades||
|Best for Pruning||Bosch 5-Piece Reciprocating Saw Blades||
|Best Value||DEWALT DW4856 Reciprocating Saw Blades||
|IRWIN Tools 11-Piece Reciprocating Saw Blade Set||
|Janchi 5 Piece Sawzall Blades Kit||
The 5 Best Reciprocating Saw Blades
1. Milwaukee 12-Piece Reciprocating Saw Blades – Best Overall
Two of the essential things needed when it comes to reciprocating saw blades are strength and variety. With this Milwaukee 12-Piece Reciprocating Saw Blade Set, you will get both. These blades are built for demolition. You can use the ax blades when it comes to rough wood with nails. The wrecker blades are great for general demolition, and the torch will be your best friend when you have some metal to cut.
|(2) 6” wrecker blades
(2) 6” torch blades
(2) 6” ax blades
|(2) 6” ax blades
(3) 9” torch blades
(3) 9” ax blades
These Milwaukee blades range from .042 to .062 inches in thickness, so they won’t warp or bend even under challenging conditions. This set also comes with a nice carrying case, which includes a compartment for each blade size, which makes it easy to find the size you’re looking for when you need it.
The one thing you have to watch out for is the weight of the blades. They’re taller and thicker than most blades, which means they could put a strain on weaker reciprocating saws. If you’re using a battery-powered saw, you might want to get a set that’s a bit thinner. However, these are the best reciprocating saw blades on the market for most people.
2. Bosch 5-Piece Reciprocating Saw Blades – Best for Pruning
If the reason you need some blades for your reciprocating saw is that you have some landscaping to do, we found you a great set of blades. The Bosch 5 Piece Set consists solely of 12-inch 6-TPI blades to help with tough pruning and woodcutting.
The blades feature Turbo-Teeth technology, designed to last three times longer than a typical reciprocating saw blade. When dealing with dense landscaping brush and roots, your blades will wear down rather quickly, so this is an excellent benefit to have.
Another great thing about these Bosch RP125 Recorporacting Blades is the 12-inch length. The extra length is essential when you are dealing with pruning. Sometimes, that little bit of extra distance can help you clean up those problematic areas. The 12-inch blade also allows you to cut a thicker branch.
3. DEWALT DW4856 Reciprocating Saw Blades – Best Value
The DEWALT DW4856 blade set includes six blades ranging from 6-24 TPI, capable of cutting metal, plastic, drywall, and wood. Each 6-inch blade has a different purpose.
In the balance of quality and value, the Dewalt set contains the best Sawzall blades for the money. The quality is not going to be quite as high if you are trying to cut through some rough material. The blades also feature raker teeth, which increase the surface area of the cutting blade, which leads to faster cuts, even when you’re using blades with more teeth per inch.
|(1) 6” 6-TPI taper-back blade
(1) 6” 10-TPI straight-back blade
(1) 6” 14-TPI straight-back blade
|(1) 6” 18-TPI straight-back blade
(1) 6” 24-TPI straight-back blade
(1) 6” ⅝-TPI taper-back blade
The only downside to this set is the 6-inch blade length, some of which is given over the mount, and you’ll lose a bit more to the front casing on whatever reciprocating saw you use. That means that you could get as little as three inches of usable blade, which is enough for home projects, but would disappoint a contractor. If you’re looking for a great price and don’t need long saw blades, then this is the set for you.
4. IRWIN Tools 11-Piece Reciprocating Saw Blade Set
The IRWIN Tools 11-Piece Set (4935496) isn’t the cheapest option on our list, but it comes with a ton of blades, which somewhat justifies its price. This set includes 11 blades across four sizes, though it confusingly includes nine blades of the two smaller sizes, and just two in the larger, more useful size. That’s too bad, but you’re still getting a ton of blades for the money. It also includes 8% cobalt teeth, which should add some strength to these blades.
|(5) 6” 6-TPI blades
(4) 6” 14-TPI blades
|(1) 8” 18-TPI blade
(1) 9” 6-TPI
However, the teeth are welded on instead of being pressed or sharpened. That’s the weakest configuration on saw blades, and it could lead to early loss of teeth. These blades are also prone to getting bent. That’s never a quality you’ll want to have in your reciprocating saw blades. Ultimately, they’re not very durable, and that costs them a lot of positions on our list. They are still relatively cheap, and if you’re looking to buy in bulk and don’t mind burning through them quickly, they could meet your needs. However, these are the wrong choice for most people, and if you’re looking for the toughest saw blades on the market, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
5. Janchi 5 Piece Sawzall Blades Kit
The Janchi 5 Piece Sawzall Blades are great for light to medium-duty pruning with your reciprocating saw. These five carbon steel blades are only for trimming wood. However, they have one huge quality control problem. They’re prone to breaking at the base near where the blade connects to the reciprocating saw. They also don’t hold their sharpness, so if you’re looking for something that will last a long time, you’re out of luck with this set.
Overall, this might be a good set for you if you’re looking for a very cheap set of pruning blades, but ultimately, the blades probably won’t last long enough for you to get your money’s worth out of them. If you’re looking for a better pruning option, check out the Bosch set that’s higher on our list.
We hope that our reviews already have you thinking about a set that you might like to buy. If you’re still not sure what you’re looking for, be sure to check out this buyer’s guide. It’s a good resource if you don’t know much about reciprocating saw blades, or if you’re buying replacements for the first time in a long time and you want to see if there’s anything new on the market that could upgrade your experience.
There are four main types of materials when looking at reciprocating saw blades. You should choose a material that matches the kind of work that you need to be completed.
- High-Speed Steel: Very strong, prone to snap because of the strength and rigidity
- Bi-Metal: A mix between the high-speed steel and the high carbon steel, expensive but used by professional because of the strength
- High Carbon Steel: Softest and cheapest, don’t hold up as well
- Diamond: Used for concrete, fiberglass, and ceramic
Teeth Per Inch
Teeth per inch is the biggest distinguishing factor when it comes to reciprocating saws. Different blades might have different lengths or thicknesses, but if they have the same teeth per inch, they’re generally going to be used for the same tasks.
Any saw blades that you find that have fewer than 10 teeth per inch (TPI) are going to be most useful for dealing with wood. They’re great for pruning, cutting logs, or creating firewood. Saws that fall into this category are also typically capable of cutting through nails, so if you’re using a 6-TPI blade, you don’t have to worry about using it when taking apart a framed structure.
At 10 teeth per inch and higher, the blades become less useful for cutting wood, and might even burn it badly while you cut, but become great for cutting PVC and metal. At about 14 teeth per inch or higher, the blades should be used on PVC or metal only, and you’ll want to hold off on cutting the hardest metals until you get to 18 teeth per inch or higher.
Reciprocating saw blades come in lengths from 4 to 12 inches. When you work with a short blade, it is more rigid and aggressive when cutting. Longer blades are flexible and are suitable for things like pruning. A helpful tip when choosing the length of your blade is to pick something that is two or three inches greater than the width of the material you are cutting.
Reciprocating saw blades are sold in a variety of thicknesses. The standard thickness is .035 inches, and the heavy-duty is .062 inches. You can use these two numbers as the range and figure out what you may need based on that range.
Thicker blades are best for demolition and wood with nails. When working with a thick blade, you will not get as much bending or vibration while cutting. Thinner blades are going to be less costly, and they usually provide a fast cut.
Something to watch out for is welded-on teeth. The very best saw blades are sharpened by hand or by machine, while the next best category is pressed or stamped sharp. The latter category already displays a significant decrease in quality.
If those teeth are cheaply welded, you can expect them to shear off the blade quickly. It’s not that you can’t get a good blade with welded-on teeth, but it’s generally a good sign that the manufacturer is cutting corners, and the odds are good that it wasn’t done correctly in the factory.
While thicker and taller blades last longer, and also generally more pleasurable to use than blades that have more flex, you’ll want to make sure that your reciprocating saw is up to the task. Battery-powered models generally don’t have the same power as a corded electric or gas-powered model, so if you want to use thicker blades, you’ll want to avoid battery-powered models.
Reciprocating saw blades are often sold in packs with a small case to keep them organized. Choosing something that has a variety of blades is the best way to save money and always to be prepared when it comes to the next task at hand. Don’t think that because these are sold together as a pack that they are not high-quality blades, this is a standard way that reciprocating saw blades are sold.
The Milwaukee 49-22-1129 12-Piece Set is our favorite option for cutting metal and includes thick, durable blades that will last you a long time. The Bosch 5-Piece Set B000FAPPAA is the best reciprocating saw blade set for pruning due to its great wood-cutting blade. This set includes four other great blades, though the flex that they have keeps them out of first place. The DEWALT DW4856 comes with six blades featuring a great raker-tooth design that speeds up your cuts, and comes at the best price on our list, making it the best value overall.
We hope that our reviews and our buyer’s guide have led you to a set of reciprocating saw blades that will serve you well and that you can get at a price you’ll love.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 5 Best Reciprocating Saw Blades
- Buyer’s Guide