A reciprocating saw is one of those tools that isn’t particularly precise or glamorous but that you will find yourself using on countless occasions nonetheless. This is pretty much as straightforward as it gets: essentially amounting to a trigger with a saw attached to the end. It doesn’t have any fine angle adjustments, you won’t be using it to create decorative flourishes and it probably isn’t going to be your tool of choice for any job that requires a lot of precision.
This is the tool for pretty much… everything else.
Whether you need to saw the end off a pipe, cut off a tree branch, sheer off a piece of wood that’s jutting out of your fence or perform any other task that requires force and speed over finesse… that’s when you’ll reach for your recip saw.
And that makes it actually incredibly useful – particularly for anyone who does a lot of DIY or work around the house and definitely on job sites.
The best part? A recip saw doesn’t have to be an expensive tool and you can actually get something pretty capable for a small price. In this post, we’ll be looking at the Ryobi P514 which we reviewed over the course of a few days and which we have now had a chance to form some concrete opinions on.
The Ryobi P514 is a reciprocating saw that is a little larger than some similar models in the same price range. In fact, you may find yourself wanting to hold this one with two hands rather than one hand, which is something you may not be used to depending on how you normally work. This does mean that it loses a little of the versatility that you might be expecting but it makes up for it with some decent power – at 0-3,100 strokes per minute, you should have no difficulty cutting through a wide variety of different materials.
There is some information missing from the manufacturer’s listing. For example, we can’t find mention of the cutting length, which will impact on what it is capable of cutting and how it will handle various different types of material. All we can say is that while we were reviewing the product, it seemed to handle most materials well and even some sheet metals – so it’s probably fairly average in this regard.
What this saw does mention and what is a big plus point, is the fact that it has an adjustable speed setting. That means you can change the speed to better suite any given material and this is something that we always look for in our recip saws. It’s not always present at this price point though, so that’s a good thing.
Other than that, you have the usual tool-less blade removal clamp, which is great for quickly swapping out the blade depending on the work you’re doing, you have a nice and ergonomically designed handle with overmolded rubber and you have a rear handle for stabilizing with the second hand which is useful. It also has an electric brake, which is a nice safety feature we always like to see.
Pros and Cons
This is a budget reciprocating saw and in that sense, it really is rather by-the-numbers. This isn’t going to set your world alight! That said though, it’s still a very good saw on the whole and we really like the adjustable speed setting, the rear handle and the basic functions.
That’s probably where you’re interest in this recip saw will hinge. If you’re looking for something a little more potent than your usual ‘cheapy’ saw and are willing to occasionally grab the back with an extra hand, then this might just be a good choice for you.
On the whole, this is a great reciprocating saw that does everything a reciprocating saw should. It’s not especially pretty, doesn’t really have any exciting extra features but certainly does have it where it counts. It’s a good choice for a range of household tasks and a saw that we feel happy recommending to DIYers and those who enjoy a little home improvement. You’ll be reaching for it often and it’s not going to let you down!