a Ridgid cordless reciprocating saw
Photo: Michael Chini/Time Inc. Digital Studio
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Ridgid R8641

About $270, 7.6 pounds; Ridgid

All reciprocating saws push and pull the blade in a straight line, which is best for cutting metal. But this one can also switch to an orbital setting, where the blade moves with an elliptical stroke, allowing it to blast through wood much more quickly. Given the start-stop nature of demolition, we also appreciate the convenience of being able to leave the safety off. The adjustable shoe extends up to 1 inch, letting you customize cut depth, and also locks in at 90 degrees or at 22 degrees, a good angle for cutting pipe. Our only complaint: The battery gauge faces forward, forcing you to point the blade at your face to read it.

Fine print: Up to 3,600 strokes per minute (spm), ¾-inch stroke, 18 inches long, one 3-amp-hour (Ah) battery. (Amp-hour is a measure of capacity—how long a battery can supply a specified current before discharging.)
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