a Makita cordless reciprocating saw
Photo: Michael Chini/Time Inc. Digital Studio
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Makita BJR181

About $320, 8.2 pounds; Makita

This saw is long but well balanced, and there's plenty of comfortable rubber on the handle and forward grip. It's the only saw in this group that includes a big, fat rafter hook—useful when working on a ladder—and has easy access to the motor's brushes, which have to be changed when they wear down. The shoe has a 1¼-inch range and was one of the sturdiest in the lineup. Our biggest complaint about the tool we tested is that it shut down after only a couple of cuts. All these saws have overload sensors to prevent the motor or battery from burning up under heavy use, but the ones on the Makita kicked in so frequently that it slowed the work down significantly.

Fine print: Up to 2,900 spm, 1-inch stroke, 19 inches long, two 3-Ah batteries
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