a Craftsman cordless reciprocating saw
Photo: Michael Chini/Time Inc. Digital Studio
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Craftsman 17549

About $195, 6 pounds; Craftsman

Like the Hackzall, it has a compact vertical motor design and a low price, with the added advantage of a side-mounted blade release, to make blade changes quick. This saw is ideal for light-duty work—cutting through drywall or wood, or branches—but nails are a slow go. Two quibbles: You need a hex key to adjust the shoe; a tool-free adjustment should be standard here. And there's no safety lockout; the safety switch must be pressed in before you pull the trigger, an extra step that we found frustrating and unnecessary for this type of tool.

Fine print: Up to 3,100 spm, -inch stroke, 16½ inches long, one 2.4-Ah battery
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