brushless vs brushed reciprocating saw

Brushless vs Brushed Reciprocating Saw – Exploring Efficiency!

Working with a reciprocating saw means gathering all the energy for the perfect cut. Things should be enjoyable for you, especially with high-functioning products. You need smoothness, but with what efficiency is the real question? 

This is why the comparison of brushless vs brushed reciprocating saws is important. 

Between the brushless and brushed reciprocating saws, the brushless perform better with a higher stroke speed. As it directly contributes to energy efficiency, better orbital action also prefers brushless. In addition, in terms of electrical noise and durability, brushless wins again. 

It is therefore essential for you to take the right notes when considering what works. It is evident that you want to achieve the best results from your investments. 

Without stretching further, let us begin!


  • Most cordless reciprocating saws are brushless nowadays.
  • Brushless reciprocating saw is amazingly silent.
  • Getting a clean cut is hard with a brushed reciprocating saw.
  • You will get multiple speed options with nearly every reciprocating saw.

Brushless vs Brushed Reciprocating Saw [Brief Comparison]

Before diving deep, let’s see the basic comparisons between these two.

FeaturesA Brushless Reciprocating SawA Brushed Reciprocating Saw
Stroke Speed3300 SPM2600 SPM
Energy EfficiencyMoreLess
Orbital ActionStraighterFuzzy
Electrical Noise87 dB110 dB

As the chart points out some common features, we will be going into the details.

A Quick View of Brushless and Brushed Reciprocating Saw Comparisons

Brushless vs. Brushed Reciprocating Saw

When comparing the brushless or brushed saw, you must get clear with one simple notion. The brushless technology on all the tech devices has outperformed the brushed system. 

The only advantage of the brushed system is the cost-friendly factor. Although the brushless scene stands on top, the brushed saws cannot be thrown away. 

Let us go forward by comparing five real aspects of a reciprocating saw. 

Stroke Speed:

The best reciprocating saw will give you the best stroke speed. Be it brushed or brushless, the speed factor cannot be negotiated. 

With the brushed system, problems occur similarly to the chainsaws not starting due to heat. A better stroke speed with brushless saws removes such obstacles. 

The brushless reciprocating saw runs at 3300 SPM. Whereas, the brushed one ran at almost 2600 SPM. This reflects that the brushless one runs 700 SPM higher than the brushed one. 

This means the high-standard brushless reciprocating saw will let your work finish faster. Working faster should also correlate to the efficiency factor.

A clear question arises about how to stroke speed is directly related to work efficiency.

Work efficiency involving stroke speed is associated with stroke length. It determines how you can position yourself with the forward movement. Since the longer the length, the faster it cuts, you should properly train yourself. Better handling of the saw accounts for better efficiency. 

As mentioned before, the latest saw brands have many built-in features. This promotes ease of use. With a little effort, you can handle the product with care.

Winner: The brushless reciprocating saw is easily the winner. Simply, it cuts faster and more efficiently. 


If you are an amateur, then practice cutting wood at a low speed and gradually increase it.

Cutting with a Brushless Reciprocating Saw
Source: Tool Box Buzz

DEWALT Reciprocating Saw DCS367B

  • DEWALT 20V reciprocating saw has up to 2.5x more runtime
  • Compact 14.5-inch length fits in between studs and in other tight spots
  • Only 5 lbs. in weight (tool only)
  • Keyless 4-Position Blade Clamp for quick and easy blade changes and cutting versatility
  • 1-1/8-inch stroke length
  • Variable speed trigger delivers up to 2,900 SPM
  • Bright LED light to illuminate dark work areas

Energy Efficiency:

The Makita reciprocating saw and power tools have done a favorable job. This competes with the Motorhead products where the energy efficiency factors are stressed. 

These brands have done well by configuring faulty miter saw brakes. The same applications are applied to reciprocating saws for better energy efficiency. 

Clearly, the best reciprocating saw brands are offering brushless features. The electronic control function of the brushless saw has proved to be more energy efficient. The brushed side has not done any better. 

You may wonder what amp reciprocating saw should I get – the 15 amp set is good. This will provide the perfect energy efficiency. 

Some good cordless features that can help you are:

The necessary power tools will give you the best woodworking results. 

Winner: The brushless saw is the winner again for being able to handle electricity efficiently. 


Don’t overcharge or undercharge the cordless tool batteries. It will ruin the battery life over time.

Makita XRJ05Z Recipro Saw

  • Makita-built variable 2-speed Brushless motor delivers 0-2, 300 (low) & 0-3, 000 (high) strokes per minute and a 1-1/4″ Stroke length for faster cutting
  • “Tool-less” Blade change system allows for faster blade installation and removal for increased productivity
  • Variable speed trigger for added convenience
  • Compact and ergonomic design at only 17-1/4″ Long
  • Weighs only 8.2 lbs. With battery (battery not included) for reduced operator fatigue
  • included components: 6″ 6TPI Recipro Saw Blade (723054-A-1) Tool Only (battery and charger not included)

Orbital Action:

A better orbital action accounts for more aggressiveness in the cutting. You are going to do a better job with the electronic brushless system. You would be cutting straight through the wood with a better elliptical motion. 

Adjusting the motion is no big deal. You can cut up and down, and straight and backward while bending easily. The best cordless reciprocating saw would allow you to achieve perfect finishes. 

A good orbital action is a good feature to have for any reciprocating saw. A good back-and-forth action sawing means more reliability with the work. Something the brushless system has nicely attributed. 

The brushless reciprocating saw is best for a clean cut. You can even chop down a whole tree like this guy!

Winner: The brushless electronic system is the winner here. It provides more variety in the orbital action. 


Always wear gloves and goggles while working with a saw.

Dewalt 20V Brushless Reciprocating Saw
Source: Dewalt

Electrical Noise:

The brushed motoring approach mainly deals with magnetic impact. This is why the sensors don’t receive enough electrical output. This makes the saw operation noisier. 

In contrast to the comparison of brushless motors vs brushed, brushless benefits you better. With the brushless mechanism, the running blade won’t irritate you with bad noises. 

More noise means sucking up more power efficiency. Something you won’t find with the brushless scenario.

Winner: Quite easily, the brushless reciprocating saw becomes the winner for being quiet. 

Milwaukee 2621-20 M18 Reciprocating Saw

  • QUIK LOK BLADE CLAMP: Switching blades for different applications is as easy as opening and closing the latch
  • ALL METAL GEARBOX: If you drop this in the middle of a job, the metal construction will help protect the internal components, so you can continue to work
  • COUNTER BALANCE MECHANISM: If you’re tearing through thick pieces of lumber, vibrations will be reduced with the tool’s internal counter balance measures
  • REDLINK INTELLIGENCE: This tool will connect with the M18 battery plugged into it, enabling cross-platform communication. This will reduce the risk of the tool from drawing too much power and overheating, allowing for more efficient work
  • M18 COMPATIBLE: This Milwaukee power tool works with M18 18v lithium ion Milwaukee batteries. Compatible models include the 48-11-1860, 48-11-1850, 48-11-1828, and 48-11-1815, 48-11-1840, 48-11-1820


There is a distinct reason why the brushed system is less durable. As the saw works for months of action, the brushes will wear out soon. This makes the whole mechanical system default.

This is something that does not happen with the brushless electronic control. It is more efficient with no brushes, there is no wear and tear. The impact of brushless power tools is more profound than ever. 

Overall, the brushed motors are limited, mainly due to the way they are designed. When you are choosing the right reciprocating saw, ensure it works the best. This is for as many years as possible. 

Maintenance becomes easy when the electrical functions are running smoothly. And so, the brushless system becomes favorable. 

Winner: The brushless saw wins again by whitewashing the brushed saw in all aspects. 


Always clean your blade after you’ve done the work.


The non-mechanical brushless component has a wide variety of functions as indicated above. This is the reason why the prices are quoted higher than the brushed system.

The price of a brushed reciprocating saw ranges from $60-$430. There are tons of brushless reciprocating saws out there. Well, I have narrowed it down to three brushless reciprocating saws that I enjoyed using!

  • With a high-speed, clean-cut, and long-lasting battery, the DEWALT Reciprocating Saw is my favorite.
  • Another reciprocating saw with useful tools is the Makita Reciprocating Saw. In terms of efficiency, this reciprocating saw performs as well as the Dewalt.
  • For a tight budget, you cannot go wrong with the Milwaukee Reciprocating Saw.

Even with the brush system failing in most of the departments of comparison, it still exists. The only reason is the cost factor. The price ranges from $49-$150, which is way cheaper than the brushless reciprocating saw.

You can save a lot of money with this brushed reciprocating saw. This is especially when you only need some basic functions to work with. 

Winner: In the cost-friendliness department, the brushed reciprocating saw clearly becomes the winner. It can just save you a lot of bad cost issues. 


Using a reciprocating saw on the metal sheet will dull the blade.

A brushed reciprocating saw in action
Source: Pro Tool Review

BLACK+DECKER Reciprocating Saw Kit (BDCR20C)

  • Product Dimensions ‎15″L x 3″W x 7″H
  • Voltage ‎20 Volts
  • Item Weight 4.5 Pounds
  • Speed 4500 RPM
  • Number of Teeth 24
  • Number of Batteries 1 Lithium Ion batteries required. (included)
  • Cordless reciprocating saw features tool-free blade change
  • Pivoting shoe for increased control

So, Which Reciprocating Saw Should You Go For?

The brushless system widens the scenarios and induces better-quality work. In a typical scene, the brushed motor will be less efficient. The Brushless is more empowered with working finishing earlier than the brushed system.

Brushless saws finish the work much faster than brushed ones. It also makes the work far better looking and efficient.

This is the reason why it is mostly suggested that you go for the brushless saws. With a little more cash, you will be benefited immensely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which of the brushless and brushed saws regulated heat better?

Like any machine, the reciprocating saw can generate heat in the system. This is while running for hours. The brushless system manages the heat better for improved power efficiency. 

Why are brushless motors stronger?

The brushless system is stronger because of its copper windings. The entire manufacturing configuration in the brushless is built for zero friction. This makes the products much stronger.

Are there any benefits of a brushed saw over a brushless one?

The only advantage you are going to have is the cost factor. Other than that the brushless non-friction attributed to spin dragging is highly efficient. 

Wrapping Things Up

The explored comparison of brushless vs brushed reciprocating saws has produced clear insights. Hopefully, you will be wise in your decisions.

By wishing you all the best, we are signing off.


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