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Battle: Hackzall vs Sawzall saws

Reciprocating saws come in a variety of shapes and sizes for a variety of tasks. Both Hackzall and Sawzall saws are reciprocating saws that have been around for decades. Though their appearance, blade type, and power source are different, they both share the benefit of being versatile tools that can cut through metal, wood, plastic pipes, and other objects. This article will compare Hackzall vs Sawzall to help you determine which reciprocating saw is right for your job.

General info

While Hackzall saws were introduced years earlier than their counterparts, today’s Sawzalls are more powerful than ever before. The technology behind these two reciprocating saws has evolved rapidly in recent years. Potentially, this could make either Sawzall a better fit for your project than the other one; however, we’ll still compare Hackzall vs Sawzall and let you draw your own conclusions.

HackZALL is a trademarked brand name of HILTI TEKNOLOGIES GmbH (formerly known as Hammer Schmiede Gesellschaft mbH). For that reason, it may be common to hear people refer to all hacksaws by the term “HackZALL” regardless of actual brand or model designation, just like how most power drills are generically referred to as simply “Drills”.

Sawzall is a registered trademarked brand name Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation (METC).

Most popular

Bestsellers of Hackzall saws: Milwaukee 6390-21 Hackzall Reciprocating Saw;

Price: about $118

Hackzall reciprocating saws are designed for professionals or anyone who needs a high-performance tool that can be easily transported to various locations. While they usually come at a higher price, you’ll end up saving money in the long run since this type of saw is much more versatile than other types.

If you’re looking for something more affordable but still want enough power to make it through tough jobs, consider purchasing a corded reciprocating saw instead. Watch out when using the hacksaw on metal since it may cause sparks which are especially dangerous when working around gas lines or flammable liquids.

Bestsellers of Sawzall reciprocating saws:

  • Milwaukee 2720-20 Sawzall Reciprocating Saw with Case, 10 Amp;

Price: about $145

  • Redback RS7.0 Corded High Performance 7-1/4″ Stroke Saws all Tools – 29302400 ;

Price: about $44

Sawzall reciprocating saws are more powerful than their counterparts and can cut through thick metal or concrete. They’re also great for demolition, construction, and other big jobs that require a lot of power. Sawzalls tend to be heavier and bulkier than hacksaws but offer more power at the same time; this makes them good for people who work on large projects involving hard objects such as metal or concrete. There’s also a version available with an adjustable shoe called the Milwaukee Tool M18 Hackzall Reciprocating Saw (2720-20).


First, let’s compare the similarities between Hackzall vs Sawzall’s reciprocating saws. The blade of a reciprocating saw is mounted on an arbor that rotates to produce the up and down movement of the blade. As the name implies, the cutting stroke of this type of saw is side-to-side. During use, you apply force downward as you draw the saw toward yourself. This technique differs from other types of saws such as circular, jig, or saber saws which are generally pushed through their cutting strokes. Using a reciprocating saw can be tiring due to the amount of force required for each cut.

The blades used with both Hackzall vs Sawzall are interchangeable. You can use an 8-inch blade for small, detailed tasks like cutting copper tubing, or you can use a 10 to the 14-inch blade for heavy-duty applications like cutting branches off trees. Most reciprocating saw blades are made of tungsten carbide; however, there are some specialty blades designed with other metals to suit specific purposes.

Specialty blades include diamond-tipped (for masonry), wood/metal (tooth design), abrasive chop, and serrated blades among others.

The housing that contains the motor is usually made of steel or aluminum alloy; however, newer models may be constructed from lightweight magnesium alloys to reduce user fatigue. These types of saws have been used by professionals both indoors and for decades because they’re very versatile tools for cutting through wood, metal, plastic, and other materials.

Many professionals prefer reciprocating saws because they make it easy to cut in any direction; however, you should still follow all safety precautions when using one of these saws. It’s also a good idea to use the appropriate blade for your intended task. The average reciprocating saw has a stroke speed range of 0-3000 feet per minute (fpm).

Saws that have variable speeds allow the user to adjust the speed depending on what type of material is being cut. For example, slowing down the blade speed while cutting metal will prevent overheating and damaging the blade or workpiece. On many models, you can change blade direction with just one hand so you won’t have to spend time removing a chuck key, which can be very inconvenient if you need to make a quick change.

The following features are included on both Hackzall vs Sawzall saws:

Corded: Standard plug for use within the United States and Canada. If you live outside North America, this is not the power cord that you’ll need.

Tool Weight: A reciprocating saw with a magnesium or aluminum alloy housing will weigh less than one made from steel. This weight difference won’t dramatically affect user fatigue but every little bit helps when using these types of tools for long periods of time.

Lock On Button: Some brands offer a lock-on button so your hand doesn’t have to constantly hold the trigger in order to keep the saw running. This can be particularly helpful when using a Hackzall or Sawzall for extended periods of time.

Variable Speed Trigger: Some power tools don’t have speed controls on them, and as such, you must control speed by adjusting how hard you push down on the blade with your hand. Variable speed triggers give you more flexibility and allow you to adjust blade speeds depending on what material is being cut. For example, slowing down the blade speed while cutting metal will prevent overheating and damaging either the tool or workpiece.


Weight and Balance: Hackzall vs Sawzalls are generally lighter than reciprocating saws, but often this is at the expense of power. While hacksaws can be particularly useful for delicate jobs like cutting copper pipes or plastic, they aren’t as well suited to harder materials such as metal or concrete.  

Variable Speed: Like most other power tools, Hackzalls vs Sawzalls usually have variable speed triggers to control blade speed depending on what material you’re cutting. Professional grade reciprocating saws usually have trigger speeds between 200 up to 1500 strokes per minute (SPM) and may also contain a lock-on button.

Blade Direction: Blade direction changes can be done without removing a chuck key, making it much easier when you need to make a quick switch.

Length: Hackzalls are designed to be smaller and lighter than reciprocating saws in order to access tight spaces more easily. Nevertheless, it’s important to be mindful of the cord since longer cords can often get in the way when working in an area with limited space.

The Sawzall is a brand name for a type of reciprocating saw that was introduced by Milwaukee in 1958. The term “Hackzall” has been used generically by users to refer to any reciprocating saw; however, some people will use this term specifically for Milwaukee tools. While both types of saws function in a similar manner, there are some key differences between the two:

Compared to the Hackzall, the Sawzall features:

  • A longer stroke length which provides additional power and faster cutting speeds. This is especially important when using blades that aren’t designed for higher speeds since it reduces chances of blade breakage.
  • Multiple grip positions so you can use either your hand or foot to trigger the tool. Some users will even attach a foot switch to further reduce hand fatigue while performing repetitive cuts.
  • Saw accessories such as woodcutter blades and splitters increase overall functionality and allow you cut other materials like plywood and drywall more easily.

Which one should I buy?

Choosing between a Hackzall vs Sawzall really depends on what you’ll be using it for most. The Hackzall is designed to be more lightweight so you can access tight spaces more easily, while the Sawzall features additional power and higher cutting speeds.

Length of Stroke: The stroke length refers to how far the blade will travel in one full cycle. While this isn’t typically very important when working with wood or plastic, it becomes critical when working with thicker materials like metal or concrete that require faster cutting speeds.

Blade Type: Some blades are better suited for certain materials than others since some metals may cause blades to break more easily. Since reciprocating saws aren’t as versatile as other tools, it’s important to carefully choose which blades you buy so you don’t end up making the wrong decision later on.

Final verdict

Whether you buy a Hackzall vs Sawzall really depends on your work environment and what type of materials you’ll be working with. Both saws have their pros and cons but choosing between the two is ultimately up to user preference and should be based on what you plan on using it for most.

Hackzalls: Ideal for lighter materials like wood, plastics, and metals; great for making straight cuts through these types of materials; ideal for tight spaces due to its smaller size; recommended for DIYers or homeowners since they don’t need as much power as reciprocating saws.

Sawzalls: Ideal for thicker material like metal, concrete, and other hard objects; great cutting speed makes it more suitable for these types of materials; recommended for professionals or construction workers since it has more power than a hacksaw.

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