About a year ago I dropped off a DeWalt DWE357 recip saw with the crew of Stevenson Construction, a remodeling company in Lafayette, CA. Last week I visited one of the company’s jobsites and shot a video review (see below) of the tool with the foreman.

If you’re not familiar with this saw, it was introduced in 2012 and has a canted motor that makes it a good 4 inches shorter than the average inline model. That and a 4-way blade clamp make for easier tight-quarters cutting; the tool fits better between joists and with the blade turned sideways it can almost cut flush into corners—as you might need to do when cutting a bottom plate free from the floor or a wall free at a corner. While not specifically designed for one-handed cutting—like Milwaukee’s Hackzalls—the DWE357 is light enough and short enough to be used in that manner. The 10-amp motor and lack of an orbital function means this is not the tool of choice for heavy-duty demo. But that’s not something most contractors do on a day-to-day basis; most contractors use recip saws for “surgical” cutting: making openings, cutting pipe and conduit, and removing the occasional door, window, or wall. For doing that kind of work—especially in tight quarters—this saw is a reasonable choice.

DWE357 Specs
Amps: 10
Strokes per minute: 0–2,800
Orbital action: no
Weight: 6.8 pounds
Length: 14.5 inches
Adjustable shoe: no
Web price: $120 (includes kit bag)