You’ll love doing demolition with a reciprocating saw. Are there nails in the way? Cut through them with a hacksaw blade. Need to cut tile for new plumbing? No problem, use a tungsten-carbide abrading blade. Saw through just about anything you can imagine, just change the blade to fit the task.
Of course, you need a tough, powerful saw to back up those blades. Ryobi offers two 18V cordless models that can get the job done for you. Let’s look at them both and see which one is best for you.
Ryobi P514 ONE Plus 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Reciprocating Saw w/ Anti-Vibe Handle (Bare Tool)
Ryobi tools have been very popular with weekend warriors because they’re generally a good value for the money. The P514 racks up a lot of five star reviews on retailer websites because it’s durable and lightweight. Popular Mechanics gave it a positive review in their 2013 Reciprocating Saw Showdown. It’s recommended for light to medium tasks like trimming tree branches or cutting pipes, drywall, and tile.
Runtime will depend on the battery that you choose to use. We recommend upgrading to the 18V Lithium-ion batteries because last longer than Ni-Cd with any cordless saw. The P514 featured here comes as a bare tool, with no battery, blades, or charger. It works with any of the compatible ONE+ 18V batteries made by Ryobi.
Speaking of compatibility, this tool can use any reciprocating saw blade on the market. Blades are super easy to change with the tool-less blade clamp, but you will need to use both hands. The adjustable shoe pivots to help you get the most wear out of every blade when you move it to use a less-worn section. It also works for depth control.
The motor puts out a top speed of 3100 SPM (strokes per minute) under no load. Control the speed by varying pressure on the trigger. The total blade stroke is 7/8-inch long.
Power tools generally vibrate, and it’s hard to control a vibrating tool for precision cuts. Ryobi put rubber overmolded grips on the P514 with a cushion between the handle and the motor. This reduces how much the saw vibrates, which makes it easy to control and less fatiguing to hold.
More features of the Ryobi P514 reciprocating saw
- Weighs 4.2 lbs.
- Comes with hex key for shoe installation
- Ryobi offers a 2-year limited warranty
Ryobi P515 ONE Plus 18V Cordless Lithium-Ion Reciprocating Saw w/ Anti-Vibe Handle (Tool Only)
Although the P515 is sold separately in some places, Ryobi normally includes it as part of a kit of power tools. It is virtually the same saw as the P514 described above with regards to the motor, but there are a couple of key differences in the body.
The P515 is more compact so it fits into tighter places. The weight is a little easier to manage as a result. It has a similar variable-speed trigger, but you’ll notice that the Anti-Vibe Handle seen on the P514 is missing here. The P515 is still advertised as having an anti-vibration feature in the handle. The parts diagram makes it appear that this feature may consist of a compression spring and rubber bumpers. These parts are housed inside the handle out of sight.
Just like the P514 above, this tool is compatible with any reciprocating saw blade on the market. Blades are very easy to change without using tools, but you’ll need to use both hands. And of course, you can run the P515 off any of Ryobi’s ONE+ batteries. They recommend upgrading to Lithium-ion if you haven’t already.
More features of the Ryobi P515 reciprocating saw
- Ryobi offers a 2-year limited warranty
- Stroke length is 7/8-inch
- No-load speed is 3100rpm
- Weighs 4.6 pounds
Both saws seem to be equally popular, and both have garnered a typical review with more than four stars out of five. Both are compatible with any ONE+ battery and reciprocating saw blade, so you don’t have to upgrade your whole tool line to use them.
If you prefer a more compact tool, get the P515. You may appreciate having the weight of the motor centered closer to the handle.
If you prefer a longer tool for to better grip with two hands, get the P514.