Tool Review: DeWALT DW304PK Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating saws, sometimes called sawzalls (a trademark of the Milwaukee brand), saws alls, recipro saws and sabre saws, are great tools for construction and demolition.

By no means am I a professional tool reviewer. This is a review from an "average Joe" for all the DIYers out there.

Since the saw can change blades, reciprocating saws can be outfitted to cut through just about any material, including wood and steel. This makes them very handy in demolition work where wood planks with nails or screw must be quickly cut.

So How Good is the DeWALT DW304PK Reciprocating Saw?
Priced right around $100, the DW304PK is DeWalt's entry level saw. It comes with a nice carrying case and an instruction manual. I have to admit that I toss most tool cases into storage because I find them to be, for the most part, junk, but I really do like this case. It is large enough inside to fit the saw with a long blade installed and the cord without trying to figure out how they managed to get it all to fit from the factory.
The DeWalt DW304PK is, for the most part, a fairly basic saw, but it does have some nice features:

10 Amp motor
4 position blade clamp
Tool-less blade changes
Variable speed trigger
7 lb. weight

The DeWalt's 10 Amp motor is powerful enough to cut through everything I have used it on so far. There have only been two times the saw has struggled, once when I was using the saw to quickly "disassemble" an old couch that I did not want to carry down a dangerous flight of stairs and once while cutting through a thick trunk of a shrub. The reason the saw struggled on the couch was because some of the fabric got caught in the blade clamp and started to clog the saw. The saw struggled on the trunk because the trunk was just too thick for the blade. Neither of those examples were the fault of the saw, but were my fault in the use of the saw.

Two of the features I really like about this saw regard how the saw uses blades. The first is its keyless blade clamp. Changing the blade is extremely easy and fast. The second blade feature is the 4-position blade clamp. This clamp allows you to install a blade with the serrations (cutting edge) down, up, to the left, or to the right. I have made use of this feature many times; often when working with the reciprocating saw, I would find one position in which I had the most control of the saw, but that position would not always be optimum for cutting if it were not for this clever feature. Now, I can hold the saw in the most comfortable position without sacrificing cutting efficiency.

Ergonomics and Saw Control
Being the entry level, "lite" saw offering, the DeWalt DW304PK weighs in at a respectable 7 lbs. I would not call it light or heavy, but manageable. It is light enough to be used over the head for short periods of time without leading to arm fatigue but heavy enough to let you know it is well built and not flimsy.

The variable speed trigger is useful, but I usually end up squeezing the trigger all the way down as I am using the saw. It takes a little practice to get good at accurately controlling the speed, but I have not found it to detract from the overall usefulness of the saw.

I think this is the perfect saw for any homeowner or DIYer who needs a reciprocating saw for those occasional demolition or construction tasks. It is moderately inexpensive, has a sturdy build quality, and is very simple and straight forward to use.

What I Like
  1. Rugged and durable build quality
  2. Keyless / Tool less blade change
  3. 4-position blade clamp

What I Dislike
  1. Probably not powerful enough for professional use
My Rating
I rate on a five star scale.
1 star = Poor, I would not buy and would probably not use even if given to me.
2 stars = Marginal, there are better products out there in the same price range. I would only consider getting this if it were extremely discounted and I did not plan on using it very much, otherwise I would suggest passing.
3 stars = Acceptable, if this product were on sale and I needed it, I would buy it. It functions as it should and will probably last a few years. It is probably not good enough to be my primary tool of choice, but excels as a back-up.
4 stars = Good, this tool is worth retail price if you need it. It only has a few minor drawbacks that are easily outweighed by its strengths.
5 stars = Nearly Perfect, this product is exception with few minor, if any, flaws. It is built well enough to pass on to the next generation of DIYers and will not disappoint them.

The DeWALT DW304PK Reciprocating Saw gets

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Zyrex September 13, 2011 at 12:29 AM  

This saw wants to make good cuts. This is probably one of the best value for your money.
Wet Tile Saw

Glennda December 11, 2012 at 9:56 AM  

This is very convenient and handy. Although I'm looking for the cordless one to avoid from pulling the saw always. I tried to look online for the top power reciprocating saws.

james abram April 14, 2015 at 2:54 AM  

Thanks for sharing this review! For Milwaukee tools, visit this post.

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