Knowledge Base

How Many Watts Does a Reciprocating Saw Use? (Power Consumption Test)

By:Michael Johns

reciprocating saw power header

On this page, you will find out how many watts a reciprocating saw draws.

There’s no power tool like a reciprocating saw. These bad boys can tackle almost anything from metal to fiberglass! I find it such a versatile piece of equipment, especially during demolition and remodeling jobs. It’s amazing what you can achieve with a relatively compact device, just make sure you select the right blade. For such a strong yet compact machine, you’re probably wondering about the power consumption.

Below we will discuss and test reciprocating saw wattage, explain how to work it out for yourself, and calculate the total electricity required.

How Many Watts is a Reciprocating Saw?

The average reciprocating saw uses between 800 and 1200 watts.

The exact number depends on the size and model of your reciprocating saw. The cutting capacity and power are directly related. For example, an 800W machine is able to cut about 4 inches of wood and a half inch of steel. In comparison, a 1200W tool will cut double this at 8 inches of wood and 1 inch of steel. 

The reason for this is down to the size of the AC motor. The larger and more powerful the motor the higher the wattage. Of course, the higher the number the thicker the material you can cut through.

How to Find Out Your Reciprocating Saw Wattage

There’s 3 ways you can work out the wattage of a reciprocating saw.

  1. Check Product Specification

The quickest way is to look at the reciprocating saw’s specification. The watts (W) is usually written on a sticker on the base of the appliance. If not, you can check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website for technical details.

reciprocating saw power spec
  1. Use a Wattmeter

A wattmeter is brilliant for getting a live wattage reading and tracking total energy usage of any appliance. You can simply plug it into your reciprocating saw to get instant information. 

I used one to test a reciprocating saw which gave a live reading of 979.4W.

reciprocating saw watt test showing 979W
  1. Wattage Formula or Calculator

If you know the amperage and voltage of your reciprocating saw you can use this to find the maximum watt rating. Simply use the formula Amps x Volts = Watts. Or you can head over to the ‘Watt Calculator’ to work this out.

Reciprocating Saw Wattage Examples

Let’s take a look at specific examples of how many watts a reciprocating saw draws. Below is a collection of modern reciprocating saws with their listed power ratings.

Reciprocating Saw ModelPower Rating (Watts)
DEWALT (DWE305)1100
WEN 36301200
SKIL Corded Reciprocating Saw1560
Skil 9206-02900
BOSCH GSA1100-E 1100

As you can see, the power ratings vary between different reciprocating saws. So you should take the time to check your own appliance.

How Much Electricity Does a Reciprocating Saw Use?

You can use reciprocating saw wattage to work out how much electricity it uses. Plus this can be useful in understanding how much it costs to run your reciprocating saw.

A watt (W) is a measurement of power at a single point in time. A watt-hour (Wh) is the total amount of electricity used in an hour. For example, a reciprocating saw drawing 1200W would use 1200Wh when running for an hour.

Happily, electricity bills are recorded in kilowatt-hours (kWh). A kilowatt is simply 1000 watts. So a 1200W reciprocating saw running for 1 hour uses 1.2kWh.

Let’s say you actively run your tool for 10 minutes a week. This means a large reciprocating saw uses about 200Wh or 0.2kWh electricity a week. That’s 0.860kWh a month and 10.4kWh a year. 

That’s a rough electricity cost of $1.56 a year to cut with your tool for 10 minutes a week.

As you can imagine, this number varies from person to person. For casual DIY, you’ll run it a lot less, while a professional can have a much higher runtime.

Using a Reciprocating Saw Off-Grid

If you’re planning to use your reciprocating saw in an off-grid situation like a power outage, remote location, or truck, the information above is important. You can accurately pick the right size electrical equipment and work out the running time.

You can either use a power inverter, portable power station, or generator to generate electricity. 

To make sure everything runs smoothly you should check two things on this equipment – wattage capacity and total energy capacity. 

Your power source, like an inverter, should have a wattage capacity of at least 20% more than your reciprocating saw. This ensures it will be able to deliver enough power as they are never 100% efficient. To cut and chop, it is best to have 1500 of power capacity. This is enough to run most of these tools without overloading your equipment.

Secondly, you need to ensure your energy source, like a battery, has enough energy to run the reciprocating saw for the required amount of time. As we already know, it will use upto 200Wh electricity for 10 minutes of work. This is the equivalent to 16.6Ah on a 12V battery.

You might want to run your tools via a power inverter connected to your car battery. Just ensure you keep the vehicle engine running to recharge the battery as you work.

How Many Watts Does a Reciprocating Saw Use Summary

I hope you now have a clear grasp of how many watts a reciprocating saw uses.

For a tool that seems to cut through almost any material, the power consumption is not huge. It’s certainly less than a lot of other power saws. That being said, you’ll still need a decent sized inverter or generator that can deliver around 1500W to run smoothly. If you’re worried about electricity usage then it comes down to how long you are working. Most people won’t rack up a huge bill for casual infrequent jobs.