Whenever you think of cutting down a tree the first tool you probably think of is a chainsaw.
However, I find myself using a chainsaw less and less because of my battery-powered reciprocating saw (SAWZALL).
I have found that a battery reciprocating saw is the best tool for cutting tree roots, limbs, and branches.
It works great for cutting down small trees too!
I have even cut down trees up to 12 inches (30.48 cm).
Corded reciprocating saws are much cheaper but totally not worth it. I have one and it sits in my shop most of the time.
It is a total pain to haul around an extension cord.
The reason a reciprocating saw works so well for cutting tree roots is because the blades can get in the dirt and hit a rock unlike a chainsaw.
If the blade gets ruined, who cares, it is cheap and easily replaceable.
The other big reason why this is my number one tool for this is because their are a thousand other uses for a reciprocating saw other than just cutting branches and roots.
Essentially anything that needs to be cut by hand can be done with this saw.
What Reciprocating Saw Do I recommend?
I recommend a two handed 18 to 20 volt battery-powered reciprocating saw.
I personally have used my Rigid Reciprocating Saw for years and have loved it.
Does that mean it is the best? Not necessarily. There are other professional-grade tools out there but as far as a backyard projects go this is a very high quality long-lasting tool that works extremely well.
One thing I love about Rigid is they make their tools very durable and back it up with a lifetime warranty. So far I haven’t had to use it.
I haven’t tested out others and how they compare, but with batteries these days being the biggest expense, once you have committed to a brand for battery-powered hand tools it probably makes sense to stick with it.
Mostly because the batteries will work with all the other hand tools the brand offers.
The last thing I would want is to be chasing around several different chargers for different batteries.
There is nothing worse than getting everything ready to do a project and then realizing your one battery is dead.
With that being said I am going to provide recommendations to the leading battery-powered hand tools’ reciprocating hand saws.
I have owned and used my Rigid tools almost every day for the last 10 years.
The big reason why I went with them originally is that their tools were all high-quality professional-grade tools backed with a lifetime guarantee.
So far I have only had one drill go out on me.
10 years ago when I first bought my Rigid tools I was unimpressed with Ryobi because everytime I used them the battery life was super short.
Battery technology has come along way since then so I wouldn’t say that Ryobi’s batteries are any better or worse now.
The thing that I love about Ryobi is their impressive line up of tools available.
They are kind of a one stop shop when it comes to battery powered tools.
I literally counted 194 different tools options that work with their 18V batteries.
Then they even have a 40V tool line of mowers, chainsaws and other larger tools.
Ryobi’s tool options are truly impressive and I may need to start buying Ryobi for that one reason.
DeWALT is probably the most popular brand out there but their line up of tools is more geared to construction workers.
They have a lot of options for drills and saws but not much else.
Milwaukee are professional grade tools and say they have a line up of over 200 tools that work on their M18 or 18V batteries.
That is quite impressive but most of the tools seemed more tailored to the construction industry.
They have a lot of tools that I would never use even in my extensive backyard projects.
Overall I would probably go with whatever reciprocating saw brand you already own batteries.
If you don’t have a particular brand you have already gone with then I know from over 10 years of use you will be very happy with Rigid.
However, Ryobi’s huge selection of 18V battery-powered tools gets me excited for all the possibilities of projects I could do easier and faster.