Hackzall vs. Sawzall: Milwaukee Reciprocating Saw [Things to Know]

The difference between a hackzall and Sawzall is their style. If you are looking for a saw that comes with a lot of power and has two hands, Sawzall is perfect for you.

However, if you want a less-powered saw with only a single hand and great for narrow spaces, hackzall is perfect.

But if you are figuring out what is best for you, we will help you in this article learn more about these saws. For this reason, you will no longer have a hard time figuring out which saw will fit your needs.

What is a Hackzall?

Hackzall is also a reciprocating saw that comes with a pistol grip. It is made for cutting plywood, wood, metal, plastic, and such. This tool is also well balanced and lightweight because it comes with single-handed operation.

Many thought that sawzall and hackzall are just the same, however, you might like the hackzall more than Sawzall. It is because you operate the hackzall using only a single hand. So if you are going to cut small pieces of materials, hackzall is an excellent tool for you.

Although the hackzall comes with a standard pistol-grip, its blade can still stretch out from the top part of the tool and not on the side parts. Hackzall is easier to use because it is lightweight. You can also use the tool with just one hand.

Nowadays, there are plenty of hackzall models, and they come with anti-vibration technology. For this reason, It will be easier for users to use hackzall compared to other products in the market. You may find a hackzall tool in both battery-operated or corded models.

Hackzall also comes with advantages when it is compared with Sawzall. Here are the pros of a hackzall.

  • They are lightweight and, at the same time, minor.
  • You can work in hard-to-reach areas and narrow spaces.
  • You can use the saw with another hand and at the same time hold the workpiece you have.
  • Perfect for your everyday use.

If there are pros to using a hackzall, it also has its cons. Here are some of the cons of the hackzall.

  • It might take a while before you can cut bar stocks and hard metals.

Top 4 Best Hackzall Models

They say it is better to work with two hands, but the hackzall only requires you to use it with one hand, and they are also much lighter than another saw. Here are some of the best models of hackzall that you can find in the market.

Milwaukee M12 Hackzall Reciprocating Saw

This saw is 2.6lbs and only 11″. This tool is lightweight and compact, so anyone who uses this will have versatility in small spaces and superior control with the device. It also comes with a powerful motor that can deliver 0-3,000 strokes every minute and a ½” length for its stroke.

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It allows users to cut different types of materials, for instance, wood, drywall, and a PVC.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hackzall Reciprocating Saw

If you are looking for the most potent and fastest cutting tool in its class, this saw is perfect for you. It has 4x more when it comes to its runtime; for this reason, you can cut 70% faster than ever. It has also lasted 6x longer than any other saw that is also competitive.

Like any other hackzall, this saw can also cater to small spaces, and anyone can also have perfect control with the tool even if they use only one hand. For its lightweight, this saw is optimal for every cutting in any overhead application.

Its power state brushless motor can outperform every top competitor that is constant in its power output. However, it runs cooler and doesn’t require any wearable components.

Milwaukee M18 Hackzall Reciprocating Saw

If you are looking for a saw that comes with dual gear, this model is perfect for you at the same time. It is also anti-vibration. For this reason, it will surely provide anyone who uses it control and comfort while cutting.

This model is cordless but has a powerful motor that can give you 0-3,000 strokes every minute, and it has a ¾” stroke length. In this case, it can allow anyone using it to create a fast cut in a variety of materials such as metal, wood, and PVC.

Milwaukee M18 FUEL Hackzall Reciprocating Saw

This saw comes with a power state brushless motor, and it is the best in its class. It also comes with a stroke length of ⅞”. As a result, it can cut 50% faster than any other competitors of a saw in the market.

It comes with a dual gear counterbalance mechanism, and it can provide 4x lesser vibration more than any other traditional reciprocating saw. In addition, it has a weep hole and rubber seal that can protect it from debris and water.

What is a Sawzall?

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Sawzall is known to be a trademark name from Milwaukee tools for their D-handle reciprocating saws. Although the Sawzall is known to many, they use it to describe any reciprocating saw. But in reality, the Sawzall are only the ones that Milwaukee tools produce.

When you see a Sawzall, you will immediately see a reciprocating saw. But there are much more things you must know about Sawzall than what you can see with your eyes. For example, Sawzall is centralizing the support of its blade, which comes with the trigger on the back part.

It will allow anyone to stand behind the Sawzall that is much safer while you are cutting any materials. Its support point and long body on its front side can allow anyone to hold the Sawzall just like a rifle. There are battery-powered and corded Sawzall that you can find in the market.

Here are some pros of using a Sawzall

  • It can cut almost every object as it is a heavy-duty tool.
  • It has a two-handed operation and can allow you to control it much better.
  • You can cut faster. Its weight can also add up to its force when cutting any materials.
  • It is excellent for demolition work and tearing-up.
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Here are some cons of the Sawzall

  • It is heavy and bulky
  • You cannot use it in small spaces.

Top 4 Best Sawzall Models

Whether you are using a saw for work or at home, it is still essential that you choose only the best models.

Milwaukee M18 SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw

This saw can cut much faster than any other corded counterparts, and it also has a run time that is 2x more and can last 5x more. In addition, its power state brushless motor comes with a cutting power that is only included in corded tools.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall Reciprocating Saw

This cordless reciprocating saw can cut faster than any other corded countertop. It can allow 2x more run time and a 5x much more lifespan than any other saw. In addition, its power state brushless motor will provide you a cutting power that you can only find in corded tools.

The M18 REDLITHIUM XC5.0 Battery Pack (does not include) offers you up to 2.5X the runtime of competitor batteries and offers you additional work per charge and over the life of the pack. In addition, the REDLINK PLUS Intelligence in the saw provides optimal performance and safeguards against overheating, overloading, and over-discharging.

Milwaukee Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw(cordless)

The super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw produces 15A corded energy, delivers up to 150 cuts in 2×12 SPF per charge, and is faster than 15A reciprocating saws.

The M18 FUEL super Sawzall combines Milwaukee’s outstanding durability and performance with the portability of the M18 platform to operate in the most challenging tasks.

For corded cutting performance, the power state brushless motor delivers 3,000 spm and faster performance under load.

The intelligence of the redlink plus system ensures optimal performance and security against overloading, overheating, and over-discharge. Throughout all applications, the m18 red lithium high output hd12.0 battery provides unrivaled runtime.

The 1-1/4″ stroke length eliminates extra debris for each stroke, and the On/Off orbital motion cuts wood aggressively while cutting metal smoothly.

For whatever purpose, the variable speed trigger and 5-speed dial allow maximum speed control. A rafter hook offers a structured method to store the saw between cuts, and the quick-lock blade clamp enables tool-less blade replacements.

MILWAUKEE’S 6538-21 Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw(corded)

The 15.0 Amp Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw is indeed the world’s fastest and toughest reciprocating saw. The first Sawzall Recip Saw features Constant Power Technology that keeps power and speeds consistent despite load providing superior cutting results. In addition, the 15.0 amp motor has the best overload protection in the field.

The innovative Gear Protecting Clutch improves motor and gear life by absorbing higher intensity forces generated by unexpected blade lock-ups. In addition, the unique Counter Balance Technology reduces vibration.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hackzall vs. Non-Fuel

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The Milwaukee M12 fuel hackzall is a suitable replacement for a Milwaukee Sawzall if you usually do light saw projects with minimal thick cutting materials. It has a better saw quality and bigger overall size than non-fuel ones.

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Since it is the improved version of the Milwaukee M12 Non-Fuel with a more powerful body, the non-fuel sizes smaller than the fuel one still work best in tree branch cutting.

The Milwaukee M12 Fuel hackzall can cut wood, PVC, and even 3-inch steel pipes. The only downside is its stroke length.

The M12 fuel only has ⅛ inch more significance than the non-fuel, but this already helps cut materials faster than the non-fuel. In addition, the Milwaukee non-fuel has a shorter battery life which makes it harder to work with projects that require a longer runtime.

The M12 non-fuel Hackzall also has a round blade mechanism that prevents it from collecting excess debris. This design allows the dirt to fall to the ground instead of getting stuck between the blade and machine.

Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hackzall vs. M18 Fuel Hackzall

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The Milwaukee M18 has a longer stroke of ⅞ inch that cuts through wood, metal, and PVC faster than shorter ones. It also has 18 volts of power that is greater than the 12-volt power of a fuel hackzall.

The M12 fuel hackzall has a length of 11 inches and a weight of 3.2 lbs. In contrast, the M18 fuel hackzall is smaller and lighter, with its height at 7 inches and weight at 4.07 lbs.

Another difference between the two would be their battery life and usage. Since the M18 has a bigger battery, its runtime is longer than the M12 fuel hackzall.

When it comes to usage, the M18 is also smaller, so it fits into smaller cutting projects better than the M12. It can cut through tight spaces inside or outside a closed area, making it convenient to use and bring anywhere.

The stroke length of the M18 is ⅜ inch which is smaller than other Milwaukee fuel tools. However, one similarity among these two fuels is its cordless design, which helps make doing work less hassle.

Overall, one noticeable difference between the M12 fuel and M18 fuel is their stroke length. Because of the longer distance than the M18 has, it finished cutting materials faster, which saves up more time.

Milwaukee M18 Sawzall vs. Fuel. Much difference?

All Milwaukee M18 Fuel tools are composed of a brushless motor, Red Lithium battery, and Redlink plus communication system. One of the differences between the Sawzall and fuel is the Power state brushless motor, which a non-fuel engine does not have.

The advantage of having a Power state brushless motor is its improved motor power because of its compatibility with the Redlithium-ion battery.

Although the Milwaukee M18 Sawzall makes for cutting thick materials, it can get overworked when used tighter than everyday spaces. In comparison, a fuel design for high-performance cutting can last longer than the average Sawzall.

Overall, the battery plays an essential role in the function of the two Milwaukee tools. The battery in fuel tools is a more high capacity that ensures consistent performance, while a Sawzall may not sustain the same long-running performance.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel Sawzall vs. Super Sawzall

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An advantage of a Milwaukee fuel tool is its improved vibration control when compared to a non-fuel.

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The Super Sawzall saw has a 15A corded power that enables it to cut up to 150 times in 2 x 12 SPF per charge. The Milwaukee M18 fuel Sawzall also has a Red Lithium 18-volt battery that prevents it from overheating and overloading even when working for a long time.

Its stroke length ranges from 1- ¼ inch that has a smooth-looking cut on wood and metal. Its smaller size also makes it easier to store and clean.

Its brushless motor provides you up to 2.5 times faster runtime and longer battery time than the fuel Sawzall. In addition, it also weighs lighter than the previous Sawzall version, which makes it easier to adjust positions while cutting materials.

Meanwhile, the M18 fuel Sawzall sizes 18.5 inches with a weight of 7.4 lbs. Its stroke length is 1 – ⅛ inch, which is slightly shorter than the super Sawzall.

In addition, it has an integrated LED light that comes with its adjustable shoe.

Hackzall and Sawzall Comparison


There are several differences between the hackzall and Sawzall equipment. This section will help you see how these tools differ in each category.


The hacksaw functions for one-handed operation. It is relatively lightweight when compared to a Sawzall that needs two hands to control its heavy-duty movement.

Since the hackzall has a lighter weight, you can smoothly cut through a material without anyone’s help. At the same time, a Sawzall needs at least two hands to operate safely.


A hacksaw has a pistol grip that is slightly slanted to make the hands have a stronghold on one side on end. On the other hand, a Sawzall has a d-handle that can be held anywhere along with its circular handle.

You can grip a Sawzall by its end as long as it is around the d-shape handle. You can use one hand to hold the trigger and the other to support your hold on the device.


A hackzall’s purpose is to be an all-purpose saw that can cut up to 1-inch materials. A Sawzall can cut materials more significantly than 1 inch as these are heavy-duty saws made for demolition projects.


The price of a hackzall ranges from $120 to $185, whereas a Sawzall starts from $99. The Milwaukee Hackzall (M18 Brushless) M18 FUEL is priced at $184.80, while the Milwaukee Sawzall (Tool-Only) prices at $219.

Although the Sawzall is more versatile and powerful, hackzall sells relatively cheaper than it.

Stroke Length

A hackzall makes shorter (about ⅞ inch) strokes, while a Sawzall makes longer (about ¾ inch) strokes. Generally, since a Sawzalls has a more significant design and blade length, its stroke length is also more effective than a hackzall’s.


As mentioned above, a Sawzall can cut through thicker materials which is why it has more power. It is a powerful device with a big body that can cut wood, metal, PVC, and thin concrete.

In contrast, hackzalls have smaller sizes and less power than their counterparts. It can handle thinner materials but is not as thick as what a Sawzall can take in demolition projects.

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When it comes to versatility, the hackzall can function better in more small wood-cutting projects because of its size and sawing speed. Compared to the Sawzall, a hackzall can be carried around and brought to smaller projects requiring minimal shopping.

A Sawzall is challenging to carry around because of its heavyweight design and blade.


Can you interchange Hackzall and Sawzall blades?

Yes. Hackzall and Sawzall can be interchanged. However, if one of the blades is too long for your usage, you can reduce the length using a vise to bend and break the saw to your liking. 

Are all Sawzall blades the same?

Yes, Sawzall blades have a standard size and universal shanks; thus are all the same. The range of lengths starts from 3 to 12 inches, with 6 and 9 inches as the most common blades.

Can Hackzall cut trees?

Yes, a Hackzall can cut trees. This one-hand sawing equipment can cut through wood and plastic inside and outside your home; however, there are rare instances that a tree can be too thick for the hackzall to cut.

Can I cut concrete using a Sawzall?

Yes, you can cut concrete using a Sawzall. But it is not recommended. If you want to cut through concrete using a Sawzall, you must make sure that the concrete is thin enough for the Sawzall to pass through. If not, you could end up destroying your equipment.

Which one do I need most, a Hackzall or a Sawzall?

It depends on what you will use it for. A Sawzall is heavy and has more power compared to a hacksaw. It can cut through thicker wood, plastic, and metal compared to a hacksaw.

If you’re a homeowner who wants to own a saw for minor wood-cutting during the holidays, you could go with a Hackzall. However, if you are working in the construction industry with heavy wood, metal, or PVC cutting, a Sawzall would be a better fit.

Thus, the safest answer would be a Sawzall. It is better to have a more powerful tool cut smaller materials than a less powerful tool cut through thicker materials.

Reciprocating Saws: Inline vs. “Hump” Style

If you want to have a smooth and fast sawing experience, the inline style would be better for you. It cuts down sawing time and makes the job finish earlier.

However, there may be instances when an electric saw cannot entirely cut through a material, and this is where the “hump” style comes in. Using the “hump” style makes sure you carefully see the material without missing anything in between.

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