In his review of the DeWalt DWE357 reciprocating saw in our April Toolbox, Greg Burnet wrote: “… it doesn’t have orbital blade action, a mode that allows a saw to make faster cuts in wood. Personally, I miss this feature.”

I like that feature, too, but have often wondered what the actual difference is between orbital and nonorbital cutting action. So I ran that question by David Lincoln, Milwaukee’s product manager for AC and DC saws. Here’s his answer, which was verified by Milwaukee’s engineering team: “When cutting in wood, orbital action can increase the speed of cut by up to 20 percent. However, the harder the user pushes, the less benefit orbit has for cut time.” — Bruce Greenlaw