reciprocating saw

What is a Reciprocating Saw? How to use it

Do you know how the chainsaw looks like? The reciprocating saw seems a little bit like a tiny one of them. The handle is located at the back, while the blade sticks out the front. There is also a blade difference between the reciprocating saw and the chainsaw, which is the size of the blade. The blade is only a few inches long in the reciprocating saw. 

Reciprocating saw operates by moving the blade rapidly back and forth (hence the name). Blades are interchangeable to accommodate whatever type of material you are cutting.

Preparing the Reciprocating Saw

Reciprocating saw is not meant to be used as a crafting tool. It is a powerful tool that is meant to be used to demolish and destroy things without the need for that excellent and elegant finish. The blade of the reciprocating saw is designed in a way that it can be directed into tight spaces to get the job done. A reciprocating saw is much easier to control when used above the head or working from a ladder than other types of saw.

The first step to do before using the reciprocating saw is to choose the right blade. There are different types of blades you can choose from:

  • If you are going to cut through metal pipes and nails, a fine-tooth blade resembling a hacksaw is the best choice.
  • The coarse blade is used then cutting through wood.
  • When you want to cut plaster, you need to choose the coarsest-tooth blade in your toolbox.

Most blades come in the standard 6-inches size. However, smaller sizes are available on the market as well. For reaching into deep recesses, the 12-inches blade option is also available.

It is true that the blades are durable. However, they are to be changed every once in a while. Once you sense that it is getting dull, change it at once. Reciprocating saw blades are sturdy enough that if they got bent, they can be hammered flat and reused once again.

Even after the front teeth at the tip of your blade are worn down, you will still be able to extend the blade’s life with this easy trick. Wearing safety glasses use tin snips to chop off the tip at an angle—thus presenting sharper teeth at the purpose of the attack. Most manufacturers’ blades can be used on most brands of reciprocating saws. Verify this before you buy it.

Reciprocating saw at work

Destruction and Demolition

The reciprocating saw is better than other kinds of saws in demolition and destruction work. That is due to the more powerful and bigger blades it has, and the reciprocating saw can cut through walls much more easily other saws can. The reciprocating saw is just more powerful, simple as that.


The reciprocating saw performs perfectly here as well. When dealing with something like a low hanging branch, the reciprocating saw is the perfect choice for the task. The reciprocating saw is the ideal choice for any outdoor work. And it is easy to handle.


Reciprocating saw can handle tasks like cutting PVC pipe, plywood, or even a 2×4 very smoothly and efficiently. The reciprocating saw is better at these hefty jobs than other types of saws. It is a tool you reach for frequently during a remodel job – the reciprocating saw is usually used earlier on the job. It is used in the process when everything is in rougher shape, and you need to get things done smoothly and quickly.

Portability of reciprocating saw

When it comes to portability, the reciprocating saw is a king. It can be both electric and can work on batteries. The reciprocating saw is very compact. It can be handheld and used with extreme ease.

When it comes to transportation, the reciprocating saw is a breeze. Just throw it at the back of your truck, and you are ready to go wherever you want. Since it can be operated using batteries, you can ditch the cord at home for more portability. 

Safety tips

Reciprocating saws are relatively safe to be used, and there are some safety tips that one should follow when using the device:

  • Anticipate problems when cutting into walls and floors where electrical wires, heating vents, and plumbing pipes could also be present. Be especially careful with finished walls and floors—do not traverse wires or pipes.
  • During the time of changing blades, you must unplug the saw.
  • Always wear your safety glasses. Hearing protection is recommended when cutting metal.
  • If the blade pulls out of a cut you are doing, the blade tip then will bang into your material, which will cause the saw to buck violently. This can happen suddenly and knocks you off. Remember this when working on ladders.
  • When cutting through pipes or wood, the blade can bend, especially if it is made from low material. This can cause the saw to buck in your hands. It is like hand sewing through a board that is not supported under the cut—the saw stops cold. With a reciprocating saw, the blade may be stopped, but the tool (and you) keeps jerking back and forth.
  • Blades generate plenty of heat. 


Reciprocating saw is a power horse. It is best suited for destruction and demolition work. It offers extreme power; however, that power comes in exchange for accuracy and precision. Think about it as a commercial or industrial power-tool. 

The last thing we would like to mention once more, reciprocating saw just like all other types of saws is a power-tool. It can cause harm if it is not handled with care. If you are not experienced or a clumsy person, DO NOT attempt to use it and wait for an experienced user to help you. Using a reciprocating saw irresponsibly might result in catastrophic injuries.

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