Reciprocating Saw Tips

dewalt-reciprocating-sawWhen thinking of a reciprocating saw, what comes to mind first is what it is used for and which reciprocating saw is the best.

The second part of your question may be a little complicated, so let’s start with a general discussion of reciprocating saws.

One thing to keep in mind is that there are many good reciprocating saws in the market, with most of them requiring just minor adjustments. Therefore, for ordinary roughing in wood, a reciprocating saw is recommended.

This tool can also handle more complex tasks. For example, it helps shape notches for wiring or opens a wall to install an outlet box for an electrician.

It’s also helpful in pruning heavy branches and topping off a fence post. And carpenters use it for rough remodeling work, like cutting quickly through the workpiece and cutting very fast through an existing wall.

However, you can also use it for plumbing, framing, cutting, pruning, and salvaging wooden work.

The reciprocating saw is a high-quality cutting tool used on various materials, including hardwood, plywood, plastic, tile, asbestos, fiberglass, and other abrasive materials.

All of this cutting, however, is done using specialized blades of varying lengths and teeth. These are just a few examples of how useful this tool can be.

Single-speed, two-speed, and variable-speed reciprocating saws are all available. A single-speed machine can go up to 2000 strokes per minute, while a two-speed model can go from 1700 to 2400 strokes per minute.

A variable speed unit on the reciprocating saw ranges from zero to roughly 2600 SPM. Depending on the manufacturer, these general parameters may differ.

Cordless Reciprocating Saw

There are both cordless and corded reciprocating saws. However, the difference between a cordless and a corded reciprocating saw is significant.

It depends on what you require from the tool and how you intend to use it. For example, a cordless reciprocating saw is more convenient and user-friendly than a corded reciprocating saw.

However, it has drawbacks such as battery charge running out, obtaining spare batteries for working in remote areas, etc. On the other hand, the corded reciprocating saw is more powerful and is best used for large projects.

Most reciprocating saws come highly recommended by experienced craftsmen, but the Dewalt reciprocating saw and the Makita reciprocating saw are two of the most popular. However, it is up to you to decide which tool brand is ideal for you.

In general, the diversity of tools is excellent, but the blade that you use for the type of task you do is what sets them apart.

If you want to achieve the best cutting results, make sure you buy a generally accepted tool in the market and that you’re using the correct saw blade for the workpiece.


Most reciprocating saws include a front surface that can be gripped with the left or right hand, depending on the situation, while some have auxiliary handles.

Ensure the two-hand grip minimizes vibration and chatter while keeping the blade on the cutline, regardless of the design; this is standard practice.

It’s pretty helpful to have an adjustable blade mechanism to set the blade on different planes; this could be a built-in feature or an accessory from the manufacturer that allows for the same arrangement.

Electronic technology is influencing the design of reciprocating saws, as it is with all tools. A microprocessor communicates with the motor to ensure constant cutting power, regardless of the blade or material being cut.

For me, the ability to adjust most reciprocating saws with multiple speeds makes it stand out. Depending on the blade you’re using and the material you’re cutting, you can change the tool for compatibility.

Adjusting the tool’s speed to “slow for metals” and “higher for sawing wood” and other comparatively soft materials is an example of this.

Keep in mind that modifying the strokes per minute is beneficial since it allows you to manage the cutting as you see fit. For example, you can slow down a little when sawing wood if you come across a very dense area or a knot.

The reciprocating saw, as the saber saw, can plunge cut, allowing for internal cuttings without the requirement for a beginning hole or a lead-in cut.

To minimize blade breakage or the tool jumping around, make the initial blade contact with the job with extreme caution.

The shoe or shoe plate can swivel or be fixed. It’s there to give a bracing point for the sawing action, regardless of the design.

You can reduce vibration and chatter by keeping it firmly on the workpiece during the pass.

Saw Blades for Wood and Metals

Reciprocating saw blades are available in a variety of lengths, teeth, and recommended applications. Know what kind of blade you’ll need for your job.

When cutting wood, for example, a tapered 6-inch length by 6-inch teeth is usually ideal. However, a 3 1/4-inch size by 10-inch teeth set is recommended for metal cutting high-speed steel.

The reciprocating saw is the tool of choice for cutting heavy gauge ferrous and non-ferrous metals and cast aluminum, copper, brass, rubber, pressed wood, fiberglass, and other materials.

In the same way, some saw blades are recommended for all-purpose and special-purpose cutting. For example, a knife with a 6-inch length and six teeth per inch is ideal for all-purpose wood cutting, plywood, insulating boards, and asbestos.

The recommended blade size for unique cuts, such as general roughing-in wood, is 6 inches long by six teeth per inch. Of course, these categories encompass a wide range of materials.

Make sure you have the right type and size of the saw blade for the job. For example, if you work in an industrial setting and frequently open boxes, remove siding, or cut nail-embedded wood in difficult-to-reach regions, the ideal saw blade size for this task is 12 inches long and flexible with 18 teeth per inch.

A correct blade, once again, is the answer to quickly cutting through rough pieces. It won’t matter if you hit a nail now and again if you use the right blade and go at the right speed.

Tips for Using a Reciprocating Saw

To get an excellent cut out of a reciprocating saw, you’ll need to know where to place the tool and where to place the blade in the workpiece.

Vibration is reduced, and adequate results are achieved by combining a firm two-hand grip with good pressure down on the shoe. In addition, you can often use a clamped-on guide strip on straight cuts to guide the tool, precisely like a saber saw.

If you want to get the most out of your reciprocating saw tool, learn about the blades that you may use with it. You can’t make all kinds of cuts with the same knife.

Several reciprocating saw blades are recommended for certain sorts of cuts to achieve the best results.

Would you please make a note of the most proper application for each saw you intend to use and buy it? For example, even if you only use the tool saw/blade to cut one type of material, you’ll discover that different blade types are required for optimal results.

If you’re conducting any renovation work that involves nails or plasters, or if you’re pruning a tree, you’ll want to acquire the best blades possible.

The tool’s default blade is a decent place to start, but accumulating several types of blades is good practice and saves money in the long run because you’re more likely to break a blade by cutting something it wasn’t designed to cut.

Reciprocating Saw Blades for Trees

The tips above will also come in handy when purchasing tree reciprocating saw blades.

Usually, you’d want to make sure that your tree-cutting saw blade is razor-sharp to speed up the process.

However, carbon steel blades are highly flexible, allowing for bending without breaking while also providing a great cut.

Another factor to consider when purchasing a tree reciprocating saw blade is the type of tool you have.

The reciprocating saw is a more heavy-duty tool that can drive longer and stronger blades than those you can put in a saber saw. The most significant reciprocating saws for trees are mechanically hefty.

Also, unlike saber saws, which use a vertical sawing action to drive a blade, the blade of a reciprocating saw moves horizontally, longitudinally, in line with the tool’s body, making it a more efficient tool.


1. Working with a solid, two-handed grip is the best way to go. As you begin to cut, press the tool’s shoe firmly against the work.

2. If you come across a stubborn knot in the wood, take it easy on yourself and the tool by rocking it a little as you pass through.

3. Maintain awareness of the work environment around you when using this tool for remodeling or other similar work; you don’t want the saw to come across a water line or electrical wiring.

4. When performing remodeling work that requires cutting through a wall covering or a partition, one thing to keep in mind as a safety precaution is discovering what is within the wall ahead of time.

Always choose the shortest and heaviest blade that will do the job. For example, when sawing through a facing, do not use a too-long knife since the edge will likely bounce against the back area of the work material.

Before you start cutting, be sure you know what’s within your work material. A reciprocating saw fitted with the appropriate blade may easily cut through a full-thickness partition.

Cutting through a pipe, steel, aluminum, or other materials is a common occurrence. If the reciprocating saw enables it, begin the task at a lower speed and gradually increase the speed until the blade is consistently cutting.

It’s never a good idea to force a cut. Instead, allow the blade to go at its rate during cutting.