Reciprocating Saw- Everything you need to know

A reciprocating saw is a handy tool to cut woods and other hard materials. Here, we are going to discuss everything related to a reciprocating saw starting from what it exactly is, its types, the blade types, how to use a reciprocating saw, also tips on safe using. So, let’s just start what we intend to.

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

A reciprocating saw is the modern version of the hand-powered hacksaw. It is for demolition. The name of the tool itself hints what it is all about. The ‘reciprocating’ refers to the backward and forward movement of the thin blade either upwards or downwards, and the ‘saw’ refers to the old fashioned hand tool for cutting woods. The reciprocating saw is needed to be held at one position whereas its the blade which does all the work without applying any force.

Types of Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw classifies in a few different ways. They all do the same job, but the classification depends considering the size and the power. There are mainly three types of reciprocating saws, and they are corded, cordless, mini reciprocating saw.

1. Cordless Reciprocating Saw

Among the three the cordless reciprocating saws are the best as they don’t require connection to the electricity and operates with a battery. Most of these reciprocating saws come with powerful batteries which lasts for a long time. However, if it doesn’t have a powerful battery, then cordless reciprocating saws can be troublesome.

2. Corded Reciprocating Saw

Again, a corded reciprocating saw will cut materials efficiently while connected to electricity. Though it is not convenient enough to work with a device plugged to the socket, however for the limited use, it is useful.

3. Mini Reciprocating Saw

A mini reciprocating saw is the smallest and used in a tight space where using big reciprocating saws are difficult. It can comfortably cut plastic pipes and is not for a heavy-duty task like construction or demolition.

Reciprocating Saw VS Jigsaw

Though the construction and movement of the jigsaw and reciprocating saw are very similar, both the device have very different use and result.

In the case of a jigsaw, the blade is angled down. It also has a shoe which works as a guide for the saw on the wooden surface or any other workpiece. It is used for precision.

However, in the case of reciprocating saw, the blade is mounted horizontally. It cannot result in precise or angled cuts, instead is constructed for demolishing, trimming, cutting pipes, woods or boards.

The bottom line is, a jigsaw is for precise cuts and a reciprocating saw is for random cuts which don’t require precision.

What Can You Do With a Reciprocating Saw- Reciprocating Saw Uses

A reciprocating saw is extremely versatile. It has a wide range of usage due to the convenience and versatility. It is a great way to demolish different materials and also works great in limited space.

In plumbing work and HVAC, it is the go-to device for the workers. They need to work in tight spaces like the inside of a wall, crawl space, heater closet. With a reciprocating saw, the material can be cut down in pieces with just one trigger, and it doesn’t require any movement.

It is excellent for window fitting, trimming, and making the frame area as well. Only by aiming the blade, one can move the hindrances and trim down the unneeded portions of the frame or wall.

It is also used during construction work to demolish walls and tearing down the stud without affecting other walls in the room. Even during emergency rescue services, it comes very handy to save people stuck in cars or other congested spots.

Types of Reciprocating Saw Blades

Types of reciprocating saw blades depend solely on what exactly is going to be cut. The standard size of a reciprocating saw blade is 6 inches, but there are smaller and bigger blades available as well. Though it is not compulsory to use different blades for a different purpose, using specific ones will make the work easy and will provide the best result in lesser time.

  • A fine tooth blade will be best for cutting metal pipes and nails.
  • A coarse blade will easily cut through the wooden surface.
  • A very coarse blade is ideal for demolishing plaster and drywall.
  • A toothless blade coated with tungsten carbide abrasive grid is what one needs for cutting ceramic tiles, stone and cast iron.

How to Use a Reciprocating Saw- Step By Step Guide

Now the question of how to use a reciprocating saw arises and the process is simple. It is a few step process.

Step 1:Choosing the right blade:

First of all, you need to do is, choosing the appropriate blade for cutting a surface. The type of the blade must be selected depending on what needs to be cut.

Step 2: Inserting the blade:

Insert the back end of the blade into the blade slot. Make sure the saw is unplugged or the battery removed. Make sure to take it to the blade camp and adequately secured. After mounting the blade, tug it once before squeezing the trigger.

Step 3: Rely on the shoe:

Adjust the shoe to give the blade depth and a sharper angle. The shoe of the reciprocating saw works as a guide and also as a mark of how much to cut. It also stabilizes the saw and upon adjusting it back and forward the sharpness of the blade lasts long.

Step 4: Squeeze the trigger:

Upon the adjustment of the shoe, squeeze the trigger until you entirely cut the surface or material you are aiming. It is better to have control over the speed. Do not cut material at high speed at the beginning; instead, start slowly and then increase the speed.

Step 5: Cut:

Make sure to put even pressure to get a proper result. If the progress of cutting the surface is slow, which is very common while cutting thicker material, then see-saw the blade gently, and the process will become faster.

How to Use a Reciprocating Saw Safely- Safety Issues

Any cutting devices are extremely risky and dangerous. So, it is essential to use them safely, and if you are a beginner, use it under supervision. So, how to use a reciprocating saw safely! There are few tips and tricks you need to follow for safe use.

  • Unplug the saw while changing the blade to avoid accidental operation.
  • Wear safety glasses and hearing protection.
  • Do not start cutting a surface like walls or floors without knowing everything about it as you might end up cutting pipes or wires.
  • Always be alert about the kickbacks. Avoid cutting thick woods while standing on a ladder as its hard to handle kickback up there.
  • Do not touch the blade instantly after cutting something as the blade gets extremely hot upon using.


Hopefully, now you have got a good idea on the reciprocating saw and how convenient and versatile it can be. Keeping it in your tool kit will only help you in cutting things without putting much force that too at a short period. So, if you are looking for buying a reciprocating saw, then you must, as such a useful device is worth all the money spend on it.

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