Reciprocal Saw

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Home improvement

The reciprocal saw is a motorized version of the electric saber saw, and is particularly useful for larger cutting jobs where other power tools may not be effective. Blades are available for cutting various materials, including wood, metal, plastic, and drywall/plaster. The saw typically weighs between 6-8 pounds and has a second handle near the front to steady it during use. Blades are inserted into the holder and held in place by the blade lock, and some models offer variable speed controls.

To safely use a reciprocal saw, it is important to wear eye protection and select the appropriate blade for the job. The shoe should be adjusted for proper height and bevel, and if necessary, a starting hole should be cut in the material before inserting the blade. To begin cutting, the saw should be plugged in to an electrical outlet, the blade should be aligned near but not touching the mark to be cut, and the safety switch should be pressed before pressing the trigger switch. The cut should be followed slowly and the end of the material being cut should be supported to prevent splintering. The teeth of the blade should also not be placed on surfaces that could be damaged.

Periodic cleaning of the saw is necessary, which can be done with an unused paintbrush or air supply to remove sawdust. Better-quality blades can be sharpened as needed, while less-expensive blades can be replaced. Other useful saws include various handsaws, circular saws, and saber saws, which can also be modified to cut different materials with specialized blades.


1. What is a reciprocal saw?

A reciprocal saw, also known as a reciprocating saw, is a power tool that uses a push-and-pull motion to cut through a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. It has a blade that moves back and forth rapidly, allowing for quick and efficient cuts.

2. What are the different types of blades used with reciprocal saws?

There are several types of blades that can be used with a reciprocal saw, including bi-metal blades, carbide grit blades, diamond grit blades, and wood-cutting blades. Each blade is designed to cut through specific materials and thicknesses, so it’s important to choose the right blade for the job.

3. What are some common uses for a reciprocal saw?

A reciprocal saw is a versatile tool that can be used for a variety of projects, including demolition work, plumbing, electrical work, and woodworking. It’s often used to cut through walls, pipes, and other materials that are difficult to access with other tools.

4. How do you choose the right reciprocal saw for your needs?

When choosing a reciprocal saw, consider the power of the motor, the stroke length, the speed, and the size and weight of the tool. You should also consider the types of materials you’ll be working with and choose a saw with a blade that’s appropriate for the job.

5. What safety precautions should you take when using a reciprocal saw?

When using a reciprocal saw, be sure to wear eye protection, gloves, and earplugs or earmuffs. You should also keep your fingers and hands away from the blade, and avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in the saw. Always turn off the saw before changing blades or making adjustments.

6. How do you maintain a reciprocal saw?

To maintain a reciprocal saw, be sure to keep the blade clean and sharp, and lubricate the blade regularly. You should also check the saw’s motor brushes and replace them when necessary, and inspect the power cord for damage or fraying. Store the saw in a dry, cool place when not in use.

7. Can a reciprocal saw be used for precision cutting?

While a reciprocal saw is not typically used for precision cutting, it can be used for detailed cuts if the right blade is used. For example, a fine-toothed blade can be used for cutting curves and intricate designs in wood.

8. Is it difficult to use a reciprocal saw?

While a reciprocal saw may take some practice to use effectively, it is generally considered an easy tool to use. It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and take safety precautions, but with proper use, a reciprocal saw can be a valuable addition to any tool collection.

9. What are some common features to look for in a reciprocal saw?

Some common features to look for in a reciprocal saw include variable speed control, adjustable shoe depth, and a tool-free blade change mechanism. Other features to consider include a comfortable grip and a vibration-reducing handle, which can help reduce fatigue during use.

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