Reciprocating Saw Buying Guide & How it Works

The Reciprocating Saw also known as a “Sawzall” is a very versatile electric tool with many uses and application. A good reciprocating saw is always fitted with the right blade for the job at hand. The reciprocating saw is a popular tool used by many handy men because it can cut through tough materials with ease. It is also a useful tool to have at home for the avid DIY.


How a Reciprocating Saw works

A reciprocating saw has a large blade like a Jigsaw. It also has a handle that allows it to be used easily on vertical surfaces. The reciprocating saw makes a cut through a push and pull motion of the blade. Many reciprocating saws make straight cuts through a back and forth motion while other models cut in an orbital or rocking motion. The orbital action causes the tip of the blade to move in an oval pattern, up and down as well as back and forth.

Because the blade of a reciprocating saw is only about an inch, it’s easy to change direction during a cutting motion. The saw’s blade can also be steered at much tighter angles than other types of saws.

One other great benefit of the reciprocating saw over other saws is that, its’ blade has a very short stroke and is able to get into tight or awkward spaces.

Best reciprocating saw reviews

How fast can a reciprocating saw cut?

A key consideration when choosing the best reciprocating saw for your purpose is the cutting speed. Cutting speed is determined by how may strokes the saw can produce in a minute and is measured in SPM (strokes per minute). A higher number is preferable to get the job done faster. Reciprocating saws either come with a single speed setting or a variable speed.

Best reciprocating saws typically have a variable speed with minimum and maximum setting. The adjustable variable speed is either through trigger sensitivity or through a dial. It allows the user to control the speed of the reciprocating saw to match the cutting action. The harder the speed trigger is squeezed, the faster the blade moves. When using a variable speed saw, it is better to allow the saw to attain its highest speed before cutting.

It’s all in the Blade

Because the reciprocating saw is so versatile, one is tempted to undertake a cutting task with the wrong blade, which can be frustrating and dangerous.  The most important things to know about the blades are:

  • Blade Type: Which includes wood blades, metal blades and combination blades. Blades designed to cut metal have many teeth per inch, around 14 to 20, whereas blades designed to cut wood have fewer, around 6 to 8. They are not interchangeable, so make sure you’ve got the correct type installed before you start trying to cut.
  • Blade Length: Before you can use a reciprocating saw successfully you must make sure the correct blade of the correct length is installed. They come in different lengths typically 6 to 10 inches. Generally, you always want to use the shortest blade that will do the job.

 Corded Vs Cordless Reciprocating Saw 

The best reciprocating saw can either be corded or cordless. Making a choice between a corded or cordless saw is based on how the saw will be used. Our reciprocating saw reviews include both corded and cordless reciprocating saws

Corded reciprocating saws are powered through electric outlets while cordless ones are powered by a rechargeable battery. They tend to be more powerful and can scrape deeper into harder materials under highe pressure for longer than cordless models.

Cordless models are a better choice for light users because they are smaller and portable. They can be used at sites without a power outlet. An obvious downside is that, a cordless reciprocating saw will require the purchase of more batteries in the future.

Other accessories for the best reciprocating saw:

  • Safety goggles or glasses.
  • Dust masks to prevent breathing dust created while sawing.
  • A carrying case, to help protect the tool from damage.
  • Extra batteries for the cordless reciprocating saw

1 Comment
  1. […] cut the wood. You also need to hear this: a table saw is not as accurate as an expensive stationary shop saw and it may struggle a bit with thick pieces of lumber. Still, most of them appear to be accurate […]

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