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What is a Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is a powerful tool that can have a corded or cordless design. The handle features a saw blade that moves in a back and forth motion, going in and out as it moves. There is a motor that keeps the saw moving. You simply guide the saw along the line you are trying to cut. This tool is also referred to as a sawzall, or in some cases a jigsaw.

Components of a Reciprocating Saw

A reciprocating saw is made of numerous parts, including:

Motor Housing

The motor housing is where the motor that runs the device is contained. It is usually made of durable material to ensure that the motor is protected so it can continue to function properly.

Saw Blades

The saw blades can be switched out to match the particular project you are working on. There are a variety of these blades, and each one is designed for cutting different materials.

Adjustable Shoe

The saw’s shoe is the part that allows you to guide the blade and saw as a whole down the line to ensure straight cutting for maximum precision. It can be easily adjusted to match your cutting needs.

Power Supply

Cordless reciprocating saws use a rechargeable battery to draw power, while corded models use a cord that goes to an electrical outlet. The amount of time you can use a cordless saw depends on the specific model and the size of the battery.

Variable Speed

Many reciprocating saws feature variable speed controls that allow you to get the cutting performance you need for each task/project. Sometimes these options are available via trigger sensitivity while others have an actual dial you can turn to adjust the speed.

Straight Cut Reciprocating Saws

A straight cut reciprocating saw has a blade that moves along a single plane in a back and forth motion. These saws are typically used when working with hard materials like metal. They are also ideal when precision cutting is necessary.

Orbital Cut Reciprocating Saws

An orbital cut reciprocating saw’s blade is designed to move in an oval shape. These models are useful for fast cutting.

Mini Reciprocating Saws

You will find that reciprocating saws are available in a variety of sizes. Some models are smaller and more compact while others are larger with big twelve inch blades. Mini reciprocating saws are ideal for minor tasks such as cutting a pipe when you don’t have a lot of space to work with. They can make certain tasks easier than if you were using a larger model.

Corded vs. Cordless Models

Corded reciprocating saws are ideal for when you need to maintain a steady speed and you need a lot of power for cutting through tough material. These models also usually weigh the least because they don’t use a battery, so they are easier to work with.

Cordless models give the benefit of unrestricted movement for better maneuverability. You can switch positions quickly and easily without having to deal with any tangled cup cords. The downside is that you can only use it for so long before recharging is required.

Types of Blades

There are lots of different types of blades that you can get for a reciprocating saw, and it is important to know what your options are.

Wood Cutting Blades

These blades typically have 5-10 TPU and they are ideal for cutting tree branches and softer types of wood. This is the best option you have for doing landscaping work in your yard.

Demolition Blades

Reciprocating blades for demolition purposes have a range of 6 to 11 TPI. They tend to be much thicker than other kinds, as they are designed for heavy-duty use.

Combination Blades

There are also combination blades, which have a variable pitch tooth configuration. This could be 8/11 TPI or 10/14 TPI. One of the best things about these blades is that they are so versatile. You can use them to cut through wood and metal. They are an excellent choice for many different kinds of jobs, so they are good for everyone to have.

Metal Cutting Blades

Certain reciprocating saw blades are designed specifically for cutting through metal. They have a range of 10 to 18 TPI, but you can get them up to 24 TPI. You can also use these with wood quickly and efficiently when doing finish cuts.

Carbide Tipped Blades

Carbide tipped blades are ideal for cutting through extremely dense materials like strong metal alloys, stainless steel, and iron. They are usually around 8 TPI and can cut through ultra-tough materials that would destroy most other types of blades.

Carbide Grit Blades

These blades do not have any teeth, but rather a flat grit surface that is commonly used for cutting up tile and masonry. If you need a reciprocating saw for flooring work, this is a good choice.


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