Reciprocating Saw Uses

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Having worked with a reciprocating saw for years, I can personally vouch for its versatility. The depth of what you can achieve with this tool is remarkable, and understanding its myriad uses truly lets you harness its full potential. Let me share with you some of the most common tasks I’ve tackled using this saw, so you can fully explore its capabilities.

Common Sawzall Uses

HVAC Work

You can use a reciprocating saw like the Milwaukee 2821-20 to do HVAC work with air ducts when you need to create holes for wires to go through. You’ll need to use a certain type of blade that features a rounded nose along with bi-metal teeth on either side to do this kind of work.

Drywall

If you need to replace any drywall saw in your home or for a construction job, a reciprocating saw can definitely come in handy. Just make certain that you are using a drywall blade so you don’t damage any electrical wiring, studs or pipes. And a little pro tip from me: always ensure you’re cutting to the exact length of the section to sidestep any potential complications.

Piping

You will also be able to use a reciprocating saw to cut through PVC and metal piping. Many plumbers and electricians use these saws for this reason. If you are going cut through PVC or metal piping, you will need a very strong metal reciprocating saw blade that can get the job done. It is a good idea to use a double-faced blade that features a tip for plunge cuts. This will make doing this type of work much easier and more efficient.

Nails

Drawing from my extensive experience, I find the reciprocating saw to be indispensable when I need to remove sections of mistakenly nailed material. Its slender blades excel at slicing through nails, and their pliability facilitates nimble navigation through tight spaces, marking it out as the go-to tool for these kinds of tasks.

BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C Reciprocating Saw

Landscaping

While it might seem a bit odd, these saws can be useful for certain types of landscaping work. A reciprocating saw such as the corded MAKITA JR3050T will allow you to clean up bushes and trees quickly and easily. It can actually be a better choice than a chainsaw, as it offers superior balance and is lighter overall. You also don’t need to use both of your hands if it’s not absolutely necessary. This can be an incredibly efficient way to keep your landscaping looking great. Make certain that you use a saw that is appropriate for gardening. It can also be useful for cutting tree branches if you an overgrown tree in your yard.

Fitting Doors and Windows

When you need to cut out a piece of wood for a window or door, a reciprocating saw can immensely help. It can work well with other saws like Dewalt DCS573B for better cutting speed

The main reason that it is such a good choice for this purpose is because of its precision design. It will allow you to take off small pieces little by little for an exact fit. A basic wood cutting blade should do the trick.

Demolition

I can’t stress enough how the reciprocating saw has been a game-changer for any demolition tasks I’ve tackled. It rips through materials with a potent swiftness, which is precisely what you’d want when dealing with demolition. I’ve sliced through metal sheets, wood, tiles, and even bricks with it. However, a word of advice: when you’re up against particularly hard materials like brick or stone, make sure to equip a robust blade to get the job done right.

operating Milwaukee 2722-20 Super Sawzall Reciprocating Saw

Floor Removal

Sometimes a superb reciprocating saw is the best possible tool you can use when removing flooring, especially tile and linoleum. You can keep the amount of mess to a minimum by going between the floor and the tiles. A scraping blade is ideal for this purpose, so you will need to keep that in mind. You can this type of work done in a fraction of the time it would take with manual tools.

Tight Spaces

Quality cordless reciprocating saws can also be very helpful when you are working in tight spaces that you don’t have a lot of room to work in. This is because reciprocating saws are handheld tools with thin blades that give you easy access to cramped areas. They can be useful in many situations where other saws cannot go if you know how to use them right.

GALAX PRO Reciprocating Saw

If you are confused on when to use a jigsaw or a reciprocating saw in your projects, you can read how we pitted jigsaw vs reciprocating saw here. Read next! 

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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