5 Ways to Use a Reciprocating Saw


If you’re into demolition or construction, you must be very similar to the reciprocating saw or may have used this versatile tool many times. For those newbie craftsmen, a reciprocating saw is a machine-powered cutting tool with its fast cutting action via push and pull of a sharp blade that it features. This powerful saw is used for anything from cutting pipes, making curved cuts to trimming tree branches.

5 Ways to Use a Reciprocating Saw
Image by Daniel M. Hendricks from Flickr

Plus, it works as a great demolition tool for remodeling purposes. Furthermore, a reciprocating saw has several other uses as it comes with a variety of blades to cut through everything. Let’s find out exciting new ways to use your reciprocating saw.


5 Different Ways to Use a Reciprocating Saw or Sawzall 

5 Different Ways to Use a Reciprocating Saw or Sawzall

1. Cutting Wood and Metal

The powerful reciprocating saw uses back and forth motion to cut through all type of wood that includes plywood, lumbar, hardwood, composite, and even nail-embedded wood. This fast cutting saw can tear through tough and hard materials quickly. Cutting any metallic surfaces like steel sheets, iron rods, brass, copper, and aluminum is so easy and quick using a reciprocating saw.

Thanks to its unique features, compact design, and easy blade changing mechanism! The blade can be fitted with teeth in an upward or downward position depending on the required angle. There are certain blade types in terms of TPI (teeth per inch) to cut different materials. Fewer teeth per inch offer rougher, aggressive, and faster cuts.

For the wood cutting purposes, a lower TPI of 6 is a good choice while metal cutting requires a high TPI of 18 to make finer cuts. The blade packing has all the information regarding the materials blade that can cut and TPI. Plus, there is wide blade variety that helps with the specialty cuts which includes a diamond grid blade to cut cast iron.

2. Cutting and Pruning Trees

Unlike gasoline-powered chainsaw that is heavy, noisy and a bit of overkill, a cordless 18V reciprocating saw is great to cut or trim the overgrown tree branches. Tree pruning is a lot easier with a reciprocating saw as it is more powerful, lightweight, and compact in design. Its portability allows the user to easily carry it to the pruning site and cut smaller trees limbs or bushes with better control and safety. Most of the pruning saw blades are 9-12 inches in length with 5 teeth per inch which is perfect to trim tree branches. It’s a lot easier to work with and saves time than chainsaw when it comes to pruning trees.

Also, a reciprocating saw works best for cutting through the tree’s root system when using a large length blade. It’s sturdy enough to slice through soil and roots in order to dig out old shrub or tree. Using reciprocating saw for pruning trees in your yard is not only faster and easier but also makes clean cuts with its hardpoint teeth blade. Therefore, a reciprocating saw is an ideal tool for trimming branches and bushes with convenience.

In case you’re looking for a simpler and basic way of trimming a tree, check out our guide on how to trim a tree with a pruning saw.

Looking for a cordless reciprocating saw? There are a lot of great cordless options out there. We really like DeWalt Saw if you want the best of the best!

DEWALT 20V MAX* XR Reciprocating Saw, Compact, Tool Only (DCS367B)

Why We Like It:

It has a compact design and works better in small spaces. Despite its small size, it comes with a very powerful 20V max motor that can cut through wood and metal.

3. Demolition

Starting a new project or renovation requires the removal of old stuff to construct something new. And that is where a reciprocating saw comes in very handy. One of the most common uses of the reciprocating saw is demolition. It cuts wood, plastic, metal, masonite, and drywall.

The variable speed trigger helps power through a variety of materials including vinyl sidings, chicken wire, metal, and asphalt shingles. It is known for one of the best remodeling tools that can be used in all sorts of situations. The saw is coupled with proper blade easily slices through nails.

One frequent issue of demolition of flooring systems, ceilings, walls, roofs, or other building components is that you might run in hundreds of nails. Hence, you can cut out any sidings, railings, windows, and door jams. Drywall is removed faster and more effectively from a wall with it. You can remove with much less dust and collateral damage when using a low-impact tool like a reciprocating saw.

In addition to this, it aids a great deal in demolishing an old brick wall as mortar between bricks is loose. The best way is cutting the old mortar that is brittle and soft using a reciprocating saw. It avoids damage to other wall parts.

4. To Design and Create a Framework

Best Corded Reciprocating Saw To Design and Create a Framework
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

A reciprocating saw is a high-performance tool that offers 3000 strokes per minute on average for convenient operation. So, another way to use a reciprocating tool is to cut plywood and wood framing. It is capable of making plunge cuts; all you have to do is firmly hold the shoe’s front edge against the material. Then slowly tilt the saw downward with blade running at full speed until blade tip cuts into the workpiece.

When blade penetrates the material, tilt the saw until its perpendicular. And the shoe is flat to make your desired cut. When doors or windows are installed, there might be an issue of tight frame opening that hinders the door’s function. This is where a reciprocating saw comes to the rescue; it allows you easily and quickly to trim some wood from the frame’s outer edge.

Thanks to the dual-position blade fitting option for maximum versatility! You can put the blade vertically to cut it downwards or turn it at 180 degrees to cut upwards. While you can also place it in a horizontal position for cutting left and right. This gives a great opportunity to cut alongside floors or walls easily. Many of saw models in market feature pivoting shoe that keeps the saw in contact with the cutting material for more precise and accurate cuts.

5. For Plumbing Work

It can tear through tough materials quickly and easily. While offers a more balanced operation when making overhead cuts from a ladder or above your head as compared to a circular saw. Plumbers, as well as electricians, frequently use a reciprocating saw.

The ½ to 1’’ length stroke of saw is ideal for cutting drain pipes or waste pipes. It can cut pipes made of PVC, cast-iron, or any other materials faster than hacksaw or angle grinder. Another major advantage is the fast speed of saw that cuts 4-inch pipe in a few seconds.

Removing or cutting large galvanized and copper pipes is a lot of trouble. But reciprocating saw makes this work easier as it cuts straight through hardest pipes. Plus, a reciprocating saw also finds its use from cutting rebar and rusted bolts to making vent and exhaust holes in drywall, concrete, or plaster.

Best Corded Reciprocating Saw In 2021

We’ve done the research and filtered through all of the options on the market to bring you some of the top rated corded reciprocating saws out there. 

Learn More

Wrap up

Whether its demolition or construction purposes. If you’re an electrician, plumber, or remodeler, a reciprocating saw is what you need to power through anything. 12-18 amps of motor power let you tackle dense and hard materials with better comfort and faster speed. Cut through steel, cast iron, drywall, copper piping, PVC, conduit, or any wood type with much ease.

It reduces fatigue as it mostly features lightweight design yet powerful enough to slice anything. This offers great maneuverability on any job site. Moreover, a reciprocating saw allows users to cut easily in challenging positions especially overhead with improved cutting control.

So, choose the best reciprocating saw for usage in various cutting, plumbing, or pruning purposes!

Amazon Recommends:

SaleBestseller No. 1
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Reciprocating Saw Kit (BDCR20C)
  • Cordless reciprocating saw features tool-free blade change
  • Pivoting shoe for increased control
  • Part of BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* System
SaleBestseller No. 2
RYOBI 18-Volt ONE+ Cordless Reciprocating Saw (No Retail Packaging/Bulk Packaging) (Bare Tool, P519)
  • Up to 3,400 strokes per minute (SPM) for smooth, fast cutting
  • Up to 3,400 strokes per minute (SPM) for smooth, fast cutting
  • 60% faster cutting than previous model (P514)
  • Easy blade change lever for quick and easy blade changes
  • Adjustable, pivoting shoe for optimized cutting control
SaleBestseller No. 3
Skil 9206-02 7.5-Amp Variable Speed Reciprocating Saw
  • Powerful 7.5 Amp Motor provides ample power to get the job done
  • Tool-Less Blade Change for easy blade changes
  • Heavy duty metal gear housing for added ruggedness and durability
  • Counter Balance for vibration control
  • Pivoting Foot provides additional stability when cutting tough materials

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