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What is a Reciprocating Saw and why do I Need One?

Posted by Katy | Toolstop on 1st Jan 2021

Reciprocating Saws are a must have addition to any tool kit. These tools are extremely versatile and are capable of cutting many different materials with ease. This Toolstop guide will teach you how to use a reciprocating saw as well as how a reciprocating saw works. To find out if you really need one, keep reading!

Reciprocating Saws are a must have addition to any tool kit. These tools are extremely versatile and are capable of cutting many different materials with ease. This Toolstop guide will teach you how to use a reciprocating saw as well as how a reciprocating saw works. To find out if you really need one, keep reading!

What is a Reciprocating Saw and why do I Need One?

A reciprocating saw, also known as a sabre saw or recip saw, is a handheld power saw that uses a reciprocating blade to cut through a variety of materials, including wood, metal, and plastic. In this blog post, we will delve into what exactly a reciprocating saw is, its design, functionality, and the numerous tasks it excels at.

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

Reciprocating saws are commonly used for demolition and renovation projects, as they can quickly and easily cut through materials that would be difficult or time-consuming to cut with other types of saws.

They have a number of advantages over other types of saws. They are lightweight and portable, making them ideal for use in tight spaces. They are also very versatile, and can be used to cut a variety of materials, and are also relatively inexpensive, making them a good option for budget-minded homeowners and DIYers.


How do reciprocating saws work?

Reciprocating saws work by using a reciprocating blade, which moves back and forth in a straight line. The blade is attached to a motor, which drives the blade back and forth. The speed of the blade can be adjusted, which allows you to control the speed of the cut.

What are the different types of reciprocating saw blades?

There are a variety of reciprocating saw blades available, each designed for a specific type of material. Some of the most common types of reciprocating saw blades include:

Wood blades: These blades are designed for cutting wood. They have a sharp, serrated edge that helps to saw through wood quickly and easily.

Metal blades: These blades are designed for cutting metal. They have a sharp, straight edge that helps to saw through metal quickly and easily.

Masonry blades: These blades are designed for cutting masonry, such as concrete and brick. They have a carbide-tipped edge that helps to saw through masonry quickly and easily.

Plastic blades: These blades are designed for cutting plastic. They have a sharp, smooth edge that helps to saw through plastic quickly and easily.


How to choose a reciprocating saw

When choosing a reciprocating saw, there are a few factors you should consider:

Power: Reciprocating saws come in both corded and cordless models. Corded models are more powerful, but they are also limited by the length of the power cord. Cordless models are less powerful, but they offer more portability.

Speed: On most models, the speed of the blade can be adjusted (known as variable speed control), which allows you to control the speed of the cut. For general-purpose cutting, a speed of 2,000 to 3,000 strokes per minute is sufficient. For more demanding tasks, such as cutting through metal, you may need a saw with a higher speed.

Weight: Reciprocating saws can be quite heavy, so it is important to choose a saw that is lightweight enough to be comfortable to use.

Features: Some models come with additional features, such as a built-in LED light or a work light. These features can be helpful, but they are not essential.


How to use a reciprocating saw

To use a reciprocating saw, you will need to:

  1. Choose the correct blade for the material you are cutting
  2. Attach the blade to the saw
  3. Adjust the speed of the blade to the material you are cutting
  4. Hold the saw firmly in both hands
  5. Position the blade at the start of the cut
  6. Pull the trigger to start the saw
  7. Move the saw back and forth in a straight line
  8. Apply pressure to the saw as you cut
  9. Release the trigger when you are finished cutting

What is the Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw?

Check out our exclusive guide to find out what’s the best cordless reciprocating saw for your kit.

Do I Need a Recip Saw in My Kit?

The answer to this question is always going to be determined by the type of work you do. If you’re undertaking renovation jobs that involve cutting through plasterboard, ripping out and replacing window and door frames, for example, then a recip saw is a great tool to utilise. Equally, if you need to quickly cut through pipework, box frames etc, a recip saw – with the correct blade fitted – will be the best tool to quickly get the job done.

You rely on your jigsaw for trimming and shaping cuts. You use your circular saw for long, clean cuts, and you use your mitre saw for precise mitre and bevel cuts. So it makes sense to add a reciprocating saw to your kit for renovation jobs, demolition jobs and much more.

Check out our video to find out why you need a reciprocating saw in your kit:


If you are looking for a saw that can quickly and easily cut through a variety of materials, a reciprocating saw is a good option.