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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?

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

You’ve got a jigsaw, a circular saw and a mitre saw in your kit. Do you really need a reciprocating saw? In this guide, we’ll cover what recip saws are and why you need one.


What is a Reciprocating Saw Used For?

Recip saws (for short) are sometimes known as sabre saws. But what are they? Basically, these are hand-held saws that take over when hammers and crowbars fail; demolition work. Yes, that’s the primary use for a recip saw, to cut and rip out the materials around doors, windows and when cutting through joists and plasterboard etc. When you’re replacing windows and doors, one of the most time-consuming tasks is ripping out the old fittings. As recip saws accept a huge variety of blades designed for cutting through wood, metal and plasterboard, they’ll be able to quickly and relatively cleanly slice through any frames, walls or fixings you throw at it.

How a Reciprocating Saw Works:

The blade is moved by the motor in backwards and forwards strokes, much like a jigsaw. As a result, many jigsaw blades will fit in the recip saw, and you’ll usually find a similar fitting mechanism to the one found in your jigsaw. For working in dark areas, look for a recip saw with an LED light, placed similarly to where you’d find it in a jigsaw.

Which recip saw blade should I use?

The handling of a recip saw is different from any other saw in your kit. It doesn’t have a flat base which makes it perfect for working in awkward areas. There’s typically an adjustable foot that can be slid up or down, depending on the length of blade you have fitted, to help you control the cut. The saw will be designed with a rubberised boot which you grip while you work. Again, this helps with controlling the cut but also helps reduce the hand/arm vibration felt while cutting. Shop reciprocating saw blades at Toolstop.


Cordless or Corded Reciprocating Saw – Which is Best?

There’s no definitive answer to this question as it’s based around where you’re working and the job you’re doing. Spending prolonged periods of time using a recip saw to cut through tough materials will, obviously, mean you’re better going with a corded saw, and you can see the range we have in stock for next day delivery. Corded recip saws have loads of grunt, beefier motors and will accept longer blades for bigger cuts. But what you’re gaining in unfettered power you lose in terms of weight and ergonomics.

Cordless reciprocating saws are ideal for when you’re working up a ladder or on scaffolding, for example, and don’t have ready access to a power take-off. There are loads of cordless recip saws to choose from, and you’re best opting for one that fits in with the brand of lithium-ion battery you’re already invested in.


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:


What do you use your reciprocating saw for? Let us know along with any questions you may have about recip saws!


Check out these great deals on Cordless Reciprocating Saws at Toolstop:

Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry
Bosch 2608596132 CYL-1 Drill Bit For Masonry

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