Learn About Reciprocating Saws

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Lou Manfredi, Ace's Home Expert, is here to teach you all about Reciprocating saws, and some helpful tips and advice for using them in your next home project.

The reciprocating saw is hard-working tool. It's fast and powerful enough for anything from trimming tree branches to cutting pipe, and if you're remodeling, it's your go to demolition tool. With a variety of blades, you can use it to cut through metal, wood, and even nail embedded wood. Because of it's such a tough tool, you will want to know how to handle it.

How To Use

  • When you are changing the blade, make sure the tool is unplugged and the switch is in the off position.
  • You can install the blades with the teeth up or down, depending on the angle you need.
    • Usually there is a quick change mechanism that lets you slide the blade in place an lock it in. Give it a tug to make sure that the blade is locked in place
  • Use the correct blade for the material you are cutting. As a general rule of thumb, the fewer the teeth per inch, the faster and rougher the cut will be. When cutting metal, you will usually have finer teeth.
  • If you are making deeper cuts, make sure to have a longer blade. The blade should always be longer than the object you are cutting and extend beyond the shoe.
  • Turn the saw on and put the blade to the surface you are cutting. Align the shoe with the edge to steady the saw and cut back on vibration. Always hold the saw with two hands. It has some kick and you will need to use pressure to have control.

Do You Need One?

  • If you're remodeling, this tool will be great for you in all kinds of situations. It can cut through nail embedded wood, so it can take on your toughest of projects. Reciprocating saws can cut through railings, siding, and door and window jams.
    • Be sure when cutting through walls that you know where electrical wires and plugs are, to not damage anything important or cause a safety hazard.
  • Reciprocating saws are best used for
    • Demolition
    • Plunge cuts
    • Quick cuts
    • Overhead cuts

Helpful Tips

  • Always use eye protection, dust masks and hearing protection when using a reciprocal saw.
  • The blade protrudes on this tool without a guard, so make sure the area is clear and do not wear loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught or ruined by the saw.
  • When you are not using the tool, always set it on the side. The blade can bend or snap if not stored correctly.
  • Clamp whatever you are cutting down whenever you are able so you can hold onto the saw with two hands
  • When cutting through material, be sure the control the saw and not allow it to fall toward your body when cutting through.
For more helpful tips, visit us online at Ace Hardware's Tips & Advice 
Published: 3/2/2020