What Is The Purpose Of A Reciprocating Saw?

The reciprocating saw is a versatile tool that allows you to quickly cut many materials. Composite or not, it does save a lot of time and effort. Therefore, more and more users are replacing other cutting tools such as: a manual saw, a circular saw, or a grinder with a reciprocating saw.

The reciprocating saw is a power cutting tool that looks like an electric hand saw, so to speak. Its main quality is that the cutting blade remains in the air without supports. In fact, the saw blade is only attached to the machine at its base.

But what is the purpose of a reciprocating saw? And how do you use it? Next, in this article, we will answer all of your questions.

What Is A Reciprocating Saw and It’s Feature?

The reciprocating saw is a very useful type of electric saw for cutting pallets, chopping firewood, and pruning trees. Essential also in demolition tasks to scrap door and window frames, for example, being able to saw wood with nails.

On the other hand, with a good reciprocating saw and the appropriate blade, you can make recesses in plasterboard, chipboard, wooden planks, metal sheets, etc. Of course, it is also useful for cutting cast iron, steel, and aluminum profiles. It can even cut ceramic materials if you use a vine blade.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Reciprocating Saw


The main advantage of a reciprocating saw is that it allows us to cut quickly without any effort. Tool manufacturers manufacture long reciprocating blades, which allow us to cut very thick section materials. For example, cutting logs or thick large section beams is much easier with a reciprocating saw than splitting a bow.

Another advantage of the reciprocating saw is the ability to cut mixed materials. For example, it can be used to make a cut in a plasterboard wall. It cuts both plasterboard and metal profile well. It also cuts well sandwich plates (metal and wood, metal and foam insulation, etc.).

Unlike other power tools (for example, the combination hammer),, the reciprocating saw is relatively cheap. For just over 100 dollars, we can buy a professional reciprocating saw (domestic ones cost half).


Not all are advantages; the reciprocating saw is usually less precise than a jigsaw or jigsaw. It also has other drawbacks:

The cut is likely to come out crooked: since the saw is only held at one point, unlike the bow saw.

Less clean cuts in wood: following the cutting line and keeping the blade perpendicular to the material is more difficult than with a saw or jigsaw.

Less precise cuts in metal: The same is true of metal cutting. A band saw, even a domestic one, will allow us to achieve more precise cuts.

Its size: the reciprocating saw is quite a long and bulky tool, so it doesn't fit anywhere.

What Is The Purpose Of A Reciprocating Saw: Why Do I Need One?

A reciprocating saw is a tool widely used in pruning, plumbing, construction, electrical, carpentry, and salvage jobs. And what can be done with it?

There is a wide range of options:

In pruning work: very fast cuts in tree branches, shrubs, and large trunks; and cleaner than with a chainsaw.

In plumbing: cutting copper, PVC, and stainless steel pipes and metal projections flush; plunge cuts on fixed surfaces; or even access areas that are difficult to access. As we mentioned before, the flexibility of its bimetallic sheets makes this work much easier.

On the other hand, in construction and electricity: cuts and recesses in a plasterboard wall, plasterboard + aluminum, hollow and solid brick, and porous concrete.

While in carpentry: in cutting wood of great depth and hardness; restoring furniture and windows of materials combined with wood and metal; cutting aluminum and polyurethane or metal and wood sandwich plates, cutting edge, and repairing pallets with wood and nails.

And, finally, in rescue operations: cutting vehicles to help people who have been trapped in it.

How Should I Use It Correctly?

The guidelines to follow so that you do not have any problems when cutting with a reciprocating saw are:

  • First of all, you must protect yourself with the appropriate personal protective equipment. In this case, glasses, gloves, and a mask.
  • If you are going to make a normal cut, adjust the depth stop and rest the shoe on the piece to be cut.
  • While, if you are going to make a plunge cut, rest the edge on the shoe. Turn on the saw and go down little by little until the shoe fully supports the piece.
  • Also, you should control the speed regulator depending on the cutting speed. When looking for quick cuts in soft materials, set the throttle to high speeds. If you want more precise cuts in harder materials, set the regulator at low speeds.
  • In the same way, take into account the orbital regulator. When the cuts are fast,

you need more orbital action. On the contrary, if the cuts you are going to make are more precise, the orbital action should be less.

Frequently Asked Question

1. How to Select the Best Reciprocating Saw Blades?

There are different blade types depending on the:

Cutting material,

  • Different tooth pitches and lengths/ teeth per inch.

But a universal blade system is used. Unlike jigsaw blades, which have different types of hooks, blades for reciprocating saws are standard.

The standardization of saw blades makes things much easier to choose the right one. The best part is, it allows mixing blades of any brand in any type of tool. The only thing we have to think about is the:

  • Length of the blade and
  • The type of tooth depending on the cutting material (metal, wood, mixed, etc.).

There are various brand of blades which you can choose from, such as Lenox, DeWALT, Bosch etc.

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

As we said before, a reciprocating saw is a handheld electrical hacksaw.

A reciprocating saw serves the same uses as a handheld hacksaw with a metal blade or a woodworking saw. You will need it for its versatile use.

If we simplify its uses:

  •  It is ideal for cutting in tight spaces, where the handle or the frame of the hand saw (the bow) will not enter;
  • Can cut deep and long places where the saw blade barely enters;
  • It is used to cut pipes, and metal projections flush with the wall or floor;
  • Or to cleanly cut branches from trees and shrubs;
  • Also, for making cuts in plastic tubes and pipes, wooden slats, or metal profiles.

3. What is the Best Cordless Reciprocating Saw?

The Makita XRJ05T 18V LXT Reciprocating saw is capable of cutting wood up to 255mm, metal up to 130mm. It has a frontal air outlet and hermetic closure to prevent dust from entering.

One of the great advantages is its anti-vibration technology. Also, it’s quick bi metal blades change, without the need for tools, speed up your work and makes it more effective.

This professional reciprocating saw comes equipped with accessories and a robust and ergonomic case.

4. What is a Reciprocating Saw Used For?

In addition to the time you save and the little effort you make when cutting hard materials, it has more benefits. The Reciprocating saw is optimal for use in narrow, deep, or long spaces where other tools will not fit. As is the case with a hand saw, since it has a very wide handle.

You can also make flush cuts on fixed surfaces due to the flexibility of its bi metal blades; and plunge cuts in a large number of materials that we will explain later.


At this point we hope you have understood what is the purpose of a reciprocating saw. Because of its ease of use and versatility, everyone should have one in their collection. But remember, it is an electrical machine, so use it with proper care.

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