The Reciprocating Saw, What Is It?

 A reciprocating saw is a powerful, versatile handheld tool that can cut through wood, metal, masonry, fiberglass, ceramic, even glass, and is an essential tool for many contractors and DIY workshops around the world. Reciprocating saws are primarily used to destruct, not construct, and made to rip into and tear up materials fast and powerfully.

How To Use A Reciprocating Saw To Cut Wood?

A reciprocating saw will get the job done, almost as well as a chainsaw, if you have the right blade. First, make sure you have a blade that is made for wood, preferably a good carbide blade, with few teeth and large gullets for a faster, more powerful cut. Another nice thing about the reciprocating saw is, it is not as dangerous as a chainsaw. So this makes an ideal choice for both professionals and novices alike, especially if you plan to be perched on a ladder to do your cutting.

Just remember to have your blade set in the chuck and ready to go before turning on your tool. Also be sure to wear safety goggles at all times. There are many different reciprocal saws that will perform well for your needs, such as the DEWALT Bare-Tool DC385B Cordless reciprocating saw  or the BLACK+DECKER BDCR20B 20V reciprocating saw (click here for the review).

A good example of the correct blade to use for cutting wood would be a 12 inch 4/5 TPI pruning blade, made to provide a cleaner, faster cut through wood, with a thin kerf for more flexibility. With a good 12 inch blade, a reciprocating saw will cut through small trees in about 60 seconds. Lightweight, easier to handle and much more versatile than using a chainsaw.

How To Cut Straight With A Reciprocating Saw?

Most of the time, a reciprocating saw is used for demolition projects – tearing down, cutting away, ripping up — so really, little precision cutting is needed. However, for those times when you do need to have accurate, straight cuts, there are a few tips and techniques you can follow to get the straightest cut with your saw. For example, let’s say you want to cut long boards, like a piece of plywood. You will need a tape measure, two clamps, a square, and a pencil.

Measure the distance from your blade to your saw’s shoe edge. The shoe is the bottom piece of metal that rests on the wood (or other material) when cutting. Measure the shorter side of your saw for a more manageable measurement. Then, draw a line on your board where you would like to make the cut – this line only needs to be on the first six inches and the last 6 inches or so on your board, but you can pencil this all the way across for a visual guide.

Put your guide on the wood that you are going to cut, and get your clamps ready. Measure from the pencil like the same distance you measured on the saw on both sides, and mark it with your pencil. Then clamp your guide to these marks. Now you can start the cut, remembering to keep the saw shoe against your guide, which will ensure a nice, straight, clean cut. Go slowly and remember not to force the saw forward. And there you have it!

Is A Reciprocating Saw The Same As A Sawzall?

The short answer is Yes. A Sawzall® (or just sawzall) is actually the brand name of the reciprocating saw made by Milwaukee tool company, and was invented in 1951. A revolutionary tool, this was claimed to be the “first portable electric hacksaw”, as the Milwaukee site puts it. Today, the name sawzall has been made into more of a colloquial term and has become a household name that means reciprocating saw in general.

The Sawzall has stayed true to its original roots, yet now boasts more power, a longer stroke length, less vibration, and an affordable cost, making the sawzall one of the most popular workshop tools around. For a good example of a Sawzall that performs well, let’s take a look at the Milwaukee 6519-31 12 Amp Sawzall® Reciprocating Saw, that delivers the best in class with cut speed, durability and power.

There are so many things to like about this reciprocating saw, from the heavy-duty blow molded carrying case that you don’t see with many of these tools, to the overall specs –  With a 0-3000 strokes per minute and a 1-1/8-inch stroke length, and a 12 amp motor, this makes those demolition projects easy as cake. To protect the motor, there’s a gear-protecting clutch that extends the gear and motor life with its high-impact absorption, and the QUICK-LOK brake clamp is made to provide fast tool-less blade changes.

Those clever Milwaukee engineers even snuck in a counter weight mechanism inside the gear housing to help reduce vibration and provide an overall smoother operation. And finally, the redesigned front grip gives ergonomics and comfort that is best in class. Packed with plenty of power, comfortable ergonomics, and a great brand, Milwaukee, or “Sawzall”, is a name you can trust in the line of reciprocal saws.

As far as reciprocating saws go, this is just one of those tools that just about any contractor, handyman or DIY’er cannot live without, for its overall versatility. Whether cutting pipe, doing demo work, cutting down wood, cutting drywall, concrete, or tile, this handy little tool does it all and really cannot be replaced by any other tool. With so many varieties of blades that can be used with a reciprocating saw, there’s really nothing you can’t do with this powerful, durable tool.

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