April 1, 2021

Reciprocating Saw Buying Guide | What You Need To Know Before Buying One

When you buy a reciprocating saw, you are not just investing in a power tool. You are also investing in the material you will be cutting. A reciprocating saw is a power saw used to cut wood, plastic, aluminum and other materials. Although it looks like a hacksaw, it is much safer and faster.

The reciprocating saw is used on various woodwork and home improvement projects. When choosing a reciprocating saw, you should decide on the needed features. When cutting through thick materials, you should consider a saw with a powerful motor and a blade with a wide blade opening. If you are doing a lot of precision work, you should look for a saw.

This post will look at things to consider when buying a reciprocating saw.

What are the different types of reciprocating saws?

Reciprocating saws are also called band saws, carpenter’s saws, and woodcarver’s saws. This is because they are used by woodworkers, carpenters, and cabinetmakers.

Reciprocating Saw Safety

Always wear safety glasses when cutting with a reciprocating saw. The blade can break or fly off, causing injury to the user and damage to surrounding objects.

There are three main types of reciprocating saws: cordless, electric, and pneumatic reciprocating saws.

Cordless Reciprocating Saw – This reciprocating saw is battery-powered and will have a battery compartment located under the front of the tool (where the “handle” would be). When the tool is run, you will use battery power to power the motor. This provides mobility and allows the user to cut in locations that would not be possible with an electric saw.

Electric Reciprocating Saw – This type of reciprocating saw has a cord and requires some electrical outlet. The cord will run from under the front of the tool and into a back located compartment (again, this would be where the “handle” would be). The electrical saw will use electrical power to power the motor.

Pneumatic Reciprocating Saw – This reciprocating saw does not have a cord and requires air to power the tool. This means it needs a compressor that can operate the tool and provide air to the blade. You will also need an air hose or other device to connect with the compressor so you can use it.

When you are working with a reciprocating saw, there are some safety precautions that you should take.

Choosing the right reciprocating saw

You will need to consider many things when choosing a reciprocating saw. These include the material you will be cutting, how heavy a cut you will be making, and what features you need in the saw.

When choosing a reciprocating saw, it is best to choose a battery-powered model. This is because a saw that runs off of cord power does not provide the power you need to cut through large pieces of wood. A battery-powered reciprocating saw will provide enough power to do the job required by the user.

Another important thing to consider is the size of the blade. When cutting wood with a reciprocating saw, you will need a thin blade that can cut through the material without cutting it too deeply. The thinner the blade, the safer it is for people around you and objects in your path.


It is important to choose the right blades. This means you need to choose blades that can cut through the material you will be cutting. You will also want the right blade for the job as well. For example, if you are cutting aluminum with a reciprocating saw, then make sure you choose blades that can cut through the material and get close to it without scratching it.

There are several blades for reciprocating saws, and you need to ensure that you have the right blade for your application. Thicker blades are used for lumber. They will have cutting teeth that are designed to cut through wood. However, they can also damage aluminum and other metals.

Offset blades are used to cut metal and pieces of lumber that require a lot of force to be cut through. These blades have teeth that are offset towards the outside edge of the blade, allowing them to cut through large pieces of material with little effort. A blade clamp is also needed with an offset blade to keep the blade from damaging itself while it is being used.

For precision work, you will need a thin blade. These blades are designed to cut through very small pieces of material with ease. Thin blades are excellent for cutting through hard materials such as copper or plastic without damaging the object you are cutting.

When cutting wood, it is best to use a wide-blade saw than a thin blade saw.

There are three main types of blades:
Bi-Metal Blades – This type of blade is made from two different metals so that the blade can be strong enough to cut through hard materials and flexible enough to get close to the material without scratching it.

Carbide-Tipped Blades – These blades have a sharp tip made of carbide, allowing them to cut through hard materials easily. -Resin Rivets – These are hard plastic blades with a fine line of plastic on the blade. The line is glued to the steel blade. This makes them resistant to tearing, chipping, and marring.

Pruning blade – This blade cuts wood at a 45-degree angle. It is used with a special saw frame that allows you to attach the blade to the frame.

Keyless blade – This type of blade features a lock that keeps the blade in the cutting position. You can lock it at any angle.

Combination blades – This blade has a carbide tip and resin rivets on the other side. The two materials give it extra strength and durability.

Tool-Free Blade Change

Most reciprocating saws are tool-free. This means that you can change the blade without removing the tool’s top cover. The most common way to change blades is by pulling out the sawdust bag and removing the bottom cover of your saw.

Blade Changing

The blades are important as they determine how easily you can cut through different materials. With the right reciprocating saw, you can cut through most materials easily. The blades are also important because they are more durable than disposable blades and do not require replacing them repeatedly every time you use your saw.

Blade Position

It is important to ensure the blade is in the right position to cut through your material easily. You will need to angle your saw for greater power.

The reciprocating saw’s features are important because they will determine how you use it and how easy it is for you. When choosing a reciprocating saw, you must ensure that it has the features you need to do your projects.


You must consider power from the start. When your reciprocating saw has a lot of power, it can be more effective. You can cut through more material when you have a lot of power. The power source also determines how fast you can get a job done. This is important because if you are working on a large project that will take a long time, the saw must have enough power to complete the job before its speed becomes an issue.

Cordless Power

Many reciprocating saws are cordless, so you do not need to run an extension cord or have a large power source nearby.

Proximity to a power outlet

This may not seem important, but it is. The closer your reciprocating saw is to a power outlet, the easier it will be for you to use it. You do not want to have to run an extension cord or move the saw so that you can plug it in.


Batteries are often a problem when it comes to cordless reciprocating saws. The battery can be the biggest problem for reciprocating saws because there is no power for your saw without one. Because the batteries are so important, you must also ensure that you buy genuine replacement batteries to fit properly in your saw.

Your reciprocating saw will last for many years with proper care and maintenance. It would be best if you went with a rechargeable battery for your reciprocating saw because they are more durable than disposable batteries. When you have a rechargeable battery, you do not have to worry about replacing them.

A lithium-ion battery is the most common type used in reciprocating saws.
Lithium-ion batteries are known for their durability and ability to hold a charge over a longer period. They can also be recharged back to 100 per cent so that you do not have to buy new batteries every time you run out of power.

Battery life depends on the type of work you do. The battery will last longer if you use your saw to cut thin material such as wood, paper, or plastic. If you are working with thicker materials such as plywood, sheet metal, and plastic lumber, your battery will last about 20–30 minutes before needing a recharge.

Lithium-ion batteries are usually charged in a charger plugged into an electrical outlet. The 20-volt battery chargers built into many reciprocating saws have two settings. The first setting will charge the battery and make it ready to use again. The second setting is for recharging the battery when it is near empty.

If you leave your batteries on this setting for more than a few days, they risk not holding a charge when the need arises.

When you are working with a reciprocating saw, there are some safety precautions that you should take.

Crosscut Saw Actions

The impact of the reciprocating saw on the blade is the first thing you need to consider when looking for a reciprocating saw. The first impact is the thrust of the blade. As a result, you can cut through the material easily.

Size and Weight

The size and the weight of your reciprocating saw are also important factors when choosing one. Most saws are compact and lightweight, so they can be easily stored and carried around without any problems.

Modes of Operation

There are several modes of operation for your reciprocating saw. It would help to choose modes that will accommodate your needs as you cut through different materials.


The handle is important in how easy it is for you to use your reciprocating saw. The handle will also determine how comfortable it is for you to use the saw. If the handle doesn’t fit your hand, then it can really make using the tool difficult and painful.


The number of strokes your saw will be able to produce is important for cutting through different materials. The more strokes you have, the more power you have to cut through different materials. One of the best reciprocating saws for cutting wood is a top-quality saw with 2-strokes.


Your saw’s speed is also important as it will determine how fast you can cut through different materials. Fast-cutting reciprocating saws are excellent for cutting through thick and hard materials. In addition to fast-cutting reciprocating saws, you should also consider slow-speed reciprocating saws because they are excellent for more delicate jobs. Different speeds will allow you to cut through many material types. A variable speed trigger will allow you to control the speed of your saw.

Variable speed control allows you to select the speed that you want.


The torque of your saw is also significant because it will determine how much material you can cut through with each stroke. The greater the torque, the more powerful your saw will be and the more material you can cut through. It would be best to choose a reciprocating saw with a high torque motor so that it does not overheat easily and break down after a short period.


The motor must also be considered when choosing a reciprocating saw. Most saws will not have much power, but you want one with enough power to cut through thick materials. Amp motor power is a popular motor power for a reciprocating saw and is essential to the saw’s performance.

Keyless Chuck System

The keyless chuck system allows you to change out the different blades that your reciprocating saw uses much easier. This will allow you to make any blade changes you want without using a wrench or screwdriver. You simply remove the blade and insert the one that you want to use without any problems.


There are various models available on the market. It is important to choose a model that will fit your needs as you cut through different materials.

When cutting with a reciprocating saw, you should use good quality blades and saws to provide great cuts. The better the quality of these items, the longer they will last, and the better they will make your cuts.

A cordless model is a good option because the batteries will last longer and are more durable than a battery-operated model. These models have NiCad batteries with better charging speeds, so you don’t have to wait long to get your job done. They also keep the blades in contact with the material for a longer period to make much better cuts than inexpensive models.

Corded reciprocating saws usually have more power than cordless models. These saws are also very durable and will last for years. These saws usually have better speed control, so you can easily cut through thicker materials with them.

If you plan on using your saw for a large-scale project, getting a larger reciprocating saw with extra-thick blades would be better. You want to ensure that your blade can cut through the material you are working on without damaging it when you cut with your reciprocating saw.

You should use other tools to make great cuts with your reciprocating saw are diamond blades and blade guards. Larger models will need larger blades and guards. If you’re using a smaller model, you will probably be fine with the standard blades and guards that come with it.

Proper safety precautions should also be taken when using your cordless reciprocating saw. The most important aspect is ensuring proper ear protection while using your saw. If available, you need to wear earplugs or use a good quality pair of hearing protection tools.


You want to read reviews of any reciprocating saw before purchasing it. This will help you determine what model is right for the job you need to do. Reviews will also help you determine the best use for the type of work you’ll be doing.

There are many different kinds of reciprocating saws on the market, so you must understand what makes a good saw. They tend to come with various features that will affect how well they cut and how easy they are to use.


The industry is constantly innovating. Anti-vibration technology is the first thing that you should look for. For a reciprocating saw to cut, it must be vibrating. Nothing is worse than a saw that is too heavy and difficult to control. Many reciprocating saws can be used without an extension cord or an extra power supply. More and more companies are making reciprocating saws with a wireless design, so you don’t need an extension cord or power supply block.

Price range

The price is one of the most important things to consider when buying a reciprocating saw. You need to ensure that the saw you buy has all the features you need for your job. You can find cheap reciprocating saws, but you need to make sure you are purchasing a high-quality saw for your money.

The blades determine the cut quality that your reciprocating saw will have.


How do I choose a reciprocating saw blade?

You will need to choose blades made with the proper material for your cutting application. These blades are available in different sizes and shapes, so you need to make sure that you choose the right one and that it is compatible with your saw.

Which reciprocating saw blade type do I choose?

Many customers continue to use the same blade for decades without problems. They may be perfect for a particular job, but they will begin to show signs of wear after a certain period.

Should I buy a corded or cordless reciprocating saw?

A cordless blade is the most convenient but has a few downsides. If you don’t have at least a couple of batteries, you’ll be out of luck for quite some time. The cordless models are also more expensive than their corded counterparts.

How do I know if my reciprocating saw is compatible with my chosen blades?

Most saw manufacturers list which blades are compatible with their saws on their websites and packaging.

Which is better, jigsaw or reciprocating saw?

A reciprocating saw is better because it is lightweight and portable. Jigsaws are too heavy to be carried around all day.

Which blade should I use?

The ones that come with your saw from the factory are typically a good choice. If you’re looking for something a little fancier, you can buy blades that fit your particular application.

Do I need to use an extension cord or power supply?

Most cordless models will provide enough power without needing an extension cord or an extra power source.

Can you use a reciprocating saw to cut tree roots?

There is no problem with cutting tree roots, but you need a saw with extra power.

The most abundant type of reciprocating saws fall into the cordless category. These are much easier to operate and come with many enhanced features that make them more useful for the average homeowner or woodworker. They can be tough for a beginner to use for long periods without tiring, but with time and experience, they can become a handy tool in any workshop.

Can you cut plywood with a reciprocating saw?

Yes, you can cut plywood with a reciprocating saw. The key is to find a blade that fits the right size of the plywood. You will want a thick blade that will work with your reciprocating saw without issues and is thin enough to cut through the wood easily.

Do you need electricity to use a reciprocating saw?

Yes, you need electricity or some other power source that will run your reciprocating saw.


Thank you for reading our reciprocating saw buying guide. The best reciprocating saw is one that you can trust to get the job done. You want a saw that will easily cut through many different materials, so you need to make sure that you are purchasing one that can do this. Your reciprocating saw should be lightweight and comfortable for you to use. Make sure that your saw has the right power for your needs and other features that will meet your requirements. What is the most important feature of your project? You can read our best reciprocating saw reviews.

References and Further Reading

Cutting Small Curves With A Reciprocating Saw?, https://www.toolsofthetrade.com/tool-and-equipment/reciprocating-saw, (Accessed March 14, 2018)

Marymount.edu: Reciprocating Saw Basics, https://www.marymount.edu/cmsplugin2/files/cursos_gerais/CURSOS_GERAIS_TEXTOS__PROFESSORADO_GRACIANO%20VALENCA%20DE%20JUVERA%20PSICOLOGIA_MATERIAL.PDF?file=200, (Accessed March 14, 2018)

Iwata.com: Reciprocating Saw (Model RS700S), https://www.iwata-medea.co.jp/products/saw_en/rs700s/, (Accessed March 14, 2018)

Kobalt.com: Reciprocating Saw, https://www.kobaltpowertools.com/reciprocating-saw.html, (Accessed March 14, 2018)

Sears.com: Reciprocating Saw, https://www.sears.com/reciprocating-saw/p-00922183000P, (Accessed March 14, 2018)

Lowes.com: Dewalt Reciprocating Saw (DC385), https://www.lowes.com/pd/Dewalt-Reciprocating-Saw-DC385/l-471010?N=53135778&selectedIndex=6, (Accessed March 14, 2018)

David D. Hughes

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