Sawzall 101: How To Use A Sawzall (Reciprocating Saw)

Sawzall InformationA reciprocating saw, otherwise known as a sawzall, is a kind of saw that uses a push and pull motion in a reciprocating blade to saw through materials. Reciprocating saws are used for a variety of construction, demolition, and remodeling projects. In this article we will provide you with the most updated sawzall information in order to address the frequently asked questions about reciprocating saws. The point of this article is to clear up any points of confusion that you may have concerning reciprocating saws by answering these questions and to increase your understanding and of this type of saw as a whole.

Reciprocating saws are typically used for more heavy duty work than other kinds of saws. This is a result of the reciprocating motion that the sawzall employs. The reciprocating motion of the saw minimizes wear and tear on the blade while simultaneously allowing it to cut quicker and more easily.

What a Reciprocating Saw Looks Like

Dewalt Reciprocating SawWhile reciprocating saws can vary greatly in size and power, they all share the same basic look. Regardless of whether it’s a handheld version or a larger model that is designed to be used in construction projects, reciprocating saws will feature a cushioned hand grip in the rear for you to hold on to the saw with your dominant hand. There is another forward cushioned area grip near the front for the user to stabilize the saw with the other hand, and a large saw blade in the front designed to cut through vertical surfaces. A foot is located at the blade’s base that must be rested against the surface so that there is little to no propensity for the blade to move in the wrong direction while cutting.

Additional features that most all modern sawzalls have include a variable speed trigger or dial, an orbital action, and a battery on the bottom of the rear grip if it is a cordless model.

The blades operate by an up and down, or reciprocating, motion will differ by reciprocating saw depending on the need. A reciprocating saw blade that is designed to cut through composite or wood would not at all be the same kind of blade that you would used for cutting through metal.

Safety Precautions for Reciprocating Saws

Dewalt Reciprocating Saw setupTo use a reciprocating saw safely, the orbital must be adjusted correctly to match what it is you are trying to cut. It is also important to know that all blades on reciprocating saws are replaceable through the front, but the process for how they are replaced varies by the saw. Read the manual for your sawzall to determine how to replace the blade because you may need extra tools.

The type of material you will saw through will change how you place the base plate. While cutting, make sure you apply enough pressure in order to cut a clean, even line without hurting yourself.

Reciprocating Saw Uses

There are numerous applications for a sawzall. The most important use for a sawzall is for cutting through materials. Sawzalls are so versatile because you can cut through anything like PVC pipe, composite materials, wood, and steel and metal. As long as you have enough power and the right blades for the job, you can cut through just about everything.

Another purpose for a reciprocating saw would be for remodeling. For a remodeling project, you may need to insert electrical wiring into a wall. To do this, you would need to cut an indentation into that wall. A sawzall is perfect for this.

Since sawzalls are a little longer and more maneuverable than other kinds of saws, they will be able to reach places and cut through things in hard to reach places. One example of such a scenario would be if you need to cut through or change PVC pipes on your property – Not only will a reciprocating saw effortlessly cut through the PVC pipes, but it will be able to reach them in hard to access areas as well.  

Finally, if you’ve ever seen a window being fitted or replaced, you’ve more than likely seen a reciprocating saw being used. Since sawzalls can very easily fit into tight places, they are perfect for cutting down a window or fitting a new one.

Reciprocating Saw or Sawzall

As we mentioned earlier in this article, a reciprocating saw is otherwise known as a sawzall. The two terms are by now virtually interchangeable and refer to the same piece of equipment. However, the term sawzall was and still is technically a trademark term from the Milwaukee Electric Tool Company. Today, however, the term sawzall has become commonly accepted to mean the same thing as reciprocating saw. Read our article for the best sawzall.

Reciprocating Saw Blades

Reciprocating Saw BladesThe blades on reciprocating saws tend to be much larger than the blades on other kinds of saws. The blade that you have installed on your sawzall largely determines what you can cut through. Blades are designed to cut through a lot of materials including wood, PVC pipe, fiberglass, steel and other metals. Read our article for the best sawzall blade.

Orbital Sawzall

An orbital sawzall or reciprocating saw means that an orbital action is present in the saw that allows to blade to move somewhat circularly rather than straight. Previously very few, if any sawzalls, sported an orbital action – today practically every model sold on the market has one. The advantage to having an orbital action is that it allows the saw to cut through materials father.

Sawzall Information Conclusion

If you need a saw for construction, for demolition, remodeling, or any other kind of heavy duty use, then the reciprocating saw or sawzall is for you. In this article, we have learned not only what a reciprocating saw is and what its capabilities are, but we have also answered questions about how to safely use one and about orbital sawzalls and sawzall blades.

Hopefully this article has eliminated any confusion that you might have had about sawzalls. Furthermore, your knowledge and understanding of sawzalls as a whole has hopefully been increased by now so that you fully know what one is capable of and how to use it.  

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