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What is a Reciprocating Saw – Amazing Multipurpose Tool

What is a Reciprocating Saw – Amazing Multipurpose Tool
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Whenever we talk about different types of saws like the miter saw, jigsaw, etc. we always think about building or repairing something. But we know that sometimes, the term ‘building’ might mean the destruction of another thing. That is where a reciprocating saw comes in.

So, what is a reciprocating saw?

When you wish to do a renovation or remodeling work, of course, you will need to remove some things before you can replace them with the newer ones. Things like the removal of doors, windows, old pipes, frames, and so on may become necessary while working.

They can be time-consuming and very stressful if they are done without the proper tool. But the power tool that is designed to handle this sort of job is the reciprocating saw. 

You may be wondering why you will need to buy a reciprocating saw while you still have other power tools that can do the job. Well, the truth is that the day you will use this tool for the demolition work, you’ll wish that you have been using it before now.

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What Is A Reciprocating Saw?

A reciprocating saw, also called Recip saw, hognose, or saber saw, is a hand-held power saw. It is a power tool that can cut through different types of materials. It can cut wood, metal, plaster, and plastic with ease.

It is a perfect tool for your demolition work. It is the tool that can come to your rescue when your crowbar and hammer fail you. It can rip and cut through any material. It has a blade that thrusts in a forward and backward movement, hence its name.

Its movement can be compared to that of a jigsaw. This is because of the way it is designed and the type of movement it makes, it can be fitted with most jigsaw blades. It doesn’t look it, but it carries a powerful engine that helps power it to rip into various materials with ease.

With a Recip saw, demolition becomes fun and surprisingly easy. Yes, you can use a combination of hacksaws, crowbars, and hammers to haggle your way through the work. The work may get done, but you will end up feeling grouchy and exhausted. 

Apart from that, the work will be like where there was a bullfight. And on top of that, you may end up damaging what should not be damaged. So, when you think of demolition, think of the reciprocating saw. It trumps other power tools in this area.

what is a reciprocating saw
Photo credit: Eladhayut, wikimedia.org

Why Use A Reciprocating Saw?

We have mentioned before that other power tools can be used to do the work that a reciprocating saw does. But the Recip saw is built in such a way that it can adapt to various situations and fit into places that other tools cannot.

What are the advantages of the reciprocating saw over other power tools?

The advantages the reciprocating saw has over other power tools are:

1. It can be used in various positions. It is most advantageous if your work needs you to stand on a ladder or work on a vertical object.

2. It uses a large blade, which makes it convenient for cutting different materials. But you need to choose a blade that has the correct TPI (teeth per inch) for the material to be cut.

3. The blade has no blade guard. This is an advantage for it because it makes it possible for it to enter small spaces that other saws cannot enter.

4. It can be used in diverse situations. It is not limited to just ripping things apart. It is also important when it comes to pruning, carving, and making straight and bevel cuts.

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How Does The Reciprocating Saw Do Its Work?

The reciprocating saw works by thrusting its blade in a back and forth movement. The movement is powered by a motor in the engine. Its movement is likened to that made by a jigsaw. It also has a mechanism for fitting the blades that resemble that of a jigsaw.

That is why most jigsaw blades can fit into the reciprocal saw easily. The reciprocating saw has a handle that has a different mechanism from the other saws you may have in your tool kit. It does not have any flat base. That makes it a perfect tool for those awkward areas you may need to work in.

The machine is designed to have a rubber-coated boot. This is where you hold on to while working. This also helps you to be in control of your cut. It reduces the vibration that the machine will be making on your hands while cutting. This rubber coat also helps you have a firm grip on the machine.

The choice of the blade to use for your cut depends on the material you intend to cut. If what you want to cut are nails or metal pipes, then you should use a blade that has a fine tooth. Those fine-toothed blades that resemble that of hacksaws.

If the materials you wish to cut consists of woods, then the blade that will serve you best is a coarse blade. This will help cut faster and the teeth of the blade will not be clogged with the sawdust. Thus, you will prevent any kickback that might arise from that.

If what you intend to cut is plaster, then you will need the coarsest blade. It has to be coarser than the one you used for the wood cutting. Plaster is tougher than wood and therefore needs a blade that the teeth are well spaced to be able to get a good bite at it.

The reciprocating saw can also cut through cast iron, tile, ceramic, and stone. But the blade that it uses to do this is different from the type used for other types of cut. For these types of materials, it uses a toothless blade. The blade is coated with tungsten carbide abrasive grit.

To get the best result, we advise that you use the appropriate blade for the material it is meant for. But there are times that you can use a less than an optimal blade for cutting certain material. As you make use of your saw, you will be getting a hang of it. This will help you know when you can make such decisions.

The reciprocating saw has a cordless and a cord version. Both are good and can serve well. Your choice of which one to use depends largely on you and how you plan to do your work. If your work demands working from the top of a scaffold or ladder, it will be better to use the cordless one. 

You do not need to worry about the length of the cord and if it will get to where you need it. Also, you don’t need to worry about the cord causing an obstruction or putting you at risk of losing your balance.

But the one with cord seems to pack more power than the cordless one. That is why the heavier ones are mostly powered by electricity as against using a battery. We advise that if you wish to buy the battery-powered one, make sure that the battery is lithium-ion type.

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What Are The Uses of Reciprocating Saws?

Uses of reciprocating saws are:

1. Pruning: The reciprocating saw is a very good tool for pruning and trimming of trees. With the cordless model, you can easily move around on a tree and prune or trim overgrown branches. Its lightweight and portability make it perfect for the job.

2. Straight/Curved Cuts: Just like it is with most other saws, the reciprocating saw is very good when used to make curved or straight cuts.

3. Plumbing: We mentioned earlier that the reciprocating saw can be used to cut metal and plastic pipes. This has made it one of the indispensable tools of plumbers. 

4. Construction: The reciprocating saw can be important in construction work. It can be used to work on the roof. It can be used to restore the lost beauty of the shingles by trimming it.

Safety Tips

Just like while you are working with any other power tool, there are safety measures that you must observe. 

What are the safety precautions to observe when using the reciprocating saw?

The safety precautions to observe when using the reciprocating saw are:

Make sure that the machine is disconnected from its power source before changing the blade. 

Whenever you want to work with the machine, make sure you protect your eyes with goggles and cover your nose with a dust mask. If you will be working for an extended period or on metal, make sure you wear earplugs.

Always watch out for any kickbacks from the saw which is very common for it.

While cutting, the blades can get very hot. Do not touch it immediately after cutting for any reason. 

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