Best Reciprocating Saws (Sawzalls): 10 picks for easy demolition

Reciprocating saws, or sawzalls as they’re sometimes known in the US, are something of an underdog when it comes to DIY. Don’t be fooled though, their overall versatility, and efficacy on the demolition site, have helped them seriously grow in popularity over the past few years. In this post, we’ll check out the best reciprocating saws for your toolkit.

Different Blades and Uses for Reciprocating Saws

Reciprocating saws can achieve a wide variety of tasks depending on the power of the motor, and the type of blade used. Blades are often described as having varying numbers of teeth per inch, or TPI. We outline the most common types of blade and their applications below.

Woodcutting Blades

These blades are great for most types of wood, as well as tree branches in the yard. They normally have a TPI of 5 to 10.

Metal-cutting Blades

Generally speaking, these blades have a considerably higher TPI of between 10 and 18. They can go as high as 24 TPI. As well as tackling metal materials, these blades are also used to make smooth finishing cuts in wood.

Combination Blades

These are designed to be versatile, and tackle both wooden and metal materials. The TPI here often uses a variable configuration such as 8/11 or 10/14.

Demolition Blades

These are a heavy-duty type of blade perfect for tackling tougher materials like wood that contains nails. The average TPI for these blades is between 6 and 11.

Carbide Grit Blades

These don’t have teeth at all, but use a grit surface instead. Carbide grit blades are normally used in applications involving masonry and tiling.

Carbide Tipped Blades

If you’re cutting very tough, dense material, then you might need these blades. Carbide tipped blades come with a comparatively low average TPI of 8. The carbide tip is very durable, and is therefore capable of handling materials that would ruin other blades.

It can be overwhelming to swim through the sea of options that are currently available. On this page, we’ve compiled a list of what we think are the best reciprocating saws money can buy. We strongly believe that these saws won’t disappoint.

Best Reciprocating Saws: Our Top Picks

If you fancy joining the growing ranks of people using reciprocating saws to make their lives easier, then you’ve come to the right place. This page lists our top picks for the best reciprocating saws on the market. We also outline some of the key features to consider when buying a new saw.

1. Milwaukee 6538-21 Super Sawzall


At 13.5 lbs, this is a sizeable saw that packs a punch. A quick google search for this offering from Milwaukee returns a staggering number of positive reviews, and we’re not surprised. This is a well made and powerful saw. The 15-amp motor on this machine comes with the highest overload protection available in the industry. This prevents motor failure, and adds a serious boost to safety and durability.

A number of features on the Milwaukee 6538-21 make it a versatile and convenient tool. Constant power technology provides unparalleled cutting performance by maintaining a consistent speed. Your gears and motor will be well protected, thanks to the patented impact-absorbing technology that comes as standard. Vibration is kept to a minimum by this saw’s impressive balancing mechanism. Cuts with this tool are easy to make, and remarkably smooth.

Variable speed settings are controlled on this sawzall with the included dial.


  • Two patented systems that boost durability and productivity
  • Reliable, constant power


  • The shoe pin falls out of the shoe release lever quite easily

2. DEWALT DCS380B 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Cordless Reciprocating Saw


If you need a reciprocating saw that can handle a variety of different positions, then this is an excellent option. The 4-position blade clamp on this machine makes flush cutting easy. Having options for the positioning of your blade is a great bonus.

The 20Vs of battery power on this saw deliver a 1 – 1/8-inch stroke length. Ultimately, this means a faster, more reliable cutting speed. When compared to other models, the DEWALT DCS380B offers the same level of power and runtime in a package that is considerably smaller and lighter. This is a great option if portability is important to you.

When working with a sawzall, memory issues and self-discharge can cause frustrating amounts of downtime. Luckily, this machine promises no memory issues, with virtually no self-discharge, meaning you can optimize your productivity and keep working for longer.


  • The 4-position blade clamp boosts versatility
  • Virtually no downtime
  • Portable


  • In some environments, overheating can become an issue

3. WORX WX508L Reciprocating Saw


The key word here is: adjustments. This tool comes with a number of features that make tweaking your setup a breeze.

The pivot foot plate with this machine provides a larger than average contact surface for added stability and control. This plate is adjustable, making it easy to keep your work stable and safe.

The variable speed settings on this saw are easy to control, and allow you to work on a wide variety of materials. Changing the blade on this machine is nice and easy, thanks to the tool-less switching system.

This battery-powered tool weighs 4.98 lbs and runs on a 20V lithium-ion battery. It’s a great option for those looking for a portable device. The impressive pendulum function improves cutting efficiency, and the included LED torch maintains a great level of visibility.


  • A cost-effective option
  • Safety features like a larger foot plate and LED torch


  • The battery capacity can shrink after a few months

4. Milwaukee 2720-21 M18 Fuel Cordless Sawzall Kit


This is an 11.4 lbs reciprocating saw with some serious speed. Milwaukee boasts that this machine is the fastest in its class, with up to 2X more runtime and 5X longer tool life than competitive saws.

This portable, cordless reciprocating saw uses a single 18-volt lithium-ion battery. There are features on this model that allow it to deliver more power than you might expect.

The “powerstate” brushless motor provides an excellent level of performance, and the extended capacity of the battery pack adds a welcome boost to runtime. This battery comes with optimizing technology that protects from overloading, overheating and discharging.

Safety and stability have been well considered here, thanks to the adjustable shoe and integrated LED torch. The included hanging hook and carry case make it convenient to store this saw away when not in use.


  • Great runtime
  • Durable build quality
  • Great performance for a cordless saw


  • The blade can stick if not well maintained

5. SKILSAW SPT44A-00 Buzzkill Reciprocating Saw


Comfort and durability are the name of the game here.

This offering from Skilsaw comes with patented vibration-reducing technology that can reduce vibration up to 35% better than the competition. If you’ve used reciprocating saws before, you’ll know that vibration can be a huge productivity killer and even a safety risk, so this is a great feature to have.

The 13-amp motor on this 9lbs machine delivers 0 – 2800 strokes per minute, and is powerful enough for even the toughest of materials. The variable speed trigger is comfortable, and allows you to tackle a wide variety of tasks. This machine has a stroke length of 1 – 1/8, and can make cuts in a variety of positions thanks to its oversized, ergonomic trigger.

The 180 day “stay true™” guarantee from Skilsaw is a nice bonus for peace of mind. This is an excellent option for both professionals and hobbyists.


  • Vibration-reducing technology
  • Comfortable and large trigger
  • Durable design


  • The included warranty could be longer

6. Makita JR3050T Corded Reciprocating Saw


This offering from Makita is suitable for cutting sheet, pallets, wood with nails, plastic and even cast iron piping. It’s another fantastic sawzall option that won’t disappoint.

This 10 lbs reciprocating saw comes with an adjustable shoe, and a tool-less blade-change system. These make quick changes to your setup easy. The 1,010 W motor provides consistent and reliable power, and tackles most tasks with ease. This corded saw has a stroke length of 28mm and makes efficient, smooth cuts.

Makita knows that variable speed settings are a must when making cuts that are accurate and versatile. The variable speed trigger on this model is effective and comfortable to use.


  • Making adjustments is quick and easy
  • The included carry case is a nice bonus


  • A little heavy and cumbersome

7. DEWALT DW310K Heavy Duty Reciprocating Saw


If you’re looking for a reciprocating saw that can handle more heavy-duty tasks, then this 8.6lbs workhorse might be for you. It’s a great option for contractors and similar workers.

The 12-amp motor on this machine delivers an impressive max strokes per minute of 2700. Combine this with the stroke length of 1 – 1/8 and you’re dealing with a very capable tool.

Both the shoe and steel blade clamp on this sawzall can be adjusted without using tools, making this a convenient option for those with a wider variety of requirements. This machine’s variable speed trigger gives immediate control of your strokes per minute. This is an accurate and reliable tool.

When you’re not using the DEWALT DE310K, the included storage case makes it easy to pack away.


  • It’s very easy to make quick adjustments
  • Compelling price point


  • The gearing mechanism could be more durable

8. BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C 20V: Best budget reciprocating saw


If you’re working on a budget, then this might just be the best reciprocating saw on our list. The modular pricing options for this machine mean you only pay for the components you need. This could potentially save you a great deal of money.

Don’t be fooled by the price point; this 4.5 lbs tool still packs a punch. The variable speed trigger allows for up to 3000 strokes per minute, and the compact motor can still tackle plenty of everyday tasks.

Convenience and safety have also been well considered here. The adjustable pivoting shoe and tool-free blade switching system make this a versatile tool that’s easy to use. For moments when you need your blade to stop, fast, the included electric brake system significantly enhances your control of the unit.

The BLACK+DECKER BDCR20C runs on a single 20V lithium-ion battery which is included with your purchase. Extra batteries, as well as high-capacity batteries, are available for an additional fee.

The limited 2-year warranty lends some peace of mind to this already compelling package. The lightweight design make this a fantastic option for those who need portability.


  • Remarkably affordable
  • Effective electric brake
  • Very portable


  • The warranty terms could be more generous

9. Bosch 12-Volt Max Compact PS60-102 (best small reciprocating saw)


This is another great-value option.

The Bosch PS60-102 comes with an ergonomic design that’s hard to beat. This saw is ideal for both one-handed and overhead use. The compact design and staggeringly light weight of just 2.3 lbs makes this the most portable reciprocating saw on our list.

A single 12V lithium-ion battery powers a robust motor that delivers 0 – 3000 strokes per minute. This tough saw can tackle a variety of materials, including harder materials like copper and conduit.

Another aspect of this saw that catches the eye is its slew of safety features. The power system on this sawzall defends against overheating, overloading and voltage fluctuations. The included LED torch dramatically increases visibility in darker work environments. The motor brake on this machine is very effective, and improves your level of control.


  • Ultra portable yet heavy-duty design
  • Great safety features
  • Stable pivoting foot.


  • Relatively short battery life

10. PORTER CABLE PCC670B 20V MAX Reciprocating Saw


This 4 lbs reciprocating saw is capable of reaching into tight, hard-to-reach spots.

The 20V lithium-ion battery on this machine delivers between 0 and 3000 strokes per minute, allowing it to tackle a wide variety of materials. This versatility is supported by the convenient variable speed trigger that’s very responsive. The tool-less blade release system on this model makes quick adjustments hassle free.

The comfortable rubberized handle and lightweight design make this a sawzall that’s easy to carry wherever you might need it.


  • Very easy to use
  • Responsive variable speed trigger


  • This isn’t the most durable saw on our list


Best pruning blade for reciprocating saw

Reciprocating Saw Buying Guide

Corded or cordless?

When buying a new reciprocating saw, you’ll need to decide if you need a corded saw, or if you can manage with one that requires a wired power source.

The portability that comes with cordless saws is great. They allow you to move around freely, without the limitations of a cord. If you know you’ll be moving between multiple locations while working, then cordless is probably the best option. Research the battery life and charging speed of each model you look at. Make sure you choose a saw that won’t run out of juice in the middle of a big project.

As a general rule, corded reciprocating saws come with fewer extra features than their cordless counterparts. However, their increased weight and power mean they can tackle tougher materials, and their constant power supply means you’ll never have to worry about running out of juice.

Variable or single Speed

Most reciprocating saws worth their salt come with a variable speed option. This most often comes in the form of a speed trigger or dial. Variable speed settings allow you to use your saw at a speed that is appropriate for the work you’re doing. Controlling your speed greatly improves accuracy when making plunge cuts, and slower speeds are a great way to mark the line of where you will be cutting.

Single speed saws are set to a specific number of strokes per minute, which can’t be adjusted. If you’ve found a saw from a unique brand that you’re positive would be perfect for your requirements, it’s possible that a single speed saw would be adequate. In general though, look for saws with variable speed settings.


When investing in a reciprocating saw, it’s important you find a tool that won’t let you down. Think about the kind of work you’re hoping to do with your saw, and use these requirements to identify the areas where you need your saw to work well.

If you know you’ll be working in multiple locations or harder to reach areas for extended periods of time, make sure you find a portable saw with enough battery life to get the job done.

Once you know the kind of materials you’ll be working with, make sure you pick a saw that can handle those materials. Make sure you’re using blades that are durable and sharp enough for your work.

The last thing you want is the blade to stick or even break. Overall durability is another crucial factor to consider. If your saw is great now, that’s less relevant if it breaks down in two months. Check our reviews here to determine durability.

Blade quality and changing blades

When picking a new saw, it’s definitely worth looking for options with a tool-less system for changing the blade. More traditional or obscure models will use an Allen wrench to change blades. These days, this is a hassle that’s no longer necessary, so double check the blade-changing system when buying a new saw.

When buying new blades for your saw, look for models with high ratings for durability and performance. The last thing you want is a broken blade to get stuck in your saw. Make sure you’re using the right blade for the job with the correct number of teeth per inch.

A demolition job will require different blades than the work of a woodcutter, for example. Always check that your saw is compatible with a new blade before purchasing.

Blade brake

A blade-brake system is a premium feature that’s definitely worth considering. One of the most frustrating hiccups that can occur when working is dealing with your blade snagging on the material that you’re cutting. This can slow down your workflow considerably and cause unnecessary damage. A blade brake system regulates the operation of your saw, and helps to stop your blade from catching on your material.


The length of your saw blade determines the type of work you’ll be able to achieve. Most reciprocating saws come with blades 6 inches long. This is more than enough for most tasks.

Smaller blade lengths are available in more jigsaw-esque offerings. These might be more appropriate for more intricate tasks.

For larger, more heavy-duty tasks, blades of up to 12 inches are available. Make sure that your saw is compatible before buying a new blade.

Stroke Length

The stroke length of a saw determines the depth of cut it is able to make. The larger the stroke length, the deeper the cut. The vast majority of saws come with a stroke length of either 1-1/8 or 1-1/4 inches.

Grip and comfort

Many beginners underestimate comfort when choosing a new saw. Using an uncomfortable tool for extended periods of time can cause serious strain, and even injury if you’re not careful. Look for saws with well-designed, ergonomic grips that won’t let you down.

Consider models that offer multi-grip features. Multi-grip handles are designed to be comfortably held in a variety of different orientations, making operation much more enjoyable.

The weight of your saw is another factor to think about. If you’re going to be carrying your tool around a lot, look for lighter options if possible.

Safety Features

It goes without saying that maintaining safety when working is crucial. When it comes to reciprocating saws, some of the main safety concerns to watch out for are: kickback, braking, and debris.

Look for saws with great lighting features. Visibility is crucial for maintaining accurate and safe cuts. The most common visibility feature, LED torches, can make darker environments much safer.

The braking capabilities of your saw are worth considering closely. On some saws, the blade can keep spinning for far too long after you’ve disengaged the trigger. Effective braking systems will bring your blade to a halt as quickly as possible. This can mean the difference between losing a finger and a small cut!

Some saws will come with safety goggles included. You should always use the correct eye protection when working, so this can be a nice bonus.



We know that finding the best reciprocating saw for the job can be overwhelming. Having plenty of choice is fantastic, but knowing where to start can feel impossible. Our advice would be to figure out what you’re hoping to achieve in as much detail as possible. The more you know about what you need your saw to do, the easier it will be to find the perfect reciprocating saw.

Once you’re clear on your requirements, use our recommendations on this page to narrow down your search. We’ve outlined the key features to look out for when buying a new saw, and listed what we think are the best reciprocating saws on the market.

If you’re looking for a shortcut, our absolute favourite saw on this list is the Milwaukee 6538-21. The innovate, patented technologies and durable design make for an incredibly compelling tool.

Good luck!

Best Pruning Blade for Reciprocating Saw: Reviews and Guide

Pruning is a hectic and effort demanding task. However, the best pruning blade for reciprocating saw can be a game-changer for every woodworker.

But the main point is getting the perfect and suitable pruning blade for your work. And the best means the one which is far more efficient for making precise and accurate cuts. If you want a perfect one for you, all you have to do is read the below paragraphs with attention. All aspects of each selected model are well-defined down here.

After keeping the user feedback into consideration, we have concluded the five most high-rated and top-notched models. We have tried to make your pruning blade choosing the journey more comfortable and more accessible.

Best Pruning Blade for Reciprocating Saw: Top Picks

1. Sawzall Wood Pruning Blade for Reciprocating Saw


A solely cost-effective choice, Sawzall wood pruning blades with the enrichment of ground-breaking quality, stands on the top. And most interestingly, it won’t demand a heft amount of investment. And you will be fully satisfied with the quality as well.

It’s pretty rugged carbon steel construction makes it all set for cutting wood most effectively. It is highly recommended to be used by woodworkers.

Versatility, precision, and an incredible performance overall promising by these 12-inch wood pruning blades. All thanks to its 1.4mm thickness, which reduces its vibration to a great extent and adds accuracy and precision to woodcutting.

Luckily, it is one of the perfect pruning blades for a reciprocating saw, which is compatible with all sorts of saw brands, which can be a plus point for the woodworkers. You can easily cut the rigid wood without even the least vibration. It can be installed with you saw in seconds that make it more convenient for the worker.

These wood pruning blades come with a clear plastic storage bag, which is considered a plus point. You can carry it alongside where ever you go. You can remove this storage plastic by pulling only it will not come off upon shooking. 

Because of its entirely fair and reasonable thickness that is engineered keeping all of the factors in mind, this blade is long-lasting than other types. You can use it for a more extended period with promising accuracy overall.

We would recommend this pruning blade to the professionals because of its reduced vibration. This reduced vibration will help you to cut down the wood with full accuracy and neatness. The design and construction are smooth and reliable to be more convenient for workers.


  • Less vibration
  • Sharp enough for pruning neatly
  • Fine replacement
  • High quality plastic bag included


  • Not accurate much for dry trunks

2. 5 HORUSDY Wood Pruning 9-Inch Reciprocating Saw Blades


A pack of 5 Horusdy wood pruning blades are highly efficient and are equally suitable for hard and softwood. It is most suitable for professional usage. The promising rigid and smooth construction makes sure to provide you with professional looking results upon every usage.

It is manufactured using good quality carbon steel that will stay with you for a more extended period. Thanks to its rigid and robust quality alloy, it will remain intact even during pruning hardwood logs. It comes with five teeth per inch, which means more than enough. Also, this kind of professional construction is perfect for quick work.

If you want to cut green logs, it will be more than perfect for you. Not only this, but it is specifically designed for cutting those logs which are hard to reach or access. Most important of all, it will be compatible with all emerging brands of saws. So you don’t have to worry about the saw.

If we talk about its price, it is the most reasonable price for its perfect design and robust quality. Along with this, you can easily cut down hard and dry logs using this robust quality pruning blade. This 9 inches blade comes up with a durable clear plastic bag that will keep your blade safe and sharp when not in use.

These five differently sized blades can be most comfortable to replace change on every attempt. This means these blades are user friendly enough. So fundamentally, these pruning blades are a worth-buying option.


  • Made using high-quality carbon steel
  • Can be used for pruning large logs
  • Will cut large and dry logs entirely.


  • A little on the pricy side

3. Caliastro 9-Inch Wood Pruning Saw Blades for Reciprocating Saws– 5 Pack


Caliastro 9-inch Wood Pruning Saw brings one of the most suitable and amazingly created blades for refined pruning. These premium quality blades are heat treated to provide you with smooth and easy wood pruning overall. Also, rigid quality carbon steel makes sure to reduce vibration as much as possible. Reduced vibration will add up ease to your work.

 Also, a stiff and rigid blade is suitable for cutting bushes, stems, and thick logs. You can use them even for cutting hard and dry logs. Its robust quality will never disappoint you at any stance. If you are a professional woodcutter, then it is a go-to option for you.

Most importantly, this fantastic blade is compatible with every sort of saw brand, including Black and Decker, Hitachi and Makita, etc. It promises to stay with you for a more extended period and remain accurate as a new one. On every usage, it will remind you of the quality and excellence with which the professionals engineered it.

A plastic bag is provided along with the blades to keep your blades safer. Whenever you are not using these blades, you can keep them safer in that plastic bag. But make sure not to shake the bag. It will tear your bag.

A unique pattern of 5 teeth per inch makes your pruning smooth and more comfortable than the ordinary pruning blade. You will be able to replace your blade with great ease as well. Collectively this pack of the blade can be a game-changer for you.


  • Compatible with universal saw brands
  • Premium carbon-steel construction
  • Perfect for thick and green logs


  • Not suitable for compact saws

4. WORKPRO 9-Inch Wood Pruning Reciprocating Saw Blade Set


Workpro 9-inch Wood Pruning Saw blade kit comes with five pieces of robust and rigid blades. These blades are built using chrome vanadium steel. This high-quality construction ensures longevity and ease of use as well. 

Blades are smooth and come with a lacquered coating, which means you will get a perfect and refined experience of pruning overall. The slippery sliver surface of blades ensures to reduce friction significantly, which means a smooth and more effortless cutting of wood, of course.

Also, a coating of lacquer promises to keep your blades safe from corrosion, and they will not catch rust even after ages. A 9-inch blade can be more than enough for cutting massive and long wood logs. Its tip is hard, thin, and sharper, which will make it easier to cut those parts which are hard to reach with ordinary blades or saw.

It’s perfect and unique five teeth/inch pattern makes your pruning safe and more accessible overall. It is also easier to replace every time and is compatible with all emerging saw brands like Bosch, Makita, Black, and Decker, etc.

Most amazingly, it comes up with a reasonably median price. Moreover, you can use this robust quality to cut shrubs to hard logs. Collectively we can say that getting this wonderfully designed blade at such a median price will be a treat for us.


  • Chrome-vanadium construction
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Perfectly smooth and easy to use
  • Compatible with all brands


  • Not suitable for compact reciprocating saws

5. Sungator Reciprocating Saw Blades for Pruning


Sungator Reciprocating Saw comes up with a perfect looking and easy to use the blade for smooth pruning. This five-piece blades pack makes your pruning experience more than exceptional. The blades are heat-treated to make them soft enough to have a smooth and more comfortable wood cutting.

Each 1.5mm thick blade is constructed using carbon-steel, which means it will remain intact for a more extended period. Not only this, you can use this uniquely built blade for cutting all sorts of wood ranging from small bushes to hard and long logs.

These pruning blades are compatible with all sorts of emerging brands. This means you don’t have to worry about your saw brand while buying this wonderfully designed blade. Its five teeth per inch pattern add up to pruning’s ease and perfection to a great extent.

Whether you want to cut hard logs or small bushes, or green plants, these blades will provide you with satisfaction and ease of use overall.  An ideal thickness and rigid quality reduce friction and vibration to a great extent.

Fundamentally, you can go for this blades kit without any hesitation. This blade kit is absolutely a go-to option with outstanding quality and ease of use coupled.


  • Smooth and well-defined blade
  • Can be accurate while cutting hard logs
  • Heat-treated blades


  • Not suitable for compact reciprocating saws.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you cut branches with a reciprocating saw?

Yes, you can cut small branches or bushes using a reciprocating saw. But keep in mind these saws are perfect for cutting stationary branches or bushes or logs, but it won’t work for moving or shaky branches.

What is the best blade for cutting trim?

We have hundreds of options in the market to cut or trim our logs, but here are a few of them mentioned for your ease.
Freud 12-inch ultra-fine blade
Concord blades
Freud ultimate cut-off blades

What are the best reciprocating saw blades?

Most of the reciprocating saw blades come with carbon-steel construction, which is quite significant for wood pruning. However, vanadium-chrome blades are also famous for their rigidity and ease of use. In addition to this, they will not rust at all.
Here are some of the recommended models and the best pruning blade for the reciprocating saw
Workpro blade kit
Sungator reciprocating saw blades

How do I choose a reciprocating saw blade?

Here we will tell you about some of the crucial factors you have to keep in mind while getting a reciprocating saw blade.
The number of teeth should be kept in mind as these are the ones that determine the blade’s speed. The blade should at least contain five teeth per inch.
Take the TPI of the blade in  mind; it should have a TPI ranging from 3 to 11
If you want to cut deep in wood logs, look for a longer tip pruning blade.
If you want the smoothest cuts, go for cross-cut blades.


When you are out for getting the best pruning blades for a reciprocating saw, it is quite challenging to make the right choice and get the best among a hand full of brands claiming themselves to be the best. In short, it is not easy to get a suitable item with little or less knowledge.

Firstly, keep all of the main points like quality and affordability in mind. After this, you will not be fooled by anyone. However, in our detailed review, we have tried our best to make you familiar with all sorts of emerging brands of pruning blades. And if you are in confusion about finding the one for you, you can take our recommendations.

Our top pick is the Workpro 9-inches blade kit for pruning. It comes with a unique construction coupled with corrosion resistance. This highly robust and compact design pruning blade is a must-to-buy option and will make your woodworking experience worthwhile by reducing friction and vibration.

Reciprocating Saw Uses: 9 Amazing Things You Can Do

Reciprocating saws have an underdog reputation in the world of DIY. Like any good underdog story, our protagonist here comes out on top. Thanks largely to their versatility and ease of use, these fantastic saws have seen a significant growth in popularity over the past few years.

A great reciprocating saw, or sawzall as they’re known in the US, can be a phenomenal addition to any tool kit. Depending on the type of blade you’re using and the power of your motor, a reciprocating saw can tackle a staggering number of materials. The number of reciprocating saws uses is quite surprising.

This page outlines some of the most common uses for reciprocating saws and the type of cuts they’re able to make.

What is a Reciprocating Saw?

The three names you’ll see written for this type of saw are reciprocating saws, sawzalls and sabre saws. These names all refer to the same tool. But what are they?

Reciprocating saws are handheld devices most commonly used where a sledgehammer or crowbar might not quite be good enough. If you need to rip out the materials surrounding fittings in a building like doors and windows, then a good reciprocating saw is what you need. Any demolition worker worth their salt uses a reciprocating saw.

These machines are also great for cutting through wood that contains nails or metal piping.

Sawzalls are not unlike jigsaws in that the strokes of the blade move backwards and forwards repeatedly. The speed of the blade on a reciprocating saw is defined as the number of strokes per minute, or SPM. A great bonus if you already own a jigsaw, is that some blades might be compatible with your new reciprocating saw.

Uses for Reciprocating Saws

Sabre saws can tackle a wide variety of challenging materials. The type of cuts you’ll be able to make is determined by the kind of blade you’re using and the power of your machine.

1. Cutting Through Anything

Reciprocating saws are designed from the ground up to tackle a wide variety of cutting materials. It all depends on the power of your machine and the type of blade you’re using. What your blade is made from and the number of teeth per inch (TPI) determines the type of cutting you’ll be able to do. In this section, we outline the most common blades used for reciprocating saws and the tasks they’re able to achieve.

Wooden Materials

Bost soft and hardwoods are easily tackled by a reciprocating saw. Wood is one of the most common materials in DIY and demolition projects, so it’s important to have the right tool for the job. You’ll want to use woodcutting blades for most tasks involving wood. Look for a TPI of 5 to 10.

cutting through wood


Metal can be tough to cut through if you don’t have the right equipment. Luckily, reciprocating saws are very capable of cutting through things like bolts, rebar, rods and piping. Make sure you’re using an appropriate metal-cutting blade. Generally speaking, these blades have a considerably higher TPI of between 10 and 18. They can go as high as 24 TPI. As well as tackling metal materials, these blades are also used to make smooth finishing cuts in wood.

Projects With Both Wood and Metal

For this type of project, you’ll want a combination blade. These are designed to be versatile, and tackle both wooden and metal materials. The TPI here often uses a variable configuration such as 8/11 or 10/14.

Materials on a Demolition Site

If it’s on the demolition site, a reciprocating saw can probably help you destroy it. To quickly cut through plastics, metal sheeting, sheet profiles, all types of wood, metals and sandwich materials you’ll want to use a demolition blade. These are a heavy-duty type of blade perfect for tackling tougher materials. Their wider body provides more stability when cutting. The average TPI for these blades is between 6 and 11.

Masonry and Tiling

Cutting through tiles can be fiddly, and the wrong tool will simply crack what you’re working on. With a good quality carbide grit blade, a reciprocating saw is brilliant for masonry tasks. These blades don’t have teeth at all, but use a grit surface instead.

Very Dense and Tough Materials

If you need to cut material that is very compact, thick and tough, a carbide tipped blade is what you need. These unique blades come with a comparatively low average TPI of 8. The carbide tip is very durable, and is therefore capable of handling materials that would ruin other blades

2. Easy Through Cuts

Through cuts are made when the saw passes completely through the cutting material. Examples of through cuts include cross cuts, angled cuts and mitre cuts.

This type of cutting comes with the risk of kickback, so make sure you read the user manual and use your tool responsibly. Decide what material you want to cut through and then make sure you’ve got the appropriate blade for the job. The variety of blades available for reciprocating saws means it’s easy to tweak your setup to tackle through cuts for loads of different materials.

A top tip when making cuts is to mark the line you plan on cutting. You could use a tape measure and a permanent marker for this. This can make a huge difference to your accuracy. Keep your saw inline with your stomach and in front of you while cutting.

3. Cutting in Tight Spaces

If you need to work in hard-to-reach, cramped spaces with poor visibility, then a reciprocating saw could help a great deal. More portable varieties can be held overhead and with either one or two hands. Look for handles that are designed to be help in multiple positions. Many saws come with premium features like LED torches. These can dramatically improve your visibility in darker work environments. If portability is important to you, look for a saw that weighs between 6 and 10 lbs.

4. Plunge Cuts

Plunge cuts are perfect for when you’re starting a cut at the centre of your material. If necessary, you can drill a small hole into the centre of your material which a blade can then enter. Alternatively, you can lean the front edge of your saw against the surface of your material and gently push down, then across.

It’s very important that you’re using blades that are sharp enough for your chosen material. If your blade is too blunt, you’re just going to make a mess and could even hurt yourself. You should also wear the right eye protection because there’s going to be plenty of dust and debris. If you’re new to making plunge cuts, you might want to practice on some scrap material first.

5. Making Frames

Making frames for home decoration or other creative projects is one of the joys of learning home DIY. A sawzall can make cutting your wood down to size easy. Do some thinking about the type of wood you’d like for your project. Now, determine how thick and tough this wood is. Next, choose a reciprocating saw and blade that is appropriate for your chosen material. Saws with added features that help accuracy can improve the build quality of your project significantly.

6. Cutting Pipes

Removing pipes from a demolition site can be a headache without the right tool. Prying away for hours with a crowbar and hammer does work, but it’s time consuming and exhausting. A reciprocating saw can make this kind of work much easier. For metal or plastic pipes, you’ll want to use either a metal-cutting blade , a combination blade or a demolition blade.

7. Sanding Holes

If you need to sand the edges of a hole you’ve made, a reciprocating saw with an appropriate accessory or modification can do the trick. Sanding pads can be bought from many suppliers, both in-store and online. These are designed to help you quickly and easily sand down tight spaces. Some users make their own modifications for sanding tasks. This is most commonly achieved by attaching tough grit sandpaper very tightly to their longer blades. If you’re thinking of doing this, then definitely proceed with caution and make sure you’re capable of doing this safely

8. Pruning

Yard work becomes remarkably quick and easy if you’ve got the right tool for the job. Reciprocating saws are more than capable of helping you with your everyday outdoor tasks. Pruning and trimming tree branches is a very common use case. Make sure you’re using appropriate woodcutting blades.

9. Salvaging

Sawzalls are also great for salvaging wood scrap from older projects. If you’re handy, you’ll end up spending much less on new materials for builds. Trimming down scrap for other projects can be very rewarding. If you’re a skilled woodworker, joining pieces together for beautifully crafted builds should be a breeze!


We hope it’s now clearer why reciprocating saws have grown so much in popularity over the past few years. In the right context, their versatility is undeniable. If you’re ever involved in demolition projects, then it’s definitely worth considering picking up a reciprocating saw. Once you’ve bought one, you might be surprised how much else you can achieve.

Check out our reciprocating saws buying guide to find our top tips for the best reciprocating saws on the market.