Reciprocating saws will cut anything in any direction. Metal pipes and tubing are usually easiest to cut with these types of saws. No other tool has the same flexibility, power and ability to cut a wide range of materials from difficult angles. Popular Mechanics says, "This is the tool of choice for rough-cutting openings in plaster or wallboard, siding, plywood and flooring. You can use it to cut plastic, copper or cast-iron pipe and it won't be deterred by nail-embedded framing members."
The Right Reciprocating Saw Blades for the Job
The Reciprocating saw blades available vary in length and type. There are different attributes of the reciprocating saws themselves, and so there are many different variables that can change the nature and purpose of your saw.
This saw guide will help you find the right reciprocating saw blades.
- Fine Blades: Generally used for cutting metal; however ferrous metals (metals which contain iron) necessitate using finer blades than non-ferrous metals (metals which do not contain iron)
- Coarse Blades: Coarse blades are used for cutting wood
- Corded models are rated at 6-8.5 amps. Cordless models are rated up to 18 volts.
- Stroke Length and Strokes per Minute: a good combination of these two factors will give you a cleaner, faster cut. Stroke length refers to the length of the cut, while SPM refers to the amount of cuts per minute.
- Variable Speeds: usually trigger controlled and is good when cutting various materials.
- Orbital Setting: some models have the option to change between straight reciprocating cuts and orbital cutting, which is useful when cutting different materials. This is especially true for wood framing as the orbital setting can vastly increase the speed of the cut.
- Blade Clamping: When switching blades, it is important to turn off the reciprocating saw and disconnect it from its power source before removing the current blade. Some saws need tools, such as allen keys, in order to remove a blade. Reciprocating saw models that don't need such a tool are known for having a tool-less blade change.