Reciprocating saw uses – 6 things you need to know about how to cut straight better with a reciprocating saw.


A reciprocating saw can never go wrong when cutting a perfectly straight line. Sometimes, it is known as a receptacle saw uses, more like a hand saw but with a motor. Although its precision in cutting straight is second to none, you may face some challenges while operating. 

Hence, it would be best to digest some essential tips before exploring the reciprocating saw uses. Also, you must understand how to handle the reciprocating saw to maximize its ability.

Thus, this article presents six crucial tips for learning the reciprocating saw uses and much more.

Table of Contents

Set of reciprocating saw blades.

Figure 1: Set of reciprocating saw blades.

Section 1: What is a reciprocating saw?

A reciprocating saw is a power tool used for precisely cutting straight on a workpiece. Whether the workpiece is vertical or horizontal, a reciprocating saw will do justice to the cutting. As the name implies, it performs its function by its saw blade’s reciprocatory motion. 

Some of the reciprocating saw benefits are that it is lightweight and exact in straight cuts. Therefore, DIY enthusiasts and professionals consider it a perfect choice since it is handy and mobile. 

A corded reciprocating saw

Figure 2: A corded reciprocating saw.

There are six types of reciprocating saws, as follows:

  • Corded Reciprocating saw
  • Cordless Reciprocating saw
  • Pneumatic Reciprocating saw
  •  Mini Reciprocating saw
  • Compact Reciprocating saw
  • Plumbing and HVAC Reciprocating saw
An 18V cordless reciprocating saw

Figure 3: An 18V cordless reciprocating saw.

Section 2: What tools are necessary to cut straight with a reciprocating saw?

The reciprocating saw uses other tools to perform optimally. These tools contribute to the outstanding quality of the reciprocating saw in a straight cut, and they are as follows:

  • Blade: This is the most critical tool in a saw; its sharp edges mainly perform the cut. Generally, they differ based on the material composition and the TPI (tooth per inch). While some blades are for cutting wood, others are for metals and other materials. 
  • Blade Clamp: This feature makes your saw deliver cuts from different angles. This tool allows for switching the blade between four positions to aid visibility. Therefore, it gives room for better accuracy and precision in cutting.
  • Variable Speed Trigger: Of all that could go wrong during reciprocating saw uses, speeding ranks top. Excessive speed would ruin not only the workpiece but also the blade itself. Breaking the blade could cause serious injuries, especially when you do not wear the proper safety gear. Thus, a speed regulator helps set the appropriate speed that fits different workpieces. 
  • Adjustable Pivot: This tool also contributes its quota to the success of a straight cut. It allows for detecting uneven surfaces when cutting and adjusts the blade as needed. 
  • Illuminate LED Lights: This feature aids cutting and makes reciprocating saw uses excellent. Working in dark areas can lighten up the region of the cut to allow you to see clearly. More so, this will eliminate the need for carrying a torchlight.
  • Anti-Vibrant Handles: This feature minimizes the vibration that gets to the arm during cutting. Also, it prevents slippage of the handle when wet/sticky.

Section 3: How to cut straight with the reciprocating saw?

Always remember that cutting can come in any form, either horizontal or vertical. It implies that you must know about handling such jobs when you have them. 

3.1 Horizontal

To make a straight horizontal cut with a reciprocating saw, you need to keep some rules handy:

  • Start by locking down the fence rail along the wood edge.
  • Consider the foot measurement of the saw when mounting the fence rail on the table.
  •  One side of the fence rail must rest on the saw’s foot.
  • Use a C-clamp to hold the fence rail down to ensure a clean cut and even out vibration.
  •  Adopt a flat edge foot, which can help spread the pressure on the fence rail.
Horizontal cutting in progress

Figure 4: Horizontal cutting in progress.

3.2 Vertical

It is similar to making a horizontal cut but with a slight difference. In this case, instead of a C-clamp to mount the fence rail, all you need is a wood screw. Also, ensure that the fence rail is thick enough to prevent the workpiece from slipping off.

Section 4: Tips on reciprocating saw uses

Make work easier and the experience refreshing and interesting. These few tips will help:

  • Always start by drawing a visible line along the intended workpiece surface.
  • For very thick materials, try to punch a hole to serve as the starting point when cutting.
  • Start slowly and do not rush the process until you see a need to increase the speed.
  • Wear appropriate safety wear.
  • Practice loose trimming.
  • Firmly hold the saw with both hands when cutting but do not apply force or pressure.

Section 5: Safety tips

Safety should remain your watchword all through the process of exploring the reciprocating saw uses. In view of this, here are a few tips to help you stay safe at all times:

  1. Use of eye goggles
  2.  Use hand gloves
  3.  Do not wear a loose dress or one with oversized long sleeves.
  4. Use the correct blade for the material you are cutting.
  5.  Learn the rudiments of operating the saw before attempting to operate it.
  6.  Use earplugs if it’s a heavy-duty saw.
  7. Always unplug the saw before changing blades to avoid accidents.
Concrete cutting with a cordless reciprocating saw.

Figure 5: Concrete cutting with a cordless reciprocating saw.

Section 6: How to maintain the reciprocating saw?

Maintenance is crucial to the lifespan and performance of any tool. Adequate maintenance is necessary to get the best out of the reciprocating saw. Learn how to maintain the saw below:

a. Clean off the dust from the blade after cuts.

b. Keep to standards when using the air compressor. 

c. Remove the blade after use since it is likely hot and needs cooling.

d. Do not apply too much pressure or force when cutting to avoid breakage of the blade.

e. Lubricate the saw periodically.

Section 7: Frequent Q&A

Here are some FAQs you might have and the respective answers to them. 

7.1 Which is the best blade to use for reciprocating saw?

There is no universal blade; instead, they vary based on the material of the workpiece. PVC pipes require a metal blade or toothed edges blades. At the same time, coarse blades are suitable for wood and walls. However, if you want to know more about blade variants, check out this resource.

7.2 How to lubricate the reciprocating saw?

Doubtless, adequate lubrication is important to the saw and blade’s performance. But particularly for the saw, grease is fine for lubrication. Firstly, remove the saw’s shoes. Secondly, remove a supportive clamp. Thirdly, allow the plastic cellophane to drain. Finally, apply fresh grease with a grease gun. But note that there are other lubricants for reciprocating saws asides from grease.

7.3 How to make a flush cut with a reciprocating saw?

Nowadays, reciprocating saw uses a stretchable flush-cutting technology. This technology helps to ensure a proper flush cut. The flush-cut blade has a counterbalance, which gives room for the blade to be in a parallel direction. 


Finally, we have done our best to highlight reciprocating saw uses and useful tips for efficiency. In addition, we have enumerated simple and easy steps to carry out maintenance on a reciprocating saw. Ultimately, once you follow the tips shared above, you are one step further to becoming a professional reciprocating saw user. At NCCuttingtools, we focus on providing cutting tools and related customized services. Hence, do well to reach out to us if you need help on your projects.

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