How To Use a Reciprocating Saw- [ Step By Step Instructions ]

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Are you a remodeler, electrician, plumber, or regular homeowner? and you are looking for a guideline that can help you to use a reciprocating saw easily? then you are in the right place.

That being said, here is how to use a reciprocating saw and you can also check our air reciprocating saw review that may help you to get one for yourself.

Understanding the Saw.

Before you even think about how you are going to use the reciprocating saw. There are multiple parts of a saw, but we will only look at the most important parts. Here is a look at the major parts of a Cordless/corded reciprocating saws;

how to use a reciprocating saw
  • Blade; the most important part that allows you to slice through workpieces.
  • Blade clamp; holds the blade when you want to change it.
  • Blade guard/Shoe; protects hands from the blade and can be used as a leverage point to start plunge cuts.
  • Lever; a button that holds blade guard or shoe in place.
  • Trigger switch; turns on the blade.
  • Lock-on switch button; allows you to run the saw at its current speed even when you release the trigger switch. This is best for long cuts.

There are many parts, but let’s just focus on these ones for now.

Getting the Safety Gears Ready

They say prevention is better than cure, and that is what you should always embrace when handling a reciprocating saw or any other saw out there. This implies that you should always wear proper safety gear when working with these power tools. Here is a look at the must-have safety gears when before you start working with a reciprocating saw;

Well, these are some of the protective gear, but certainly not all of them. You can always ask your supplier or any professional if you will be needed any more protective gear when working with the reciprocating saw.

Steps Of How To Use A Reciprocating Saw

Now that you understand the anatomy of the saw and you have your safety gears in place, it should be time to start slicing through the workpiece. Let’s see how you can pull that off, shall we?

Step 1. Choose The Right Saw Blade

The first thing to do is to ensure that the saw is using the designated blade. While the reciprocating blade might be the right tool for your specific project, you still have to ensure that you are using the right blade.

The blade you choose must be suitable for the material that you are cutting. Even though you can find some multi-purpose or all-purpose blades out there, it is recommended to use a material-specific blade. Do not use a wood blade to cut metal sheets.

Step 2. Install The Blade

If you are sure of the blade and that it is designed to work on the material you are cutting, you can proceed to install it into the chuck. Before you install the blade, make sure that the saw is unplugged from the socket or the battery is removed (if it is a cordless reciprocating saw). From there, you can proceed to install the blade into the chuck.

Luckily, most of the corded reciprocating saws will come with a tool-free chuck. You can easily install the blade without the need for any tool. Ideally, you should always tug the blade to ensure that it is secure enough.

If you have just finished cutting stuff with the saw, use a pair of gloves to hold the blade because it might be hot.

Step 3. Know Your Cut

Cutting the workpiece is now what’s important at this point. You need to pay attention to the intersection of the blade with the material as you commence with the cut. Nevertheless, the blade will extend further. Here is where you need to be careful and ensure that the blade doesn’t hit anything as it moves from its maximum limit.

You should be careful with this, especially if you are plunge-cutting into drywall. The reason for this is that you cannot see behind the wall, which is why you need to be careful. You might end up cutting plumbing features or electrical wires.

Step 4. Use a Variable Speed

Before you open up the saw to do bulky work, you might want to create a slight cut. This will grant you better control as you cut through the workpieces. Ensure that you slow it down as the blade is approaching the exit of the cut.

Step 5. Make Use of The Shoe

All along as you use the reciprocating saw, the shoe should be your friend. This part comes with a flat surface that offers it different purposes. You can find reciprocating saws that have adjustable shoes. Such shoes can be moved either forward or back so as to extend the life of the blade. Whether you are using an adjustable shoe or a stationary shoe, always ensure that it is in place.

So, the main function of the shoe or blade guard is to help protect your hand from the blade. However, it also helps to stabilize the saw and the material. If you push the shoe all the way to the material, it can help to cut down the vibrations. But if the shoe is pressed against the material, the material or the saw can vibrate violently.

The shoe can also act as a fulcrum for plunge cuts. You can plunge into the material with control by raising the back end of the saw while the shoe acts as a pivot.

Step 6. See The blade Gradually in Thicker Materials

Sometimes, the blade can run slowly through the material. In turn, this makes the cut hard. It could be a result of a few things. Maybe the blade is dull and needs to be replaced, or it could be that you are not doing it right. What you should do, however, is gently see-saw the blade to assure you of faster progress and reducing the load. This is the best approach for thick and denser materials.

Final Words

So, that is all you need to know when you need a guideline on “How To Use a Reciprocating Saw”. Okay, it’s not all, but definitely good enough to get you going especially for your home-based projects. Always ensure that you follow all the safety precautions when working with the saw. Don’t forget to read top-quality air reciprocating saw on the market that can help you the most.

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