How to Use A Reciprocating Saw like Pro

So, you got yourself a reciprocating saw, and you’re thinking, “How on earth do I operate this?” That’s okay, a lot of people who own one have asked this question at some point too. We know how important it is that you learn how to use this saw.

That is because it comes in handy for a lot of mini-constructions, household repairs and projects. Using a reciprocating saw is not as complicated as you would think. In fact, in this article, we would try as much as possible to debunk this erroneous belief with this simple but detailed guide on how to use a reciprocating saw.

How Does This Saw Work?

To use this saw properly, you first have to understand why and how it works differently from the usual saw. Firstly, a reciprocating saw is more than just a saw; it is an all-in-one tool that is useful not only as a tree cutter but also for other uses such as cutting pipes, PVC, metal, and many more.

This saw has a blade that moves in a push-pull direction, going forward and backward with a very swift speed. It can be held with both hands, and can also be carried over your head to cut things that are above your head.

Asides its cutting uses, if you are a bit of a DIY person, you can also use this saw to install outlets, to change the PVC piping, undo nails and cut screws, fit in windows, and other cool repairs.

How to Use a Reciprocating Saw

To get the most out of your saw with only a little effort, you must go through the following guideline attentively. Before we begin, it would be vital to remember to always wear protective gear that appropriately covers your body parts, including your eyes. You must also be cautious of cutting through your saw’s cord.

  • Choose the right blade:

When using a reciprocating saw, you need to be extra careful. The saw cuts in a rougher fashion than other types of saws because they are mostly used for jobs that require demolition or destruction of surfaces and materials.

To do a good job, you must use the right blade. This is usually decided based on the type of surface or item you need to cut through. The wrong blade will make your work tasking, time-wasting, and may ruin your saw.

If you’re cutting through surfaces like ceramic, iron, or stone, the best blade would be a toothless tungsten carbide-coated blade. For ceiling boards, PVC material, or wooden surfaces and items, you may use a rough/coarse blade. Metal pipes would need a blade with finer teeth just like a hacksaw blade.

If you are a beginner to using saws and blades, this may seem a little complicated for you. You may have to get familiar with the right reciprocating saw blades first.

  • Hold the saw properly:

Just like many electronic saws, reciprocating saws can be jumpy. That means that you need to have a super grip on it when you are operating it. The right way to hold it is with both hands. One hand must hold the handle, and the other should grip the front end close to (but definitely not) the blade.

Usually, the hand holding the handle is your dominant hand, while the other is the non-dominant hand. The dominant hand grips the handle firmly and should have access to the trigger button that starts the saw. When you’re ready to cut, press hard on the trigger for your saw to become fully powered.

Holding your saw correctly not only keeps your blade steady, but it also reduces the unnecessary movement that comes with the vibration of the saw. Try to control your saw from jumping while you guide it through the cutting path. You don’t have to struggle with the cutting; your saw can do the job without much effort from you.

  • Use the right amount of pressure:

This is an essential aspect of using your saw. The wrong amount of pressure will waste your time, resources, energy, and ruin your work. If you are new to cutting, you definitely must test your cutting skills on other objects that are no longer of use to you.

After trying out on old boards, metals, and surfaces and have gotten the hang of it, then you can move to the real deal. You should not only apply the right pressure, but you must also know when to alternate it. For example, to cut through steel pipes, align the blade with where you need to cut first, then increase speed for the saw to cut faster.

Different pressure applies to different types of materials. If you are still not sure what the best pressure to apply to a surface is, then you may want to do a little more “finding.”

Learn how to Change the Blades

Like we earlier highlighted, reciprocating saws use different types of blade to do the most efficient job. Changing the blade of your saw is quite easy. On the newer version, it is as simple as pressing two buttons on the front end of the saw.

The older version, however, will require you to use an Allen wrench to unscrew and then tighten the new blade into place. You may find out more about changing the blades of your saw so that you can do it correctly to avoid complications during cutting.


In this guide, we have pointed out the essential bits of information you would need for you to use your saw without much difficulty. For your DIY cutting projects, ensure you are adequately protected before you begin. Next, select the right blade you would need for your task. Grip your reciprocating saw properly for the best cutting results, and also remember to apply the right amount of pressure.

If you have any reservations or questions on how to use your reciprocating saw, feel free to leave a comment, and we will tell you our thoughts ASAP!

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