Guide to Success

Reciprocating Saw (Sawzall)

A Sawzall, also called a reciprocating saw, is an all-in-one tool that can take the place of several others.

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How Do Reciprocating Saws Work? 

The saw has a blade that moves back and forth in a rapid, push-pull motion. You use both of your hands to hold the tool, and use the blade to cut a variety of materials.

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Top Reciprocating Saw Uses

Installing an outlet Fitting a window Changing PVC piping Cutting through nails or screws Outdoor work (tree branches!)

Step 1

Reciprocating Saw vs. Jigsaw

Jigsaws are typically used to cut shapes out of wood while Sawzalls are typically used for demolition or fix-it DIY projects

A reciprocating saw wouldn’t be used for any fine woodcrafting, while a jigsaw would be (the cuts are more intricate and accurate)

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Using a Reciprocating Saw

To begin, the saw is held similarly to a shotgun. The non-dominant hand holds the bottom front of the saw, while the dominant hand rests back on the grip and “trigger.” When beginning to cut, squeeze the trigger and allow the saw to gain full power.

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Changing the Blade

Changing the blade is relatively easy depending on the age of your saw. The older reciprocating saws used an Allen wrench to loosen and tighten the blade within the shoe.

At the front of the saw, there is a larger piece where the blade sticks out, and this is called the shoe (the metal portion shown above).  In newer models, changing the blade is as easy as holding two buttons (yellow above) on either side of the shoe for blade removal and insertion.

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