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How To Cut Trees With a Reciprocating Saw: 7 Steps To Get It Done!

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Do you have small trees or large branches in your yard that you want to cut?, Are you interested in learning how to use a reciprocating saw to cut trees?

Or maybe you have seen a reciprocating saw is used to cut small trees and you thought to yourself; “how is a small tool that weighs just about 5 pounds used to slice through that thick tree or branch?”

If you have ever asked yourself this question or you have a tree you want to get rid of or trim and you need the easiest method to do so without much experience, then you need to check out this article.

Related Read — Best Reciprocating Saws For Trees

Why do people cut trees?

Having unwanted trees in your compound or yard can be disturbing. Trees are nice and all, but you might need the space for something else, or maybe the tree provides shelter to some unwanted guests like squirrels, raccoons, birds, and insects.

You might be a licensed woodworker who needs lumber from the particular tree, or you might have even planted the tree yourself and now you want it down. There are many reasons for wanting to cut down a tree.

There are also different ways to cut down a tree. People use axes, chainsaws, and other sophisticated machinery to fell trees.

However, these machines are usually heavy and are largely recommended for professional use. One way that will prove convenient for you with a moderate level of experience will be using the reciprocating saw.

The reciprocating saw isn’t designed to fell big trees but it can still do a heck of a job on smaller trees when you use the appropriate blade and follow the right steps.

This article will highlight the steps involved in using a reciprocating saw to cut a tree. So grab a chair, relax and let’s discover how you can use a reciprocating saw to trim down and cut that tree to get the best results.

Tools Needed to Cut a Tree With a Reciprocating Saw

  • Reciprocating Saw ( Check Our Review)
  • A pair of leather gloves
  • Boots
  • A helmet
  • A battery-operated or cordless reciprocating saw: these are more suited for outdoor use than the corded or electric reciprocating saw
  • A pair of boots
  • A pruning blade: the pruning blade is specially designed to remove wood easily and rapidly.

How To Cut a Tree Using a Reciprocating Saw?

It is advised to only use the reciprocating saw to cut a small tree or branch. Do not use your reciprocating saw to cut a tree or branch that is more than 12 inches in diameter.

If you have a bigger tree than advised, then consider using a more appropriate tool like a chainsaw. Using a reciprocating saw on a large tree or branch will just lead to you sawing repeatedly. It will be tedious and time-consuming.

Not to mention the obvious fact that you will damage your blade and get a very poor result. The steps below will work perfectly for small trees like the “Maple tree” and the “Redbud tree.”

Read More — Best Corded Sawzall

Put on your safety gear

When you want to cut a tree using the reciprocating saw, you need to consider your safety. Falling branches, cuts, and bruises are all part of the risks that come with using a reciprocating saw to cut trees and branches.

So, you need to put on a pair of leather gloves, boots, goggles, and a helmet to protect you from accidents and injuries.

Pick out the correct blade

To cut trees and branches, it’s advisable to use a pruning blade. The pruning blade is more suited for rough surfaces like trees and branches.

The blade is rough, aggressive, powerful, and has sharp teeth. You can get any of the “DIABLO Pruning blade” series.

Fix the blade into the saw chuck

The saw chuck has a small opening at the end of the saw that allows you to fix in the blade. Most reciprocating saws come with a saw chuck that just needs to be twisted to allow the blade in and twisted back to lock in the blade. Yours might have a different chuck feature, so consult your manual if it is different.

Read More — How To Cut Metal With a Reciprocating Saw?

Fix in the battery

Some reciprocating saws come with a built-in battery while others require the user to fix the battery when it’s to be used. Fixing the battery is easy. For most “DEWALT” reciprocating saws, you can just slot in the battery at the bottom end of the saw (below the handle and trigger).

It is advisable to use a battery-operated saw for outdoor use. This way, you don’t have to worry about the wire of your saw getting stuck or being wrapped around branches.

Also, you don’t have to worry about the length of the wire and a power source. If you don’t have a battery-operated saw, you can rent one or you can use the corded saw too, but be careful with it.

Press the shoe of the saw against the tree

Press the metallic end of the saw (the shoe) against the branch or tree you want to cut. This will allow the blade to move smoothly, so you can get an even result.

Identify the collar and start sawing.

Once the other steps above have been done correctly, you can start sawing. Apply pressure on the trigger to start cutting the branches.

Ensure to start with the smaller branches, then work your way up to the bigger branches. The essence of this is to prevent damages to objects around them.

If you cut off the tree directly with the branches still in place, the impact when it hits the ground will be much and the branches might brush off or hit something or someone on the way down.

Cut the branches off so the tree is left looking like an ordinary pole before you cut it down. Continue sawing off the tree bit by bit until you are satisfied with the result.

Read More — The Difference Between an Angle Grinder and Reciprocating Saw?

Clean up

Pack up the leaves and branches that fell to the ground when you are done cutting. After this process, you should be pleased with the result.

Tips and Pointers To Get The Best Cutting Result With Your Reciprocating Saw

  • Be gentle with the trigger and the speed range selector. Both mechanisms are built in place to ensure the right amount of speed and power is generated to allow cutting efficiency. It is advised to start slow.
  • Start with the branches. Don’t just start cutting the tree itself.
  • Always push the shoe of the saw against the tree or branch. This prevents the blade from flapping around.
  • Use the correct blade. An aggressive pruning blade is much suited for trees and branches.
  • Always cut from the collar. The collar of the branch is the place that the branch started growing or extending.

Safety Measures to Adhere To When Cutting a Tree With a Reciprocating Saw

The following safety measures protect you from accidents before, during, and after you are done cutting.

  • Always use safety gear. The helmet, pair of gloves, goggles, and boots are highly recommended for this task. The goggles protect your eyes from flying debris or pieces of wood and dust when sawing. The boots protect your feet from sharp pieces of wood that fall to the ground or stomps and sharp objects that can cut you. The leather gloves protect your palms and fingers from cuts, splinters, and bruises. The helmet protects your head from falling sticks, branches, or any object that might fall from the tree while cutting.
  • Do not sit on or stand on any branch while cutting. Tree branches may look tough, but be fragile. Sitting or standing on a branch of the tree you are cutting is never a good idea.
  • Do not stay under a tree or branch that is being cut.
  • If you are using a corded saw, you need to be careful with the wires. Make sure they do not tangle up or coil around the tree or branch. If the wire of your corded saw is wrapped around the tree or branch, the weight of that branch when it is cut and falling to the ground can pull the saw out of your hands.
  • Use earplugs to block out excessive noise.
  • Don’t place your hands over the vent of the saw to prevent burns.
  • Ensure the saw is in perfect condition before you start sawing.

Follow the steps above and you will have an amazing result. Be sure to leave a comment below and check out other articles on this website. Have a splendid cutting experience.

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We’re a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At thetoolgeeks.com, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

The Tool Geeks Team

We're a team of engineers, contractors, technicians, and woodworking experts who use power tools daily and share fact-based information, tips, and recommendations. At thetoolgeeks.com, we debunk myths about power tools and share methods to use them effectively.

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