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How To Use a Reciprocating Saw To Cut Wood (3 Easy Steps)

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Do you own a reciprocating saw? Do you want to know how to use a reciprocating saw to cut wood? If your answer is yes, then you will love this post.

By the time you are done reading this, you will be familiar with the steps involved in using a reciprocating saw to cut wood, so stick around as we take another fascinating dive into the world of woodworking.

What is a reciprocating saw?

A reciprocating saw is also known as a hognose or reciprocating saw. It differs from your regular circular saw because the blade on a reciprocating saw doesn’t spin. Instead, it uses a push and pulls motion to cut through the material.

Think of a reciprocating saw as a knife, only that with a reciprocating saw, you don’t have to push and pull the blade across the wood with brute strength.

A motor in the saw does the push and pull movement. All you have to do is keep your hands steady. This type of saw is particularly used in construction work.

Types of reciprocating saw                                                                                

As with all power tools, the reciprocating saw also varies in terms of strength, speed, and weight. So before we move on to cutting wooden materials, it’s important to know the common types of reciprocating saw, their design, and specific uses.

  • Corded Reciprocating Saw: The corded reciprocating saw comes with a plug which means this reciprocating saw has a constant power source. It’s used to make cuts in walls, cut pipes and prune small branches. Check our best reciprocating saw review.
  • Cordless Reciprocating Saw: This is also known as the handheld saw. The cordless saw has a battery feature which means it doesn’t give a constant power supply like the corded reciprocating saw. However, the cordless saw is more suited for outdoor use, especially in working sites where there is no power supply or power outlet.  Check our review of battery reciprocating saws.
  • Mini reciprocating saw: This is the smallest reciprocating saw out there. It typically comes with a 12-inch blade and is used for cutting wood or pipes in tight areas.
  • The plumbing & HVAC reciprocating saw and the compact reciprocating saw are also popular types of reciprocating saw typically designed for small tasks and tight spaces.

Important Parts of a reciprocating saw                                                                 

These are the most important parts of the reciprocating saw:

  • The saw chuck: this is the part of the saw that allows you to mount the blade perfectly for use. It also holds the blade in place while sawing.
  • The blade: this is the steel that cuts the material. It comes in different sizes and designs that can be placed right side up or upside down depending on the task at hand.
  • The trigger: this is the lever or button that allows you to start sawing or cutting. The speed you generate depends on the amount of pressure you put on the trigger. If you are cutting metal, it is advisable to start off slow.
  • The rear handle: this is located at the back of the saw. It is usually made of plastic and specially designed to increase grip.
  • The electrical cord: on a corded reciprocating saw, this is the cord that is plugged into the power outlet to generate a power supply.
  • The lock-on button: this button is located just above the trigger switch in most saws. This button allows you to continue using the saw at its current blade speed even if you take your finger off the trigger switch.
  • Speed range selector: this allows you to pick the maximum speed that the blade will reach while working. So, even if you place much pressure on the trigger, the blade speed will not exceed that range.
  • The trigger switch: this is the on and off switch on your reciprocating saw. It allows you to turn on and turn off the saw.
  • Vents: this is usually designed on the side of the saw. This feature prevents the motor from overheating by allowing heat to pass through.
Related Read — How To Use a Reciprocating Saw Safely?

Tools needed to effectively cut wood using a reciprocating saw

  • A reciprocating saw
  • A pair of gloves and goggles for eye protection
  • The appropriate For cutting wood, the carbon steel blade is suitable
  • A cleaning rag
  • A marker, like a pencil
  • A measuring tape or tape rule

How To Use a Reciprocating Saw To Cut Wood

Using a reciprocating saw to cut wood requires the same movement as using a knife to cut a loaf of bread or cucumber.

The difference is with your knife, your arm is initiating the movement, but with your reciprocating saw, the movement is generated by a motor that is much faster and powerful than your arm. Cutting wood with a reciprocating saw is a very simple task if you follow the steps below.

Pick The Correct Blade

Put on your safety gear. A pair of leather gloves and goggles will do. Pick out the correct size and design of the blade that will fit your task. Since we are cutting wood, longer blades with more aggressive teeth will do the work.

Carefully fix the blade in the saw chuck. Your saw might have a different feature when it comes to fixing the blade, but most saws just require you to turn the chuck and fix in the bottom end of the blade into the chuck and turn the chuck back to lock the blade in. When this is done your blade should be firm.

If you are cutting a piece of wood with nails in them, you don’t have to beat yourself up thinking of how to go about it. The carbon steel blade for your wood is very much capable of cutting through the nails too.

Use A Tape Rule

Use a tape rule or measuring tape to get the precise measurement of what you want to cut. Then use your pencil to mark out the points you want to cut through.

Start Cutting

Place your blade on or against the piece of wood you want to cut through and gently pull the trigger. You need to start off slow then gradually increase the pressure on the trigger.

This will effectively cut through just about any piece of wood. Ensure your hand is steady while cutting. Clean your surface with a rag and you should have a clean cut.

Safety measures while using the reciprocating saw

  • Wear safety gloves and goggles.
  • Use earplugs to block out excessive noise, especially if you are working on metal.
  • Ensure the saw is in perfect condition before you start it.
  • Use appropriate blades.
  • Start slow
  • If you are using a corded reciprocating saw, be extra cautious. It is an electric device.

Follow the steps above and you would be impressed with your result. Ensure to let us know if this post helps you achieve your desired results by leaving a comment in the comment section.

You can also check out other interesting posts on the website. You will love and find them helpful. Have a splendid sawing experience.

Related Read — Milwaukee 2719-20 M18 Review

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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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