The reciprocating saw (better known as a recip saw or Sawzall) is a common sight at construction sites, but it also has a place in a home owner’s arsenal of power tools.
The recip saw is a two-handed tool and can be quite cumbersome to the uninitiated. It weighs in at about 4.5 kilograms, but the bulk is helpful to dissipate vibration and provide better grip. The controls consist of a variable speed trigger, and most saws can switch from a straight back and forth sawing motion which is ideal for cutting metal to an orbital stroke that is better for cutting wood.
A recip saw is extremely useful for demolition purposes. It cuts through 2×4’s, plywood, and drywall with ease. With the proper blade it can also cut through metal pipe and nails.
This video shows common applications and tips for using a reciprocating saw:
DIYers will probably find more use for a compact or one-handed recip saw that are made for working in tight spaces such as cutting pipe under a sink, trimming PVC, cutting holes in drywall or light duty carpentry work.
Cordless recip saws are also growing in popularity as lithium-ion battery technology gets better. Get two batteries if you go cordless, so one can charge while the other is in use.
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