Think of the reciprocating saw as the rougher, tougher big brother of the jigsaw. Where the jigsaw is used for delicate work, the reciprocating saw is used for bigger jobs that are more often associated with destruction than construction. There’s a defined technique you need to learn to use a reciprocating saw properly. The shoe of the blade should be held against the object you’re cutting in order for it to be most effective and to give you the most control over the saw.
1 - Wall Demolition
A reciprocating saw is ideal for taking out drywall. It penetrates easily and it can cut both vertically and horizontally. Removing areas between the studs only takes a few minutes. You can even take out a drywall ceiling quite easily because you can work with the saw over your head.
The problem with doing this is that you need to be extremely careful. The reciprocating saw is very powerful and if you don’t pay attention, you can easily cut through wires or pipes that are behind the drywall. You can also cut through the studs on the wall with the reciprocating saw if you need to.
2 - Sawing Wood
If you don’t have a chainsaw but need to cut small limbs from tree, your reciprocating saw can do the job with the right attachment fitted. It won’t tackle wood as thick as a chainsaw but it can still cut up branches effectively, either from the tree or once they’re on the ground. If you need to saw through roots, a reciprocating saw can easily manage this, too.
3 - Metal
If you have a large area of metal to cut, you will need a saw with fine teeth. This can be useful if you’re adding custom ornaments to a car or metal gatework and need to cut the metal to fit it.
4 - Tile
Rather than renting or buying a tile saw, you can use a reciprocating saw for the same job. It can cut at an angle or in circles. Be aware, however, that unless you’re very careful the tile can break. It will take plenty of practice to be able to cut tile properly and even then, you are still likely to have the occasional breakage.
5 - Pipes
A reciprocating saw is tough enough to cut through thick pipe. That gives it a big advantage over many other saws. However, if this reciprocating saw is being used for cutting the pipe to size in order to use it, you have to be extremely accurate to make a perfectly square cut.
6 - Dental
Although it’s not something you’re likely to do yourself, dentists actually use a variation on the reciprocating saw. These are very specialized saws and are used for cutting through teeth and bone. This type of work is usually too hard for most types of saw.
Whatever project you’ll be using your reciprocating on, you will need to do it safely. Safety goggles are a must and you must always keep the blade guard in place. Only hold the saw by the assigned parts or you could run the risk an electric shock. If you’re using an extension cord, make sure it’s strong enough for the current of the reciprocating saw and never use the saw when standing on wet ground.